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Group Hoping to Obtain Carrier ex-USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Looking for Help of Veterans

Kennedy DN-ST-82-08870

USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) underway in 1982. US Navy photo DN-ST-82-08870

The Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame is working to bring the decommissioned aircraft carrier ex-USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) to Rhode Island. The group hopes to open the carrier (the last non-nuclear carrier to be commissioned by the United States) as a museum and educational center on Narragansett Bay. At this early stage of the project, the group is trying to connect with the roughly 75,000 men and women who served on board the carrier during her 38 year service with the U.S. Navy.

USS John F. Kennedy was commissioned in 1968, having been christened a year earlier by the fallen President’s nine year old daughter Caroline. The ship has a long history of combat operations, from airstrikes over Beirut in the 1980’s, to attacks on Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991, through Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007, and is currently laid up in the reserve fleet at Philadelphia. The Navy has made the ship available for donation as a museum. A group in Maine initially tried to bring the ship up to that northern New England state, but efforts now are focused on bringing the carrier to Rhode Island.

The USS John F. Kennedy Aircraft Carrier Project team asks interested parties to reply by email to [email protected] with basic contact information: full name, address, and phone number. For CV 67 vets, it would also be helpful to include the dates you served aboard, along with a very brief description of your assignment. And for those who are willing to represent the CV 67 project in a local community, please mention that in your email. The group does not intend to use this information for any purpose other than saving the ship, nor will they distribute it to third parties.

Please visit them on the web at: The group also has a great collection of photos of the ship taken during a 2010 inspection tour on their Facebook page.

USS JFK Philadelphia

Ex-USS JOHN F. KENNEDY at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center in 2012, with ex-USS FORRESTAL in the background.

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  1. william land jr

    even in dry dock big john never looked this bad

    • Guy G. Cenname

      I could agree with you on that statement. I was aboard her in DECK DEPT., 3rd. Division between 1990 – 20MAR91. I left her when we were in the Red Sea during Desert Storm. I used to paint her sides and bulkheads. This photo of her sitting in Philly makes me sad just looking at her. My nick name was John Bon Senami, just to let you know. Chow. My email is [email protected]. Capt. Brown was in charge until Capt. Gay came aboard back then. Keep in touch. Guy from Los Angeles, CA. 06/08/13.

    • Guy G. Cenname

      You could say that again!!! I was aboard her during 1990-1991. I was in DECK DEPT. DIV 3 until I flew off of her by COD when we were in the RED SEA. I thought she was DISMANTLED already. Keep in touch. 323-868-0097

  2. Matthew David Ceaser MM2

    I was attached to the USS John F Kennedy 4 years 7 months 22 days. It has seen better days. Please let know if I can help and how.

    • Matthew David Ceaser MM2

      I was in the engineering department, A-Division, hydraulic shop. 25 Nov. 1985 to 16 Jul 1990. My GQ station was after steering.

  3. Ed Tomes (Snoopy)

    Radarman, OI Divison from pre-commissioning unit,1968, until April, 1971. I remember a new
    strong and proud ship with a damn good crew. This picture of the JFK in mothballs is
    enough to make cry!!

  4. adrian "Doc" Noel

    looking 4 pty officer “randy Smith”, Steven p. vanbloone, Wayne Beokman, Mario Ore, and those involved….please contact…

    • Melissa McGinnis

      I’m looking for someone I believe is name Noel
      I found some old zippo lighters from both the Uss jfk
      As well as the U.S.s guardian self inscribed 6/3/63-5/4/65
      Hoping to return them to owner of possible
      Thank you for your help
      Melissa McGinnis

  5. Roy Phillips

    I am a plank owner. Made first Med. cruise. Assigned to R2 Div. Never received my plank owners certificate any ideas on obtaining one?

  6. I served from 1978/80 Med. Cruise as AO3
    G-4, G-2 and flight deck ordnance. We had the golden
    Anchors award the battle E .
    I’m sure that before she comes to Rhode island
    She will have a new paint job. I would be honored to
    Be of service anyway possible tel. 978-314-3005

  7. Good to hear efforts are taking place to honor the JFK (CVA 67). I served from 1969 thru 1971 as a Jet Mechanic in the Mediterranean Sea. Let me know if you need me to represent your efforts in my community.

