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Kevin Arceneaux
08-01-2008, 8:13 PM
The USS Kitty Hawk left today, from Pearl Harbor for San Diego. It is the oldest ship in the Navy and the only conventionally powered carrier left. Today it is making its last voyage. After arriving in SD, it will be decommissioned and taken to Washington to be broken up.

Gary Curtis
08-01-2008, 8:32 PM
A bunch of guys I worked with at Flying Tigers & FedEx fly off that ship. My bosses daughter (his daughter) is currently an F-15 Tomcat pilot on duty in the Persian Gulf.

I heard tales of how dull life could be on long patrols if no flying was involved. Only the great food kept people sane.

Gary Curtis
Northern California:)

Gary Curtis
08-01-2008, 8:33 PM
Make that "...flew of that ship...."

Gary

Glenn Clabo
08-01-2008, 8:36 PM
The USS Kitty Hawk left today, from Pearl Harbor for San Diego. It is the oldest ship in the Navy and the only conventionally powered carrier left.
Yes it's sad... but she's done her thing for a long time. However this young lady is THE oldest ship in the Navy.

http://www.ussconstitution.navy.mil/images/Ship.png

Kevin Arceneaux
08-01-2008, 8:38 PM
I stand corrected.

Chris Kennedy
08-01-2008, 8:39 PM
There should be a better fate for old ships other than to be "broken up."

At Mare Island, just north of where I grew up, there was a mothball fleet. It wasn't the greatest fate, but I always thought the idea of holding ships in reserve in case they were needed, well, meant something.

I even think scuttling a ship to make a reef is a better idea -- give it to the sea where it belongs.

Cheers,

Chris

Ken Fitzgerald
08-01-2008, 8:53 PM
Yes it's sad... but she's done her thing for a long time. However this young lady is THE oldest ship in the Navy.


http://www.ussconstitution.navy.mil/images/Ship.png


Yup...it's sad but she has stood her watch and she did it well.

And as far as the sailing ship......Well we'll let Doc fill us in...

Jason Roehl
08-01-2008, 10:47 PM
... is currently an F-15 Tomcat pilot on duty in the Persian Gulf.



Say what? "Tomcat" is the designation for the F-14--the last of which was decommissioned in Sept. '06. :( The F-15 Eagle is the Air Force's premier fighter (for now--until more of the F-22 Raptors are produced), and, to my knowledge, doesn't ever do carrier duty.

I have mixed feelings about old, large objects like that--be it ships or buildings. It is sad to see them go, would be neat to keep them around, but let's face it--we'd be overwhelmed by the upkeep cost and overrun by them if we kept every tin can (or tinder box, Glenn ;) ) that saw combat.

Jeffrey Makiel
08-01-2008, 11:49 PM
I was once a civilian Navy engineer that worked on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV63) for seven years overhauling her HVAC systems at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. My work was associated with the Navy's Ship Life Extension Program (or SLEP) which extended the useful life of a carrier up to 15 years.

The Kitty Hawk was one of seven oil fired super carriers at the time including the Saratoga, Forrestal, Independence, Constellation, America and the John F Kennedy. All but the America received a SLEP overhaul at Philadelphia. The Kennedy marked the end of the last oil fired carrier built, and was also the last ship to be overhauled at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard when the shipyard officially closed in 1996.

Of all the carriers that were SLEP overhauled, the Kitty Hawk’s overhaul was the most extensive. One reason was that the carrier was to have its hull widened to decrease draft because ships get heavier as they get older due to all the modifications that are done to them. The weight increase is also topside creating a stability issue. A wider hull was to also provide improved ballistic protection.

However, the hull widening effort was cancelled when a similar modification was performed on a smaller, pre-super carrier of Korean War vintage in Japan. It turned out that the recovery roll was so rapid that the air wing could not land on the carrier in heavy seas. Soon after, the widening of the Kitty Hawk's hull was cancelled in the design phase and funding was diverted towards other improvements including Phalanx guns (Close In Weapons System) at all four 'corners’ of the carrier. Modifications also included lightening of the ship's old missile sponsons and many other avionic, tactical and habitability improvements. The construction phase of the overhaul was nearly 4 years.

I remember during the first Gulf War in 1990 there was a question if the Kitty Hawk can be completed early to join the other six oil fired carriers in combat. It seems that nuclear powered carriers were not allowed to operate that close to the conflict. However, the war ended quickly, and the conclusion of the Kitty Hawk’s overhaul continued on its normal schedule.

From 1983 to 1990, I must have crawled in every space and void in that ship. It's hard to see the Kitty Hawk being decommissioned now for I am now feeling old. In fact, the Kitty Hawk and I were born the same year in 1961. Thank goodness that I've not been decommissioned. :)

-Jeff :)

Dewey Torres
08-02-2008, 1:09 AM
Ken beat me to it but...

