FINAL NOTES AND THOUGHTS
FROM 1989 - PRESENT
On 20 September 1989 the USS BENNINGTON CVS-20 was stricken from the Naval Ships Register and all maintenance programs aboard this great lady in waiting ceased. In June of 1993 while at the Puget Sound Naval Inactive Ship Facility in Bremerton, Washington, BENNINGTON was appraised at $200,000.00.
On 12 January 1994, a company known as Resource Recovery International Corporation of Stamford, CT. paid an initial expense of $200,000 to have the BENNINGTON scrapped in the United States. Sometime after that date the company agreed to pay an additional $1,000,000 if they received permission for the USS BENNINGTON CVS-20 to be sent to a "shipbreaking" company in Alang, India. At that time, all contracts contained a clause stating that all United States warships had to be scrapped in a United States facility. To gain a waiver and have it granted, they had to appear before our government. The request was granted and on 3 December 1994, Resource Recovery International sold the BENNINGTON to a middle-man in England. He then sold it to an Indian Shipbreaker for a reported $6,000,000.
On December 7, 1994 the USS BENNINGTON CVS-20 left Port Angeles, Washington (under tow) for Alang, India, for her final voyage and death.
In 1997, a reporting team from the Baltimore Sun went to Alang, India to complete its three part series on "SHIPBREAKERS". My personal contact, Mr. Gary Cohn, Staff Reporter, informed me that the scrapping of the "great lady BENNINGTON" was just about complete.
It should be noted here that the ESSEX-Class carriers were by far the most successful warship designs in the history of maritime operations. Five shipyards produced 24 of them and the versatility of the design allowed many of the ships to be modernized extensively over the years of their service to this country. Many features now accepted as standard in modern carriers, such as the angled landing deck and the all-weather hurricane bow, were first installed on ESSEX -Class hulls.
IT IS TRUE THAT BENNINGTON IS NO MORE, BUT HER VITAL ACHIEVEMENTS IN OUR NATIONS HISTORY WILL LIVE FOREVER.
Joseph Lawrence Pires
23 Rebecca Lane
Osterville, Massachusetts 02655
"Former" SK3 -
Supply Department -
S-1 Division -