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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

Patch at left courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret) (bluejacket.com)
Patch at right contributed by Mike Smolinski.

USS AMERICA   (CVA-66)
(later CV-66)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Uniform - Sierra - Alpha
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "COURAGE"


CLASS - KITTY HAWK
Displacement 60,300 Tons, Dimensions, 1047' 6" (oa) x 129' 4" x 37' (Max)
Armament 4 Terrier-SAM, 100 Aircraft.
Armor, Unknown.
Machinery, 280,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 34 Knots, Crew 4154-4580.
Operational and Building Data

Laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp. 1 January 1961. Name assigned 16 January 1962. Launched 1 February 1964 and commissioned 23 January 1965.

Reclassified as a Multi-purpose Aircraft Carrier (CV-66) on 30 June 1975.

Fate: Decommissioned and stricken on 9 August 1996. Sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Virginia coast, on 14 May 2005, after 25 days of tests consisting of underwater and surface simulated attacks on the ship. These tests were intended to provide valuable data on survivability for the next generation of aircraft carriers.

According to the December 4, 2006 issue of "Navy Times," ex-America was in one piece and sitting on its keel, some 476 miles east of Charleston, SC, and about 400 miles west of Bermuda, and 16,860 feet (5,139 meters) below the surface. This information was obtained by the USS America Carrier Veterans Association on October 30, through a Freedom of Information Act request.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
General views, date unknown
CVA-66 America
NS026601
67k Bows on view (small image) USN
CVA-66 America
NS026602
46k Rail manned, preparing to dock. USN
CVA-66 America
NS026605
60k At Dock. Fuzzy image. USN
1964-1980
CVA-66 America
NS026604
102k America (CVA-66) on sea trials in the Chesapeake Bay, on the way to the Atlantic, December 1964. USN
CVA-66 America
NS026655
57k
CVA-66 America
NS026687
195k

An A-3B Skywarrior, BuNo 142404, from Naval Air Test Center, Pax River, MD, landing aboard USS America (CVA-66) for carrier suitability trials.

Official U.S. Navy photo (# 1112125) by John D. Reimer, PHC, dated 5 April 1965.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex), via Chris Stanley
CVA-66 America
NS026687a
174k

An A-6A Intruder from Naval Air Test Center, Pax River, MD, landing aboard USS America (CVA-66) for carrier suitability trials.

Official U.S. Navy photo (# 1112123) by John D. Reimer, PHC, dated 5 April 1965.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex), via Chris Stanley
CVA-66 America
NS026688
173k

An A-4C Skyhawk, BuNo 147801, of VA-64 "Black Lancers," being hooked up on a forward catapult of USS America (CVA-66), as Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 6 commences carrier qualification operations.

Official U.S. Navy photo (# 1112132) by Robert Ekshain, PH2, dated 14 April 1965.

From the collection of CDR Thomas B. Ray (USS Essex), via Chris Stanley
CVA-66 America
NS026668
101k

USS America (CVA-66) underway on 31 August 1965. Aircraft parked on her flight deck include nine A-4C Skyhawk attack planes, four F-4B Phantom II fighters and three RA-5C Vigilante reconnaissance planes.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1114401).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVA-66 America
NS026684
123k

An RA-5C Vigilante from RVAH-5 "Savage Sons" about to launch from USS America (CVA-66), 1965.

Jim Denton
CVA-66 America
NS026619
99k Off Cannes, South of France, during her first Med cruise, November 29, 1965–July 10, 1966. Carrier Air Wing 6 (CVW-6). Robert Hurst
CVA-66 America
NS026690
164k

USS America (CVA-66) in the Bosphorus, off Istanbul, Turkey, in early 1966, during her first Mediterranean Cruise, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 6.

