USS Kitty Hawk

| January 18, 2022

USS Kitty Hawk CV-63

Several of our usual suspects send us the news that the former USS Kitty Hawk is scheduled for the breaker’s yard. She had departed the mothballs of Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton for a dry dock to remove marine growth, and is now on the way to Texas to be reduced to scrap.

Being a conventionally powered carrier was an important capability when dealing with the sensibilities of several of our Pacific allies. What lurked in her magazines was never officially stated.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)

USS KITTY HAWK was the lead ship of the Navy’s second class of “super carriers” and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. Initially commissioned as attack aircraft carrier CVA 63, she was redesignated as multi-purpose aircraft carrier CV 63 April 29, 1973.

Since August 1998, KITTY HAWK was homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, where she relieved the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) as the only forward deployed aircraft carrier in the Navy. The KITTY HAWK left Japan for the last time in mid-2008. After participation in RIMPAC 2008, the carrier continued to San Diego, Calif., to meet the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) for turn-over. The GEORGE WASHINGTON replaced the KITTY HAWK in Japan.

Decommissioned on May 12, 2009, the KITTY HAWK is now laid up at Bremerton, Wash., and is scheduled to be scrapped.

A last-of-its-kind US Navy aircraft carrier is headed to the scrapyard after being sold for a cent

Julie Coleman

The US Navy warship USS Kitty Hawk, the last commissioned conventional-powered aircraft carrier, embarked on its final voyage on Saturday, leaving Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington, to be turned into scrap metal by a shipbreaking company in Brownsville, Texas, the Navy said.

The Navy decommissioned the first-in-class ship in 2009 after 48 years of service, putting the ship in mothballs for over a decade before selling the carrier and the USS John F. Kennedy to International Shipbreaking Limited for just one cent each in October, Insider previously reported.

Because the Kitty Hawk is much too large, at over 280 feet wide and more than 1,000 feet long, to traverse the Panama Canal, the “Battle Cat” will make its final journey to Texas via the Strait of Magellan, a natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, The Kitsap Sun reported.

The journey around South America could take it across roughly 16,000 miles and over 130 days to complete, The War Zone reported.


A more fitting end could be as an artificial reef, but they neglected to ask my opinion. Fair winds and following seas, Battle Cat.

Thanks, gentlemen.

Category: Disposable Warriors, Guest Link, Navy

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So I read the article but I didn’t see – is she being towed or traveling under her own steam?


The Insider article shows her being towed.

Personally, I can’t imagine the costs of refiring and re-certifying the oil boilers to be under her own power.


Also am I the only one thinking that “decommissioned ship traveling on a long and dangerous voyage to the scrap yard” would be a great setting for a horror movie? And I don’t even like horror movies. Kind of like “The Last Detail” but for a ship instead of a prisoner.


Also am I the only one thinking that “decommissioned ship traveling on a long and dangerous voyage to the scrap yard” would be a great setting for a horror movie?

What could Tom Clancy do with that idea, Martinjmpr?

Still kinda sad to see these old ladies scrapped, but life goes on.


Clive Cussler beat him to it in Vixen 03… USS Iowa sold for scrap and used by terrorists.


Wasn’t that the plot of “Under Seige?” 😉


I wouldn’t mind taking the helm on that rig, at least for part of the voyage.


Yeah, the DoD fked up on this one. I would’ve gladly paid to take that trip.
Talk about ticking off a crap load of blocks on a bucket list.


Amen. They could rally one hell of a crew of can-do people who would love the opportunity.


The problem, Dog, is that the ship no longer belongs to the Navy. The salvage company bought it for a penny and assumption of all risk if anything goes wrong. And if you’re going through the Straits of Magellan, even in summer, things can get hairy real fast, or so I’ve read.

I’m sure their insurance company and the salvage company’s risk-averse lawers have put the kibosh on any ideas about taking any paying passengers, especially a bunch of sentimental old squids or bucket-listing old farts with a healthy appetite for alcohol.

Damned risk-averse lawers have taken the fun out of every damned thing…

Risk aversion lawyers – Bing


“… especially a bunch of sentimental old squids or bucket-listing old farts with a healthy appetite for alcohol.”

Carful, one them may hear you,

So what I think I hear you saying is that once this thing is in international waters we’re going to have to pirate that bad boy.

Fk a bottle return, aircraft carrier scrap beer money, b*tches!


That passage is no joke. hundreds if not thousands of ships were lost there before the Canal was built. Should be a lot of fun.


I’m assuming that’s why they’re doing it now, i.e. mid-summer in the Southern Hemisphere.


A buddy of mine deployed a couple of times aboard USS KITTY HAWK.

He still refers to her as “The Shitty Kitty”.


Living in the San Diego area as a kid (1960’s), it was the homeport to the “Shitty Kitty” and the “Crappy Connie”….


Lex is spinning supersonically in his grave at that quip.


Neptunus Lex, a man I never met yet greatly admired. Guiness… for strength!


From the Battleship New Jersey.



That dude has some great content. For underwater stuff check out Sub Brief on yt.

Slow Joe

Sold for one cent?
Is that what the DoD does with our money?
Any of our allies would pay premium price for that carrier.
At least sell it to a prop company in Hollywood to be used in movies like Teh Dhanger Zoneh.


If one of our allies wanted it, it would have been sold to them. None of our allies have the ability (spelled “MONEY”) to operate a big fleet carrier like that (to say nothing of what it would cost them to bring it back to operational status), not even the Brits. The one cent deal was to relieve the US of any obligation for it. Once it’s “sold”, it belongs to the ship breaker company now, whatever happens is on them to include any liability for accidents.


A vet near me doubts many engineers in the navies of the world even have steam plant training. I dunno myself, I just know the merchant marine is down to only a few (not counting training ships.)

Name withheld by request

We had a BT1 that served on the ‘Hawk when she ran over that Ruskie sub.




I wonder if Sheldon Cooper and Beverly Hofstadter would like to do the math on how much this ship wrecking company is gonna make off of this deal? At least it’s going to be done by American Workers…maybe. Wonder, too, if any of the welders/pipefitters that lost their jobs when Keystone shut down could hire on.


Lots of teaching/learning opportunities for real life living.


KoB, since that ship salvage company is in Brownsville, you can bet they get real cheap labor from across the river in Matamoros.

That’s probably the primary reason that company is located there…


Testify Ol’ Poe. Whys for was my comment on “…American Workers…maybe.”


North, Central, and South. They didn’t specify which Americans 😉


Kitty Hawk relieved America in the North Arabian Sea way back in 1983 (IIRC). She was a VERY welcome sight!

BZ KH! Well done!


Ed’s reef idea is a good one. Since the Navy sank the Oriskany south of Pensacola, it’s become a world-class diving destination which certainly helps the local economy in a true blue Navy town:

sunken carrier in Gulf of mexico – Bing


Big O, reportedly breaking down quickly. Might not be much left in another 25 yrs or so.


There are still several Japanese ships relatively intact in Truk Lagoon eighty years after they were sunk.

Truk Lagoon, Shipwrecks Preserved in Time – Bing video

Interesting video…

Richard Johnson

The old $hitty kitty finally going away.


! penny, huh? I would’ve given a nickel! But seriously, who is footing the tolling bill?


my daddy served on there to make my post possible