The sixth ship using the name Saratoga was built at the New York Naval Shipyard and commissioned on 14 April 1956. The ship’s name comes from the Revolutionary battle of Saratoga.
In April 1972, Saratoga was sent to the Pacific to help with Vietnam War efforts. For the next several months, the ship’s aircrew flew hundreds of missions against the enemy. In that time, a few were lost. Saratoga received one battle star for service in the Vietnam War.
In 1972, CVW-3 and SARATOGA were given 60 hours notice before sailing around South America en route to Vietnam. During this 11-month deployment, CVW-3 conducted strike and support sorties in South Vietnam, and ALPHA strikes, AAW missions, and reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam. CVW-3’s first MiG kill came on June 21, 1972 when an F-4J downed a MiG-21. During that arduous deployment, CVW-3 spent 175 days engaged in combat and dropped over 14,000 tons of ordnance.