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.
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 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. Anyway, 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 Webmaster
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 2,00 pounds."
It has been over 21 years since Ranger and the Navy still has not named another ship Ranger. SecNav is the final authority on new ship names. He gets suggestions from many sources. One of the main ones is the Naval History and Heritage Command. They research and then present a list of primary and alternate names to CNO who endorses and submits the list to SecNav. (See Ship Naming in the United States Navy
I have begun the process to find out how we can get a new Ranger in the fleet. Our sister ship, Independence already has a successor, USS Independence (LCS-2). (Search for USS Independence (LCS-2) on YouTube for a number of videos.) The Naval Vessels Register lists 18 LCS class ships that are in commission, under construction, or approved. Most of these are being named for cities. Three, LCS-18 to LCS-20, do not have assigned names. LCS-18 and LCS-20 are both to be built by Austal and will be Independence class. I would hope to get one of these two named Ranger. This still means a long wait, though. It takes 5-7 years to build each of these ships. Austal currently has three under construction, USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8) and USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10). They also have three approved that have been assigned names: USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14), and USS Tulsa (LCS-16). I suppose, if there was enough support, one of last three could be named Ranger and the currently assigned name moved to a later vessel.
I have talked with the man at the Naval History and Heritage Command. He does not think there is much chance of any LCS being named Ranger. However, he is very much aware of the history of the name and it is now foremost in his mind. Should the opportunity provide itself to propose Ranger for a new class or other case where a historically important name is appropriate, he will do so. But, remember that his are just suggestions and SecNav is the ultimate authority.
We have purchased some really great bumper and window stickers. You can check these out on the Small Stores page.
Additions to the Store. The ball caps are in and they look great. The 1957-'58, 1974 and 1992-'93 Cruise Book CDs have been completed are available. 1960 is being worked on.
On 8 Oct 2013 notice was received that the name of MM3 Chester Statun will be added to those on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during the Memorial Day 2014 ceremonies. Statun was killed in a fire in #1MMR on 13 Apr 1965. Ranger was involved in flight operations on Yankee Station at the time of the fire. Through someone remembering a fire, I found the information and submitted this to Naval Personnel Command who investigated and submitted their report to DOD. I can not tell you how great it was when I contacted Statun's sister to inform her. This is, without a doubt, one of the absolute highlights of my life. John Slaughter.
Grande Island Map. This picture is from the 1970-'71 cruise book. Unfortuneately, it was taken at something of an oblique angle and the legend on the right is not readable. Does anyone have a good picture? Evem multiple pics that I can put together will work.
A new feature that is being added to the Operation History page, are 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. The first of these done is October 1969. Also, it is a bit costly. The logs are in the hands of the National Archives. It costs 80 cents per page for copies. Generally, this will mean about $50 for each month of the logs. There will be a Ship's Store page in the near future. There will be a link for making donations. Any donation specifically marked for ship's logs will be used specifically for that purpose.
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.
We have the entire set of Ranger's cruise books are are working on scanning them to make them available to you on CD. DVD will be coming later. The cruise books are in PDF format and appear just as if you had the book in front of you. Thirteen of them are ready to purchase. If your's isn't available, write John to request your book be done.
Lying quietly alongside her sisters, Independence, and Kitty Hawk, Ranger awaits her fate. Constellation began her journey to the breakers 8 Aug 2014.
Our ship is silent. She was our home for a period of time. She took us to many interesting places over the years. She took us to some places we'd rather forget. Some of our crewmates and friends did not return. This site is a memorial to all who served USS Ranger (CVA/CV-61).