SAN ANTONIO – The historic USS Saratoga that once toured in the Vietnam and first Iraqi wars has now settled in Brownsville after a long and final voyage from Rhode Island.
The decommissioned aircraft carrier arrived in Brownsville on Friday where it will be dismantled – for a penny – by ESCO Marine.
ESCO Marine, who recycles governmental ships, plans to resell pieces of the ship "to accommodate the level of interest in Saratoga and her history," its website states. Parts of the flight deck and hull will be refabricated into plaques and medallions with vessel specification and history engravings.
These little pieces of history will go on sale in December, and they will be available at the ESCO Marine Sales facility or online.
The Saratoga is the second ship this year to be tugged into the South Texas town for scrapping. The USS Forrestal arrived in February, and is still being dismantled by a separate company, All Star Metals, an article by The Brownsville-Herald states.
The third ship, the USS Constellation, will arrive in December after taking the long way around from Washington state. International Shipbreakers was paid $3 million by the Navy to scrap the ship because of the long transportation around the Horn of South America, a separate article by The Brownsville-Herald states.
Saratoga's demise comes after the Navy was unable to donate the ship to a museum, a press release from the Navy states.
Though, many Saratoga fans still exist, and hundreds were there to watch the ship make its last voyage.
At the ship's departure from Rhode Island, Darryl Fern, a member of the USS Saratoga Association, said he is disappointed the ship will be demolished, an article by the Navy states.
"It's sad that she could not be turned into a museum," Fern stated. "Like all the other older carriers, it's time for her to meet her demise."
The Forrestal-class ship was decommissioned on Sept. 30 1994 after 38 years of service and 22 deployments, including the Cuban Missle Crisis. It was the sixth Saratoga ship in U.S. history, named after the infamous American Revolution battle.
Source: my sanantonio. 19 September 2014