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John F. Kennedy _CV-67_ former CVA-67

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John F. Kennedy _CV-67_  former CVA-67 Powered By Docstoc
					                  John F. Kennedy (CV-67), former CVA-67


HULL NO. /     FOREIGN          AIR       TAIL     DEPART       RETURN      FLEET
FLEET          WATER            WING      CODE                              D. NO.
               DEP.

CVA-67 – 2nd   Carib            CVW-1     AB       21 Oct      16 Dec       404
(Shakedown                                         1968        1968
cruise)

CVA-67 – 6th   1st Med          CVW-1     AB       5 Apr       21 Dec       415
               Tyrrhenian                          1969        1969
               Sea
               Ionian Sea
               Ligurian Sea
               Adriatic Sea

 Mini-National Week exercises, NATO-sponsored Quickdraw, National Week III,
 TransitEx (transit exercise) and Deep Furrow, a joint NATO amphibious exercise
CVA-67 – 2nd Carib              CVW-1 AB            14 Sep    1 Mar      436
   th           nd
&6             2 Med                                1970      1971
               Ionian Sea

           Operation Readiness Inspection (ORI) and NATO exercises
CVA-67 – 6th 3rd Med        CVW-1 AB             1 Dec     6 Oct            456
             North Sea                           1971      1972
             Arctic Circle

  PhiblEx 8-72, National Week XII, Quickdraw, Operation Rivets, Dawn Patrol,
           Operation Red Eye with Spanish forces, National Week XIII
                      and NATO Exercise Strong Express
CVA-67 – 6th 4th Med         CVW-1 AB             16 Apr     1 Dec     471
              North Sea                           1973       1973
              Arctic Circle

                              NATO exercise Swift Move
CV-67 – 6th    5th Med          CVW-1 AB           28 Jun      27 Jan       497
               Tyrrhenian                          1975        1976
               Sea
               Aegean Sea

National Week exercises during the first part of August 1975 and Poop Deck exercise
                with Spanish forces from 15 to 16 December 1975
CV-67 – 2nd   1st NorLant     CVW-1      AB        2 Sep        9 Nov        510
              North Sea                            1976         1976
              Arctic Sea

      Joint Effort, Teamwork 1976 (Arctic Sea) and Bonded Item operating
CV-67 – 6th    6th Med       CVW-1 AB             15 Jan     1 Aug       514
               Ionian Sea                         1977       1977

 NATO Exercise Locked Gate 1977, National Week XXII, joint NATO and Central
    Treaty Organization (CENTO) Exercise Shahbaz 1977, Dawn Patrol 1977
CV-67 – 6th   7th Med       CVW-1 AB            29 June     8 Feb     528
              Adriatic Sea                      1978        1979
              Aegean Sea
             BuzzardEx 78, National Week XXV, ASW Week 8-78,
                   NATO exercise Display Determination 1978
CV-67 – 6th   8th Med       CVW-1 AB            4 Aug       28 Mar    548
                                                1980        1981

      National Week XXIX, Display Determination 80, Exercise Poop Deck
                            and National Week XXX
CV-67 – 2nd   2nd Carib       CVW-3 AC           11 Oct      11 Dec      560
              NorLant                            1981        1981
              voyage
                                  ReadiEx 1-82
CV-67 – 6th   9th Med         CVW-3 AC           4 Jan 1982 14 Jul       562
  st
(1 Indian     Suez Canal                                     1982
Ocean and     x2
North         1st & 2nd Red
Arabian Sea) Sea, Gulf of
              Aden voyage
       National Week XXXI, Daily Double, and Operation Peace for Galilee
CV-67 – 2nd   2nd NorLant     CVW-3 AC           25 May      1 Jul 1983 577
              1st Central &                      1983
              Eastern Lant
            Exercise United Effort and a NATO exercise Ocean Safari
CV-67 – 2nd   SoLant          CVW-3 AC           27 Sep      2 May       580
& 6th         10th Med                           1983        1984

        Providing a U.S. presence for a growing crisis in Beirut, Lebanon,
                   spending most of 1984 patrolling the region
CV-67 – 6th      11th Med       CVW-3      AC         18 Aug      3 Mar        611
                 Adriatic Sea                         1986        1987

  Display Determination 86, Exercise Dasix with French air forces, Poopdeck exercise
from 11 to 12 November 1986, conducting exercises with Moroccan and USAF units in
  African Eagle, evolutions that tested the battle group in AAW, overland strikes, CV
        attack and low-level flying. Concluding African Eagle on 22 November 1986
                                    and National Week exercise
              th       th
  CV-67 – 6         12 Med             CVW-3 AC             2 Aug    1 Feb       630
                    Tyrrhenian                              1988     1989
                    Sea
 National Week ’88, Sea Wind off the coast of Alexandria, Display Determination ’88,
exercises off the Tunisian coast, operating with naval and air elements of the Tunisian
     armed forces, a shooting match between the U.S. and Libyan aircraft developed
resulting in the elimination of both of Libya's MiG-23s; African Eagle ’88, a combined
      USN, USAF and Moroccan exercise off the north Moroccan coast and Exercise
      Juniper Hawk with Israeli forces, National Week ’88, Sea Wind off the coast of
        Alexandria, as efforts to further cooperation between the Egyptian and U.S.
 governments saw 6th Fleet elements exercising with the Egyptian Navy and Air Force
                            from 4 to 8 September 1988 for two days
              th &     th
  CV-67 – 6         13 Med             CVW-3 AC             15 Aug   28 Mar      657
  Central           1st Red Sea                             1990     1991
  Command           Suez Canal x4
                    1st, 2nd, 3rd &
                    4th Red Sea
                    voyage
                   National Week ’90 Exercises, 1st Operation Desert Shield
                                   and 1st Operation Desert Storm
              th       th
  CV-67 – 6         14 Med             CVW-3 AC             7 Oct    7 Apr       677
                    Ionian Sea                              1992     1993
                    Adriatic Sea
       Operation Seawind with the Egyptian Navy and Air Force, African Eagle with
       Moroccan forces, Ionian Sea Operations in response to potential U.S. resolve to
      intervene in the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Operation Provide Promise
  CV-67 – 2nd       3rd Carib          CVW-8 AJ             17 May   July 1996 705
                     rd
                    3 NorLant                               1996
  CV-67 – 6th,      15th Med           CVW-8 AJ             29 Apr   28 Oct      711
   th
  5 & Central       Suez Canal x2                           1997     1997
  Command           5th & 6th Red
  (1st Arabian      Sea & 3rd &
  Sea and           4th Gulf of
  Persian Gulf) Aden voyage

              Iles D’Or ’97, Operation Deliberate Guard and Dynamic Mix,
                 1st Operation Southern Watch and Exercise Beacon Flash
CV-67 – 6th,    16th Med      CVW-1          AB         17 Sep       19 Mar        728
5th & Central   Suez Canal x2                           1999         2000
Command         7th & 8th Red
(2nd Arabian    Sea & 5th &
Sea and         6th Gulf of
Persian Gulf)   Aden voyage

     Exercises Frisian Flag ’99, Bright Star ’99 and 2nd Operation Southern Watch
CV-67 – 6th,     Med voyage      CVW-7 AG              7 Feb      17 Aug     746
 th
5 & Central      Suez Canal x2                         2002       2002
Command          9th & 10th
(3rd Arabian Red Sea & 7th
Sea and          & 8th Gulf of
Persian Gulf) Aden voyage

              Operation Anaconda and 1st Operation Enduring Freedom
          th
CV-67 – 6 ,    Med voyage     CVW-       AA       7 Jun      13 Dec                765
5th & Central  Suez Canal x2 17                   2004       2004
                  th    th
Command        11 & 12
(4th Arabian   Red Sea & 9th
Sea and        & 10th Gulf of
Persian Gulf) Aden voyage

       Summer Pulse ’04, Operation Phantom Fury (al Fajr, Arabic for “dawn)
                             and 1st Operation Iraqi Freedom
The John F. Kennedy (CV-67), former CVA-67, the 55th aircraft carrier of the United
States Navy was commissioned on 7 September 1968; launched on 27 May 1967; keel was
laid down on 22 October 1964 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp.,
Newport News, Virginia, as a modification of the earlier Kitty Hawk class aircraft carriers,
and they are sometimes considered a single class
After fitting out, John F. Kennedy conducted her first fast cruise in port from 11 to 13
October 1968, departing Norfolk, Virginia with Pilots from the Naval Air Test Center,
Patuxent River, Maryland embarked to monitor her catapults and arresting gear, providing
planes from CVW-1 for her inaugural flight operations 21 October 1968.
On 22 October 1968, Commander Harold L. Marr, Commander, Carrier Air Group (CVW-
1) accomplished John F. Kennedy first arrested landing in a Douglas A-4C Skyhawk;
Lieutenant Commander Willard C. Zimmerman, also in an A-4C, the second; and John F.
Kennedy‟s own carrier on-board delivery (COD) aircraft (Caroline II), piloted by
Lieutenant Commander Martin P. O‟Keefe and Lieutenant John S. Pugh, the third. Later
that day, Captain Yates, flying Caroline II, made the first unassisted take-off, while an A-
4C from Patuxent River made the first catapult-assisted take-off. That same day, John F.
Kennedy also carried out her first underway replenishment from the oiler Waccamaw
(AO-109). On 23 October 1968, John F. Kennedy refueled the destroyer Douglas H. Fox
(DD-779) and completed a highline evolution. After completing a period of independent
ship exercises, John F. Kennedy arrived at Hampton Roads on 27 October 1968 and
anchored. Soon thereafter, she shifted to Craney Island for deperming, after which time she
returned to Pier 12. She then initiated final preparations for proceeding to Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, for shakedown training
On 16 December 1968, John F. Kennedy moored at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry
Dock Corp., Newport News, Virginia to commence a post-shakedown availability, with
Captain Earl P. Yates in command, ending her Shakedown cruise out of Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba in the Caribbean Sea operating with the United States Atlantic Command
(Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet. Recovering Attack Squadron (VA)
81‟s A-4Cs while she steamed toward Guantanamo on 2 November 1968, John F.
Kennedy attempted an underway replenishment with the ammunition ship Mazama (AE-9)
but problems with the carrier‟s ordnance handling system hampered the transfer, en route
to Guantanamo the elevator and shuttle conveyors required remedial work, and those
repairs, as well as 113 other minor discrepancies, were noted in an inspection immediately
after John F. Kennedy’s arrival at Guantanamo on 4 November 1968. While at “Gitmo,”
the ship conducted almost daily general quarters and other drills and both day and night
flight operations before departing, making a port call at Montego Bay, Jamaica from 16 to
17 November 1968, followed by further operations before making a second port call at
Montego Bay, Jamaica over the Thanksgiving weekend. Evolutions followed, when on 2
December 1968, shortly after a man overboard drill, Stewardsman Jose L. Langaman
apparently jumped into the water, spotted quickly by members of the crew.
A Kaman UH-2A Seasprite from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 2,
Detachment 67, immediately launched from John F. Kennedy, flown by Lieutenant (j.g.)s
Ronald L. Sitts and William D. Sokel, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine
Mechanic) Airman Peter A. Dehey, III, and Aviation Electronics Technician Airman
Svante E. Mossberg as crew, approached Langaman, and prepared to effect the rescue, but
a boat from the carrier, in charge of John F. Kennedy’s boatswain, Chief Warrant Officer
Charles I. O‟Donald, recovered the messman instead. O‟Donald was recommended for the
Navy-Marine Corps Lifesaving Medal for his action. John F. Kennedy concluded her stay
in Cuban waters with an operational readiness inspection (ORI) at Guantanamo Bay (12
to 13 December 1968), even though the ship was only able to correct two of 113 other
minor discrepancies that included the elevator and shuttle conveyors requiring remedial
work. Following a port call at Guantanamo Bay on 13 December 1968, she departed the
next day and headed home. Her first deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy underwent post-shakedown availability moored at Newport News
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp., Newport News, Virginia from 16 December 1968 to 15
February 1969, during which time shipyard workers corrected the ship‟s deficiencies, most
notably those that plagued her weapons handling system. Departing on 17 February 1969,
John F. Kennedy conducted air wing qualifications and checked various systems in the
Virginia capes operating area. John F. Kennedy’s first major accident occurred on 19
February 1969, when a North American RA-5C Vigilante from Reconnaissance Attack
Squadron (RVAH) 14 plunged into the water just after launch. A Seasprite (BuNo 149748)
from HC-2, Detachment 67, piloted by Lieutenants Robert E. Hofstetter and William H.
Gregory, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d class Dehey and
Aviation Electrician‟s Mate 1st class Donald L. Lewis as rescue crewmen, retrieved
Lieutenant (j.g.) John R. Ellis, the Vigilante‟s naval flight officer (NFO), but Lieutenant
Commander Richard A. “Dick” Bright, the pilot, went down with the plane.
John F. Kennedy’s second accident occurred on 20 February 1969, when a McDonnell-
Douglas F-4J Phantom II from Fighter Squadron (VF) 101 was lost while attempting to
land at night. A Seasprite (BuNo 149015) (Angel 104), piloted by Lieutenant Gregory
(who had been involved in the rescue the previous day) and Lieutenant (j.g.) Sokel, with
Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d class John H. Cooper and Aviation
Electrician‟s Mate 1st class Lewis (who had also been involved in the previous day‟s
rescue), retrieved Lieutenant (j.g.) Frank H. Lloyd, the pilot, and Lieutenant (j.g.) Robert
D. Work, his radar intercept officer (RIO), who had ejected from the F-4J, accomplishing
the task in total darkness, in the teeth of 35-knot winds and 8-to-10-foot seas, operations
made even more difficult by the turbulence caused by the carrier upwind of the rescue site.
John F. Kennedy commenced CQ qualifications, refresher operations for the air wing and
extensive type training exercises on 3 March 1969. After conducting further qualifications,
refresher operations for the air wing and extensive type training exercises commencing on
3 March 1969, John F. Kennedy returned to Pier 12, Norfolk Naval Station, on 18 March.
The vessel undertook final preparations for extended deployment, but difficulties with the
ship‟s catapults postponed her departure to 5 April
On 21 December 1969, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 and Commander Cruiser
Destroyer Flotilla 8, Rear Admiral Frank H. Price embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Lake in command, ending her first Mediterranean Sea deployment
operating with the 6th Fleet in response to a deteriorating situation in the Middle East,
participating in Mini-National Week exercises, NATO-sponsored Quickdraw, National
Week III, TransitEx (transit exercise) and Deep Furrow, a joint NATO amphibious
exercise. Welcomed on board Vice Admiral Robert L. Townsend, Commander, Naval Air
Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet the day of departure and Undersecretary of the Navy John
Warner and Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations, visited the ship,
calling upon Vice Admiral Townsend and Rear Admiral Swanson. After the conclusion of
operational readiness inspection (ORI), ComCarDiv 2 and his staff disembarked by
helicopter and John F. Kennedy set course for the Mediterranean Sea on 14 April 1969.
One day before reaching Rota, Spain, in a foretaste of such shadowing that would become
commonplace, John F. Kennedy came under surveillance on 20 April 1969 by a pair of
Tupelov Tu-95 [Bear] maritime reconnaissance aircraft from the Soviet Northern Long
Range Air Forces. Out-chopping from the 2nd Fleet, John F. Kennedy reported for duty
with the 6th Fleet on 21 April 1969, reaching Rota, Spain on the morning of 22 April 1969
and relieved USS Forrestal (CVA-59). Rear Admiral Pierre N. Charbonnet, Commander,
Carrier Striking Forces, 6th Fleet, and Commander, Carrier Striking Unit 60.1.9, shifted his
flag to John F. Kennedy, during which time Rear Admiral Leroy V. Swanson, Commander
Carrier Division (ComCarDiv) 2 shifted his flag to Forrestal. Upon conclusion of turnover
by nightfall with USS Forrestal (CVA-59), John F. Kennedy with Rear Admiral Pierre N.
Charbonnet, Commander, Carrier Striking Forces, 6th Fleet, and Commander, Carrier
Striking Unit 60.1 embarked, escorted by destroyers, transited the Strait of Gibraltar at
the start of the mid watch on 22 April 1969, refueling from Marias (AO-57), and acquired
the company of a Soviet Kotlin-class destroyer (Pennant No. 383). Prior to transiting the
Strait of Messina John F. Kennedy conducted refueling and replenishment from
Mississinewa (AO-144) and Arcturus (AF-52), operations observed by a Soviet
intelligence collection ship and a Kresta-class guided missile cruiser (No. 542). Observing
maritime courtesy, the Soviets rendered honors to John F. Kennedy‟s embarked flag and
the carrier returned them. The formation transited the Strait of Messina on 27 April 1969
for the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, en route to Valletta, Malta. Soviet Tupelov Tu-16
[Badger] reconnaissance aircraft took them under surveillance; and the Kresta-class guided
missile cruiser (No. 542) again made her appearance. Two Badgers observed John F.
Kennedy and her consorts on 28 April 1969, prior to anchoring at Valletta on 2 May 1969.
Following a brief liberty and upkeep period anchored at Valletta, John F. Kennedy sailed
on 12 May 1969 for operations in the Ionian Sea, participating in Mini-National Week
exercises on 16 May 1969, that simulated locating and maintaining continuous
surveillance over all Soviet and Orange forces within a defined area; action following a
declaration of open hostilities by the Orange force that included strike and self defense;
and maintaining an air defense posture. On 20 May 1969, more training for John F.
Kennedy with Italian naval forces in NATO-sponsored Quickdraw, wherein the Italians
operated as Orange and Blue forces. The nocturnal evolution provided John F. Kennedy‟s
pilots an opportunity to use flare illumination and test the reaction time of U.S. forces in an
emergency scramble situation. John F. Kennedy participated in National Week III, from
22 to 24 May 1969, followed Quickdraw, enlivened prior to its commencement on 21
May by a visit from a Soviet Badger, and during the exercise on 24 May by another Badger
overflying the carrier and the task force. Following National Week III, John F. Kennedy
headed for Genoa, Italy, for liberty and upkeep; one day out, she set a record rigging time
for attack carriers during refueling operations with Pawcatuck (AO-108) on 26 May 1969,
the men of the “can-do” oilier‟s rig 10 accomplishing the work in two minutes and 32
seconds, reaching Genoa, Italy on 27 May 1969. Stood out for operations in the western
Mediterranean Sea 4 June 1969 with the French Naval Mediterranean Squadron,
participating in a TransitEx (transit exercise). On the first day of that evolution, a
Seasprite (Angel 04) from HC-2, piloted by Lieutenant Francis P. Donovan and Lieutenant
(j.g.) James S. Holt, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 2d Class W.
Case Benham and Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d Class Robert L.
McCandless as aircrew, sped to the rescue of a sailor who had fallen overboard from
Pawcatuck; Benham and McCandless, in spite of the high winds and heavy seas, rescued
the sailor, James Lam, and the helo returned him to his ship cold and wet but otherwise
none the worse for wear. After completing TransitEx (transit exercise), John F.
Kennedy combined task forces anchored at Porto Vecchio, Corsica, on 6 June 1969,
hosting Admiral Sauzay, Allied Esquery Commander for NATO Mediterranean Forces and
his staff for the exercise critique. That afternoon, the carrier got underway, conducting
operations in the Tyrrhenian Sea, conducting flight operations around the clock and took
part in a Sea Sparrow missile-firing exercise on 8 June 1969, anchoring at Naples, Italy, for
liberty and upkeep on 11 June 1969; hosting the families of officers and enlisted men
stationed in the Naples area for a 6th Fleet dependents‟ cruise on 14 June 1969. Her air
wing also conducted a firepower demonstration that day, enlivened by HC-2‟s Angel 04
carrying out another rescue, when a Seasprite piloted by Lieutenant (j.g.) Ronald L. Sitts
and Lieutenant (j.g.) Sokol, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d
Class Donald K. Asada and Aviation Electrician‟s Mate1st Class Lewis as aircrew,
expeditiously retrieved Lieutenant Robert E. Turgeon, Jr., after he had ejected from his A-
4C Skyhawk. The ship returned to Naples that same afternoon and remained there until 21
June. On 23 June 1969, in an accident that illustrated how danger lurked in even routine
duties on John F. Kennedy flight deck, Aviation Ordnanceman 3d Class Roger D. Winters
of VF-32 suffered severe injury to his right leg when the F-4B onto which he was loading a
missile shifted unexpectedly. His leg ultimately had to be amputated above the knee. John
F. Kennedy engaged in another round of Quickdraw with Italian naval forces on 23 June
1969, during which a Soviet “modified Kotlin-class” destroyer (No. 533), along with two
Badgers, joined the carrier‟s formation while she conducted an opposed refueling and
rearming drill, conducting a combat readiness assessment exercise, 25 June 1969 and a
basic point defense missile (BPDM) firing exercise, observed by a pair of the ubiquitous
Badgers 26 June 1969. Engaging in another round of Quickdraw with Italian naval forces
on 28 June 1969, during which a Soviet “modified Kotlin-class” destroyer (No. 533), along
with two Badgers, joined the carrier‟s formation while she conducted an opposed refueling
and rearming drill. On the second day of Quickdraw operations, 28 June 1969, a Douglas
EA-1F Spad (BuNo 132599) (side number 753) from Carrier Airborne Early-Warning
Squadron (VAW) 33, Detachment 67, ditched about a mile from John F. Kennedy. A UH-
2 (BuNo 150181) Angel 31, piloted by Lieutenant (j.g.)s Holt and Sitts, with Aviation
Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d Class Frank A. Richards and Aviation
Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics) 3d Class Major Samson on board sped to the rescue;
Samson, lowered into the water, assisted in the pickup of Lieutenant Harold Cummings,
USNR (pilot), Lieutenant Jesse A. Fairley, Jr., USNR (navigator), Aviation Electronics
Technician 2d Class Robert P. Zeman and Midshipman Kent W. Mohnkern, USNR, from
the EA-1F‟s crew. Samson, however, suffered a cramp, and, unable to assist in his own
retrieval by Angel 04 (BuNo 149015), was ultimately retrieved by a whaleboat crew from
the guided missile destroyer Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5). John F. Kennedy anchored in
Taranto, Italy, for liberty and upkeep, on 30 June 1969, departing on 3 July 1969 and
headed to Corfu, Greece, arriving on 3 July 1969, departing on 7 July 1969 and sailed for
operations in the Ionian Sea. On 8 July 1969, a Soviet Kashin-class guided missile light
cruiser (No. 540) joined John F. Kennedy formation while operating in the Ionian Sea.
On 9 July 1969, Vice Admiral David C. Richardson, USN, Commander 6th Fleet, arrived
on board by COD and called officially on Rear Admiral Charbonnet. During Aircraft
Tactical Support Squadron (VR) 24 carquals early in the mid watch on 10 July 1969 on
board John F. Kennedy, a Grumman C-1A Trader crashed; a UH-2B sped to the scene
from its night plane guard position. Angel 31, flown by Lieutenant Hofstetter and
Lieutenant (j.g.) Sitts, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 2d Class
Benham and Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d Class Asada on board,
located one survivor, Lieutenant Commander Hugo L. Ecklund, but a motor whaleboat
from the ship showed up immediately and rescued the injured officer. Sadly, searchers
found no trace of Lieutenant (jg) Carl Preston, the pilot. A Soviet “modified Kotlin-class”
destroyer (No. 533) returned to observe John F. Kennedy relieving her old comrade,
Kashin-class (No. 540) on 11 July 1969. John F. Kennedy put in to Golfo di Palmas,
Sardinia, on 14 July 1969, where Rear Admiral Pierre N. Charbonnet, Commander, Carrier
Striking Forces, 6th Fleet, and Commander, Carrier Striking Unit 60.1 shifted his flag to
USS Shangri-La (CVA-38). Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 8, Rear Admiral Frank
H. Price, then embarked in John F. Kennedy, departing Golfo di Palmas, Sardinia on 15
July 1969 for the Tyrrhenian Sea. Another Quickdraw and Mini National Week exercise
followed shortly thereafter. On 21 July 1969, John F. Kennedy reached Naples, where she
conducted a competitive precision anchoring exercise. After ten days at Naples, John F.
Kennedy proceeded to Malta, arriving on 2 August 1969, where Rear Admiral Price and
his staff disembarked and Rear Admiral Jack M. James, ComCarDiv 2, shifted his flag
from USS Saratoga (CVA-60) to John F. Kennedy, the latter resuming the role of
flagship for Carrier Striking Forces, U.S. 6th Fleet, and Commander Carrier TG 60.1.
Departing Malta for operations in the western Mediterranean Sea on 4 August 1969, with
Vice Admiral Richardson, Commander 6th Fleet, and Marshall Smallwood, Commander
Near East Air Force, arriving onboard on 13 August 1969 to observe John F. Kennedy
undertaking a graded combat readiness assessment exercise, while simultaneously
conducting a major underway replenishment with storeship Arcturus (AF-52), after which
she anchored at Athens, Greece, on 16 August 1969, departing nine days after arriving for
operations in the Ionian Sea where a Soviet Krupny-class guided missile destroyer (No.
971) joined her. On 29 August 1969, John F. Kennedy came under surveillance by yet
another Badger. On 31 August 1969, U.S. Ambassador to France R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.,
Vice Admiral Richardson, and other distinguished visitors arrived on board John F.
Kennedy via COD and helicopter for an official visit. Her embarked air wing performed a
firepower demonstration, reaching Cannes, France, on 1 September 1969, where Mrs.
Joseph P. Kennedy, mother of the late President Kennedy, presented the ship with a bust of
the late chief executive. Increased tension in the Mediterranean basin, however, cut short
John F. Kennedy‟s visit to Cannes, France. On 1 September 1969, a coup overthrew the
Libyan monarchy, while instability, which would eventually lead to the 22 October
resignation of that country‟s Prime Minister, plagued Lebanon. In response, John F.
Kennedy sailed on 4 September 1969, Captain Julian S. Lake having relieved Captain
Yates as commanding officer the day before, to begin contingency operations off the coast
of Libya. En route to the coast of Libya, John F. Kennedy came under surveillance by two
Badgers on 6 September 1969, while a Soviet Sverdlov-class guided missile cruiser (No.
849) joined John F. Kennedy formation on 7 September 1969 and the following day, two
more Badgers tracked John F. Kennedy on 8 September 1969 as she rearmed from Nitro
(AE-23), refueled from Pawcatuck, and conducted an underway replenishment alongside
Concord (AFS-5). During contingency operations on 9 September 1969, an RA-5C (BuNo
150833) from RVAH-14 embarked on board John F. Kennedy lost an engine during a
“cat shot” and Lieutenant Commander Jesse L. “Jess” Reed, the pilot, and Lieutenant
Andre Marechal, the radar analyst/navigator, both ejected from the Vigilante. A UH-2A
Seasprite (BuNo 149748) piloted by Lieutenant (j.g.) Jack D. Ossont and Lieutenant
Commander Curtis B. Cutting (officer-in-charge of HC-2‟s Detachment 67), with Aviation
Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 2d Class Benham and Aviation Machinist‟s Mate
(Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d Class Asada as crew, retrieved both men from the rough sea.
John F. Kennedy transited the Strait of Messina on 14 September 1969, she and her
consorts accompanied by a Soviet Kotlin-class guided missile destroyer (No.368), reaching
Naples on 15 September 1969. After ten days of liberty and upkeep at Naples, arriving on
15 September 1969, John F. Kennedy sailed for the Ligurian Sea, en route to Pollensa
Bay, Majorca. The next day, she conducted anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises with
the submarine Sirago (SS-485) and later provided air support for the NATO exercise
Diamond Blue. On 28 September 1969, John F. Kennedy anchored in Pollensa Bay for
turnover of the destroyer squadrons and then sailed immediately afterwards for operations
in the western Mediterranean Sea. Following another Quickdraw engagement and systems
tests, during which time John F. Kennedy cross-decked two A-7s and a pair of A-6s from
USS Saratoga (CVA-60), the aircraft carrier entered the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Med
on 3 October 1969 and anchored at Trieste, Italy, the next day. Following a week anchored
at Trieste, John F. Kennedy commenced Deep Furrow, a joint NATO amphibious
exercise in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on 17 October 1969. Tragically, during Deep
Furrow, CVW-1 suffered the loss of two pilots and two planes in a single day, 19 October.
Commander John M. Wolfe of VA-83 perished when his A-4C crashed in western Turkey,
while an F-4B from VF-32 crashed at sea; Lieutenant (j.g.) James P. Dilworth, the pilot,
died, but Lieutenant (j.g.) Mitchell “Mitch” Austin, Dilworth‟s RIO, was recovered. John
F. Kennedy participated in Deep Furrow, a joint NATO amphibious exercise in the
eastern Mediterranean Sea, between 17 and 23 October 1969. On 28 October 1969, a
Soviet Kynda-class guided missile cruiser (No. 854) joined John F. Kennedy formation.
On 30 October, CVW-1‟s misfortunes continued when an RA-5C (side number 601) from
RVAH-14 broke free from its tie-downs during a high-power turn-up as the ship was
heeling to starboard. Tragically, the Vigilante rolled over Airman Roy E. Shaw, from
RVAH-14, as it did so, severely injuring the unfortunate sailor as the plane continued off
the port side of the flight deck and plunged into the sea. John F. Kennedy conducted an
ASW transit exercise with Sirago and Seawolf (SSN-575) on 1 November 1969. On 4
November 1969, John F. Kennedy anchored off Athens to begin a week of liberty and
upkeep, during which time she hosted Secretary of the Navy John Chafee, who visited the
ship on an official call. John F. Kennedy sailed for the Ionian Sea on 11 November 1969
after a week of liberty and upkeep at Athens. John F. Kennedy conducted ASW exercises
with Seawolf in the Ionian Sea on 12 November 1969 and on 14 November 1969,
reaching Marsaxlokk, Malta, on 14 November 1969. After a week of liberty and upkeep at
Marsaxlokk, Malta, John F. Kennedy operated in the Ionian Sea once more, conducting
flight operations in support of Quickdraw. John F. Kennedy transited the Strait of
Messina on 24 November 1969, and that day hosted U.S. Ambassador to Germany
Kenneth Rush, as well as Admiral Waldemar F.A. Wendt, Commander U.S. Naval Forces,
Europe, and Vice Admiral Richardson, Commander 6th Fleet, who were on board to
observe a major battle problem and engineering competitive exercises. John F. Kennedy
stood in to Barcelona, Spain, on 25 November 1969, and two days later hoisted U.S.
Ambassador to Spain Robert C. Hill, departing on 4 December 1969 for St. Paul‟s Bay,
Malta, arriving on 9 December 1969, spending only one day John F. Kennedy sailed for
Pollensa Bay on 10 December 1969, arriving at Pollensa Bay on 12 December 1969,
where, after having been relieved by USS Forrestal (CVA-59), John F. Kennedy set
course for home, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar on 13 December 1969 and once
again came under operational control of the Commander 2nd Fleet. John F. Kennedy
embarked air group flew off on 20 December 1969, the evolution marking the final carrier
operations for Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 33 and its Douglas EA-1F
Spads. Her second deployment since she was commissioned
Upon return from her first Mediterranean Sea deployment four days before Christmas of
1969, John F. Kennedy remained at Pier 12, Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia into
the third week of January 1970; conducting carquals from 19-23 January 1970. On 30
January 1970, John F. Kennedy commenced repair and maintenance under going a
restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, conducting a pre-administrative readiness
inspection from 4 to 8 May 1970 and conducted her Fast Cruise from 18 to 19 May while
in restricted availability at the shipyard; completing her restricted availability on 23 May
1970. Following limited carquals and other exercises, John F. Kennedy completed nuclear
weapons acceptance inspection on 28 May 1970. On 12 June 1970, John F. Kennedy
sailed for Guantanamo for refresher training, completing her administrative readiness
inspection by 15 June 1970 and returned to Norfolk, Virginia
Through July to August 1970, John F. Kennedy continued training and upkeep,
punctuating those operations with a visit to Boston, Massachusetts from 2 to 4 August
1970 during which time Senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the late President,
members of the Kennedy family, including Caroline, who had been the ship‟s sponsor, and
her brother John F. Kennedy, Jr., visited the ship. While conducting operations en route to
Norfolk, Virginia on 6 August 1970, an RA-5C experienced trouble on a catapult launch
and went into the water. An HC-2 HH-2D (BuNo 152205) flown by Lieutenant (j.g.)s
James C. Harrison and Larry R. Ammerman, with Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine
Mechanic) Airman Kurt M. Karlsen and Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Robert
E. Touchett, rescued the Vigilante‟s crew, Commander Edward O. Williams and
Lieutenant Ralph S. Feeback, without incident.

