CV-60 USS SARATOGA
The sixth ship using the name Saratoga was built at the New York Naval Shipyard and commissioned on 14 April 1956. The ship’s name comes from the Revolutionary battle of Saratoga. Her first trip out took her to the Norwegian Sea to participate in NATO exercises.
Her next voyage was the first of eight to the Mediterranean taken annually from 1959 through 1967. In 1967, she was in the area when the Six Day War broke out. In 1968, the ship was sent to Philadelphia for a yearlong modernization and overhaul. By July 1969, she was back in the Mediterranean. She continued visiting this area until her first deployment to the Pacific.
In April 1972, Saratoga was sent to the Pacific to help with Vietnam War efforts. For the next several months, the ship’s aircrew flew hundreds of missions against the enemy. In that time, a few were lost. After her Vietnam visit, the ship went back to operations in the Mediterranean with the Sixth Fleet.
Saratoga was one of two aircraft carriers to challenge Libya in 1986. The early 1990’s saw the ship actively engaged in Operation Desert Storm with over 10,000 active missions. She was decommissioned on Aug. 11, 1994.
USS SARATOGA (CV-60)
The fifth Saratoga (CV-60) was laid down on 16 December 1952 by the New York Naval Shipyard
New York City
N.Y.; launched on 8 October 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Charles S. Thomas; and commissioned on 14 April 1956
Capt. R. J. Stroh in c
For the next several months
Saratoga conducted various engineering
and gunnery tests. On 18 August
she sailed for Guantanamo and her shakedown cruise. On 19 December
she reentered the New York Naval Shipyard
and remained there until 28 February 1957. Upon completion of yard work
she got underway on a refresher training cruise to the Caribbean before entering her home port
On 6 June
President Dwight D. Eisenhower and members of his cabinet boarded Saratoga to observe operations on board the giant carrier. For two days
she and eighteen other ships demonstrated air operations
and the Navy's latest bombing and strafing techniques. Highlighting the President's visit was the nonstop flight of two F8U "Crusaders
" spanning the nation in three hours and twenty-eight minutes
from the Bon Homme
Richard (CVA-31) on the west coast to the flight deck of the Saratoga in the Atlantic.
The carrier departed Mayport on 3 September 1957 for her maiden transatlantic voyage. Saratoga sailed into the Norwegian Sea and participated in operation "Strikeback
" joint naval maneuvers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries
. She returned briefly to Mayport before entering the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs.
On 1 February 1958
Saratoga departed Mayport for the Mediterranean and her first deployment with the Sixth Fleet. >From this date through 31 December 1967 she was to spend a part of each year in the Mediterranean on a total of eight cruises.
The remainder of the time
she either operated off the coast of Florida or was in port undergoing restricted availability.
While deployed with the Sixth Fleet on 23 January ]961
a serious fire broke out in Saratoga's number two machinery space which took seven lives. The fire
believed caused by a ruptured fuel oil line
was brought under control by the crew
d the ship proceeded to Athens where a survey of the damage could be made.
On 2 January 1968
Saratoga sailed for Philadelphia and an overhaul and modernization program which was to last 11 months. On 31 January 1969
she departed Philadelphia for Guantanamo
via Hampton Roads and Mayport
and extensive refresher tr
aining of the crew and air detachments.
On 17 May
Armed Forces Day
she was the host ship for President Richard M. Nixon during the firepower demonstration conducted by Carrier Air Wing Three in the Virginia Capes area. On 9 July
she departed Mayport for her ninth Mediterranean deployme
a Soviet surface force and a "November" class submarine passed in close proximity
en route to Cuba. Off the Azores on 17 July
Saratoga was shadowed by Kipelovo-based Soviet aircraft. They were intercepted
scorted while in the vicinity of the carrier. She operated with Task Group 60.2 of the Sixth Fleet in the eastern Mediterranean during September in a "show of force" in response to the large build-up of Soviet surface units there
the hijacking of a
Trans World Airlines plane to Syria and the political coup in Libya. Numerous surveillance and reconnaissance flights were conducted by Carrier Wing Three aircraft against Soviet surface units
including the carrier Moskva
t of Crete. Saratoga operated in this area again in October because of the crisis in Lebanon. She returned to Mayport and the Florida coast from 22 January until 11 June 1970 when she again sailed for duty with the Sixth Fleet.
On 28 September
President Richard M. Nixon and his party arrived on board. That night
word was received that Gamal Abdul Nasser
President of the United Arab Republic had died; an event that might plunge the entire Middle East into a crisis. The
intelligence and communications personnel of the Saratoga were required to supply the President
Joint Chiefs of Staff
and the Secretaries of State and Defense with the essential intelligence information to keep them abreast of the deteriorati
ng situation. The Presidential party departed the ship the next evening
and Saratoga continued on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean until she sailed for the United States on 2 November. From her arrival at Mayport until 10 March 1971
was in a "cold iron" status. She then operated off the Florida coast until 7 June when she departed for her eleventh deployment with the Sixth Fleet
via Scotland and the North Sea where she participated in exercise "Magic Sword II." She returned t
o Mayport on 31 October for a period of restricted availability and local operations.
On 11 April 1972
Saratoga sailed from Mayport en route to Subic Bay
and her first deployment to the western Pacific. She arrived in Subic Bay on 8 May and departed for Vietnam the following week
arriving at "Yankee Station" on 18 May
for her first period on the line. Before year's end
she was on station in the Tonkin Gulf a total of seven times: 18 May to 21 June; 1 to 16 July; 28 July to 22 August; 2 to 19 September
29 September to 21 October; 5 November to 8 December; and 1
8 to 31 December.
During the first period
Saratoga lost four aircraft and three pilots. On the plus side
on 21 June
two of her "Phantoms" attacked three MiG 21s over North Vietnam. Dodging four surface to air missiles
they managed to down one of the MiG a
ircraft. Saratoga's planes attacked targets ranging from enemy troop concentrations in the lower panhandle to petroleum storage areas northeast of Hanoi. On her second line period
she lost an F-4 to enemy fire northeast of Hanoi with the pil
ot and radar intercept officer missing in action. During this period
her aircraft flew 708 missions against the enemy.
On 6 August
Lt. Jim Lloyd
flying an A-7 on a bombing mission near Vinh
had his plane shot out from under him by a SAM. He ejected into enemy territory at night. In a daring rescue by helicopters supported by CVW-3 aircraft
he was lifted from th
e midst of enemy soldiers and returned to the Saratoga. On 10 August
one of the ship's CAP jet fighters splashed a MiG at night using "Sparrow" missiles.
During the period 2 to 19 September
Saratoga aircraft flew over 800 combat strike missions against targets in North Vietnam. On 20 October
her aircraft flew 83 close air support sorties in six hours in support of a force of 250 Territorials
beleaguered by the North Vietnamese 48th Regiment. Air support saved the small force
enabled ARVN troops to advance
and killed 102 North Vietnamese soldiers. During her last period on station
Saratoga's aircraft battered targets in the he
art of North Vietnam for over a week.
Saratoga departed "Yankee Station" for Subic Bay on 7 January 1973. From there she sailed for the United States
via Singapore and arrived at Mayport on 13 February 1973. As of 1 January 1974
Saratoga was on active duty with the Atla
[Note: The above USS SARATOGA (CV-60) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS SARATOGA (CV-60) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]