From December 1943 to November 1944, the Lexington was involved in major engagements, including Kwajalein raid, the Battles of the Philippine Sea and of Leyte Gulf. Her first reported sinking was during the Kwajalein raid on 4 December 1943. Kwajalein is an atoll in the Marshall Islands. The battle was against a Japanese force that included several vessels and more than 30 aircraft. A torpedo struck her aft starboard side, damaging the steering system. Japanese forces left the battle area seeing the Lexington engulfed in smoke. This inspired the first occasion when Japan's Tokyo Rose broadcast that the carrier had been sunk. However, damage control crews managed to jerry-rig a hand-operated steering unit and sealed off the flooding compartments, allowing Lexington to return to Pearl Harbor for repairs a few days later.
On 5 November 1945 the "Blue Ghost" suffered another "sinking." It was on this date that the Lexington had her first taste of the kamikaze as a flaming Japanese plane impacted the flight deck near the island superstructure. Her fire crew was able to control the blaze so that air operations could resume. Four days after the battle, the Lexington found safe harbor to conduct repairs. As those repairs were made, Tokyo Rose reported the Lexington sunk.
Human DNA absolutely commands a symbiotic relationship between crews and their ships. Vessels aren't just things. They are ladies to be cared for and tended to. In return, they protects those who keep them afloat. The Lexington gave noble service during World War II, Korea and long after. Though torpedoes and the victim of kamikze, she never betrayed her crew--always bringnig them home. Her brand remains secure, even today she enjoys continuing service as a museum where visitors can explore the past in innovative ways, including opportunities to stay overnight in her crew compartments. As a result, the Lexington lives on and on, perhaps not as a ghost, but a grand dame of a victorious effort--a lady, the Lady Lex.
Sidebar: Tokyo Rose
Tokyo Rose was the World War II Allied nickname for at least one English-speaking female propagandist. There may have been others but the one most linked with the moniker is Iva Toguri, a former U.S. citizen (native to Los Angeles, California). She'd been visiting family in Japan when the war broke out, and so it was postulated that her role was one of having been forced. She was released from prison in 1956, and pardoned in 1977 for her "treason."
Contrary to the intent of the broadcasts, Americans listened to Tokyo Rose to see what impact they were having on Japanese morale. Most of her reports were exaggerated or extremely slanted--revealing that the truth was likely opposite of what was broadcast. Sometimes, however, was that surprisingly accurate details were woven in, naming units and even individual servicemen.