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.
Also: USS Enterprise sailing off to history's scrap heap
"It really was a quantum leap, as much as we love the Intrepid. Between the Intrepid, World War Two and the USS Enterprise, it was exciting and it was an incredible experience to be on the first air wing on the USS Enterprise," McCain told CNN.
In October of 1962, the ship had just finished its maiden deployment when the White House and the Kremlin sparred over Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.
"We'd only been back a couple of weeks and they said, 'get out to the ship.' Nobody knew what we were doing, so we flew our airplanes out to the carrier as we were headed south," McCain said.
The Enterprise was one of the first U.S. ships to establish a blockade around Cuba, according to Navy documents on the Enterprise's history.
"I was launched a couple of times just to fly around, but not towards Cuba," said McCain, now the senior senator from Arizona. "They made sure we headed away from Cuba so as not to spark anything."
After 13 days, the crisis eased and the Enterprise returned to its home port of Norfolk, Va.
By 1965, it had been moved to the Pacific's Seventh Fleet and began six combat deployments to Vietnam. On Dec. 2 in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam, the Enterprise became the first nuclear-powered warship in history to engage in combat. It launched 118 sorties against Viet Cong targets in South Vietnam.
While steaming off Hawaii en route to Vietnam, the Enterprise suffered its worst disaster on Jan. 14, 1969.
The flight deck was loaded with fully armed and fully fueled aircraft undergoing pre-deployment inspection drills. Sailor Michael Carlin called it "the single-most terrible and most glorious day in our history."
"An aircraft carrier, especially with fully fueled and armed aircraft on deck, if something goes wrong it's a floating fireworks factory," he said.
All it took was one mistake - an aircraft starter unit was parked too close to a rocket on a nearby fighter jet. The unit's exhaust heated up the rocket and it exploded, triggering disaster.
Carlin and his sailors ran to grab a fire hose.
"For the first time we're seeing all these guys that are down, of burns indescribable burns and wounds," he said.
But they couldn't help the wounded because the fire was spreading from jet to jet and the stern was full of F4 Phantoms. They each carried six 500-pound bombs and eight rockets and were loaded with 9,000 pounds of fuel.
All those munitions started to blow up. In minutes the entire stern was engulfed in flames and thick black smoke. Exploding bombs blew huge holes on the flight deck and fuel poured to the areas below.
"I didn't get injured, I got blown down four times," said Carlin whose team was on the fire hose closest to the burning aircraft.
The fire was put out but 27 sailors had been killed and another 314 wounded.
Fifteen planes were destroyed and the ship was badly damaged. But after emergency repairs at Pearl Harbor, the ship was back off the coast of North Vietnam by the end of March conducting combat operations.
The quick, determined response is why Carlin said the disaster was a moment of glory.
"The ship and crew fought back and never quit fighting until the thing was finally beaten down," he said.
After dozens of deployments around the world over the next three decades, the Enterprise was leaving the Persian Gulf for home when the hijack attacks struck New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
Without orders, the Enterprise turned around and steamed at maximum speed toward Pakistan. By October 7, warplanes on the Enterprise were among the first to launch retaliatory strikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
It was the first of the Enterprise's 10 deployments to the Persian Gulf region in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
On Dec 1, the Enterprise will be deactivated and will make history again over the next three years. It will become the first nuclear-powered carrier ever decommissioned. After its nuclear fuel and eight reactors are safely removed, CVN-65, The USS Enterprise, will be cut up and sold for scrap.
But there's already a move underway to name CVN-80, a yet to be built carrier, as the ninth USS Enterprise.
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On Dec. 01, 2012 at pier 12(?) in Norfolk, I was standing by a big guy who said he was in charge of carrier repairs for Newport News Shipbuilding. He said he had been taking care of enterprise for 27(?) years and she was his favorite ship. I asked him why she was being retired and he said, well; some pumps are difficult to get or repair as they are not being made anymore (what are machinists for?), but that they could continue to keep her seaworthy. He said he really did not get why she was being taken out of service as: "She is the fastest and strongest carrier in the fleet and that she could easily leave any Nimitz class far behind her wake". I ask if she was nearly out of fuel and he said: "No, she has plenty of fuel". So, we have (had) the best carrier in the fleet being taken out of service and we are down to 10?, 2 short of what is needed? It's about money and Obamacare killed the Enterprise and the US defenses are weaker for it. Any other nation in the world would love to have her or something even close.
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I was a corpsman during the fire assigned to repair 5. Repair 5 was located on the hanger deck stdb side aft if I remember correctly. I still remember how I felt experiencing the bombs exploding and not knowing what was happening topside. Even now as I think about the exploding bombs my heart starts racing and the adrenaline flows. I still remember many of those who lost their lives that day, I didn't know their names, because I met them for the first time as I placed their burned bodies into body bags. I'm sure I'll never forget those who gave their lives to keep the Enterprise afloat.
David; I was injured and was taken care of in a battle dressing station just under the flight deck, then to sick Bay, then medivaced by chopper to tripler and then on to Texas to Brook army medical center and then Balboa. We have an organization of shipmates who were on board during the fire. We have reunions. Many of us are going to the deactivation ceremony in Norfolk nov 30 when there will be a memorial; service to our lost shipmates on the flight deck. Then Sat Dec. 1 the deactivation ceremony. If you send me an email, I will put you in contact with our organization.
Tom VF 96: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not remember you, but, I was also in VF-96 during the fire. It was my first deployment, I was an AA and TAD to the ships lanudry. I remanded in VF-96 for over 2 years and one more deployment on the USS America. I have not been unable to make the reunions sure wish I could.
Frank: I was a trouble shooter on the flight deck,and on my 3rd cruise, no suprise we did not know each other. But you have to know King Merindo, he is in our "fire" group. Thanks for keeping my skivies clean!.
