PROPOSED INITIAL NEWS RELEASE
The USS LEXINGTON PAO will release the following memorandum for
correspondents and media advisory on 20 September 1991, approximately six weeks
before LEXINGTONs decommissioning, and to CHINFO for possible release in
PENSACOLA, Fla. Thousands of guests and former crew members are
expected to attend the decommissioning ceremony for the aircraft carrier USS
LEXINGTON (AVT 16), which will be decommissioned at 10 a.m. Friday,
November 8, 1991 at Allegheny Pier at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola,
Fla. The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank B. Kelso II, will be the principal
speaker. The ships commanding officer is Captain William H. Kennedy.
LEXINGTON was built at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts,
and began its commissioned service on February 17, 1943. The ship was named
after its predecessor, USS LEXINGTON (CV 2), which was sunk on May 8,1942,
at the Battle of Coral Sea.
LEXINGTON is a World War II veteran. During its many wartime exploits, it
destroyed more than a thousand enemy planes, sunk 300,000 tons of Japanese
shipping and damaged another 600,000 tons. Despite repeated claims of its
destruction, LEXINGTON continued to tight and was nicknamed The Blue Ghost,
the ship that could not be sunk.
LEXINGTON is the oldest aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy and the only active
carrier of the Essex class. Its engineering plant is powerful enough to provide utility
services for a small city. The ships engines develop 150,000 horsepower feeding
turbo and diesel generators producing 7,000 kilowatts of electrical power. The ships
boilers supply steam for the main engines, turbo generators, steam catapults and
many other systems. Nearly 180,000 gallons of fresh and feed water for the boilers
are produced daily by the evaporators. The size of LEXINGTONs food service
facilities, laundry, barber shop, snack bar and retail stores are equal to the facilities
of several major hotels. In 1979, women joined the crew and worked side by side
with men, from the flight deck to the engineering spaces.
Because of seating restrictions at the decommissioning ceremony, attendance at
the ceremony is by invitation only. Media representatives wishing to attend the
ceremony should contact Lt. Maureen Ford at (904) 452-2401.