USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 Patch – Plastic Backing
A squadron patch of the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 with plastic backing
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), formerly CVA-63, is a supercarrier in the United States Navy. It was the second naval ship named after Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the site of the Wright brothers’ first powered airplane flight. Kitty Hawk was both the first of the three Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carriers to be commissioned and last to be decommissioned. Kitty Hawk was also the last oil-fired aircraft carrier to serve with the United States Navy.
Kitty Hawk was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, on 27 December 1956. The ship was launched on 21 May 1960, sponsored by Mrs. Camilla F. McElroy, wife of Defense Secretary Neil H. McElroy. Kitty Hawk was launched by flooding her drydock; the conventional slide down method was ruled out because of her mass and the risk that she might hit the Philadelphia shore on the far side of the Delaware River.
The ship was commissioned 29 April 1961, at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Captain William F. Bringle in command.
With the decommissioning of Independence on 30 September 1998, Kitty Hawk became the United States warship with the second-longest active status, after the sailing ship USS Constitution (Enterprise passed her in 2012; these two aircraft carriers were two of the three carriers to fly the First Navy Jack).[a]
For 10 years, Kitty Hawk was the forward-deployed carrier at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. In October 2008, she was replaced in this role by George Washington. Kitty Hawk then returned to the United States and had her decommissioning ceremony on 31 January 2009. She was officially decommissioned on 12 May 2009 after almost 49 years of service. Kitty Hawk was replaced by George H.W. Bush. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 October 2017, and will be dismantled.