USS Coral Sea CVA-43 in drydock Nov 1957 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA
commencing 1957-1959 SCB-110A reconstruction. She had a long and distinguished service but
her demise was anything but distinguished. She was decommissioned for disposal on 30 Apr 1991
and sold for scrapping in Mar of 1993. The scrapping began in Baltimore in 1993 but there were
many problems i.e., fire, trouble with the scrapping company etc, and as of 1999, the lower portion
of the hull still remains unscrapped. A sad end for a proud ship. To me it is very disturbing to see
any ship being torn apart and all the memories being scattered with every piece removed. The
reunions do help to keep some of those memories alive. Any ship that is converted into a museum
becomes a vital link to our country's rich naval heritage. These museums are an open door for the
public to experience some part of the military life their loved ones lived and a place for the sailors
who served to remember past shipmates and ports of call. I have walked through several ships in
mothballs waiting their fate and I always get the feeling they are crying out, "I was a good ship, a
good home to my crew and performed well for my country". I know we can't save them all but the
ones we do make into memorials help keep the heritage of these great ships alive.
Photograph from MidwayJoe Collection
USS CORAL SEA in drydock at Bremerton, WA