  8. Willie Kinney

    I never seen “Big Bad John” look like this; Restore her glory by returning her “coats”. I served from 1992 to 1994 as a Boiler Technician in the P-1 Division

  9. Stiles "Mike" Turner

    I was ships company AIMD IM2 Div. 1969-1971 and served as an aircraft special metals welder. What a ship, we called it home and it was. Best memories of my sea board life. Wish old John could find a home and all could see what we saw.

  10. Wes Satcher

    ABF V-4 Division from 1987-1991
    Med cruise, Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I’ve taken a few layers of paint off of her and put a couple on her. Fueled more sorties than I can count. Give me a needle gun and a paint bucket and I will be happy to help restore her again. Love my ship.

  11. Robert Joseph Bernotus

    I served from 1968 to 1971. I was in the original crew of 300. I am a plank owner E3.

  12. Timothy Turner

    I was ships company from 1981-1985. I went thru the suez canal on that ship

  13. Gary Henault

    Onboard between 77-80 with VF-14. Made two Med cruises (77 & 78/79) Ship looks in rough shape. Saw her in Boston just before decommissioning.

  14. Troy Phillips

    Wow!!! I was on the ship from 1987 to 1990. It has seen better days.

  15. James Ferro ABHAN-V1 DIV.

    Was on that first suez/indian ocean cruise,loved working that flight deck. i’m glad to see that she is still around and hope she finds a alot of good pictures while i was on that deck.

  16. Duane "TEX"Hester

    severed on board from Dec 1990 til Oct 1992 3 rd Div and Boatswains Locker

  17. Anthony Cochren

    Served on board from 1985-1989 AZ2 in the AIMD department. Hope this can be accomplished.

  18. Kevin Lenertz

    MM3 down in 3mmr between 80-84…My 14 yr. old son wants to see the “boat” I was on!

  19. anon

    The Navy says that the RI Aviation Hall of Fame can have the boat if they can pay for it.

    Found a letter on the ground.

  20. Michael canning

    I was on the JFK while she was in Dublin Ireland I was in the Irish defence force at the time sad to hear she no longer at sea.hope she is looked after well she has served America well.

  21. RM3 Virgil Eakin 1974-1976.

    Sure would like to walk her decks again. I was aboard her during the collision with the USS Belknap. Many memories.

    • Leslie Sanchez

      My father Phillip V Starnes was on this ship also during the accident in 1975. Looking for any one who may have known him.
      [email protected]

    • Leslie Sanchez

      Would you be willing to email me about the day of the accident? My father Phillip Starnes was also there nov 22 75. I would love to hear stories of that day and also I’d you ever met my father.
      [email protected]

    • Thomas Burns

      Hi rm3 Sakin I am YN 3 Tom Burns I was comm yeoman 1974 to 78. She was the show boat of the Navy

  22. Jim williams

    Hello my name is Jim Williams (Willie).Original arresting gear crew.Pa
    Plank owner 1967
    1968 to 191
    1968 to 1971. I Served. To med cruises,saw Bob Hope Cht
    Christmas specials. aside first male bowie watch. to c you can contact me @ [email protected]


  23. Richard Samonski

    I was on board Big John from 1982 until 1985 as an Interior Communication electrician . Great time on that ship best port call Perth Australia

  24. October 1972 to August 1975. Flightdeck crew Aviation Ordnance, G-Division. Two Med cruises and many small cruises out of Norfolk.
    AO3 Darel Clay, served under Captain John Dixon and alongside 5000 brave sailors.

    • Terry Evans

      My husband was part of the flight deck crew the last half of 1974. Trying to make contact with other crew members of that time.

    • Leslie Sanchez

      Hello, my father, Phillip V Starnes served on the USS KENNEDY also during this time and during the time of the fire and accident. I’m wondering if you knew him? I’m reaching but he is deceased now and wanting to learn more.
      [email protected]

  25. Charlie Marshall

    A plank owner of the JFK , I worked as an Aviation Technician on Vigilanties with RVAH-14 out of US Naval Base, Albany,Georgia.

  26. nick white

    hey miss the old girl! great times and bad times but what memories looking foward to seeing her rise again looking for tim mulligan or anyone from first division 1975 to 79 will do anything to help keep her im in knox indiana

    • Leslie Sanchez

      My father Phillip V Starnes also served during this time and was onboard Nov 22 1975. I’m looking for others who may have known him. He is now deceased.

