Tag Archives: uss gerald r ford cvn-78

Humble Harbinger: The USS Langley CV-1

020148

Last week the US Navy’s newest Aircraft Carrier the USS Gerald R Ford was launched and christened. Looking at the behemoth it is hard to believe that nine decades ago the US Navy was experiment with its first aircraft carrier the USS Langley.

USS-Gerald-R.-Ford_20091109121329_640_480

Now Langley was not the first aircraft carrier. That honor went to the Royal Navy’s HMS Furious. The HMS Argus, a converted passenger liner was more comparable to Langley and served many of the same purposes for the Royal Navy.

020114

Langley was not much to look at, her nickname in the fleet was the “Covered Wagon.” She was not built as a carrier. Instead, like most of the early aircraft carriers in the US Navy, Royal Navy, French Navy and Japanese Navy she was converted from a ship built for a different purpose. Langley initially took to the water as the USS Jupiter, AC-3 a Collier, or coal ship in the days before oil replaced coal as the fuel for warships. Her more infamous sister ship, the ill-fated USS Cyclops disappeared with all hands in what is called the Bermuda Triangle in March 1918.

020124

She was converted into a carrier in 1920 and joined the fleet again as Langley on March 22nd 1922. At 542 feet long and 65 feet in beam she would fit several times over on the flight deck of any current US Navy carrier. Her slow speed of 15 knots meant that she would be relegated to training aviators, participating in fleet exercises and testing new aircraft.

LCDR_Godfrey_Chevalier

Lieutenant Commander Godfrey DeCourcelles Chevalier

The first takeoff from Langley was on 17 October 1922 when Lieutenant Virgil Griffin flew a Vought VE-7 off her bow. It was the beginning of carrier based aviation in the US Navy. Nice days later Lieutenant Commander Godfrey DeCourcelles Chevalier made the first landing on Langley landing a Aeromarine 39B trainer on a deck equipped with experimental arresting gear. Chevalier died less than a month later when his Vought VE-7 crashed on a flight from Norfolk to Yorktown Virginia. Langley was the first carrier of any navy equipped with a catapult and on 18 November 1922 her Commanding Officer, Commander Kenneth Whiting was the first aviator to be catapulted from a ship.

348px-Kenneth_Whiting_aboard_USS_Saratoga_CV-3

Commander Kenneth Whiting

Whiting is considered by some to be the “father of the aircraft carrier” and had been instrumental in the selection of Jupiter for conversion, the conversion process and the continued development of carrier aviation following his command of Langley.

020122Langley’s Hangar Deck

Langley remained the primary training carrier for the Navy until 1936 when she was converted into a Seaplane Tender. In the decade and a half that she served in this role she was used to test various catapult and arresting systems the knowledge gained being useful in the development of new carriers. Likewise the aviators trained aboard her would go on to help develop US Navy Carrier aviation before and during the Second World War.

09020309

Langley served in the Southwest Pacific during the opening months of the war and was sunk on 27 February 1942 after being attacked by Japanese bombers near Tjilatjap Java.

When the Gerald R Ford enters service in 2016 she will continue a tradition that began with the humble USS Langley, the illustrious Covered Wagon.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under History, Military, Navy Ships, US Navy

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

F-A-18Main

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.

sea-orbit

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.

images-15

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.

IMAG0508_20121201124744_320_240

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+

4 Comments

Filed under Navy Ships, News and current events, star trek, US Navy

100 Years of Navy Aviation: Part One the Aircraft Carriers

Eugene Ely makes the first takeoff from USS Birmingham on November 14th 1910

On a blustery November 14th in the year 1910 a young civilian pilot hailing from Williamsburg Iowa became the first man to fly an aircraft off the deck of a ship.  At the age of 24 and having taught himself to fly barely 7 months before Eugene Ely readied himself and his Curtis biplane aboard the Cruiser USS Birmingham anchored just south of Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads.  Ely was there because he was discovered by Navy Captain Washington Irving Chambers who had been tasked with exploring how aircraft might become part of Naval Operations. Chambers had no budget or authority for his seemingly thankless task but hearing that a German steamship might launch and aircraft from a ship hustled to find a way to stake a claim for the U.S. Navy to be the first in flight. Weather was bad that day as is so typical for Hampton Roads in November and between rain squalls Ely decided to launch even though Birmingham did not have steam up to get underway to assist the launch.  Ely gunned the engine and his biplane rumbled down the 57 foot ramp and as he left the deck the aircraft nosed down and actually make contact with the water splintering the propeller and forcing him to cut the flight short and land on Willoughby Spit about 2 ½ miles away not far from the southern entrance to the modern Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel is.  Chambers would talk Ely into making the first landing on a Navy ship the Armored Cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay on January 18th 1911.  Ely died in a crash at the Georgia State Fairgrounds on October 11th 1911.

