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USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67/CV-67)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67/CV-67)

USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) was laid down on 22 October 1964 at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company; launched on 27 May 1967; sponsored by Miss Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; and commissioned at Newport News on 7 September 1968, Captain Earl P. Yates in command.

After fitting out, JUSS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) embarked on a "fast" cruise from 11 to 13 October 1968, and ultimately put to sea on 21 October. Pilots from the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, rode the ship to monitor her catapults and arresting gear and provided planes for her inaugural flight operations. JUSS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67)'s arrival at Guantanamo on 4 November. While at "Gitmo," the ship conducted almost daily general quarters and other drills and both day and night flight operations. Liberty visits to Montego Bay, Jamaica, the first on 16-17 November, and the second over the Thanksgiving weekend, punctuated the underway training.

USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) anchored in Taranto, Italy, for liberty and upkeep, on 30 June 1969, and proceeded thence to Corfu, Greece, arriving on 3 July. She sailed on 7 July for operations in the Ionian Sea. The next day, a Soviet Kashin-class guided missile light cruiser (No. 540) joined the formation. On 9 July, Vice Admiral David C. Richardson, USN, Commander 6th Fleet, arrived by COD and called officially on Rear Admiral Charbonnet. USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) returned to Norfolk, and through July and August continued training and upkeep, punctuating those operations with a visit to Boston, Massachusetts (2-4 August 1970) during which time Senator Edward M. Kennedy, brother of the late President, members of the Kennedy family, including Caroline, who had been the ship’s sponsor, and her brother John F. Kennedy, Jr., visited the ship.

Emerging from her overhaul on 5 January 1973, USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), earmarked to deploy to Southeast Asia, worked-up in the Virginia capes operating areas, but during her 8-17 February in-port period received word that, in the wake of the Paris peace accords, she would deploy to the Med in April instead of the western Pacific in March. USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) spent the next five months of 1973 operating with the Sixth Fleet, her port visits including Barcelona and Palma, Formia, Italy, Augusta Bay, Gaeta, Souda Bay, Rhodes, Athens, and Livorno. On 26 November, she returned to Pier 12, Naval Station, Norfolk. The ship was redesignated from CVA-67 to CV-67 effective 1 December 1974.   

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) sailed for the Mediterranean on 15 January 1977, with CVW-1 (the same squadrons with which she had deployed the previous summer and autumn) reaching Rota on 26 January and conducting turnover procedures with Nimitz (CVN-68). USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) then sailed for Puerto Rico on 30 October 1981 to participate in ReadEx 1-82, an evolution involving more than 30 ships and 200 aircraft of the Atlantic Fleet and Royal Navy, and lasting through 4 December, designed to improve readiness in coordinated dual carrier battle group operations for USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) shifted to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 15 October 1982 where she underwent an overhaul and rehabilitation period for all ship’s spaces and equipment that lasted until 7 February 1983, upon completion of which she got underway for two days of post-availability sea trials off the Virginia capes. On 4 December 1987, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to sea for refresher training. She returned to Norfolk on 17 December, remaining there to close out 1987.

Ultimately, on 23 March 2007, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was decommissioned, her chronicler wrote, “with dignity and honor,” and Capt. Zechin relinquished command.

For a complete history of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67/CV-67) please see its DANFS page.