Retiring USS Ranger to museum status in Fairview, Oregon isn’t going to happen. It’s a shame that one of the most famous and traveled Aircraft Carriers in the world, featured in movies like Top Gun, Flight of the Intruder, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (yea, that was Ranger, playing without complaint, the carrier USS Enterprise) has to be consigned to scrap.
Hey, Tom Cruise – Ranger helped make you famous! Can you call somebody? Tens of thousands of retired sailors at some point had her keys. Anybody keep a spare set? She’s a 1950s design, powered by boilers, so there aren’t any nasty nuclear reactors or anything. Chiefs run the Navy, a few retired guys could get together, sneak aboard, and…Don’t even need any officers.
My first novel, Time Flying, is set aboard Ranger. I’ve been on the ship, and a fan of hers since the mid 80s, when I first saw her tied up at NAS North Island.
I mean, it’s not like Washington would miss the money selling Ranger will bring. She cost $160 million 1950s dollars to build. We Americans spent almost $100 million on our President’s family vacation to Africa this summer, so money must not be a problem.
I know looking forward, not backward, is important. But when we have something that has been such a visible part of our culture, war and peace, security and entertainment, why can’t we keep and enjoy it? If USS Ranger isn’t worth saving and using to remember those things worth remembering, what is?
I really admire all those who have worked so hard to make the dream of Ranger as a museum a reality, and appreciate all their hard work. Here’s a great farewell to a wonderful and deserving mission.