Update: Decommissioned USS Constellation to pass West Seattle next week soon

July 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(US Navy photo: USS Constellation in Elliott Bay during Seafair, 1996)
Advance notice for everyone who is interested in what passes our shores: The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation is scheduled to be towed from Bremerton one week from today (Thursday, July 31st), which means you’ll be able to see it – at a distance – from Alki Point southward. Its eventual destination will be Brownsville, Texas, where it will be broken up. It’s been mothballed in Bremerton for almost a decade, after being decommissioned in 2003 and then towed here from San Diego, following 42 years in service. A time for its departure hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll be watching in the days ahead.

SIDE NOTE: One day before the Constellation’s move, active Navy ships participating in the Seafair Fleet will be visible from even more of the West Seattle shore. Here’s our recent preview of the July 30th Parade of Ships.

ADDED: Just noticed that the Kitsap Sun now reports this isn’t likely to happen until sometime the week of August 4th.


  1. Wow. That’s a long way to go to be broken up. Just the trip through the Panama Canal will cost a fortune.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 3:30 pm July 24, 2014 #

  2. Christopher…maybe they could leave it here, and we all get to take a whack at it ;-)

    Comment by JanS — 4:29 pm July 24, 2014 #

  3. Wow what a waste of money. Why not break it up at t5 then right to Nucor?

    Comment by Jw — 7:38 pm July 24, 2014 #

  4. The expense of transport to Brownsville, TX is not being paid by the US Navy. Whoever purchased it is paying it to be brought to Brownsville.
    Trust me, there is NOTHING left on that ship except the steel that makes up the hull and bulkheads and maybe some copper wires. Anything of value that can be repurposed by the Navy has already been removed.
    22 year Navy vet, and I seen and done a few deactivations, decomissionings and preping a ship for sale to scrapers.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood resident — 9:42 am July 25, 2014 #

  5. Thank you Ex-Westwood Res for clarifying and correcting on this. Go Navy!

    Comment by RG — 6:40 pm July 25, 2014 #

  6. 80% of the ships in the US are recycled in Brownsville where there are 1,000 welders. The metal is then put on barges and shipped to Monterey, MX

    Comment by Dale — 8:11 am July 26, 2014 #

  7. Ship breaking is hard work especially one that large I doubt this area has the ability to break a ship of that size up without lots of advance planning and hiring.

    Comment by Eric — 11:05 pm July 26, 2014 #

  8. Alot of misinformation by previous posters. The Navy is, in fact, paying $3M to the International Shipbreaking, Ltd. due to the distance being towed. The contractors did not receive payment for previous carriers due to towing a shorter distance — from Philadelphia. AND, the ship is too large to pass through the Panama Canal, so it will be towed around the tip of South America — quite a task!

    Comment by Jeff — 12:18 pm July 31, 2014 #

  9. I was on board the Connie May 1969 to June 1972 and did two Vietnam War Tonkin Gulf Westpacs Sept. 1969-May 1970.,Sept. 1971-June 1972. I was in Bremerton, Wash. PSNS June 1970-April 1971 for the 2nd Connie PSNS overhaul and dry docking.I hope to see her off this coming week in Bremerton and gather with some shipmates who served on her for a Kitsap Sun photo.

    Comment by Jerry O'Connor — 11:24 am August 3, 2014 #

  10. Jerry – thank you for your service! If you do get advance word on the departure – consider letting us know, with another comment here, or e-mail (editor@westseattleblog.com) – we love the Kitsap Sun and are watching them but might somehow miss it. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:45 am August 3, 2014 #

  11. A great ship taking the eternal cruise. She will never be forgotten as long as a Connie Sailor lives….. I served on board 1972-1976 Asst. DCA, Repair Division Officer and Sfoms Officer. Three of the best men I served with Capt. Ward (CO), Captian Nigel Parkhurst and HTCM Robert “Smokey” Briggs.

    Comment by CDR Rick Wilson — 2:36 pm August 6, 2014 #

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