  27. brad lods

    I served 1969/1971, made two Med tours. Iwas in Deck Department/1st Division.

  28. Eric J. Muellecker Jr.

    Looking forward to once again step on board. My name is Eric J. Muellecker Jr.
    I served on her from 1972 thru 1974 R div. Sheet metal shop.
    member ships fire co. and damage control. Would love to catch with anyone from that time.

  29. Keith F.Hanson

    I am a proud plank owner.Served 68-71, E divsion ,C&E shop.Made 2 med cruises.Remember the Bob Hope Christmas show.Many good memories.Made alot of good friends that I will probably never see again. Would love to see the JFK again. Its on my “bucket list”.

  30. Terry Evans

    I was part of the flight deck crew the last half of 1974. Would like to hear from other flight deck crew members from that time.

  31. Frank Gallant

    Served aboard Big John May 1980 to Jan. 1982. Came aboard just before the tall ships party in Boston where the Kennedy was star of the party. Best times of my life. ASH 3 yellow gear mechanic attached to AIMD ships company.

  32. Gary smith

    I was BT on JFK in 1985to 1991. What kind help do you guys want?

  33. Larry

    Big John look much worse than these photos show. Very sad. See it when I visit the Philly Naval Yard. Wasting away

  34. Don Ford

    I was the flight deck corpsman “Doc” attached to VF-11 from Oct. ‘81 to July ‘82…during the incident when the arresting cable broke while we were in the Carribean. Would love to make contact with my fellow shipmates. Let me know if I can help get the JFK looking great again.

  35. Rod Lee

    I went to the Med. In 1969. Was a flight control mechanic on the E1 B , VAW 121. What a great ship.great time I. My life. Rodney Lee Vancouver WA.

  36. tom Flaspoler

    served aboard the JFK in 1982 For a med and Indian ocean Cruise

  37. Michelle

    My dad served just recently passed wish i new more he was in and out before i was born i was born 79 think he went in 73

  38. John Licata

    I served aboard the jfk from 1974 to 1976 . I was a mmfn .

  39. Dirk Vink

    I was pre-comissioning unit and a plank owner. Left the ship for Corps school about 10 minutes before the Med cruise. Sad to see it go.

  40. Can’t Say

    I was on board from VS-22 ,81and 83 from NAS Cicel Field Captain TP winters was commanding officer

  41. Leslie Sanchez

    Hello, my father Phillip Starnes served during the same time as you. Did you possibly meet or know him? I do know he received an award for helping save lives on nov 22 1975.
    [email protected]

  42. Timothy Brand

    Timothy Brand HM3
    Served aboard the Kennedy from Feb 1982 to Oct. 1984 Was assigned to ships company and went to S-3 division
    Mentored by SH1 Richard Mihalik and SHC Wilson. along with Ensign Escano and LTJG Wood. Served with my friend and brother Timothy H. Turner SH3 and worked the ships store stereo shop with David Wintermute. Good times and good memories.

  43. Megan Lamb

    My husbands father was on the USS Kennedy in 1978. Unfortunately he was killed in an accident aboard the ship. His name was William Kinkade. My husband Ken is trying to find anyone who may have known his father. Please reach out to me via email with any information. Thank you and God Bless
    [email protected]

  44. ABF-3 Donald Whitley

    Served on “Big John” from 1969 to 1972 in V-4 Div. Served with a lot of great men from very diverse backgrounds. They taught me a lot about life. Wish I could keep in touch with some of them a gain. So very sad to see her in such disrepair. A great part of my life. Hope I can help her in some small way.

  45. Alexander Schettino

    I served on her and deployed 3 times in the Med.
    From 1970-1973 P-1 division 4MMR -MM3

  46. Richard Pena

    1980 to 1981 on mediterranean cruise looking for ship mates in the V-3 dept. Richard Pena.

  47. Richard Pena

    Looking for ship mates 1980 to 1981. Med cruise. V-3 dept.

  48. David Farabaugh

    Served 69-72 as Electronics Divisions Yeoman. Played on ship’s basketball team. Loved the Med. Was really looking forward to going back on board. Wish something could be done.

  49. Louis H. Gatti

    I served on board Big John from March 1981 to December 1983. AIMD department.

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