Send me you email and i will get you signed into our group so we can stay in contact. Many of us are going to the deactivation ceremonyNov 30 and Dec 1 in Norfolk.. email@example.com
I had an opportunity to work with the ships and sailors of the Enterprise Battle Group during the evacuation of American dependents from the Philippines following Mt Pinatubo. The Big E is a fine ship manned by great sailors. It's sad to see her go.
As per the story above, 27 of out shipmates were killed that day; Jan 14, 1969. I was one of the over 300 injured. I was one of 8 burn victims flown to Brook Army Medical Center for treatment. 7 of us survived, but my division officer, the pilot of the plane which first blew up and burned passed away later in that hospital due to his injuries. His name was Lt. JG JAMES H. BERRY. He was number 28. Please do not forget him or any of our shipmate lost.
Although I was a Reactor Operator on the Ethan Allen I also qualified on the two reactors at the A1W prototype in the early '70s. The sub prototype plants were full so the overflow had to be certified on another class of reactor. Thus I was able to have certs on three different plants ( The prototype Nimitz core as well as it occupied the B side of A1W at the time)
Sad to see the Big E decommissioned, many of my classmates were assigned to her in the Vietnam era and the engineering of the nuke plant honed my skills and left many good memories.
The Big E. The anchor of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club. A great ship.
my "alma mater" 65-69. a fly 3 yellow i was in the middle of the fire. I spotted that deck, yes it was a mistake that cause the fire, but " IT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF AN AIRCRAFT STARTER UNIT WAS PARKED TO CLOSE TO A ROCKET"
I was stationed at Hickam AFB in Honolulu when the Enterprise had its fire disaster. Our office was just up the street from the entrance channel to Pearl Harbor. We heard about the explosions and many of us went out to see and cheer the big "E" as it came through the channel.
What do you think was the cause?
worked in fly 2 and the truth is pretty much known. the blue shirt that worked for me was a tractor driver that lit off zuni
I read that the disaster aboard the Enterpise was caused by a "Rocket" (heat seeking missle) that was armed hit a Tractor power starter. I too was baffled because this is what happened on the USS FORESTAL not the ENTERPRISE as the story suggests.
"The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is nearing the end of it's 50+ year history serving America in oceans all over the world."
CNN writers/editors: you need "its" here. "It's" is a contraction for "it is."
Sarah.... YOUR view of history is NUTS....Are you a member of CODE PINK....cause that would explain ALOT....
....a short-haired...glasses wearing, lesbian professor at Berkeley University....
Former Reactor Operator (license #518) on the Enterprise (was CVAN65 when I was on her) during 1974-1976 time frame. Magnificent ship. Sorry to see her go, but according to some recent shipmates, it is time. I have many fine memories from my time aboard her. Received my Shellback while on her.
Though she may be going away, she will never be forgotten.
What's big and grey and stays away? USS Enterprise...
Nukes never have a nice day!
... try and tell that to 1 million plus russian men that little Finland killed after having been attacked by russia ...
... that was meant for Sarah ...
Hi, I was a Medic in the British Army in Hong Kong (1974-76) and I'm sure the 'BIG E visited HK in '75, just after the withdrawal from Vietnam. We were involved in the British Operation 'PINAFORE' rescuing "Vietnamese BOAT PEOPLE" from the South China Sea during May/Jun '75 (about 4,000). A sad time, I must say, as a great number we couldn't save. I remember taking a long photo shot of Enterprise in HK harbour at the time, a pic I've long lost. I would be highly and eternally grateful if you or any of your shipmate buddies had any pics of the BIG 'E' in HK harbour at the time. High regards. Mike
CORRECTION: WORLD WAR TWO WAS A RUSSIAN VICTORY....!!! AS FAR AS KNOW THE NAZIS SURRENDERED TO THE RUSSIAN ARMY IN BERLIN WHILE THE AMERICANS AND FRENCH WERE TRYING TO SWIM ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL, END OF THE WAR. THIS HAPPENED ONE YEAR BEFORE HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI. NOT SURE WHY MANY AMERICANS STILL INSIST THEY WON WORLD WAR TWO? ROLLING EYES HERE. AND BY THE WAY, THE KOREAN WAR NEVER ENDED, NOT SURE WHY MANY ELDERLY VETERANS STILL INSIST THE U.S. WON IN KOREA.? ROLLING EYES HERE TOO.
At least you've stopped telling us of the billions that have been killed by Reagen or whomever.
Coming down off your high? lol
THE U.S. HAS NEVER WON ANY WAR....!! VIETNAM, LEBANON, SOMALIA, SUDAN ETC. ARE THE TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF DEFEAT. AND ALL OF THEM ARE LITTLE COUNTRIES SMALLER THAN RHODE ISLAND. OH WELL...
Richard Overy, professor of contemporary history at King's College London, notes that after the war, Hitler's foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop listed three main reasons for Germany's defeat:
•Unexpectedly stubborn resistance from the Soviet Union
•The large-scale supply of arms and equipment from the US to the Soviet Union, under the lend-lease agreement
•The success of the Western Allies in the struggle for air supremacy.
So perhaps everyone, Allied speaking that is, won.
Matteo has it right. The Soviet people played a very large role in defeating Nazi Germany, but they could not have done it alone. I had former Soviet instructors who told me they wore American-made clothing, wore American boots, at American food, and rode in American trucks while fighting the Nazis. Lend-lease provided the Soviets critical war materials, such as high-octane blending agents for aviation fuel. The air war over Germany also had a major impact on the war on the Eastern Front, with both Albert Speer and Nikita Khrushchev noting the impact–fighter units withdrawn from the East for Reich defense against the 8th (and later 15th) Air Force and RAF. At one point, not a single large caliber gun went to the Eastern Front for over 90 days while Flak units were organized to counter Allied (US & UK) bombing. Note also at the same time the US was conducting another complete war in the Pacific. Bottom line: it took the US, the Soviet Union, the UK, and other Allies to defeat Germany. It is highly unlikely any one of the three major Allies could have done it alone, even we here in the USA, although we might have been able to do it in a much longer war. But before anyone gets too teary-eyed about the Russians, remember that they signed the Pact with Nazi Germany that allowed Hitler to go ahead with the war–and allocated to themselves the Baltic countries, roughly half of Poland, and other territories. In fact, the Soviet Union was the major gainer of territory in World War II–at significant pain to the Polish people.
