I was last there in 1996, right as they were about to shut her down...all that was really left was the Navy Lodge, gas station, and the Carl Vinson, which was moved a few weeks later to a new homeport in Bremerton. The runways had already been closed, hangars emptied, and that characteristic sound of the wind running across vacant buildings had already set in.
Last I heard, they were using the hangars to shoot movies, hold craft fairs, etc...no aviation activities whatsoever, but alot of cleanup going on. The USS Hornet museum is alive and well there thankfully. I'd imagine they'd have taken a ton of buildings down by now, as is the case with most base closures.
Anyone have any news/experiences over here? Have a morbid fascination with the death of great bases...this one wasn't too bad herself, my uncle graced her runways in his A-4's years ago.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2909 times:
NAS Alameda is now a city business development center called Alameda Point and they have been leasing out all the buildings to local businesses. The runway has been decommissioned and the housing area is being renovated into a new neighborhood for the local area.
The USN has kept the berthing facilities and uses them to store MARAD vessels such as freighters and tankers. The USS Hornet is also there, one of 4 US aircraft carriers on display in the US along with the USS Yorktown in Charleston, the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, and the USS Intrepid in New York City. Hopefully the Midway will make it down to San Diego to become a museum as well. It will be a larger project due to its size and the maintenance requirements.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2867 times:
The actual carrier was definitely the USS Ranger CV-61 as the CVN-65 Enterprise was out to sea during filming.
Oh, and a friendly lurker sent me an e-mail with a great article about the USS Midway which is currently a museum in San Diego, which I did not realize had already happened....great news for us MilAv buffs. Thanks, Tony Come on back to Anet sometime.
J.mo From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 653 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2838 times:
I was stationed on the USS Arkansas CGN-41 which was homeported there. Pretty small base, but really neat place to be stationed. San Fran just across the bay. Berkeley was just a BART/Bus ride away. We also spent about 3 months berthed up on Treasure Island. I have not been back out there since 1994. I think I need to make a trip.
What is the difference between Fighter pilots and God? God never thought he was a fighter pilot.
Ghostbase From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 354 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2839 times:
She's gone Deltaguy, sadly you have to let her go...
On a plus note it seems that the USS Ranger Museum goes from strength to strength, lots of enthusiasm there and some great preserved U.S. Naval Aviation relics.
And don't forget the nearby Encinal High School where there was a very bitter row recently over their preserved A-4 Skyhawk which many branded as a 'symbol of American militarism' and wanted her removed. Fortunately she remains in place, renovated, thanks to the foresight of the majority who understand the positive history that this 'Scooter' represents.
Perhaps 'she' is not entirely gone. Keep the memory alive my friend.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29513 posts, RR: 59 Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2829 times:
And don't forget the nearby Encinal High School where there was a very bitter row recently over their preserved A-4 Skyhawk which many branded as a 'symbol of American militarism' and wanted her removed.
That's Berkley for you.....communists.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
DeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2791 times:
I don't think Ranger ever got her rudders back...I think it was Kitty Hawk who took em, as well as her anchor chains? Would be delightful to see her as a museum, she'd be the first flattop as a museum. Forrestal wouldn't be too far behind hopefully. If they took Ranger to be a museum (Everett wasn't it?), she'd just be towed, and probably wouldn't need the rudders. They could rob them from the America, seeing as they want to scrap her
Ahh J.mo, I remember when they were cutting up your ship, 98-ish...real sad to see that whole surface nuke community dissapear, save for the CVN's.
Hey Ghostbase...shoot me a message if you see this- been trying to get in contact with you.
J.mo From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 653 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2757 times:
I heard they had taken her up to Bremerton and I was going to try and catch one last sight of her. After a little research I found a picture of the hull. I don't even think that is left anymore. Probably shaved with it this morning...
Oh well. I Had a great time.
Were you at Bremerton, Deltaguy?
What is the difference between Fighter pilots and God? God never thought he was a fighter pilot.
DeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2755 times:
Yes J.mo, I used to live in Bremerton....2.5 yrs of that place, sheer ugly hell for 300 days of the year, but some of the best fishing in the world the other 65 days of the year
And no, you didn't shave with Ranger this morning....she's still sitting in the mothball fleet up there, I saw her every morning as I drove by the shipyard...me and a friend who owned a Cub used to do practice approaches on her all the time (pre 9/11 of course)...she's still there, just striken and rusty.
I'm pretty sure the rudders made it to the Kitty Hawk, as she was in drydock 6 there twice while I was there I believe it was. I believe you're correct now about the chains, L-188....the Navy loves to canabalize this stuff!
747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2744 times:
To bad they closed it down. I bet it was cool to see the Enterprise CVN-65 go under the Bay Bridge. I under stand they had to lower the Big E mast as she past under.
It real sad to see oil fire CV like the Kitty Hawk, Constellation and John F. Kennedy being decommisioned. A buddy of mine from the Constellation told me every time she power up, you could feel it everywhere on the ship. Try that with one of this Nimitz class nuke.
DeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2739 times:
I was on the Carl Vinson as she pulled into Alameda for the final time, really awesome photos, pulling under the Golden Gate....symbol of freedom in a mostly democratic locale of CA!
400SP, I'll miss the diesel-burners too....I was in Coronado the week before Connie got decommed, but had to leave the day before the ceremony. Walked out on the pier next to her (behind the new exchange)...she was dormant for the night, but she was all dressed up, lights on, big 64 illuminated...looked bright and alive...I can only imagine how cold and depressed she is in Bremerton right now. I live in Jax now, and the fight for the Kennedy is still raging on...damn it, she'd better make it through, she's still got plenty of life (alright, I have some partiality to her too lol). Kitty Hawk will be around for awhile more, as long as the Japanese won't let us have a nuke flattop over there, we'll have to keep one oil burner alive.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11443 posts, RR: 78 Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2736 times:
I was in SFO for the weekend prior to a weeklong gig in Pleasanton and decided to see the Hornet as it was just recently opened as a museum. It was still a work in progress and the docents and workers were putting in overtime getting the thing cleaned up after an event on the hangardeck the previous night, and they weren't open yet. I had gone out there early on a Sunday and was incredibly lucky to have the USS Charlotte, an improved 688 class SSN berthed next to the ship on the next dock over so I moseyed over operating on the principal that someone would tell me if I was going wrong.
It had a group of students from a local high school lined up for a tour and I walked up to the guard at the gate to ask about the tour, and he told me it was the Captains alma mater and he had arranged for a tour. I asked if it was open to polite taxpayers as well, and he got the XO who told me to come back at the end of the student tour.
I showed up and got to see the whole vessel, forward of the reactor area. I looked through both periscopes, and zoomed in on the SS Jeremiah O'Brien across the bay with the target indicator not knowing it was linked with the plasma tvs in the mess and the wardroom. The crew watching got a kick out of that. I went into torpedo room, saw the crew quarters, the sonar area, with the interesting stuff covered up. I got to sit at the helm position where they actually drive the boat. It was the coolest tour I ever got on a ship or boat of any kind.
The carrier was great, but the sub was incredible. I had seen the SS Pompano the previous day, and have seen other subs before, even been on a live one before, but this was a complete stroke of luck. I'll have some very good memories about Alameda because of that.
One other piece of trivia. They built a complete section of highway on the base for the filming of Matrix: Reloaded. The highway chase sequence with Morpheus and crew fighting Daniel Bernhard was filmed there.
DeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2685 times:
Ahh my bad J.mo...
We used to overfly the scrapyards all the time, it was submarine after submarine after submarine...some of the nation's very first nuke subs. Saw cruiser after cruiser being reduced to dumptruck-sized pieces of rubble. The USS Long Beach was there for the longest time, her signature block structure had been removed long before. I'd sit up in the UNREP conning bridge on the Vinson and look down into drydock 6 and see them pulling apart 3 subs at once- pretty sad stuff.