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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret)
(bluejacket.com)

USS LEXINGTON   (CV-2)


Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Defense Service Medal ("Fleet" clasp) / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2 stars) / World War II Victory Medal

Lexington Class Aircraft Carrier
Awarded Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
(see below) 8 Jan 1921 3 Oct 1925 14 Dec 1927   24 Jun 1942
Builder: Bethlehem Steel Corp., Fore River, Quincy, Mass.

Fate: Torpedoed and bombed by Japanese carrier-based aircraft, 8 May 1942 (Battle of the Coral Sea) (read War Damage Report No. 16, located on the website). Scuttled by USS Phelps (DD-360).

A number of her crew were lost with the ship and remain on active duty.


Specifications
(As built, 1927)
Displacement (design): 36,000 tons standard; 38,746 tons
Dimensions (wl): 850' x 105' 5.25" x 24' 3"  /  259.1 x 32.1 x 7.4 meters
Dimensions (max.): 880' x 106'  /  268.2 x 32.3 meters
Armor: 7"-5" belt; 2" protective (3rd) deck; 3" (flat)-4.5" (slopes) over steering gear
Power plant: 16 boilers (300 psi); geared turbines and electric drive; 4 shafts; 180,000 shp (design)
Speed: 33.25+ knots
Endurance (design): 10,000 nautical miles @ 10 knots
Armament: 4 twin 8"/55 gun mounts; 12 single 5"/25 gun mounts
Aircraft: 90
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 1 flywheel catapult
Crew: 2,122 (ship's company + air wing)
Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
Namesake
CV-2 Lexington
NS020281
94k

CV-2 was named to commemorate the events of 19 April 1775: Minutemen fought a detachment of British troops at Lexington, Mass., opening the Revolutionary War with the "shot heard round the world."

"The First Blow for Liberty." Battle of Lexington. Copy of print by Alexander Hay Ritchie after a drawing by Felix Octavius Carr Darley. Published in 1868. National Archives image 200(S)-JH-3.

National Archives
Construction and Pre-War Years
CV-2 Lexington
NS020242
86k

Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, USN (left), Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, and Rear Admiral John K. Robison, USN (right), Chief of the Bureau of Engineering, hold a model of the battle cruisers (CC-1 class) then under construction, 8 March 1922. In the foreground is a model of an aircraft carrier design converted from the battle cruiser hull. This photo illustrates the genesis of the Lexington-class aircraft carrier design. Standing in the background are (from left to right): Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, USN, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics; Congressman Frederick C. Hicks, of New York; Congressman Clark Burdick, of Rhode Island; and Congressman Philip D. Swing, of California. Photographed at the Navy Department by Harris & Ewing.

Photograph from Department of the Navy collections in the U.S. National Archives (# 80-CF-395b).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020211
138k

Lexington on the building ways at the Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, shortly before her launching, circa late September or early October 1925. Taken by a photographer from Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Photograph from Department of the Navy collections in the U.S. National Archives (# 80-CF-21126-7).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020274
48k

Lexington (CV-2) fitting out at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts.

Paul Rebold
CV-2 Lexington
NS020245
93k

Lexington (CV-2) in the final states of fitting out, at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, in November 1927. (Merchant ship partially visible at right is the S.S. West Grama, which served as USS West Grama (ID # 3794) in 1919.)

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 51323).

Michael Mohl
CV-2 Lexington
NS020277
69k

"U.S.S. Lexington, Giant Navy Plane Carrier.
About to enter Dry Dock, So. Boston, Jan. 10th, 1928"

A picture that Dave's father, Raymond Garner, purchased from an entrepreneurial photographer who was selling this photo to young seamen as they reported for duty aboard the Lex on the date shown in the photo.

Because of the odd size of the photo (24" X 7.5"), Dave had to scan two images and put them together.

