The keel for the third America, a Kitty Hawk-class attack aircraft carrier, was laid on 9 January 1961 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Va. She was named America, the third Navy ship so honored, on 10 January 1962. Christened by Catherine McDonald, wife of the former Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral David McDonald, the ship was launched on 1 February 1964. Eleven months later, on 23 January 1965, she was commissioned USS America (CVA 66).
America made her first deployment to the Mediterranean in November 1965 and her second to the Mediterranean in January 1967. And on April 1968 she sailed eastward bound for Vietnam. She would arrive on station 30 May 1968 via the Cape of Good Hope and at 0630 hours the following day, the first aircraft launched in anger against an enemy left her decks. America would also distinguish herself in action off the coasts of Libya, Iraq, Haiti and Bosnia.
Unfortunately, on 9 August 1996, after many years of faithful and dedicated service to her nation, a decommissioning ceremony was held for America. Her last official deck log entry occurred on 30 September 1996, putting an end her active service. However, in 2005 after many years of inactive service, she was used as a live-fire and evaluation platform. Ultimately, she sunk in a controlled scuttled on 14 May 2005 off the North Carolina coast. USS AMERICA (CV 66) received eight battle stars for service during the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars.
For more history on the third USS America visit the Navy Archive page at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a8/america-iii.htm.