The crew called her “Sara” and USS Saratoga (CV-60) was ordered as a “Large Aircraft Carrier”, the fifth ship in the United States Navy (USN) to carry that battle name. Originally ordered with the identifier of “CVB-60”, Saratoga became the second of four-strong Forrestal-class aircraft carriers reclassified as “Attack Aircraft Carrier” – “CVA-60”, this on October 1st, 1952. She was ordered on July 23rd, 1952 and saw her keel was laid down on December 16th of that year by New York Naval Shipyard in New York City, New York. She was officially launched on October 8th, 1955 and formally commissioned on April 14th, 1956. Her class included lead ship USS Forrestal (CV- 59), USS Independence (CV-62, and USS Ranger (CV-70. All were conventionally- powered vessels.
Her machinery included 8 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers feeding 4 x geared turbines developing 280,000 horsepower to 4 x shafts. This allowed the vessel to make headway at 35 knots in ideal conditions. Her dimensions included a running length of 1,063 feet, a beam of 252 feet, and a draught of 37 feet. Her complete crew complement numbered 5,540 personnel. Air search and surface search radars provided the needed situational awareness apart from her accompanying fleet of ships that surrounded the carrier.
USS SARATOGA Entering the Jetties at South Padre Island