The first ship in the Navy to bear the name, the USS KITTIWAKE was one of the CHANTICLEER – class Submarine Rescue Ships. Both decommissioned and stricken from the Navy list on September 30, 1994, the USS KITTIWAKE spent the following years laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River, Fort Eustis, Va., awaiting final disposal.
In August 2009, the ship was donated to the Cayman Islands for the purpose of being sunk as an artificial reef and diving location. KITTIWAKE was subsequently towed down the James River to Norfolk, Va., to be cleaned and prepared for sinking. On December 25, 2010, the KITTIWAKE arrived under tow in the Cayman Islands and was sunk on January 5, 2011 at 19 21.714N and 081 24.073W.