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USS Ranger (CV-4)

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Welcome aboard the USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61) History and Memorial Website. This site is dedicated to maintaining the history USS Ranger and a memorial for those whose lives were lost while serving on board her. On this site you will find not only interesting photographs of Ranger, her crew and aircraft but a wide assortment of facts and information about Ranger and her predecessors.

It was a VF-1 F-14 flying from Ranger that got the only kill of the Iraq war by an F-14. A narrated video by Ward "Mooch" Carroll tells the true story.

On 25 June 2019, President Trump signed into law a bill that gives blue water veterans presumptive status for disability benefits. There are an estimated 90,000 Navy veterans who served in the seas around Vietnam during the war. Read the full article at Military Times.

Were you aboard for the 1965-'66 WestPac Cruise and remember an Australian group that came aboard while Ranger was on the line? One of those members was an American named Cheryl Ann. She has recently contacted me and would like to share memories with those of you who were aboard. She is especially interested in those who took pictures and would like to send them to her. She wants to share these memories with her children and grandchildren. If you are one of these, please e-mail me and I'll forward your contact to her.
Here is her picture from the 1965-'66 cruise book and a much more recent picture.
If you can't tell, she's the lady in the middle.

12 July 2015 - On this day, ex-USS Ranger arrived at International Shipbreaking, Brownsville, TX, to be recycled. Vern Bouwman shot a video. You can watch it by clicking the link. The pictures are pixelated. So, just bear with it.

On the morning of 5 Mar 2015, ex-USS Ranger began her final voyage. There is no one aboard her. Her flight deck is empty except for a generator to light her navigation lights. Her engines are silent. There is silence all throughout her where thousand's of men once went about their jobs making her a living entity that evokes fond memories.
Her journey, about 16,000 miles, will take 5-6 months and end in Brownsville, TX. There, she will be slowly cut up.
It is a sad end to a great ship. It comes to the vast majority of the ships of the US Navy. But, as long as we have our memories, as long as we get together at reunions, she lives on in our hearts.
See some pictures

In a private ceremony on 2 Feb 2015, Mike McCuddin, son of former Ranger CO Leo B. McCuddin, sprinkled some of RADM McCuddin's ashes on Ranger. RADM McCuddin was one of Ranger's most respected and well-liked Commanding Officers.
On 25 Oct 1944, while flying off USS Lexington (CV-16), LT McCuddin earned the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. On 10 May 1965, CAPT Leo B. McCuddin, took command of USS Ranger (CVA-61). Five years later, now wearing 2 stars on his collar, RADM McCuddin would fly his flag in Ranger as ComCarDiv3.

Admiral (former Commanding Officer USS Ranger) Hank Glindeman, passed away Sunday, 15 Feb 2015, night at his home. His ashes will be interred at the U.S. Naval Academy with full military honors. We are diminished. Ranger lost a great C.O. and we a good Friend to all who knew him.
PS Thanks to Larry Schmuhl for letting us know.

On Monday, 22 Dec 2014, a contract was awarded for the dismantling of ex-USS Ranger. As with ex-USS Forrestal and ex-USS Saratoga, the Navy paid a penny to have her taken away. Read the Kitsap Sun article.

All information on the site has been provided by someone! If you find something is inaccurate or a record that is not complete, please e-mail the deck boss!