USS Langley CV-1

The Naval was slow to build upon the early achievements and the British and France would commission Aircraft Carriers well before the USS Langley CV-1 a converted Collier was commissioned.  After Langley the Navy commissioned the converted Battlecruisers USS Lexington CV-2 and USS Saratoga CV-3 in the mid 1920s.

USS Lexington CV-2 October 1941

The three ships formed the nucleus of the Navy’s embrace of aviation and the pilots that they trained and the experience gained would be the foundation of the Navy’s success in the Second World War.  They would be joined by the USS Ranger CV-4 the first U. S. Navy Carrier designed as such from the keel up in 1934.

USS Enterprise CV-6

In 1937 the Navy commissioned the first of its true Fleet Carriers the USS Yorktown CV-5 which was followed by the USS Enterprise CV-6 in 1938, the USS Wasp CV-7 an improved version of Ranger in was commissioned in 1940 and the USS Hornet CV-8 in 1941.   These ships would bear the brunt of US Navy operations in the first year of the war following the disaster at Pearl Harbor. Of these ships only the Enterprise and Saratoga would survive the first year of the war in the Pacific.  Langley now a Seaplane Carrier was sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942. Lexington would go down at Coral Sea in May 1942.  Hornet would launch the Doolittle Raid against Japan on April 18th 1942.  Yorktown, Enterprise and Hornet would take on and defeat the Japanese Carrier Strike force and sink the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu and Hiryu at Midway to avenge Pearl Harbor. Yorktown was sunk in the battle but Midway stopped the Japanese advance in the Pacific.

The U. S. went on the offensive in August invading Guadalcanal in the Solomons Islands. The Guadalcanal campaign and the numerous sea battles in the adjacent waterways would claim many American and Japanese ships. Wasp was sunk by a Japanese submarine on September 15th 1942 and Hornet was sunk at the Battle of Santa Cruz on 27 October 27th 1942.  Saratoga spent much of 1942 in the yards having been torpedoed twice leaving the often battered Enterprise as the sole U. S. Navy Carrier facing the Japanese until Saratoga was repaired and the first of the Essex Class Fleet Carriers and Independence Class Light Fleet Carriers entered service and arrived in the Pacific.

USS Yorktown CV-10 1944 a good example of the wartime Essex class ships  below USS Cabot CVL-28 an Independence Class Light Fleet Carrier


The Essex Class ships became the nucleus of the Fast Carrier Task Forces in the Pacific and with their smaller consorts of the Independence Class would dominate operations at sea from 1943 on.  The Essex class would eventually number 24 ships with several more canceled before completion becoming the most numerous of any class of Fleet Carriers produced by the U. S. Navy.  The Essex class would figure prominently in all offensive operations including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Battle of Leyte Gulf, the campaigns at Iwo Jima and Okinawa and raids on the Japanese home islands.  In the process they and their air groups would be instrumental in sinking hundreds of Japanese ships including the Battleships Yamato and Musashi and destroying thousands of aircraft.  A number were heavily damaged by Kamikazes but none were lost with the epic story of the USS Franklin CV-13 and her survival after being hit by two bombs from a Japanese plane that slipped through the Combat Air Patrol. The resultant explosions and fires amongst her fueled and armed aircraft nearly sank her but for the heroic efforts of her crew including Chaplain Joseph O’Callahan who won the Medal of Honor caring for the wounded and dying and directing damage control teams. The ship lost 724 men killed and 265 wounded in the attack but survived though without power and dead in the water 50 miles off the Japanese coast.

Murderers’ Row

The Essex class were iconic and the ships etched their names in naval history. The Essex, Yorktown, Hornet, Wasp, Hancock, Ticonderoga, Franklin, Bunker Hill, Intrepid, Lexington and the other ships of the class had legendary careers. These ships became known as “Murderers’ Row” for their expertise in killing off Japanese ships and aircraft.  Fittingly four of the ships, the Hornet, Yorktown, Lexington and Intrepid have found a second life as museum ships and Oriskany was sunk as an artificial reef off the coast of Florida where she is a favorite of recreational divers.

USS Croatan CVE-25 a Bogue Class Escort Carrier

During the war the Navy also built 118 Escort Carriers converted from merchant ships for use as convoy escorts, anti-submarine warfare and close air support for amphibious operations. 38 of these ships saw service in the British Royal Navy during the war.

