David walked up to meet me as I rolled home from the Log House Museum on Thursday and as we glanced out at the Sound I noticed this aircraft carrier out there. Assumed it was the John C Stennis until we got home and took a look through the ‘scope – another piece of history we were lucky enough to catch as it sailed past us! Tough to see against the south end of Bainbridge Island in this very grey picture in the afternoon shadows but it’s out there 🙂
This is what CNN had to say about it –
Aircraft carrier used for ‘Top Gun’ sold for scrap
(CNN)The aircraft carrier USS Ranger, which saw action in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and had appearances in the movies “Top Gun” and “Star Trek IV,” is on its final journey, a five-month cruise at the end of a tow cable from Bremerton, Washington, to a scrapyard in Texas.
The 56,300-ton warship, which was launched in 1956, was decommissioned in 1993 but kept in storage for possible reactivation until March 2004 when it was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register and made available for donation to a group that could preserve it and turn it into a museum.
But attempts by groups in Long Beach, California, and Fairview, Oregon, to do so came up short of meeting U.S. government requirements for donation.
The Long Beach group called itself Top Gun Super Carrier in reference to the Ranger’s role in the 1986 Tom Cruise movie. The carrier was used for interior shots in the film, which also featured appearances by the carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Enterprise, according to Internet Movie Database.
In December, the Navy paid International Shipbreaking of Brownsville, Texas, a penny to take the carrier off its hands. The shipbreaker makes its profit by selling the parts of the ship for scrap.
The Ranger, which left Bremerton on Thursday, follows two of its predecessors in the Forrestal class of carriers — the Forrestal and the Saratoga — to scrapyards in Brownsville.
Another carrier, the USS Constellation, part of the Kitty Hawk class, was towed to Brownsville last year. Like the Ranger, the Constellation was stored in Washington and because of its size had to be towed all the way around the southern tip of South America, as it would not fit through the Panama Canal.
The Ranger’s final journey is expected to take four to five months, the Navy said.