All who have served, be it ship or member alike will retire someday.

Personally, I would have liked to see at least one of the prominent Naval vessels from each area kept commissioned like what they did with the Constitution... but alas, those babies take a lot of tax paying dollars to keep afloat. Don Abele will chime in soon I am sure.

I got too see that last of the commissioned battle ships which was a sad loss. The big 16 inch guns made folks very nervous when you parked one of those bad boys off the coast of the enemy.

It is all about money. The Navy just scraped the new line of ships before the first one was built, in favor of building more guided missile destroyers with anti-air warfare and missile defense capabilities. I guess this is (on a different level) the same logic we use daily. Example: The guy who has both a Prius and a Ford F350... well, I can tell you which one he drives to work each day and which one he uses to haul lumber.

The USS Kitty Hawk served us well

Don Abele
08-02-2008, 11:11 AM
Glenn, thanks for jumping in on that one. I had a long day at work yesterday and late morning so missed a lot of threads yesterday. Yes, CONSTITUTION is the oldest commissioned warship in the Navy and for that matter, the oldest commissioned warship AFLOAT in the world (VICTORY is in a dry dock).

It is sad to see any of our ships decommissioned - especially so if you are a crew member and have to watch them tear apart the very thing which you spent so many long hours tending to and preserving, the very thing which you knew was key to your survival. It is an emotional thing, it's not like selling your old car. The Sailors who man these vessels are not just at work. This is where they live and play, have good times and bad. And in battle, it's where they are put to the ultimate test and are thankful for the strength and endurance of their ship.

The Kitty has done her duty for her country. She's old and expensive to maintain. Her systems would cost too much to update. This is the basic premise of why we lost our great Battleships.

It should be noted, she doesn't officially decommission until January and her ultimate fate has NOT been decided yet. I know that there is a group in North Carolina (namesake state) that is trying to get her for a museum. The Secretary of the Navy hasn't made a decision and yet, and probably won't until next year.

Now, as for my old girl...the ONLY reason she is still around today is not because of the Navy. No, the Navy wanted to break her up, not once, but twice in her 210 years. In 1830 it was the famous poem "Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. that rallied America behind her and got Congress to appropriate the funds necessary to restore her. This happened again nearly 100 years later in the 1920's. But this time it was the American people that raised the necessary funds to overhaul her (called the Pennies Campaign). Currently she is covered by a Congressional Law for permanent protection and commissioned status. Our annual budget for personnel and maintenance is ridiculously small compared to any other vessels or stations we have in the Navy. The current two-year overhaul we're in, which is making MAJOR restorative changes, is only estimated at about $10 million.

So...I would hope, like many of our other special ships out there, that the Kitty Hawk will find her home as a museum where many more generations can learn about her glorious part in our rich maritime history. And if not, like Holmes said in his poem,


"Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!"


Be well,

Doc

Glenn Clabo
08-02-2008, 11:43 AM
The white building at the left end of the pier on the right is my building. These two old girls, the 59 and 60 are part of our office view....
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/340107794_61ba4480e2.jpg?v=0

Gary Curtis
08-02-2008, 12:44 PM
Jason, you're right about the name. She flies an F-15, a 2-seater aircraft. I'm even worse on the names of general aviation planes.

I do remember asking my boss (an ex A-4 pilot) how fast a carrier could go. He was onboard a carrier in Japan in the late '60s when the San Pablo was commandeered by North Korea. His ship was ordered there at emergency speed and he recalls that the bow nearly came out of the water!

On an aircraft carrier.

Gary

Ken Fitzgerald
08-02-2008, 12:59 PM
The white building at the left end of the pier on the right is my building. These two old girls, the 59 and 60 are part of our office view....
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/340107794_61ba4480e2.jpg?v=0


Uh....Glenn......I thought you worked with subs.....and those don't look like any sub I was ever around......:confused:

Sorry...Glenn.....the subs....they are there.....we just can't see them.....submerged!:rolleyes:

Guess that's why they put me on a tender! I'd never have made it as submariner!:D

Stan Terrell
08-02-2008, 1:25 PM
I made two WesPac cruises with CAG 11 aboard Kitty Hawk in the early 60's (Her second and third deployments). I hate the thoughts for her being "broken up". MY understanding was that she was going to Bemerton WA from Pearl and then down to San Diego for the decommissioning.

Don Abele
08-02-2008, 1:41 PM
...His ship was ordered there at emergency speed and he recalls that the bow nearly came out of the water! On an aircraft carrier...

