USS Constellation (CV-64). US Navy Photo
American aircraft carriers at their peak are the queens of the high seas, outclassing even America’s nearest peer competitors. They’re the anchors of U.S. seapower, and have a commensurate price tag, costing billions of dollars to build and thousands of sailors to man.
But even the proudest ships outlive their military usefulness — and sometimes they’re barely worth the trouble to tear them down. Read More
Lt. j.g. Forrest “Zeke” Zetterberg disembarking from E-1B Vietnam mission. Forrest Zetterberg Photo
The following is a first person account of the events over the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. Another view of the Gulf of Tonkin incident can be found in the August, 2010 issue of Proceedings.
At approximately 0355 on the morning of Aug. 4, 1964 in the South China Sea, the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA-64), was steaming toward the Gulf of Tonkin at as high a speed as she could without losing her accompanying destroyers. Despite an attack by North Vietnamese PT boats two days earlier, the U.S. government had decided to send the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and Turner Joy (DD-951), on a route similar to the one where that attack had occurred.
The carrier USS Ticonderoga was already operating in the area and Constellation, though still about 200 miles away, was rapidly moving into position to provide support. Read More