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The Tailhook Educational Foundation

2018 Scholarships

Merree Blomstrom

Merree Blomstrom


Sponsored by

Tailhook since 2007

Awarded To

Merree Blomstrom

Waynesboro, Georgia

Liberty University

Scholarship Description

Commissioned in 1943, USS Lexington set more records than any other Essex Class carrier in the history of Naval Aviation. The ship was the oldest working USN carrier when she was decommissioned in 1991. Originally named the USS Cabot, during WW II when word was received that the original carrier named USS Lexington, CV-2, had been sunk in the Coral Sea battle, her name was changed to Lexington.  After a shakedown cruise, Lexington joined the 5th Fleet at Pearl Harbor. During WW II, the carrier participated in nearly every major operation in the Pacific Theater and spent 21 months in combat. Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air, and 475 more on the ground. She sank or destroyed 300,000 tons of enemy cargo and damaged an additional 600,000 tons. The ship’s guns shot down 15 planes and assisted in downing five more. The Japanese reported Lexington sunk no less than 4 times.  Yet, each time she returned to fight again, leading the propagandist Tokyo Rose to nickname her “The Blue Ghost.” After the war, Lexington was decommissioned from 1947-1955.  When reactivated, she operated primarily with the 7th Fleet out of San Diego, California.  Although not involved in actual combat, Lexington kept an offshore vigil during tensions in Formosa, Laos, and Cuba. In 1962, she sailed into Pensacola, Florida, and began training operations, eventually being officially designated CVT-16, Navy Training Carrier. Corpus Christi is privileged to be selected as the permanent home to this national treasure.

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