After a stint of local operations out of Norfolk, Virginia that followed John F. Kennedy
return from Boston, Captain Ferdinand B. Koch relieved Captain Lake on 4 September
1970

On 1 March 1971, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Ferdinand B. Koch in command, ending her Caribbean Sea voyage to
conduct her Operation Readiness Inspection (ORI) operating with the United States
Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, which was slated
to be a two-week training cruise in the Caribbean, turned out to be her second
Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, her North Atlantic voyage
participating in NATO exercises, traveling 35,127-mile because of tension in the Middle
East between Jordanian and Palestinian forces that resulted in fighting. On 18 September
1971, John F. Kennedy received a change of orders in the wake of the 6th Fleet having
been placed on alert (3 September) because of tension in the Middle East. Fighting had
broken out between Jordanian and Palestinian forces. Following Syrian intervention in
Jordan on 18 September, John F. Kennedy and elements of the 8th Marine Amphibious
Brigade (MAB), received orders to return to the Mediterranean Sea. By 24 September
1971, all Syrian forces had quit Jordanian territory and on 8 October the carrier returned to
Souda Bay, visiting Malta, Souda Bay on 27 November 1970 during which time U.S.
Ambassador to Malta John C. Pritzlaff paid a visit, hosting the Bob Hope Christmas
Show on 19 December 1970. On New Year‟s Day 1971, while John F. Kennedy lay
anchored at Athens, she deployed one of HC-2‟s HH-2Ds on a rescue mission. Bernard
Selinger, a Canadian citizen, had fallen while mountain climbing near Delphi, Greece, and
broken his back. The Seasprite, flown by a volunteer crew -- Lieutenants W. Dale Sokel
and David C. Heiter, with Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures) 3d Class James E.
Cook as rescue crewman and Lieutenant (j.g.) Robert P. Legg, MC, and Hospital
Corpsman 1st Class Clifton F. Halsey representing the ship‟s medical department -- flew
“over, around, and between mountains” into the valley where the village of Delphi lay,
retrieved Salinger, and transported him back to Athenai Airport, where an ambulance
awaited him to take him to a hospital. John F. Kennedy departed Athens on 6 January
1971, proceeding to Malta. John F. Kennedy lay in St. Paul‟s Bay from 14 to 16 January
1971and lay in Valletta (16-23 January) before getting underway and conducting
operations with guided missile frigate Dahlgren (DLG-12) in the Ionian Sea, followed by
further evolutions in the Ionian Sea from 24 to 29 January 1971, observed by a Soviet
Kashin-class destroyer (No. 522) on the 24th; reaching Barcelona on 30 January 1971,
remaining at Barcelona until 8 February 1971. Out-chopping from the 6th Fleet on 8
February 1971, John F. Kennedy continued to operate in the Mediterranean Sea, hosting
Secretary of the Navy Chaffee and Rear Admiral Merlin H. Staring on 11 February 1971,
en route to her home port John F. Kennedy took part in NATO exercises in the North
Atlantic, fueling from the British fleet replenishment tanker Olmeda (A.124) on 20
February 1971 and in turn fueling the Dutch anti-submarine destroyer Gelderland (D.811),
her forward guns trained skyward, in the North Atlantic on 21 February 1971; visiting
Athens three times, Naples twice, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Malta twice, Avgo Nisi,
near Crete, Souda Bay again, St. Paul‟s Bay, Valletta, Malta, and Barcelona. Her third
deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy commenced flight operations off the Virginia capes on 13 April 1971. A
crash tragically punctuated the intensive carquals when Lieutenant John P. Lay of VA-46
died when his Ling-Temco-Vought A-7B Corsair went down into the ocean on 17 April.
On 14 April 1971, one day into John F. Kennedy flight operations off the Virginia capes,
an explosion in the 02N2 plant burned Motor Machinist‟s Mate 1st Class Charles Pifer.
John F. Kennedy commenced carquals following a two-day repair at sea as a result of
explosion in the 02N2 plant burning Motor Machinist‟s Mate 1st Class Charles Pifer, who
was transferred to Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia, three days after the explosion. On
21 April 1971, a fire of electrical origin and duration occurs aboard John F. Kennedy in
the Virginia Capes area. John F. Kennedy conducted flight operations off the Virginia
capes from 13 to 22 April 1971, continuing training the rest of the year. After a brief in-
port period, John F. Kennedy returned to the Virginia capes to conduct Operation Exotic
Dancer IV from 3 to 8 May 1971, which included a 64-hour endurance exercise
(EndurEx). John F. Kennedy operated a reserve squadron, CVWR-20, from 10 to 20
August 1971, continuing training into July, August, and September 1971, in areas that
ranged from Guantanamo to Jacksonville, Florida, the Virginia capes, and Newport, Rhode
Island. On 1 October 1971, John F. Kennedy welcomed her third commanding officer
when Captain Robert H. Gormley relieved Captain Koch. In November 1971, John F.
Kennedy began operations with the cleaner and more efficient distillate fuel oil.

On 6 October 1972, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Gormley in command, ending her second Northern Atlantic voyage
operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the directionn of
the 2nd Fleet; her third Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet,
participating in PhiblEx 8-72, National Week XII, Quickdraw, Operation Rivets,
Dawn Patrol, Operation Red Eye with Spanish forces, National Week XIII and NATO
Exercise Strong Express. Relieved USS America (CVA-66) at Rota, Spain, rejoining the
6th Fleet on 9 December 1971; the next day, she entered the Mediterranean Sea,
conducting operations in the Med during a period of relative stability in the international
scene, visiting Naples (17 to 26 17 December 1971), conducted air operations en route to
Barcelona, spending New Year‟s Eve at Barcelona, when the ship‟s supply division opened
a dairy bar on the after mess decks during the festivities, distributing milkshakes and
sundaes free of charge. John F. Kennedy participated in PhiblEx 8-72 from 9 to 10
January 1972, National Week XII from 6 to 9 February 1972, (during the commencement
of which A-7 jet blast blew Hospitalman 2d Class Curcuru over the side) and Quickdraw
from 20 to 21 February 1972. On 8 April 1972, Lord Balniel, UK Minister of State for
Defense visited John F. Kennedy. That same day, Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety
Equipment) 3d Class Mark W. Raymond of VA-34 died in an A-6 canopy accident. On 10
April 1972, John F. Kennedy hosted Operation Rivets, the retirement ceremony for
Admiral Horacio (“Rivets”) Rivero. Only five days after the canopy accident that claimed
the life of AM3 Raymond on board John F. Kennedy, an A-6 crashed during a
conventional ordnance exercise on 13 April 1972, and a search and rescue effort ensued for
Lieutenant (j.g.)s William T. Hackman and David L. Douglas, without success. On 15
April 1972, debris from the missing A-6 Intruder attached to CVW-1 embarked on board
John F. Kennedy that crashed during a conventional ordnance exercise on 13 April 1972
was sighted near the Avgo Nisi target range and participated in Dawn Patrol from 4 to 9
may 1972. John F. Kennedy lost an A-7 (BuNo 154386) to hydraulic failure on 20 May
1972, with Lieutenant Bernard J. Hedger, from VA-72, being rescued by an HH-2D flown
by Lieutenants LeRoy E. Hays and Roy E. Hey, with Aviation Structural Mechanic
(Structures) 3d Class F. L. Barthold and Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic)
3d Class G. H. Trouton, as crew. John F. Kennedy participated in Operation Red Eye
with Spanish forces from 26 May to 1 June 1972, loosing an HH-2D Seasprite (Angel 013)
to a lost tail rotor on 11 June 1972, its four-man crew (Lieutenants Larry E. Crume and
James R. Palmquist, Aviation Machinist‟s Mate (Jet Engine Mechanic) 3d Class Kent D.
Swedberg and Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety Equipment) Airman Richard F. Diaz)
being rescued by Angel 010 flown by Lieutenants Hays and James C. Harrison, with
Aviation Machinist‟s Mates (Jet Engine Mechanic) 2d Class David T. Warmkessel and
James C. McDonald as crew providing wind velocity data to the inbound helo. Another
incident resulted in the loss of a Corsair (Decoy 401) due to a stall spin, on 27 June 1972,
with Lieutenant (j.g.) Newton R. Gaines, also of VA-72, being rescued by Angel 010
(Lieutenant Palmquist and Lieutenant Commander Lawrence B. Kauffman, with Swedberg
and McDonald as crew), with British guided missile destroyer HMS Antrim providing
wind velocity data to the inbound helo. John F. Kennedy participated in National Week
XIII from 17 to 20 July 1972, commencing participation in NATO Exercise Strong
Express on 14 September 1972, crossing the Arctic Circle for the first time 17 September
1972, receiving a visit by Secretary of the Navy John Warner and General Robert E.
Cushman, Jr., USMC, the Commandant of the Marine Corps on 19 September 1972.
Another notable event that occurred during those operations was the cross-decking of an F-
4K Phantom II and a Hawker-Siddeley Buccaneer IIB from HMS Ark Royal to John F.
Kennedy and an F-4B and an A-6 to the British carrier, an evolution that “increased the
flexibility of air operations in allied efforts and opened the door to increased efficiency in
combat conditions and strategic concepts.” Flight deck crews having been exchanged prior
to the evolution ensured that those involved encountered “no major difficulties.” During
the period 14 to 28 September 1972, John F. Kennedy participated in NATO Exercise
Strong Express operating in the North Sea, during which time she cross-decked four A-7s
to USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) operating in the Mediterranean Sea at the time,
and received a like number of Corsairs from Franklin D. Roosevelt, proceeded to Norfolk,
Virginia, upon the conclusion of Strong Express’; visiting Naples, Athens, Corfu,
Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Genoa, Cannes, Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Malaga, Gaeta, Italy,
Golfo di Palma, Augusta Bay, Izmir, Turkey, La Maddalena, Sardinia, and Rota. Her
fourth deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy was in “cold iron” from 7 to 31 October 1973; conducting a fast cruise
in port on 1 November 1972, then shifted to Portsmouth to begin eight weeks of restricted
availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, undergoing a change of command when Captain
John C. Dixon, Jr. relieved Captain Gormley on 30 November 1972; emerging from
restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 5 January 1973, that saw the rework of
the catapult water brakes, repairs to weapons elevators, installation of modifications to
enable the ship to handle the EA-6B, and the installation of four new salt water cooling
pumps, among other items
John F. Kennedy earmarked to deploy to Southeast Asia, worked-up in the Virginia capes
operating areas, but during her 8 to 17 February 1973 in-port period, word was received
that, in the wake of the Paris peace accords, she would deploy to the Med in April instead
of the western Pacific in March; commencing operations readiness inspection ORI with
flight operations off the Virginia capes and down off the Florida coast, including
operations against the Pinecastle, Florida, target range. On the first launch of the day on 17
February 1973, a division of Intruders from VA-46 sank its quarry, ex-Meade (DD-602).
John F. Kennedy visited Mayport, Florida on 20 February 1974, returning to Norfolk,
Virginia on 22 February, remaining in port until she participated in Exercise Exotic Dancer
VI from 28 March to 4 April 1974
On 1 December 1973, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 embarked arrived Norfolk,
Virginia, with Captain John C. Dixon in command, ending her third Northern Atlantic
voyage while on a Med cruise, operating in the North Sea and Arctic Circle participating
in NATO exercise Swift Move, her fourth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with
the 6th Fleet on two separate voyages as a result of Egyptian and Syrian forces launching
a surprise attack on Israel. Dropped anchor at Rota on 25 April 1973, relieving USS
Intrepid (CVS-11), hosting Spanish Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sophia the next day,
visiting the 35-year old heir apparent to the Spanish throne commented upon not only the
complexity of carrier operations, but also the cleanliness of the ship in which he was
embarked. CVW-1 performed an air show for the royal guests and then the ship got
underway for the Strait of Gibraltar. John F. Kennedy lost her 301-ton starboard anchor
(and 180 fathoms of chain) at Cannes on 1 June1973. She regained it, with the help of the
salvage vessel Opportune (ARS-41) a week later. While in port at Palma on 2 September
1973, John F. Kennedy fire and rescue detail extinguished an engine room fire on board a
nearby yacht, transiting the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 September 1973, pausing briefly at
Rota from 23 to 24 September 1973, where she was relieved by USS Franklin D.
Roosevelt (CVA-42). John F. Kennedy got underway to proceed to the North Sea,
pausing briefly at Rota from 23 to 24 September 1973, transiting the English Channel on
30 September 1973, crossing the Arctic Circle on 4 October 1973 during NATO exercise
Swift Move, a nine-day evolution that combined the efforts of more than 20,000 men, 34
ships, and 250 land and sea-based aircraft from Canada, the Netherlands, Norway,
Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on Israel on 6 October 1973 in The
Yom Kippur War. At the conclusion of NATO exercise Swift Move on 10 October 1973,
John F. Kennedy put in to Edinburgh, Scotland, where, the following day, a fire in a
storeroom damaged steam pipe lagging and electrical wiring for her number three catapult
– with all repairs completed by the ship‟s force within 72 hours. John F. Kennedy had
originally been slated to return home after her three-day visit in Edinburgh, Scotland, but
due to Egyptian and Syrian forces launching a surprise attack on Israel on 6 October 1973
in The Yom Kippur War, John F. Kennedy sailed from Edinburgh on 13 October in
company with guided missile frigate Dale (DLG-19), guided missile destroyer Richard E.
Byrd (DDG-23), and destroyer Sarsfield (DD-837), supported by the oilier Caloosahatchee
(AO-98), proceeding to a holding area 100 miles west of Gibraltar, to assume an alert
position to respond to the crisis in the Middle East. On 25 October 1973, the day after the
completion of the program to fly A-4 Skyhawks to Israel, staging them through the Azores
and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) (on station south of Sicily) John F. Kennedy
(which had been earmarked to support those flights if required), received orders to rejoin
the 6th Fleet, and entered the Mediterranean Sea. The ship‟s entering the Med reflected the
middle-level alert ordered for U.S. forces world-wide after the Soviet Union reportedly
planned a unilateral move of troops into the Middle East to monitor the shaky cease-fire
that had taken effect in the wake of the most recent conflict between Israel and her
neighbors. John F. Kennedy prepared contingency weapons loads on 27 October 1973 in
the Mediterranean Sea. As tensions in the Middle East remained high, John F. Kennedy
remained at sea into mid-November 1973, operating south of Crete, day and night, with
task groups formed around USS Independence (CVA-62) and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt
(CVA-42), and refueled by the fast combat support ship Seattle (AOE-3) (4 November),
and old consort Pawcatuck (9 and 12 November). After John F. Kennedy was refueled by
consort Pawcatuck on 12 November 1973, she put in briefly to Souda Bay on 15
November 1973, only to get underway once more before the day was done. The 6th Fleet
resumed its normal alert status on 17 November 1973, with John F. Kennedy, USS
Independence (CV-62) and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) on station in the
Mediterranean Sea. On 17 November 1973, John F. Kennedy commanding officer
Captain Dixon informed the crew over the 1MC that John F. Kennedy was finally going
home. “With a return date in sight,” her historian wrote, “the crew looked forward to their
homecoming and reunion with their families, loved ones, and friends. John F. Kennedy
transited the Strait of Gibraltar on 22 November 1973, her second” Mediterranean Sea
cruise of the deployment completed, involved in routine operations, exercises, and
underway replenishments, her port visits including Barcelona and Palma, Formia, Italy,
Augusta Bay, Gaeta, Souda Bay, Rhodes, Athens, and Livorno. Her fifth deployment
since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy conducted local operations out of Norfolk, Virginia, to start the year
1974, spending two short periods in January and February participating in operations off
the Virginia capes. On 1 March 1974, John F. Kennedy got underway from Norfolk
Naval Station, Pier 12 and shifted to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, entering overhaul,
shifting to dry dock no. 8 on 15 March 1974, where she would remain well into June.
Among the major projects undertaken over the ensuing months to provide the carrier with
ASW capabilities and enable her to conduct combined air, surface and sub-surface warfare
were the installation of the Tactical Support Center (TSC), designed as a module of the
combat information center (CIC), to provide pre-flight planning, in-flight support, post-
flight analysis, and mission evaluation for all ASW missions flown by the new Grumman
S-3A Vikings and Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King helicopters; the satellite read-out equipment
(SROE), to provide the tactical commander and his meteorologist “real time” weather data
acquired and transmitted by the defense meteorological satellite system; and the versatile
avionics shop test (VAST), an enhanced aircraft maintenance facility. In addition, since
each embarked type of jet presented a unique problem to the ship‟s aircraft-handling
capability – the new Grumman F-14 Tomcat‟s exhaust being hotter than that of the other
aircraft‟s and the S-3A‟s higher than any other embarked plane‟s due to the position of its
engines, for example -- the jet blast deflectors needed to be rebuilt to provide a larger
protective surface and an improved cooling capability. On 24 May 1974, Captain William
A. Gureck, commanding officer of John F. Kennedy was relieved by Captain Dixon,
leaving dry dock at the end of June 1974, conducting a fast cruise in port at Norfolk Naval
Shipyard late October 1974. On 12 November 1974, John F. Kennedy put to sea for her
first post repair trial, and the following day recovered a VF-32 Tomcat (Modex 204, BuNo
159015) flown by Commander Jerry G. Knutson and Lieutenant (j.g.) David C. “Davy”
Leestma, the first F-14 to land on board; returning to the yard upon completion of her first
post repair trial and wrapped up her overhaul on 25 November 1974, one week earlier than
scheduled, returning to Pier 12, Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia on 26 November 1974
Reclassified CV-67 1 December 1974
John F. Kennedy spent the first six months of 1975 preparing for a return to the
Mediterranean Sea. From 6 to 20 January 1975, John F. Kennedy conducted refresher
training out of Guantanamo, punctuating it with a visit to Montego Bay, Jamaica, before
she returned to Norfolk. On 6 February 1975, Rear Admiral Ronald J. Hays, ComCarGru
4, broke his flag in John F. Kennedy, getting underway on 19 February for the
Jacksonville operating area, to qualify her own CVW-1 and Marine Air Group (MAG)
32. On 22 February 1975, John F. Kennedy recovered an S-3A from Air Anti-Submarine
Squadron (VS) 21 in the first carrier landing of a fleet-assigned Viking, returning to
Norfolk, Virginia on 28 February 1975, conducting type training in the Virginia capes
operating area from 4 to 14 March and from 18 to 28 March 1975. Underway on 7 April
1975, John F. Kennedy sailed for the Jacksonville operating area for a third stint of type
training. On 9 April 1975, Commander Melvin E. Taunt, commanding officer of HS-11
(who had had to make an emergency landing in a farmer‟s field in North Carolina just
three days earlier after a massive transmission oil leak in his SH-3D), embarked on board
John F. Kennedy made an emergency water landing when another major oil leak forced
him to ditch about seven miles from the ship, which recovered the downed Sea King in less
than two hours with minimal damage. On 10 April 1975, Major General Sayed Javad of
the Imperial Iranian Air Force, came on board John F. Kennedy to observe F-14 Tomcat
operations. On 15 April 1975, John F. Kennedy departed Norfolk, Virginia to participate
in Agate Punch, an amphibious exercise conducted in the vicinity of Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina. She also hosted a succession of visitors during that time that included not only
flag officers but novelist Herman Wouk (21 April). John F. Kennedy‟s air wing
participated in multi-faceted operations during Agate Punch that ranged from air defense of
the task force, ASW, and supporting a landing force. The evolution was designed to test
the carrier‟s close air support capability, but also provided the ship an opportunity to test
the CV concept, as she operated continuously for 253 hours in an air, surface and sub-
surface threat environment, recording 961 arrested landings. Tragically, in the closing
phases of Agate Punch, an amphibious exercise conducted in the vicinity of Camp
Lejeune, North Carolina, on 25 April 1975, a VA-34 Intruder crashed, killing Lieutenant
(jg) Arthur K. Bennett III; Bennett‟s bombardier/navigator, however, ejected and was
safely recovered. Following a fourth stint of type training, off Jacksonville, John F.
Kennedy departed Mayport on 10 May 1975 to return to Norfolk, Virginia; that day, an
unsuccessful catapult launch cost VA-34 a KA-6D. Two Sea Kings from HS-11, one flown
by Lieutenant Jon R. Jensen and Ensign Mark A. Hansen, with Aviation Antisubmarine
Warfare Operator 3d Class D.S. Thompson as rescue crewman, the other by Lieutenant
Michael L. Hoppus and Ensign Rodney H. Trump, with Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare
Operator 3d Class W.S. Ewell and Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator Airman E.L.
Lawson embarked, rescued the pilot and bombardier/navigator. With only a month left
before her Mediterranean Sea deployment, John F. Kennedy then took part in Solid
Shield--a joint exercise designed to prepare Atlantic Command Army, Navy, Air Force
and Marine Corps Headquarters for joint combat/amphibious operations--from 27 May to 6
June 1975, returning to Norfolk, Virginia after the exercise Solid Shield concluded.