Dave notes three things that stand out in this photo to make it unique:

  • The 1920s cars on the left
  • The difference in the size of the Lex and the freighters on the right
  • The shape of the bow due to these early "Plane Carriers" being constructed on cruiser hulls
Dave Garner
CV-2 Lexington
NS020286
143k

USS Lexington (CV-2) in South Boston drydock, January 1928.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, ©Leslie Jones Collection
CV-2 Lexington
NS020287
81k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020246
30k

Location and date unknown, pre-war image (poor).

USN
CV-2 Lexington
NS020209
179k

Passing through Culebra Cut, Panama Canal, (date unknown but, as deduced from the forward end of her flight deck, taken before her 1936 refit).

From the collection of Joseph P. English. Contributed by his son, George E. English.
CV-2 Lexington
NS020203
62k Overhead, underway, aircraft. Note shape of forward flight deck. USN
CV-2 Lexington
NS020216
75k

USS Lexington (CV-2) off Panama City, Panama, 25 March 1928, during her shakedown period.

Collection of Franklin Moran, 1967.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. (# NH 64500).

NHC
Change of Command, 22 August 1928

Rear Admiral Joseph M. Reeves, Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, conducted a quarterly inspection of USS Lexington (CV-2) on Tuesday, 21 August 1928. The next day Captain Frank Berrien relieved the ship's skipper, the newly frocked Rear Admiral Albert W. Marshall, as Lexington's commanding officer. These photos were taken on the 22nd of August (some of them may have been taken on the 21st).

CV-2 Lexington
NS020278
144k

RADM Joseph M. Reeves inspecting crew of USS Lexington (CV-2).

Vincent Egidio,
son of Sisto Egidio, USS Lexington
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278f
119k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278g
124k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278b
163k

RADM Albert W. Marshall reading his orders.

CV-2 Lexington
NS020278c
107k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278a
104k

CAPT Frank D. Berrien reading his orders.

Vincent Egidio,
son of Sisto Egidio, USS Lexington
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278h
92k

Left to right: RADM Albert W. Marshall, outgoing commanding officer; CAPT Frank D. Berrien, incoming commanding officer; CDR Newton H. White, executive officer.

CV-2 Lexington
NS020278d
101k

RADM Albert W. Marshall, outgoing Commanding Officer, and CAPT Frank D. Berrien, incoming Commanding Officer of USS Lexington (CV-2).

CV-2 Lexington
NS020278e
101k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020278i
137k

Left to right: CDR Newton H. White, Executive Officer, USS Lexington; CDR Eugene E. Wilson, staff of Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet; RADM Joseph M. Reeves, Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet; RADM Albert W. Marshall, Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet; and CAPT Frank D. Berrien, Commanding Officer, USS Lexington.

CV-3 Saratoga + CV-2 Lexington
NS020367
100k USS Lexington (CV-2), left, and USS Saratoga (CV-3), right, moored at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, 22 September 1928. Note Sara had a walkway on the face of her stack—one of the few distinguishing features between these otherwise nearly identical twins. Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020213
112k

Curtiss F6C fighters (lower right) and Martin T3M torpedo planes on the carrier's flight deck, as she arrives off San Diego, California, on her maiden cruise, 4 April 1928. Note lowered elevator.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. (# NH 51380).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020208
123k

Launching Martin T4M-1 torpedo planes, circa 1929.

Naval Historical Center photograph # NH 82117 (Collection of LCDR Abraham DeSomer, donated by Myles DeSomer, 1975).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020256
87k

Perhaps during Fleet Problem IX, off Panama, January 1929.

Edwin Kaukali
CV-2 Lexington
NS020276
111k

An early photo of USS Lexington (CV-2), dated 22 February 1929, in full dress for George Washington's Birthday. Probably an official USN photo.

