The USS Independence, which served with the Navy from 1959-1998, departed Bremerton today for Brownsville Texas, where it will be scrapped. She was
originally scheduled to leave Washington late last year, arriving in Texas early this year. Under the new schedule, she'll arrive in Texas this
summer. She's too large to go through the Panama Canal, so she has to go around the tip of South America.
She was built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and at the time of her retirement, was the longest serving vessel in the fleet. She launched 7,000 missions
over Vietnam, served in Lebanon, Grenada, Desert Shield, and Operation Southern Watch.
They have or at least had three carriers in Portsmouth RI when I lived up there that I used to just go park and look at for awhile. They have always
fascinated me. You can almost see the ghost still walking the decks.
Makes me kind of sad to see them scrapped, I'm sure it hurts the sailors more that called them home.
I'm glad I went on the Might Mo when I was in Hawaii. It was sort of surreal knowing the history of that ship. Standing in the spot I've seen the
surrendered signed from old footage. I don't know felt like I was in a sort of time warp.
So dumb question. Is this ship capable of sailing on her own to Texas or are the tugs taking her the whole way?
When they go into storage, they strip them of everything usable, or that could cause environmental problems. Many of those will be taken out for a
SinkEx and hit with live weapons, and sunk. She has to be towed all the way around South America and up to Texas.
There are a lot of other ships that are stored with the carriers that end up sunk in them though. Some time in the next few years, the Tarawa is
going to go down off Hawaii. She's currently stored at Pearl Harbor.
All the carriers are too big for the canal, so they usually go through the Straits of Magellan, or down around the tip of South America. In this
case, they'll probably go the long way around. There are places in the Straits where they can hit the sides of the channel without touching the
bottom. With her being under tow instead of under her own power, it would be riskier.
No, wasting money is keeping them stored waiting to take them through the Panama Canal if the expansion is done on time. They're paying about $6M for
the company to scrap her, and several hundred thousand or more every year it's in storage.
Its a shame America is bound by treaty not to develop an equivalent to the Chinese DF-21D and DF-26 carrier killers, the USS Independence would of
made a great test subject. My guess is it will be fitted with explosives and sunk since there is no other option.
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