US Navy's First Supercarrier Sold For 1 Cent



The USS Forrestal, the U.S. Navy's first supercarrier, has been sold in a 1 cent deal to a scrap metal company after the Navy's attempt to the have the ship donated as a museum or memorial failed.

The ship, which was launched in late 1954, is estimated to have cost almost $2 billion in today's dollars to build.

From Fox News:

Here's a penny for your thoughts: One red cent could've landed you the Navy's first supercarrier, the decommissioned Forrestal.

The U.S. Navy sold the 1,067-foot behemoth to a Texas company, All Star Metals, to be dismantled, scrapped and recycled, Navy officials announced. It's an inauspicious fate for a ship with a colorful — and tragic — history. It's perhaps best known for a 1967 incident in which stray voltage triggered an accidental explosion that struck a plane on the flight deck whose cockpit was occupied by a young John McCain. A chain reaction of blasts and fires ultimately killed 134 men and injured more than 300.

Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at, or tweet us stories at @reason247.

NEXT: Obama Urges Congress To Finish Work on Immigration Legislation By End of the Year

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s perhaps best known for a 1967 incident in which stray voltage triggered an accidental explosion that struck a plane on the flight deck whose cockpit was occupied by a young John McCain.

    So close!

    1. There is no sugarcoating it. The crew of the Forrestal was let down by the design of the Zuni rockets’ firing mechanism.

      1. Only partly. The crew of the Forrestal was let down mostly by lack of emergency response training. That fire should have been contained on the flight deck. It wasn’t because the fire fighting team didn’t know what they were doing.

        1. And their fire chief and the entire fire crew were killed in the first few minutes of the blaze – they got caught in the first big assplosion.

      2. I think there were some handling issues too. There were red flagged pins which were removed sooner than they should have been, to speed up the launch process, and if that had not been done, the missile could not have fired.

    2. Didn’t he cheat death several times while in the Navy?

      Fate certainly likes to mess with us.

  2. I spent some time on that boat. Glad to see its demise.

    1. I was just reading the Wiki page about it. Sounds like that was an adventure to sail on!

      She was also informally known in the fleet as the “USS Zippo” and “Forest Fire” or “Firestal” because of a number of highly publicized fires on board, most notably a 1967 incident in which 134 sailors died and 161 were injured.

      I like this one too-

      On 10 July 1972, while moored at Pier 12, Norfolk, the Forrestal was once again the scene of a catastrophic fire in an O-3 level computer room (just under the flight deck) which was set by a crewmember.


      1. The John F Kennedy was also known as the Can Opener because she and a destroyer (tin can) collided, with the tin can getting creamed by the angle deck overhang. One of the safety lessons from WW II was to run flight deck fuel lines outside the hull so breakage wouldn’t flood the interior with hard to find fuel and fill locked spaces with dangerous fumes; the fuel lines sprayed all over the tin can and caused more damage than just the collion.

        The Oriskany had a name which I have forgotten, some play on “screw” because it lost a screw or too on Yankee Station.

  3. Too bad we couldn’t chip in and buy it for our pirate libertarian fleet.

    1. Too bad we couldn’t chip in and buy it for our pirate libertarian fleet.


      1. Don’t you want to haggle?

        1. Burt! This bloke won’t haggle.

    2. Well if you want my two cents…

    3. Imagine how many strippers and hot tubs could fit on the deck!!!!

      1. And you can use the huge aircraft elevators to move the Warty Containment Unit from deck to deck.

        1. Warty Containment Unit? That’s a myth, isn’t it?

          1. I thought it was the only reason we were safe?

          2. It was successfully tested, but our grant money ran out, so we had to release him back into the wild.

          3. Warty Containment Unit? That’s a myth, isn’t it?

            Oh it exists, but with questionable efficacy.

    4. If it still floats, I’d take it. It could be shoved out to sea, and anchored. Ferry goods and people back and forth, and consider it a small private island.

  4. By the time they tow it to wherever it is going, deal with all the Navy environmental catastrophes on the boat, plus fuel and labor expenses of breaking it up and hauling away the materials, it is probably barely profitable.

    1. I was going to say they paid too much for it.

    2. I’m sure that cost was taken into account against the scrap value. It should have been scrapped about seven years ago. Why can’t the Navy just wait until scrap prices were up again?

  5. Blueseed should have bought it. It’s never too early to develop sea power to protect your shit.

  6. Supercarrier? Pfft. A real supercarrier would be something like the heli-carrier from the Avengers.

    1. I’m confused. What does that have to do with SoCons?

      1. If you squint hard enough you will see it is about Progs.

    2. That thing was gay. Why did they want something so vulnerable and impractical?

      And why didn’t they keep all those franchises separate?

      1. Srlsy? I’m sorry, do you know of an easier way to make a billion dollars?

    3. The helicarrier? Please, it almost got taken out by a single arrow from the 3rd rate Green Arrow wannabe. No thanks.

  7. Don’t sales like this normally go for a dollar? Some clever haggler got 99% off!

    1. Government negotiator. He also threw in a box of 300 dollar hammers.

  8. This is a mistake. None of the computers aboard Forrestal are networked, so she’d be perfect to fight the Cylons!

  9. I just watched an episode of Seconds from Disaster on the 1967 fire, and McCain was never mentioned. That’s odd.

  10. Shouldn’t we give it to Egypt to promote democracy?

  11. WIH is “stray voltage”?
    Is it like the smoke that leaks out of wires from time to time?

    1. That smoke just proves the theory of dark. People think bulbs turn electricity into light. Actually electricity sucks up the dark, sends it back to the power stations where it comes out as smoke. Electrical shorts just let the smoke escape prematurely.

      1. Huh. I thought smoke were the wee demons that animate the electronics escaping, thus, once you let the magic smoke out, it never works again.

  12. See, if you Americans had abolished the penny like we did, the minimum payment would have been 5 cents.

    That would have been a 400% better return.


  13. First of all, this:
    Secondly, an additional penny gets you the ghost of Reagan sealed in a mason jar. He can be spiritually bound to the structure if you so choose.

  14. You know, I ubderstand there is a cost for towing, breaking the ship down, and probably a lot of hazmat considerations, but the implication of a $0.01 contract that are those are greater than the metal value still boggles the mind

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.