The Only American Supercarrier To Be Sunk

Supercarriers are aircraft carriers that have an average length of 1,092 feet overall. They are the ultimate form of American power and the most expensive ships on planet. In addition, they have improved capabilities in defense, sensors, electronic warfare, propulsion, range, launch, and recovery systems. With all this in mind, it’s hard to imagine one of these national treasures being sunk in combat. In fact, since the USS Forestall’s appearance on the high seas in the 1950s, an American supercarrier had never been sunk……that is until the USS America. The mothballed supercarrier was spared the scrapper’s torch in exchange for Davy Jones’ Locker. The idea that a ship named the USS America would be sunk on purpose angered some, including veterans who served aboard her. The ship had been a part of so many important moments in American history — taking part in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars, in combat over Libya, and part many other notable missions in her short 31-year operational career. Still, the Navy was adamant about using the ship for one final purpose: they would sink the USS America to collect data that engineers would use in making new carriers as highly survivable as possible. So, on April 19, 2005, the USS America was towed hundreds of miles off the Virginia coast and pummeled by explosions both above and below the waterline. It took nearly 4 weeks before the mission was completed and the vessel’s stern disappeared below the waterline as the ship began its voyage to the seafloor nearly 17,000 feet below.