Patrick Robinson
The USS Constellation under tow moved slowly past Alki Beach on Aug 8, headed for Brownsville Texas where it will be dismantled.

The 'Connie's' final voyage

The USS Constellation, a ship first used in the Vietnam War, and last deployed during Operation Iraqi freedom sailed from Naval Base Kitsap, and past Alki Beach for the final time on Aug. 8 headed for the scrapyard. International Shipbreaking Limited was awarded a $3 million contract for the towing, dismantling and recycling of the ship. It's headed down around South America, likely through the Straits of Magellan since it is too large to pass through the Panama Canal on its way to Brownsville, Texas.

Nicknamed “Connie” by its crew, the ship is part of the Navy’s five-year scrapping plan that previously sent the USS Forrestal and the USS Saratoga to the Texas shipyard for dismantling.

The Constellation was built at New York Naval Shipyard in Brooklyn, New York, and is the last aircraft carrier to be built outside of Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, said the U.S. Navy.

The ship was commissioned in 1961, and is named for the ring of 13 stars that formed a “new constellation” on the United States flag, according to the Navy.

An $800 million overhaul that began in 1990 and that took three years to complete, was expected to add 15 years of operational life but the ship was stricken from service in 2003.

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