USS John F. Kennedy

Artwork and research is by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

This is the original painting of the USS John F. Kennedy

USS John F. Kennedy, 12x18"

Poster Print $14.95

USS John F. Kennedy CV-67

By Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette with research by: Lieutenant Walter Matthews, Public Affairs Officer, United States Navy

The carrier John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was named after the 35th President of the United States. The ship’s keel was laid on October 22, 1964, at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry-dock Company. President Kennedy’s nine year old daughter, Caroline, christened the ship on May 27, 1967 during ceremonies at Newport News, Virginia. The carrier officially entered naval service on September 7, 1968.

The Kennedy was originally designated as CVA-67, attack aircraft carrier. During the early 1970’s, the ships classification was changed to CV-67, indicating the carrier was capable of supporting antisubmarine warfare aircraft, making it an all-purpose, multi-mission carrier.

The USS Kennedy is a floating city. Its crew averages 5,200 crewmembers with as many as 900 of them women. Among the crew there can be as many as 280 civilian employees aboard. The crew has access to television, radio and the Internet. Contacting family and friends can take only moments. The crew has many ways to entertain themselves and they are well fed. On the carriers last cruse they consumed 54,000 dozen eggs!

Designed originally to be nuclear powered they JFK was redesigned with a conventional power plant. This design change was responsible for the construction to take much longer than expected. With all of the changes that had to be made the JFK was to be a ship of the American Class yet once competed the JFK was a separate class of carrier in its own right.

The ships purification system can convert 1,400 tons of seawater per day into drinking water for the crew. Compared to the cost of the Enterprise which was launched six years earlier the JFK price tag was much lower coming in somewhere between $277 to $288 million dollars.

The JFK carries an air wing of 80 aircraft consisting of F-18’s, S-3’s and SH-60 helicopters. The area of the flight deck is 4.56 acres, 1,041.5 feet long and 252 feet wide. The carrier height of the ship is 23 stories tall with 246 lifeboats.

Kennedy’s maiden voyage was in the Mediterranean in response to a deteriorating situation in the Middle East. Subsequently, the Kennedy made another seven deployments to the Middle East during the 1970’s. During this time the carrier was upgraded to handle the new F-14 Tomcat and the S-3 Viking.

The Kennedy’s ninth deployment was in 1981 where the carrier sailed on its first cruse into the Indian Ocean. During this cruse the carrier transited the Suez Canal and hosted the first visit aboard a United States Warship by a Somali head of state. During this cruse the Kennedy also celebrated its 150,000th arrested landing.

In 1983 a growing crisis in Beirut, Lebanon, summoned the Kennedy again to the Middle East, which lasted into the spring of the following year.

In July 1986, the Kennedy served as the centerpiece for a vast international naval armada during the International Naval Review in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The next month The Kennedy sailed again to the Mediterranean where the carrier was stationed until March 1987.

On January 4, 1989 during the carrier’s 12th deployment to the Mediterranean, F-14 Tomcats shot down two Libyan Mig-23’s that were menacing the carrier task force. Tensions were high between Libya and the United States with Libyan aircraft shadowing American naval ships. However after a show of force the Libyan aircraft disappeared from our armada.

In 1990 the USS Kennedy paid visits to New York Harbor for Fleet Week. The carrier then celebrated July 4 in Boston Harbor.

In August the carrier with only four days notice deployed in support of U.S. Forces during Operation Desert Shield. During this operation the Kennedy was the flagship for the Commander of the Red Sea Battle Force. On January 16, 1991, aircraft from the ship’s Carrier Air Wing Three began Operation Desert Storm with attacks on the Iraqi forces.

Commander Leenhouts flying the A-7 Corsair led the first strike from the USS Kennedy on January 17, 1991 at 2:00A.M. in the opening minutes of the first war against Iraq. During “Operation Desert Storm”, Commander Leenhouts accumulated over 100 combat hours in 24 missions leading strikes into Iraq and Kuwait.

After the defeat of the Iraqi forces, the Kennedy transited the Suez Canal for the fourth time in seven months beginning its journey back to port and the many families awaiting their crew. The Kennedy arrived in Norfolk on March 28, 1991, to one of the grandest homecoming celebration since World War II.