USS Hancock CVA-19 in 1969 showing the extent of the modernizations that brought the Essex Class into the jet age

In the post World War II drawdown many carriers were decommissioned and the oldest, the Saratoga and Ranger disposed of.  The three ship Midway class entered service after the war and incorporated design improvements learned from combat operations in the war. As the Navy entered the jet era it was found that the existing carriers would need significant modernization to handle the new aircraft. Among the improvements made to the Midway and Essex class ships was the angled flight deck, steam catapults, hurricane bows and improved landing systems.  These improvements allowed these World War II era ships to remain front line carriers into Vietnam and in the case of the USS Midway and USS Coral Sea into the 1990s.

Artists’ conception of USS United States CVA-58 a victim of Truman Era Air Force politics

The Navy began its first super-carrier the USS United States in 1949 but the ship and class was cancelled by Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson, not a fan of the Navy or Marine Corps due to opposition by the Army and the newly founded Air Force.  The ship would have carried 12-18 nuclear capable bombers as well as 45-50 jet fighters and attack aircraft and been 1090 feet long and displaced 65,000 tons.  It would not be until after the Korean War that the Navy would begin construction of its first super-carriers.

USS Midway CVA-41 in 1971

During the Korean War most of the Essex class ships were called back into service with 15 modified to conduct jet operations while others were converted to serve as ASW Carriers and Helicopter Carriers (LPH) to support Marine amphibious forces. Likewise the Midway’s were modernized as the Navy began to construct the four-ship Forrestal Class which were 1036 feet long and displaced 56,000 tons and designed to carry 100 aircraft. The four ships, Forrestal CVA-59, Saratoga CVA-60, Ranger CVA-61, and Independence CVA-62 would all serve into the early 1990s before being decommissioned. In the past few months Forrestal and Saratoga have begun the journey to be scrapped, sold for a penny each to scrapyards in Brownsville, Texas.

USS Ranger CVA-61

They were all heavily involved in the Vietnam War on Yankee and Dixie Station and both the Atlantic and Pacific during the Cold War. All four have been stricken from the Navy List and are awaiting disposal.  Forrestal was programmed as an artificial reef but she, like Saratoga which had been on donation hold was approved for scrapping. Ranger is still on donation hold and the USS Ranger Foundation is attempting to raise the money to save her. Independence which had been programmed as an artificial reef project was approved for scrapping in 2008.In the past few months Forrestal and Saratoga began the journey to be scrapped in 2014, sold for a penny each to scrapyards in Brownsville, Texas.

USS John F Kennedy CV-67 a modified Kitty Hawk class ship

These ships were followed by the Kitty Hawk class consisting of Kitty Hawk CVA-63, Constellation CVA-64, America CVA-66 and John F. Kennedy CVA-67 which were improved versions of the Forrestal Class with a 60,100 ton displacement and 1047 foot length with the ability to carry 100 aircraft. Kitty Hawk had the distinction of being the last fossil fuel carrier in active U. S. Navy service being decommissioned and placed in reserve in 2009. Her sister the Constellation CV was decommissioned in December 2003 and in 2008 was programmed to be scrapped in the next five years.  America was decommissioned in 1996 after not being given a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) refit in the 1990s due to budget cuts.  America was involved in much of the Cold War, Gulf War and Vietnam including responding to the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, the Intervention in Lebanon in 1983 and the conflict with Libya in the Gulf of Sidra in 1985.  She was sunk as a test bed to see how modern carriers would be affected by battle damage and to incorporate those lessons into future carrier design in May of 2005.  John F. Kennedy was originally planned to be a nuclear ship equipped with 4 A3W reactors.  This plan was shelved and she was completed as a fossil fuel ship. “Big John” served in Vietnam as well as throughout the Cold War and Gulf War and also engaged the Libyans in 1985.  She was placed in the Reserve Force in the 1990s to save money and also served as a training carrier.  Like America she did not receive the necessary maintenance and by 2002 she needed emergency repairs in order to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Kennedy made three deployments in support of the War on Terror and decommissioned in 2007.  She was placed in donation hold and currently two groups are making progress to acquire her as a Museum ship. Like the Forrestal’s the Constellation’s served in Vietnam, the Cold War, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and three continued their service into Operation Iraqi Freedom. Constellation began her journey to the scrapyard in August 2014.

