Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Odd Facts About The Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty Hawk

I served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War in 1970-1971, so I was interested in an Allison Batdorff's Stars and Stripes piece that offers some odd facts about the old warship.

The second "K" on USS Kitty Hawk’s nameplate is upside down. The letter was skewed when welders transferred the small steel letter plates from the fantail to below the flight deck in the 1960s.

The USS Kitty Hawk is the second U.S. Navy warship to be named after the North Carolina site of the Wright brothers’ famous flight. The first was the civilian ship SS Seatrain New York, which was acquired by the Navy, renamed USS Kitty Hawk, and converted into an aircraft transport ship during World War II. It was decommissioned and given back to its original owners in 1946.

The Kitty Hawk is the second-oldest active ship in the Navy. The first is the USS Constitution, a wooden frigate that sailed in both Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. "Old Ironsides" is used for ceremonial, recruiting and tourism purposes today.

Kitty Hawk nicknames include "Miss Kitty," "Battlecat" and "Chicken Hawk."

... Kitty Hawk did six tours in Vietnam between 1963 and 1976 and was the first aircraft carrier ever to be awarded a Presidential Unit Citation. The award, the unit equivalent of the Navy Cross, was presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Dec. 20, 1968, to the ship and Carrier Air Wing 11.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Note: The piece did not include the carrier's most popular nickname when I served on her. Sailors during my day called the Kitty Hawk the "Shitty Kitty."

You can read my post on the Kitty Hawk via the below link:


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