Famed Supercarrier Heads to the Grave

USS Forrestal in process of being towed to Texas

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2014 8:33 AM CST

(Newser) – The supercarrier once hailed as the "biggest ship ever built" is headed to the gallows. The USS Forrestal has the honors—both dubious and not—of being the Navy's first supercarrier, and being unloaded, in October, for the grand price of one cent. That's what the Navy paid All Star Metals to scrap and recycle the 1,067-foot ship, a process that got under way last week.

Fox News reports that the Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, left Philadelphia's Navy Yard Tuesday morning and was towed down the Delaware River. From there, it will travel along the East Coast to Brownsville, Texas, in a journey expected to take 17 days. "Today, most people look at it as 60,000 tons of scrap metal, which it isn't," a 74-year-old who served on the ship in the early 1960s told the Philadelphia Inquirer as it departed. "It's 60,000 tons of history." Read up on that colorful history here.

Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier's final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 4.
Tugboat Alex McAllister pushes the USS Forrestal into the Delaware River on the aircraft carrier's final voyage from Navy Shipyard in south Philadelphia, Tuesday, Feb. 4.   (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Alejandro A. Alvarez)
The mothballed aircraft carrier USS Forrestal can be seen behind a fence on the Naval Base in Middletown, R.I., Sunday July 20, 2008.
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)
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