|After decommissioning, Independence remained in mothballs for five and a half years before being struck on 8 March 2004. During her time in mothballs, ex-Independence was said to have been heavily stripped to support the active carrier fleet, especially the Kitty Hawk-class carriers. Her port anchor and both anchor chains were used on the new Nimitz-class carrier USS George H W Bush. The recycling of parts and the poor material condition of Independence at the time she was retired made a strong argument against retaining her as a potential museum ship. Her sisters Saratoga and Ranger were retained, and remain on donation hold as of 2008. In April, 2004, Navy officials identified her as one of 24 decommissioned ships available to be sunk as artificial reefs. As of February, 2008 however, she was scheduled to be dismantled in the next five years along with USS Constellation. She is still available for donation as a reef while awaiting a contract for her dismantling to be awarded.
Location: Navy Yard City, WA
Category: Transportation: Water - Naval
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