On 20 June 1975, while at Norfolk, Virginia, the Navy announced eight minor fires that
occurred aboard John F. Kennedy earlier in the week may have been set by a sailor in an
effort to forestall the carriers departure from Norfolk, Virginia, on a seven-month
deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. Rear Admiral Ronald J. Hays, ComCarGru 4,
arriving on board on 6 February 1975, hauled down his flag from John F. Kennedy and on
27 June 1975, during which time Rear Admiral Justin E. Langille III, Commander Cruiser
Destroyer Group (ComCruDesGru) 12, broke his flag on board
On 27 January 1976, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 and Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll,
Commander Task Force 60 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain John R. C.
Mitchell in command, ending her fifth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the
6th Fleet, The highlight of John F. Kennedy voyage to Rota occurred on Independence
Day, 4 July 1975, when an E-2C Hummer from VAW-125 detected two Soviet Tu-95
Bear-Ds. They overflew the ship approximately 400 nautical miles west of the coast of
Spain. Ironically, with all of CVW-1‟s Tomcats temporarily “down” due to engine
problems, the lot of interception fell to Corsairs, two A-7Bs from VA-46 and two from
VA-72, the latter being flown by Lieutenant Michael Akin and Lieutenant (j.g.) Terry
Rogers. The next day, the ship began a final cycle of refresher training prior to joining the
6th Fleet; during the second day of such work, 6 July, Lieutenant Commander Ronald T.
Mears, of VA-46, had to bail out of his A-7B Corsair (side number 306) (BuNo 154487)
five miles astern of the ship when his engine flamed out about 50 miles west of Rota. The
Sea King piloted by Lieutenant Commander William C. Hunter and Lieutenant (j.g.)
Trump, with Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 1st Class Wilmoth and Aviation
Antisubmarine Warfare Operator Airman R.A. Arkie as rescue crewmen, had Mears in
sight in six minutes, and recovered him, uninjured, two minutes later. John F. Kennedy
anchored at Rota on 7 July 1975. There, she relieved USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42)
and in-chopped to the 6th Fleet, she began Mediterranean Sea operations on 14 July,
exercising with units of the Spanish Air Defense and Tactical Air Commands, and USAF
units stationed in Spain. On 19 July 1975, while anchored at Augusta Bay, Rear Admiral
Langille hauled down his flag from John F. Kennedy and Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll,
Commander Task Force 60, broke his flag in John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy got
underway from Augusta Bay on 5 August 1975. That day, F-14 ("AB 100") Tomcat
(Camelot 100) (BuNo 159007) from VF-14 crashed after the ship‟s number four arresting
gear damper failed; Lieutenant Commander Carlton L. Lavinder, Jr., the pilot, and
Lieutenant Bartholomew J. Recame, the NFO, both ejected safely. An SH-3D piloted by
Lieutenant (j.g.) William E. Hoffman and Lieutenant Commander Marvin E. Hobbs, with
Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 3d Class R.M. Davis and Aviation
Antisubmarine Warfare Operator Airman S.R. Northcutt, rescued Lavinder and Recame
and returned them to the ship. Following John F. Kennedy participation in National
Week exercises during the first part of August 1975, during which time contingency forces
were maintained for the potential evacuation of the approximately 100 U.S. government
employees and 1,000 U.S. citizens in Lebanon during strife in that country, John F.
Kennedy visited Bari, Italy, on 16 August. When high winds and heavy seas resulted in the
cancellation of liberty for three days, John F. Kennedy embarked helicopters from HS-11
airlifted the 900-man liberty party and 12,000 pounds of mail between the fleet landing and
the ship from 20 to 21 August 1975. On 22 November 1975, John F. Kennedy and USS
BELKNAP (CG 26) collide in rough seas at night during air exercises 70 nautical miles
east off Sicily, Italy. The overhanging flight deck of the carrier cuts into the superstructure
of the cruiser setting off fires on the BELKNAP, which are not controlled for two-and-one-
half hours on account of frequent flarebacks. Because of the presence of nuclear weapons
on board both ships the commander of Carrier Striking Forces for the 6th Fleet sent a
secret nuclear weapons accident message (a "Broken Arrow") to the Pentagon, warning of
the "high probability that nuclear weapons aboard the BELKNAP (W45 Terrier missile
warheads) were involved in fire and explosion but there were no direct communications
with the BELKNAP at that time and no positive indications that explosions were directly
related to nuclear weapons. An hour after the Broken Arrow message was sent the USS
CLAUDE V. RICKETTS (DDG 5), alongside the BELKNAP fighting the fire, reported
that BELKNAP personnel said "no radiation hazard exists aboard". Six people aboard USS
BELKNAP (CG 26) and one aboard John F. Kennedy are killed. The sailor aboard the
Kennedy died from smoke inhalation when he entered a smoke filled compartment
without an OBA. Both ships got assistance from other ships: BELKNAP had three other
ships helping her and the JFK had one. The BELKNAP suffers serious damage, is put out
of commission, and towed back to the US to effect repairs lasting four years. Smaller fires
and other damage aboard John F. Kennedy are quickly contained and the carrier continues
operations. John F. Kennedy conducted another cycle of operations before putting in to
Naples on 27 August 1975 for a ten-day port visit, departing to the eastern Mediterranean
Sea to prepare for Deep Express, a major NATO exercise that occurred in the Aegean Sea
and on Turkish soil from 22 to 27 September 1975. With tensions in Lebanon still high,
John F. Kennedy arrived at Kithira Anchorage, Greece, on 28 September on 36-hour alert
for possible evacuation of U.S. citizens from Lebanon. During that time, the carrier stood
ready to provide marine and amphibious task group commanders with intelligence support
needed to prepare for such operations that, fortunately, the situation did not ultimately
require. A Grumman F-14A Tomcat (AB 106) from VF-14 (Tophatters) prepares to launch
from John F. Kennedy number two catapult on 28 August 1975, during the ship‟s
Mediterranean deployment. The large sign on the forward end of the island: BEWARE OF
JET BLAST – PROPELLERS AND ROTORS reminds readers of dangers inherent on the
flight deck, and the ceaseless vigilance required during flight operations. John F.
Kennedy made a port call at Catania, Sicily from 1 to 3 October 1975 and then
participated in a National Week exercise with Italian and other NATO forces from 4 to 8
October 1975, transiting to the Strait of Messina from 9 to 13 October 1975 and,
ultimately, reached Naples, out of which she conducted cyclic operations in the
Tyrrhenian Sea during the latter part of October and in mid-November. During the third
cyclic operations in the Tyrrhenian Sea operations that began on 19 November 1975, on
22 November, at 2159 local time, the guided missile cruiser Belknap (CG-26), while
maneuvering to take her station on John F. Kennedy during the night‟s last recovery
operations, collided with her approximately 70 nautical miles east of Sicily. On board the
carrier, a severe fuel fire blazed up the port side, and although firefighters contained the
blaze there inside of 10 minutes, but a receiving room below burned for several hours. At
one point, heavy smoke forced the evacuation of all the carrier‟s fire rooms, forcing her to
go dead in the water. Temporarily hors de combat, John F. Kennedy diverted all flights to
Naval Air Facility Sigonella, with the exception of her embarked SH-3Ds from HS-11 that
supported the unfolding rescue and relief operations. John F. Kennedy’s overhanging
angled deck, however, had ripped into Belknap‟s superstructure from her bridge aft as the
cruiser passed beneath it. JP-5 fuel from ruptured lines in the port catwalk sprayed onto
severed electrical wiring in her gaping wound. Flames engulfed the damaged areas of the
cruiser, and within minutes, Belknap‟s entire amidships superstructure was an inferno.
Shortly after the fire began, boats from other vessels operating with John F. Kennedy and
Belknap began to pull alongside the burning ship, often with complete disregard for their
own safety. Ammunition from Belknap‟s three-inch ready storage locker, located
amidships, cooked off, hurling fiery fragments into the air and splashing around the rescue
boats. Undaunted, the rescuers pulled out the seriously wounded and delivered fire-fighting
supplies to the sailors who refused to surrender their ship to the conflagration. Guided
missile destroyer Claude V. Ricketts and destroyer Bordelon (DD-881) moved in on both
sides of Belknap, their men directing fire hoses into the amidships area that the stricken
ship‟s crew could not reach. Claude V. Ricketts moved in and secured alongside Belknap‟s
port side, and evacuated the injured while fragments from exploding ammunition showered
down upon her weather decks. Frigate Pharris (FF-1094) closed in the carrier‟s port side to
provide fire-fighting assistance. Among the acts of heroism on board John F. Kennedy
were those that earned recommended citations to Aviation Structural Mechanic
(Structures) 3d Class Raymond A. Pabon, Aviation Structural Mechanic (Structures)
Airman William L. Snyder, and Aviation Structural Mechanic (Hydraulics) 3d Class
Harold T. Collier from VF-32. Airman James D. Lunn, of VA-72, having been issued an
oxygen breathing apparatus, grabbed a hose and climbed up three levels to the source of a
fire. Perceiving a dull red-orange glow of burning tires within the thick black smoke, Lunn
trained his hose upon it until an explosion blew him backwards through a hatch, depositing
him three decks below in a foot of water. He was taken to sickbay, where the carrier‟s
medical people treated his burned hands and lacerated right ear. Sadly, John F. Kennedy
lost one man, Yeoman 2d Class David A. Chivalette of CVW-1, to smoke inhalation; two
men from VA-72 (one of whom was the aforementioned Airman Lunn), suffered injuries.
Belknap lost seven men; 23 suffered serious injuries. HS-11‟s Sea Kings flew over 36
hours of support flights, transferring 88 men, including 17 litter patients and 60 hurt, but
ambulatory, sailors. Ultimately towed to Philadelphia, Belknap was decommissioned and
rebuilt. The next day, Rear Admiral Donald D. Engen, Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S.
Naval Forces, Europe, embarked John F. Kennedy to conduct an investigation into the
collision; and on 24 November 1975, having been deemed “operationally capable,” John F.
Kennedy resumed flight operations in the Tyrrhenian Sea, using catapults one and two,
while repairs proceeded on catapults three and four. The ship‟s Fresnel lens having been
destroyed in the collision with Belknap and the fire that ensued, John F. Kennedy‟s landing
signal officers employed a manually operated visual landing aid system (MOVLAS) rigged
on the starboard side abreast the island. VA-72‟s historian noted that the “boarding rates of
all air wing pilots stayed consistently near 100%.” Admiral Engen convened a formal
investigation on the morning of 25 November. John F. Kennedy arrived at Naples on 25
November 1975, where there was, as VA-72‟s scribe put it quite rightly, “a little relaxation
for a deserving crew.” Three days into Naples, on 29 November 1975, Captain John R. C.
Mitchell relieved Captain Gureck as the commanding officer of John F. Kennedy,
departing on 4 December 1975 and put to sea again conducting cyclic operations in the
western Mediterranean Sea from 4 to 8 December 1975 and on 14 December 1975,
visiting Palma from 9 to 13 December 1975, followed by Poop Deck exercise with
Spanish forces from 15 to 16 December 1975, conducting Corsair strike and interdiction
missions against French targets as well as CAP missions, and Tomcat interceptions of
raiding Mirages and Jaguars from 17 to 18 December 1975, winding up those operations
with CVW-1 conducting Phiblex 6-76, delivering live ordnance against the Capodanna
target peninsula, simulating close air support for amphibious landings. John F. Kennedy
reached Barcelona on 22 December 1975, spending Christmas at Barcelona. On 27
December 1975, John F. Kennedy departed Barcelona and returned to sea to begin a cycle
of three days of flight operations to maintain pilot proficiency, after which she returned to
Barcelona, where she remained over New Year‟s, commencing operations on 5 January
1976 in the Mediterranean Sea, followed by air operations in the western Mediterranean
Sea until 11 January, among the evolutions occurring being those familiarizing French
forces with the F-14A, while receiving the first operational look at the Dassault Mirage
F.1. That day, John F. Kennedy began a five-day port visit to Malaga, departing Malaga
on 16 January 1976 and got underway to outchop from the Mediterranean Sea on 16
January 1976, conducting her turnover with USS Saratoga (CV-60) off Rota on 17
January 1976 and then began the voyage back to Norfolk, Virginia. During the voyage
home from the Mediterranean Sea, John F. Kennedy went on alert when a flight of two
Bears neared the ship. Three E-2C‟s maintained airborne radar contact and intercept
control while two F-14s flew intercept and escort missions, providing the Soviet airmen
with a demonstration of the capabilities of the newest naval fighter in the U.S. Navy‟s
inventory. The Bears retired and John F. Kennedy recovered her alert aircraft. On 27
January 1976, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 and Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll,
Commander Task Force 60 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain John R. C.
Mitchell in command. Reclassified CV-67 1 December 1974. Her sixth deployment since
she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy received systems upgrades and engaged in intensive training over the
ensuing months. She received an interim tactical flag command center (ITFCC) and
compartmented mode processing system (CMPS) equipment, serving as the test bed for
both; her efforts proved beneficial to the enhancement of carrier operational systems.
During type training from 23 June to 2 July 1976, John F. Kennedy operated with the
British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. While operating with the British aircraft carrier
HMS Ark Royal during a second period of such evolutions, John F. Kennedy
“entertained” a less welcome (but not altogether unfamiliar) kind of guest. On 21 July
1976, two separate reconnaissance flights by pairs of Bears came into contact with the
carrier. F-14‟s escorted them, and many of the crewmen topside observed the Bears and
their Tomcat escorts appear on the horizon aft of John F. Kennedy and fly along the
starboard side approximately four nautical miles away
On 9 November 1976, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 embarked arrived Norfolk,
Virginia, with Captain John R. C. Mitchell in command, ending her first North Atlantic
deployment participating in Joint Effort, Teamwork 1976 (Arctic Sea) and Bonded
Item operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the
direction of the 2nd Fleet. John F. Kennedy commenced Joint Effort on 3 September
1976, involving approximately 200 ships from participating NATO countries from 3 to 10
September 1976, involving approximately 200 ships from participating NATO countries,
practiced and updated NATO operating procedures and provide practical applications of
established command and control policies; commencing Teamwork 1976 on 10
September 1976, involving approximately 200 ships from participating NATO countries.
Bears reflected Soviet interest in Teamwork 1976, and on 12 September 1976 Lieutenant
(j.g.) William H. “Wally” Baker and Lieutenant Davy Leestma of VF-32 intercepted the
first such overflight 400 nautical miles west of Ireland. They escorted the Bear as it made
one low pass over the ship and followed it until it was out of range. A VFP-63 Vought RF-
8G Crusader took photographs of the Bear to commemorate the occasion. “On 14
September 1976, VF-32 lost a Tomcat some 60 nautical miles during operations in the
North Sea off Scotland when an F-14 ("AB 221") of VF-32 experienced “runaway
engines” and began to skid across the flight deck. The plane's brakes locked and caught
fire about half way through the cat shot. The aircraft went right off the front of the ship and
into the water, both pilots punched out and landed in the water right in front of the ship.
Lieutenant John L. “Lew” Kosich, the pilot (CVW-1 staff), mindful of the pack of aircraft
spotted forward, alertly steered the Tomcat toward the deck edge. Just prior to the F-14
going over the side into 315 fathoms of water, Lieutenant (j.g.) Louis E. “Les” Seymour,
the NFO, initiated command ejection, and both men landed on the flight deck with minor
injuries. Three sailors from the flight deck crew suffered injuries in the mishap with the
rampaging Tomcat, but recovered. Intensive deep-water salvage operations recovered most
of the F-14A and the missile it carried. The same day at 2336, USS Bordelon (DD 881),
one of the ships that came to the USS BELKNAP (CG 26) aid after the collision on 22
November 1975, experiences steering difficulties during refueling operations while
alongside and veered into John F. Kennedy causing topside damage to the Bordelon and
injuring six while operating 75 miles northwest of Scapa Flow, Scotland. Damage to the
Kennedy is minor. Bordelon proceeds to Plymouth, UK, for repairs before going to the
United States. It was not cost effective to repair the Bordelon so she was decommissioned
in February 1977. As it had done during the Belknap incident the previous autumn, HS-11
flew night medical evacuation missions in support of the relief efforts in the wake of the
collision. Soviet interest in the NATO exercises continued, as Bears reconnoitered John F.
Kennedy and her task force on four more occasions. Badgers conducted surveillance
flights on 18 and 21 September 1976, while the carrier logged the nearby presence of the
oceanographic research vessels Arkhipelag and Pelorus as they carried out “tattletale
operations,” and a Kresta II-class guided missile cruiser. On 21 September 1976, John F.
Kennedy, operating in the North Atlantic waters off Norway, entered the Arctic Sea. To
commemorate this auspicious occasion, Boreas Rex, Ruler of the North Wind, bestowed to
all on board John F. Kennedy the renowned “Order of the Blue Nose.” To reflect this
distinction, the carrier later stood into Norfolk with her bull nose painted blue. John F.
Kennedy participated in Teamwork 1976 from 10 to 23 September 1976, involving
approximately 200 ships from participating NATO countries, practiced and updated NATO
operating procedures and provide practical applications of established command and
control policies. John F. Kennedy made a port call at Edinburgh, from 25 September to 1
October 1976 and a port call at Wilhelmshaven, Germany from 4 to 7 October 1976,
participating in Bonded Item from 8 to 10 October 1976, involving approximately 200
ships from participating NATO countries, practiced and updated NATO operating
procedures and provided practical applications of established command and control
policies. During Bonded Item, John F. Kennedy landed several French Vought F-8
Crusaders on board as part of an exchange program, making a port call at Portsmouth,
England from 18 to 24 October 1976 and a port call at Brest, France from 27 to 29 October
1976. On 26 October 1976, during Bonded Item, John F. Kennedy VF-32 flew mock
engagements against their Gallic adversaries. As that squadron‟s historian reflected later,
“this type of dissimilar flying provided valuable aircrew training. John F. Kennedy began
her return transit to Norfolk, Virginia on 30 October 1976. Her seventh deployment since
she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy underwent an inspection and survey upon return from her first North
Atlantic deployment from 15 to 19 November 1976, and then moored alongside Pier 12,
where she remained for the rest of 1976
On 1 August 1977, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 and Rear Admiral William B.
Warwick, ComCarGru 4 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain Mitchell in
command, ending her sixth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet,
participating in NATO Exercise Locked Gate 1977, National Week XXII, joint NATO
and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) Exercise Shahbaz 1977, Dawn Patrol
1977. Reaching Rota on 26 January 1977 and conducted turnover procedures with USS
Nimitz (CVN-68). The next day, Rear Admiral Carroll, ComCarGru 2, and Commander,
TF 60, transferred his flag from Nimitz to John F. Kennedy. On 29 January 1977, John F.
Kennedy changed operational control from 2nd Fleet to 6th Fleet. John F. Kennedy
participated in NATO Exercise Locked Gate 1977 from 29 January to 12 February 1977
that involved 40 ships from Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the
Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The evolution, involving
coordinated air, surface and subsurface operations, and all aspects of electronic warfare,
demonstrated NATO‟s resolve and ability to maintain control of the Strait of Gibraltar
and deny access to the Mediterranean Sea to hostile forces as well as protect allied
countries along the rim of the North Atlantic. During Locked Gate, F-14As from CVW-1
intercepted a pair of Bear-Ds southwest of Gibraltar in the Gulf of Cadiz on 5 February
1977 and escorted them during the time they were operating within 100 nautical miles of
the ship. John F. Kennedy made a port call at Naples from 12 to 28 February 1977,
followed by brief operations in the Ionian Sea, and after a return visit to Naples, John F.
Kennedy participated in National Week XXII from 22 to 26 March 1977. John F.
Kennedy and her consorts, representing Blue (friendly) forces, “battled” Orange (hostile)
forces in the form of USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) and her air wing, Semmes
(DDG-18), Claude V. Ricketts, Basilone (DD-824), and another old consort, Sarsfield. At
the conclusion of the maneuvers, Blue and Orange forces anchored at Augusta Bay for the
post-exercise critique conducted on board John F. Kennedy. During the debriefing of
National Week XXII on 26 March 1977, John F. Kennedy lost her starboard anchor on
26 March 1977. The incident caused a lot of damage to the forward part of the ship. A
salvage ship had to come and recovered the anchor and the chains off the bottom of the
ocean. After the conclusion of National Week XXII, John F. Kennedy became the first
U.S. carrier to call at Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia from 28 March to 2 April 1977), returning to
Naples on 6 April 1977, spending from 6 to 19 April 1977 in port, departing on 19 April
1977, to participate in the joint NATO and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO)
Exercise Shahbaz 1977, involving U.S. 6th Fleet units, the Imperial Iranian Air Force,
Pakistani Air Force, Turkish Air Force, United Kingdom‟s Royal Air Force, U.S. Air Force
Europe and NATO‟s 6th Allied Tactical Air Force. Shahbaz 1977 exercised the air
defenses of the CENTO participants and to develop coordination of the CENTO air
defense system with that of NATO. Following Shahbaz 1977, John F. Kennedy
conducted flight operations in the Aegean Sea until 30 April 1977 and then sailed for
Egypt. From 2 to 6 May 1977, John F. Kennedy paid a visit to Alexandria. Rear Admiral
Robert F. Schoultz, ComCarGru 2, and Captain Mitchell attended a wreath laying
ceremony at Egypt‟s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on 2 May. Two days later, John F.
Kennedy hosted Loubna Sadat, daughter of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, sailing from
Alexandria on 6 May 1977, and proceeded thence to Augusta Bay, Sicily, arriving on 8
May 1977 to replace her starboard anchor, which had been lost on 26 March during the
debriefing of National Week XXII. The incident caused a lot of damage to the forward part
of the ship. A salvage ship had to come and recovered the anchor and the chains off the
bottom of the ocean. John F. Kennedy commenced an ASW exercise, Dawn Patrol 1977
on May 1977 that combined ASW, photographic reconnaissance, and electronic warfare
support, with surface and subsurface search coordination. On 14 May 1977, Captain Jerry
O. Tuttle relieved Captain Mitchell as commanding officer of the ship. From 10 to 16 May
1977, John F. Kennedy participated in an ASW exercise, Dawn Patrol 1977 that
combined ASW, photographic reconnaissance, and electronic warfare support, with surface
and subsurface search coordination. Punctuating her participation in these evolutions, an
RF-8G (Modex AB 601) from VFP-63, Detachment 2, crashed at sea immediately after
launch on 11 May east of Sicily. Lieutenant Commander James S. Ozbirn, the pilot, officer
in charge of the detachment, escaped injury and was retrieved by an SH-3D. Following
Dawn Patrol 1977, John F. Kennedy anchored in Naples for a port visit from 17 May to
1 June 1977, during which time many of the crew‟s family members arrived via charter
flights. Many dependents flew over by chartered jet to enjoy Naples and Italy with their
men while an equal number of sailors returned to the United States for leave. The charter
flight afforded many families the opportunity to be reunited for a brief time during the six
and a half month deployment. John F. Kennedy lifted anchor at Naples and got underway
on 1 June 1977 for operations in the western Mediterranean Sea. On 2 June 1977, while
refueling alongside oilier Marias, the two ships conducted an emergency breakaway after
the destroyer Hawkins (DD-873), refueling on the other side of Marias, collided with the
auxiliary. Her eighth deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy commenced Stan-down, upkeep and maintenance on 1 August 1977
moored at Norfolk Naval Station, Pier 12. Captain Tuttle relieved Captain Mitchell as the
commanding officer of John F. Kennedy during 1977 or early 1978; emerging by years
end 1977 moored at Norfolk Naval Station, Pier 12
Captain Tuttle relieved Captain Mitchell as the commanding officer of John F. Kennedy
during 1977 or early 1978. On 3 January 1978, Vice Admiral Howard E. Greer,
Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, arrived and awarded John F. Kennedy the
Atlantic Fleet Battle Efficiency “E” for battle readiness. For the rest of January until 29
June 1978, John F. Kennedy carried out training and qualifying programs in local waters,
interspersed with in-port upkeep
On 8 February 1979, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 and Rear Admiral Robert L. Walters,
Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with
Captain Lowell R. Myers in command, alongside a snow-covered Pier 12, ending her
seventh Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet participating in
BuzzardEx 78, National Week XXV, ASW Week 8-78, NATO exercise Display
Determination 1978. Underway in the Mediterranean Sea on 3 July 1978 found her under
surveillance by old comrades, Soviet Bear-D‟s that in turn found themselves watched by
Tomcats; reaching Rota on 9 July 1978and conducted a turnover with USS Nimitz (CVN-
68), sailing for Naples on 12 July 1978, proceeding via the Gulf of Cadiz and the Strait of
Gibraltar, arriving at her destination on the morning of 17 July, departing Naples on 20
July 1978 to participate in three exercises: BuzzardEx 78, National Week XXV, and
ASW Week 8-78, which ran consecutively until 4 August 1978. John F. Kennedy visited
Trieste, Italy from 6 to 12 August 1978 and conducted flight operations in the highly
restricted airspace of the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. Following a brief
stop on 19 August in Souda Bay, John F. Kennedy transited the Strait of Messina on 21
August 1978, anchoring at Naples on the morning of 22 August 1978, commencing a 13-
day port call, sailing on 4 September 1978 to conduct an eight-day sea period, during
which time she engaged in missile exercises. On the morning of 12 September 1978, John
F. Kennedy anchored at Alexandria from 12 to 18 September 1978, when she sailed for a
return visit to Naples, arriving on the morning of 19 September 1978, hosting a NATO
Day guest cruise the next day, returning to port the same night. John F. Kennedy left
Naples on the morning of 27 September 1978 to participate in Display Determination
1978, a NATO exercise taking place on 11 October 1978 and simulated an amphibious
landing in northern Greece, after which time John F. Kennedy arrived at Taranto, Italy, to
begin a five-day port visit, anchoring briefly at Souda Bay on 18 October 1978, before she
got underway to conduct missile exercises and upon conclusion anchored at Palma 24
October 1978. There she commenced a two week port visit, highlighted by another
dependents‟ charter flight which brought many loved ones to Spain from the United States
and vice versa. John F. Kennedy began exercises with the Spanish Armed Forces on 7
November 1978. Together, they conducted air strike exercises, air-to-air combat exercises
and anti-submarine warfare exercises and on 22 November 1978, participated in similar
exercises with the French Air Force, arriving at Barcelona, Spain, on 27 November 1978,
where, the following day, 28 November 1978, Captain Lowell R. Myers relieved Captain
Tuttle. As the carrier‟s new commanding officer was beginning his tour, CVW-1 was
conducting dissimilar air combat training with USAF units from Zaragoza Air Base.
From 26 November to 4 December 1978, Air Force and Navy pilots taught each other
lessons in the dynamics of high speed, multi-plane scenarios with adversaries of different
performance and expertise. John F. Kennedy left Barcelona on 4 December 1978. After
missile exercises at Salto di Quirra Range near Sardinia and flight operations off the coast
of Spain, John F. Kennedy anchored at Valencia, Spain, on 9 December 1978 for a port
visit, departing Valencia, Spain for Naples on 17 December 1978, conducting bombing
sorties at Capo Teulada, Sardinia, evaluating the readiness and effectiveness of air and
surface weapons systems against ex-Thornhill (DE-195). John F. Kennedy returned to
Naples on 21 December 1978 to celebrate Christmas and New Year‟s Eve there. John F.
Kennedy sailors installed a new roof over an orphanage, donated toys, and hosted a
Christmas party for the children. John F. Kennedy got underway from Naples on 8 January
1979, arriving at Malaga on 12 January 1979, conducting ASW exercises and refresher
flight training en route, weighing anchor at Malaga on the evening of 24 January 1979 and
proceeded to Rota. On 25 January 1979, John F. Kennedy conducted exercises with her
relief, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), heading for Norfolk on 28 January 1979,
Rear Admiral Robert L. Walters, Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8, breaking his
flag in the ship for the homeward voyage. Her ninth deployment since she was
commissioned
Three days after the John F. Kennedy return from her seventh Mediterranean Sea
deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, a fire -- later determined to have been caused by a
leaking steam line igniting flammable material -- broke out aft on the 03 level in a living
compartment. It was put out in about an hour‟s time. John F. Kennedy hosted about 500
dependents and shipyard workers as she shifted to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 6 March
1979 from Pier 12 and spent that day offloading her conventional ordnance, moving to dry
dock no. 8 on 19 March 1979 for her major overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. An
unknown arsonist set a series of five fires on board John F. Kennedy on 9 April 1979,
killing William L. Seward, a civilian yard employee and injuring 34 other people while the
carrier undergoes overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Va. John F. Kennedy crew
responded quickly and minimized the damage to only 38 compartments during six hours‟
work at general quarters. On 5 June 1979, two fires break out aboard John F. Kennedy at
the Norfolk Naval Shipyard as a result of an arson but cause no injuries or significant
damage. John F. Kennedy doubled security watches to prevent a recurrence. On 14 July
1979, John F. Kennedy shifted from dry-dock to Pier 5 for the remainder of her yard work
at Norfolk Naval Shipyard; conducting a fast cruise and held dockside trials on 5
December 1979, completing major overhaul at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, that included the
redesignation of the tactical support center as an anti-submarine warfare module, an
integrated carrier acoustic prediction system was installed; Mk 29 NATO Sea Sparrow
missile system replaced all three BPDMS launchers and fire control directors; ship‟s radars
were either updated or changed; carrier air traffic control was improved with automatic
data readouts, which enhanced controller efficiency and response time and food service, air
conditioning and laundry facilities were bettered. After post-repair trials and refresher
training out of Guantanamo, a seven-day visit to Boston for OpSail 80 festivities, and a
change of command ceremony on 27 June 1980 when Captain Diego E. Hernandez
relieved Captain Tuttle
On 28 March 1981, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-1 embarked arrived
Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain Diego E. Hernandez in command, ending her eighth
Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet participating in National
Week XXIX, Display Determination 80, Exercise Poop Deck and National Week
XXX. En route to the Mediterranean Sea, Tomcats from CVW-1 embarked on board John
F. Kennedy intercepted a Bear-D on 14 August 1980, arriving at Malaga on 17 August
1980 to relieve USS Saratoga (CV-60), departing the same day for Toulon, arriving on 22
August 1980 for a four-day port visit. John F. Kennedy set sail for operations in the
western Mediterranean Sea en route to Naples on 25 August 1980, conducting large-scale
strike planning exercises with the French Air Force at sea en route to Naples, anchoring on
the morning of 5 September 1980 for an eight-day port visit. John F. Kennedy departed
Naples on 13 September 1980 for three days of operations, concluding three days of
operations by the 16th of September 1980 and returned to Naples for two days of
anchorage training. John F. Kennedy left Naples on 17 September 1980 for the five-day
National Week XXIX exercise in the central Mediterranean Sea, exercises that soon
assumed a quality of reality when Libyan Air Force planes engaged in an unprecedented
number of sorties in the vicinity of John F. Kennedy‟s Battle Group over international
waters. On 19, 20 and 21 September 1980, F-14‟s under E-2 control attached to CVW-1
embarked on board intercepted two Libyan sections. After pausing briefly at Augusta Bay
on 23 September 1980, John F. Kennedy headed for Barcelona, arriving Barcelona
completing rigorous flight operations along the way on 25 September 1980. After a week‟s
stay at Barcelona, arriving on 25 September 1980, John F. Kennedy sailed to the western
Mediterranean Sea to participate in Display Determination 80, en route to Alexandria.
The exercise staged joint combined raids in Italy and engagements with the French carrier
Clemenceau, anchoring at Alexandria the morning of 14 October 1980. After a four-day
port period at Alexandria, John F. Kennedy left Alexandria for Haifa, Israeli, droping
anchor on 19 October 1980. Hospitable Israelis hosted some 240 men from the ship in
their homes; John F. Kennedy hosted approximately 1,000 visitors. John F. Kennedy left
Haifa, Israeli for Athens on 24 October 1980. In transit to Athens 27 October 1980, John
F. Kennedy conducted open ocean mining exercises and participated in joint service
operations with Hellenic forces, anchoring on the morning of 27 October 1980. After a
week at Athens, arriving on the morning of 27 October 1980, John F. Kennedy departed
on 2 November for operations in the central Mediterranean Sea en route to Naples,
arriving four days after her departure from Athens. John F. Kennedy left Naples on 10
November 1980, bound for Palma, and began participating in Exercise Poop Deck that
day. USAF F-15s and F-4s provided adversary services for the carrier‟s airwing. With
Exercise Poop Deck completed, John F. Kennedy anchored at Palma on 15 November
1980 to begin a two-week port visit, which included a dependents charter flight. After a
two week port visit at Palma, John F. Kennedy sailed on 2 December 1980 and resumed
flight operations en route to joint service operations in the central Mediterranean Sea,
anchoring in Naples on 13 December 1980 to plan and prepare for close air support
exercises employing live ordnance at Capo Tuelada. John F. Kennedy returned to Naples
on 20 December 1980. On 27 December 1980, His Eminence Terence Cardinal Cooke,
D.D., Military Vicar, was flown aboard John F. Kennedy to celebrate Mass for
approximately 300 officers and enlisted men, departing Naples on 3 January 1981 en route
to the western and central Mediterranean Sea for carquals and ASW exercises. From 5 to
11 January 1981, John F. Kennedy participated in coordinated operations with fellow
battle group units, dropping anchor in Augusta Bay to host a briefing for National Week
XXX on 12 January 1981, upon completion of which the fleet weighed anchor and sailed
for the waters north of the Suez Canal. Upon completion of National Week XXX, John
F. Kennedy anchored in Souda Bay for the exercise debrief on 19-20 January 1981.
National Week XXX exercised battle group anti-air warfare (AAW) and airborne early
warning (AEW) capabilities, emphasized surface and subsurface search coordination
procedures, electronic support measures and follow-on war-at-sea strikes. Poor weather
and rough seas, however, hampered the exercise, limiting air operations. John F. Kennedy
visited Athens from 21 to 27 January 1981, sailing for the central Mediterranean Sea for
flight operations in support of a combat readiness assessment exercise west of Crete from
28 to 29 January 1981 that tested the ship‟s weapons department and air wing ordnance
teams, commencing flight operations in the central and western Mediterranean Sea
beginning in February 1981. John F. Kennedy made a port visit at Naples from 2 to 3
February 1981, departing Naples for simulated strike and air defense warfare en route to
Valencia, Spain, concluding simulated strike and air defense warfare with the French