Gary, the official quoted speed is in excess of 30 knots (a mere 45 mph). But of course, we are talking about something that displaces over 100,000 tons!!! :eek:


Uh....Glenn......I thought you worked with subs.....and those don't look like any sub I was ever around......:confused: Sorry...Glenn.....the subs....they are there.....we just can't see them.....submerged!:rolleyes: Guess that's why they put me on a tender! I'd never have made as submariner!:D

That's too funny Ken. But you're right, no subs in Newport. Glenn works for a submarine division, we have them all over the place, many not anywhere near subs.

Be well,

Doc

Jeffrey Makiel
08-02-2008, 4:53 PM
Making a recently retired ship a museum and maintaining it as such is very expensive and likely not profitable anymore. Everyone is doing this now. I understand that the Navy has new policies requiring cities and any private entities to demonstrate their capabilities to take over this charge.

On a side note, I don't understand why many States believe that the ship is somehow theirs just because of its name. For instance, there was a fierce battle to have the battleship USS New Jersey docked in New Jersey as a museum. However, this ship had crew from around the country and was never homeported in New Jersey.

A little more disappointing is that there is a trend to name new super carriers after individuals. There are so many men and women who have served our country in battle to be doing that. I would like to see some of the old names based on major conflicts come back like the Midway, Coral Sea and the Lexington. Perhaps a new carrier named USS Desert Storm.

Just my opinion. It's only worth two cents. :)

-Jeff :)

Don Abele
08-02-2008, 10:17 PM
Jeff, the Navy used to have a very well established method of naming it ships. Each class of ship has it's naming convention:

Fast Attack Submarines were fish, then cities (Archerfish / Jacksonville).
Boomers were Presidents, then states (Henry M. Jackson / Florida).
Submarine Tenders were submarine pioneers (Emory S. Land).
Hospital ships were peaceful words (Mercy / Comfort).
Battleships were states (New Jersey).
Amphibs were famous Marine Corps battles then citis (Iwo Jima / New York)
Destroyers were famous Sailors and Marines (Decatur).
Ammunition ships were volcanoes (Kilauea).

(These examples are subs/ships that I was on or acquainted with, I'm sure you could find a better list).

Since then, we've gotten all topsy-turvy in our naming convention and they often don't make much sense as to why.

The George W. Bush (IIRC) is the only ship to be named after a living person though.

Also, one of the newest destroyers is to be named the USS MICHAEL MURPHY after the SEAL killed in Afghanistan in 2005 and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Be well,

Doc

Kevin Arceneaux
08-03-2008, 2:40 AM
CG's are named after Battles, except for the Gates

Vinson was still alive when the Carrier was named.

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/names.htm
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq63-1.htm

The cost of maintaining ships is huge. The Falls of Clyde, a sailing vessel that may be sunk unless millions are raised right now to save her.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falls_of_Clyde

Glenn Clabo
08-03-2008, 7:17 AM
The last time Newport saw a sub...
http://www.nuwc.navy.mil/hq/history/images/ussrisub.jpg

Doug Shepard
08-03-2008, 7:39 AM
... He was onboard a carrier in Japan in the late '60s when the San Pablo was commandeered by North Korea....



Did you mean the Pueblo or was there a 2nd ship nabbed by NK?

Ken Fitzgerald
08-03-2008, 9:49 AM
Kevin,

I rode the Chucky "V" (the Vinson) for 3 days in November of 2000.

I toured the Gates in Pensacola in '98 or 99. It is an impressive ship.

Pat Germain
08-03-2008, 9:53 AM
Kitty Hawk is one of the very few modern carriers I never rode. I used to ride carriers as a tech-rep in the early 90's. Although old, she was in very good shape. The Japanese shipyards to an amazing job!

As to how fast a carrier can go, you'd be amazed. The nuclear carriers are among the fastest ships on the water. Not only do they have the advantage of virtually unlimited horsepower, they also have the advantage of hull design. When the length to width ratio is extreme, you can go very fast. (I think this is the same reason rowing boats are so long and narrow.) I was aboard Theodore Roosevelt for shakedown/sea trials. The navigation system showed us getting up to over 30 knots very quickly. The monitor continued to read a few numbers above 30, then stopped. However, the ship was still accelerating!

Don Abele
08-03-2008, 10:11 AM
Yeah, aircraft carriers are amazingly fast (easy targets though) :p

I don't have many pics of "targets" but here's one I love...it's the NIMITZ doing a high speed turn:

93889

That's gotta be fun!

Be well,

Doc

Ken Fitzgerald
08-03-2008, 10:37 AM
Uh....Don......as mentioned in another thread...about jumping out of perfectly good airplane....something's unnatural about putting a bunch of folks inside a large piece of sewer pipe and then purposely sinking it! :rolleyes:

Pat Germain
08-03-2008, 11:34 AM
Yeah, aircraft carriers are amazingly fast (easy targets though) :p

Yep, you're a sub guy alright. ;)


That's gotta be fun!

