The USS Forrestal (CV-59), formerly AVT-59 and CVA-59, is a supercarrier that was named after former Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal and was the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers. The other carriers of her class were the Saratoga (CV-60), USS Ranger and USS Independence. She superseded Shinano of World War II vintage as the largest aircraft carrier ever built by full load displacement and was the first to specifically support jet aircraft. The ship was affectionately called "The FID", because James Forrestal was the first ever Secretary of Defense, FID standing for "First In Defense". This is also the slogan on the ship's insignia and patch. She was also informally known in the fleet as the "Zippo" and "Forrest Fire" or "Firestal" because of a number of highly publicized fires on board, most notably a 1967 incident in which 134 sailors died and 161 were injured.
Forrestal was launched 11 December 1954 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Virginia, sponsored by Josephine Forrestal, widow of Secretary Forrestal; and commissioned 1 October 1955, Captain R. L. Johnson in command.
Forrestal was the first American aircraft carrier to be constructed with an angled flight deck, steam catapult, and an Optical Landing System, as opposed to having them installed after launching.