USS Forrestal Aircraft Carrier Disaster

The USS Forrestal (CV-59), formerly AVT-59 and CVA-59, was a supercarrier named after former Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. Commissioned in 1955, she was the first supercarrier, and was the lead ship of her class. The other carriers of her class were the USS Saratoga, USS Ranger and USS Independence. She superseded the WW II Japanese carrier Shinano as the largest aircraft carrier ever built in terms of full load displacement and was the first to specifically support jet aircraft.

The ship was affectionately called "The FID", because James Forrestal was the first ever Secretary of Defense, FID standing for "First In Defense". This is also the slogan on the ship's insignia and patch. She was also informally known in the fleet as the "USS Zippo" and "Forest Fire" or "Firestal" because of a number of highly publicized fires on board, most notably a 1967 incident in which 134 sailors died and an additional 161 were injured.

Forrestal served for nearly five decades in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific. She was decommissioned in 1993, and made available as a museum. Attempts to save her were unsuccessful, however, and in February 2014 she was towed to Brownsville, Texas to be scrapped.


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