The Tailhook Educational Foundation
USS INDEPENDENCE (CV-62) SCHOLARSHIP
California Polytechnic State University
USS Independence was the fourth and last ship Forrestal class aircraft carrier. The fifth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, on 10 January, 1959, Commanded by Captain R.Y. McElroy, the USS Independence was commissioned as attack aircraft carrier CVA-62. On 28 February 1973, CVA-62 was re-designated as multi-purpose aircraft carrier, CV-62. Forrestal class aircraft carriers were intended to carry 90 jets comprising an air wing of fighters, light attack and heavy attack aircraft. USS Independence noteworthy deployments include, but are not limited to: October 1962, Independence acted as a key participant in the U.S. naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis ; May 1965, as the first Atlantic Fleet carrier to deploy to Vietnam, CVA-62 and CVW-7 launched over 7,000 sorties in seven months against North Vietnam military targets; November 1980, CV-62 and CVW-6 deployed to the Indian Ocean with USS Ranger on "Gonzo Station" as the Iranian Hostages were freed; June 1982, Independence supported multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon; October 1983, Independence’s battle group supported the Invasion of Grenada. Also that year, CV-62’s air wing conducted strikes against Syrian positions; June 1990 CV-62 and CVW-14 arrived on station in the Gulf of Oman on 05 August as the first carrier to enter the Persian Gulf since 1974; 09/11/1991 CV-62 changed homeports to Yokosuka, Japan, embarking CVW-5; 1991 - Paramount film Flight of the Intruder was filmed partly on USS Independence; July 1993 - January 1995, Commanded by Captain Dennis W. Irelan during Operation Southern Watch in the Arabian Gulf, USS Independence became the most battle experienced ship in the Navy's active fleet; July 1995, Commanded by Captain David Polatty, CV-62 received the Revolutionary War era First Navy Jack commonly called the “Don’t Tread on me” flag, CV-62 was the first US navy aircraft carrier in history to hold that distinction. Last commanded by Captain Mark Miliken, USS Independence’s commissioning pennant was hauled down 30 September 1998, 39 years, 9 months and 20 days after it was first hoisted.