The famed aircraft carrier USS Constellation set forth on its last voyage Friday, but this time towed by the ocean-going tugboat Corbin Foss.
The 1,008-foot Constellation’s 16,000-mile journey from Bremerton will take the carrier around the southern tip of South America to Brownsville, Texas, where it is set to be scrapped. The Corbin Foss tug is owned and operated by Seattle-based Foss Maritime.
The Foss tug will take the long route to Texas around the bottom of South American and around what is called “Cape Horn” by mariners, and not through the Panama Canal, because the aircraft carrier is too large to fit through the canal's locks.Here's a site where you can track the voyage.
Completed in 1960 at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard, the Constellation ran multiple missions during the Vietnam War, and later, in the Middle East.
The ship was called “Connie” by its crew, and in 1981 was proclaimed “America’s Flagship” by President Ronald Reagan. The vessel’s motto was “Go ahead, make my day.”
The Constellation is a Kitty Hawk-classcarrier and was steam turbine-powered. The class that has since been replaced by nuclear-powered Nimitz-class carriers. The Constellation was decommissioned in 2003 and carried about 70 aircraft in its prime. Here's a site with more information.
The 141-foot Corbin Foss is a substantial vessel itself, originally built to tow barges to Alaska. The tug is powered by twin diesels producing 8,000 horsepower.
Steve Wilhelm covers manufacturing, aerospace and trade for the Puget Sound Business Journal.