USS Ranger Moving to Texas

Aircorps Art Dec 2019

USS Ranger is towed away from Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton
The Ranger is being towed to Brownsville, Texas, for dismantling. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Andre T. Richard/ Released)

As WarbirdsNews reported in December last year (click HERE), the former US Navy Forrestal-class aircraft carrier, CV 61 ex-USS Ranger failed to find a satisfactory home as a museum ship, thus ending any chance that she might live on a few more years. The sad day came on March 5th, 2015 as the tug boats started the ex-USS Ranger on the journey by sea from Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington to Brownsville, Texas where International Shipbreaking Ltd. will set about scrapping the once-proud super-carrier. While a number of groups did hope to save her, none of them presented what the US Navy considered a viable plan sadly. The carrier served her nation and her sailors well through war and peace from 1956 until her decommissioning in 1993. The Navy maintained her as part of the strategic reserve until 2004, and a further decade on “museum hold” before reluctantly deciding upon her present fate. While the ship has just months to go before the final cut, her time will live on in the memories of those she was a home to and in the history books. She will also remain immortalized on celluloid for her starring role in the movie ‘Top Gun’; her decks filled with Tomcats and Intruders… themselves mostly gone now too. We can’t save them all, and some might argue that the permanent preservation of any ship of such vast size is a near impossible task… even with enormous sums of money and available labor. We are lucky to have the museum carriers that we do, and should focus on their preservation all the more ardently.

USS Ranger departs Bremerton
Tugs tow the ex-USS Ranger (CV 61) through Port Orchard Bay. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Andre T. Richard/ Released)



  1. why don’t they make it a museum in the desert with all the airplanes ! ? would be so cool to see that on land. the giant screws and prop shafts and rudders. it would last forever in the desert. former heartbroken member of the uss coral sea cva43. they served America well and deserve better than the scrap yard.

  2. My family were close friends with RADM Joe Clifton, of which the USS Ranger was his flagship. As last survivor of that family, I have collected a 16mm professional movie which my uncle Marshall Kester shot aboard the Ranger on a 5-day “shake-down” cruise out of Alameda, CA with RAdm Clifton aboard.

    I have transferred the movie to DVD and added Naval music. I has hoping to donate the original 16mm film print and DVD to the USS Ranger museum along with photos of her then command staff, taken during that maneuver.

    If there is a collector or custodian for USS Ranger memorbelia would you please advise any interest in these artifacts.

    Tom M. Kester II

  3. I’m so sad for the USS Rangers fate. There is no loyalty or money enough when a beautiful ship like her is dismantled. Shame on our government for the waist. Thank you beautiful Ranger for you’re job and all of the memories of Sailors aboard you.

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