USS Lexington

Also known as: CV-16, CVA-16, CVS-16, CVT-16, AVT-16
USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, 2914 North Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas


USS Lexington

Photo taken by Richard Doody in 1997



Street View 


Within naval history, it can be said that the first half of the 20th century belonged to the battleship, while the second half of the century was the era of the aircraft carrier. World War II and the carrier campaigns of the Pacific firmly established the role of aviation within naval operations and the aircraft carrier replaced the battleship as the Navy's primary strike platform. The ships that helped to bring about this military revolution were the Essex-class carriers, like the USS Lexington. The aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-16) participated in almost every major naval campaign in the Pacific from 1943 to 1945. She was a highly decorated warship, receiving numerous citations acknowledging her exemplary service. As an Essex class carrier, Lexington illustrates the development of aircraft carrier design, the refinement of multi-carrier operations, and the integration of aviation as a primary strike weapon in naval strategy. Prior to World War II, the Navy had no practical battle experience for its carriers. It was in the Pacific theater that carrier operations were developed and refined. With aircraft that extended the fleet's firepower beyond the range of large caliber battleship guns, the carrier's status was elevated from reconnaissance platform to that of a major surface combatant. Of the over 20 Essex class carriers built during World War II, Lexington is one of four that survive. Among the Essex class carriers, Lexington has the longest service record (1943-1991) with nearly 30 years as the Navy's aviation training carrier. Her current configuration, including the addition of an angled flight deck, reflects this long history. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, July 31, 2003

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 31, 2003
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Essex-class aircraft carrier
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Naval facility
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • May 20, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • December 21, 2014: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Linked address