Southern Coastal Defense Forces before arriving Valencia, Spain, making a port visit
from 14 to 18 February 1981. John F. Kennedy participated in amphibious exercises off
Carbonaras, Spain from 21 to 22 February 1981, her fighters conducting amphibious
support and combat support and combat air patrol (CAP) missions under surface combatant
control while attack crews gained training and experience in low altitude, high-threat close
air support. From 21 to 24 February 1981, USAF aircraft engaged the carrier in dissimilar
air combat training work. USAF F-4‟s provided the opportunity to exercise CIC and E-2
(Hawkeye) control of anti-air warfare (AAW) operators, as well as exercising the fighters
in the air-to-air role. Upon completion of the dissimilar air combat training work; John F.
Kennedy sailed for Naples, arriving there on 26 February 1981. On 9 March 1981, John
F. Kennedy got underway for Malaga, arriving on 13 March 1981, the ship embarked
approximately 130 male dependents and relatives, conducting a Tiger Cruise prior to
ComCarGru 2/ CTF 60 cross-decking from John F. Kennedy to USS Forrestal (CV-59)
on 18 March 1981 and began her journey home. Made one North Atlantic deployment
operating under the directionn of the 2nd Fleet; reclassified CV-67 1 December 1974;
ending her Caribbean Sea voyage to conduct her operation readiness inspection ORI
operating under the directionn of the 2nd Fleet, which was slated to be a two-week training
cruise in the Caribbean, on her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the
6th Fleet, and her North Atlantic voyage participating in NATO exercises; ending her
Shakedown cruise out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the Caribbean Sea operating with the
United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet. Her
tenth deployment ended (4 August 1980 to 28 March 1981) since she was commissioned.
John F. Kennedy unloaded her ordnance and weapons to the carriers USS Nimitz (CVN-
68) and USS America (CV-66) and the underway replenishment oilier Kalamazoo (AOR-6)
before she made the trip to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, spending April 1981 preparing for a
restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, commencing restricted availability at
Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 30 April 1981; completing restricted availability on 2 August
1981; departing Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 3 August 1981 for post-repair trials; returning
to Norfolk Naval Station, Pier 12 for upkeep from 7 to 23 August 1981
John F. Kennedy hosted the visiting British carrier HMS Invincible during her port call to
Norfolk, Virginia from 8 to 20 August 1981.
Having completed her final adjustments, John F. Kennedy departed Norfolk, Virginia on
24 August 1981 for three weeks of carquals, limited air wing flight operations and ship/air
wing refresher operations in the Jacksonville/Guantanamo operating areas. During
carquals, limited air wing flight operations and ship/air wing refresher operations in the
Jacksonville on 29 August 1981, Captain D. Bruce Cargill relieved Captain Hernandez as
the commanding officer of John F. Kennedy, after which, the carrier steamed to
Guantanamo for refresher training. Concluding three weeks of carquals, limited air wing
flight operations and ship/air wing refresher operations in the Jacksonville/Guantanamo
operating areas on 10 September 1981, John F. Kennedy set course for home, arriving
Norfolk Naval Station, and moored at Pier 12 on 14 September 1981. On 6 October 1981,
John F. Kennedy departed Norfolk, Virginia for four days of carquals, with CVW-3 (VF-
11 and VF-31, VA-37, VA-75 and VA-105, VS-22, VAW-126, VAQ-138 and HS-7),
which had replaced CVW-1 as the ship‟s embarked air wing, conducting type training
from 10-19 October off the Virginia capes, returning to Norfolk, remaining there from 19
to 25 October; shifting to Whiskey anchorage, and preparations for the in-port phase of the
operational propulsion plant examination from 26 to 28 October 1981. Tragically, during
the CVW-3 fly-on operations on board John F. Kennedy on 29 October 1981, VAQ-138
suffered the loss of the three-man crew of one of its EA-6Bs (BuNo 159582). Lieutenant
Commander Jack A. Fisher and Lieutenants James H. Mallory and Alfred J. Dupont
perished in the mishap when the Prowler crashed near NAS Oceana. The ship held a
memorial service for the lost crew two days later
John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia on the morning of
11 December 1981, with Captain D. Bruce Cargill in command, ending her second
Caribbean Sea deployment and North Atlantic voyage operating with the United States
Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in
ReadiEx 1-82 near Puerto Rico, an evolution involving more than 30 ships and 200
aircraft of the Atlantic Fleet and Royal Navy. Memorial service for Lieutenant Commander
Jack A. Fisher and Lieutenants James H. Mallory and Alfred J. Dupont was held on 29
October 1981, following the loss of the three-man crew of one of VAQ-138 EA-6Bs
(BuNo 159582). During November 1981, CVW-3 aircraft intercepted Tu-95 Bears, took
part in ReadiEx 1-82, parrying threats to the battle group, and planned attacks on selected
exercise targets. As ReadiEx 1-82 progressed, the entire battle group began to perform as a
coordinated body. John F. Kennedy visited St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from 8 to 11
November 1981. After a four day port visit to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, John F.
Kennedy engaged in yet more training, including air wing day and night strikes against
targets on Vieques; CAP against multiple airborne raids; minefield evasion, multiple air-to-
air missiles exercises; air-to-air gunnery against a towed banner; multiple war-at-sea
strikes; advanced anti-ship cruise missile exercises during which CVW-3 scored direct hits
on the target, ex-Charles R. Ware (DD-865); electronic warfare training; anti-submarine
torpedo exercises by both helo and fixed wing aircraft; refueling/ replenishment exercises;
and various safety and navigational exercises. On 17 November 1981, USS Dwight D.
Eisenhower (CVN-69) departed Barbados and commenced two days of adversary
operations against John F. Kennedy. Afterwards, both carrier battle groups joined forces.
Without benefit of a coordination and workup period, units of the two carrier battle groups,
British forces, and USAF assets rendezvoused in a hostile electronic warfare environment
and successfully encountered a complex, sophisticated and numerically superior exercise
adversary, proving the concept of long-range force defense for protracted periods. The
participants had achieved a major breakthrough in maritime air superiority through several
“firsts” in the Navy‟s experience, including employment of in-flight refueling from a
USAF McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, employing long-range carrier based CAP,
and integrating the largest joint carrier battle force/ USAF command and control
(AWACS) aircraft. John F. Kennedy underwent ORE from 1 to 4 December 1981, during
which time an arresting wire breaks during the landing of an A-7 Corsair aircraft on board
while operating in the Caribbean Sea on 3 December 1981, killing two men and injuring
three others. Four aircraft including the A-7 are damaged. More than 30 ships and 200
aircraft of the Atlantic Fleet and Royal Navy participated in ReadiEx 1-82 ReadiEx 1-82
from 30 October to 4 December 1981, an evolution designed to improve readiness in
coordinated dual carrier battle group operations for USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-
69) and John F. Kennedy. During the exercise, the participants passed beneath the
constant watch by their Soviet comrades, Bears operating between the Soviet Union and
Cuba observing training, including air wing day and night strikes against targets on
Vieques; CAP against multiple airborne raids; minefield evasion, multiple air-to-air
missiles exercises; air-to-air gunnery against a towed banner; multiple war-at-sea strikes;
advanced anti-ship cruise missile exercises during which CVW-3 scored direct hits on the
target, ex-Charles R. Ware (DD-865); electronic warfare training; anti-submarine torpedo
exercises by both helo and fixed wing aircraft; refueling/ replenishment exercises; and
various safety and navigational exercises. John F. Kennedy anchored north of Vieques
from 4 to 5 December to rearm from Butte (AE-27) and finish work on her propulsion
system. Her 11th deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy remained moored alongside Pier 12 from 30 October 1981 to 4 January
1982
On 14 July 1982, John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain D. Bruce Cargill in command, ending her ninth Mediterranean Sea
deployment operating with the 6th Fleet participating in National Week XXXI and Daily
Double, and stand by operations for the potential evacuation of American citizens from
Beirut, in the wake of Israeli forces entering Lebanon in Operation Peace for Galilee, her
first Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea deployment with the 7th Fleet. Commenced
her voyage to the Mediterranean Sea deployment with a three-day period of CarQuals
for her air wing off the Virginia capes, in-chopped the Mediterranean Sea on 17 January
1982 and began a four-day port visit to Malaga. Late on 21 January 1982, John F.
Kennedy got underway, and participated in National Week XXXI in the Mediterranean,
transiting the Suez Canal on 3 February 1982, making her first passage with numerous
Egyptian and U.S. Embassy staff members embarked, spending the rest of the month of
February in the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea, crossing the equator for the first
time on 6 March 1982, entering the “Realm of King Neptunus Rex.” Only ten percent of
the crew had crossed the equator previously and by the end of the day, 4,500 “Pollywogs”
had become “Shellbacks,” setting course for Australia, en route to Perth. Following loss of
control an F-14 ("AC 101") from VF-11, the F-14 crashed into the Red Sea while engaged
in an ACM flight from the John F. Kennedy on 6 February 1982. On 11 March 1982,
each man of the John F. Kennedy, whether he was ship‟s company, air wing, or staff, in a
departure from the “dry” nature of U.S. Navy ships in the wake of the 1914 general order
abolishing other than medicinal alcohol on board, was authorized two cold beers in a
cookout on the flight deck. The entire crew took the afternoon off to relax following 45
days of arduous toil, anchoring outside Perth at the port of Fremantle on the morning of 19
March 1982, and received warm hospitality for the duration of the stay that ultimately
came to an end on 25 March. John F. Kennedy conducted routine operations and
exercises for the next five weeks, evolutions punctuated by her first port visit in Africa,
anchoring at Mombasa, Kenya, on 2 May 1982, departing on 7 May 1982 and steamed
toward the North Arabian Sea, where, the following day, she hosted the first visit aboard
a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing
when President Mohamed Siad Barre of the Somali Democratic Republic, arrived to
full honors, including marine honor guard and a 21-gun salute from the guided missile
cruiser Josephus Daniels (CG-27). On 19 May 1982, Commodore John Gunning,
Commander, Sultan of Oman‟s Navy and Captain John De Winton, Chief of Staff
(Designate), Sultan of Oman‟s Navy visited John F. Kennedy. The carrier had been
operating closely with the Sultan of Oman‟s air forces, and the visit was intended to foster
closer relations with his military representatives. John F. Kennedy transited the Strait of
Bab-El-Mandeb on 1 June 1982 and headed north in the Red Sea. She arrived at Port
Suez that afternoon. By 2 June 1982, John F. Kennedy made her northerly transit of the
Suez Canal, and expected to make a port visit to Haifa from 6 to 11 June, where many of
the John F. Kennedy‟s crew had dependents waiting for them. However, another crisis in
the Middle East would put those plans on hold, in the wake of Israeli forces entering
Lebanon in Operation Peace for Galilee on 6 June 1982. Israel had attacked Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) fortifications throughout southern Lebanon, and John F.
Kennedy, her anticipated port visit to Haifa cancelled, received orders to proceed to a
position off the Lebanese coast. On 8 June 1982, the Secretary of Defense ordered the
Marine Amphibious Ready Group at Rota to the eastern Mediterranean Sea for potential
evacuation of American citizens from Beirut, Lebanon. John F. Kennedy crew was
relieved to hear that their loved ones were all safe and returning home, as they prepared to
aid in the possible evacuation of U.S. and other foreign nationals from Beirut, remaining
on station in the eastern Mediterranean Sea until relieved on 17 June 1982 by USS Dwight
D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and then proceeded to Toulon, arriving on 21 June 1982,
departing John F. Kennedy sailed to take part in Daily Double, an anti-surface warfare
(ASW) and air defense exercise with the French Air Force and Navy, concluding on 27
June 1982, John F. Kennedy transited to Malaga, arriving on 28 June 1982, making a port
call from 28 June to 3 July 1982, departing on 3 July 1982, conducting a Tiger Cruise on
her way home. Her 12th deployment since she was commissioned
From 17 to 27 August 1982, John F. Kennedy conducted carquals off the Virginia capes,
conducting carquals off the capes from 21 to 24 September 1982. On 30 September 1982,
John F. Kennedy hosted change-of-command ceremonies where Admiral Wesley L.
McDonald relieved Admiral Harry D. Train, II, USN, as Supreme Allied Commander,
Atlantic; Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet
John F. Kennedy underwent an overhaul and rehabilitation period for all ship‟s spaces
and equipment at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 15 October 1982; completing overhaul and
rehabilitation period for all ship‟s spaces and equipment on 7 February 1983 and got
underway for two days of post-availability sea trials off the Virginia capes, returning to
Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia on 10 February 1983. John F. Kennedy remained at
Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia from 10 to 24 February; conducting carquals off the capes
from 24 to 27 February 1983. On 28 February 1983, John F. Kennedy sailed for
Guantanamo for refresher training, conducting refresher training out of Guantanamo from
1 to 9 March 1983. Released to proceed to Bridgetown, Barbados, John F. Kennedy
remained there from 12 to 15 March 1983, engaged in training in the Caribbean/Puerto
Rico operating areas from 15 March to 5 April 1983, returning to Naval Station, Norfolk,
Virginia on 8 April 1983. On 14 April 1983, Captain Gary F. Wheatley relieved
Commodore Cargill as commanding officer of John F. Kennedy. On 26 April 1983, John
F. Kennedy deployed for Solid Shield 83, an exercise designed to test multi-phase and
joint operations off the coasts of North and South Carolina and Georgia. Solid Shield 83
was conducted from 27 April to 5 May 1983, an exercise designed to test multi-phase and
joint operations off the coasts of North and South Carolina and Georgia. The ship was
tasked with utilizing the Joint Interoperability Tactical Command and Control Systems
message format designed to standardize messages and message procedures among all
branches of the armed services. After Solid Shield 83, the remainder of May 1983 saw
more carquals and a planned maintenance system inspection
On 1 July 1983, John F. Kennedy with CVW-1 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Gary F. Wheatley in command, ending her second North Atlantic and first
Central and Eastern Atlantic Ocean deployment operating with the United States
Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in
Exercise United Effort and a NATO exercise Ocean Safari; which took place during
John F. Kennedy‟s voyage across the North Atlantic and then steamed east towards the
Central and Eastern Atlantic Ocean to participate in Ocean Safari, a NATO exercise
from 3 to 17 June 1983 that involved some 90 ships from ten nations. Ocean Safari
simulated air strikes into France, West Germany, and England, and the involved elements
carried out ASW, anti-carrier warfare and convoy escort exercises between the Azores and
the United Kingdom, making a port visit to Portsmouth, England from 18 to 22 June 1983,
began her trip home to Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia, on 23 June 1983. Her
13th deployment since she was commissioned
After a post-deployment respite, John F. Kennedy conducted carquals off the Virginia
capes commencing on 20 July, conducting three days of an Operational Propulsion Plant
Examination (OPPE) off the Virginia capes, after which time the ship remained in port
from 30 July through 9 August 1983
On 2 May 1984, John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Gary F. Wheatley in command, ending her Southern Atlantic voyage and
tenth Mediterranean Sea deployment (11th voyage) operating with the 6th Fleet,
providing a U.S. presence for a growing crisis in Beirut, Lebanon, spending most of 1984
patrolling the region, commenced carquals off the Virginia capes on 27 September 1983
(27 sep to 2 Oct), course for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a port visit, crossed the Equator on 8
October 1983; over 2,000 “pollywogs” were initiated into the order of King Neptune‟s
realm, making a port call at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 13 to 16 October 1983, during
which time the crew provided material and manpower aid for the John F. Kennedy
Brazilian Elementary School, bidding farewell to Rio on 17 October 1983 as the ship
steamed east for another deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, en route to the
Mediterranean Sea, a suicide bomber struck the U.S. Marine Corps Multi-National Forces
(MNF) Barracks at Beirut International Airport, killing 241 marines on 23 October 1983
and later the same day, another suicide car bomb killed 58 French paratroopers, entering
the Med five days after those terrorist acts, one day ahead of schedule, the prevailing
international situation resulted in her scheduled 2 to 7 November port visit to Marseille,
France, being cancelled, suffering the loss of Lieutenant (jg) Cole P. O‟Neil and
Commander John C. Scull (RIO) from VF-31 attached to CVW-3 embarked on board John
F. Kennedy on 8 November 1983, when their F-14A (Modex AC 205) inexplicably flew
into the sea while on a CAP station near the coast of Lebanon, followed by a second F-14A
(AC 212) from VF-31 attached to CVW-3 embarked on board John F. Kennedy crashed
on 11 November 1983, with the pilot, Lieutenant David P. Jancarski suffering serious
injuries in the egress, while Lieutenant Commander Oliver L. Wright (RIO), emerged from
the ordeal unhurt, safely rescued by HS-7 helos, the Sea King flown by Lieutenant
Commander Thomas R. Withers, with Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 3d Class
John Curran and Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator Airman Daniel Rockel as
rescue crewmen, picking up Jancarski and the Sea King flown by Lieutenant Richard A.
Strickland, with rescue aircrew Mark Phillips and Mike Mellema, picking up Wright,
followed by the loss of Aviation Machinist‟s Mate 2d Class Fernando Pena when her
perished in the crash of a C-1A Trader, Caroline II, lost at sea, during a ferry flight, near
Palma on 24 November 1983, while that same day, F-14As began flying tactical air
reconnaissance pod system (TARPS) missions over Lebanon, their crews gathering
valuable intelligence to target Syrian positions for the gunfire support ships offshore,
providing support for the MNF with USS Independence (CV-62) throughout the rest of
1983, as the result of which the planned port visit to Alexandria and a Suez Canal transit
were cancelled, returning to Haifa, Israeli on the morning of 28 November, making a port
call at Haifa, Israeli from 28 November to 1 December 1983. John F. Kennedy suffered
three tragic losses while operating near the coast of Lebanon, engaging in combat for the
first time soon after her port call at Haifa, Israeli, when she returned to the waters off
Lebanon, when, two VF-31 F-14As, on a TARPS mission, the Tomcat flown by Lieutenant
Commander John C. Burch with Lieutenant John W. Miller as RIO, the escort flown by
Lieutenant Gregory G. Streit with Lieutenant (j.g.) James E. McAloon as RIO,
encountering surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire the
following morning on 4 December 1983, pounding Syrian anti-aircraft and artillery
positions near Hammana, Lebanon, in a coordinated retaliatory strike with USS
Independence (CV-62) aircraft (CVW-6), during which time VA-85 flew seven combat
sorties and VA-75 three, in addition to launching two of its KA-6Ds to serve as aerial
refuelers for the strike aircraft; VAQ-137‟s EA-6Bs provided electronic countermeasures
and electronic support measures, while VF-11 flew CAP missions with its F-14s and VF-
31 flew rescue CAP and CAP over the force offshore with their Tomcats, while SAMs,
however, downed one Independence A-7E and one John F. Kennedy VA-85 A-6E, Syrian
troops capturing Lieutenant Robert O. Goodman, the Intruder‟s bombardier - navigator
(ultimately released on 3 January 1984, he returned to the United States), while Lieutenant
Mark A. Lange, Lieutenant Goodman‟s pilot, however, died from injuries received during
the ejection, followed by Lange‟s body being returned by the Syrians to the American
Embassy in Beirut on 7 December 1983 (A Christian Lebanese fisherman and his son
picked up Commander Edward K. Andrews, the A-7E pilot, CVW-6‟s commander, and he
soon reached American hands), while conditions in the region merited Secretary of
Defense Casper W. Weinberger to authorize John F. Kennedy on 10 December 1983 to
stay in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and not transit to the Indian Ocean as previously
scheduled, John F. Kennedy thus began 1984 continuing her support of the MNF, leaving
the eastern Mediterranean Sea en route to Naples for a port call on 20 January 1984,
making a port call at Naples from 23 to 30 January 1984 before returning to her station off
Lebanon, in response to a resumption of hostile artillery fire upon U.S. Marine positions,
CVW-3‟s Intruders embarked on board John F. Kennedy carried out air strikes against the
offending guns, taking no losses in return, given a brief respite from MNF support duty to
conduct NATO exercises near Cyprus in conjunction with the British and French navies,
John F. Kennedy changed station to north of Alexandria on 22 March 1984, receiving
orders to proceed to Naples on 9 April 1984, making a port call at Naples from 12 to 18
April 1984, while USS Saratoga (CV-60) relieved John F. Kennedy, releasing her to sail
for home, receiving her ninth Battle “E,” the Silver Anchor Award for Retention, the Rear
Adm. Flatley Award for Safety and the Battenburg Cup for being the overall best ship in
the Atlantic Fleet. Her 14th deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy was underway on 30 May 1984 for Boston to participate in the “Parade
of Sail” event. After participate in the “Parade of Sail” event at Boston, John F. Kennedy
conducted a Tiger cruise, culminating at Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia on 8
June 1984. John F. Kennedy conducted trials and qualifications from June to August
1984. On 2 September 1984, Vice President George H.W. Bush visited John F. Kennedy
and Captain William R. McGowen relieved Commodore Wheatley as commanding officer,
and soon thereafter, the ship steamed to the Virginia capes for carquals and testing of the
new McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Four days later, John F. Kennedy entered
Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a $165 million complex overhaul and much needed upgrades
to include being drydocked on 9 September 1984. While in the shipyard, John F.
Kennedy received the inaugural Department of Defense Phoenix Award, signifying a level
of maintenance excellence above Department of Defense components worldwide and in
February 1985, received a fifth CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award for best retention
programs in an Atlantic Fleet carrier and several departmental efficiency awards;
completing complex overhaul and much needed upgrades on 20 September 1985, spending
the winter of 1984 drydocked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, receiving the installation of
two close-in weapons system (CIWS) mounts, 20mm Phalanx CIWS Mk 15, a SPN-46
automatic carrier landing system, the Mk. 23 target acquisition system, the single audio
system (SAS), a flag tactical command and control (FTCC) system, the URN-25 tactical
aid to air navigation, the Raytheon collision avoidance system (RAYCAS), a SPS-67 and
SPS-64 surface search radar, SPA-25E and SPA-74 air search radar repeaters, the surface
ship torpedo defense (SSTD) and F/A-18 maintenance phase I capability
John F. Kennedy returned to the Atlantic Fleet on 20 September 1985, commencing
carquals off the Virginia capes to begin trials of her newly installed or overhauled systems
on 8 October 1985,making a port call at Port Lauderdale, Florida from 11 to 15 October
1985, during which she hosted some 25,000 visitors and upon departure, conducted target
of opportunity exercises with the attack submarine Boston (SSN-703) on 15 October 1985.
During those evolutions, the carrier controlled the guided missile destroyer Richard E.
Byrd (DDG-23) and VS-24 planes as they tracked Boston for four hours and “attacked” her
twice; returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 18 October 1985. On 29 October 1985, John F.
Kennedy got underway for shakedown training, testing her newly installed CIWS 20mm
Phalanx MK 15, while continuing tests of NATO MK 29 Sea Sparrow weapons, elevators
and the surface ship torpedo system, conducting target of opportunity exercises with
Minneapolis-St.Paul (SSN-708) from 29 to 31 October 1985, John F. Kennedy aircraft
maintaining contact on their adversary for 16 hours and simulating 14 attacks. As the
month of November 1985 began, John F. Kennedy assisted five people on board a fishing
vessel in distress on 1 November. On 8 November 1985, John F. Kennedy conducted
target of opportunity exercises with James K. Polk (SSBN-645), John F. Kennedy aircraft
maintaining contact on their adversary for four hours and simulating four attacks, making a
port call at Nassau from 9 to 13 November 1985; conducting an ASW evolution from 17 to
20 November 1985, with Bonefish (SSN-582), during which her aircraft assisted destroyers
John Rodgers (DD-983) and O’Bannon (DD-987) and frigate William S. Sims (FF-1059) in
generating 51 hours of “contact time” and making 57 “attacks,” and a target of opportunity
evolution with Honolulu (SSN-718) that saw aircraft from the carrier maintaining contact
for 21 hours and simulating 14 attacks.
On 25 November 1985, John F. Kennedy returned to Norfolk, Virginia, a John F.
Kennedy Hawkeye detected a surprise raid by Marine All Weather Attack Squadron
(VMA(AW)) 533, which deck-launched interceptors from the ship handled. On 9
December 1985, John F. Kennedy completed fleet carquals and tracking exercises for her
CIWS 20mm Phalanx MK 15 systems and NATO MK 29 Sea Sparrow weapons, cross-
decked people from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, VP-24, and VP-26, and qualified pilots from
VA-42 and VA-174, VMA(AW)-533, and CVW-3. On 11 December 1985, John F.
Kennedy conducted ASW exercises with L. Mendel Rivers (SSN-686) and Archerfish
(SSN-678) from 11 to 12 December 1985, P-3 Orions from VP-5, VP-24, and VP-56,
assisted by the frigate Bowen (FF-1079) generated 51 hours of contact and 30 simulated
attacks, making a port call at Mayport on 13 December 1985, completing the surface ship
torpedo defense system on 16 December 1985, returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 19
December 1985, returning to the Atlantic Fleet on 20 September 1985. John F. Kennedy
got underway from Norfolk, Virginia for refresher training in the western Atlantic on 15
January 1986, making a port call at Mayport on 22 January 1986 before resuming for
refresher training en route to return to Norfolk, Virginia On 3 March 1986, John F.
Kennedy got underway from Norfolk, Virginia for independent type training in the
western Atlantic, making a port call at Port Everglades from 8 to 12 March 1986, returning
to Norfolk, Virginia on 17 March 1986, where the actuator on number one catapult was
replaced by one installed in the USS Nimitz (CVN-68)-class ships the following day. John
F. Kennedy conducted carquals from 14 to 16 April 1986, returning to Norfolk, Virginia
on the 17 April 1986. John F. Kennedy conducted a dependent‟s day cruise on the 19
April 1986, before resuming in-port status for the remainder of the month, during which
time a global positioning system (GPS) satellite navigation unit was installed on board. On
1 May 1986, Captain John A. Moriarty relieved Captain McGowen as commanding officer
of the John F. Kennedy and on 6 May 1986, sailed for the Puerto Rican operating area for
advanced training, conducting a major (13-hour) underway replenishment from
replenishment oilier Savannah (AOR-4) moving 390 lifts of stores from the auxiliary to the
carrier on 7 May 1986 before making a port call at St. Thomas, returning to Norfolk,
Virginia on 6 June 1986. John F. Kennedy got underway from Norfolk, Virginia on 26
June 1986, for a certification period for the AN/SPN-46 automated carrier landing system
(ACLS), continued on for New York City, reaching New York City on 1 July April 1986.
On 3 and 4 July 1986, over 8,000 people visited John F. Kennedy while being the
centerpiece for a vast international naval armada during the International Naval Review in
honor of the 100th Anniversary of France‟s giving the United States the Statue of Liberty
to the United States and Rededication of the Statue of Liberty. President Ronald Reagan
visited the ship on Independence Day. Following a Tiger Cruise from 6 to 9 July 1986,
John F. Kennedy returned to Norfolk, Virginia for more local operations and preparation
for her next deployment
On 3 March 1987, John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain John A. Moriarty in command, ending her 11th Mediterranean Sea
deployment (12th voyage) operating with the 6th Fleet; made her Southern Atlantic
voyage on her tenth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet
participating in Display Determination 86 and Exercise Dasix with French air forces
being the first carrier to deploy with the Mk. 65 Quickstrike mine in her magazines;
preparing for a possible emergency recall due to Hurricane Gloria striking the eastern
seaboard of the United States with high winds, thunderstorms and flooding on 18 August
1986, however the system passed swiftly, allowing John F. Kennedy to continue her
deployment to the Med, arriving Rota on schedule on 28 August 1986, conducting turnover
with USS America (CV-66), John F. Kennedy sailed for Benidorm, Spain, for a six-day
port visit, proceeding thence for four days at sea and then anchored at Toulon, for a five-
day port visit and planning meetings for Display Determination 86, a large-scale multi-
national three-part exercise that included USS Forrestal (CV-59) and her battle group, and
the French carrier Foch (R.99), running from 19 September to 13 October 1986, extending
from the eastern Mediterranean Sea into the Aegean Sea, conducted exercises with USS
Forrestal (CV-59) upon completion Display Determination 86 and then anchored in
Haifa, Israeli on 16 October 1986, leaving Haifa, Israeli on 19 October 1986, John F.
Kennedy engaged in a “sinkex” in which her aircraft and guided missile cruiser Belknap,
utilizing Harpoon, among other weapons, sank the former Italian frigate ex-Cigno, heading
into the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea on 20 October 1986, suffering the
loss of the crew of an S-3 (side number 702) with its crew when it crashed on 21 October
1986, during Haifa-Trieste transit, during which time Captains Russell Schindelheim and
Timothy Morrison, USMC, of VMA(AW)-533 was lost while searching for the lost Viking
that crashed; a Honduran-flag (Marisal Lines) bulk carrier, El Sol, witnessing the mishap
and assisting in salvage efforts.” (Ref. 549), making a port call at Trieste from 27 October
to 3 November 1986, arriving at Naples on 5 November 1986 and upon departure steamed
into the western Mediterranean Sea for a Poopdeck exercise from 11 to 12 November
1986, conducting exercises with Moroccan and USAF units in African Eagle, evolutions
that tested the battle group in AAW, overland strikes, CV attack and low-level flying.
Concluding African Eagle on 22 November 1986, reaching Cannes on 22 November 1986
and celebrated Thanksgiving, sailing from Cannes to resume operations on 3 December
1986, participating in a Dasix exercise with French air forces, involving low level attacks
defended by French Mirages, beginning a ten-day port visit in Naples on 10 December
1986 upon conclusion of Dasix exercise, during which time his eminence Corado Cardinal
Ursi, the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, visited John F. Kennedy and celebrated Mass
and held a confirmation ceremony in the hangar bay on 14 December 1986, making a port
call at Naples from 10 to 20 December 1986, under going the largest work package ever
conducted on a forward-deployed carrier. Sailing for Palma on 20 December 1986, John
F. Kennedy sailed for Palma, arriving Palma on 23 December 1986, making a port call at
Palma from 23 December 1986 to 2 January 1987, celebrating Christmas and New Year‟s
Eve, departing Palma on 2 January 1987, conducting flight operations in the central
Mediterranean Sea the next day. On 3 January 1987, a VF-14 F-14A (Modex AC-106,
BuNo 159431) attached to CVW-3 embarked on board John F. Kennedy attempting a
night landing, “bolted” and drifted right, striking an A-6 at about 1854, shearing off a
portion of the F-14‟s right wing and severed an external fuel tank from the wing of the A-
6, while the crew of the F-14A ejected, and although 14 to 20-foot seas and 35-knot winds
hampered the efforts, were recovered, with an HS-7 helo, Dusty Dog 610, recovering the
Tomcat‟s pilot and destroyer John Rodgers rescuing Lieutenant Michael J. Valen, the
NFO, as well as Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 1st Class Timothy Broderick,
the rescue swimmer from HS-7, during which time the flight deck crews extinguished the
flames that issued from the Intruder‟s ruptured fuel tank within minutes of the accident,
preventing damage to the flight deck or surrounding planes, and the ship stood down from
the fire emergency at 1926, commencing her Cannes port visit on 6 January 1987, got
underway for National Week, conducted in the western Mediterranean Sea after a
pleasant ten-day visit at Cannes, during which time John F. Kennedy’s battle group
conducted exercises with USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in Augusta Bay, anchoring at Malaga on
29 January 1987 for a four-day port visit, scheduled to be her last before turnover in Rota
upon conclusion of the National Week exercise, while growing unrest in the Middle East,
shortened liberty at Malaga, as John F. Kennedy received an indefinite extension with
orders to commence a high-speed transit to the eastern Mediterranean Sea where John F.
Kennedy would join USS Nimitz (CVN-68) off the coast of Lebanon, arriving at her
destination in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on 2 February 1987 and commenced dual
carrier battle group operations with USS Nimitz (CVN-68), anchoring at Haifa, Israeli on 5
February 1987 after four days of operations for a six-day port visit, returning to dual carrier
battle group operations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on 12 February 1987, receiving
orders ending her indefinite extension and dual carrier battle group operations on 17
February 1987 and on the morning of 21 February 1987, John F. Kennedy anchored off
Rota and later that night, finished a one-day out-chop, weighed anchor and headed for
Norfolk, Va. . Her 15th deployment since she was commissioned
Following a month-long leave and upkeep period, John F. Kennedy focused her attention
on the upcoming carquals and a restricted availability that would follow, commencing
restricted availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 1 May 1987; completing restricted
availability on 17 August 1987
John F. Kennedy moored at Boston on 3 September 1987, where she hosted over 130,000
visitors in two and a half days of visiting, and Rear Admiral John R. McNamara. (ChC)
Chief of Chaplains conducted a John F. Kennedy Memorial Mass, sailing from Boston on
9 September 1987 for Portland, Maine, arriving on 10 September 1987, weighing anchor
15 September 1987, and proceeded home to Norfolk on another two-day Tiger Cruise;
commencing an upkeep period that lasted until November 1987, during which time
American Broadcasting Company (ABC) film crews came on board to film the motion
picture “Supercarrier. John F. Kennedy departed for the Virginia capes and conducted an
ISE on 16 November 1987, conducting refresher training and a week of underway filming,
returning to Norfolk on 24 November 1987, just in time for Thanksgiving, concluding
refresher training and a week of underway filming
On 4 December 1987, John F. Kennedy returned to sea for refresher training, returning to
Norfolk on 17 December 1987, remaining there to close out 1987, concluding refresher
training. Upon conclusion of refresher training, John F. Kennedy underwent a technical
availability. After a brief carrier qualification period from 21 to 25 January 1988, John F.
Kennedy held a change of command ceremony on 29 January, when Captain Hugh D.
Wisely relieved Captain Moriarty, spending February through March of 1988 preparing for
the upcoming Mediterranean Sea deployment. During carquals off the Virginia capes on
25 March 1988, Gypsy 203, a VF-32 F-14 (BuNo 159441) crashed at 2135 after failing to
gain proper airspeed off the catapult of John F. Kennedy. Dusty Dog 614, flown by
Lieutenant Andrew T. Macyko and Lieutenant (j.g.) Rodger T. “Rusty” Shepko, with
Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operators 2d Class Roger Anderson as first crewman and
Fred Setzer as rescue swimmer, located Lieutenant Nicholas A. Filippone, and petty officer
Setzer went into the water to assist him; the HS-7 helo hoisted the NFO on board at 2154.
The Sea King then illuminated Lieutenant Michael J. Nichols‟s position as it headed for
