Korean War era aircraft carrier USS Saratoga will depart Newport, Rhode Island for her final cruise today, August 20. National Historic Landmark Fort Adams, the largest coastal fortress in North America, will salute this heroic vessel and the men who sailed her as she passes down Narragansett Bay for the last time.
Rick Nagele, Executive Director, Fort Adams Trust notes, “The Saratoga is, in all likelihood, the last aircraft carrier to be stationed in the Narragansett Bay. We’ve also heard it is likely that she may be the last carrier to visit Rhode Island waters. Watching this massive ship clear the Newport Bridge and move slowly past Fort Adams is potentially a once in a lifetime experience.”
To honor this gallant ship, Fort Adams and the Newport Artillery Company will fire a salute from a Korean War ‘Pack Howitzer’ and will dip of the huge Garrison Flag flying from the 100’ flagpole at the Fortress. The roar of the salute will be heard and seen across Narragansett Bay.
According to Nagele, “As currently scheduled, the Saratoga is due to leave the pier at the Newport Navy base about 8:00 AM (0800 hours). She will be towed at a speed of about 2.5 knots. We are told that she will be in the neighborhood of Fort Adams around 10:00 AM (1000 hours). However, times are subject to change. Towing a vessel like the Sara after she has been at the dock for as long as she has can have its complications.”
Robert Edenbach, Colonel Commanding the Newport Artillery Company states, “Taking a moment to honor our military heritage and those who fought to keep us free is critical. Sometimes we forget the cost of freedom. Every time we make this mistake, we surely regret it.”
The United States Navy has played a major role in the destiny of Newport and the lives of the people living here. As Nagele notes, “Fort Adams and the Newport Artillery Company are both happy to play a small role in keeping this heritage alive.”