The decommissioned carrier Forrestal heads past the decommissioned carrier John F. Kennedy on Feb. 4 on its way out into the Delaware River in Philadelphia. (Joseph Battista/Navy)
Decommissioned supercarrier Forrestal began its last voyage Tuesday morning, leaving Philadelphia for a Texas scrapyard.
The ship will be towed down the Delaware River to the eastern seaboard, then cross the Gulf of Mexico to its final destination in Brownsville, Texas.
The Navy paid All Star Medals one cent to tow, dismantle and recycle the carrier. The company will then be able to sell the parts to offset its costs.
Forrestal decommissioned in 1993 following 38 years in service, which included deployments in support of the Vietnam War, and more than a dozen to the Mediterranean to maintain presence during local conflicts.
She was also the lead ship in its class, which included the carriers Saratoga, Ranger and Independence.
In 1999 the Navy announced Forrestal would be available for donation to for use as a museum or memorial. After an unsuccessful attempt to raise funds by the USS Forrestal Museum, Inc., the Navy decided to designate the ship for salvage in 2003.
Because elements of Forrestal’s design are directly related to current aircraft carrier design, there had been a plan in 2009 to sink the carrier, but in 2012 the Navy made the ultimate decision to send it to the scrapyard.