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.