Last Forrestal-class Carrier Heading to the Scrapyard
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The last of four Forrestal-class supercarriers has begun a slow journey to the scrapyard for dismantling.
The former USS Independence (CV 62), which was the fourth ship of the class, is being towed from the U.S. Navy’s Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash., to Brownsville, Texas, where the ship will be scrapped by International Shipbreaking Ltd. Because the ship is too wide to fit through the Panama Canal, it will be towed around Cape Horn and will arrive in Brownsville this summer.
Two other supercarriers, ex-USS Ranger — a sister ship of Independence — and ex-USS Constellation made the same journey in recent years. The other two sister ships — ex-USS Forrestal and ex-USS Saratoga — also have been scrapped at Brownsville. The ex-USS America, a sister ship of Constellation, was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean as a target.
With the scrapping, then Navy has only two of the oil-fired supercarriers left in storage — the ex-USS Kitty Hawk — held in reserve — and ex-USS John F. Kennedy, on hold for possible donation to a community as a museum or memorial.
The Independence — decommissioned on Sept. 30, 1998 — was towed away from Bremerton on March 11, according to a television news report.