You jumped from World War II to VIETNAM, LEBANON, SOMALIA, SUDAN? What's your issue? And do find the caps lock key. It's right there on your keyboard. Not sure that Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan were wars. Vietnam while never delcared (as far as I remember) was.
Not sure where you are Sarah but it appears that you'd rather not be in the US if that's where you are. If so why don't you leave?
Addendum – Jim
I had to go and look it up. My memory isn't what it used to be 50 years ago. There was no territorial gain on either side.
Ok Sarah then who, according to your history books won the Revolutionary war? War of 1812? Civil War? Spanish-American War? Just curious?
Ummmm the Americans did not win the War of 1812..sorry.
Just wondering who won those wars in her history book. That's all I am asking. Who won in your history books? The winner of the war of 1812 is debatable depending on your yard stick.
The Americans attacked. We (Canadians/Brits) burned the White House and it ended up with no gains one way or the other (tie) with the only losers being the natives (first nations people).
Not arguing at all but as I remember, from history class, not from being there though some days it feels like it, I believe the US gained some territory but lost the right to have armed ships on the great lakes. Also I think the Brits stopped impressing US citizens to serve on British ships. Remember the US, sort of, won the last battle of that War (New Orleans-Jackson) even though that battle happened after the treaty was signed – does that count for anything? Not that there was anything like a clear cut winner on either side in that war.
Addendum – Jim
I had to go and look it up. My memory isn't what it used to be 50 years ago. There was no territorial gain on either side.
Glad that I didn't have to depend on u Jan 14, 1969. If you hatethis country so much i sugust that u go live in Iran. Get a life
Ah– no. Letting the Russians take Berlin was a political decision, and maybe not a wise one, given the aftermath. US and British air power won the war in Europe. The Red Army pushed back a Wehrmacht that had been deprived of its support by the destruction of German industry. The USSR had zero strategic bombing capability– basically just close air support. Not to mention that the Red Army made it all the way from Moscow driving American trucks, and wearing American boots, etc. They made some good tanks, but they did not have the overall manufacturing capacity to support the scale of war effort required. Convoys to Murmansk sound familiar at all? Probably not– all that yelling has deafened you to the facts.
Also– a brief geography lesson r.e. "trying to swim the English channel". Try to read sometime. The English Channel does not encompass France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, North Africa, most of Germany (shall I go on?); all of which were taken by and held by Allied (largely American) troops by the end of the war.
One last point– you've probably forgotten (or never knew) that you're giving credit for victory in World War 2 to one of the original aggressors. WW2 started when the USSR and Nazi Germany invaded Poland and divided its territory between them.
The Germans also had to maintain a large force in France and later Italy, Plus had forces in North Africa which could have been used in the east. The reason Germany didn't do well against the Russians...Hitler himself.
This chick is nuts.
I was an RPE (Reactor Plant Electrician) in the #3 engine room 1971 – 1973,, ending my career with new construction as an IC-1 (Interior Communications Electrician, 1st Class Petty Officer) in Virginia. I was part of the Pre-Commissioning Crew for the USS South Carolina (DLGN-37). While aboard the Enterprise, we crossed the equator a few times traveling between the Gulf of Tonkin and the Indian Ocean. I hope the next new carrier continues the Enterprise legacy.
CVN 80 to be named "Enterprise"? Not if Obama gets re-elected.
All of you Mitt lovers are the same. You extrapolate any and everything to some bad premise based on Obama. It's too warm outside, blame Obama. I have a headache, blame Obama. We have a full moon, blame Obama. You really need to get a grip on reality.
YOU Democrat loving SOB's did the SAME THING to Bush and NOW conitnue to say if Mitt i elected, that he would get us back into war.......DONT LIKE IT DO YOU.....
If my memory serves me correctly, Obama blamed Bush for everything. I'm surprised he didn't blame him for hurricane Sandy.
I believe NASA would have christened a space shuttle the Enterprise had it not been for that damnable star fleet command.
NASA did name a Space Shuttle 'Enterprise'. She is currently aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and suffered some damage from Hurricane Sandy. She has even flown, just not under her own power.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/space-shuttle-enterprise-damaged-sandy-article-1.1196150#ixzz2BFXiorZv
You bit, little fishy.
Might also observe that there was a Civil War observation balloon named the Enterprise.
Do not worry my friends. Someone once soothed fears of the E's name demise when he calmly replied "there's plenty of more letters in the alphabet number one".
I prefer the quote from Captain Picard "Let us make sure that history never forgets the name... Enterprise!" As long as there is a US Navy would hope that there would always be an Enterprise. As Deforest Kelly said as Admiral Mccoy, "She is a big ship, but she has the right name, now you treat her like a lady you hear, because she will always get you home." One of those new Gerald R Ford class carriers better be named Enterprise, it is an American tradition that must be upheld. Just my nerdy opinion lol.
I served aboard her and I very am proud to be a former crew member.. I do not like the thought that she is going to be scraped and no part of her will be saved for historical value. When all of us that have served on her are gone, our memories will be gone with her.... It is a damn shame but.....She served with honor and distinction for the greatest country on earth and for that reason she will never be forgotten. There hopefully will be another carrier named Enterprise to carry on the long tradition of excellence and strength. Thank you to all the men and women who served aboard her after all they are the real spirit of Enterprise.