the ship (landing at 2156), enabling the carrier‟s starboard motor whaleboat to pick up the
pilot at 2158 and bring him on board at 2207. Both Nichols and Filippone received
treatment for hypothermia, and were listed as “conscious, alert, and stable” by the end of
the first watch. During phase training evolutions, on 24 April 1988, the submarine
Bonefish, while “pursuing” John F. Kennedy and her battle group in exercises about 160
miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, suffered a major fire and a series of explosions that
ripped through the boat, killing three sailors and forcing the men to abandon ship. The
guided missile frigate Carr (FFG-52), sensing danger in a routine transmission from the
sub, sped to the scene. John F. Kennedy learned of the catastrophe via radio when 42
nautical miles away at 1718, and immediately began assembling medical teams on the
flight deck to be transported to Carr. John F. Kennedy launched the first SH-3H at 1740,
two at 1744, and a fourth at 1827, and began recovering the first helicopter transporting
Bonefish sailors at 1844; she launched the fifth helo ten minutes later. She continued flight
operations with her helicopters into the second dog watch, and began bringing on board the
first casualties at 2205; heading for Mayport early in the mid watch on 25 April 1988,
flying the survivors ashore to NAS Mayport by helo, retaining only Lieutenant (j.g.)
William B. Swift, one of the submarines‟s injured officers, for further treatment. Carr‟s
providential preparation for rescue work had enabled her to be ready to act as on-scene
commander as soon as she arrived. Over the ensuing hours, as smoke issued from the
hatches of the stricken Bonefish, Carr coordinated the work of the quintet of Sea Kings
from HS-7 that “blanketed the…area all working as a cohesive team” to remove people
from the burning submarine, in addition to a fixed-wing jet and her own motor whaleboat
in the rescue of the 89 surviving crewmen, HS-7 helicopters employing rescue swimmers
to attach rescue slings and calm anxious survivors. Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron
(Light) (HSL) 44, Detachment 4, in Carr, utilizing their SH-60B Seahawk, evacuated ten
men and pulled two from the water. John F. Kennedy assisted with the rescue and
embarked many Bonefish crewmen; 23 sailors suffering from respiratory injuries received
care in the ship‟s inpatient ward. The carrier returned to the scene the following day to
conduct further SAR operations as Bonefish was ultimately taken in tow and returned to
her homeport of Charleston, South Carolina. “This complex evolution,” an HS-7 chronicler
declared later, “was a textbook rescue because of the professionalism and „can do‟ attitude
exhibited by the team” of John F. Kennedy, Carr, and HS-7. Following the Bonefish
incident, John F. Kennedy enjoyed a three-day port visit to Port Everglades, Florida,
commencing advance phase training off the Virginia capes on 19 May 1988 and from 19
April through 19 May 1988, John F. Kennedy conducted advance phase training off the
Virginia capes. Following battle group training off the Virginia capes and the Bahamas
starting 8 June 1988, John F. Kennedy headed for home, returning to Norfolk, Virginia on
25 June 1988
On 1 February 1989, John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia,
with Captain Hugh D. Wisely in command, ending her 12th Mediterranean Sea
deployment (13th voyage) operating with the 6th Fleet, participating in National Week
’88, Sea Wind off the coast of Alexandria, Display Determination ’88, exercises off the
Tunisian coast, operating with naval and air elements of the Tunisian armed forces, a
shooting match between the U.S. and Libyan aircraft developed resulting in the
elimination of both of Libya's MiG-23s; African Eagle ’88, a combined USN, USAF and
Moroccan exercise off the north Moroccan coast and Exercise Juniper Hawk with
Israeli forces, recovered CVW-3 (VF-14 and VF-32, VA-75, VS-22, VMA-533, VAQ-130,
VAW-126, and HS-7) between 2 and 4 August 1988, transiting the Strait of Gibraltar as
she began the mid watch on 14 August 1988, relieved USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-
69) just west of Corsica on 16 August 1988, Mediterranean-bound, John F. Kennedy part
of Task Group 24.4, turns to port, preparing to launch a Grumman F-14 Tomcat from her
number one catapult on 12 August 1988, participated in National Week ’88 after transiting
the Strait of Messina, making a port call at Naples from 21 to 25 August 1988, where
John F. Kennedy’s crewmen pooled their resources to repair a home for unwed mothers,
returning to sea for four days on 25 August 1988, and then paused with a port visit to
Alexandria, conducting Sea Wind off the coast of Alexandria, as efforts to further
cooperation between the Egyptian and U.S. governments saw 6th Fleet elements exercising
with the Egyptian Navy and Air Force from 4 to 8 September 1988, while during the
evolution, both forces conducted simulated low-level strikes into Wadi Natrun, ASW
training with Egyptian Romeo-class submarines, dissimilar air combat training with
Egyptian F-16, Mirages, and Fishbeds, electronic warfare training with Egyptian EW/GCI
sites, and cross-training Egyptian/U.S. E-2C aircrew, visiting Toulon following Sea Wind,
beginning on 13 September 1988, sailing to participate in Display Determination ’88
from 22 September to 10 October 1988, maneuvers that involved war-at-sea exercises,
overland low-level simulated strikes, and air-to-air engagements, visiting Antalya, Turkey
from 10 to 17 October 1988 following Display Determination ’88, making a port call at
Tunis, Tunisia from 21 to 24 October 1988, participating in exercises off the Tunisian
coast from 24 to 26 October 1988, operating with naval and air elements of the Tunisian
armed forces conducting war-at-sea strikes, simulated overland strikes at the Ras Engelah
range, and defensive air combat training with Tunisian Northrop F-5‟s, making a port call
at Palma (28 October-4 November), re-visited Naples (14-18 November 1988), returning
to a slate of active operations that included exercises, on 22 November 1988, with the
French carrier Foch in a joint French and U.S. Navy exercise consisted of long-range
targeting scenarios, followed by a war-at-sea strike. The two carriers‟ air wings also
conducted dissimilar air combat training concurrent with the war-at-sea strike, anchoring at
Marseille on 23 November 1988, celebrating Thanksgiving there; families back home,
meanwhile, viewed the premier of a cable video production “Young Peacekeepers,” a
documentary that focused on the young men working on John F. Kennedy’s flight deck,
departing Marseille on 27 November 1988 to participate in African Eagle ’88 from 1 to 10
December 1988, a combined USN, USAF and Moroccan exercise off the north Moroccan
coast that featured simulated low-level strikes against several inland targets, war-at-sea
strikes against Moroccan patrol boats, and dissimilar air combat training against USAF F-
16 and Moroccan Mirages, anchoring at Palma on 15 December 1988, departing for
Cannes on 20 December 1988, arriving Cannes on the morning of 23 December 1988,
celebrating Christmas and New Year‟s Eve at Cannes, sailing from Cannes, bound for
Haifa, Israeli on New Year‟s Day 1989, commencing her the second of three cycles of
scheduled operations that day, “on 4 January 1989, during John F. Kennedy airborne
Hawkeyes and the ship‟s F-14 CAP detected, at about 78 nautical miles, two Libyan MiG-
23 Floggers from Al Bumbah. Other Libyan aircraft had been observed and monitored
earlier, but had not behaved aggressively, inevitably returning to their base. These two
MiGs continued to close at high speed, however, accelerating first from 430 to 450, and
then from 450 to 500, knots. The F-14 Tomcats, from VF-32, embarked on a series of pre-
planned, non-provocative maneuvers, changing course and altitude in order to establish
offset. The Floggers, however, countered the F-14s‟ maneuvers with their own, re-
establishing “head-on forward quarter weapons release” situations. As the Libyan planes
closed at high speed within range to release their own weapons, the Tomcats, one flown by
Lieutenant Herman C. Cook, Jr., with Lieutenant Commander Steven P. Collins as NFO,
the other by Lieutenant Commander Joseph B. Connelly and Commander Leo F. Enwright,
Jr., engaged the MiGs, firing in self-defense, and splashed the two Floggers with AIM-7
and AIM-9 missiles in the central Med north of Tobruk in international waters. As a CVW-
3 chronicler laconically summed it up: “USN – 2, Libya – 0. John F. Kennedy reached
Haifa, Israeli on 6 January 1989 to what her chronicler called a “heroes welcome,” news
coverage of the MiG kills having proved extremely heavy, necessitating additional 6th
Fleet public affairs people to handle the sharply increased media interest, sailing on 9
January 1989 to conduct Exercise Juniper Hawk with Israeli forces for two days, then
headed back to the central Mediterranean Sea, transiting the Strait of Messina on 14
January 1989 to facilitate a turnover with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-74) in the
Tyrrhenian Sea, as the latter began her maiden Mediterranean Sea deployment,
outchopped from the Middle Sea following turnover with on 22 January 1989, and reached
Norfolk on 1 February, where Secretary of the Navy William L. Ball, III, flew out to the
carrier to congratulate the crew and to pass along a note of thanks for a “job well done”
from the newly elected President (and former naval aviator) George H.W. Bush. Her 16th
deployment since she was commissioned
During the month of February 1989, John F. Kennedy enjoyed a 30-day post-deployment
stand-down period with their families. The beginning of March proved similarly
uneventful as harsh weather and over 20 inches of snow prevented John F. Kennedy from
being moved to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for a three-month industrial period. On 11 March,
the weather finally broke and John F. Kennedy transited to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in
balmy, spring-like conditions for a three-month industrial period on 11 March 1989.
On 27 May 1989, Captain Herbert A. Browne, Jr. relieved Captain Wisely as commanding
officer of the John F. Kennedy in a ceremony held in Trophy Park, on the grounds of the
shipyard, guest access being severely restricted due to the security regulations in the
industrial area, returning to Norfolk Naval Station upon completion of a three-month
industrial period on 14 June 1989, spending the remainder of June 1989 testing shipboard
systems in port and at sea. Following a festive Fourth of July celebration at Norfolk,
Virginia, John F. Kennedy sailed on 7 July 1989 to serve as a ready deck for Training
Command carquals in the Gulf of Mexico. On 11 July 1989, Rear Admiral Jeremy D.
Taylor, Chief of Naval Training, flew out to John F. Kennedy to observe training
carquals, returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 22 July 1989 after successfully completing over
1,200 traps during training carquals. On 23 July 1989, John F. Kennedy hosted Vice
Admiral Jerome L. Johnson, Commander, 2nd Fleet, as he, in turn, hosted Vice Admiral
Igor Vladimirovich Kasatonov, First Deputy Commander in Chief, Northern Fleet, and an
entourage that included the commanding officers of Soviet warships Marshal Ustinov,
Otlichny, and Gasanov. They dined in John F. Kennedy’s flag mess, and then enjoyed a
sunset parade in the hangar bay, concluding her visit to Port Everglades moored along the
Inland Waterway on 24 July 1989, departing on 10 August 1989 to return to the Gulf of
Mexico for more training and carquals, mooring along the Inland Waterway at Port
Everglades on 21 August 1989. On 22 August 1989, while John F. Kennedy was moored
along the Inland Waterway at Port Everglades during general visiting, several visitors
received minor injuries when they were startled by the lifting of a pressure relief valve on
the ship‟s number two elevator hydraulic system. Although several visitors fell to the non-
skid surface of the elevator in the panic, only two people required transportation to local
hospitals for treatment. More training and carquals followed, after which John F.
Kennedy did not return to Norfolk, Virginia until 1 September 1989. At month‟s end, on
30 September 1989, John F. Kennedy hosted USS Coral Sea (CV-43), on the
homecoming that accompanied her last deployment (Coral Sea would be decommissioned
on 26 April 1990 and would be sold for scrap three years later). John F. Kennedy stood
out on 3 October 1989 to conduct exercises, among which were VS-22 ASW operations
against the attack submarine Key West (SSN-722) on 4 and 5 October 1989. On 6 October
1989, during night flight operations, an VF-32 F-14 Tomcat (Modex AC 200) impacted the
port jet blast deflector aboard John F. Kennedy, catching fire and plunging into the sea
while en route from Norfolk, Virginia to Portland. Lieutenants Russell C. Walker, the
pilot, and Robert S. Schrader, the NFO, both ejected safely from the F-14 and were
recovered unhurt by an HS-7 helo. On 7 October 1989, an S-3B Viking (Modex AC 710)
(BuNo 159759) from VS-22 attached to CVW-3 embarked on board John F. Kennedy
crashed soon after launching from number one catapult late in the afternoon watch, with all
four crewmen ejecting. Rescuers picked up Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 2d
Class Tracy S. Mann in stable condition, but Lieutenant Douglas G. Gray and Lieutenant
(j.g.) David S. Jennings, USNR, perished; their bodies were recovered. Searchers never
found Lieutenant John T. Hartman, USNR. John F. Kennedy made a port call at Portland
from 13 to 16 October 1989 and carried out a Tiger Cruise that concluded at Norfolk on 18
October 1989, operating locally for the remainder of 1989 interspersing operational periods
with in-port upkeep.
On 11 December 1989, John F. Kennedy lay moored at Naval Station Norfolk where she
made preparations for a possible role in President Bush‟s recently declared “War against
Drugs. Throughout the holiday season, John F. Kennedy loaded supplies and prepared for
deployment to the Caribbean Sea, expecting to engage in counter-narcotic operations off
Colombia immediately following the turn of the New Year, beginning operations for the
new year on 4 January 1990, but she had not been underway for more than a week when
her deployment plans changed, Caribbean Sea anti-drug detection and monitoring
operations being postponed indefinitely because of what HS-7‟s historian termed
“international and regional sensitivities.” She conducted advanced phase exercises under
CarGru 4. On 16 January 1990, John F. Kennedy moored at Mayport, and there hosted
the change of command ceremony in which Rear Admiral Richard C. Macke relieved Rear
Admiral William A. Dougherty, Jr., as ComCarGru 4 and Commander, Carrier Striking
Force. John F. Kennedy left Mayport on 23 January 1990 for more advance phase
training, joining FleetEx (Fleet Exercise) 1-90 on 31 January 1990. She operated in those
evolutions that spanned the waters from the middle of the Caribbean to those north of
Puerto Rico, and then joined forces with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) to conduct
„round-the-clock flight operations against a simulated “fjord.” FleetEx (Fleet Exercise) 1-
90 concluded on 5 February 1990 and John F. Kennedy headed back to Norfolk, Va. Off
Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, John F. Kennedy encountered heavy seas that removed
the dome of CIWS Mt. 22 and battered some of the bow catwalks enough to require their
replacement upon arrival at her homeport, reaching Norfolk on 9 February 1990. John F.
Kennedy underwent repairs and tests into the spring. During that time, she received the
installation of the TFCC Information Management System (TIMS) that brought a greater
command and control capability to the ship. In events of a ceremonial nature, John F.
Kennedy hosted USS Enterprise (CVN-65) as the world‟s first nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier shifted her homeport to Norfolk on 16 March 1990. On 27 April 1990, John F.
Kennedy headed to sea for exercises off the Virginia capes and Jacksonville, arriving in
Puerto Rican operating areas 6 May 1990and began a war-at-sea exercise with the French
carrier Foch. War-at-sea exercise with the French carrier Foch concluded on 8 May 1990
and John F. Kennedy steamed for Norfolk, Va., arriving 11 May 1990. On 17 May 1990,
John F. Kennedy hosted the change of command ceremony at which Admiral Leon A.
Edney relieved Admiral Frank B. Kelso as Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command
and Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic. John F. Kennedy remained moored for the
remainder of May, heading for the Virginia capes on 1 June 1990 for more exercises, and
then proceeded to the Puerto Rico operating area, where she acted as Orange (adversary)
forces for the USS Saratoga (CV-60) battle group. At the conclusion of the exercises with
USS Saratoga (CV-60) battle group on 18 June 1990, John F. Kennedy set a course for
New York City, arriving at New York City on 21 June 1990. Nearly 50,000 visitors toured
the ship during Fleet Week ’90. John F. Kennedy put to sea on the 26 June 1990 to
conduct a week of operations off the North Atlantic coast, during which time she
embarked Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) producer Alan Goldberg and Mitch
Weitzner and a crew who filmed a “48 Hours” feature that would air on 26th. The piece
documented the ship‟s operations, told the story of life on board a “super carrier,” and
reviewed pro and con arguments for large-deck carriers. The CBS crew left John F.
Kennedy on 29 June 1990, reaching Boston on 2 July 1990, returning from the North
Atlantic coast in time to participate in Fleet Week in New York and the July 4th
celebrations in Boston. While Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Mayor Raymond
Flynn welcomed John F. Kennedy, a small group of Greenpeace protesters in Zodiac
boats proved less hospitable, attempting to “escort” her into port. Navy supporters,
however, interposed their craft between the environmentalists and the carrier, and she
moored at the Subaru Piers about one mile from the center of the city. Over 130,000
visitors from the region visited the carrier as Boston hosted the Coast Guard‟s Bicentennial
and the historic frigate Constitution‟s turn-around ceremony of the Fourth of July. On 9
July June 1990, John F. Kennedy embarked about 600 Tigers for the return trip to
Norfolk, arriving two days later. Events in the Persian Gulf, however, dashed John F.
Kennedy hopes for uneventful, routine, operations that were to be capped by an overhaul
scheduled to begin in January of the following year, when, on 2 August 1990, 0200 local
time, 100,000 Iraqi troops invaded its neighbor Kuwait, and U.S. forces moved into Saudi
Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield to protect that country against invasion by Iraq.
On 10 August 1990, John F. Kennedy received “short-fused” orders to “load up and get
underway.” She commenced her “loadout” for her Desert Shield deployment and began the
loadout of CVW-3 the next day. On 13 August 1990, John F. Kennedy embarked Rear
Admiral Riley D. Mixson, ComCarGru 2
John F. Kennedy with CVW-3 and Rear Admiral Riley D. Mixson, ComCarGru 2
embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia at 1430 on 28 March 1991, moored at Pier 12, with
Captain John P. Gay in command, greeted by a throng bearing balloons, banners, and flags
along with 30,000 family members and supporters, her banner baring the same initials of
her proud namesake: “Justice For Kuwait,” ending her first Red Sea deployment, on her
13th Mediterranean Sea deployment with the 6th Fleet participating in National Week ’90
Exercises, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm operating under the
direction of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command where it remained following the war
with Iraq (Operation Desert Storm commencing in the early morning hours of 17 January
1991), with the Commander, 7th Fleet, serving as naval component commander for Central
Command, with Operation Desert Shield commencing 2 August 1990 (Iraqi occupation of
Kuwait). Recovering VF-14 and VF-32, VA-46, VA-72, and VA-75, VS-22, VAQ-130,
VAW-126 and HS-7, John F. Kennedy stood out for local operations off the Virginia
capes, joined by her battle group after conducting war-at-sea defensive evolutions with the
2nd Fleet, hosting a post-exercise conference on 22 August 1990 before beginning the
voyage to the Mediterranean Sea, accompanied by Mississippi, sprinted ahead of the rest
of the battle group and passed into the Mediterranean Sea on 30 August 1990 where
Commander, 6th Fleet, briefers met the ship to provide the battle group deployment
schedule – although, as the carrier‟s schedule changed before the briefers even left the
ship! Consequently, John F. Kennedy anchored in Augusta Bay on 1 September, for
turnover with USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). Rear Admiral Mixson, ComCarGru
2, assumed command of TF 60, and John F. Kennedy stood into the central
Mediterranean Sea to join Dwight D. Eisenhower for National Week ’90 exercises, taking
over as the Mediterranean Sea carrier, 4 September 1990, anchoring off Alexandria on 10
September 1990 for a three-day port visit at Alexandria. John F. Kennedy got underway
from Alexandria, transiting the Suez Canal for the third time on 14 September 1990 and
stood into the Red Sea becoming the flagship for the commander of the Red Sea Battle
Force in support of Operation Desert Shield. Before her first strikes were launched, Rear
Admiral Riley D. Mixson, ComCarGru 2, Commander Red Sea Force, announced over
John F. Kennedy 1MC the launch schedule that would commence the following day in
less than ten hours. He congratulated the ship for being able to carry out the President‟s
orders and participate in air strikes on Iraq, strikes that John F. Kennedy had trained for.
“You have trained hard. You are ready,” Rear Admiral Mixson concluded, “Now let‟s
execute. For the aircrews, we are all very, very proud of you. I wish you good hunting and
God speed,” joined USS Saratoga (CV-60) operating together for the next two days before
John F. Kennedy assumed the watch in the Red Sea while Saratoga moved to the
Mediterranean Sea on 15 September 1990. Two weeks of operations in the Red Sea passed
without any major happenings on John F. Kennedy, when on 26 September 1990, an SH-
3H Sea King from HS-7 (side number 610) splashed several miles from the ship after it
lost power in one engine, while he crew and passengers were rescued without injury by
helo and motor whaleboat crews. John F. Kennedy conducted operations in the Red Sea
while at general quarters throughout the rest of September and October, launching aircraft
nearly every day and conducted training sorties over Saudi Arabia, until 27 October, when
John F. Kennedy held a turnover with USS Saratoga (CV-60) and headed back to the
Suez Canal, transiting a second time while on deployment (4th transit) en route to the
Mediterranean Sea, conducted a night transit to Gaeta, anchoring on 30 October 1990,
during which time John F. Kennedy hosted the 6th Fleet change of command ceremony
with Secretary of the Navy Lawrence Garrett, III, as the guest speaker. Immediately
following the ceremony and reception, the carrier weighed anchor and steamed south,
visiting Gezelbache, Turkey instead of Naples from 7 to 14 November 1990 due to the
situation in the Persian Gulf, and the requirement for her to be within 72 hours steaming
time of the Red Sea. John F. Kennedy got underway from Gezelbache, Turkey for
Antalya, Turkey, during which time a National Broadcasting Company (NBC) news team
recorded interviews for The Today Show, arriving at Antalya on 19 November 1990, just
in time for Thanksgiving. Sailing from Antalya on 28 November 1990, John F. Kennedy
set course for the Suez Canal on 30 November 1990, making her third Suez Canal transit
of her deployment (5th transit) just after midnight on 2 December 1990, entering the Red
Sea on 3 December 1990 and began turnover duties with USS Saratoga (CV-60).
Operating together both carriers conducted simulated strikes on targets in western Saudi
Arabia, during which time Royal Air Force Vice Marshall William J. Wratten and Wing
Commander Mick Richardson visited John F. Kennedy on 4 December 1990 from Tobuk,
Saudi Arabia, to discuss the conduct of an air war with Iraq. Captain John P. Gay relieved
Captain Herbert A. Browne as commanding officer of John F. Kennedy on 7 December
1990, while Rear Admiral Mixson, Commander, TG 150.5, was on hand for the ceremony,
presenting Captain Browne with the Legion of Merit while the ship was underway in
the Red Sea and was the first change of command ceremony conducted in the khaki
working uniform with ball caps., followed by a visit from media representatives from the
Joint Information Bureau in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, flying out to John F. Kennedy on 13
December 1990 to discuss morale and holiday plans with the sailors. Representatives from
BBC-TV, the Associated Press, United Press International, WBZ (Boston) Radio,
Independent Radio News, U.S. News and World Report, and Reuters stayed on board for
two days, during which time John F. Kennedy conducted several small-scale exercises.
Entering port in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on the morning of 29 December 1990, John F.
Kennedy becomes the first U.S. aircraft carrier to visit Saudi Arabia, during which time
the Saudis hospitably set up a bank of 100 telephones in a warehouse across the pier from
where the carrier lay moored, from which the men could call their loved ones. On New
Year‟s Day 1991, Vice President Dan Quayle spent a four-hour visit to John F. Kennedy,
to demonstrate national solidarity with the forces deployed in support of Operation Desert
Shield and spoke to the sailors in the hangar bay of the ship. John F. Kennedy got
underway from Jeddah to return to the Red Sea operating area on 2 January 1991and
conducted a passing-at-sea exercise named Camelot with the Royal Saudi Arabian Navy
and Air Force. Together, they trained in surface, sub-surface, and air warfare, in addition to
underway replenishment, live firing, and shipping interdiction, while the training and
practice runs became more intense, the crew braced themselves for the prospects of war,
then on 13 January 1991, word reached the ship that hostilities with Iraq were perceived as
inevitable with pre-emptive strikes from Iraq probable. John F. Kennedy increased her
level of preparedness and set material condition zebra main deck and below, while the
three carrier battle group operations in the Red Sea, commanded by Rear Admiral Riley D.
Mixson, ComCarGru 2, also settled into a routine, with John F. Kennedy, USS Saratoga
(CV-60) and USS America (CV-66) forming the nucleus of the three groups, with USS
Ranger (CV-61) and USS Midway (CV-41) in the Persian Gulf and USS Theodore
Roosevelt (CVN-71) en route to the Gulf would form the second three carrier battle group,
launching her first strikes on Iraqi, a half-hour after the initial wave by USAF planes on 17
January 1991, 0120 local time, (1720 Eastern Standard Time, 16 January), during which
time Carrier Wing 3 launched two major strikes of 80 sorties, while the Navy launched a
total of 228 sorties from USS Ranger (CV-61) and USS Midway (CV-41) in the Persian
Gulf, from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) en route to the Gulf, and from John F.
Kennedy, USS Saratoga (CV-60), and USS America (CV-66) in the Red Sea. In addition,
the Navy launched more than 100 Tomahawk missiles from nine ships in the
Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and starting on that first day of
strikes, John F. Kennedy settled into a routine that lasted through the end of the conflict,
engaging in a steady but fast-paced regimen of preparing aircraft, launching them,
recovering them, repeating the process, Intruders launching the first Standoff Land Attack
Missiles in combat on 19 January, while standard procedure called for six-day rotations,
with wo carriers launching strike aircraft while the third would operate in an area known as
“Gasoline Alley” for two days to replenish munitions, stores, and fuel, while each carrier
was “on the line” for four days conducting either a night or daytime flight operations
schedule, then “off duty” for two days, with the carrier operating in “Gasoline Alley,”
during replenishment was also be responsible for AAW, AEW and CTTG alerts.
Detached from the Red Sea Battle Force on 7 February 1991, America proceeded to the
Persian Gulf, during which time John F. Kennedy and Saratoga changed their procedure
to six days on line and two days off duty, while in addition to launching strikes, the on-
cycle carrier flew combat air patrol aircraft and stood CTTG, while the off-cycle carrier
stood AAW, AEW, CTTG, and ASUW alerts when both carriers were on the line,
continuing to launch air strikes right throughout the week that led up to the 24 February
launch of the ground assault on Kuwait, resulting in John F. Kennedy’s return-from-
deployment date cancelled, transiting the Suez Canal for the fourth time in seven months
(6th transit) and began its journey home on 27 February 1991, when President George H.
W. Bush declared a cease-fire in Iraq, and ordered all U.S. forces to stand down. John F.
Kennedy launched a total of 114 strikes during the 42 days of conflict and 2895 combat
sorties were flown for a total of 11,263.4 flight hours, making one more stop before
heading home, becoming the first-ever American warship to conduct a port visit at
Hurghada, Egypt on 4 March 1991. Weighing anchor off Hurghada, Egypt at midnight on
10 March 1991, John F. Kennedy headed to Port Suez, dropping anchor late in the
afternoon on 11 March 1991 at Port Suez to prepare for the Canal transit, she got underway
from Port Suez at 0545, 12 March 1991, for her long journey home, while John F.
Kennedy’s battle group and USS Saratoga (CV-60) were the first such units to return to
the continental United States. Her 17th deployment since she was commissioned
John F. Kennedy immediately commenced a post-deployment stand down upon
conclusion of combat operations in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation
Desert Storm, during which time aapproximately half of the crew went on leave for one of
the two-week leave periods through the end of April 1991, while the ship entered a
Selective Restricted Availability period and commenced maintenance, repairs, and upgrade
at Norfolk Naval Station; remaining until 28 May 1991, when she shifted to the Norfolk
Naval Shipyard for more extensive work; completing SRA at Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 1
October 1991, after suffering two false starts on 25 and 28 September
John F. Kennedy commenced carquals on 3 October 1991, steaming south and late
afternoon on 10 October 1991, moored at Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She
was in town for a good will visit to celebrate the Navy‟s birthday in connection with
Broward Navy Days. The local citizens and merchants of Fort Lauderdale extended great
hospitality to John F. Kennedy, and they reciprocated by opening up for special tours and
general visiting from 11 to 14 October 1991. Aircraft from CVW-3 were on the flight deck
for static display throughout the port visit, conducting another Tiger Cruise back to
Norfolk, Virginia on 15 October 1991, scheduled to be pier side on 17 October 1991 with
300 dependents, but winds of 50 knots made it prudent for the ship to delay proceeding
into port until the next day, when she moored alongside Pier 12 at Norfolk Naval Station.
The remainder of October 1991 and most of November, John F. Kennedy saw more
guests, and repairs and upkeep, particularly concentrated on the flight deck and flight deck
equipment and engineering equipment and systems in preparation for the planned to get
underway for carquals on 2 December 1991, but heavy fog and rain prohibited the ship
from departing Norfolk, Virginia until the morning of the following day.
John F. Kennedy took on the new role of conducting training command carquals for pilots
flying the North American T-2 Buckeye and Douglas TA-4 Skyhawk on 8 December 1991.
That set of qualifications saw the first carrier landings and takeoffs by the Navy‟s new
trainer, the T-45 Goshawk, returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 17 December 1991 and began
a holiday leave period from 17 December 1991 to 6 January 1992. John F. Kennedy got
underway again 15 January 1992, when she stood out to proceed to the waters off
Jacksonville and Key West for carquals for the replacement and fleet squadrons and
begin the training cycle leading to deployment. That same day, the ship embarked a four-
man video production crew from the Discovery Channel who sought to describe military
use of satellites for a special feature program “Space Age.” The footage shot on board John
F. Kennedy formed a portion of the hour-long military focus segment of the program,
returning to Norfolk, Virginia on 31 January 1992. On 26 February 1992, John F.
Kennedy sailed, with Captain Timothy R. Beard, prospective commanding officer, on
board for orientation, to conduct fleet carquals off the Virginia capes and northern
Jacksonville operating areas. Following those evolutions, Captain Beard relieved Captain
Gay on 6 March, followed by refresher training from 9 March to 1 April 1992, evolutions
that would determine how ready the ship and air wing were and would certify them both as
ready to begin unrestricted training in the pre-deployment work-up training cycle. Those
preparations included multiple self-inspections of the material readiness of all ship‟s
spaces and damage control equipment, as well as frequent early morning general quarters
drills. Underway from Norfolk, Virginia on 1 April 1992 to conduct a series of drills at
general quarters and with evaluated combat systems, seamanship, and flight deck exercises
commencing 4 April 1992. Refresher training proved far from “smooth sailing.” Initially,
the ship‟s success at setting material conditions yoke and zebra was not good, particularly
because of the amount of time and effort spent correcting discrepancies from the previous
drills. In response to these shortcomings, 9 April 1992 became a stand-down day for
correcting discrepancies and refocusing damage control efforts. The ship achieved
satisfactory results on setting material conditions the next day, however, the scores
received for yoke and zebra were 75.1% and 65.04% respectively. 62.5% was considered a
passing score. Thereafter, drills were completely productive and culminated with a major
conflagration exercise beginning at 0400 on 14 April 1993. On 11 April 1992, at the
request of the Naval War College, a news team from WJAR-TV, an NBC-affiliated station
in Providence, Rhode Island, embarked John F. Kennedy to produce a TV story to better
acquaint the citizens of Rhode Island with the mission and operation of the fleet. On 14
April 1992, another reporter from WTKR-TV, the CBS affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia,
arrived to film a segment called “Captains and their Ships” while John F. Kennedy was in
the Tidewater area. During the remainder of April 1992 and the early part of May, John F.
Kennedy focused on preparations for an operational exercise and Fleet Week „92 in New
York City. On 11 May 1992, John F. Kennedy conducted limited operations for CVW-3,
and then continued carquals in the Virginia capes operating areas, before she moved north
to facilitate a 19 May embarkation, for an overnight visit of 50 New Yorkers, preceding the
ship‟s arrival. Also visiting the ship were the late President Kennedy‟s two children: Mrs.
Carolyn [Kennedy] Schlossberg, John F. Kennedy‟s sponsor, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.,
accompanied by eleven senior police officials from the city of New York.
John F. Kennedy moored at the Manhattan Passenger Ship Terminal on the Hudson River
on 20 May 1992, kicking off Fleet Week ‟92 arrival in New York. Rear Admiral James A.
Lair acted as senior officer present afloat (SOPA) for the various ships in New York for the
events, which included the submarine tender L.Y. Spear (AS-36), guided missile frigate
Clifton Sprague (FFG-16), frigate Donald B. Beary (FF-1085), amphibious assault ship
Guadalcanal (LPH-7), Coast Guard cutter Tahoma (WMEC-908) and the French destroyer
Aconit. Fleet Week „92 drew to a close on 26 May 1992, and by sunset John F. Kennedy
had cleared the harbor and coastal areas. The next day, she launched CVW-3‟s squadrons
to return to their home bases while a combat systems readiness review team embarked to
conduct tests, inspections, and review readiness of the ship‟s combat systems, mooring at
Norfolk, Virginia on 29 May 1992. The combat systems readiness review team finished its
work on board John F. Kennedy on 5 June 1992 and the ship got underwent for an
operational propulsion plant examination conducted on 15 June 1992 in order to certify the
ship for two years‟ steaming. John F. Kennedy spent the remainder of June 1992 and the
early part of the next preparing for composite training unit exercises CompTUEx. On 10
July 1992, Rear Admiral Frederick L. Lewis, ComCarGru 4, the training carrier group
commander, broke his flag in John F. Kennedy and the ship got underway on 13 July
1992 for carquals and CompTUEx in Puerto Rican waters in the Caribbean Sea. On 22
July 1992, John F. Kennedy hosted retired Major General Mary E. Clarke, USA, retired
Brigadier General Samuel E. Cockerham, USA, writer and former DACOWITS member
Elaine Donnelly, and reserve USAF Master Sergeant Sarah White, of the Presidential
Commission on Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces as they visited the ship for an
orientation into life at sea and carrier aviation. The four commission members observed the
crew‟s working and living conditions and interviewed various members of the ship‟s
company and aircrews, gathering their thoughts, opinions, perceptions and expectations on
serving with women. The Commission‟s report of their visit would be enclosed with their
report to the President on 15 November for his subsequent report to Congress a month
later. Tragedy struck John F. Kennedy air wing during her operations in Puerto Rican
waters on 24 July 1992. Commander Robert K. Christensen, Strike Fighter Squadron
(VFA) 37‟s commanding officer, apparently lost orientation and flew his F/A-18C (AC
302) into the sea during a training night attack mission over Vieques. On 25 July 1992,
