Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Independence (CVA-62)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Independence (CVA-62)

USS Independence (CVA-62) was launched by New York Navy Yard 6 June 1958; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Gates, wife of the Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned 10 January 1959; Captain E. Y. McElroy in command.

USS Independence (CVA-62) conducted shakedown training in the Caribbean and arrived her home port Norfolk, 30 June 1959. She operated off the Virginia Capes for the next year on training maneuvers, and departed 4 August 1960 for her first cruise to the Mediterranean. There USS Independence (CVA-62) added her great strength to the peace-keeping power of the 6th Fleet in that troubled region, remaining in the eastern Mediterranean until her return to Norfolk 3 March 1961. The remainder of the year was spent in training and readiness operations off the Atlantic Coast.

USS Independence (CVA-62) sailed 19 April 1962 for 6th Fleet Duty in support of President Kennedy's firm stand on Berlin during a reoccurrence of stress in a critical area. She returned to Norfolk 27 August and sailed 11 October for the Caribbean Sea. USS Independence (CVA-62) departed Norfolk 6 August 1963 to take part in combined readiness exercises in the Bay of Biscay with sea-air units of the United Kingdom and France; then entered the Mediterranean 21 August for further duty with the 6th Fleet. Cruising throughout the Mediterranean, she gained much valuable experience during combined NATO exercises, including close air support to Turkish paratroops, reconnaissance, communications, and convoy strike support.

The first Atlantic Fleet carrier to deploy to the South China Sea in support of Vietnam operations, USS Independence (CVA-62) and her embarked Air Wing 7 received the award of the Navy Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service from 5 June to 21 November 1965. They participated in the first major series of coordinated strikes against vital enemy supply lines north of the Hanoi-Haiphong complex.

USS Independence (CVA-62) returned to her homeport, Norfolk, Va., in December, arriving the 31st. During the first half of 1966, she operated off Norfolk, replenishing and training air groups. On 4 May she participated in Operation "STEIKEX." The carrier departed Norfolk 13 June for European operations with the 6th 'Fleet. USS Independence (CVA-62) was involved with unit and NATO exercises from July into December. She then continued her 6th Fleet deployment into 1967.

For a complete history of USS Independence (CVA-62) please see its DANFS page.