My grandfather, VADM Kent. L. Lee, served as captain of the USS Enterprise beginning in 1967. He was captain when that fire broke out - there was actually just a reunion/memorial event for that tragedy a couple of years ago. He is 89 now, still going strong; my room ha been decked out in pictures and models of the ship and its planes and pilots. Sad to see it go, but it is 50 years old after all.
Was aboard with Captain Lee. He did a great job, and I will never forget the words over the 1MC, "Gentlemen, save your ship." Hope he is doing OK, and please give him my best wishes.....
Some of this ship will be made into razor blades, but other parts will be recycled back into newly commissioned boats. All my dad's ships have been decommissioned, but most of the scrap was used again by the Navy. Kind of sad that I can tour a captured German U-Boat in Chicago, but I don't know of any tours aboard a George-Washington Class or Sturgeon Class Sub.
Can't wait for the next Big E... If not a boat, a spacecraft should bare the name.
Served in Pacific theater during WWII and this Big E will never be forgotten
I was in GM Division in the Weapons Department of the ship's company from January 1968 to August of 1970. As I've gotten older I have grown to more jealously guard the stories of that terrible time in our nation's history. How can one possible do the story justice? It is something that happened to me as a teenager, and then as a young man; something over which I had no control whatsoever. Sixty thousand American dead, and three million Vietnamese dead. Vietnam is a tragedy for which I feel a profound sadness.
Served on the Big E back in the mid 90's after she came out of the yard in Newport News, she was a good ship and had a good crew, did my last deployment in the Navy on her. She is the last of my ships still in service, the JFK is gone, we decommissioned the Saratoga in 94 and then my air wing transferred to the Big E. She will be missed.
ABH 84-88..was there filming TOPGUN spring '87 and Operation Praying Mantis '88.......saved an A6 Intruder from falling off an elevator with a plane captain still in it. I also have a CATSHOT in an S3 Viking....
Will be there in Norfolk Dec 1...
HOW MANY BILLION PEOPLE THIS MASS MURDERING MACHINE HAS KILLED?....ONLY A REPUBLICAN OR A RIGHT WING NUTS WOULD CELEBRATE THIS...!!!
Billion?? Really??? Get a grip. Without the strongest military in the world you would have been typing this German. All I can say is thank you for exercising the rights that myself and my friends have fought and some have died for.
Lots of brave people died so you can have the privilege of making an ass of yourself.
FOOOOOK YOU.YOU BRAINDEAD DEMORAT.
halo, your presumption that anyone who thinks the way sarah does must be a democrat only proves how stupid some republicans can be. I'M A DEMOCRAT and I think sarah's got her head up her butt!
I lean democratic and just what does that have to do with defending this great nation that allows even the most mentally challenged to have an opinion and voice it. Those who served recognise my nickname and what it means. RIP big E you earned your peace at long last!
As a Braindead Democrat myself....I'm all for the Enterprise making one last mission over Sarah's home.
Sarah...THIS "MASS MURDER MACHINE" ...ALLOWS YOU to say what you want to say......I served 4 years aboard this ship.....so I take your comment personally.........YOUR WELCOME B^%$#.....
Typical brainless comment from a mind numbed Democrat who has no idea that the world is different from her ideas of flowers and 'my little pony'. Does Sarah even have a concept of what a 'billion' is or how many people exist on Earth?
Cadiz, your presumption that anyone who thinks the way sarah does must be a democrat only proves how stupid some republicans can be. I'M A DEMOCRAT and I think sarah's got her head up her butt!
I served on the Enterprise, did a West-Pac in 1984. " Billions, " murdered due to this ship. Very surprised at not hearing about that in the news. " Braindead Demorat......" you are not too far back in the stupid race, maybe just a nose behind the Pinhead's " Billions " murdered post. You are both mental cretins . Actually, this article was about a historic aircraft carrier, that is nearing decomissioning. Always with the politics, and agendas. You politcal agenda folks are pathetic. Do you really think anyone is going to change their mind about anything just because you post some lame comment ?!?!
ONLY IN LEBANON, RONALD REAGAN KILLED 5 MILLION PEOPLE !!!!
The current population of Lebanon is 4.5 million. If Reagen killed 5 million in his day then how exactly did they recover so quickly?
Sarah !!! Please get back on your medications !!!! If you do that, things like your thoughts, and numbers will make more sense.................
Please do not feed the trolls.
was on enterpise cvn 65 1987-1990 love the enterprise
The Big E should be preserved. 1st nuke carrier, and one-of-a-kind. They only built the one. Turning her into razor blades is just too sad. Still, well done, Big E. Half a century of being the biggest stick of all.
Former ELT (Reactor Labs division) on the Big E here. Served 93 to 97, my first ship. Being the first, I have fond memories of her. My second ship has already been decomm'd and sunk off North Carolina, but it's sadder to see my first ship sent to pasture. Yeah the ship had it's problems, and chemistry was always fun with the hideout problems, but the first is always the best as they say. Sad to see it go, but from a reactor and engineering standpoint, it's not feasible to keep it going much longer. I'd like to attend the decommissioning, but not sure if it's possible for former crew to attend. I've been out of the Navy for a while now.
On Big E as Nuc. Great ship and crew. Longest drive shaft in the world at the time, I understand, for one of the plants and prop. Largest nuclear reactor complex in the world.
I have fond memories of touring the Enterprise when I was a child. We drove from Seattle to San Francisco while my father participated in a trial run on the Enterprise from Bremerton, WA to San Francisco (he worked electronics for the Navy Yard in Bremerton). I still remember being on the huge deck where they store the planes.
Deck was only huge to kids but very small when trying to trap aboard during night ops. I still fly but have never felt that fear again.
"Without orders, the Enterprise turned around and steamed at maximum speed toward Pakistan" Such a relief to know the Navy operates autonomously, without government intervention. Is this the way all branches of the US military operate?