John F. Kennedy anchored off St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for a scheduled four-day
port visit, a memorial service being held for Commander Christensen being held as soon as
the ship dropped anchor. However, late that same day, the ship received orders to get
underway as soon as possible. An emergency recall of the crew was ordered and the ship
was underway the following day, joining Carrier Task Force (CTF) 24.1, bound for the
Mediterranean Sea in response to Iraq‟s recalcitrance in abiding by the cease-fire
agreement imposed by the United Nations. CTF 24.1, under Rear Admiral James A. Lair,
also included guided missile cruisers Gettysburg (CG-64), Leyte Gulf (CG-55), and
Wainwright (CG-28), guided missile frigates Halyburton (FFG-40) and McInerney (FFG-
8), frigate Capodanno (FF-1093), and underway replenishment oilier Kalamazoo (AOR-6).
On 28 July 1992, John F. Kennedy sortie toward the Mediterranean Sea was cancelled
and the ships ordered to return to scheduled training in the North Puerto Rican operating
area in the Caribbean Sea.
Once John F. Kennedy returned to Puerto Rican waters in the Caribbean Sea, the
CompTUEx continued with Rear Admiral Lewis resuming command of the battle group to
continue the exercises. Tragedy struck the air wing again, however, when on 31 July 1992
an E-2C from VAW-126 reported experiencing difficulties and the cockpit filling with
smoke. The plane crashed into the sea approximately four miles from the ship and 60 miles
north of Puerto Rico. Lieutenant Commander Alan M. McLachlen, Lieutenants Michael F.
Horowitz and Tristram E. Farmer, and Lieutenant (j.g.)s Richard Siter, Jr., and Thomas D.
Plautz, perished in the mishap; only one body was recovered, the others entombed with the
Hawkeye in over 20,000 feet of water. A memorial service honored the lost VAW-126
crew, as well as for Commander Christensen, VFA-137‟s commanding officer that had
died a week earlier, was held on 1 August. Once John F. Kennedy air wing were certified
for deployment, the ship chopped to Commander 2nd Fleet on 6 August 1992, returning to
Norfolk, Virginia on 10 August 1992. John F. Kennedy spent the remainder of August
1992 at Norfolk, Virginia in preparation for fleet exercises and her subsequent deployment,
spending the remainder of August and beginning of September 1992 at Norfolk, Virginia
in preparation for fleet exercises and her subsequent deployment. On 21 August 1992,
John F. Kennedy deployment date was announced as 7 October 1992. After conducting
two days of carquals off the Virginia capes from 9 to 11 September 1992, John F.
Kennedy remained in those waters and participated in fleet exercises with a battle group
that consisted of the ships from the earlier constituted CTF 24.1 in addition to the
command ship Mount Whitney (LCC-20) and destroyer Caron (DD-970). Various media
representatives covered the exercises, pursuing the story of the Navy‟s role and its
response to various missions. Fleet exercises with a battle group that consisted of the ships
from the earlier constituted CTF 24.1 in addition to the command ship Mount Whitney
(LCC-20) and destroyer Caron (DD-970) concluded on 17 September 1992 John F.
Kennedy returned toNorfolk, Virginia the following day and the crew of initiated a pre-
overseas movement (POM) stand down to allow half the crew to take leave on 17
September 1992. The other half of the crew of John F. Kennedy took leave from 27
September to 5 October, while the first half the crew took leave on 17 September 1992.
The ship continued to load out and complete maintenance required for deployment through
the stand down period.
USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) with CVW-3 embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia 7
April 1993, with Captain Timothy R. Beard in command, moored alongside Norfolk Naval
Station‟s Pier 11, welcomed by throngs of friends and family, ending her 14th
Mediterranean Sea deployment (17th voyage in the Med) operating with the 6th Fleet in
support of Operation Seawind with the Egyptian Navy and Air Force, African Eagle with
Moroccan forces, Ionian Sea Operations in response to potential U.S. resolve to intervene
in the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Operation Provide Promise, her Adriatic Sea
voyage, an arm of the Med, conducting multiple exercises with the armed forces of
Mediterranean littoral nations, assisting several task forces with workups in anticipation of
intervention in Yugoslavia, spending substantial operating time in the Adriatic Sea and
hosted a great number of visitors in port and at sea. Conducted two days of refresher
carquals for the air wing and then began the Atlantic transit on 9 October 1992
accompanied by her old consorts Gettysburg, Leyte Gulf, Wainwright, Caron, Halyburton,
McInerney, Capodanno, and the attack submarines Seahorse (SSN-669) and Albuquerque
(SSN-706), supported by ammunition ship Santa Barbara (AE-28) and Kalamazoo. A two-
plane C-2 detachment from Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 also deployed
with the carrier, a new support concept during the deployment. An intense focus on
ensuring chemical warfare defense readiness, cleanliness, and safety training, marked the
trans-Atlantic voyage. Transited the Strait of Gibraltar on 18 October 1992 and three
days later, the Strait of Messina, anchoring off Brindisi, Italy, on 22 October 1992 to
conduct turnover with USS Saratoga (CV-60). John F. Kennedy then set her course up the
Adriatic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, with a visit from Secretary of Defense
Dick Cheney to demonstrate national support for the battle group and promote morale
among the crew the following day, and continued to conduct air operations in the Adriatic
Sea without incident until 30 October 1992, when she anchored at Naples for a port visit.
Once underway again from Naples, John F. Kennedy hosted a group of USAF officers
from Headquarters USAFE for orientation, including carrier aircraft flights from 4 to 6
November 1992, hosting 15 officers from the Belgian Air Force, including instructors and
students from the Fighter Weapons Instructor Training course on 7 November 1992,
anchoring off Alexandria to conduct training and planning for Operation Seawind with
the Egyptian Navy and Air Force on 13 November 1992, beginning on 15 November 1992.
As the exercise proceeded, however, during the first watch on 18 November 1992, in
waters about 50 miles north of the Egyptian coast, Capodanno, one of John F. Kennedy
battle group, sighted two flares fired from a Russian Vishnaya-class intelligence collection
ship, SSV-175, while the frigate‟s embarked SH-2F from HSL-32, Detachment 5, received
a medical distress call on an international distress radio frequency. The urgent message,
relayed to John F. Kennedy, soon resulted in Capodanno‟s Seasprite landing on board the
carrier and embarking Lieutenant Eric T. Hanson, MC, a flight surgeon, and Hospitalman
3d Class Depietro. Chief Radioman Terrance J. George, a translator, accompanied them.
Flown to the frigate, the emergency medical team then embarked in her motor whaleboat
to be transported to the Russian ship, where they found that resuscitation efforts had been
on-going for about three hours on a man who had fallen overboard. Sadly, the object of the
strenuous life-saving efforts had suffered a head injury incident to his falling over the side
and had not responded to treatment, and had, in fact, expired by the time the team arrived.
Ultimately, Lieutenant Hanson pronounced the man dead, and the Americans returned to
Capodanno, reporting that the Russians had been “overwhelmingly grateful” for their
attempts to revive their shipmate. On 19 November 1992, John F. Kennedy embarked
twelve senior Egyptian Navy and Air Force officers, including Vice Admiral Ahmed Ali
Fadel, Commander of Naval Operations of the Egyptian Navy, for a debrief on Operation
Seawind. On 23 November 1992, TV reporter Joe Flannagan and his film crew from
Norfolk TV station WVEC, embarked in John F. Kennedy for extensive coverage to be
used on a Christmas Eve telecast. After the debrief for Seawind and a weapons on-load,
John F. Kennedy anchored in Trieste on 25 November 1992, sailing from Trieste at 0740
on 30 November 1992 to participate in African Eagle with Moroccan forces, welcoming
another reporter, Terry Zahn from channel 10, WAVY, Norfolk, from 2 to 4 December
1992, to film a Christmas special. African Eagle began on 6 December 1992 with an
amphibious landing. During the exercise, an F-14 from VF-14 apparently struck a cable
during a low-level flight over Morocco, but John F. Kennedy recovered the Tomcat
without incident and with minor damage to its port wing slat. With the exercise completed,
John F. Kennedy began a slow transit to Marseille, conducting flight operations en route.
On 19 December 1992, a group of senior French naval officers and their wives visited
John F. Kennedy for orientation, prior to the ship‟s port visit at Marseille, mooring in
Marseille the morning of 21 December 1992. John F. Kennedy’s visit reflected the same
type of atmosphere as had prevailed during Fleet Week in New York, due to the interest of
the French people. Many social activities ensued due to the cooperation of the Marseille
Navy League, the Association France-Etats Unis, the American Consulate and the French
Navy. Five days after Christmas of 1992, however, holiday cheer was temporarily muted
when John F. Kennedy was earmarked to proceed on underway operations at a 12-hour
notice, in response to potential U.S. resolve to intervene in the situation in Bosnia-
Herzegovina. Fortunately, the carrier remained in Marseille and departed as previously
scheduled, weighing anchor at Marseille on 4 January 1993 and sailed for the Ionian Sea.
John F. Kennedy’s visit reflected the same type of atmosphere as had prevailed during
Fleet Week in New York, due to the interest of the French people. Many social activities
ensued due to the cooperation of the Marseille Navy League, the Association France-Etats
Unis, the American Consulate and the French Navy. Five days after Christmas of 1992,
however, holiday cheer was temporarily muted when John F. Kennedy was earmarked to
proceed on underway operations at a 12-hour notice, in response to potential U.S. resolve
to intervene in the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Fortunately, the carrier remained in
Marseille and departed as previously scheduled. During the passage, she conducted flight
operations and exercises, transiting the Strait of Messina en route to Naples on 14 January
1993, mooring at Naples on 15 January 1993, where representatives from the Combat
Camera Unit, CinCUSNavEur, embarked to take photos and shoot video footage of John F.
Kennedy and her air wing for contingency coverage. On 17 January 1993, after just two-
and-a-half days in port, John F. Kennedy received orders to get underway for contingency
operations while U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile attacks were in progress in Iraq.
Accordingly, she sailed that evening and cruised towards the Strait of Messina. After
clearing that body of water, she commenced a high-speed run eastward; while en route, the
crew conducted chemical warfare defense training, followed by operations with Gettysburg
and Leyte Gulf 20 January 1993, conducting flight operations in the eastern Mediterranean
Sea from 21 to 28 January 1993, when the carrier turned around and began transit out of
the region, welcoming Vice Admiral Lefebvre of the French Navy on 1 February 1993,
anchoring at Trieste along with Wainwright 8 February 1993,departing with Wainwright
on 15 February 1993 and headed to the Adriatic Sea to conduct flight operations,
commencing 20 February 1993, in the Ionian Sea. On 25 February 1993, John F.
Kennedy began monitoring airdrops over Bosnia-Herzegovina in conjunction with
Operation Provide Promise from 25 February to 25 March 1993 when she conducted
turnover with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). With the end of her deployment
drawing near, John F. Kennedy began heading westward. In preparation for her
homeward voyage, she embarked family service support people by aircraft, transiting the
Strait of Gibraltar on 28 March 1993 and conducted a missile exercise two days later.
While transiting the Atlantic Ocean, John F. Kennedy conducted flight operations.
Inspectors flew on board and began a ship wide material condition inspection that
continued until the return to Norfolk, Virginia, anchoring off Bermuda on 4 April 1993,
while prior to arrival CVW-3’s squadrons flew off John F. Kennedy to return to their
respective bases 6 April 1993. Her 18th deployment ended since she was commissioned 7
September 1968 (7 October to 7 April 1993).
John F. Kennedy continued her stand down period for the first week of May 1993. Prior
to getting underway on the morning of 10 May 1993, members of the Senate Armed
Services Committee came aboard John F. Kennedy to tour living spaces on the ship
studying berthing requirements. The carrier sailed later that morning and conducted flight
operations in the afternoon to 19 May 1993. On 16 May 1993, a group of Tuskegee
Airmen embarked John F. Kennedy for a general aircraft carrier orientation. On 18 May
1993, the Chief and Associate Judges from the United States Court of Military Appeals,
Flag Legal Officers, distinguished legal visitors and several legal officers paid a visit to
John F. Kennedy. The purpose of their visit was twofold: to educate the crew on the
purpose and workings of the Court of Military Appeals and to provide a Fleet orientation
to senior civilian and military personnel in the Department of Defense legal system;
returning to Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia and moored to Pier 12 on 21 May
1993.
On 24 May 1993, John F. Kennedy got underway for New York City, arriving at New
York City and moored at pier 88 North upon her arrival for Fleet Week on 29 May 1993.
On 31 May 1993, “CBS Good Morning America” broadcast live from the flight deck of
John F. Kennedy participating in Fleet Week while at New York City, moored at pier 88
North. On 1 June 1993, John F. Kennedy got underway at 1400 for a Tiger Cruise to
Norfolk Naval Station, arriving in Norfolk on 3 June 1993, disembarking her Tiger Cruise
passengers and got underway that same day at 1711 for carquals. On 24 June 1993,
Captain Joseph R. Hutchison relieved Captain Beard as commanding officer of John F.
Kennedy. On 20 July 1993, John F. Kennedy departed Norfolk Naval Station, for
carquals. On 31 July 1993, John F. Kennedy held her Dependent‟s Day Cruise and
returned to Norfolk Naval Station. Not scheduled for any operations during August 1993,
John F. Kennedy continued to prepare for her upcoming yard period, work interrupted as
the month drew to a close with the approach of Hurricane Emily. John F. Kennedy
sortied on 30 August 1993, but within hours of clearing Norfolk Naval Station,
experienced a fire in the number four main machinery room that took five minutes to
extinguish and caused neither casualties nor permanent damage, returning to Norfolk
Naval Station, on 2 September 1993, after Hurricane Emily‟s departure.
On 5 September 1993, John F. Kennedy hosted a gala to commemorate her Silver
Anniversary, attended by her sponsor, Mrs. Caroline [Kennedy] Schlossberg. “Growing
up it always meant so much to my brother and me to know that this ship, and all of you,
were bringing my father‟s name and memory around the world,” she told the crew. “We
were so proud whenever we would read of „Big John‟ in the newspapers being in the
Mediterranean, in Desert Storm, in the Adriatic or in New York Harbor. We would always
say a special prayer for this ship and her crew.” On 13 September 1993, John F. Kennedy
sailed for Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, embarking Mayor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senator Harris
Wofford, and Congressman Rob Andrews via helicopter to welcome John F. Kennedy to
the city, Mayor Rendell bringing along 3,000 soft pretzels for the crew who welcomed the
ship to the city that would be her home for two years.
John F. Kennedy went into dry-dock at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 14 September
1993, moving north for a two-year, $491,000,000 comprehensive overhaul on 13
September 1993, with Mayor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, and Congressman
Rob Andrews embarked via helicopter to welcome John F. Kennedy to the city, Mayor
Rendell bringing along 3,000 soft pretzels for the crew; while overhaul at Philadelphia
Naval Shipyard included the removal of asbestos, completed on 15 October 1993; the
removal of organotin, completed on 5 November 1993 and on 18 November 1993, the first
of her propellers was removed at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and with it, any doubts that
John F. Kennedy could be dispatched in any sort of emergency; completing her first
Quarterly Progress Review at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 8 December 1993. On 9
December 1993, the bow anchor and chain were removed at the Philadelphia Naval
Shipyard. On 21 December 1993, John F. Kennedy hosted Robert J. “B.J.” McHugh Jr.,
an eight-year-old bone cancer patient, who received a tour of the ship with his family, as a
guest of Captain Hutchison, and lunched with the Chief Petty Officers while at
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Acting Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig addressed
John F. Kennedy’s future on 5 August 1994. On 1 October 1995,” he announced, John
F. Kennedy would be “designated an operational reserve carrier and reserve force ship
assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.” Following an initial deployment, the carrier would be
available to deploy with either an active or reserve air wing when mobilized in support of
urgent operational requirements. John F. Kennedy’s new primary function during
contingency operations would be to provide a surge capability, and in peacetime, to
support training requirements. She would participate regularly in routine fleet exercises,
carquals and battle group training. John F. Kennedy undocked and moved to Pier Six on
15 November 1994, beginning 1995 with a change of command ceremony in January,
Captain Gerald L. Hoewing relieving Captain Hutchison; completing a two-year,
$491,000,000 comprehensive overhaul in the on 3 September 1995 and sailed to its new
homeport at Mayport Naval Station, Florida; receiving a warm welcome from Mayport
Naval Station, Florida upon her arrival on 22 September 1995, completing her first
carquals in over two years.
The year 1995 closed with John F. Kennedy role ever changing. The ship conducted a
ten-day fast cruise to provide extensive training for the crew and to ensure more sailors
met damage control, engineering casualty control and general shipboard readiness
standards. Hangar Bays One and Two were resurfaced during the month of December
1995. John F. Kennedy held a shipboard holiday party on Christmas
In July 1996, John F. Kennedy with CVW-8 embarked arrived Mayport Naval Station,
Florida, with Captain Gerald L. Hoewing in command, ending her third Caribbean Sea
deployment and third Northern Atlantic deployment operating with the United States
Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, conducting
exercises off the coast of Ireland from 2 to 25 July 1996, making a port visit to Dublin,
Ireland from 2 to 7 July 1996, where she hosted receptions for the public, while air wing
provided static displays at Dublin and Shannon International Airports, followed by a visit
to Portsmouth, England. Her 19th deployment since she was commissioned
 By September 1996, John F. Kennedy and CVW-8 developed F-14 and F/A-18 mixed
tactics. VFA-15 flew opposed strikes with VF-41 to central Florida, Key West and North
Carolina.The secretaries of the Navy, Air Force and Army embarked John F. Kennedy for
an overnight stay and conference on 4 October 1996. Each dignitary arrived in a different
aircraft: Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton in an F-14 Tomcat, Secretary of the Air
Force Sheila Widnall in an F/A-18 Hornet, and Secretary of the Army Togo West in an
Army H-60 Blackhawk. All three toured areas of the ship specialized for operations
involving two or more of the services; their meeting focused on command and control,
communications, computers and intelligence. John F. Kennedy and her air wing, CVW-8,
began 1997 with composite training unit exercises (4-12 February); conducting JTFEX
’97-2 (Joint Task Force Exercise) from 7 to 23 March 1997, both of which took place in
the Puerto Rico operating area, evolutions that tested the ship and her air wing in
simulating threats and challenges facing a battle group during deployment and in forward-
deployed joint operations. Joining the John F. Kennedy Battle Group were the
Kearsarge (LHD-3) Amphibious Ready Group; elements from the 2nd Marine
Expeditionary Force and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit; elements of the Army‟s
18th Airborne Corps, 18th Aviation Brigade, and the 82nd Airborne Division; the USAF
Air Combat and Air Mobility Commands; Special Operations Command; U.S. Space
Command; the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Maritime Forces. Sadly, during the Joint
Task Force Exercise ’97-2, HS-3 lost one of its Seahawks (Troubleshooter 615) that
crashed, with the loss of its entire crew, while attempting a landing on board the guided
missile frigate Taylor (FFG-50) on 13 March 1997
On 28 October 1997, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-8 embarked arrived
Mayport Naval Station, Florida, ending her 15th Mediterranean Sea deployment (19th
voyage in the Med) participating in Exercise Iles D’Or 97, Operation Deliberate Guard
and Exercise Dynamic Mix, her second Arabian Sea/Gulf (Persian Gulf) deployment in
support of Operation Southern Watch, with orders to enforce the no-fly zone south of the
32nd parallel in Iraq and Exercise Beacon Flash, operating under operational control of
the US Naval Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet., the US 5th Fleet, reactivated with
operational control of the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Arabian Sea, headquartered in
Manama, Bahrain in July 1995, while U.S. Naval Forces Central Command operational
control extends to the Indian Ocean following the war with Iraq (Operation Desert
Storm), with the Commander, 7th Fleet, serving as naval component commander for
Central Command. Beginning her movement toward the Mediterranean Sea with carquals
from 29 to 30 April 1997, in-chopped to the 6th Fleet from 12 to 13 May 1997, relieving
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), assuming the watch in the western Mediterranean
Sea on 11 May 1997. Fast combat support ship Detroit (AOE-4) and the Military Sealift
Command-operated combat stores ship USNS Concord (T-AFS-5), typical of the vital
auxiliaries without which a modern fleet cannot operate, carry out vertical replenishment
operations between the two carriers, reaching the Mediterranean Sea, her 18th voyage in
the Med, in which 15 were deployments; she participated in the French invitational
exercise, Iles D’Or 97 from 20 to 29 May 1997. The carrier, along with guided missile
cruisers USS Hue City (CG 66) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and French Navy units,
practiced tactical maneuvers and deterrence operations. Liaison officers from the battle
group served in French ships during the exercise and gained insights and perspectives of
the complexities of coalition operations. John F. Kennedy participated in Operation
Deliberate Guard from 19 to 22 June 1997, operating in the Adriatic Sea, an arm of the
Mediterranean Sea, CVW-8 flying “real world” missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina. HS-
3, during that time, sent one of its SH-60Fs to operate to guided missile cruiser Vicksburg,
to support an ASW exercise, Sharem-121. These peacekeeping and presence missions over
Bosnia, meanwhile, took place in an unpredictable threat environment. CVW-8 improved
their night operations capabilities, real-time reconnaissance information gathering, and air-
to-ground ordnance delivery during that period and prior to visiting Koper, Slovenia from
23 to 25 June 1997 where over 11,000 Slovenians visited her, her visit coinciding with
their country‟s independence day, participating in the U.S.-led exercise that involved ships
from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Germany and the
United Kingdom soon after departure, making a port call at Haifa, Israeli from 8 to 14
August 1997, operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea soon after departure, then headed
for Suez Canal, transiting the canal her seventh time through the Red Sea and Gulf of
Aden on 17 August 1997, setting course for the Arabian Gulf, transiting the Strait of
Hormuz on 29 August 1997, and then proceeded into the Arabian Gulf, and began
supporting Operation Southern Watch. CVW-8 patrolled the “No Fly Zone” while on John
F. Kennedy’s flight deck, crews toiled in wilting, enervating, heat, with an index of 140
degrees daily, underway in the Persian Gulf from 1 to 6 September 1997 in support of
Operation Southern Watch, visiting Bahrain from 7 to 9 September 1997, commencing
participation in Exercise Beacon Flash on 13 September 1997 that pitted CVW-8 against
the Omani Air Force and their Hawk and Jaguar aircraft, followed by participation in
Exercise Beacon Flash from 13 to 17 September 1997 that pitted CVW-8 against the
Omani Air Force and their Hawk and Jaguar aircraft, during which time an F/A-18 of
VFA-15 operating from John F. Kennedy during Exercise Beacon Flash crashed during
a routine training mission at 11.10 a.m. local time 14 September 1997, approximately 75
miles northeast of Raysut, Oman. The pilot, LT Jason E. Jakubowski, was killed, making
her eighth Suez Canal transit on 25 September 1997 and resumed operations in the
Mediterranean Sea, participating in Dynamic Mix from 1 to 5 October 1997, that involved
forces from Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom,
followed by a port call at Tarragona, Spain from 8 to 13 October 1997 prior to being
relieved by USS George Washington (CVN-73) on 16 October 1997 and headed for
Mayport Naval Station, Florida carrying out a Tiger Cruise from 25 to 28 October 1997;
visiting Malaga, Spain Antalya, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; Corfu, Greece; Cannes, France;
Koper, Slovenia; Benidorm, Spain; Palma, Spain and Marseilles, France. Her 20th
deployment since she was commissioned 7 September 1968 (29 April to 28 October
1997).
John F. Kennedy underwent extensive repairs and maintenance in November 1997 at
Mayport Naval Station in Florida; completing extensive repairs and maintenance in early
May 1998. After a brief maintenance period, John F. Kennedy served as the flagship for
ComCarGru2 during Fleet Week '98 in New York City, an annual tradition of the United
States Navy and United States Coast Guard where active military ships recently deployed
in over sea operations dock in a variety of major cities for one week from May 26-June 2.
More than 14 ships from three navies participated in the event. Distinguished visitors
included the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Henry Shelton, Secretary of the
Navy Dalton, and the Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City. In mid-July 1998, John F.
Kennedy steamed from her homeport Mayport Naval Station, Florida, to the Puerto Rican
operations area for training and carquals; underway in the Western Atlantic from 17 July
to 3 August 1998, conducting a Storm Evasion Exercise on 10 August 1998; underway in
the Western Atlantic from 17 to 19 August 1998 and on 31 August 1998. From 11 to 19
November 1998, John F. Kennedy participated in Exercise Fuertes Defensas 98/99 at
Dam Neck, Virginia in a simulated battle space. The evolution provided an opportunity for
the ship to sharpen her skills in the areas of maritime interceptions, mine countermeasures,
naval coastal warfare, strike warfare, and support joint and combined forces ashore. It
demonstrated the challenges to establishing and operating a Joint Task Force, and the
importance of joint doctrine and cooperative command relationships. John F. Kennedy
underwent upkeep at Mayport Naval Station, Florida, from late November 1998 to 22
January 1999; resuming work in the Jacksonville operating area from 25 January to 1
February 1999, after which she returned to Mayport Naval Station, Florida, and underwent
upkeep from early February to 3 March, preparing for her upcoming tailored ship’s
training availability from 3 to 12 March 1999; remaining pier side from 12 March to 5
April 1999. From 6 to 30 April, CVW-1 embarked in John F. Kennedy for tailored
ship’s training availability. During this period, the carrier participated in Exercise El
Morro Castle, which involved several U.S. allies, including elements of the British,
Canadian and Spanish Navies, upon completion of which she returned to Mayport. On 9
June, the carrier participated in another phase of a tailored ship‟s training availability, a
CompTUEx during which the wing‟s aircraft scored multiple hits on it‟s target, the
decommissioned destroyer ex-William C. Lawe (DD-768), and a joint task force exercise,
after which the ship and her air wing were deemed “battle ready” for their upcoming
deployment
John F. Kennedy underway in the Western Atlantic from 12 to 26 April 1999,
conducting tailored ship‟s training availability training from 11 to 20 June 1999; underway
in the Western Atlantic on another CompTUEx from 21 to 30 June 1999; making a port
visit at St. Maatin before hoisting anchor and participating in another CompTUEx in the
Western Atlantic from 7 to 17 July 1999; conducting JTFEX99-2 (Joint Task Force
Exercise) off the North Carolina coast from 20 to 29 July 1999, returning to Mayport
Naval Station, Florida on 30 July 1999. While at her home port on 6 August 1999, Captain
Michael H. Miller relieved Captain Robin Y. Weber as the commanding officer of John F.
Kennedy prior to a Family Day cruise on 29 August 1999. John F. Kennedy settled into
an upkeep period from 30 August to 16 September 1999. Hurricane Floyd, however,
compelled a change of plans as what was considered to be the worst hurricane to hit the
eastern seaboard since Andrew (1992), arrived. The carrier put to sea on 13 September to
ride out the storm. John F. Kennedy Med/Gulf deployment was reset by the
contingencies of Hurricane Floyd, originally scheduled for 17 September 1999, John F.
Kennedy made a heroic rescue of the crew from the foundered tug Gulf Majesty during
Hurricane Floyd in mid-September 1999. On 13 September 1999, John F. Kennedy
received a message from the Coast Guard telling of a distress call from Gulf Majesty, a
150-foot ocean-going tug that had been towing a 669-by-103-foot container barge. Her
eight-man crew reported that they were unable to save the boat, and after grabbing their
emergency position indicator beacon, abandoned their craft in a life raft in the 30-foot seas
and 50-knot winds. As the nearest ship to the foundering tug, John F. Kennedy launched
two of HS-11‟s HH-60H Seahawks, flown by Lieutenant Commander Edward J. D‟Angelo
and Lieutenants Ruben Ramos, Christopher I. Pesile, and David H. Rios, with Aviation
Warfare Systems Operator 3d Class Timothy F. Lemmerman, Aviation Antisubmarine
Warfare Operators 3d Class Sean P. Whitfield, Michael P. Tungett, Shad D. Hernandez,
William A. Beasley and Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator 2d Class David R.
Matthews as rescue aircrew men, to respond. One of the helicopters found three members
of the crew in the water clutching their distress beacon and picked them up. A Coast Guard
Lockheed HC-130 Hercules from Clearwater, Florida, flew to the scene and located the
remaining crewmen who were found and rescued by HS-11, too. Not only did they rescue
Gulf Majesty‟s crew, however, but they also carried out a medical evacuation flight for a
paralyzed merchant mariner who had suffered a back injury on board his ship during the
hurricane. The Seahawk crews had flown 13.3 hours in hurricane conditions to carry out
their missions of mercy. John F. Kennedy returned to Mayport on 16 September 1999 to
embark the rest of her air wing for deployment
On 19 March 2000, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-8 embarked arrived
Mayport Naval Station, Florida, with Captain Michael H. Miller in command, ending her
16th Mediterranean Sea deployment (21st voyage in the Med) participating in Exercises
Frisian Flag ’99, Bright Star 1999, her third Arabian Sea/Gulf (Persian Gulf)
deployment in support of her 2nd Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no-fly zone
south of the 32nd parallel in Iraq operating under operational control of the US Naval
Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet., the US 5th Fleet, reactivated with operational
control of the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Arabian Sea, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain
in July 1995, while U.S. Naval Forces Central Command operational control extends to the
Indian Ocean following the war with Iraq (Operation Desert Storm), with the
Commander, 7th Fleet, serving as naval component commander for Central Command.
Completing another successful forward-deployment as one of our nation‟s most visible
guarantors of support for our allies and freedom of the seas, underway in the Eastern
Atlantic from 27 September to 1 October 1999, transited the Strait of Gibraltar on 3
October 1999, and immediately began conducting Freedom of Navigation operations off
the coast of Libya; making a port call at Malta I. on 6 October 1999. Detachments from
CVW-1 participated in Frisian Flag ’99 (27 September-8 October 1999) at Leeuwarden
Royal Netherlands Air Force Base in the province of Frisland, Holland. The exercise
offered John F. Kennedy‟s pilots an opportunity to practice multiple threat combat
operations with other Allies in an integrated sea, land, and air environment, as well as
familiarizing themselves with U.S. Navy operations and procedures in Northern Europe
with its varied weather and geography. Frisian Flag ‟99 featured CVW-1, the Royal
Netherlands Air Force, Royal Air Force, Luftwaffe, German Navy, USAF, and NATO E-3
AWACS aircraft, as well as the Dutch army and several warships of the Dutch and German
navies. Naval, air and ground forces were integrated and the NATO pilots planned, briefed,
and executed large-scale operations which typically consisted of attacks on land, sea and
air targets, usually against high AAA and SAM threats, as well as opposing aircraft. The
operating airspace stretched all the way from the English to the Dutch and German coasts.
Underway in the east of Crete on 15 October 1999, underway in the Eastern Mediterranean
Sea operating with the 6th Fleet, her 20th voyage in the Med on 18 October 1999. From 15
to 30 October 1999, John F. Kennedy participated in Bright Star 1999, an exercise that
enabled CVW-1 to train with Egyptian Air and Special Operations forces and involved the
deployment of 705 fixed and rotary wing aircraft from seven nations. The CVW-1 pilots
dropped live laser-guided and inert bombs in Egypt and on the nearby target island of
Avgo Nisi, making her ninth Suez Canal transit steaming to the Arabian Sea through the
Red Sea and Gulf of Aden on 31 October 1999, to support Operation Southern Watch and
UN sanctions against Iraq. The next day, having just arrived on station, CVW-1
commenced flight operations. During the deployment, John F. Kennedy became the first
aircraft carrier ever to make a part call on Al Aqaba Jordan, arriving on 1 November for a
three-day port visit. On 4 November, she hosted Jordan‟s King Abdullah II, an
accomplished Blackhawk pilot, who flew the Seahawk sent to retrieve him from Al
Aqabah to the carrier, 120 miles away. King Abdullah later joined Commander Mark P.
Molidor, VF-102‟s commanding officer, in his Tomcat for a launch and recovery in the
Red Sea. That same day, the carrier also began participating in exercise Black Shark,
which ran from 4-6 November, beginning operating on 10 November 1999 in support of
Operation Southern Watch, with daily missions over southern Iraq. Four days after John F.
Kennedy commenced operations in support of Operation Southern Watch, tragedy
struck when an S-3B (BuNo 158864) from VS-32 suddenly rolled left during take-off on
14 November 1999. The Viking crashed into the Arabian Gulf immediately following the
catapult shot, and sank, carrying Lieutenants Matthew Moneymaker and Mike Meschke
down with it. During the memorial service conducted on the carrier‟s flight deck the next
day, Rear Admiral John Johnson, ComCarGru 6, John F. Kennedy‟s Captain Miller,
Captain Patrick M. Walsh, Commander, CVW-1, Commander William H. Valentine,
commanding officer of VS-32, all eulogized the lost aviators, followed by a 36-hour search
by the battle group of a sailor lost at sea after he fell from the hangar deck of Kennedy in
the Persian Gulf on 24 November 1999, flying missions in support of Operation Southern
Watch from 10 to 21 November 1999, making a port call at Bahrain from 23 to 27
November 1999, during which time (26 November) Admiral Jay L. Johnson, the Chief of
Naval Operations, presented the pilots and aircrew from the two HS-11 helicopters that
were involved in the Hurricane Floyd rescues, with awards for their actions, followed by
missions in support of Operation Southern Watch from 27 to 30 November 1999, and
from 9 to 22 December 1999, making a port call at Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates from
22 to 28 December 1999, commencing missions in support of Operation Southern Watch
on 28 December 1999, having the unique honor of being the only carrier underway at the
dawn of the new millennium 1 January 2000, earning the ship the nick-name “Carrier of
the New Millennium,” flying missions in support of Operation Southern Watch from 28
December 1999 to 11 January 2000, making a port call at Dubai, the first from 12 to 14
January 2000, making a port call at Dubai, the second from 29 January to 3 February 2000.
Underway in the Persian Gulf from 14 November to 22 February 2000. CVW-1‟s planes
flew interdiction missions, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), tactical
reconnaissance escort, and DCA flights. During these operations, VFA-86 combat tested a
SLAM-ER (standoff land attack missile, expanded response) for the first time. Also, VFA-
82 recorded the Navy‟s first operations use of the joint direct attack munition (JDAM) in
combat during a strike against Iraqi air defenses. The carrier‟s pilots destroyed radar sites,
anti-aircraft artillery and SAM sites. On 22 February 2000, John F. Kennedy finished her
