Navy vessel USS Ranger (CV-61) was commissioned in 1957. She was the first carrier vessel built from inception as an angled-deck ship. During her 37 years of service, she earned 13 battle stars serving in the Vietnam War, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf. On November 1, 1983, a fire broke out inside USS Ranger Main Machinery Room 4 (MMR4) injuring 35 and claiming the lives of six US Navy sailors.
She was decommissioned in July of 1993.
Just over two years ago, the Ranger was taken to Brownsville, TX, and a state-of-the-art metal recycling yard operated by International Shipbreaking, which is part of EMR, one of the world’s leading metal recyclers. It was there that she would be dismantled and recycled.
It has taken just over 2 years to finish the project, which has recovered and recycled more than 56,000 tons of material. Most of the recycled metal has been sold to be melted down at domestic mills. Some of the repurposed new metals will be used in US Department of Defense contracts. And to carry on the legacy of the USS Ranger, more than 5 tons of historic items from the ship have been donated to the USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, TX, to be preserved and displayed.
When the dismantling project was completed earlier this month, a moment of silence to honor all who served on the ship was held, as the final section of the USS Ranger was removed. All of the artifacts from the MMR4 Control Room have been donated to the USS Ranger Association and will be used in a museum exhibit honoring the six servicemen who died in the 1983 fire.
The ship was also quite the movie star, having appeared in numerous movies and television shows including Top Gun and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
The video below is of the ship’s arrival in Brownsville, TX . . . and the end of the USS Ranger’s final cruise.