Submitted by
David Buell,
from the collection of his sister, Benetta
CV-2 Lexington
NS020218
93k

USS Lexington (CV-2) steams through an aircraft-deployed smoke screen, 26 February 1929, shortly after that year's "Fleet Problem" exercises.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral William V. Pratt.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. (# NH 75714).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020210
192k

USS Lexington (CV-2), top; USS Saratoga (CV-3), with her distinctive funnel stripe; and USS Langley (CV-1), accross the pier from Saratoga. Bremerton, Washington, 11 November 1929.

From the collection of Joseph P. English. Contributed by his son, George E. English.
CV-2 Lexington
NS020284
46k

Front view of the island of USS Lexington (CV-2), 1929–1933.

From the collection of RADM Theodore R. Frederick.

Edwin Kaukali
CV-2 Lexington
NS020247
65k

From 17 December 1929 to 16 January 1930 USS Lexington supplied electrical power to Tacoma, Washington, when this city suffered a power shortage. The electricity from the carrier totaled more than 4.25 million kilowatt-hours.

Further reading at the Researcher @ Large website.

Tracy White
CV-2 Lexington
NS020248
94k
CV-2 Lexington, CV-3 Saratoga, AO-9 Patoka
NS020243
92k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) flies over ships of the U.S. Fleet, circa 1930. Photographed from on board the airship, with two of her engine cars in the foreground. Ships below are USS Patoka (AO-9), closest to the camera, and the aircraft carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-462136).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020288
117k

This is a 1930 photo of USS Lexington (CV-2), reportedly at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

From the LT Howard Havens Photo Collection, now held by the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

Darryl Baker
CV-2 Lexington
NS020215
183k

Ship's crew and personnel of her aircraft squadrons posed on the flight deck, circa the 1930s. View looks forward from atop her smokestack.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. (# NH 51384).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020263
74k

USS Lexington (CV-2) sailing past Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, circa early 1930s.

Robert Hurst
CV-2 Lexington
NS020264
153k

Four photos of USS Lexington (CV-2) taken before her 1935 refit at Puget Sound Navy Yard, as indicated by the absence of the four sponsons (two forward, two aft) installed to augment her anti-aircraft armament.

Photo NS020266 is an aerial view of the Puget Sound Navy Yard.

Robert M. Cieri
David Buell
CV-2 Lexington
NS020265
143k David Buell
CV-2 Lexington
NS020266
187k Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020275
102k Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020260
65k

USS Lexington (CV-2) at anchor, location and date unknown (prior to her 1936–37 refit, as shown by the shape of the forward part of the flight deck). Note one of her fighters has just been launched.

Robert Hurst
CV-2 Lexington, AO-9 Patoka
NS020244
85k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) (center distance) moored to USS Patoka (AO-9) off Panama during Fleet Problem XII, circa February 1931. USS Lexington (CV-2), at right, and a battleship are also present.

Donation of Franklin Moran, 1967.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 65300).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020262
56k

USS Lexington (CV-2) at anchor at Lahaina Roads, Maui, February 16, 1932.

Robert Hurst
CV-2 Lexington
NS020259
65k

USS Lexington (CV-2) underway, March 15, 1932. Note how closely the T4M torpedo-bombers and the smaller fighter and observation aircraft are packed together.

Robert Hurst

NS020205
616k

USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Saratoga (CV-3) in front of Diamond Head. Regardless of what is printed on the picture, it was taken on February 2, 1933 while both sister carriers were awaiting the official beginning of Fleet Problem XIV (February 6.)

[On July 1, 1932 Sara was berthed at Pier 6, Bremerton, WA.]

Geoff Bell
CV-2 Lexington
NS020204
358k Aerial, starboard beam. Aircraft on deck, Diamond Head in background. February 2, 1933. 
Image # (80-G-416531)
National Archives
CV-2 Lexington
NS020279
126k

Port bow view of USS Lexington (CV-2) underway, 31 May 1934, during a Presidential Review by President Roosevelt off New York City.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.011.015.

