NPR : News

Filed Under:

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

In a statement, the U.S. Navy says All Star Metals, which was awarded the contract for the ship, is developing a final tow plan to get the ship "from its current berth at the Navy's inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to All Star Metals' facility in Brownsville, Texas. The ship is expected to depart Philadelphia before the end of the year."

The minimal payment reflects the net price proposed by All Star Metals, "which considered the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling," the statement said.

Stars and Stripes says of the ship's famous fire:

"[The] Forrestal was in the Gulf of Tonkin the morning of July 29, 1967, for the Vietnam War effort when stray voltage triggered a rocket to launch from an F-4 Phantom on the flight deck.

"The rocket struck an armed A-4 Skyhawk — piloted by a young Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III — rupturing the fuel tanks and sparking a chain reaction of fires and explosions on the deck, which was parked full of planes.

"The crew fought the flight deck fire for an hour, but other fires blazed into the next day."

The Navy says it made the Forrestal available for donation in June 1999 as a museum or memorial, but didn't get any viable offers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


Actress Niecy Nash Is 'Getting On' Just Fine

Perhaps best known for her work on Reno 911, Nash talks to Fresh Air contributor Anna Sale about playing a nurse on HBO's Getting On, a series about an extended care facility for elderly women.

High-Sodium Warnings Hit New York City Menus

The city is the first in the nation to require chain restaurants a sodium warning on menu items containing 2,300 milligrams of sodium or more, the recommended daily limit. Most of us consume far more.

Paris Climate Talks Face A Familiar Hurdle — American Politics

The U.S. and China are the world's two largest polluters, but in both countries, the will to do something about climate change is lower than the rest of the world. In the U.S., there's a party split.
WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.