Decommissioned Carrier 'Independence' Towed to Texas for Scrapping

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Independence is towed through the ship channel June 1, on its final voyage to the Port of Brownsville, Texas. (Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP)
The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Independence is towed through the ship channel June 1, on its final voyage to the Port of Brownsville, Texas. (Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas -- The decommissioned USS Independence has arrived at its last port of call.

The mothballed 61,000-ton  aircraft carrier passed through the jetties of the Brownsville Ship Channel on Thursday afternoon. A group of the ship's past crew members stood and watched as the ship was towed up the channel toward International Shipbreaking Ltd., the recycling company that won the contract to scrap the ship.

The ship had left Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., on March 11 and was towed around Cape Horn in South America to the Port of Brownsville.

The USS Independence was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1958, commissioned the following year and decommissioned in 1998. It was among several U.S. military ships to carry the name of Independence.

The Forrestal-class aircraft carrier made a single tour off the coast of Vietnam in 1965 during the Vietnam War. It also carried out air strikes against Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War, and launched air operations over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

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