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USS America CVA-66

USS America in 1/720 scale built by Nektanios Koufopoulos
#A623 - 39.00


Essential Skills Scale Modeling

Were you a teenager the last time
you built a model?

A step-by-step introduction to scale modeling basics.
Beginning scale modelers are full of questions:
What kinds of models are there? What kinds of tools
do I need? What glue works best?
How do I put a model together?
How are the decals applied?
Finally, Kalmbach offers answers to
all these beginner questions and more.

This new book is filled with more pictures
and how to articles than their other book.

List $21.95  Our Price BK01 19.95

In the Beginning!

By Mike Weeks*

    The keel for the third Kitty Hawk-class attack aircraft carrier (CVA), hull number 66, was laid on 9 January 1961 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Va.   She was named America, the third Navy ship so honored, on 10 January 1962.   Christened by Mrs. Catherine T. McDonald, wife of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral David L. McDonald, the ship was launched on 1 February 1964.  Eleven months later, on 23 January 1965, she was commissioned as the nation's 16th active attack carrier, Captain Lawrence Heyworth, Jr., in command.
    Following fitting out, USS America(CVA 66) was underway on 25 March from her home port of Norfolk, Va. for local operations off the Virginia Capes.   She conducted her first catapult launch and arrested landing on 5 April when her executive officer, Commander Kenneth B. Austin, piloted an A-4C Skyhawk of Attack Squadron (VA) 76.  A two-month shakedown cruise to the Caribbean with her assigned carrier attack air wing (CVW-6) followed.  After post-shakedown availability and further training cruises off the Virginia Capes and to Bermuda, America departed for an uneventful seven-month maiden Mediterranean Sea deployment with the Sixth Fleet at the end of November 1965.
    November 1966 found America conducting initial carrier qualification trials off the Virginia Capes for the new A-7A Corsair II.   After conducting final training exercises and her crew enjoying the holidays at home, America set sail for the Mediterranean in January 1967.  Added for the first time aboard a CVA was an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability when a detachment from Helicopter ASW Squadron (HS) 9 was assigned.

The end of a Great Career!

    Rushing to the Adriatic due to the deteriorating situation in Bosnia, America joined Theodore Roosevelt on 9 September.  Both carriers continued air strikes against selected Bosnian Serb positions as part of NATO's Operation Deliberate ForceRoosevelt was relieved on 12 September as CVW-1 continued selective strike missions with laser-guided bombs for two more days, at which time NATO declared a moratorium on air strikes.
    After dropping over 30 tons of ordnance, no further need of air strikes were called for, and America continued to patrol the Adriatic in between port visits.  Additional responsibilities however required her presence in the Persian Gulf from 25 November to 3 December for duty in support of Southern Watch.  Back off Bosnia on 12 December, USA operated in support of NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR) as part of Operations Decisive Endeavor and Decisive Edge for the remainder of her deployment.
    Three days out from Norfolk, on 21 February 1996, VS-32's Commander Robert A. Buehn piloted a S-3B to make America's 319,504th and final arrested landing in her well-traveled history.  The many who served on her and flew from her deck during 31 years of service to the nation can be justifiably proud.
    On Friday, 9 August 1996, a decommissioning ceremony was held for America, and her last deck log entry will occur on 30 September 1996 to officially end her active service.  America received eight battle stars for service during the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars.

*"Mike Weeks is a former Naval Reservist who has as a hobby, a keen interest in the history of carrier aviation.  In 1996 he was asked by the editors of NAVAL AVIATION NEWS magazine (published by the Naval Historical Center) if he'd be interested in writing a summary history of America(CV-66).  Gladly accepting, the resulting work was published in the September-October 1996 issue.  The history reproduced here is the original history submitted, and has a few more details which unfortunately were cut from the published work."

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