The history of the USS Forrestal CVA 59 involves a contract to build one of the world's first super aircraft carriers. In July 1951, the DryDock Company and Newport News Shipbuilding received the contract to build the ship. The aircraft carrier received the name Forrestal in honor of the deceased Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Vincent Forrestal.Continue Reading
The ship, which was the largest aircraft carrier ever constructed at the time, was 1,039 feet long. The deck of the vessel was 252 feet wide, and the ship weighed 60,000 tons. The ship was the height of a 25-story building. The USS Forrestal also included an elevator for crewmen to use to move quickly to each level of the vessel. In its 38 years of service, the ship logged 400,000 nautical miles.
During the ship's time of service, about 277 lost their lives working on the vessel. Approximately 134 people died as a result of the ship's engagement in combat operations off the coast of North Vietnam. During its service, almost 130,000 crewmen served on the ship, and the ship averaged an onboard crew of 5,000 people.
In 1993, the ship went under a major renovation to upgrade its system. However, officials decommissioned the ship later that year. In 2014, Pentagon officials paid one cent to get rid of the vessel and send it off to a scrap yard.Learn more about Military