I always like your "numismatics-meets-history-and-philosophy" threads.
The Forrestal´s fate seems to be quite common for famous ships rated out of time and too expensive.
Once i found this historical medal:
(the rought surface seems to be intended, remaining original scrap metal surface of the ship?)
Great Britain, Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758-1805), the Wreck of H.M.S. Foudroyant, 1897, Lord Nelson's Flagship , a medal made from copper recovered from the ship, 1897 AD.,
Copper Medal (38 mm / 27,93 g),
Obv.: HORATIO VISCOUNT NELSON / BORN, 29th. SEPTEMBER, 1758. DIED. 21st. OCTOBER, 1805 / REG. No. 311490 , bust of Nelson three-quarters left, in uniform and hat.
Rev.: "FOUDROYANT". LORD NELSON'S FLAGSHIP. / COMMENCED BUILDING, 1789. LAUNCHED AT PLYMOUTH, APRIL, 1798. WRECKED AT BLACKPOOL JUNE 16th. // 1897 MEDAL STRUCK FROM COPPER OF VESSEL AFTER BREAKING UP. , a view of H.M.S. Foudroyant at sea, the legend with details.
BHM 3613 ; Eimer 1813 ; MH 537 .
HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built in Plymouth, and launched on 31 March 1798. She was designed by Sir John Henslow, and was the only ship built to her draught. She was named for the 80-gun Foudroyant, captured from the French on 28 February 1758. This Foudroyant was a one-off design, differing from the British norm, and following French practise, by mounting the 80 guns on two decks rather than 3, as was typical of the British second rate. Nelson used Foudroyant as his flagship from 6 June 1799 until the end of June 1801.
When Foudroyant came out of dock in 1819, she took up her role as guard ship in Plymouth until about 1860. Throughout this period she was in and out of dock on several occasions for repairs. In 1862 she was converted into a gunnery training vessel, a role she fulfilled until 1884. She was thereafter stationed at Devonport on dockyard duties, and was attached as to tender to the gunnery schoolship HMS Cambridge. She was finally placed on the Sales List in 1891 and sold out of the service the following January for £2,350. Bought by J. Read of Portsmouth, she was promptly resold to German shipbreakers and thereby prompted a storm of protest amongst the general public. Then she was bought by Wheatley Cobb, who used the ship as a boy's training vessel. To offset the restoration cost of £20,000, it was then decided to exhibit her at various seaside resorts and, in June 1897 she was towed to Blackpool and was abandoned in a dangerous place in open sea. On 16 June 1897 during a violent storm, she was wrecked on Blackpool Sands, damaging Blackpool North Pier in the process. Flotsam from the wreck was used to make furniture.
In 1862, she was converted to a training ship and served the Plymouth gunnery school, HMS Cambridge. In 1892, she was sold for breaking up to a German firm for one thousand pounds. Because of her association with Nelson, there was a public outcry including a Punch cartoon by Linley Sambourne. She was purchased by George Wheatley Cobb for twenty thousand pounds (his own expense) with a view for display at various ports and a sail training ship. She was wrecked at Blackpool in a gale on 16th June 1897. The salvage terms were that the company involved received two thousand pounds only if they re-floated her. If they failed, they could buy the wreck for ten pounds. The ship was unsalvageable and the company recovered some of their expenses by making souvenirs from the timber and copper and selling them. Hundreds of different varieties were sold, including medallions, coins, items of furniture and walking sticks.
As a replacement, Cobb purchased the 38-gun frigate Trincomalee, and renamed her Foudroyant in the previous ship's honour. This Foudroyant remained in service until 1991, when she was taken to Hartlepool and renamed back to Trincomalee.