Yes, it is. :D

Kevin Arceneaux
08-03-2008, 12:51 PM
My Dad used to go on sea trials with the subs out of Pascagoula, Ingalls East Bank, for the subs he worked on. He said they could be some wild rides. The could also be times of high stress, esp. when Admiral Rickover was on board.

The New Orleans
HMAS Waller
JS Nashiro
US Sub
ROKS Lee Sunsin

Ken Fitzgerald
08-03-2008, 12:55 PM
I don't have many pics of "targets" but here's one I love...it's the NIMITZ doing a high speed turn:

93889

That's gotta be fun!

Be well,

Doc

Doc,

I can see why subs need so many targets. When I was on the USS Orion, we were a target for the fast attacks in our squadron. I don't know how many times they shot dummy torpedos at us and MISSED! :rolleyes:

Don Abele
08-03-2008, 6:46 PM
Uh....Don......as mentioned in another thread...about jumping out of perfectly good airplane....something's unnatural about putting a bunch of folks inside a large piece of sewer pipe and then purposely sinking it! :rolleyes:

Yeah and add the fact that it has a nuclear reactor, 440 volts AC, 280 volts DC, 4500 psi of air, and 3000 psi of hydraulics...and lots of other things that are kinda finicky about sea water and pressure!



Doc, I can see why subs need so many targets. When I was on the USS Orion, we were a target for the fast attacks in our squadron. I don't know how many times they shot dummy torpedos at us and MISSED! :rolleyes:

:D LMAO :D

That's funny...thanks Ken...I needed that. Just came in from doing yard work :mad: and I needed a pick-me-up.

Yeah, when we go down to Autec in the Caribbean we shoot a lot and miss every time, go figure :p.

Of course, occasionally we do get to play for real:

93949

Be well,

Doc

Glenn Clabo
08-03-2008, 8:20 PM
Ah Ken...they weren't supposed to hit you ya know. They just try to scare ya.

Pat Germain
08-03-2008, 10:36 PM
Nice pics, Don. Consider I was actually onboard the ship for this "shot"! :eek:

Don Abele
08-03-2008, 10:43 PM
Pat...shock trials - what fun :eek: I got to do those, but can't say when/where :D.

Nothing like setting off explosions within close proximity to the vessel your on to see what effect it has. Though those tests have led to a lot of major safety improvements on our ships.

Be well,

Doc

Jeffrey Makiel
08-04-2008, 6:58 AM
Nice pics, Don. Consider I was actually onboard the ship for this "shot"! :eek:

Wow! I'm guessing fish was on the menu that night.
-Jeff :)

Belinda Williamson
08-04-2008, 10:07 AM
I would just like to say "thank you" to all who have participated in this thread. It has been very interesting, and educational for me. Isn't the Creek just the best? I learn all sorts of new stuff every time I visit.

JohnT Fitzgerald
08-04-2008, 10:28 AM
Hey Don - we're thinking of bringing the kids to Boston for a weekend (well, day trips into Boston - we live not that far away). How much time do you suggest carving out to tour the Constitution?

Don Abele
08-04-2008, 1:02 PM
John, if you are going to come directly to the ship, about an hour or two. We open at 10:00 with the first tour at 10:30. They run every 30 minutes until 5:30 and then we close at 6:00. On summertime weekends we typically see about 3000-4000 people so if it's a nice day the wait can be an hour or so. Now, if you let me know ahead of time, I can help "minimize" that wait ;).

Be well,

Doc

Pat Germain
08-04-2008, 2:32 PM
^^ Finally, a reason to visit Boston.

JohnT Fitzgerald
08-04-2008, 2:34 PM
John, if you are going to come directly to the ship, about an hour or two. We open at 10:00 with the first tour at 10:30. They run every 30 minutes until 5:30 and then we close at 6:00. On summertime weekends we typically see about 3000-4000 people so if it's a nice day the wait can be an hour or so. Now, if you let me know ahead of time, I can help "minimize" that wait ;).

Be well,

Doc

I just might take you up on that, but we'll see. Still trying to figure out our schedule over the next few weeks.

Don Abele
08-04-2008, 4:53 PM
^^ Finally, a reason to visit Boston.

Pat, I'm only here until October. My three year tour has come and gone (May '08). I'm on an extension right now to get us through the busy summer months then I'm outta here.

I just had a guest lecturer here that works at the Air Force Academy. He was here for a week talking to the crew about one of our famous battles, which is writing a book about. So I know it's possible to get here from Colorado :D

Be well,

Doc