last mission in support of Southern Watch and the next day turned over to USS John C.
Stennis (CVN-74) and departed the Persian Gulf via the Red Sea, underway in the Red
Sea from 28 February to 2 March 2000, transiting the Suez Canal her tenth time and
entered the Mediterranean Sea on 2 March 2000, her 21st voyage in the Med, in which 16
were deployments, making a brief port visit at Barcelona, Spain on 5 March 2000 and
Tarragona, Spain, from 6 to 8 March, entering the Atlantic Ocean soon after departure,
embarking family members at Bermuda for a Tiger Cruise on 16 March 2000 for the final
leg of the voyage home to Mayport, departing on 17 March 2000, during which time two
aviators from VF-102 embarked aboard ejected safely from their F-14 250 miles southwest
of Bermuda on 18 March 2000, pilots receiving only minor injuries. Her 21st deployment
since she was commissioned 7 September 1968 (17 Sep 1999 to 19 Mar 2000).
John F. Kennedy remained at Mayport Naval Station, Florida from 19 March to 26 April
2000, when she proceeded to the Jacksonville Operating Area to complete her ammunition
offload, returning 1 May 2000 for ten more days of upkeep. On 12 May 2000, John F.
Kennedy began two weeks of carquals; underway in the Western Atlantic for carquals
from 15 to 22 May 2000. John F. Kennedy underwent another upkeep period at home 26
May to 24 June 2000. After a few weeks in port, John F. Kennedy sailed north and
headed for New York to participate in July 4th International Naval Review (Fleet Week
2000) over the July 4th holiday from 2 to 8 July 2000; underway in the Western Atlantic
on 26 June 2000, participating in OpSail 2000 from 25 June to 22 July 2000, heading to
Boston for Sail Boston 2000 9 July 2000, conducting Sail Boston 2000 in the Boston
Harbor from 10 to 21 July 2000,the crew enjoying a six-day stay at Boston from 10 to 15
July 2000; arriving Norfolk, Virginia on 18 July 2000, John F. Kennedy arrived at
Mayport Naval Station, on 20 July 2000, remaining in port for unkeep from 20 July to 13
August for upkeep. On 14 August 2000, John F. Kennedy began operations in the
Jacksonville area. John F. Kennedy conducted operations in the Jacksonville area that
lasted, punctuated by in-port periods for upkeep from 14 August to 2 December 2000.
From 3 to 6 December 2000, John F. Kennedy conducted sea trials, returning to Mayport
on the latter date for upkeep before she got underway to return to the Jacksonville
operating area, conducting sea trials in the Jacksonville operating area from 11 to 15
December 2000, returning to Mayport Naval Station 18 December 2000 where she
remained for the rest of the year, remaining in upkeep status from 18 December 2000 to 5
February 2001. On 6 February 2001, wearing Rear Admiral Lewis W. Crenshaw, Jr.‟s flag
as ComCarGru 6, and with CVW-7 embarked, John F. Kennedy sailed for carquals and to
begin technical evaluations of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). John F.
Kennedy Battle Group contained five Aegis-equipped ships with CEC systems: Hue City
and Vicksburg, the guided missile destroyers Carney, The Sullivans, and Roosevelt (DDG-
80). CVW-7 would take the CEC system through extensive testing to aid the Navy in
making its purchasing decision, providing realistic dynamic flight profiles and tactical
scenarios. Now, armed with CEC components, John F. Kennedy and her air wing, and her
consorts, could share sensor data and provide a single, integrated picture. The carrier could
also see and respond, with fire-control accuracy, to air contacts further from the ship than
was previously possible. John F. Kennedy underway in the Western Atlantic on 12
February 2001, conducting Phase One of CEC in the Puerto Rican operating area, ending
with a port call at St. Martin, Netherlands Antilles on 20 February 2001: for all
participating units: including the guided missile cruisers Anzio (CG-68), Hue City (CG-
66), Cape St. George (CG-71), and Vicksburg (CG-69), the destroyers Carney (DDG-64)
and The Sullivans (DDG-68), and the amphibious assault ship Wasp (LHD-1). Following
port visits in the Dutch Antilles from 20 to 24 February 2001, the Bahamas, Miami, and
Port Canaveral by individual ships in ComCarGru 6 battle group, phase II CEC training
began in the Virginia capes operating area. John F. Kennedy (CV-67) underway in the
Western Atlantic on 26 February 2001, returning to Mayport Naval Station on 5 March
2001 for upkeep, remaining in upkeep status from 5 to 12 March 2001.
On 13 March 2001, John F. Kennedy departed Mayport Naval Station, Florida to begin
operating in the waters off Jacksonville, returning 16 March 2001 to Mayport Naval
Station. John F. Kennedy began her transit to Jacksonville operating area on 17 March
2001 for carquals, underway in the Caribbean Sea on 23 April 2001and from 24 April to 2
May 2001, conducting further CEC-related work, remaining in port for upkeep from 3 to 4
May 2001; conducting an operational evaluation from 5 to 13 May 2001, returning to
Mayport Naval Station, for more upkeep from 14 to 20 May 2001. John F. Kennedy
moored at Pier 88, Manhattan, New York City, from 21 to 31 May 2001 to participate in
Fleet Week, where she once again served as ambassador to the people of New York and
provided them with a greater understanding of carrier operations and the role of the aircraft
carrier in global politics, returning to Mayport on 6 June 2001 for upkeep. On 7 June 2001,
John F. Kennedy began three days of tailored ships training availability (TSTA), upon
completion of which, the carrier returned to Mayport for upkeep that lasted until 9 July
2001, underway in the Western Atlantic from 16 to 23 July 2001, conducting TSTA
(phases I and II) from 10 to 25 July 2001, returning to Mayport Naval Station on 27 July
2001 for upkeep. On 30 July 2001, Rear Admiral Steven J. Tomaszeski (who had been the
carrier‟s exec at one point in his career) relieved Rear Admiral Crenshaw as ComCarGru
6/Commander John F. Kennedy Battle Group. From 6 to 8 August, John F. Kennedy
Battle Group units participated in Solid Curtain, an Atlantic Fleet exercise that extended
along the entire east coast, an evolution designed to test and improve the battle group‟s
ability to recognize and defend against terrorist attacks while in-port. Tragic events
transpired soon thereafter that rendered such concerns justified. John F. Kennedy
remained in upkeep status at Mayport Naval Station, from 27 July to 22 August 2001. On
23 August 2001, John F. Kennedy began a week of TSTA, phase III, underway in the
Western Atlantic on 27 August 2001, returning to Mayport Naval Station, on 31 August
2001 for an extended upkeep period, followed by a underway period in the Western
Atlantic on 11 September 2001. On 11 September 2001, terrorists flew two Boeing 767
commercial airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the
World Trade Center towers in New York City. The twin structures eventually collapsed,
one after the other, due to the infernal heat generated from burning aviation fuel. Terrorists
also hijacked two Boeing 757 airliners: American Flight 77 crashed the Pentagon. United
Flight 93, however, did not reach its intended target, believed to have been either the White
House or the Capital, when passengers, apprised of their perilous plight by personal
cellular phones, apparently gained the upper hand over the hijackers and forced the 757
down near Somerset, Pennsylvania, bravely giving their lives to save countless others. All
told, the terrorist attacks killed over 3,000 people. As those events unfolded, John F.
Kennedy and her battle group were slated to get underway for CompTUEx 01-2; ordered
to support Operation Noble Eagle instead, set in motion in the wake of the brutal terrorist
assault, the carrier and her consorts quickly established air security along the mid-Atlantic
seaboard, including under its umbrella Washington, D.C., “to help calm a fearful and
shocked nation.” Simultaneously, USS George Washington (CVN 73) and her battle group
operated in proximity of New York. “While John F. Kennedy Battle Group’s services
were needed for only a brief time,” wrote one ComCarGru 6 observer later, “every member
of the Battle Group was proud of their role in Operation Noble Eagle providing security
along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Released from Noble Eagle on 14
September 2001, John F. Kennedy steamed for the Puerto Rican operating areas to
conduct intermediate level COMPTUEX (Composite Unit Training Exercise) along
with ten other U.S. warships, including the guided missile cruisers Hue City and
Vicksburg, the guided missile destroyers Carney, The Sullivans, and Roosevelt, the
destroyer Spruance, the guided missile frigates Underwood and Taylor, the fast combat
support ship Seattle, and the attack submarines Toledo (SSN-769) and Boise (SSN-764).
The exercise included naval surface fire support, ship-to-ship gunnery training, traditional
surface warfare and underwater training, and air-to-ground bombing using inert ordnance.
John F. Kennedy and her air wing, CVW-7, qualified for blue water or open-ocean
certification and the battle group became the first to employ the Navy‟s new Cooperative
Engagement Capability during COMPTUEX, conducting underway operations including
Combat Air Patrolling the coastline off New York City from 12 to 14 September 2001,
commencing COMPTUEX (Composite Unit Training Exercise) in the Caribbean Sea
off the Vieques bombing range, Puerto Rico on 24 September 2001; completing
COMPTUEX on 13 October 2001. On 16 October 2001, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)
and her task group participated in a SinkEx that involved ex-Guam (LPH-9) off the Cherry
Point Operating Area, the coup de grace being administered by ballistic missile submarine
Maryland (SSBN-738), which was operating under the tactical command of Commander,
John F. Kennedy Battle Group, for the exercise, returning to Mayport Naval Station, on
20 October 2001, remaining in upkeep status from 20 October to 26 November 2001. On
27 November 2001, John F. Kennedy steamed to the waters off Jacksonville for three
days of independent ship exercises. From 1 to 2 December 2001, John F. Kennedy
underwent upkeep in Mayport Naval Station, then spent three days undergoing inspection
and survey. On 13 December 2001, Captain Maurice S. Joyce was relieved of command by
Commander James Gregorski, the executive officer, contemporary media reports citing the
ship‟s having failed “a critical ship inspection.” Captain Johnny L. “Turk” Greene became
John F. Kennedy new commanding officer soon thereafter, faced with the formidable task
of correcting the discrepancies revealed in the preceding inspection and survey period.
In 2001, the John F. Kennedy was found to be severely deficient in most respects,
especially those relating to air group operations, during a pre-deployment trial; most
problematic, two catapults and three aircraft elevators were non-functional during
inspection, and two boilers would not light; completed a four-month upgrade and
maintenance period that included the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC in mid
December 2000 at Naval Station Mayport, becoming flagship to the most technologically
advanced battle group in history; commencing upgrade in mid August 2000; completed
extensive repairs and maintenance in February 1998; commencing in November 1997 at
Naval Station Mayport
John F. Kennedy began operations in 2002 when she conducted JTFEX 02-01, Phase 1
(Joint Task Force Exercise) from 19 to 25 January 2002, conducting sea trials off the
coast of North Carolina from 26 to 27 January 2002, returning to Mayport Naval Station,
on 28 January for three days of upkeep
 John F. Kennedy departed Mayport Naval Station, Florida for a scheduled two days of
sea trials off the Florida coast on 3 February 2002. On 3 February 2002, near the end of an
underway replenishment with USNS LEROY GRUMMAN (T-AO 195), John F.
Kennedy experienced a loss of steering control by the helmsman on the bridge off the US
East Coast while conducting sea trials of its engineering plant and other operational
equipment following a period of repairs. An emergency break-away procedure was
successfully implemented and steering was regained, allowing both ships to maintain a
safe distance apart. Subsequent equipment checks revealed no problems with steering gear.
Eight Kennedy crewmembers were treated for minor injuries as a result of the incident. As
a test bed for the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), Big John is flagship to the
most technologically advanced battle group in history. CEC enables battle group ships and
aircraft to share sensor data and provide a single, integrated picture to all. With CEC,
Kennedy can see and respond, with fire-control accuracy, to air contacts further from the
ship than was previously possible. Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, recognized
Kennedy Battle Group members for their participation in the test and evaluation of CEC in
January 2002 with a Meritorious Unit Citation. John F. Kennedy returned to Mayport
Naval Station, on 4 February 2002, while her 22nd deployment was accelerated by three
weeks in response to terrorist attacks on America
On 17 August 2002, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-7 embarked arrived
Mayport Naval Station, Florida, with Captain Ronald H. Henderson, Jr in command,
ending her fourth Arabian Sea/Gulf (Persian Gulf) deployment operating alongside her
battle group deployed in support of Operation Anaconda unleashed by U.S. ground forces
in Afghanistan to trap al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters known to be holed-
up in the Shah-e-Kot Valley, south of Gardez in southeastern Afghanistan and her 1st
Operation Enduring Freedom, the global war on terrorism. John F. Kennedy and her
consorts completed phase II of Joint Task Force Exercise 02-01 (7 to 15 February), in
the midst of which, on 12 February 2002, Captain Ronald H. Henderson, Jr., relieved
Captain Greene, who had presided over the ship‟s successful preparations for her
deployment, as commanding officer, beginning with her Battle group their “Trans-Atlantic
Journey, leaving the coast of North Carolina on 16 February 2002, chopped into the 6th
Fleet on 21 February 2002 to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, entering
the Strait of Gibraltar, and then the Mediterranean Sea on 23 February 2002, Rear
Admiral Tomaszeski‟s flag as ComCarGru 6 becoming Commander TG 60.3, underway in
the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet from 24 to 26 February 2002, making
a stop at Souda Bay, Crete from 27 to 28 February 2002. After pausing briefly at Souda
Bay, John F. Kennedy pointed her bow toward the North Arabian Sea Operating Area
on 1 March 2002, underway 50 miles south of Crete from 1 to 2 March 2002, conducting
flight-training operations on 2 March 2002, when Lieutenant Commander Christopher M.
Blaschum of VF-143 based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va,
encountered nose gear problems during launch. Both he and Lieutenant (j.g.) Rafe
Wysham, his RIO, 25, of Madras, Oregon exited the F-14B. “[Two] Souls in water,” noted
the ship‟s log soon thereafter; SAR helicopters SH-60 Seahawks from HS-5 and rigid
inflatable boats from JFK and USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68) the latter employed
when the carrier‟s whaleboat went dead in the water as the rescue efforts unfolded,
retrieved Wysham in good condition, but Lieutenant Commander Blaschum, 33, of
Virginia Beach, Va., married and the father of two boys, died of injuries suffered in the
ejection. The accident happened when the F-14's nose wheel failed during the catapult
shot. This resulted in the jet's airspeed being too low to gain control. John F. Kennedy
commenced her 11th Suez Canal transit steaming southward to the Northern Arabian
Sea on 4 March 2002 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, one day after the
commencement of Operation Anaconda, unleashed by U.S. ground forces in Afghanistan
to trap al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban supporters known to be holed-up in the Shah-e-
Kot Valley, south of Gardez in southeastern Afghanistan, relieving USS Theodore
Roosevelt (CVN-71) and her battle group in the Red Sea on 6 March 2002, conducting a
turn-over with CVN-71, transferring supplies from CVN-71, transiting the Strait of Bab
El Mandeb on 7 March 2002, joining forces with USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and her
consorts in the northern Arabian Sea. Captain Henderson, on the eve of the ship‟s
launching her first strikes in support of Enduring Freedom, addressed his crew on 10
March 2002: “We are currently proceeding, at best speed, to our launch strike for tonight‟s
strikes, off the coast of Pakistan, nearly 700 miles south of our targets in Afghanistan. At
midnight, CVW-7 will launch into the dark night and strike their first blows of Operation
Enduring Freedom, the war on terrorism. For us this is a culminating point in space, a
culminating point in time, and a culminating point in history.” John F. Kennedy with air
wing CVW-7 commenced their first combat sortie in the North Arabian Sea in support of
Operations Anaconda and Operation Enduring Freedom on 11 March 2002. During a
night mission over Afghanistan on 12 March 2002, Commander John C. Aquilino, VF-11‟s
commanding officer, and Lieutenant Commander Kevin Protzman made the first combat
strike of the Mk. 84 2,000-pound JDAM -- a guided air-to-surface weapon utilizing a tail
control system and the Global Positioning System for guidance -- from their F-14B
Tomcat. While underway, John F. Kennedy’s combat system‟s CS-4 division replaced
one of the motors on the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) antenna. With
the equipment restored, the crew enjoyed better access to telephones, e-mail and the
Internet. DSCS provided 40% of the bandwidth for shipboard communications and after
CS-4‟s work, there was less e-mail backlog and the Internet rendered more accessible.
John F. Kennedy welcomed Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer and his partner
Bertram van Munster, in April 2002 to begin 30 days of filming on board the carrier. Their
project, Profiles from the Front Line, had access to John F. Kennedy, other ships
operating with her, and military forces on the ground in Afghanistan. The guided missile
cruisers Lake Champlain (CG-57) and Hue City also hosted film crews. John F. Kennedy
assumed sole responsibility for carrier operations supporting Operation Enduring
Freedom on 17 April 2002 when Rear Admiral Tomaszeski became CTF-50, marking the
transition from multi-carrier battle group operations to single. After a port visit to Jebel
Ali, United Arab Emirates (14-17 May 2002), John F. Kennedy returned to active
operations. On 5 June 2002, F-14 Tomcats Navy-wide were grounded due to complications
with the nose landing gear, an order that bore directly upon John F. Kennedy Operation
Enduring Freedom requirements. While VF-11 and VF-143 began repairs of its F-14s in
earnest, VFA-131 and VFA-136, both equipped with newer F/A-18 Hornets, flew
additional sorties to maintain the carrier‟s air requirement for Enduring Freedom. John F.
Kennedy‟s air department, meanwhile, in a job estimated to take up to two weeks to
accomplish, tackled the task and completed inspections and repairs on all the F-14s in just
five days. On 14 June, the Tomcats were back in the fight. On 16 June 2002, off the coast
of Oman, elements of John F. Kennedy Battle Group transitioned from warriors to good
Samaritans. Guided missile cruiser Vicksburg, guided to the scene by an S-3B from VS-31
sent off from the carrier, launched an SH-60B from HSL-42, Detachment 7, to assist Stolt
Spray, a tanker in the vicinity that had stood by to assist the foundering motor vessel al
Murthada. When monsoon conditions rendered it impossible for Stolt Spray to provide
waterborne assistance, Vicksburg‟s helo transferred al Murthada‟s distressed mariners,
who had been adrift for eight days, bereft of power, potable water, and food, to the tanker,
for further transportation. John F. Kennedy conducted operations in the Northern
Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 11 March to 16 July
2002, during which time CVW-7 flew a total of 2,599 day and night missions, averaging
76 sorties per day in support of Coalition Forces over Afghanistan, delivering 62,113,994
pounds of ordnance on Taliban and al Qaeda targets and supported U.S. and Coalition
forces on the ground with close air support, on occasion working with Special Forces units,
seting new records in bombing accuracy while employing the most lethal combination of
precision weaponry ever put to sea, amassing 10,302 arrested landings along the way.
John F. Kennedy was formally relieved of its duties in the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf)
by USS George Washington (CVN-73) on 19 July 2002, spending 129 days in theatre,
conducting 97 Enduring Freedom fly days. The crews of both ships transferred ordnance
and CVW-7 aircrews debriefed their George Washington counterparts from CVW-17 on
procedures for conducting Enduring Freedom missions. The two carriers also completed
turnover, which actually began several weeks earlier via the Internet. John F. Kennedy
had been the only U.S. carrier supporting Enduring Freedom from April until her relief.
Returning home, John F. Kennedy began her journey home, steaming to the Strait of Bab
El Mandeb, making her 12th Suez Canal transit on 24 July 2002 in to the Mediterranean
Sea operating with the 6th Fleet, underway in the Mediterranean Sea on 25 July 2002,
making a port call at Marmaris, Turkey from 26 to 29 July 2002 and pulled in to
Tarragona, Spain for a short port visit on 3 August 2002, passing through the Strait of
Gibraltar, and entered the Eastern Atlantic on 8 August 2002. The embarked squadrons of
CVW-7 flew off John F. Kennedy on 14 August 2002, arriving at Norfolk, Va on 15
August 2002, ccommencing a Tiger Cruise from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport Naval
Station, Florida on 16 August 2002, safely navigating 160 days at sea covering 69,050
miles of water and completed more than 9,100 aircraft traps, visiting Souda Bay, Greece;
Jebel Ali, V.A.E.; Bahrain Tarragona, Spain and Marmaris, Turkey. Her 22nd deployment
since she was commissioned 7 September 1968 (7 February to 17 August 2002).
USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) battle group is composed of Carrier Air Wing 7; Carrier
Group 6; Destroyer Squadron 24, consisting of the guided missile cruisers USS Hue City
(CG 66); USS Vicksburg (CG 69); guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80);
destroyer USS Spruance (DD 963); guided missile frigates USS Taylor (FFG 50) and USS
Underwood (FFG 36) and attack submarines USS Boise (SSN 764) and USS Toledo (SSN
769); and replenishment ship USS Seattle (AOE 3). Amphibious Squadron 8 was assigned
in 2002.
On 17 August 2002, John F. Kennedy began the first of three carqual stints in the
Western Atlantic before she underwent extended selective restricted availability (ESRA),
concluding the first of three carqual stints in the Western Atlantic on 4 October 2002,
while her second carqual period began on 28 October and ended on 5 November. The third
and final carquals period for began on 3 December 2002, ending on 13 December 2002,
supporting the fleet by serving as the east coast platform for carrier qualifications for Fleet
Readiness Squadrons (FRS), Training Command (TRACOM) students and TRACOM
instructors
John F. Kennedy underwent a nine month upgrade and maintenance Extended Service
Repair Availability (ESRA) 13 December 2002 at Mayport Naval Station, Florida, nearly
a month ahead of the 6 January 2003 scheduled launch date; completing ESRA 11
November 2003, the largest maintenance period ever conducted pier side at a cost of more
than $300 million in living spaces, steam plants, computer systems and more, extending
the life of Big John to 2018; commencing ESRA 13 December 2002; nearly a month ahead
of the 6 January 2003 scheduled launch date
After sitting in Mayport for almost a year and undergoing the $300 million extended
selected restricted availability, John F. Kennedy was finally underway again on 11
November 2003. During this underway period, she conducted five days of sea trials with a
green crew – nearly half of them had never been underway in the ship; underway in the
Western Atlantic from 11 to 14 November 2003, conducting Carrier Qualifications and
flight certifications in the Cherry Point operating area from 17 to 24 November 2003,
conducting Carrier Qualifications for Fleet Readiness Squadrons and Training Command
squadrons, off the Eastern seaboard from 2 to 19 December 2003. John F. Kennedy
departed Mayport Naval Station for “Spring Training" on 12 January 2004; underway in
the Western Atlantic from 12 January to 5 February 2004. John F. Kennedy underway in
the Western Atlantic from 19 to 20 February 2004, conducting COMPTUEX
(Composite Training Unit Exercise) in the Virginia Capes and Jacksonville operating
areas from 21 February 2004, making a port call at Fort Lauderdale, FL. from 2 to 4 March
2004; underway in the Western Atlantic from 5 to 8 March 2004 and the Gulf of Mexico
from 10 to 16 March 2004, followed by a port call to Pensacola from 17 to 20 March 2004,
departing Pensacola on 21 March 2004, underway in the Western Atlantic from 21 to 22
March 2004 for COMPTUEX (Composite Unit Training Exercise), returning to
Mayport Naval Station on 23 March 2004. Captain Henderson turned over command of
John F. Kennedy to Captain Stephen G. Squires on 8 April 2004, followed by a underway
in the Western Atlantic from 16 to 29 April 2004, returning to Mayport Naval Station on
30 April 2004. On 2 June 2004, the Navy announced the simultaneous deployment of
seven carrier strike groups (CSGs) to demonstrate the Navy‟s ability to provide credible
combat power across the globe by operating in five theaters with other U.S., allied and
coalition military forces. Dubbed Summer Pulse’04, this exercise was the first of the
Navy‟s new Fleet Response Plan (FRP) slated to result in increased force readiness and
the ability to provide combat power in response to a crisis. Along with USS John F.
Kennedy (CV-67), the other carriers involved were USS George Washington (CVN-73),
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-
75), USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
John F. Kennedy battle group is composed of Carrier Air Wing 7; Carrier Group 6;
Destroyer Squadron 24, consisting of the Mayport, Fla.-based ships, the strike group‟s
flagship, commanded by Capt. Ronald H. Henderson; the guided-missile cruiser USS
Vicksburg (CG 69); the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80); the destroyer
USS Spruance (DD 963); the Earle, N.J.-based fast combat support ship USS Seattle (AOE
3); the Groton, Conn.-based attack submarine USS Topeka (SSN 769); and the Naval Air
Station Oceana, Va.-based Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, commanded by Capt. Mark D.
Guadagnini, embarked aboard John F. Kennedy
On 13 December 2004, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-17 embarked arrived
Mayport Naval Station, Florida, with Captain Dennis E. Fitzpatrick in command, ending
her fifth Arabian Sea/Gulf (Persian Gulf) deployment in support of Summer Pulse ’04,
Operation Phantom Fury (al Fajr, Arabic for “dawn) and and her 1st Operation Iraqi
Freedom on the US Navy’s 76th Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf deployment since
September 1945 operating under operational control of the US Naval Forces Central
Command and 5th Fleet., the US 5th Fleet, reactivated with operational control of the
Persian Gulf, Red Sea, and Arabian Sea, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain in July 1995,
while U.S. Naval Forces Central Command operational control extends to the Indian
Ocean following the war with Iraq (Operation Desert Storm), with the Commander, 7th
Fleet, serving as naval component commander for Central Command, at the beginning of
Operation Southern Watch (commencing 26 August 1992, when President George H. W.
Bush announced that the United States and its allies had informed Iraq that in 24 hours
Allied aircraft would fly surveillance missions in southern Iraq and were prepared to shoot
down any Iraqi aircraft flying south of the 32nd parallel, while President George Bush
declared Kuwait had been liberated at 9 p.m. EST 27 February 1992, flight operations
ending at midnight), with Operation Desert Storm commencing in the early morning hours
of 17 January 1991 until 27 February 1992, when President George Bush declared Kuwait
had been liberated and Operation Desert Storm would end at midnight) and Operation
Desert Shield commencing 2 August 1990 (Iraqi occupation of Kuwait). Completing
another successful forward-deployment as one of our nation‟s most visible guarantors of
support for our allies and freedom of the seas, underway in the Western Atlantic from 7 to
8 June 2004, successfully completing its portion of CJTFEX (Combined Joint Task Force
Exercise), designated "Operation Blinding Storm", becoming certified to deploy on 18
June 2004, underway in the Atlantic from 19 to 23 June 2004, underway in the
Mediterranean Sea on 25 June 2004, on her 23rd voyage in the Med, in which 17 were
deployments, making a port call at Malta from 26 to 29 June 2004, underway in the
Mediterranean Sea from 30 June to 2 July 2004, she made her 13th Suez Canal transit
from 2 to 3 July 2004 , steaming to the Arabian Sea through the Red Sea and Gulf of
Aden,underway in the Gulf of Oman on 6 July 2004, a strait that connects the Arabian
Sea with the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran (Persia) On the south coast are Oman
in the east and United Arab Emirates for a short distance in the west, underway in the
Persian Gulf on 7 July 2004, launching her first aircraft in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom on 10 July 2004, providing critical overhead support for Multi-National Corps-
Iraq and Iraqi forces. On 20 July 2004, CVW-17 air wing destroyed two anti-Iraqi
positions. This was the strike group‟s first active engagement of anti-Iraqi targets in
support of Multinational Corps-Iraq and Iraqi forces. An F-14 Tomcat dropped GBU-12
and an F/A-18C Hornet GBU-32 guided bombs on the enemy positions. On 22 July 2004,
while conducting night flight operations in international waters during the first watch,
John F. Kennedy collided with, and sank, a dhow. The carrier and HMS Somerset
immediately launched helicopters and small boats to search for survivors. U.S. Navy P-3
Orions assisted in the unsuccessful search and rescue operations. John F. Kennedy second
encounter with one of the ubiquitous wood and sail craft that ply the waters of the region,
however, ended more happily. On 14 August 2004, guided missile cruiser Mobile Bay
(CG-53) received a distress signal from the Iranian cargo dhow Naji, in the North Arabian
Gulf, six souls on board, and relayed it to John F. Kennedy, which dispatched two of HS-
15‟s Seahawks to the scene. Meanwhile, a P-3C Orion from VP-9 monitored the craft and
coordinated the rescue efforts. We thought we were dead,” Mortada G. Asfendeary told his
rescuers through Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Moataz Ghonem of HS-15, who
translated his remarks, “We made smoke so people would see us. Three boats passed us
before the helicopter came to get us.” “Thank you,” said Naser Afendeary, another member
of Naji‟s crew, “Thank you, America.” As Captain Squires summed it up: “It was about
sailors helping sailors.” After spending eight hours on board the carrier receiving medical
attention, showers, and a hot meal (“They drank lots of tea,” recounted Captain Thomas E.
Hatley, MC, the carrier‟s senior medical officer), the six Iranian mariners, bearing
toiletries, JFK T-shirts, boots, coveralls, and tea for the trip back home, were transferred to
Vicksburg for repatriation to an Iranian civil authorities boat. On 5 October 2004, Captain
Dennis E. Fitzpatrick relieved Captain Squires in command of John F. Kennendy. On 5
October 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, accompanied by the defense
ministers of 18 countries assisting the United States in the Global War on Terror, flew out
from Bahrain to visit John F. Kennedy a former naval aviator, Rumsfeld noted that the
first time he ever trod the decks of a U.S. naval vessel was when his father, hangar deck
officer in the escort carrier Hollandia (CVE-97), took him to visit his ship. “It is indeed a
personal privilege,” Rumsfeld told the crew, “for this son of a Navy man and an old broken
down naval aviator himself, to be with you here on this great day. I cannot think of a better
place,” Rumsfeld declared, “for my fellow ministers of defense to witness America‟s finest
demonstration of what great patriots they are…” Rumsfeld also re-enlisted 80 sailors, and
presented 17 with their warfare designations, thanking those who had re-enlisted “for your
dedication to stay in the service of our nation, to keep our military forces strong with your
experience and your professionalism. I certainly want to say you make us all proud. In
Fallujah‟s crowded streets, avoiding collateral damage to civilians rendered crucial the
employment of precision-guided munitions. Al Fajr marked the combat debut of GBU-38
500-pound JDAMs, guidance kits converting unguided bombs into precision-guided
“smart” munitions, utilizing global positioning system (GPS) navigation, when F/A-18C
Hornets of VFA-34, flying from John F. Kennedy, dropped two against insurgents in
Fallujah. Dealing a serious blow to the terrorists and insurgents, the liberation of the city
proved instrumental in paving the way for the successful elections. CVW-17 aircraft from
John F. Kennedy flew an average of 38 missions a day in support of marines and soldiers
on the ground. Our success at Fallujah as an air wing,” Captain Mark Guadagnini, the air
wing commander, later declared, “is a testament to the Sailors that work on the ships and
on the flight deck. We couldn‟t afford to fail. The international community and the Iraqi
nation were depending upon us. Underway in the Persian Gulf from 7 July to 19
November 2004, during which time CVW-17 aircraft flew 4,396 sorties and 11,607 flight
hours in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was relieved by USS Harry S.
Truman (CVN-75) CSG on 20 November 2004 following a vertical ammunition
replenishment and turnover ceremonies, underway in the North Arabian Sea from 21 to
22 November, departing the area of operations, Kennedy began her journey home,
steaming from the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Aden, entering the Red Sea on 24
November 2004, making her 14th Suez Canal transit to the Mediterranean Sea on 29
November 2004 operating with the 6th Fleet, her 24th voyage in the Med, in which 17
were deployments, followed by a port call at Tarragona, Spain from 1 to 3 December
2004, underway in the Atlantic from 6 to 12 December 2004, by the time her air wing was
disembarked, CVW-17 aircraft flew 8,296 sorties for a total flight time of 21,824 hours, in
which 4,396 sorties and 11,607 flight hours were in direct support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Her 23rd deployment since she was commissioned 7 September 1968 (7 June to
13 December 2004).
“On 2 June 2004, the Navy announced the simultaneous deployment of seven carrier strike
groups (CSGs) to demonstrate the Navy‟s ability to provide credible combat power across
the globe by operating in five theaters with other U.S., allied and coalition military forces.
Dubbed Summer Pulse‟04, this exercise was the first of the Navy‟s new Fleet Response
Plan (FRP) slated to result in increased force readiness and the ability to provide combat
power in response to a crisis. Along with USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), the other
carriers involved were USS George Washington (CVN-73), USS John C. Stennis (CVN-
74), USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), USS Enterprise (CVN-
65), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)” (Ref. 549).
John F. Kennedy conducted qualifications in the Western Atlantic from 24 to 28 January
2005, conducting carrier qualifications in the Western Atlantic from 17 to 28 February
2005; celebrated 'Friends and Family Day', and returned to Mayport on 25 February 2005;
underway in the Western Atlantic from 7 to 15 March 2005 and conducted carrier
qualifications in the Western Atlantic from 11 to 20 April 2005. On May 16 2005, John
F. Kennedy departed Mayport Naval Station in Florida for Fleet Week 2005, conducting
operations in the Western Atlantic from 16 to 18 May 2005, visiting Boston, Mass from
19 to 22 May 2005, followed by operations in the Western Atlantic from 23 to 24 May
2005 and a visit to New York City, for Fleet Week from 25 to 31 May 2005 at New York
City, for Fleet Week; underway in the Western Atlantic on 1 June 2005, arriving Norfolk,
Va. on 2 June 2005, remaining in port from 2 to 3 June 2005, John F. Kennedy departed
for the Western Atlantic on 6 June 2005, returning to Mayport Naval Station on 7 June
2005, remaining in port until departure for the Western Atlantic for carrier qualifications
from 26 to 31 July 2005, arriving Norfolk, Va. on 31 July 2005, returning to Mayport
Naval Station prior to departure for carrier qualifications after taking over a mission
originally assigned to USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on 8 September 2005. Underway
in the Western Atlantic for carrier qualifications from 8 to 10 September 2005, John F.
Kennedy arrived at Norfolk, Va. 11 September, remaining from 11 to 12 September 2005,
only to depart for the Western Atlantic conducting carrier qualifications from 13 to 14
September 2005, arriving at Norfolk, Va., remaining from 15 to 18 September 2005, only
to depart again for the Western Atlantic conducting carrier qualifications from 19 to 23
September 2005, underway in the Western Atlantic from 24 to 28 September 2005 and
for carrier qualifications for Training Squadrons VT-7, VT-9, VT-21, and VT-21 from 24
to 28 October 2005, returning to Mayport Naval Station on 29 October 200. John F.
Kennedy got underway in the Western Atlantic from 12 to 13 October 2005 and
conducted carrier qualifications in the Western Atlantic from 13 to 15 December 2005,
remaining in port Mayport Naval Station in between Western Atlantic operating periods
John F. Kennedy was underway in the Western Atlantic on 27 January 2006 and from 4
to 7 March 2006 conducting proficiency training off the Florida coast and another stint
from 2 to 8 May 2006.

