USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) was deployed on 29 April 1961 as CVA-63. She was the first of the Kitty Hawk class (the only other being the USS Constellation (CV 64)). Unusually the home port of the Kitty Hawk is Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, making it the world's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier. She is one of only two aircraft carriers ever to be honored with flying the First Navy Jack. Kitty Hawk became the oldest active ship in the Navy on 30 September 1998, with the decommissioning of the USS Independence.
On October 12, 1972 during the Vietnam War, the Kitty Hawk was en route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin when a racial brawl involving more than 100 sailors broke out. Nearly 50 sailors were injured in this widely-publicized incident.
- Builders: New York Ship Building Corp., Camden, N.J.
- Power Plant: Eight boilers, four geared steam turbines, four shafts, 280,000 shp
- Length, overall: 323.8 meters
- Flight Deck Width: 76.8 meters
- Beam: 39 meters
- Displacement: 82,096.69 metric tons (full load)
- Speed: 30+ knots
- Aircraft: 85
- Crew: Ship's Company: 3,150 - Air Wing: 2,480