USS Kitty Hawk: Legendary US Aircraft Carrier Sold for a Cent, Starts Voyage Into History

When a country plans to buy an aircraft carrier, it is required to spend millions of dollars, but in a surprising development, an old US aircraft carrier, which had been in service for more than 50 years, has now been sold for a cent.

International Shipbreaking Limited of Brownsville, Texas, has bought USS Kitty Hawk last year for less than a dollar. The ship was the biggest symbol of American military power in the Indo-Pacific, and was battle-tested from Vietnam to the Persian Gulf and a survivor of a collision with a Soviet submarine.

USS Kitty Hawk
USS Kitty Hawk Twitter

On The Way to Final Destination

Now the days of USS Kitty Hawk are over and the retired carrier is on its last journey 16,000-mile journey from Washington to Texas where it will be cut up and sold for scrap, reported CNN.

The carrier, which is 1,047-foot long, 252-foot wide, is too big to go through Panama Canal. Therefore, Kitty Hawk will creep along the South American coastline and up through the Gulf of Mexico to its final destination.

The 1,047-foot long, 252-foot wide carrier is too big to go through the Panama Canal, so in the coming months, Kitty Hawk will creep along the South American coastline and up through the Gulf of Mexico to its final destination.

USS Kitty Hawk
USS Kitty Hawk Twitter

Name Matters -- Wright Brothers Connection

The aircraft carrier was launched in 1960 and was in service till 2009. It was named after a place in North Carolina where the Wright Brothers had first flown a powered airplane.

It was also the US' last aircraft carrier to be fulled by oil as by that time nuclear-powered Nimitz-class ships had not arrived.

Kitty Hawk has witnessed a tumultuous history that spans the Vietnam War, the bulk of the Cold War and the modern warfare of the 21st century.

Vietnam and the South China Sea Role

The carrier had served as a mainstay of the US forces off the coast of Vietnam for a decade from the early 1960s.

At that time, the aircraft over the carrier used to take over a hundred sorties a day covering some areas of the South China Sea. The carrier's last combat was in 1972 in Vietnam.

USS Kitty Hawk
USS Kitty Hawk Twitter

For its actions in Vietnam from December 1967 to June 1968, the ship and its air wing were awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.

Why a Cent

US Naval Sea System Command had earlier said that it had agreed to sell the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS John F. Kennedy each in one cent as towing and ship-breaking is a costly process, and the Navy has previously paid ISL massive money to recycle its ships.

The US Navy also believes that the contract values will definitely benefit the contracted company and ISL will gain more benefits from the subsequent sale of scrap steel, iron, and non-ferrous metal ores.