I'm a rare blackshoe. In boot camp, I requested duty aboard USS Ranger. My father was stationed aboard her. I got my orders, but Ranger set sail a couple weeks before graduation. My orders had me reporting in to Travis AFB to fly to the Philippines. That was about a 26 hour flight followed by two or three hours on a bus to Subic Bay.
We got in about 0200. I was informed that Ranger had departed for her first line period just the day before. So, I was assigned to the duty section that was supposed to come on duty at 0600. Due to the hour, they gave me the day off. I spent that day wandering around. Little did I know about all the great activities available at Subic/Cubi Point.
The next morning, at 0500, I was awakened and told to be at the MAA shack, with my gear, at 0600. Okay. I get over there and I'm told there's a flight out of Cubi for the Ranger. Great.
There was another E-2 for that flight. He was bumped by an officer needing to get to the ship. I made it. Here I am, 18 years old and straight out of boot, and I'm flying out to Ranger in a C-2.
As we turned on the crosswind leg, I could see Ranger. Even though I had been aboard her when I was 16, when dad had previously been stationed on her, she looked awfully damn small. When we landed, it was like getting kicked in the butt. Those aren't landings, they're controlled crashes. Thankfully, the seats were facing aft and we were pressed into the seats when we trapped rather than being thrown into our harnesses.
The following October, the night before we pulled into Pearl, my father suffered a mild heart attack. The next morning, they took him to Tripler Army hospital. I immediately put in for emergency liberty.
On Saturday morning, we went to sea for ORI. Morning GQ went off as scheduled. I didn't have time to think of dad. I was #1 nozzleman on a damage control party. After GQ, I went back to the office and was informed my liberty had been approved and to be at AirOps at 1300.
At AirOps they mustered everyone going into Pearl and then took us out on the flight deck. Afternoon GQ was sounding and they already had jets turned up and being moved into position for flight ops. Eleven months earlier it was scary when I got off the C-2. With a full cruise behind me and numerous hours on Vulture's Row, it was still scary. This time, instead of a C-2, we were going in the C-1.
The pilot didn't bother with the catapult. With all other aircraft launched, he taxied all the way aft, turned around and lined up on the angle. Revving the engines to full throttle, he released the brakes and away we went. He didn't even bother to lift off, but kinda fell off the end of the angle. My heart was in my throat.
So, here we are, I started in 1st Division and then went to S-7. I was a boatswain's mate and became a data processing technician. But, even as a blackshoe, I've trapped and taken off from a carrier. The memories are as fresh as they were over 45 years ago.
P.S. By the time I got to Tripler, my father had already been released and was visiting a friend of our's who'd retired in Hawaii. Dad was an Air Traffic Controller and the heart attack ended his career. He was sent to the Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Spokane, our home, where he finished out his enlistment and retired with 23 years of service.
John Slaughter, DP2, 1st & S-7 Divisions, USS Ranger (CVA-61) 1968-'70
If you don't recognize my name, I'm the former webmaster for Ranger's History & Memorial Site.

I was berthed in several compartments during the course of our work-ups and cruise, but the one I seemed to get assigned to the most was the second-to-last compartment, directly beneath the flight deck. The only compartment further aft on that level was the Safety Office. They were literally under the Round-Down. At one point, I was berthed further forward, between the Number 3 & 4 arresting gear machinery spaces. Talk about noise! During recovery flight ops a ten-ton or heavier aircraft would land just above your head about every 2 minutes or so. Made for a tough environment to sleep in. The screech of the arresting wire as it was paid-out was enough to wake the dead! I remember always being tired.
I worked in the AT/AX shop of VS-21, Organizational-Level maintenance, and all we did was run, run and run. We'd be launching aircraft with one bird on the bow, one amidships and the other somewhere aft and we'd be running from aircraft to aircraft trying to keep their systems up. Of course, if we needed parts the rob birds were ALWAYS in the hanger, so you'd have to weave your way through a web of tie-down chains, spinning propellers, jet intakes, exhausts, taxing aircraft and moving yellow gear only to run the obstacle course on the hanger deck, then reverse the process. By the end of my first month I was so exhausted I would crawl up into the wheel-well of one of our aircraft and cop some Z's when I could. By the time I was discharged, I could easily run 10 miles at the drop of a hat!
Michael Keister, AX3, VS-21, 1982 WestPac/Indian Ocean Cruise

Do you have some memories you'd like to share? Send them to me and I'll put them up. E-mail Helmsman

Interesting tidbit:
In 1960 one of Ranger's squadrons was flying the AD-7 Skyraider. According to the info, "... in 1953 an AD set an all-time single-engine load carrying mark by taking aloft a total useful load of 14,941 pounds, which exceeded the weight of the aircraft itself by more than 2,000 pounds."

Grande Island Map. This picture is from the 1970-'71 cruise book. Unfortunately, it was taken at something of an oblique angle and the legend on the right is not readable. Does anyone have a good picture? Even multiple pics that we can put together will work.

A new feature that is being worked on is transcriptions of Ranger's logs. This is going to be a very slow process. It is rather time consuming to transcribe the original logs into an easily read format.

John and Carol Guy have possibly the largest collections of photos of Ranger and her men on the internet. We encourage you to visit their site and to support them. Sadly, John passed away on 8 Aug 2023. He fought a long fight against diabetes. There is an obituary at his Find-a-Grave site

Eternal Father: The Navy Hymn


1777 Recruiting Poster


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