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Navy pays a penny to get rid of carrier

By Brad Lendon, CNN
updated 9:13 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
A crew works from the deck of the USS Saratoga in 1958. The U.S. Navy has paid a Texas recycling company a penny to dispose of the Saratoga, part of the Forrestal-class of "supercarrier" vessels built for the Atomic Age. The carrier was decommissioned 20 years ago. Click through the gallery to see photos of other carrier classes throughout American history: A crew works from the deck of the USS Saratoga in 1958. The U.S. Navy has paid a Texas recycling company a penny to dispose of the Saratoga, part of the Forrestal-class of "supercarrier" vessels built for the Atomic Age. The carrier was decommissioned 20 years ago. Click through the gallery to see photos of other carrier classes throughout American history:
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The former USS Saratoga is to be recycled in Texas
  • The aircraft carrier served more than 38 years in the Navy
  • The former USS Forrestal was towed to Texas for recycling earlier this year

(CNN) -- For the second time in two years, the U.S. Navy is parting with one of its aircraft carriers for a penny.

The Navy announced Thursday it's paying ESCO Marine of Brownsville, Texas, one cent to take the former USS Saratoga off its hands for dismantling and recycling.

See why Navy paid $3 billion for this

The warship was decommissioned in 1994. It is now at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island and is expected to be towed to Texas in the summer, the Navy said.

The 56,000-ton Saratoga was commissioned in 1956 and saw action off North Vietnam in 1972 and 1973.

In 1985, fighters from the Saratoga helped capture terrorists who hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean, forcing a jetliner carrying them to land at an air base in Sicily.

The carrier was also part of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and air operations over the Balkans in 1992, 1993 and 1994, according to Navy records.

The Saratoga will follow the former USS Forrestal to dismantling in Texas. That ship was towed to All Star Metals of Brownsville earlier this year, with the Navy paying a penny to the ship recycler under a contract awarded last October.

The recyclers make money from selling the metal they salvage from the warships.

A third carrier, the former USS Constellation, is expected to meet a similar fate soon, according to a Navy statement.

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