John F. Kennedy underway in the Western Atlantic on 27 January 2006.

John F. Kennedy conducted proficiency training off the Florida coast from 4 to 7 March
2006.

John F. Kennedy conducted proficiency training off the Florida coast from 2 to 8 May
2006.

John F. Kennedy underway in the Western Atlantic from 17 to 20 October 2006.
John F. Kennedy conducted two days of local operations off the coast of Florida from 1 to
2 February 2007.
"Big John" Decommissioned After 38 Years of Service
Story Number: NNS070324-04
Release Date: 3/24/2007 1:28:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bill Larned, USS John F. Kennedy Public
Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) was
decommissioned in Mayport, Fla., March 23.

After a 17 gun salute, USS John F. Kennedy Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Zecchin
addressed the more than 5,000 guests, former commanding officers, city officials and
distinguished visitors. In his speech, he described his feelings for the ship and the legacy of
its crew.

“While preparing for today, I realized that serving on this ship is akin to having a
relationship with a tried and true friend," Zecchin said. "Saying goodbye is a sublime
melancholy.”

Zecchin described the level of dedication the crew revealed. He illustrated their pride in
professionalism in terms of a recent port visit to Boston, when 21 degree below zero
windchills made working conditions at night unforgiving.

“None of the watchstanders complained. In fact, I had to order them back inside the skin of
the ship because they were so intent on getting the job done.”

The ship‟s commanding officer took time not just to remember the crew‟s efforts, but of
those backing each of them.

“Nobility of purpose, service to people, devotion to a cause and a deep belief in each other
is what sustains us. We could not have done it without the support of family and friends,"
he said.

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Admiral John B. Nathman talked about the
ship‟s history and the deployments to the Middle East that made headlines in the 1980s,
1990s and the present decade.

“You have served with honor and distinction,” Nathman said, addressing the crew. “I
commend you for facing challenges head-on and for welcoming your responsibility. Feel
privileged to bear your responsibility. Wear it as a mantle on your shoulders with the pride
it deserves.”

To recognize some of the former commanding officers of USS John F. Kennedy, Zecchin
asked all who had once commanded the warship to stand. A hearty applause erupted from
all of the seated guests, young and old, military personnel and civilians.

The 80,000 ton warship, namesake of the 35th President of the United States, saw 18
deployments and 30 commanding officers in its 38 years of service.
http://www.news.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=28500
John F. Kennedy was towed from NS Mayport, and taken to NS Norfolk, instead of a
mothball berth at the old Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, as originally planned on 26 July
2007. The trip was expected to take about five days.

John F. Kennedy arrived at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on 31 July 2007.
John F. Kennedy was formally decommissioned on 30 September 2007.
John F. Kennedy was towed into the Port of Philadelphia to join other decommissioned
ships at the Navy Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility 22 March 2008.
Speed: Over 30 knots                       Hangar Bay Area: 1.6 acres
Engines: Four, geared turbine              Ship's Stores: Two
Equiped with eight Boilers: Eight          Barber Shops: One
Number of Catapults: Four, steam           Average Annual Payroll: $89,108,000
powered                                    Crew with Airwing: 4,642
Arresting Gear: Four wires                 Meals Served: 1,862,000
Effective Landing Area: 80,588 square      Eggs Served Daily: 9,798
feet                                       Gallons of Milk Consumed Daily: 980
Number of Aircraft Elevators: Four         Gallons of Water Consumed Daily: 450,000
Breadth at Flight Deck: 252 feet           Loaves of Bread Baked Daily: 800
Size of Elevators: 4,000 square feet       Pounds of Mail Processed Daily
Number of Screws, Blades: four, five
Aircraft Capacity: 80+
Number of Spaces: 2,900
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) http://navysite.de/cvn/cv67.htm
Focus on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)
http://www.news.navy.mil/local/cv67
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Story Archive – Ref. 381
http://www.navy.mil/local/story_archive.asp?id=10
USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Photo Gallery
http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/67.htm
Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Story Archive
http://www.navy.mil/local/story_archive.asp?id=18
Current Aircraft Carrier Location - http://www.gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html
References: 1, 72, 76, 84A, 380, 381, 549 & U.S. Navy Deployment History Resources
Revised May 1, 2009; bwh

				
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