One of the proudest names in lineage of US Navy ships, there have been seven USS ENTERPRISEs

The first five were sailing vessels of various descriptions starting in 1775, through 1909, next up was a 66′ motor patrol boat, SP790 during World War I.Following that was CV-6, a Yorktown Class carrier (thanks Auric, that’s why I had cheat sheets in the airplane, knew the bad guys intimately, ours not so much), commissioned in 1936. The sixth of the class.Β She participated in more major actions of the war against Japan than any other United States ship, including the Battle of Midway,Β the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Known as the “The Grey Ghost”, she was claimed to have been sunk three times. Enterprise earned 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, and became the most decorated U.S. ship of World War II. Her other nickname was the “Big-E”

U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo 19-N-89185 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command

This picture was taken on the flight deck during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-7859 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command

Next up is CV(N)-65, the first and only ship of the Enterprise Class. Commissioned in 1962, she served until 2012 and is scheduled to be decommissioned next month. She was the first nuclear carrier in the world.

U.S. Navy bureau of Ships – Official U.S. Navy photo KN-9027 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command

Rather than try to detail her exploits, I’ll just put this up…

And the name isn’t dead yet… CVN-80, USS ENTERPRISE is planned for 2025 as a Ford Class carrier.

Let me know if you’d like me to continue something along these lines for Sunday…


USS ENTERPRISE… — 42 Comments

  1. I remember being in Norfolk and looking over to see the Big E, a furrowed brow of confusion and then the thought of “What is she doing here?”

    Sad to see her go, and good to see a tradition continues.

    Squid Sundays would be great!

    • I saw her in Norfolk in ’89 or ’90, while I was ship’s company on CV-67.
      I loved the banner she had on the brow–it read “Fleet Starship”!

  2. A quick correction:

    USS Enterprise (CV-6) was a Yorktown-class carrier, not a Lexington-class carrier.

  3. Sure, love it.

    But not just the big and famous.

    I’m sure there are lots of deserving, smaller ships and stories.

  4. Worked with a man in the 70’s who served on her. Forgive me for not knowing how the Navy assigns jobs. He was an officer and worked on the bridge. Talked about how the big brass liked to show off how fast she could go from barely underway to full speed. He hated those moments for the strain it put on the machinery.

  5. Sure, a history lesson on ships would be awesome. I agree with John.
    How about USS McCord DD534

      • Wow! They were squadron mates. My Dad was on McCord.
        I have his diary, and the memoirs of one of his buddies.

        • My father served on the Hazelwood until it was struck by a Kamakazi off Okinawa and all but wiped it out. He and many of the crew were injured in the attack.

  6. Stuff like this would be awesome.

    Big ones, little ones one of a kinds…

    Maybe some Navy aircraft too, not just boats.

  7. Brother-in-law was on the E in the late 60s. I’ve seen her once in San Diego. YES for Sunday posts.

  8. All- Aye aye, I have my tasking… STx, the problem with subs is it will be a blank page… LOL

    Posted from my iPhone.

  9. What an amazing ship. I’ve only laid eyes on the Mobile Chernobyl once. When Caleb and I were leaving that Blackwater shindig back in ’08 and crossing the I-64 bridge down in Norfolk, he suddenly pointed and said “Look! It’s Three Quarter Mile Island!”

    It took me a second to get what he was talking about. πŸ˜€

  10. It is always sad to see these great ships be set aside and put to razor blades. A sad day for the men who served as her life blood for years. BZ to the Big E.

  11. Tam- Caleb was just envious…LOL And yes, she was one of a kind, literally!

    CP- Agreed…

  12. I note that the poster refers to Enterprise as “it.” Let’s hope the BS PC in the military gets crushed ASAP and we may refer to a ship as “she” without committing a hate crime.

  13. Yes, and you could even do something about the USAF ships…

    Yes, the AF had ships.

    Neat info about the Enterprise. It will be very interesting, sometime around 2250, to find out exactly how fast she went. I have heard rumors that she was a tad overpowered.

