Ex-USS Ranger Has Seen Better Days – Drone Video

An aerial drone has captured some up-close footage of the ex-USS Ranger, one of the U.S. Navy’s first-ever ‘supercarriers’ and the ship used in Top Gun, on its final voyage to a Gulf Coast scrapyard.

The decommissioned ‘Ranger’ (CV 61) was sold to International Shipbreaking, Ltd in December for a single penny, the lowest the Navy could have possibly paid a contractor, despite years of effort to make it into a floating museum.

In March, it began its tow from the Navy’s inactive ships maintenance facility in Bremerton, Washington for a International Shipbreaking’s facility in Brownsville, Texas, where it will be completely dismantled and recycled.

Commissioned in 1957, the Ranger was the third ship in the Navy’s Forrestal-class, considered the first supercarriers due to their high tonnage and also the first carrier’s to have been built with an angled flight deck.

The dismantling of the Ranger follows the same fate as two of its sister ship’s, ex-USS Forrestal and ex-USS Saratoga, which were sold scrap to All Star Metals in late 2013 and 2014, respectively. The final ship, ex-USS Independence, will soon follow suit.

Ranger was the only ship of the Forrestal class to spend its entire career in the Pacific, with a total of 22 Western Pacific deployments. The vessel was also an active participant in the Vietnam War, and the only West Coast-based carrier to deploy in support of Operation Desert Storm. Ranger was also famously used in the movie Top Gun, as mentioned.

The ship was taken out of service in 1993.

USS_Ranger_(CVA-61)_off_Hawaii_in_1967
Hawaii, 1967
USS_Ranger_(CVA-61)_underway_in_1974
1974
800px-USS_Ranger_(CV-61)_aerial_port_bow_view_1983
1983

 

USS Ranger (CV 61) in San Diego in 1987. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
San Diego, 1987.
1024px-USS_Ranger_(CV-61)_port_quarter_view_last_visit_to_Japan
Japan, 1992

Photos courtesy Creative Commons