Thursday, May 29, 2008
Here's to you USS Kitty Hawk
YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 28) - The oldest active ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier, made its final departure from Japan on Wednesday to be decommissioned after nearly half a century of service.It flew the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, which designates it as the oldest ship in the Navy
The Kitty Hawk, with sailors lining its decks, pulled away from Yokosuka port just south of Tokyo to the cheers of hundreds of schoolchildren and the sounds of brass bands.
Crew members aboard the USS Kitty Hawk form a human letter "SAYONARA," which means "goodbye" as the aircraft carrier leaves a port in Yokosuka, near Tokyo Wednesday, May 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
The Kitty Hawk, the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier in the Navy, is to be replaced later this summer by the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered carrier.
After leaving Japan, the Kitty Hawk will make a stop at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and then travel on to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, to be decommissioned.
The ship, commissioned in 1961 and the only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in the Navy, was assigned to Japan in 1998. It has since made 20 deployments in the western Pacific and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.
The George Washington is scheduled to be based at Yokosuka starting August.
The Kitty Hawk was a part of my family for four years and in a couple of weeks the George Washington will be for the next 4 years
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