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USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63/CV-63)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63/CV-63)

The second ship to be named Kitty Hawk. The first Kitty Hawk (ex-Seatrain New York), an aircraft transport (APV-1) (later aircraft supply ship AKV-1) (1941-1946), operated in the Pacific theater during World War II, playing a key logistics role in the timely buildup of defenses at Midway and Guadalcanal in 1942.

Completing her fitting out availability, USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) sailed, with CVW-11 embarked, from Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for training off the east coast, completing her shakedown cruise off Naval Station (NS) Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) sailed around Cape Horn to Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, Calif., calling en route at Port of Spain, Trinidad, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Valparaiso, Chile, and Callao, Peru. LT Clayton R. Wylie, VA-115, accomplished the 1,000th arrested landing on board in Aircraft No. 507, a Douglas A-1H Skyraider (BuNo 139769, 11 September).

The ship received a $14 million overhaul at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS), Bremerton, Wash. En route, icebreaker USS Staten Island (AGB-5) took her under tow while off Newport, Ore., a unique three-hour experiment designed to establish if a super-carrier in distress could be aided by a smaller vessel. 5 Nov 1966-19 Jun 1967: During USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63)'s second WestPac tour of the Vietnam War, the ship spent 117 days on Yankee Station. CVW-11 aircraft flew 5,466 combat and 4,887 support sorties, dropping 11,780.64 tons of ordnance on a "resourceful and determined enemy." "On the line" for 117 days, USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) conducted key strikes, a total of 38, against North Vietnamese targets near Haiphong, Kep, Bac Giang, Hon Gai, Van Dien, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, and Ninh Binh, together with 15 mining missions.

Between 8 Feb and 23 Mar 1978 Somali forces attempting to secede the Ogaden, a territory within the Horn of Africa (HOA), from Ethiopia and join it to Somalia, invaded the Ogaden. USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) was anticipating a “lengthy port visit” in Subic Bay, however, following the collapse of the Somali invasion, she was ordered to a holding point in the South China Sea north of Singapore, to be on call to respond to the impending crisis, principally over concerns about the possible need to evacuate Americans trapped by the fighting. 

On 15–21 Nov 1979 USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) arrived at Subic Bay, preparing for a 28 November departure for NAS North Island. During this period, however, Iran’s pro-Western government collapsed, however, forcing the Shah into exile in the U.S. Tensions among opposition groups produced a state of near-anarchy within the troubled land. During 28 Oct–4 Nov 1985 USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises in the Gulf of Aden. Two Russian Il-38s reconnoitered the ship and Battle Group Bravo, on the 28th, and contact was gained during the exercise on a Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine.

During 18 Dec 1992 USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) relieved USS Ranger as part of Joint Task Force (JTF) Somalia for Operation Restore Hope, humanitarian relief operations for the people of Somalia. On 23 Jan 2003 USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63) operated off the Korean Peninsula in response to rising tensions generated by North Korean military developments, primarily the latter's nuclear weapons program. The move was seen as a deterrent to forestall North Korean's taking advantage of the deployment of substantial U.S. forces for Operation Iraqi Freedom to attack neighboring South Korea.

For a complete history of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63/CV-63) please see its DANFS page.