USS Saratoga, was the second of four Forrestal-class supercarriers built for the United States Navy in the 1950s. Saratoga was the sixth U. S. Navy ship, commissioned in 1956, she spent most of her career in the Mediterranean, but also participated during the Vietnam War, receiving one battle star for her service. One of her last operational duties was to participate in Operation Desert Storm, Saratoga was decommissioned in 1994, and had been stored at Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island. Multiple unsuccessful attempts were made to preserve her as a museum ship, the Navy is paying ESCO Marine of Brownsville, Texas, one cent to take the ship for dismantling and recycling. On 15 September 2014, ex-Saratoga arrived in Brownsville, Texas and she was ordered as a Large Aircraft Carrier, hull classification symbol CVB-60, and her contract was awarded to the New York Naval Shipyard of Brooklyn, New York on 23 July 1952. She is the second of the four Forrestal-class carriers and she was reclassified as an Attack Aircraft Carrier on 1 October 1952. Her keel was laid down on 16 December 1952 and she was launched on 8 October 1955 sponsored by Mrs. Charles S. Thomas, and commissioned on 14 April 1956 with CAPT Robert Joseph Stroh in command. She was the first carrier in the US Navy to use high-pressure 1,200 psi boilers, for the next several months, Saratoga conducted various engineering, flight, steering, structural, and gunnery tests. On 18 August, she sailed for Guantanamo Bay and her shakedown cruise, on 19 December, she reentered the New York Naval Shipyard and remained there until 28 February 1957. Upon completion of work, she got underway on a refresher training cruise to the Caribbean before entering her home port, Naval Station Mayport in Mayport. On 6 June 1957, President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, for two days, she and eighteen other ships demonstrated air operations, antisubmarine warfare, guided missile operations, and the Navys latest bombing and strafing techniques. Also in 1957, Saratoga conducted Regulus guided missile tests, the carrier departed Mayport on 3 September 1957 for her maiden transatlantic voyage. Saratoga sailed into the Norwegian Sea and participated in Operation Strikeback and she returned briefly to Mayport before entering the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs. On 1 February 1958, Saratoga departed Mayport for the Mediterranean, from this date through 31 December 1967 she was to spend a part of each year in the Mediterranean on a total of eight cruises. The remainder of the time, she operated off the coast of Florida or was in port undergoing restricted availability. On the night of 24–25 May 1960, Saratoga collided with the German freighter Bernd Leonhardt off North Carolina, the freighters bridge and superstructure were damaged by the carriers flight-deck. The results of an investigation were never published, but repairs to the freighter, while deployed with the Sixth Fleet on 23 January 1961, a serious fire broke out in Saratogas number two machinery space which took seven lives. The fire, believed caused by a fuel oil line, was brought under control by the crew, and the ship proceeded to Athens, Greece
Image: USS Saratoga (CV 60) underway port side aerial
Saratoga in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in May 1956, one month after her commissioning
Saratoga in Hampton Roads, Virginia, during the International Naval Review, 1957.