Monday, January 7, 2013

The USS Enterprise: 1775-2012 (Part 4)

The USS Enterprise with the 5th Fleet
Enterprise VII- Continued

The USS Enterprise was still under repairs when she engaged the enemy in the Battle of Guadalcanal, during which she helped sink 16 ships and damage 8 others. 
On February 17, 1944, the Enterprise launched the first night radar bombing attack ever made from a U.S. carrier.  She went on to play a pivotal part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, which ended in a sweeping victory for the U.S.  The Enterprise fought in the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, and then supported a variety of invasions, including the Battle of Iwo Jima.  On the 14th of May 1945, a kamikaze Zero crashed into the carrier, and she moored in Puget Sound Naval Yard for repairs.  She was there when Japan surrendered in August 15, 1945.  

The USS Enterprise in 1945 with New York City in the background
The USS Enterprise (CV-6) was awarded 20 Battle Stars and received a Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation.  She also became the only non-British ship to be awarded the British Admiralty Pennant, the Royal Navy’s most prestigious decoration. The USS Enterprise was decomissioned on the 17th of February 1947 as the most highly decorated U.S. ship ever. 

After efforts to raise money to buy the ship from the U.S. Navy and create a museum out of her failed, she was sold to the Lipsett Corporation and scrapped.

Enterprise VIII

The USS Enterprise CVN-65 was commissioned in 1961.  It was built at a cost of $451.3 million, and, at 342 meters, is the longest naval vessel in the world.  It is the only carrier with more than two nuclear reactors, and was also the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world.  It carried 3000 crew members and 1800 members of the air-wing. 

During the Cuban Missile Crisis it served in a blockade.  During the Vietnam war, pilots from the Enterprise flew more than 13,400 missions in just 132 days in 1967.
Planes from the Enterprise also served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which followed the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2012. 
The USS Enterprise was deactivated on the 1st of December 2012, and is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2013.  When it is decommissioned it will have been in service for 51 consecutive years, longer than any other US carrier.

Enterprise IX
An artist's impression of the future USS Enterprise CVN 80
U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced in December that CVN 80, the 3rd Gerald R. Ford-class U.S. aircraft carrier, would be christened as the ninth USS Enterprise.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018, and the ship should be ready by 2025.  However, Congress, in an effort to save money (!?) is considering delaying the building of this ship.


Much has changed since that day in May of 1775 when 36 rebels captured the first USS Enterprise from a British shipyard in Canada. The men who armed that little 70-ton sloop with twelve 4-pounder guns and 10 swivel guns and sailed it in the Great Lakes would not believe that 237 years later their progeny are now retiring a 94,781 ton aircraft carrier by the same name, USS Enterprise.

The USS Enterprise holds an integral place in the naval history of the United States, and each of the 8 ships that have borne that name have served with distinction.
The USS Enterprise will never be forgotten.


  1. Absolutely one of the very best series of articles that we have read on any blog anywhere. In fact better than many professional sites dedicated to the subjects at hand :-)
    Bravo Zulu !