Update: USS Constellation now reported to be leaving Thursday – on its decommissioning anniversary

August 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

(US Navy photo of USS Constellation decommissioning ceremony, 8/7/2003)
Thanks to JanS for spotting an update this weekend on the expected departure date for the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Constellation: The Kitsap Sun reports it now looks like Thursday, postponed from last Thursday, which in turn was later than a previously announced date. The KS story says this will be the biggest shipbreaking job ever for a yard in Brownsville, Texas, to which a tug from Seattle’s Foss Maritime will tow the “Connie” via a route all the way around the southernmost tip of South America, since it’s too big to fit through the Panama Canal. We’re watching this because it will be visible from West Seattle once it leaves Rich Passage and heads north into the open Sound. It’s been mothballed in Bremerton for more than a decade.

P.S. We found this webpage dedicated to “the Constellation’s final journey,” which in turn points to this San Diego report from last year with memories of Constellation veterans. And something else we discovered while researching to add to this – Thursday will be the 11th anniversary of the carrier’s decommissioning ceremony in San Diego.

TUESDAY NOTE: Kitsap Sun now reports it’s pushed back to a 5 pm departure Friday.

5 Comments

  1. I served on the ” Connie” during Vietnam and have many memories of shipmates both living and gone, the ports of call, the ballet (and danger) of launching aircraft off her flight deck. I now live on Beach Drive. It will be sad to see her pass by on her final deployment and plan on saluting her as she passes by.

    Thanks for the update.

    Comment by VAQ134 — 1:29 am August 4, 2014 #

  2. VAQ134,

    You are right, it is sad. It will be more than a somber sight when she passes… Much more than can be articulated anyway. You will be saluting much more than steel, that’s for sure, and it’s not something easily understood except by those who served in a similar capacity.

    Though I won’t be immediately standing abreast of you I’ll render my salute as well when she passes by.

    Comment by RG — 2:53 pm August 4, 2014 #

  3. To the both of you guys,
    The Connie’s passing brings to me both a historical tragedy, and a tragedy of friends. This grand old gal, which helped our boys so much in our long crusade for freedom, is being sent to the the scrappers after only 11 years out of action, I’ve heard of ships being in mothballs for four times that amount. Secondly, one of my father’s best friends served as a tracker aboard an S3 Viking, spending seven months aboard Constellation. Although I’m far from the West Coast in MN, when I wake up Thursday, I will offer my salute to her. Taps would be most appropriate.

    Comment by EP — 6:00 am August 5, 2014 #

  4. Should be passing thru Rich Passage 8-8-14 around 16:00 local time.

    Comment by Plw — 3:28 pm August 8, 2014 #

  5. Yup – we’ve had several followups since then and are tracking it elsewhere – it is just getting out of Bremerton now, so not likely to appear here before 4:30ish. I’ll have a separate story shortly.

    Comment by WSB — 3:41 pm August 8, 2014 #

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