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TASK GROUP ALFA 1959 - USS VALLEY FORGE (CVS-45)

 

On 1 April 1958, Rear Admiral John S. Thach hoisted his two-star flag to the carrier's main as the ship became flagship of Task Group Alpha (TG Alpha). This group, built around Valley Forge, included eight destroyers, two submarines, and one squadron each of antisubmarine helicopters and airplanes; a detachment of airborne early warning airplanes, modified A-1 Skyraiders called "guppies" because of their bulging ventral Radomes; and a land-based Lockheed P-2 Neptune. A significant development in naval tactics, TG Alpha concentrated solely on developing and perfecting new devices and techniques for countering the potential menace of enemy submarines in an age of nuclear propulsion and deep-diving submersibles.

Observing the New Year (1958-1959) at sea, the carrier was steaming in very heavy weather when she was forced to take evasive action to avoid collision with a merchant ship. Heavy seas severely damaged the forward portion of the flight deck, requiring her to proceed to the New York Naval Shipyard for repairs. To ready her for service as quickly as possible, a corresponding 30-by-90-foot (9.1 m × 27.4 m) section was taken from the flight deck of the inactive carrier USS Franklin (CVS-13), berthed at Bayonne, New Jersey. The damaged section was cut away from Valley Forge's flight deck and the Franklin deck piece installed in its place. A bronze plaque was mounted on the newly replaced deck section to commemorate how the Franklin was damaged in action off Japan in April 1945

Task Group Alfa USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) underway with Task Group Alfa in 1959.jpg

CVS 45 USS VALLEY FORGE 001.jpg

CVS 45 USS VALLEY FORGE 002.jpg

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USS MISSOURI (BB-63) Post Korean War mothballing - Circa 1957 to 1984 prior to her Cold War reactivation

 

Upon arrival in Bremerton, west of Seattle, Missouri was moored at the last pier of the reserve fleet berthing. She served as a popular tourist attraction, logging about 180,000 visitors per year, who came to view the "surrender deck" where a bronze plaque memorialized the spot (35.3547°N 139.76°E) in Tokyo Bay where Japan surrendered to the Allies, and the accompanying historical display that included copies of the surrender documents and photos. A small cottage industry grew in the civilian community just outside the gates, selling souvenirs and other memorabilia. Nearly thirty years passed before Missouri returned to active duty.

 

Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Bremerton Washington

The Mothball Fleet

Preserving the Past to Prepare for the Future

Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility Bremerton WA 002.jpg

Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility Bremerton WA 003.jpg

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BATTLE GROUP ECHO - USS RANGER (CV-61) Operation Desert Storm 1991

WAR IN THE GULF - Battlegroup Echo - COMCARGRU 7 - CVW-2 - We Own The Night

In 1991 BATTLE GROUP ECHO CONSISTED OF USS RANGER (CV-61) with COMCARGRU-7 & CVW-2 embarked, USS WABASH (AOR 5), AND USS MAUNA KEA (AOE 22) and CRUISER DESTROYER GROUP THREE - USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50), USS CHOSIN (CG 62), USS KINKAID (DD 965), USS HARRY W. HILL (DD-986), USS KIRK (FF 1087)
Operation Desert Storm saw the Ranger do a three-month stint in the Persian Gulf, arriving Jan. 15 following a 39-day transit. Less than 48 hours after arriving, the Ranger’s air wing began pounding Iraqi troops in Iraq and Kuwait.
The planes flew more than 4,200 sorties against the enemy and dropped more than 4.3-million pounds of bombs. One aircraft with two pilots aboard was lost.
“The sense of patriotism and mission were clear,” said Capt. Jay Campbell, a Vietnam veteran who commanded the 2,200-man air wing. “Our fighting crew was disappointed that we didn’t have more of an opportunity to engage them (Iraqi warplanes),” he said. Los Angeles Times

 

CV 61 USS RANGER Desert Storm 1991 Battlegroup Echo 001.jpg

CV 61 USS RANGER Desert Storm 1991 Battlegroup Echo 002.jpg

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