Photo courtesy: U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Andre T. Richard

Veteran aircraft carrier USS Ranger has been on quite the nautical journey since spring, but she’s finally scheduled to arrive in the Port of Brownsville soon. While her arrival has been delayed by unexpected conditions, the carrier is scheduled to enter the jetties between 7:00 AM and 7:30 AM on Sunday, July 12th, 2015.

Despite decades of military service and a successful career in the film and television industry, the USS Ranger will be scrapped for parts upon her arrival at Brownsville scrapyards. Veterans who served aboard the carrier have urged the Navy to refrain from scrapping USS Ranger, and efforts were made to raise money and make the vessel a museum, but none fell through to prevent her inevitable fate.

In order to save a retired military ship, states, municipalities or non-profit organizations must present a viable plan for the ship as the Navy cannot donate a vessel unless the application meets their minimum requirements for donation. They also cannot indefinitely retain inactive ships. This statement regarding the USS Ranger was presented by NAVSEA in December of 2014.

A History of the Amazing USS Ranger

As the seventh USS Ranger CV/CVA-61, this vessel was one of the four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. It was decommissioned in 1993 and then stored at Bremerton, Washington. In March of 2015, she was released, on route to our very own City of Brownsville.

Measuring 1046 feet – the length of three football fields – the USS Ranger is larger than the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi by 130 feet. Her first launch was on September 29th, 1956, and her namesake since has been “One Who Wanders”. The USS Ranger served extensively in the Vietnam War and later in Operation Desert Storm, while earning 13 battle stars.

When her years of service ended, the USS Ranger retired to a career in film and television. She has appeared on television in The Six Million Dollar Man and Baa Baa Black Sheep. Her film appearances include Top Gun starring Tom Cruise, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home where she stood in for the carrier Enterprise, and finally Flight of the Intruder.