Tag Archives: USS Ranger

Vale, Ranger

The USS Ranger is towed through Rich Passage for the last time on March 5 in Bremerton, Wash., as the historic aircraft carrier heads to Texas to be dismantled.

The USS Ranger is towed through Rich Passage for the last time on March 5 in Bremerton, Wash., as the historic aircraft carrier heads to Texas to be dismantled.

With all of her reprieves expired, the mothballed supercarrier ex-USS Ranger was towed out of Bremerton Thursday, starting its 16,000-mile trip from Puget Sound, around South America to a scrap yard in Texas. She has been at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard’s Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility since 1993.

If you were a Top Gun fan in the 80s, you may have remembered Ranger.

As reported by the Kitsap Sun, “Ranger’s departure will leave just two carriers in the Bremerton mothball fleet — USS Independence and USS Kitty Hawk. Independence will follow the other two to Texas later this year. The Navy is holding Kitty Hawk in reserve until USS Gerald R. Ford becomes active. Ford is scheduled to join the fleet in March 2016, with its first deployment in 2019.”

The only other flattop on red lead row is the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Decommissioned in 2007, she has been at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia since then and is (possibly) to be converted into a museum ship in Rhode Island.

Last ditch rally for the Ranger

An aerial portside view of the US Navy (USN) Forrestal Class Aircraft Carrier USS RANGER (CV 61), with her Sailors manning the rails and aircraft of the Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) on her deck, as she is nudged into position by harbor tugs NIANTIC (YTB-781), NEODESHA (YTB-815), and WAXAHACHIE (YTB 814), at the pier on her arrival at Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (HI). USN Photo

An aerial portside view of the US Navy (USN) Forrestal Class Aircraft Carrier USS RANGER (CV 61), with her Sailors manning the rails and aircraft of the Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) on her deck, as she is nudged into position by harbor tugs NIANTIC (YTB-781), NEODESHA (YTB-815), and WAXAHACHIE (YTB 814), at the pier on her arrival at Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (HI). USN Photo

According to news reports, the sale of the USS Ranger (CV61) to a scrapper for a penny after sitting on donation hold for year may not be the final chapter in the ship’s tale.

“Right now, we just want a stay of execution,” Michael B. Shanahan, project manager for the Long Beach rescue effort, who says they have $14 milly in donations for their war chest to keep the Ranger from being razor blades. “This is our last chance to stop the loss of an irreplaceable cultural and historic asset.”

Another penny spent, another supercarrier to the scrappers

So far this year the USS Forrestal (CV-59), USS Saratoga (CV-60), and USS Constellation (CV-64) have all been sold to the breakers in Brownsville, Texas for the princely sum of one red cent to scrap for recycling. With the daunting cost of towing the vessels, cleaning out hazardous materials, meeting the Navy’s requirements to keep construction secrets just that, and paying an army of torchers to do the work in the hot Texas sun, the company will very likely just break even.

Now the USS Ranger (CV-61) has joined the penny club.

Uss_ranger_cv-61

“After eight years on donation hold, the USS Ranger Foundation was unable to raise the necessary funds to convert the ship into a museum or to overcome the physical obstacles of transporting her up the Columbia River to Fairfview, Oregon,” read the statement from NAVSEA posted by the USNI.

Ranger, commissioned in 1957, saw extensive service in Vietnam and Southwest Asia in her 36-year history. Laid up at the inactive ships maintenance facility in Bremerton, Washington since 1997, she had been on donation hold to the USS Ranger Association who had wanted to turn the old girl into a museum ship.

However, the Navy is tired of waiting, having had the ship around for the past 17 years at a cost of some $500,000 per annul.

“While there are many veterans with strong desires that the Navy not scrap the ship they served on, there were no states, municipalities or non-profit organizations with a viable plan seeking to save the ship. The Navy cannot donate a vessel unless the application fully meets the Navy’s minimum requirements for donation, and cannot retain inactive ships indefinitely.”

The eight conventional super-carriers built between 1951-1967 and decommissioned after the Cold War  are almost gone with five either scrapped, scrapping or sunk as targets.

Of the four Forrestal-class ships, with Ranger now leaving there only remains USS Independence (CV-62) which is awaiting disposal. Kitty Hawk (CV-63), just decommissioned in 2009, is in mothballs until the new USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) comes online in 2016. Meanwhile, USS John F Kennedy, laid up for the past seven years, is on donation hold and may go to Providence, Rhode Island where she would become the only supercarrier on public display and the only flattop north of Virginia.

Hopefully the JFK will be saved but you can bet that in coming months both Indy and Kitty Hawk will get their invites to the penny club.

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