After the Gulf War the JFK was reworked to handle the new F/A-18 Hornet aircraft which were replacing the A-7 Corsair’s. The A-7 flew its last missions off the deck of the USS Kennedy during the Gulf war with the Corsair retiring gallantly.

The next deployment started on October 7,1992 until April 7 1993. This was the Kennedy’s 14th cruse to the Mediterranean. Turmoil in the Republic of Yugoslavia had the Kennedy sailing again into the shadow of conflict. The ship and its aircrews flew hundreds of sorties over the Adriatic Sea. During this cruse the carrier celebrated another milestone with on December 8, 1992 received its 250,000th aircraft landing.

After the end of the cruse the USS Kennedy celebrated its Silver Anniversary. Twenty-five years of faithful service. This period was also marked by a complete overhaul of the carrier at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. With the overhaul completed on September 13, 1995, the Kennedy sailed to her new homeport at Mayport Naval Station, Florida.

The Kennedy departed on its first cruse from its new homeport in April 1997 for its 15th deployment to the Mediterranean Sea then returning to Mayport in October.

In mid September 1999, the Kennedy carried The Banner of Freedom on a friendship mission to our allies making history again with its first carrier port call to Jordan, where they received the King of Jordan. The King was allowed a short experience of life at sea where he was aboard ship for several days.

The JFK’s next mission was to have its aircrews fly missions during Operation Southern Watch, which enforced the no-fly zones over Iraq. During this cruse the Kennedy on January 1, 2000 became the “Carrier of the New Millennium” by being the only carrier underway during the dawning of the new century.

The Kennedy’s 17th deployment was accelerated by three weeks in response to terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Kennedy sailed on February 7, 2002 to the North Arabian Sea in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The carrier’s air wing flew twenty-four hour support Afghanistan, supporting American and Allied coalition forces with close air support.

The Kennedy’s 18th deployment got underway in June 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Aircraft from the carrier’s air wing flew key air support for coalition ground forces during operations over Fallujah starting on November seventh. The carrier returned to port at Mayport, Florida on December 13, 2004 to thousands of waiting families and friends.

In May 2005 the Kennedy sailed into Boston Harbor, her namesake’s hometown and then participated in New York City’s Fleet Week. The USS Kennedy has served our country in conducting training for new aviators, and routine training for ship’s company. Nicknamed “Big John” the USS Kennedy remains ready to answer the call to duty.

The ship is named after one of our most endearing Presidents. When John Kennedy was a boy her remembered the first time that he was taken to see the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor. He was so impressed that he knew that one day he himself would serve our country in the United States Navy. Not only did John Kennedy serve our country, but he also served in combat with great valor fitting the tales of heroism of the men that served aboard the USS Constitution.

Research and text were written by Lieutenant Walter Matthews, Public Affairs Officer, United States Navy with additional writing and editing by military artist and historian, Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette who also painted the artwork of the Kennedy.

I have toured the Kennedy now several times and I am impressed with such a major capital warship.

I do appreciate our Navy and the many thousands of men and women who have served aboard one of our most proud warships, the USS John F. Kennedy.

If you like to build plastic scale models of these famous carriers then please visit our hobby shoppe where we have at least 40 different American Aircraft Carrier kits in all sizes.

Below are photographs that were taken by the crewmembers of the USS Kennedy.

No one is to use these photographs for any propose.

These photographs are for your viewing pleasure only. Thanks!

Look at this photo. It was taken in August 2011. Everything would change a month later on September 11, 2011.

Would you like an original painting of the US warship you have served on?

Did you serve on the Saratoga? George Washington?

Let me paint an original painting of your ship for your home or office.

Did you serve on a submarine or a missile frigate? Let me know! I will do you a good job.

Back to Print Directory

Please review the other seventy aviators that we have worked with and interviewed in the Print Directory.

To Main Directory

This is our Main Directory.

All research, writings and artwork are by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette.

No one is permitted to republish any part of this story with out my personal permission.

Please call or e-mail me for any use of this story.

I do not mind sharing, just call or e-mail and ask for permission.

Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette

Aviation Artist/Historian

107 Arthur Moore Drive

Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043

E-Mail Address; aviationartstore@peoplepc.com