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USS Lexington (CV-16/CVA-16/CVS-16/CVT-16) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Lexington (CV-16/CVA-16/CVS-16/CVT-16) 

USS Lexington (CV-16) was laid down as Cabot 15 July 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; renamed Lexington 16June 1942; launched 26 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Theodore D. Robinson; and commissioned 17 February 1943, Capt. Felix B. Stump in command.

After Caribbean shakedown and yard work at Boston, USS Lexington (CV-16) sailed for Pacific action via the Panama Canal, arriving Pearl Harbor 9 August 1943. She raided Tarawa in late September and Wake in October, then returned Pearl Harbor to prepare for the Gilbert Islands operation. From 19 to 24 November USS Lexington (CV-16) made searches and flew sorties in the Marshalls, covering the landings in the Gilberts.

USS Lexington (CV-16) sailed to raid Kwajalein 4 December. Her morning strike destroyed a cargo ship, damaged two cruisers, and accounted for 30 enemy aircraft. Her gunners splashed two of the enemy torpedo planes that attacked at midday, and opened fire again at 1925 that night when a major air attack began. On 15 June USS Lexington (CV-16) fought off a fierce attack by Japanese torpedo planes based on Guam, once again to emerge unhurt, but sunk a third time by propaganda pronouncements. As Japanese opposition to the Mariannas operation provoked the Battle of the Philippine Sea 19 and 20 June, USS Lexington (CV-16) played a major role in TF 58's great victory. 

Using Eniwetok as her base, USS Lexington (CV-16) flew sorties over Guam and against the Palaus and Bonins into August. She arrived in the Carolinas 6 September for 3 days of strikes against Yap and Ulithi, then began attacks on Mindanao, the Visayas, the Manila area, and shipping along the west coast of Luzon, preparing for the coming assault on Leyte. After replenishing at Ulithi, TG 58.2 sailed 10 February to hit airfields near Tokyo 16 and 17 February to minimize opposition to the Iwo Jima landings 19 February. USS Lexington (CV-16) flew close support for the assaulting troops 19 to 22 February, then sailed for further strikes against the Japanese home islands and the Nansei Shoto before heading for overhaul at Puget Sound.

After west coast operations, USS Lexington (CV-16) decommissioned at Bremerton, Wash., 23 April 1947 and entered the Reserve Fleet there. Designated attack carrier CVA-16 on 1 October 1952, she began conversion and modernization in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 1 September 1953, receiving the new angled flight deck. USS Lexington (CVA-16) recommissioned 15 August 1955, Capt. A. S. Heyward, Jr., in command. Assigned San Diego as her home port, she operated off California until May 1956, sailing then for a 6-month deployment with the 7th Fleet.

USS Lexington (CVA-16)'s next Far Eastern tour began late in 1960 and was extended well into 1961 by renewed tension in Laos. Returning to west coast operations, she was ordered in January 1962 to prepare to relieve USS Antietam (CVS-36) as aviation training carrier in the Gulf of Mexico, and she was redesignated CVS-16 on 1 October 1962. However, during the Cuban missile crisis, she resumed duty as an attack carrier. USS Lexington (CVS-16) marked her 200,000th arrested landing 17 October 1967, and was redesignated CVT-16 on 1 January 1969. 

For a complete history of USS Lexington (CV-16/CVA-16/CVS-16/CVT-16) please see its DANFS page.