The decommissioned (1993) and mothballed aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61/CVA-61) was added to the State of Washington’s Heritage Register on Friday. The carrier, which has been scheduled for scrapping this year, is currently at the Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington.
Acceptance to a state’s register of historic places typically occurs when the state preservation department accepts and passes on a national register of historic places domination for an object, structure or site within the state.
According to the national register application, “”Despite being berthed in the inactive reserve fleet in Bremerton since 1993, Ranger’s current condition is outstanding, particularly inside. Any visitor would wonder why the ship wasn’t heading back to sea, and any shipmate would certainly know his way around. Much of the current condition of the ship is attributable to the excellent material condition at decommissioning and to the continuing mainntenance it has undergone since being ‘moth-balled.'”
Acceptance to the state and national registers usually carries no obligation on the owner of a historic property, so unless other efforts to save the ship are successful it seems likely that the navy’s plans to scrap the ship will not be altered. (This is supposition on my part and not based on a comment from the navy.)
It’s nice to see the listing regardless of the ultimate fate of the carrier.
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- The only operational U2 flights launched from a carrier were from the USS Ranger. See the article in The Aviation Historian issue for July 2014.
- If you look closely at the Washington State Preservation Month poster, you’ll find a photo of the USS Ranger.
Author Malcolm R. Campbell’s novel “The Sailor” was inspired by his experiences on board the USS Ranger during the Vietnam War.