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.