David Meare
CVA-66 America
NS026690a
142k
CVA-66 America
NS026690b
145k
CVA-66 America
NS026681
173k Coming into Norfolk, second half of 1966. Taken from the bridge of USS Redfin (SS-272). John Hummel, USN (Ret.)
CVA-66 America
NS026636
63k An F-4 Phantom lands aboard USS America as the carrier refuels USS Meredith (DD-890), circa 1966. © Sheridan Carey
CVA-66 America
NS026637
50k Underway in the Caribbean, 1967. Taken from the USS Meredith (DD-890). © Sheridan Carey
CVA-66 America
NS026612
86k Taken from the Wallace L. Lind DD-703 in April, 67 in the Med Jim McCoy
CVA-66 America
NS026607
111k Mediterranean Sea, June 1967. © Richard Leonhardt
CVA-66 America
NS026609
68k Mediterranean Sea, June 1967. AO-61 Severn alongside. © Richard Leonhardt
CVA-66 America
NS026610
39k Mediterranean Sea, June 15, 1967. AO-61 Severn alongside © Richard Leonhardt
CVA-66 America
NS026608
49k Mediterranean Sea, June 17, 1967. © Richard Leonhardt

NS026617
81k South China Sea coming alongside AO-57 USS Marias. © James W. Mitchell

NS026618
88k Slowing for UNREP. This was the USS America's maiden voyage to Gulf of Tonkin (1968). © James W. Mitchell

NS026621
105k Alongside AO-57 USS Marias. © James W. Mitchell

NS026623
79k Stern view of America during UNREP. © James W. Mitchell

NS026622
76k En route to the Gulf of Tonkin. © James W. Mitchell

NS026624
79k One of the many aircraft operating overhead. © James W. Mitchell 
CVA-66 America
NS026679
20k

USS America (CVA-66)—her crew spelling out a cheery "HI SYDNEY" on the flight deck—approaches Sydney, Australia, on 11 November 1968, accompanied by a flotilla of small boats, in this view taken by Photographer 1st Class William M. Welch, Jr. (photo #NH 96651).

Photo and text from the "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships," (DANFS), published by the Naval History & Heritage Command.

Robert Hurst
DD-719 + AF-59 + CVA-66 America
NS0571928
193k

USS Vega (AF-59) with USS Epperson (DD-719) and USS America (CVA-66) alongside during an underway replenishment at sea. US Navy photo, most likely taken in the South China Sea, either in the summer of 1968 or the fall of 1970.

Ed Zajkowski
CVA-66 America
NS024256
81k

USS America (CVA-66), left; USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42), framed in red; and USS Independence (CVA-62), framed in yellow. Norfolk Naval Shipyard, (probably) first half of 1969.

The photo clearly shows the size and design differences between the ships. FDR was designed and built during WW II to operate piston-engined aircraft; the ship was eventually upgraded to operate jets. America (Kitty Hawk-class) and Indy (Forrestal-class) were cold-war ships designed from the start to accommodate jet aircraft.

Steve Graham
CVA-66 America
NS026678
168k

The aircraft carrier USS America (CVA-66), left, moored next to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LPH-4) at Pier No. 11, Naval Operating Base Norfolk, 1 October 1969. America had just completed a Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (since 24 January 1969). The former Essex-class carrier Boxer was decommissioned two months later, on 1 December 1969. Official U.S. Navy photograph, available from DefenseImagery.mil (id. DN-ST-88-04340).

Robert M. Cieri
CVA-66 America
NS026682
419k

USS America (CVA-66) replenishing from a Sacramento-class fast combat support ship (AOE), 1970. Colorful tail of BuNo 148925, an RA-5C Vigilante assigned to RVAH-12 "Speartips," is visible at right.

Jeff Franklin, AE1, VA-147, Carrier Air Wing 9
CVA-66 America
NS026682a
456k
CVA-66 America
NS026613
734k On Yankee Station in 1970. © William P. Jones, M.D., Medical Officer AFS-3
CVA-66 America
NS026614
53k On Yankee Station in 1970. © William P. Jones, M.D., Medical Officer AFS-3
CVA-66 America
NS026603
84k

USS America (CVA-66) underway, May 14, 1970. Note plane guard helicopter in right far background, an A-3 Skywarrior on the starboard catapult and an E-2A Hawkeye on the port one. F-4J Phantoms sit poised on the angled deck catapults. Photo taken by Photographer 3d Class L. J. Lafeir (# USN-1145455).

