Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS America (CVA-66)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS America (CVA-66). 

The third America (CVA-66) was laid down on 1 January 1961 at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp.; launched on 1 February 1964; sponsored by Mrs. David L. McDonald, wife of Admiral David L. McDonald, the Chief of Naval Operations; and commissioned at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 23 January 1965, Capt. Lawrence Heyworth, Jr., in command.

After fitting out there until 15 March 1965, America remained in Hampton Roads for operations off the Virginia capes until getting underway on 25 March. America sailed for her first Mediterranean deployment late in 1965. New Year's Day, 1966, found her at Livorno, Italy. She sailed on 1 July for the United States.

On 16 July, America anchored at Athens for her second visit to that port of the 1967 cruise, before she proceeded thence to Valletta on 29 July. Shortly thereafter, on 8 January 1969, she headed for the Jacksonville operating area where she served as the platform for carrier qualifications. On 24 January, America arrived at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard to begin a nine-month overhaul. Upon completion of the overhaul, the carrier conducted post-repair trials and operated locally off the Virginia capes. 

On 29 January 1981, as America was returning to NOB, Norfolk, she received a message from a Greek motor vessel, Aikaterini, in distress. Upon completion of her second northern Arabian Sea line period on 4 August, America shaped a course for Australian waters, conducting a "Weapons Week" exercise in the vicinity of Diego Garcia. America then entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 8 July. For four months, the ship underwent a period of repairs and alterations, emerging from the yard on 28 October 1983.

America arrived back at Norfolk on 10 September 1986, and after local operations, interspersed with in-port upkeep, entered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 20 November 1986 for an overhaul which lasted until 11 February 1988. She spent the remainder of that year operating along the east coast and in the Caribbean.

For a complete history of USS America (CVA-66) please see its DANFS page.