Historic Navy Carrier Sold ... for a Penny
USS Forrestal will become scrap metal after 4 decades of service
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2013 8:35 AM CDT
The mothballed aircraft carrier USS Forrestal can be seen behind a fence on the Naval Base in Middletown, R.I., Sunday July 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

(Newser) – A supercarrier once hailed as the "biggest ship ever built" has been sold—for a price that must rank among the smallest ever: one penny, paid by the seller. All Star Metals now owns the historic USS Forrestal after the Pentagon paid it one cent to dismantle and recycle it; the company will tow the 1,067-foot ship to its facility in Brownsville, Texas, where it will be scrapped. Though the ship has a long history—launched in 1954, it was the Navy's first supercarrier, and was the site of a Vietnam War tragedy—the Navy got no "viable applications" during its attempt to hand it to a museum or have it made into a memorial, Fox News reports.

In the end, maintenance on the ship, which cost $217 million to build (more like $2 billion in today's dollars) and was decommissioned in 1993, became just too costly. The Navy was "caught between a rock and a hard place," says a USS Forrestal Association historian and survivor of the 1967 incident, which saw an A-4 Skyhawk struck by an accidentally-launched rocket, causing a chain reaction of blasts and blazes that killed 134 and injured hundreds more. A high-profile survivor? The man in the cockpit of that A-4 Skyhawk, one John McCain.

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Tom Maker
Feb 12, 2014 9:58 AM CST
Beautiful ship....use it as a museum.
Oct 25, 2013 10:48 AM CDT
Ah... our proud Americans here at Newser bickering about what, who, when, why instead of "doing"... or changing. Proud to be an American!
Oct 25, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
It has been claimed that John Macain caused the Forrestal disaster. This is an out right lie. He could have never caused the problem as claimed. If you will look at the deck camera film of the fire. You will see his plain sitting to the right of the burning A4. His planes tail is clearly pointing out to sea. No planes behind him. Don't care for him myself. Just hate to see someone blamed for something they didn't do.