By: Garland Davis
The fifth USS Independence (CV/CVA-62) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. She was the fourth and final member of the Forrestal class of conventionally powered supercarriers. She entered service in 1959, with much of her early years spent in the Mediterranean Fleet.
Independence made a single tour off the coast of Vietnam in 1965 during the Vietnam War and also carried out airstrikes against Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War and operations over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.
Independence was decommissioned in 1998 after 39 years of active service. Stored in recent years at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, the ex-Independence is currently under tow to the shipbreakers at Brownsville, Texas for dismantling.
USS Independence (1814) was a wooden-hulled, three-masted ship, (originally a ship of the line) and the first to be commissioned by the United States Navy. In 1836 she was cut down by one deck and re-rated as a 54-gun frigate, (Originally 90). Launched on 22 June 1814 in the Boston Navy Yard, she immediately took on guns and was stationed with frigate USS Constitution to protect the approaches to Boston Harbor.
Placed in ordinary at New York on 3 July 1852; retired to the Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 October 1857, served as receiving ship there until decommissioned on 3 November 1912.
Plans to renovate and use her as a restaurant for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in 1915 never came to fruition. On the night of 20 September 1915, Independence was burned on the Hunter’s Point mudflats to recover metal fittings.