Mike Green
CV-2 Lexington
NS020350
105k

USS Lexington (CV-2), left, and USS Saratoga (CV-3) open to the public for viewing at New York City, June 1934.

Photo from the collection of Edmund Cokely WO2, USN (Ret.) Submitted by his son-in-law, John Dupre'
CV-2 Lexington
NS020289
134k

Three photos of USS Lexington (CV-2)—and her sister USS Saratoga (CV-3)—in New York harbor in June 1934.

Eugene A. Brandner, AIA
CV-2 Lexington
NS020289a
109k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020289b
104k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020285
400k

USS Lexington (CV-2) moored to West Fiftieth Street Dock, Hudson River, NY. A BM dive/torpedo bomber assigned to Torpedo Squadron One can be seen parked aft on the flight deck, which suggests a rough time frame of 1932–36. Moreover, USS Saratoga (CV-3) can be seen across the pier. Both Sara and Lex visited New York and were moored to Pier 90 (West Fiftieth Street Dock), June 1-19, 1934, after a Presidential Review. This photo was probably taken at that time.

Photo by Edwin Levick. Edwin Levick Collection, Mariner's Museum.

Jim Geldert
CV-2 Lexington
NS020285a
151k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020249
458k

Four photos of USS Lexington taken by Radioman 3C George W. Allen, circa 1935.

Top: VS-3B Squadron insignia (Indian head in circle) is clearly visible on the biplane.

RM3C George W. Allen, VS-3B, USS Lexington (CV-2), Jan. 1932-Dec. 1935.

Submitted by his son, Russell G. Allen
CV-2 Lexington
NS020250
436k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020251
60k
CV-2 Lexington
NS020252
67k
CV-2 Lexington
NS010558
112k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington. Aerial photograph taken in the mid-1930s. Alongside the pier in center are the aircraft tender (ex-collier) Jason (AV-2), laid up in 1932 and sold in 1936, and the crane ship Kearsarge. Also present are the aircraft carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3), the latter with her distinctive funnel stripe.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 45236).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020258
47k

USS Lexington underway circa 1936, showing her very wide funnel with its black top edge, under which the MG platform was situated. The 8in/55 twin mounts, and also the single 5in(127mm)/25s grouped in threes, are clearly visible.

Robert Hurst
CV-2 Lexington
NS020217
92k

USS Lexington (CV-2) off Long Beach, California, 17 September 1936, with crewmembers spelling out "NAVY" on her flight deck.

Courtesy of Commander Robert L. Ghormley, Jr., 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. (# NH 67420).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS020257
99k

USS Lexington (CV-2) entering Puget Sound Navy Yard, date unknown—might have been taken in late 1936, as the machine gun sponsons (fore and aft) and platform (around funnel) are already in place, but forward flight deck has not yet been widened.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020267
122k

USS Lexington (CV-2) at anchor, location unknown, after her 1936–37 refit, which widened her forward flight deck.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020261
144k

USS Lexington (CV-2) underway sometime in the late 1930s (1937?), location unknown. Note the 0.5-in MG gallery below the funnel cap and the widened forward flight deck.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Ed Zajkowski
CV-2 Lexington
NS020282
179k

In July 1937 battleship USS Colorado (BB-45); aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2); seaplane tender USS Swan (AVP-7): destroyers USS Lamson (DD-367), USS Cushing (DD-376), and USS Drayton (DD-366); and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Itasca searched in vain to locate Amelia Earhart (photo) after her disappearance in the middle Pacific (an area the size of Texas) during her around-the world flight. There has been much speculation about her disappearance over these past decades with a long list of theories, never substantiated, recorded over time on exactly what happened to Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan.

Bill Gonyo
CV-2 Lexington
NS020280
193k

USS Lexington (CV-2) underway with aircraft spotted on deck, circa 1938.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.011.020.

Mike Green
CV-2 Lexington
NS020201
259k

Aerial port bow view, with aircraft on deck, off Honolulu, HI, during Fleet Problem XIX, 8 April 1938.