It's called initiative. It's a big reason our military is better than nearly any other and bettered by none.
I think this is called bad writing. Radio waves travel at 300,000 km per second, aircraft carrier at about 30 knots. Can't see how it would not be enough time to ask for and receive orders. Or perhaps the captain had prior orders.
Great that a new carrier will be named ENTERPRISE, I wish they'll build a new shuttle (see Dreamcaster shuttle project) named ENTERPRISE and it actually goes into space unlike the original shuttle from the '70s that NEVER did.
Let's make sure that history never forgets the name Enterprise.
Got that from Star Trek: TNG ? Very cool.
Maybe Patrick Stewart should speak at the decommissioning.
My old "alma mater", from 82 to 87. Three deployments, dozens of friends, countless memories!
I'll be sad to see the old girl go, but understand the reasoning behind it. I'm lucky enough to be able to take the time, and incur the expense of going to the deactivation ceremony in Norfolk, December 1st. It will be the first time in almost 25 years that I've laid eyes on her, and I hope to meet up with some old shipmates while we're there, saying goodbye.
I'll also be on the front lines of people calling for a new Enterprise. Better that, than to name a gallant warship after some silly man who sat in the White House, making a fool of himself!!
This is the problem with our military. Always wants something new, how come such a expensive cannot be revived and returned to duty? How come we need to use new iron, new equipment, new billion dollar planes? To fight terrorists with RPG's and AK47's? We spent a decade fighting thugs in two wars? How come it has taken so long? Politics that's the issue of war. Not our Navy, our Airforce or Marines or Army. The Politics hamper our military. We fight with a politician looking over our shoulder. That's n way to fight.
@ John: "This is the problem with our military. Always wants something new, how come such a expensive cannot be revived and returned to duty?"
Everything has a service life – and I mean EVERYTHING. This includes things we think (incorrectly) as permanent, such as bridges, buildings, and in this case, ships. The Enterprise is over 50 years old (first cruise was noted in the article above as 1962, but was designed and built before then).
Simply put, it can be just as expensive (or more so) to keep the Enterprise functional than to start from a new design.
Spot on. It simply becomes too expensive to maintain a very old and corroding warship when investing in a new one gives the country much more value for the money.
@John, ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) has been around for 51 of US Naval Aviation's 100 years-having served aboard her, I would wish nothing more than for her to continue in service, but most replacement parts BIG E have to be fabricated because they simply are not made anymore-thus increasing the expense of operating her to the level of prohibitive.
The Navy estimated that it would cost 2.5 to 3 BILLION dollars to renovate the Enterprise, and then would only get 5 to 10 years of lifetime out of her. Versus 7-8 billion for a new carrier, which should have 50 years of life ahead of it.
YOU do the math!
It is a still operational vessel even if it is not a top of the line one. It can perform satisfactorily and with a high degree of pride, scraping it would be an enormous mistake. The ship could be used as a training aircraft carrier at least. I understand that all those heroe admirals feel deserving of a brand new supership that will cost an undescribable amount of cash so big, the whole nation would have to postpone many other projects. Keep the Enterprise working on appropriate operations, find it some activities it can still do because ditching it as an empty beer can is the worst thing the country can do.
I am an ex Navy nuke ELT and there are reasons that the enterprise needs to go. We have treatys with nations that say we will not increase our military size (number of each type of ship, tank, submarine, aircraft, etc.) above a certain point. In order to meet these treatys, in this case, an old ship must be removed from service before the new ship can be commissioned. Up to this point, we have decomissioned conventional carriers (non-nuclear powerd). If I am not mistaken, the only conventional carrier left is the USS John F. Kennedy, and it was built after the USS Nimitz. The age of the vessel has a lot to do with which one is next to be cut apart. It is much easier to put the new equipment and electronics into a new ship than trying to remove the old and run the new cables and retrofit the spaces to the new equipment. The USS Enterprise is a one of a kind. The new ships are several that are the same. It is easier for personnel to acclimate and qualify when transfered in the same ship class since they will already know where things are, how it works, and the limitations of the equipment. One design change can be used to update all the ships in the class when new upgraded equipment is to be installed.
I met my husband on the quarterdeck of the Big E in July of 1977. Our first date was the dependent's cruise on August 19, 1977. We were married six months later. He passed away in 1996. I love the Enterprise and am sad to hear of its demise.
The Enterprise is like a Phoenix. It will rise again from the ashes
Rich- VF96 1966-1969
rich i was v-1 we served during the same time. i was a yellow shirt. in fly 3.
Tom Nimsic VF 96 trouble shooter here. 67 to Jan 14, 1968. I'll be there; Nov 30 to Dec 1.
Same ship which ran away during the Bangaldesh independence war, i am not blaming the ship, blaming the then commander in chief Nixon and Kissinger (worst president and worst secretary of state) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladesh_Liberation_War#USA_and_USSR
Yeah I think we need to buy you a ticket to........anywhere......
we are looking for the nuclear wessels
I not sure i think they are in Alameda.
I was on the USS Truxtun (CGN-35) from 1979 until 1982. Enterprise was a part of a task force we were deployed with. Truxtun was decommissioned and taken apart. The new USS TRUXTUN is now sailing the open seas. Enterprize hopefully will be re used in the not too distant future. Out with the old and in with the new.
I was on a destroyer (USS Hollister DD 788) in 1974 when we tended the USS Enterprise (provided protection). It was incredible watching those pilots taking off and landing on the flight deck from the distance. Hopefully the Navy won't be too long without a USS Enterprise.
So long as we always have a USS Enterprise in the fleet.
8 down, another 1693 to go and then I get to take the helm.
Bravo Captain! LOL!
USS Enterprise – Captain James T. Kirk commanding...
Fail. Being so totally obvious is not amusing in the slightest, and I happen to like Star Trek.
