Whimsical map depicting the route of the USS Independence, from Norfolk to the Arabian Sea.
On November 19, 1980, the USS Independence deployed to the Indian Ocean along with the Harry E. Yarnell (CG-17) and was on watch along with the Ranger on "Gonzo Station" as President Reagan took office and the Iranian hostages were freed. Subsequently, completing an Indian Ocean cruise, Independence transited the Suez Canal northbound, shortly after America (CV-66) had transited southbound, making America the first United States Navy carrier (and, thus, Independence the second) to transit the Suez Canal since Intrepid (CV-11) in 1967. Independence completed a deployment of 204 days. Scheduled to go to Singapore, the crew was instead diverted to the Persian Gulf to back up the Nimitz (CV-68) during the Iran Hostage Crisis mission with CAPT. T.E. Shanahan commanding.
Upon completion of the deployment, he was promoted to Rear Admiral. There was a Shellback Initiation conducted and a Flightdeck party at 60 days out to sea. The crew saw liberty only two times-a week in Perth, Western Australia, 5 days in Port Louis Mauritius before crossing the Atlantic to return to Norfolk on June 10, 1981.
The fifth USS Independence (CV/CVA-62) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. She was the fourth and final member of the Forrestal class of conventionally powered supercarriers. She entered service in 1959, with much of her early years spent in the Mediterranean Fleet.
Independence made a single tour off the coast of Vietnam in 1965 during the Vietnam War, and also carried out airstrikes against Syrian forces during the Lebanese Civil War and operations over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.
Independence was decommissioned in 1998 after 39 years of active service.