USS Enterprise CVN-65

As the Navy continued to develop the capabilities of the aircraft carrier it commissioned the nuclear powered USS Enterprise CVAN-65.  The added capability of nuclear power enabled her to operate without dependence on fossil fuel which in addition to her range and speed allowed her to carry more aviation fuel and munitions than the fossil fuel ships.  Unique among the Nuclear Carriers she produces 280,000 SHP and is powered by 8 Westinghouse (A2W) Reactors driving geared turbines, 4 screws with a classified top speed in excess of 35 Knots and is the quickest carrier going from all stop to full speed. At 1101 feet long and 75,700 ton (93,000 Full Load) displacement she was larger than any other carrier. She served in Vietnam, the Cold War, the Gulf War and Operation Enduring and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was and was decommissioned in 2013.

USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71 of the Nimitz class

The Nimitz Class of nuclear powered carriers is the most numerous class of capital ship in the U.S. Navy since the Essex Class.  Slightly smaller than Enterprise with a 1088 overall length and 91,000 full load displacement the Nimitz CVN-68 and her sister ships are the mainstay of the U. S. Navy carrier force.  These ships have been the symbols of American naval power for three decades and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  Each of the ships has embodied successive improvements gained from the previous ships and the latest ships of the class the USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 and USS George H. W. Bush CVN-77 incorporate technologies that were not known when Nimitz was on the drawing board. Thus whenever a ship is taken in for their Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) it is upgraded to the capabilities of the newest ship.  The class consists of the Nimitz, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69, USS Carl Vinson CVN-70, USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, USS George Washington CVN-72, USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-73, USS John C. Stennis CVN-74, USS Harry Truman CVN-75 as well as the previously mentioned Reagan and Bush. They can carry 90% more fuel and 50% more ordnance than the Forrestal class. Carrying 90 or more aircraft they pack a mobile offensive punch that is not matched by any other surface ship.  The have served in every major military and many humanitarian missions since Nimitz was commissioned in 1974.

Artist conception of USS Gerald R Ford CVN-78

The Nimitz class will be joined by the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78.  The Ford is the first ship of an entirely new class. While approximately the same size as the Nimitz class at 1092 feet long and approximately 100,000 tons full load displacement the Ford class of which three are currently authorized and one under construction will feature many improvements over their predecessors. Among improvements are an advanced arresting gear, automation, which reduces crew requirements by several hundred from the Nimitz class carrier, the updated RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile system, the AN/SPY-3 dual-band radar (DBR), as developed for Zumwalt class destroyers an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) in place of traditional steam catapults for launching aircraft, a new nuclear reactor design (the A1B reactor) for greater power generation, advanced stealth features to help reduce radar profile and the ability to operate the new F-35C Lightning II. If the class is built as programmed on a one ship every five year rate with the Ford commissioning in 2015 then 6 ships of the class will be in commission by 2040. The next two ships have been named, the John F Kennedy and Enterprise. 

Of course as with any military technology the future never is certain. In 1918 no one would have thought that the all-big gun Dreadnought Battleships would be eclipsed by the Aircraft Carrier in less than 25 years. While the Carriers have ruled the waves since Midway there are threats to them both military and financial.  Countries such as China while building their own carriers have are developing weapons such as guided ballistic missiles designed to destroy carriers.  As of now there is no defense against such a weapon if a carrier is within range. While China has not yet deployed the weapon it could be a game changer in the Western Pacific. Likewise there is the ever present threat posed by new and advanced submarines even those deployed by 2nd and 3rd world nations.  Finally there is the financial cost which could derail the procurement of more carriers in an era of austerity. The cost of the Ford is currently estimated to be $9 Billion Dollars which if stretched end to end would probably reach Vulcan where the Vulcans would come up with an answer to our current problems.

At the same time the carriers have defied those who predicted their demise since the Truman administration.  Currently no sea based platform has the multitude of capabilities of a carrier and its associated air wing and battle group and thus they should remain the Queens of the Sea for some time to come and the United States Navy which has led the world in their development and operation should continue to lead the way.

The next installment which will appear later this week will discuss the aircraft employed by the United States Navy not only those from carriers, but seaplanes, rotor-wing aircraft and lighter than air ships.

Peace

Padre Steve+

6 Comments

Filed under History, Military, Navy Ships

The Beginning of the Nuclear Surface Navy: USS Enterprise CVAN-65, USS Long Beach CG-9, USS Bainbridge DLGN/CGN-25 and USS Truxton DLGN/CG-35

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 hoped would become the future of the surface Navy.  This would become the case in regard to Aircraft Carriers but not in regard to cruisers pr smaller surface ships.  While seven more Nuclear Cruisers would be built none would be retained after the post Cold War reduction in force with all of the ships decommissioned, their nuclear plants recycled and hulks scrapped.  However they represented the pinnacle of surface ship design in their time and had the budgetary constraints of the post Cold War world taken place the likelihood is that at least six nuclear cruisers would still be in commission possibly upgraded with the Aegis Air Defense system making them the most versatile of surface ships.

