Third ship of the Forrestal-class CVA’s – the first supercarriers . . .

Veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm, Southern Watch and Restore Hope . . .

Last ship to bear the storied name, Ranger, that began with John Paul Jones . . .

Decommissioned in 1993 as part of the post-Cold War rush to the peace dividend, she now sits in deep preservation at Bremerton Navy Yard, awaiting her fate:

And that, dear reader, is something you may have a chance to have a say in.

There is a movement underway to save Ranger and turn her into a museum serving the northwestern US (an area, incidently, which has a deep linkage to carrier aviation).  The Ranger Foundation is seeking support, fiscal and moral, to save this ship, one of the first of the supercarriers.  It is important to remember that there are a finite set of conventional carriers to fulfill this role — and in all likelihood, with the possible exception of Kennedy (CV-67), the rest of the “newer” conventional carriers of the Kitty Hawk-class will likely be sunk as part of test and development programs given their similarity to the Nimitz-class hulls (as was the case with America (CV-66)). The nuke carriers, beginning with Enterprise in a few years, in all likelihood won’t be able to serve in this role.

So, please hurry over to the Ranger Foundation’s website and pitch in to save this piece of aviation and naval history — time is not a luxury.  The Foundation has gained Phase 1 approval from the Navy and are working towards a permanent moorage in Portland, Oregon-but without funds for the studies that need to be done now, they will not be successful.  And Ranger will end up as another sinkex victim.

(h/t Tailhook)


  1. Wharf Rat


    Thanks for posting this. I’m a member of the Board of Directors of the Ranger Museum Foundation, one of two on the board.

    We appreciate the support. We are running an ad on Drudge to raise funds. It’s ‘revenue share’ thing with the company that manages the advertising. It’s likely starting to run tomorrow, for a 3 day test. Let’s hope its the start of a really good thing.

    • Wharf Rat:

      Best wishes for success — I was an East Coast sailor, but Ranger still played a part in my career, beginning with the hostage crisis and ops off Iran when i was on Ike. Likewise, VAW has links back to the previous Ranger with the first squadron of TBM-3W’s as she was conducting workups for the pending invasion of Japan.
      w/r, SJS

  2. Wharf Rat

    I meant, one of two civilians on the board.


  3. Made two West Pac/Indian Ocean trips on the Good Ship Ranger in ATKRON One Four Five. The second was the jimmy carter hostage cruise Sep 80 to May 81.

  4. I was a Ranger Last Rider.
    I sure do hope the Portland OR project goes through.
    I would visit Portland JUST to see ‘Danger!’

    Thank you for everything you all do for her!

    Your Shipmate,

    Kenneth Weitzel
    on Ranger was a Data Processing Tech 2nd class.
    X-2 Division
    TAD to Special Services for 92-93 West Pac

  5. Allen Knecht

    I spent three years on Ranger. Made two West pac/Indian ocean cruise’s 1979 and 1980. Worked on catapult number one and two. I remember the collision in 1979 April 5th. was one of the first persons up on deck, until ordered to leave. I hope the Portland thing works out. Would like to go back and visit Ranger some day.

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