USN
CVA-66 America
NS0587417
108k

USS Navasota (AO-106) refueling USS Duncan (DD-874) to starboard and USS America (CVA-66) to port. Mid-1970 in the South China Sea. Photo taken from USS Bausell (DD-845).

Photo by Lee Noland, STGC, USN (Ret.)
USS Bausell
CVA-66 America
NS026680
106k

On 20 August 1970, at Manila, Vice Admiral Frederick A. Bardshar, Commander, Attack Carrier Striking Force, 7th Fleet, hosted the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, on board USS America (CVA-66). President Marcos was given a 21-gun salute as he and Mrs. Marcos arrived on board from their Presidential yacht to visit the ship. Accompanied by American Ambassador and Mrs. Henry A. Byiade, they were greeted by Vice Admiral Bardshar and America's commanding officer, CAPT Thomas B. Hayward, and were subsequently escorted to the ship's hangar deck where the Carrier Division band and the ship's Marine detachment rendered honors. Following their arrival, the visiting party dined with Vice Admiral Bardshar and CAPT Hayward, and were later given a brief tour of the ship.

Ron Reeves
CVA-66 America
NS026620
64k A Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II assigned to VA-82 "Marauders" in flight over USS America (CVA-66), 1971. Robert Hurst
CVA-66 America
NS026657
63k

Test of the anti-aircraft missile system on the way to Yankee Station, during America's WestPac 72-73 cruise. The photo was taken from "vulture's row" with a 35 mm Mamiya-Secor 1000 DTL SLR camera.

Partially visible are a North American RA-5C Vigilante of RVAH-6 "Fleurs" (foreground) and a McDonnell-Douglas F-4J Phantom II of VMFA-333 "Shamrocks."

© John Lowery, Avionicsman with VMFA-333
CVA-66 America
NS026675
45k

A Grumman A-6C Intruder (BuNo 155660) of Attack Squadron VA-35 "Black Panthers." VA-35, with a mix of A-6A, A-6C and KA-6D variants of the Intruder, was deployed as part of Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8) aboard USS America (CVA-66) to Vietnam from 5 June 1972 to 24 March 1973. The designation A-6C was given to twelve A-6A's that were modified between February and June of 1970 as special aircraft designed to detect, track, and attack nighttime truck traffic along the "Ho Chi Minh Trail" during the Vietnam war. The planes were fitted with an internal "Black Crow" engine ignition detection system and a ventral TRIM (Trails-Roads Interdiction Multisensors) pod faired into the lower fuselage that contained the FLIR and LLLTV cameras.

Subsequently brought up to the A-6E standard, BuNo 155660 crashed on MCAS Yuma Range during a bombing run on 18 October 1983, while assigned to Marine All-Weather Attack Squadron VMA(AW)-242.

Photo taken by a U.S. Navy Sailor or employee.

Courtesy of The USS America Carrier Veterans Association,
via Robert Hurst

NS023467
99k

A Vietnam cease-fire was announced on 23 January 1973 and came into effect on the 27th. The carriers USS Oriskany (CVA-34), USS Ranger (CVA-61), USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), and USS America (CVA-66) were on Yankee Station and cancelled all combat sorties.

On Sunday, 28 January 1973, all four carriers, along with a DD/DE screen, steamed together for a photo exercise.

This is America, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, as seen from Oriskany, with CVW-19.

Bob Canchola, BT,
USS Oriskany, 1971–1973

NS023467b
111k

NS023467c
109k

NS023467h
111k
CV-66 America
NS026666
177k

USS America received three Mk.15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems (CIWS) in June 1980: one on the port side, forward; one on the starboard side of the island; and one on the port quarter, later moved to the port side of the fantail. Phalanx can fire 3,000 rounds per minute and simultaneously measures the location of both target and projectiles in flight, automatically correcting the fire control solution. This is a vertical view of one the mounts, during a firing exercise.

General Dynamics Corp. photo (DVIC id: DN-SC-82-05395).

Defense Visual Information Center

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

USS AMERICA CVA-66 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Edward Pelletier
Address: 26 Chestnut Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: 914-471-7335
E-mail: angels66@aol.com
Web site: The USS America Carrier Veterans Association
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
The USS America Carrier Veterans Association

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Last update: 11 March 2013