Enterprise in 1978

The first Aircraft Carrier designed and built as a nuclear ship was the USS Enterprise.  Named after the heroic USS Enterprise CV-6, she dwarfed even the Super-carriers of the Forrestal class which preceded her and the Kittyhawk class which followed her.  Laid down February 4th 1958 and launched September 24th 1960 the “Big “E”” was commissioned on November 25th 1961.  At 1,101 feet overall and displacing over 85,000 tons full load she was the largest carrier built until the Nimitz class.  Her power plan was both experimental and revolutionary.  Equipped with 8 Westinghouse A2W nuclear reactors generating 2800,000 SHP powering geared turbines the Enterprise was capable of 35+ knots.  With a air group of over 70 aircraft Enterprise would serve in the Cold War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, the Balkans and Middle East culminating in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Coming into her 50th year Enterprise still serves on active duty as the oldest warship in the US Navy.  She is scheduled to be replaced in the next few years by CVN-78, the USS Gerald R Ford.

Long Beach firing Missiles 1961

The USS Long Beach was the first nuclear guided missile cruiser and the only cruiser built following ships designed during World War II built as a large cruiser, all others would be on large destroyer platforms.  Previous guided missile cruisers had been converted from World War Two Light Cruisers and Heavy Cruisers, some of which retained their forward gun turrets while mounting missiles aft.  The Albany class also converted World War II ships had their entire main battery exchanged for missiles.  The long beach represented an entirely new type of cruiser.  Laid down December 2nd 1957, launched July 14th 1959 and commissioned September 9th 1961 she displaced over 15,000 tons full load. Large and fast equipped with 2 Westinghouse C1W reactors powering GE turbines producing 80,000 SHP she was capable of 30+ knots.

Long Beach after modernization in 1980s

She was equipped with a twin Talos missile launcher, 2 twin Terrier launchers two 5”/51 dual purpose guns in single mounts, the ASROC anti-submarine rocket system and six 12.75” ASW torpedo tubes.  Long Beach would serve until 1995, taking place in every major operation except the Balkans when she was decommissioned.  Her unique superstructure was razed, her nuclear plant recycled and her hulk remains, the trim cruiser lines still in evidence awaiting the scrappers torch at Bremerton Washington.

The hulk of teh ex-Long Beach at Bremerton Naval Shipyard

Bainbridge 1971

The USS Bainbridge originally classified as a Guided Missile Destroyer Leader and a nuclear powered ship of the Leahy class. Bainbridge displaced 8,500 tons and 565 feet long she mounted two twin launcher Terrier missile systems, ASROC, six 15.5 inch ASW torpedo tubes and four 3” dual purpose guns and crewed by 475 men she like Long Beach had the capability of managing the air defense of the battle group.  She was equipped with 2 GE 2DG nuclear reactors powering geared turbines capable of 60,000 SHP which drove her at 30+ knots.  She was laid down May 5th 1959 and launched April 15th 1961 and commissioned on October 6th 1962.

Bainbridge transiting the Suez Canal 1992

She like Long Beach and Enterprise would serve in most every major operation undertaken by the US Navy and during the post Cold War draw down would be decommissioned on September 13th 1996, her nuclear plant recycled and her hulk scrapped at Bremerton Washington.   She would be modernized throughout her career with upgraded radars, missiles and having her 3” guns replaced by Harpoon Surface to Surface Anti-Ship Missiles and given the facilities to operate LAMPS helicopters.

Truxton 1979

The USS Truxton DLGN/CG-35 was a nuclear powered variant of the Belknap class DLG/CGs and equipped with the same power plant but mounted a 5”/51 single mount gun forward and one twin dual purpose launcher for Terrier and ASROC aft. She would also be designed with helicopter facilities to operate a LAMPS helicopter and like Bainbridge be modernized throughout her career.  Laid down June 17th 1963 and launched December 13th 1964 she would not be commissioned until May 27th 1967.  She also would serve in most of the major operations conducted by the Navy until she was decommissioned on September 11th 1995, her nuclear reactor recycled and her hulk scrapped.

Truxton being “recycled”

Enterprise alone remains of these pioneering ships but each would contribute to the future of US Navy shipbuilding.  Next: Task Group 1 and Operation Sea Orbit.

16 Comments

Filed under Military, Navy Ships