Photo: Jamie Adam/ Flickr
It will take a miracle to save the USS Ranger from being destroyed.
The battle-worn aircraft carrier received her final orders to report to Brownsville, Texas where she will be dismantled in early 2015, according to a December 22 release from the Naval Sea Systems Command.
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Commissioned in 1957, Ranger is one of four Forrestal-class supercarriers. She earned 13 battle stars before being decommissioned in 1993.
From 1993 to 2004, the Navy kept Ranger on standby for possible reactivation until the carrier was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, and redesigned for donation. During the eight years the ship was available, no group came forward with the necessary funds or plans to convert her into a museum or memorial.
Besides being distinguished for her military service, she also became famous for cameos in shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and Black Sheep Squadron, and films such as Star Trek IV, Flight of the Intruder, and Top Gun.
An organization known as Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc. came up with an online petition to convince the Navy to spare the ship:
"Right now, we just want a stay of execution," said recently appointed project manager Michael B. Shanahan. "As a brand new team charged with repurposing the USS Ranger, we want to work with Navy, NAVSEA and City of Long Beach for the best possible outcome. We know that saving the USS Ranger would have significantly more far-reaching economic, historic and social benefits than scrapping it. This is our last chance to stop the loss of an irreplaceable cultural and historic asset."
Here's a video showing what Ranger could become if the adequate resources were pulled together to save this great ship: