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Montevideo, December 2nd 2022 - 19:07 UTC

 

 

Kitty Hawk passes by Chilean port on her last voyage

Thursday, March 10th 2022 - 09:20 UTC
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The USS Kitty Hawk was the last carrier in US Navy service powered by diesel fuel The USS Kitty Hawk was the last carrier in US Navy service powered by diesel fuel

Residents in the Chilean Port of Valparaíso have reported sighting the historic USS Kitty Hawk as she was being towed through the Pacific Ocean on her way to her final scrapping.

The Kitty Hawk's last voyage started at Seattle, going past Los Angeles (United States), Manzanillo (Mexico), Balboa (Panama), and Valparaíso and Punta Arenas before crossing through the Strait of Magellan into the Atlantic Ocean for calls at Montevideo (Uruguay), Salvador (Brazil), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) and finally Brownville (United States).

The now unmanned vessel used to be stationed at the Yokosuka naval base in Japan for 10 years, until 2008, when it was replaced by the USS George Washington. Its name was stemmed from the town in North Carolina, where the Wright brothers managed to fly the first airplane in 1903, but in her last years of service, she was known as the “Shitty Kitty,” due to her poor maintenance.

This Kitty Hawk took part in the Vietnam War and was deployed in the US retaliatory measures against Afghanistan after the 9/11 attack. It was also boarded by President John F. Kennedy, who observed operations inside the ship just months before his assassination.

The movie “Top Gun” was shot aboard the USS Enterprise (decommissioned in 2015), but some scenes were reportedly taken at the Kitty Hawk, which was a part of other Hollywood productions such as “The Final Countdown,” “Seven Days in May,” and the Disney feature film, “Robinson Crusoe 20th Century.”

The Kitty Hawk was the first and last active ship of her class and the last carrier in US Navy service powered by diesel fuel. With the retirement of the USS Independence on September 30, 1998, the Kitty Hawk became the second oldest active ship in the US Navy - behind the frigate USS Constitution which remains active.

After her replacement from Yokosuka in In October of 2008, the Kitty Hawk returned to the United States and had its decommissioning ceremony on January 31, 2009. She was officially decommissioned on May 12, 2009, after nearly 49 years of active service. She was replaced by the USS George H. W. Bush.

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