D. R. Hempton (Artist), J. F. Love (Artist), and R U. S. S. Constellation, 1966. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover (with some soiling and a ding at spine). Format is approximately 9.25 inches by 12.25 inches. 299,  pages. Decorative front cover. Illustrated end papers. illustrations (some in color). Back hinge weak and restrengthened with glue. The carrier, with CVW-15 on board, was underway for operations off Vietnam in May 1966. During 111 days on station, aircraft from Constellation pounded roads, bridges and other targets, attempting to impede the flow of men and war materials south. The F-4B aircrew of pilot Lieutenant William M. McGunigan and radar intercept officer Lieutenant (junior grade) Robert M. Fowler from Fighter Squadron 161 (VF-161) shot down a MiG-17 fighter jet on 13 July, marking the ship’s first MiG kill of the war. Constellation returned to San Diego in December after her seven-month combat cruise, having lost 16 aircrewmen and 15 aircraft. Subsequently, both Constellation and CVW-15 were awarded a NUC for this deployment. During the 1981 workup cycle President Ronald Reagan visited Constellation on 20 August 1981 and proclaimed the carrier "America's Flagship" while presenting the crew a presidential flag and announcing to the crew: "Let friend and foe alike know that America has the muscle to back up its words, and ships like this and men like you are that muscle." On 19 March 2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced. Connie was designated a night carrier and remained on station throughout the major ground combat phase. She launched more than 1,500 sorties and CVW-2 aircraft delivered over 1.7 million pounds (770,000 kg) of ordnance. While one aircraft was lost in an operational mishap, there were no fatalities. USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk-class supercarrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the "new constellation of stars" on the flag of the United States. One of the fastest ships in the Navy, as proven by her victory during a battlegroup race held in 1985, she was nicknamed "Connie" by her crew and officially as "America's Flagship". The contract to build Constellation was awarded to the New York Naval Shipyard on 1 July 1956, and her keel was laid down 14 September 1957 at the New York Navy Yard. She was christened and launched 8 October 1960, sponsored by Mary Herter (wife of Secretary of State Christian Herter). Constellation was delivered to the Navy 1 October 1961, and commissioned on 27 October 1961, with Captain T. J. Walker in command. At that time, she had cost about US$264.5 million. Constellation was the last conventional U.S. aircraft carrier (as of January 2021) to be built at a yard other than Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company. Constellation was scrapped at Brownsville, Texas, in 2015–2017. Carrier air wings are operational units made up of squadrons of different types of aircraft and which deploy aboard aircraft carriers. Carrier Air Wing Fifteen (CVW-15) is a former United States Navy aircraft carrier air wing that was decommissioned on March 31, 1995. It was previously known as Carrier Air Group Fifteen (CVG-15) before 1963 before being renamed in December of that year. CVW-15 deployed with the USS Constellation in 1966 during the Vietnam War. Condition: Good.
Keywords: USS Constellation, Aircraft Carrier, Vietnam War, Carrier Air Wing Fifteen, CV-64. CVW-15, CVG-15, Yankee Station, William Houser, Pictorial Works