Navy pays a penny to scrap first “supercarrier”

Posted at 12:29 PM, Oct 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-24 19:09:09-04

The Navy’s first “supercarrier,” the Forrestal, will be scrapped.

The Navy paid All Star Metals $0.01 on Tuesday for a contract to tow and dismantle the Forrestal so it can be scrapped and recycled.

The Navy tells NewsChannel 3 that $0.01 is the lowest price the Navy could possibly have paid the contractor for the towing and dismantling of ex-Forrestal.

In May 2012, the Navy solicited proposals for the award of up to three contracts for the dismantling and recycling of inactive conventionally-powered aircraft carriers.

All Star Metals was the first of three successful offerers to receive its facility security clearance.

The Forrestal will be towed from the Navy’s inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to All Star Metal’s facility before the end of the year.

The Navy continues to own the ship during the dismantling process until the ship has been fully dismantled.

The contractor takes ownership of the scrap metal as it is produced and sells the scrap to offset its costs of operations.

Forrestal was decommissioned Sept. 11, 1993, after more than 38 years of service. On June 16, 1999, the Navy announced the ship would be available for donation to an eligible organization for use as a museum or memorial. However, no viable applications were received and the vessel was removed from donation hold in December 2003 and redesignated for disposal.

On Thursday, USS Forrestal veterans gathered at VFW Post 392 in Virginia Beach to share memories of the ship with NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

"She was the world’s first supercarrier and it was just a Cadillac compared to what we had been on," explained Joseph Costello. "I had 4 other Carriers, but the Forrestal was my finest."

"It should be a floating memorial to the men who sacrificed their lives," explained Bill Solt, referring to the 134 men who died on board during a July 1967 fire. "To me it’s a desecration to leave it to a scrapping torch as opposed to public memorial."

"She was a fantastic ship. She made all of her commitments and she did her job," recalled Michael Yatsko, who survived the 1967 fire.

"It was the first super carrier ever built. 38 years of service. 28 major cruises," said Jim Brussell.

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USS Forrestal survivors gather in Norfolk to remember deadly fire