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
Historic Navy Carrier Sold for ... a Penny
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)

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. (Read more Vietnam War stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.