SLOGAN OF THE WEEK
"FIRST IN DEFENSE"
USS FORRESTAL (CV-59)
The USS Forrestal also called the "FID" (First in Defense - it's motto) is a supercarrier named after former Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. It was also fondly called the "Zippo" in the fleet and later "Forrest Fire" due to the number of highly publicized fires on board. Non-the-less, she set sail for the first time on December 11, 1954 and was commissioned October 1, 1955. Other carriers in her class were the USS Saratoga, USS Ranger and the USS Independence. The USS Forrestal superseded the Shinano (from WWII) as the largest aircraft carrier every built by full load displacement and was the first to specifically support jet aircraft.
Always "First in Defense", Forrestal was the first American aircraft carrier to be constructed with an angled flight deck, steam catapult and an optical landing system, as opposed to having these features added after launch.
Many a dignitary boarded the Forrestal as well as the general public on its many port visits to "show the flag" around the world. Forrestal made history in November 1963, when its crew made 21 full-stop landings and take-offs in a C-130 Hercules aboard the ship. A record was set for the largest and heaviest plane landing on a Navy aircraft carrier.
In 1964, the Forrestal was part of Operation Brother Sam, supporting a successful military Coup d'etat against Brazilian president, Joao Goulart. Under the guise of a military exercise, the Forrestal was sent to the waters off Rio de Janeiro. She was also deployed four times between 1968 and 1973, and made her way to Tunisia for rescue operations off the Medjerda River Valley near Tunis. Many more missions were given and completed by the "FID" before her decommissioning on September 11, 1993 and now sits in Philadelphia next to the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).
The USS Forrestal
Like our soldiers, our weapons, carriers and other equipment used in military exercises have seen their share of successful missions and have shared in the glory of our military's safe return. For supercarriers such as the Forrestal, much respect is had by those who have boarded her, those who have sailed her and those who have landed atop her deck.
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