In Corpus Christi
Dec 27, 2007
Sometimes, I think we should just throw a dart on a map to try and decide where to go next. No matter which way we choose, we know we will miss something else. I guess that is why full timers get to see the whole country, good or bad.
After our time was done in Fentress, we needed to choose where to go next. Don had felt that he would like to see Brownsville. The Pellegrini's didn't care and the Evans were not to keen to head southwest again. But the decision was made to make the trip down to the tip of Texas to see what was there. While Don was researching the area, he talked to several local RV'ers, who told him that there was really nothing to see there. It would be an extra 400 miles to see a bunch of snowbirds.
Anyway, that is why we ended up in Corpus Christi. I for one am glad we made that decision. What a neat place. Our Rv park was a county park and right over the dune from the ocean. We couldn't see it, but we could sure hear it. We actually stayed for two nights on Padre Island. I imagine it is a lot like Florida. Very flat, and lots of large houses on canals that lead to the bay or ocean.
Since we only really had one day to sightsee, we all had to decide what we wanted to do. The Fine's elected to visit the aquarium and see some of the local real estate, meet one of the Texas Law enforcement personnel, and the Evan's and the Pellegrini's wanted to see the USS Lexington. A WWII aircraft carrier that served for many years through several wars. Larry will write on the specifics, all I can say is that those sailors who served aboard her, must have been in great shape after climbing up and down all those ladders.
On Specifics.....We didn't manage to keep a brochure with many of the facts concerning the Lexington so it is going to be difficult to practice my usual plagiarism. Not being a great Naval Ship fan, it is fair to say that the ship was nothing short of humungous. Somewhere along the tour I read something about how many football games could take on the flight deck at one time, but alas, it doth escape me. I believe the ship was approximately 900 feet in length and seemed to remember a displacement of 42,000 tons. Could definitely be wrong about these figures as I can't currently get on line to check them.
The Lexington was launched in 1942 and as I recall, spent most all of her time in the Pacific Theatre.
She is powered by four steam turbine engines developing a total of 150,000 HP which allowed her a top speed of about 33 knots. (According to my GPS, this is about 38 MPH. Not bad for something about the size of Chicago) She carried enough fuel to cruise about 4000 miles at top speed. She did suffer many casualties, one of the largest was by a Kamikaze hit from a Japanese plane. She was also torpedoed . The standard crew size was about 1400 when in service.
Our tour included the Galley, sleeping quarters, flight deck, bridge, dental and sick bays, airplane storage areas, as well as the bridge. It was interesting climbing the steep ladders to go between decks. This allowed one to see the hundreds of miles of wiring running between decks, along with all of the steam and hydraulic lines going off in every direction. My thoughts were, if something depending on wiring did not function, it would not be possible to trace the problem and repair it. Perhaps a new wire would be installed, thereby being the reason for the incredible number of existing wires and conduit. All I could think of was how much the copper inside of that ship would be worth at today's prices.
The Lexington is a great exhibit and museum piece. It is even possible to spend a night on board which is regularly done by youth groups including Boy and Girl Scouts. To explore every nook and cranny on board would take much longer that the two or so hours that we were aboard. It is a great example of the resources that the US had at its disposal in WW II.
Many more facts and figures are available at the website WWW.USSLEXINGTON.COM