You can never say "Fail" to Star Trek jokes. Perhaps if you moved from your mother's basement and got a little sunlight on that pale skin of your's you would be reconsidered for the Academy. Until then, keep working on that "full scale" model of the NC-1701 on your Minecraft server Gregg.
Kirk to Enterprise. One to beam up...again.
Yeah, I'd say the Star Trek jokes got pretty old after the first one.
I am not impressed.
She arrived yesterday at NAVSTA Mayport in Jacksonville....She is massive and beautiful....even though I never served in the miltary when I saw her come into the basin I was fill with a sense of pride as an American...and seeing that big ole number 65 lit up this moring, arriving to work just made me smile...
I served on Enterprise as a Marine. But it was the mid 90s and even back then, I am sad to say, the Enterprise was a bit, um, "run down". Paint peeling, plumbing problems, lots of electrical issues. When you got assigned to the Enterprise, the general feeling in the Navy/Corps was one of condolences, but I didn't care, I was hoping to get that ship, to be part of history.
Impressed by Enterprise? Have a look at Nimtiz (used to dock in San Diego)!
It was a crime that CV-6 wasn't preserved (public efforts came up short) and now CV-65 won't be preserved either.
But I fear a future carrier won't be named Enterprise. What is disgusting is that, instead of carrying on the tradition of CV-65 and CV-6, the political pandering goes on as these great ships continue to get names of politicians. Names like "Enterprise", "Ranger", "Independence", "America" and "Constellation" – great ship names of American history, are giving way to "GHW Bush", "Gerald Ford" and "John F Kennedy" (CV-77 to CV79). I have nothing against those guys, but these special ships deserve special names, Sad. Let's hope CV-80 will get the honor of being named "Enterprise".
It's CVN, not CV. I do get your point though. These ships should named majestic names like Constellation, America, Liberty, Justice, Freedom, etc. not named after Presidents or worse yet, senators or congressmen that have a lot of people who don't like them. However, although I hope there isn't a need to name more ships after people who have died fighting for our country like Michael Murphy, I think it's a great tribute to name the USS MICHAEL MURPHY (DDG 112) after a great patriot.
It used to be CVAN 🙂
I've always been a bit curious about the letters involved in naval ships. I am a former Army grunt, so I'm used to army abbreviations, but not Navy. Please fill us in on what CV and CVN mean, and how are the numbers chosen, just in order, #75, #76, etc.? Thanks.
CV – Carrier Aviation
CVN – Carrier Aviation Nuclear Powered
CVAN – Carrier Aviation Attack Nuclear Powered
CVS – Carrier Aviation Anti-submarine
CVB – Carrier Aviation Battle or Large – originally what the USS Midway, Coral Sea and FDR were designated after being built in the mid-late 1040s – changed to CVA, then CV as the mission changed to include anti-sub capabilities
Actually, the "C" came from "cruiser" (CA – heavy cruiser, CL – light cruiser), but was adapted to mean "carrier"
The numbers are just selected in order – starting from CV-1 USS Langley back in 1920 to CV-79 John F. Kennedy (under construction). Numerous numbers have been skipped and never used due to ships being cancelled, e.g., CVA-58 USS United States.
I agree totally with you. It's smart politics on the Navy's part, but not very inspiring. I can see "Nimitz" and "Eisenhower", but why, other than getting the budget passed, the "John C. Stennis" and "Carl Vinson"? Two members of Congress – what heroic actions did they take? One (Stennis) was a hard-core segregationist for most of his life. And naming carriers for Bush, Ford, Kennedy, even Reagan? Not even close to being on the same plane with Lincoln and TR Roosevelt and Washington. The next carrier built should be another Enterprise, to honor CV 6 and CVN 65. I'd suggest re-naming one of the current ones but it's apparently bad luck to rename a ship.
If I'm not mistaken both John Stennis and Carl Vinson were segregationists. A real dishonor to name carriers after them in my opinion. Incredibly ironic too since an earlier carrier was named USS Forrestal, after the man that desegregated the military.
Great reply! Thanks! I am sure I could have found the same info on a random website, but I like to hear it from a sailor who actually served. Thanks again.
If it can't be preserved as a museum, it should be sunk as a reef. Great for the environment and no matter what they do, it will require lots of cleanup before disposal... Reefing unneeded ships is the best way to dispose of them.
Big question as to whether or not it would be a satisfactory reef vessel is the amount of contamination that exists in the remaining de-fueled structure – it did have eight(!) nuclear reactors...
i was on the 'Big E' for about 10 months total, what great times. Look up 'Operation Praying Mantis' for a good account of our attack on Iran in 1988. Also, while we were out to sea the skipper would challenge other Navy ships in our area to races; he would come on the intercom and say something like "we're gonna have a little race with the USS so and so, make sure everything is tied down for a high-speed run". With those 8 reactors we always won. Sad to see her go...
I was on that same deployment Ned – with VF213 – PI x 2, Pusan, Mombasa, & Hong Kong – other than the combat ops, thing I remember most was the 100+ straight days at sea being "rewarded" with 2 cans of Bud each. Great experience – great ship.
When I was on the Roosevelt, we spent 158 or 159 days straight at sea. We called it a six pack cruise because we were "rewarded" three times with two beers each time. We were deployed from Sept 17th 2001 to March 28 2002. That was a fun trip. My squadron alone dropped over 2 million pounds of ordinance. Go Sidewinders!!!! VFA-86
WTH!! I was serving onboard USS America CV-66 87-91 and not once did we get offered any beer! We got shafted! lol
Make It so!
but what will happen to kirk and spock????
There are a few more Enterprise's needed to be built before we get to the Enterprise 1701. Kirk & Spock will be fine.
...the World War II-era carrier USS "Interpid"(?) Doesn't anyone proofread anymore?
PLEASE name the next carrier Enterprise and NOT George W. Bush.
