The primary purpose of our trip to Corpus Christi was to tour the USS Lexington, the aircraft carrier on which Gary’s dad, Irwin Edward “Dutch” Maurer, served. His dad also served on the Yorktown and the submarines Hoe and Sargo. He was in the Navy from June of 1943 to December of 1945.
We spent several hours exploring the ship and even though we only saw a small portion of it we got a sense of what Dutch’s life might have been like on board. Gary explored some areas that I wasn’t able to navigate because he is smaller and more agile than I am. Be warned that if you plan to take the tour it is a bit strenuous- and definitely not for the claustrophobic! Access to most areas is narrow and steep; only the flight deck has an escalator going back down, and it was broken. Also, most areas did not seem to have air conditioning so I was happy that we went early in the morning.
While Gary was down below deck for a while I watched the dolphins diving and splashing. I only had my little camera with me and wasn’t able to take any good photos, but it was a thrill to watch them. I also watched a young man painting part of the ship, and a crew working on a new airplane display. I imagine there is always something to do on a ship, even one that is permanently docked.
The ship was a busy place, even on a Monday this early in the summer travel season. As we were leaving a large group of school children arrived. And the next day the museum was offering free admission to first responders and other emergency personnel. You might want to check their website for information, rates, and events if you will be in the area this summer.