Daily Archives: December 1, 2012

For the Naval History buffs out there on the day that the current USS Enterprise was decommissioned and a new Enterprise announced…

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Enterprise CV-6 circa 1940

This is the last of a three part series about the USS Yorktown Class Aircraft Carriers. It is the story of the USS Enterprise CV-6, the legendary “Big E” and possibly the most celebrated American warship of the Second World War.

The USS Enterprise CV-6, the second ship of the Yorktown class was ordered by the Navy on 3 August 1933 as authorized under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 16 June 1933.  She was laid down just under a year later and launched on 3 October 1936 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News Virginia.  She was commissioned on May 12th 1938 to begin one of the most celebrated careers of any US Navy ship in history.  Displacing 25,500 tons full load Enterprise like her sister ships were designed for fast carrier operation working in conjunction with other carriers not tied to…

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“Let’s Make Sure that History Never Forgets the Name Enterprise” USS Enterprise Inactivated at Norfolk

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51 years of service and 26 deployments after she was placed in commission the USS Enterprise, CVN-65 was decommissioned at Naval Station Norfolk.  In a ceremony attended by 12,000-15,000 people, many former Sailors and Marines who served aboard her the ship was officially inactivated.

The inactivation is the first step in which the gigantic 1123 foot long 93,000 ton behemoth will have her 8 nuclear reactors, de-fueled and then removed prior to her being towed to Bremerton Washington where she is slated, along with other previous nuclear warships to be scrapped.

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Enterprise spent the first half of her career in the Pacific until she returned to the East Coast in 1989 to have her nuclear reactors refueled after which she was home ported at Norfolk.

She served in action in the Vietnam War, during the Cold War, against the Iranians during the 1988-89 Tanker War, where her aircraft sank one Iranian Frigate and damaged a second, the 1998 Operation Desert Fox which attacked Iraqi military targets,. She also made deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In July 1964, she along with the USS Long Beach CGN-9 and USS Bainbridge DLGN-25  formed Task Force One, for Operation Sea Orbit, a 63 day voyage around the world.

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She is a part of American popular culture. Named after the most combat decorated carrier of World War II she served as a symbol of American Naval Power and ingenuity. Her name was appropriated by Gene Roddenberry for use in the now legendary Star Trek television and movie franchise. She was also the setting for the films Top Gun, The Hunt for Red October and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, however since she was not available for filming her place was taken by the USS Ranger.

The name was used for the first Space Shuttle and will always be a part of American Naval lore and popular culture. Today on her decommissioning day the Navy announced that it will name the next carrier to be built after the new Gerald Ford CVN-78 class ships, USS Gerald R Ford and USS John F Kennedy will be the USS Enterprise CVN-80.

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I saw the Enterprise for the first time as a teenager when she was stationed at NAS Alameda. She was so much larger than the other carriers at the pier it was a sight to see. I often saw her at Norfolk and I know as she is stripped down at Norfolk and Newport News that I will see her again.

As Captain Jean Luc Picard said in Star Trek the Next Generation “Let’s make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise.” 

Peace

Padre Steve+

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In honor of the inactivation of the USS Enterprise. A look back at a history making moment…

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Iconic Photo of USS Enterprise CVAN-65,USS Long Beach CG-9 and USS Bainbridge DLGN-25 during Operation Sea Orbit 1964

Note: This is the first of four articles on the US Navy’s Nuclear Surface Force. Future articles will deal with Task Force One and Operation Sea Orbit, the Nuclear Cruisers and the Nuclear Carriers.

In the 1950s the US Navy recognized the Nuclear power could play a key role in the future Navy.  The operational flexibility of Nuclear powered ships which would not be dependent on underway replenishment provided by tankers or port calls to conduct high speed operations over vast expansions of the world’s oceans.  Orders were placed in the mid-1950s for an attack aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise CVAN-65, cruiser the USS Long Beach CLGN-160 and later CGN-9 and the USS Bainbridge DLGN, later CLG-25.  These ships would become the prototypes of a Navy which early advocates of nuclear propulsion…

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