I wouldn't think so mainly because there is an carrier already named Bush....GHW.... who was a Naval Aviator. GW was an Air Force fighter pilot, so an airbase would be fitting although when Iraq was liberated, the airport was briefly renamed for him by the soldiers.
As for Obama and Clinton, how about submarines for them? Maybe special deep sea research vessels...you know, the type that are right at home descending to the very deepest darkest depths of depravity and dishonesty. That would be fitting. TD01
Spoken like a true military vet...and about as ignorant. One of the reasons I left active duty was because guys like you couldn't keep your stupid political opinions to yourself. It created a hostile work environment, actually, since I hate Christian conservatives. As a non-Republican, I was tired of guys like you questioning my resolve to defend the country because I didn't believe in God, oppose DOMA, oppose the death penalty, and hate American capitalism. Your kind is a dying breed though. I've noticed that as many of you got out and took your welfare from the VA (you know because we "earned" that, unlike poor people) and had the taxpayer pay for your college, many of you realized how freaking stupid you've been and usually shut up. ...Usually. Apparently not always.
A US Submarine is the most potent striking force in the world. So Obama and Clinton would be extremely honored to have subs named after them.
George W. was NOT an Air Force pilot. He was in the Texas Air National Guard and checked the box on his enlistment contract that he would not accept an overseas assignment. He was a little slicker than Cheney avoinding service in Vietnam. Cheney had to request and was granted 5 draft deferements. Neither are worthy of having an outhouse named after them.
"I hate when people speak politics, so I'll scream political stuff even louder than they do, which makes my political point much more important and relevant."
That's some news! If I remember correctly, the USS Enterprise was the first of the Nimitz-Class carriers to be commissioned, they were significantly different from the older series.
She will be missed!
Definitely, alot of history happened on her! Didn't find an assignment to her during my time in the fleet...I was on another CVN, same class-carrier, same size, just not as old as she was... at the end I didn't mind...it was an experience, just the same.
Surely, the Navy will commission another U.S.S. Enterprise sometime in the future... probably not a Nimitz-Class, though ...
Have to correct myself: the CVN 68 was the first Nimitz-Class Carrier, the U.S.S. Enterprise was in a class of her own...aptly described!
Thanks for your service! However, Enterprise was the first and only of the Enterprise class, modeled after the Kitty Hawk, and followed by the Nimitz and its class.
Indy, Kitty Hawk & Constellation (CV-62/3/4) are the same as one another. The Enterprise came next & was unique, beyond being conventional/steam boilers vs. nuke.
Its superstucture (island) was a tiny cube & looked like it belonged on a cruiser(CGN.) It also had a circular/conical antenna array on top of the island, which was shared with cruiser, as an Aegis precursor. The CDC/CIC/War Room on the Big E must've been even more impressive than they were on the CVs.
The 3 CVs are decom'd.
Independence (CV 62) was the last of the Forrestall Class carriers – Forrestal, Saratoga, Ranger, Indepedence (CVs 59-62). Kitty Hawk, Constellation and America (CVs 63, 64 & 66) are the Kitty Hawk Class. Compare the positiion of the island and elevator arrangements on the two classes to easily tell them apart.
The Nimitz class is done. It would have to be a Ford class carrier now. CV-80 is still unnamed. Here's hoping.
Getting ready for the falseflag.
As long as there is a Federation, there shall always be an Enterprise!
Seems sad that they plan on scrapping it. Would be a perfect ship to be a museum with all of its history. It's good to hear that there will probably be another USS Enterprise before too long.
The Navy has said that the Enterprise can't be made into a museum ship because several very large holes will have to be cut into the flight deck and hull in order to remove the nuclear reactors. Consequently, the hulk would be unsuitable for any kind of preservation. It's really too bad, but unavoidable.
However, we should all contact our congressmen and senators about naming the next carrier "Enterprise".
Are you sure that wasn't the USS Forestal?!!
Same thing happened on both ships. Zuni rocket was involved in both. Forrestal was worse. When I was on Big E, we would re-enact the event as damage control and mass casualty drill on the anniversary of the event.
Prepare quantum torpedo, maximum yield, full spread!
Photon Torpedo. If you're going to quote, TRY to do it correctly....
Actually, the Enterprise DID use quantum torpedoes. See the film First Contact.
Um, you obviously stopped watching Trek during the 90s, since Quantum torpedoes ARE in Trek and Picard has said it a god number of times. If you are going to correct someone, TRY to know what you are talking about.
I did not serve on her but was part of a team that once collected high-energy photons from her reactor to re-crystallize a dilithium matrix on a Bird of Prey.
We are looking for the nuclear wessels
Sorry Mr. Checkov you were mistaken. The pier may have said Enterprise but you stumbled on to and then fell off of the the USS Ranger CV-61 without a reactor to be found, so just like the Cowardly Lion the high-energy photons needed to re-crystallize the dilithium matrix on your Bird of Prey were in the heart you already had.
Sad sad day for the US Navy on Dec. 1st, 2012. Hopefully they will get CVN-80 in the mix soon!! FYI – according to the ship's website...CVN-6 was called the Grey Ghost and the Galloping Ghost. Just saying.
tho i didnt serve on the enterprise, i had the honor of seeing her and the lincoln during exercizes in the pacific in the mid 70's. even sitting on the horizon, she was a huge ship, compared to the oklahoma city that i was on. its not every day you get to see 2 aircraft carriers like that in one area......... it will be sad to see her go.......
