She was named in honour of CV-2 USS Lexington, lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. She was commissioned in February 1943. In August 1943 she sailed to the Pacific. In November 1943 she operated Marshalls, covering the landings in the Gilberts. On December 4th, 1943 she strikes Kwajalein, destroyed a cargo ship, damaged two cruisers, and accounted for 30 enemy aircraft. But she was damaged by Japanese torpedo. Japanese propaganda said that she was sunk. In December 1943 - February 1944 she was repaired in Pearl-Harbour, then in Bremerton, USA. In March 1944 she returned to Pacific. In April 1944 she supported the Army landing at Hollandia, attacked Truk. Japanese propaganda announced her sunk again. In June 1944 she strikes Saipan and later was attacked by Japanese torpedo planes based on Guam. Japanese propaganda announced her sunk 3rd times. On June 19-20th, 1944 she played a major role in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Her aircraft destroyed over 300 enemy airplanes, carrier, a tanker, and a destroyer. Japanese propaganda announced her sunk 4th times. In August 1944 she strikes against Guam, Palau, Bonin. In September 1944 she operated in the Carolinas and Philippines area. In October 1944 she operated against Formosa, Okinawa. In the end of October 1944 she played important role in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She took part in destroying many Japanese ships, included battleship Musashi, aircraft carriers Chitose, Zuikako, Zuiho, heavy cruiser Nachi. Japanese propaganda again announced her sunk... In January 1945 she operated in China Sea. strike enemy shipping and air installations. Strikes were flown against Saipan, Camranh Bay in then Indochina, Hong Kong, the Pescadores, Formosa, Okinawa. In February 1945 she strikes against Iwo Jima and airfields near Tokyo. Then she sailed to USA for overhaul. In May 1945 she returned to Pacific. In July-August 1945 she launched massive strikes against Japanese Islands, airfields, ships, naval bases and industrial targets. In August-December 1945 she supported the occupation of Japan. In December 1945 she used in west coast operations. In April 1947 she was decommissioned and entered the Reserve Fleet.
Took part in wars:
Battle of Pacific Ocean (1941-1945)
New Guinea Campaign (1942-1945)
Battle of Marshall Islands (1944)
Battle of the Philippine Sea (1944)
Liberation of Philippines (1944-1945)
Battle of Okinawa (1945)
Allied Navy Aviation air raids on Japan (1944-1945)
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver/A-25 Shrike [ 4 5 8 ];
Douglas SBD Dauntless/A-24 Banshee [ 3 ];
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger [ 2 3 9 ];
Chance Vought F4U Corsair [ 19 ];
Grumman F6F Hellcat [ 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 10 11 ].