USS Ranger To Be Dismantled

A port quarter view of the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CV-61) approaching port at Yokosuka on its last visit to Japan. The RANGER is on its final deployment prior to decommissioning.
A port quarter view of the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CV-61) approaching port at Yokosuka on its last visit to Japan. The RANGER is on its final deployment prior to decommissioning.
A port quarter view of the aircraft carrier USS RANGER (CV-61) approaching port at Yokosuka on its last visit to Japan in 1992. The RANGER was on its final deployment prior to decommissioning. (PH2 STEVEN COOKE – ID:DN-ST-93-05530 / Service Depicted: Navy – via Wikipedia)

PRESS RELEASE – The Navy awarded a contract, Dec. 22, for the towing and dismantling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier Ranger (CV 61) to International Shipbreaking, Ltd. Under the contract, the company will be paid $0.01, a price that reflects the net price proposed by International Shipbreaking, Inc., which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling.

This is not a sales contract, it is a procurement contract; $0.01 is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for towing and dismantling the ship.The ship will be towed from the Navy’s inactive ships maintenance facility in Bremerton, Washington, to International Shipbreaking, Ltd.’s ship dismantling facility in Brownsville, Texas, for complete dismantling and recycling.

The ship is expected to depart Bremerton via tow in January or February, and arrive in Brownsville after four to five months. The ship is too large for passage through the Panama Canal and must be towed around South America.Ranger was the third Forrestal-class aircraft carrier to be built. The ship was laid down Aug. 2, 1954, by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Aug. 10, 1957. Ranger was the only ship of the Forrestal class to spend its entire career in the Pacific. The ship made a total of 22 Western Pacific deployments, was an active participant in the Vietnam War, and was the only West Coast-based carrier to deploy in support of Operation Desert Storm.

On 21 April 1992, in harmony with other World War II 50th-anniversary festivities, Ranger participated in the commemorative re-enactment of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan. Two World War II-era B-25 bombers were craned on board, and over 1,500 guests (including national, local and military media) were embarked to witness the two vintage warbirds travel down Ranger’s flight deck and take off. In June, Ranger made an historic port visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, in conjunction with her final phase of predeployment workups.

The restored World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber aircraft "Heavenly Body" takes off from the deck of Ranger.(PHCM TERRY MITCHELL - ID:DN-ST-92-09801 / Service Depicted: Navy via Wikipedia)
The restored World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber aircraft “Heavenly Body” takes off from the deck of Ranger.(PHCM TERRY MITCHELL – ID:DN-ST-92-09801 / Service Depicted: Navy via Wikipedia)

Ranger was decommissioned July 10, 1993, after more than 35 years of service. It served as a retention asset for potential future reactivation until stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, March 8, 2004, and redesigned for donation. 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 Fairview, Oregon. As a result, Ranger was removed from the list of ships available for dismantling and designated for dismantling.

While there are many veterans with strong desires that the Navy not scrap the ship they served on, there were no states, municipalities or nonprofit 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.

For more information about ex-Ranger, please contact Chris Johnson at (757) 593-3891.

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14 Comments

  1. I would very much like to be informed when the U.S.S. Ranger arrives in final destination in Texas .So I may go down and view her for the last time. Thank you former airman apprentice Rene Lopez. (Blue shirt ).

    • She was not sold for a cent. The navy is paying $.01 to have her dismantled. That is one of the best deals that the taxpayer can possibly get.

  2. I would like to be informed also when she arrives in Brownsville. I was born there. Sad to know that she will be taken apart in my hometown.

  3. Many years ago when I was a boy the USS Ranger I was allowed to come on board this amazing vessel in Trinidad.
    I remember two things that the Ranger had TV cameras everywhere so that you could see yourself. TV had not even come to Trinidad.
    The other was we were allowed into the sailors sleeping quarters.
    I still have never forgotten the one sailor who in his bunk had a bag of walnuts and as the ship rocked very gently he placed his walnut in the small space by the side of his bunk and the Ranger became his nut cracker.

  4. I was assigned to the USS Ranger in April 1957 (Pre-Com detail), and was apart of the Commissioning Crew. We sailed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for shake down. It was a great tour. I was able to go on board the Ranger again when the She participated in Navy Week in San Francisco, Ca. and I was given a personal tour of the ship when I displayed my Plank Owner card. When I retired and moved to Port Hadlock Wa. I was driving to my new house, and drove by the Navy Yard at Bremerton Wa. I was quite surprised to see the Ranger tied up in the Ship Yard. Small world.

  5. Anyone interested in joining a FB group dedicated to Ranger, check out “USS Ranger CVA 61 Alumni”. We have 1,365 members. Includes Airedales, black shoes, MARDET.

  6. In 1957 I was transfered from NAS Norfolk to the USS Ranger to become a Plank Owner. After all this time I still clearly remember the days and nights we spent anchored out in the Bay loading Amo, Bombs and supplies, the signs located in the passage ways saying “you are here” so you would not get lost, and testing the Cats by fireing retrieveable weighted carts from the flight deck many times. Even tho I did not make the trip around the Horn, the Air Department ask for 10 volenteers to go to Morocco in 1958 and I was one of the 10, I really enjoyed my time aboard her, she was a great ship.

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