USS Independence

USS Independence

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.


download (82).jpg

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.



download (79).jpg

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.


9 thoughts on “USS Independence

  1. Joe Frederickson says:

    We were on Yankee Station shadowing a Russian trawler and staying between it and the carrier strike groups to jam their electronics and radio transmissions. We’d sit in the radio shack for hours listening to air traffic control on the Independence and with fighter jets outbound and inbound for North Vietnam bombing missions. The Independence’s call sign was “Guntrain,” which to this day I think is the coolest radio call sign out there. Especially when you consider ours was “Kosher Mike.”


  2. Rick Emery HM 2 says:

    Late April 1968 off the coast of Charleston, SC I was aboard the USS Wrangell AE-12 rearming the USS Independence CVA-62. A vacuum was created in between the two ships as a wind as blowing across both. The two ships started to come together and about the 3rd time both collided and racks of bombs were dropped into the ocean. Life boats crushed, rafts ripped loose. No injuries just damage.


  3. William Brahney says:

    Served aboard the USS Independence, CVA 62, as a member of VF-13 (F4’s and F3’s) during the Cuban Crisis; sailed out of NAS Mayport, Florida……..


  4. Joseph Brown says:

    My first command out of A school in ’73 to ’75 then off to C school
    The best ship I ever served on
    Joseph Brown IC2


  5. steven taylor says:

    I surved on board INDEPENDENCE from Novemeber ’75 through June ’79 as a BT in # 4MMR. Learned a lot, traveled all over the Med and Carribean, had a ball. I used to go visit her in the Bremerton yards before they towed her off for scrap.


  6. Gary G. says:

    I boarded the Indy in 72 at the port smith shipyards, became a gunners-mate in 6th div. made 2 med cruises and involved in 2 Mid East crisis, left the old girl in July of 75. Missed her ever since, lot of good times. Still searching for a photo when we were firing the 40mm saluting batteries in our dress uniforms.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s