    • I have friends who were on other ships cruising along with the Enterprise when they received orders to get from where they were, to where they needed to go, at flank speed.

      They tell me when she put it to the wood, the rooster tail was about as high as the flight deck, and although they were making 30 knots, she effortlessly pulled away, and was out of sight in short order.

      “How fast” indeed!

    • At the height of the Viet-Nam War the U.S. Army had more aircraft than the USAF and more hulls in the water than the USN. Yeah, war is messy and blurs a lot of lines.

    • Oh, yes. Amazing how ‘slightly’ that official 30+ knot speed is. And how, supposedly, amazingly nimble she was on her builder’s trial. A real ‘E’ ticket ride, I am sure.

  14. I’m with the destroyer boys, Haggard DD555. Nearly as many battle stars as the big E. Kamakazi just like the Hazelwood off Okinawa. 94 y/o father that is still badass.

  15. Hey Old NFO

    The Lexington class were to converted battle cruiser hulls that were started but due to the Washington Navel Treaty which limited battleship tonnage would have been scrapped but the Navy turned them into “Carriers”, The Lady Lex got sunk at Coral Sea and the Saratoga survived the war but became an atom bomb test subject at “Operation Crossroads.” Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet were of the Yorktown class, Yorktown got sunk at Midway, Hornet got sunk during the many battles around Guadalcanal and Enterprise survived. As I recall Admiral Halsey tried to save the ship and turn her into a museum but was unsuccessful. I like History LOL

  16. I trained at the A1W prototype plant in the Idaho desert. One of the “holy bleep” pieces of trivia we were told was that, at a flank bell, the longest propeller shaft was twisted 1 and 1/4 turns, the propeller was that far behind the output flange of the main reduction gear…

    There is a rumor a SD PD officer was running a radar gun up on Point Loma and pointed it at the Big E as she rounded North Island at speed heading for Points West. Tale was he was going to write a ticket for exceeding the National Speed Limit…

  17. It’s your blog.
    You have a heavy responsibility to entertain me.
    You haven’t failed yet.
    Just as long as you don’t do a series on the history of lighter than air craft in combat.

  18. Did a TDY to the Midway, back in the mid-70s, in the Sea of Japan. They gave us all the statistics, like distance from flight deck to waterline, survival time in the water (about 2 minutes, this was in February). Didn’t take momma’s favorite boy long to figure out that he could survive quite well without seeing the sun for two weeks or so. People that keep those things afloat and running are a rare and unusual breed, and I’m fortunate to be able to call some of them friends.

  19. CVN-80, USS ENTERPRISE is planned for 2025 as a Ford Class carrier.
    “MAKE IT SO!”
    uttered in my most Picard like voice.

  20. Yes, CVN-65 was a tad overpowered. It has eight reactors, where every other nuclear ship got two. Jane’s had the top speed of the Enterprise listed at 50+ knots at one time.

  21. 8 cores yes, but they weren’t much bigger than Nautilus cores so they needed all them… Nimitiz and later ships had much larger plants, so two cores would be enough….

  22. Geez, pull my arm why don’t you. Big “E”, fair winds and following seas, We shall see you again soon. E=MC2

  23. Sorry, some times tech-speak cuts in. In Navy parlance the nuclear plants for the Enterprise were designated A1W (Nautilus was S1W, both Westinghouse designs). To test systems they built full-scale prototype plants in the Idaho desert, then used them to train Nuclear power operators. 2 reactors, and engineroom with propulsion turbine, aux machine spaces and a big water evaporator, the works… By the time I got there in 76 one of the cores had been replaced by a partial Nimitiz-class core for testing but we could still run systems, make water, and drive the turbine load at over 100 rpm (~70khp each). Fun times.

  24. Proud to have done my 4-1/2 years of sea duty and two deployments aboard the Big E, 1997-2001. As to speed . . . on our 1998 deployment we lost a Prowler in the first few days. Conducted recovery for a couple of days after while the rest of our BG headed across to the Med. We got the call to head straight to the Gulf, and took off . . . ended up passing our BG before they got to Gibraltar and beat them the rest of the way.