December 1st, 2012
07:24 PM ET

USS Enterprise is retired

From the Cuban missile crisis to Iran's threats, USS Enterprise finally comes home for good. Chris Lawrence reports.

USS Enterprise sailing off to history’s scrap heap
USS Enterprise file photo
November 1st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

USS Enterprise sailing off to history’s scrap heap

By Larry Shaughnessy

The USS Enterprise is the nation's oldest active duty warship, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and a history-making symbol of America's naval might for half a century.

But it's now headed for the scrap heap.

Virtually all the weapons and ammunition has been off loaded. By the end of the week, it'll make its final return to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia. On Dec. 1, "The Big E" will be become officially inactive.

But one doesn't just take an aircraft carrier with eight nuclear reactors in its hold and park it somewhere. The Navy will spend three years and tens of millions of dollars removing the ship's radioactive fuel and reactors before cutting it into scrap.

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On the front lines of history:  USS Enterprise on its last deployment
The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is nearing the end of it's 50+ year history serving America in oceans all over the world
October 31st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

On the front lines of history: USS Enterprise on its last deployment

By Larry Shaughnessy

The U.S. Navy has had eight ships named the Enterprise. The first was commandeered from the British in the early stages of the Revolutionary War by Benedict Arnold, before the America even had a navy and before he became America's most notorious traitor.

The seventh Enterprise was an aircraft carrier and a mainstay of the Navy's war in the Pacific during World War II. Three times the Japanese Navy said it had sunk "The Grey Ghost," but the Enterprise survived and is regarded as the most decorated warship in U.S. history.

But when the eighth USS Enterprise put to sea in 1962, it already had a place in American military history.

The ship's design replaced conventional boilers that had powered warships for decades with eight reactors, making it the world's first nuclear-powered carrier. It was longer, taller and faster than any warship the United States had ever launched.

A young fighter pilot named John McCain knew something about Naval history. Both his father and grandfather had been four-star admirals. He had previously served aboard the World War II-era carrier USS Interpid before ordered to the Navy's state of the art warship.
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Filed under: Navy • Security Brief • USS Enterprise