Scrapping The USS Kitty Hawk

Scrapping The USS Kitty Hawk | Frontline Videos

YouTube / Texas Country Reporter


The USS Kitty Hawk CV-673 was commissioned into service in 1961. On any given day, it took 5,500 sailors to keep this supercarrier going. But after 48 years of excellent service, the Kitty Hawk was decommissioned in 2009.

To The Scrapyard

“There are no size limits with the materials that we can recycle.”

What Chris’ company, International Shipbreaking, does is take retired warships from the US Navy and recycle as much of the materials on board as possible.

“Whenever we do a project, we always have a little session to talk about the ship and what she’s done previously […] and before we remove the last piece, we have a moment of silence.”

International Shipbreaking has been in the industry since 1995 and has recycled over 130 ships in total. Ships like the USS Constellation, USS Ranger, and USS Independence were all recycled here.

Amphibious assault ships like USS Iwo Jima, USS Saipan, and USS Vincennes have also been scrapped in the company’s port at Brownsville, Texas.

“We recycled 98% of all of the weight of the aircraft carrier.”

Ceremonial Event

But before they recycled the Kitty Hawk, they decided to put together an event for the veterans who wanted to see her final voyage. 

A wall of people crowded the shoreline of South Padre Island to get one last look at the carrier as she gets towed to her last resting place.

“I hand’t seen the old gal for 43 years. I would just like to see her before she’s put to rest.”

The event was a huge success, with the ship’s veterans coming over one last time to see her off and tell their stories in the process. There were stories from sailors who worked in the engine room up to the flight deck!


It was the perfect way for everyone to say goodbye to their favorite ship.


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