The former USS Ranger, star of movies and television, is scheduled to arrive in Brownsville early Saturday morning to be cut up for scrap.
The decommissioned Forrestal-class aircraft carrier departed Bremerton, Washington, on March 5 under tow for the 16,000-nautical-mile voyage to Brownsville. The Navy announced in December that International Shipbreaking Ltd., based at the Port of Brownsville, had won the contract to tow and dismantle the aging warship.
The Ranger was built at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in the mid-1950s and commissioned in 1957 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It’s the only vessel of its class to spend its entire career in the Pacific Ocean.
The ship made 22 deployments in the Western Pacific and played an active role in Vietnam. The Ranger, the only West Coast-based carrier to deploy in support of Operation Desert Storm, was decommissioned in 1993 after more than 35 years of service.
The vessel ship spent eight years on the “donation hold” list, though the USS Ranger Foundation was unable to raise the funds necessary to convert the ship into a museum or to tow it up the Columbia River to Fairview, Oregon, which had proposed berthing the ship there as a museum.
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