American aircraft carrier sold for scrap for a penny

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Named after Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful controlled powered aircraft flights in 1903, the USS Kitty Hawk is an aircraft carrier that was first launched in 1960. After nearly 50 years of service, the Navy decommissioned the first ship of her class in 2009.

He spent most of his retirement at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Then, in early 2021, the ship was moved to drydock to remove marine growth from the hull. Now, the Navy’s last oil-powered aircraft carrier (modern aircraft carriers are nuclear-powered) has embarked on its final voyage.

The huge navy ship departed Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., on January 15, bound for a shipbreaking facility in Texas. As noted in this Twitter post, the Navy sold the Kitty Hawk and a second aircraft carrier to International Shipbreaking Ltd., for just one cent each.

“The USS Kitty Hawk today began its final journey from Bremerton to a scrapyard in Texas. Built for $264 million in 1961 ($2.5 billion in 2021), the Kitty Hawk was sold for scrap for the bargain price of 1 cent. For another penny, the company also got the USS John F. Kennedy,” the US Naval Institute tweeted.

The Kitty Hawk was the first aircraft carrier of her class of three Kitty Hawk ships. The other two ships of the class were either scrapped or scuttled.

The Navy sold the ship after rejecting an offer from the USS Kitty Hawk Veterans Association to convert the ship into a museum stationed in Long Beach, California. The association was only able to raise about half of the amount needed to decontaminate, develop and maintain the ship as a museum.

Although she gained a reputation for being a tough posting due to her age and poor build quality, Kitty Hawk saw combat operations around the world, including six tours in Vietnam and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was also used in countless missions, including tests to determine if U-2 spy planes could be launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier. He even survived a collision with a Soviet submarine. The aircraft carrier was also the first to receive a Presidential Unit Citation.

Here’s a post from @Military Armed Forces showing the ship leaving for Texas.

The ship will travel 16,000 miles to its final destination, circumnavigating the South American continent. At over 280 feet wide, it’s too big to cross the Panama Canal. The trip could take 130 days or more.

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