BROWNSVILLE – In 1959, a state-of-the-art supercarrier known as the USS Independence was commissioned to represent the U.S. Navy.
That ship served until 1998, making it one of the longest serving vessels in American history.
The USS Independence traveled over 16,000 miles to the Port of Brownsville where it will be dismantled.
Chris Green with International Shipbreaking said, “We wanted to put a ceremony together to honor the USS Independence and all the brave men and women who served aboard her. She served our country well and we owe her a debt that can never be repaid.”
Many came from across the country to see it one last time.
Such was the case of four men who had never met. They each worked on the ship at some point in their lives.
Arturo Garza served on the Independence from 1961–1962.
Pat McDermott was a Boiler Technician Third Class on the USS Independence who served from 1988–1991.
Tom Sawyer served from 1966–1967 on the flight deck as Plane Captain and Al Benton served from 1971–1975 as a Data System Technician Second Class.
“I'm very fortunate to see her take the last dip,” said Tom Sawyer.