The Lexington was the Blue Ghost, not Grey. This was because of her deep blue paint job, where all the other carriers had a dazzle camoflage paint job. CVN-79 should be renamed Enterprise and if they want another Kennedy, it should be CVN-80. If we have to wait for CVN-80, then it we will be without an Enterprise for 13 years... CVN-80 isn't due in the fleet till 2025ish...
here we go again –the deficit at work under the guise of defense –with today's military technology and planes flying without refueling -it would be more cost effective not to spend the billions on these dinosaurs and maybe channel some of that money to the cities that are dying on the vine. We have subs that can blow Africa off the map in 30 minutes but we revert to this 70's mentality of cruisers for show of strenth and tell. This is such a misuse ot taxpayers funds for these Pentagon war mongers. Any other countries building these dinosaurs that arent 3rd world!
Here we go again –build another warship –keep the deficit going under the guise of defense –with missile technology and other innovations –the time for these dinosaurs to be put to bed–it would be terribleif a missile took this ship out but we havent really learned too much except that defense and pentagon spending is the way to go while our ciities and fnfrasturction die on the vine.
If BO becomes reelected this ship will not be scrapped. It will probably be sold to an Arab country.
Right. Sure he will. Moron.
Calling him a moron is insulting morons everywhere.
If BO gets reelected he won't sell the carrier, he'ill give it aways to his arab buddies.
MoRonJohn should be your name.
Last cruise of the "Mobile Chernobyl"...the sea lines feel safer already!!
thats SEA LANES, get it right.
No it's sea lions
I simply cannot believe that this historic ship is going to be cut up and scrapped. If any ship needs to be made into a historic museum or monument, it's this one.
I think a lot of people agree with you, but the issue has more to do with long term safety (according to the USN). Hopefully some significant artifacts can be preserved, as was done with CV-6.
Removing the nuclear reactors requires cutting away large chunks of the ship. After the reactors are gone it would take too much time and money to put the ship back together for a museum.
Agreed, this is a historic ship that should be preserved but not replaced.
The Grey Ghost ? ........ Not even close , where is the copy editor on your site ? Literally everyone knows the Grey Ghost was the U.S.S. Lexington and is docked in Corpus Christi bay . Take a tour sometime . I can't wait to see the new Enterprise , it is the most historic name in the U.S. Navy .
I believe you are correct! The copy editor's source was Wikipedia, which says "Grey Ghost", while I think Enterprise was known as the "Galloping Ghost of the Oahu Coast". The USS Enterprise CV-6 web site didn't say either way, but I know this is discussed in Edward P Stafford's Book "The Big E".
I've never her CV-6 referred to as the "Galloping Ghost of the Oahu Coast". I think this may have been derived (distorted) from the nickname for the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Houston: " Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast" for her action in the first months of WWII>
Well, don't give folks too much credit for knowing which ship the Grey Ghost was...to be honest, I retired after 20+ years in the Navy, and while I probably heard it mentioned a few times, it would have been a bit of a reach for me to recall it if asked.
Let's see...we could just call her...ENTERPRISE
The USS Lexington CV-16 was known as the Blue Ghost and Lady Lex. My dad served on her briefly. I also have been on the museum when I was younger.
Teabaggers believe that nascar is a real sport. Teabaggers believe that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
nascar is a sport. ever hear the term "motorsports"? they are a type of sport. i think of earnhardt as a racecar driver, though, not really an athlete. more accurately describes what he did. you try to sweep perfect lines around a speedway in a 900hp vehicle and draft your way to victory in a long race such as nascar. let me know how simple it is.
Wow – the left has completely lost it now!
I believe it was Ernest Hemingway that stated: "The only real sports are auto racing and bull fighting. Everything else is just a game."
Why do Teabillies have intercourse Doggy Style? ...... So they can both watch Nascar.
Bob, you just do it that way because that is the only way your boyfriend can enter.
LOL. Hope you don't mind if I borrow that one!
Eh, road racing cars or motorcycles is a sport. It takes some real skill to turn both left and right and operate a gearbox up and down the gears each lap, carefully choosing the right gear for each corner, memorizing the track layout, knowing when to apex each corner and being able to string multile corners together smoothly. NASCAR is just a bunch of pushrod dinosaurs driving around in a circle in top gear. The drivers don't know how to heel and toe downshift. Booooring. Notice the NASCAR mob always has to bring in experienced road racers like Boris Said for the two real races each season, at Watkins Glen and Sears Point (Infineon Raceway if you must). If you can't steer the car both directions each lap and click off nice rev matched downshifts, you ain't a race car driver. Period.
For this and following comments: this article is about a fine ship on its last cruise. Save your puerile political rants for a more appropriate forum and stay on the subject of the U.S.S. Enterprise (CV 6 and CVN 65).
But why oh why did you pick Palin????? Was it RoMoneys tax returns? Willard is a criminal for not disclosing income from his off-shore accounts isn't he???
As soon as Barry shows us his college information...and how he got into all of these elite schools....then I will join you in calling for more information from Mitt. Until then, you have more information regarding Mitt than anyone does on Barry.
And copies of all his exams so we can regrade them. And recordings of all his admission and job interviews. And we deserve to see the pictures from his colonoscopy.
Rick, look at Romney's face and you have your pictures of Obamas colonoscopy.
I heard he organized a Panty Raid ..... and threw a Toga Party ..... with Beer.
Way to have your "eye on the ball" John!
Get over it, already. Barack Obama has been president for almost 4 years. Enough already. Have you been so busy worrying about where he was born that you have not seen what he has done. Especially compared to the last guy. You know, the guy who never showed up at his party's convention. I am tired of hearing you guys say you will get it right next time.
WAKE UP AMERICA, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO IS IN THE WHITE HOUSE. WE THE MIDDLE CLASS WILL SUFFER AND PAY THE BILLS.
LETS START PICKING OUT VETERANS, AND EVERYDAY PEOPLE TO RUN THIS COUNTRY. GET RID OF THE MONEY SEEKERS.
REMEMBER THE GOVERNMENT IS OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, AND BY THE PEOPLE.
THEY WORK FOR US. LETS TAKE BACK WASHINGTON. WE CAN DO THIS.