National Archives photo (# 80-G-410059).

National Archives
CV-2 Lexington
NS020270
135k

USS Lexington (CV-2) in the Gaillard Cut, Panama Canal. There are monoplane TBD-1 Devastator torpedo-bombers parked aft on the flight deck; therefore, the photo was possibly taken in 1939, when Lexington was returning to the Pacific after Fleet Problem XX.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-2 Lexington
NS020291
48k

"'1066-39' P.S.N.Y. [November 6, 1939] U.S.S. Lexington. Condition of plastic A.F. near stern and in way of rudder. Docked, Nov. 1939 — 12 months out of dock."

Source: NARA San Francisco Mare Island Naval Shipyard General Correspondence Files 1941–46.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-2 Lexington
NS020268
120k

"Service Afloat," Navy recruiting poster issued in November 1939. It features photographs of USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Dunlap (DD-384), as well as a pilothouse scene on a battleship and views of sailors splicing a hawser, carrying a hammock and sea bag, assisting a ship's navigator and standing engine room throttle watch.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 77210), courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.

NHC
CV-2 Lexington
NS014462u
857k

USS Lexington (CV-2), left distance, with part of the Pacific Fleet in 1940 at Lahaina, Maui.

It is possible that the battleship on the left is USS California (BB-44). The center battleship appears to be a Nevada class, either USS Nevada (BB-36) or USS Oklahoma (BB-37). The rightmost battleship is believed to be a Pennsylvania class, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) rather than USS Arizona (BB-39). (See NS014462u for details.)

Photo courtesy of Floyd Proffitt via Brad Proffitt
CV-2 Lexington
NS020212
110k

USS Lexington (CV-2) leaving San Diego, California, 14 October 1941. Planes parked on her flight deck include F2A-1 fighters (parked forward), SBD scout-bombers (amidships) and TBD-1 torpedo planes (aft). Note the false bow wave (Measure 5 camouflage) painted on her hull, forward, and badly chalked condition of the hull's camouflage paint (Measure 1).

In this picture Lexington still retains her twin 8" mounts. Four 1.1" mounts have been installed, one on each quadrant, and a fifth mount between the bridge and the funnel. Atop each 8" mount is a gun tub containing two .50-cal mounts.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. (# 80-G-416362).

(Thanks to Robert Hurst, who provided additional information).

NHC

NS020207
113k

Vertical aerial photograph of Ford Island, taken 10 November 1941, with five battleships tied up along "Battleship Row" at the top of the image. USS Lexington (CV-2), a seaplane tender and a light cruiser are moored on the island's other (northwestern) side. Approximately 21 PBY patrol planes are parked at the Naval Air Station's seaplane base, in the upper right. The bright diagonal line, at the lower left end of Ford Island, points to the north.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (NHC # 80-G-279385), now in the collections of the National Archives.

Michael Mohl
Models & Memorabilia

NS020269
28k

Model of USS Lexington (CV-2).

Courtesy of Joel Rosen, Motion Models

NS020269a
54k

NS020273
98k

Model on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Photos taken on 13 June 2008.

Photos by Judson Phillips

NS020273a
76k

NS020290
20k

"Aircraft Carrier Lexington"

"Navy Day — Washington Navy Yard — Oct. 27, 1936"

Tommy Trampp

NS020290a
21k

For more information about this ship, see:

View the USS Lexington (CV-2)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Mr. Walt Kastner
Address: 466 Ivy Glen Dr — Mira Loma, CA, 91752-1526
Phone: 909-681-1101
E-mail:  
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
War Damage Report No. 16, 8 May 1942 located on the HyperWar website
CV-2 Lexington at the Researcher @ Large Website
The First Aircraft Carriers Part One: The First American Flattops- Langley, Lexington and Saratoga, an article by Father Steve Dundas

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Last update: 22 March 2014