Skip to comments.The USS Enterprise's Last Tour (After 51 Years in Service It Is To Be Decommissioned)
Posted on 11/30/2012 5:24:04 AM PST by lbryce
After 51 years of service, the historic aircraft carrier is about to be decommissioned.
When the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) sailed away from Norfolk, Virginia, on its maiden voyage in 1962, it was the worlds first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and the eighth Enterprise in a long dynasty reaching back to the Revolutionary War. Its eight nuclear reactors, reported the Chicago Daily Defender, had an energy potential "as great as that of all the reactors in the free world."
The most recent Enterprise played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, along with other ships in the Second Fleet, blockading shipments of military equipment to Cuba. During the height of the Vietnam War, nearly 100 aircraft were launched each day from the Enterprise, laden with explosives and bound for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the carrierheaded home after a long deploymentsteamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.
On December 1, 2012, the carrier will be inactivated, ending 51 years of service. See the gallery above for more about its history. Here, two F/A-18 Super Hornets fly past the Enterprise on its last deployment, on October 4, 2012.
There has been an Enterprise since 1775, when Captain James Smith was ordered to Lake Champlain to take command of the 70-ton sloop that originally belonged to the British. Enterprise II was an eight-gun schooner purchased in 1776 that convoyed transports in the Chesapeake Bay. Enterprise III, a 12-gun schooner, searched for British privateers off the coast of Maine in 1812. Enterprise IV launched from the New York Navy Yard in 1831; while Enterprise V, a steam corvette with auxiliary sail power, was commissioned in 1877. . | 2 of 9 | Next »»
(Excerpt) Read more at airspacemag.com ...
What are they going to replace it with? Let me guess: we don’t need a military and a navy anymore because Obama’s contant appologizing has made the world into a peaceful, love-sick planet filled with butterflies and rainbows, puppy dogs and cotton candy meadows where children laugh and play with terrorists. We don’t need a space program either because space will come to us.
You have the wrong picture up. Those airplanes you describe as F18 super hornets are prop planes, so are the ones on the deck.
Well done good and faithful servant.
That looks like the WWII era carrier Enterprise. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Enterprise_%28CV-6%29_in_Puget_Sound,_September_1945.jpg
I see two pictures...The top one has the Hornets..The lower pic is the WWII Enterprise....
Spock would tell Hussein to “Go to Hell,” except that Leonard Nimoy is a leftist freak.
Another feather in Hussein’s cap!
What is kind of sickening is that today’s “Global Force For Good” will not name another carrier “Enterprise”. We are now politically correct, so screw tradition. Farewell, Enterprise - and thanks for 51 extremely good years. Thousands of us who sailed on you will always have fond memories to cherish.
Hail and goodbye to a legendary ship which was the basis for the famous starship of another legendary series, “Star Treck”, its own version of the Enterprise.
Being retired. Wow.
I remember going to the launch ceremony at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock when I was a teen.
And that is the pic he has the caption pinned too, not the upper pic.
Next ship in the series will be the U.S.S. Welfare.
The first picture in the article (that I see) has SuperBug flying past the Big E ... The SuperBug has the letters AB on its tail ... I’m flattered, but it’s not me.
In the spirit of obama’s new “flexibility” perhaps he will see fit to just donate it to Putin.
Bravo Zulu “CLIMAX”. You served us well.
Actually, the “Enterprise” that inspired the Star Trek “Enterprise” was CV-6 of World War II fame!
Why is this ship not being preserved as a museum? You would think that the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, one of the longest-serving ships ever in the Navy, and the namesake of the Navy’s most decorated ship of World War II would be worth preserving and saving for future generations instead of “dismantling and recycling.” Then again, the mighty CV-6 wasn’t saved either.
They’ll dismantle so much of the internals of the ship around the reactors there won’t be much left of it. My dad’s ship, the USS Gilmore AS-16 was basically gutted around the nuclear areas from services to nuclear submarines. There was a huge void in the middle of the ship from it over multiple decks from pictures I’ve seen of it at James River.
It’s been scrapped now.
The Enterprises were great ships!
Unfortunately in our politically correct world we now are naming navy ships after Caesar Chavez. Under Obama I fear our once proud navy will be reduced to a few dilapidated frigates bearing names like Chairman Mao and Gertrude Stein
I went aboard the Howard W Gilmore in Miami, 1964 when I was about 14. I recall being impressed with all the machine and maintenance shops, and other support facilities. Great ship.
Hand Salute to your Dad.
I had never heard about this. She almost didn’t make it past her first decade!
Sell it to Israel.
My son-in-law was aboard the Enterprise that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001. Needless to say, after the long cruise, my daughter was in tears knowing he would be gone even longer.
“I went aboard the Howard W Gilmore in Miami, 1964 when I was about 14. I recall being impressed with all the machine and maintenance shops, and other support facilities. Great ship.
Hand Salute to your Dad.”
Thank you very much. I’ll relay to him. He was on it from 46-48. Fireman 1st Class, SubRon 4 (I think) out of Key West. Great duty and learned a lot but hot as hell as he used to say. LOL
He’s 84 now and still going strong after 60+ years in the building line as a carpenter/builder. He was so sad when they finally cut her up back in 2006.
A good buddy served aboard the Enterprise, he must have been a LT at the time. He is quite sad, no doubt most who served aboard are as well. Luckily he was able to score tickets for him and the family to attend the ceremony.
Read that William Shatner will be present at the deactivation in Norfolk.
Ceremony begins at 1300 ET on 1 December 2012.
I didn’t serve aboard the Big E, but the first work I did after retiring from the Navy was installation of the LAN on her. I served on John F. Kennedy, Nimitz, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
I used to joke about the carriers, that there was 4 classes of carriers (at the time), Midway, Forrestal, Kitty Hawk, and Nimitz along with “the experiment” and “the bastard stepchild.” The experiment was the Enterprise, “let’s see if we can build a nuclear powered carrier.” The bastard stepchild was the JFK, the ship that was supposed to be the lead of the new nuclear carriers but was built conventional because Congress didn’t want to spend the money.
Watching a news report on Big E this morning almost brought tears to my eyes. It’s sad to see a ship die.
The Enterprise is the last flight deck still active that I have set foot on. Tomorrow there will be none left out of six.
Correction: The photo has no caption but your beef with the layput of the article lies with Rebecca Maksel and the editors of Air & Space.
That's what you get when you lazily comment without first reading the entire article at the source.
And astoundingly, after 51 years in service, she has been refueled only FOUR times.
He should steal it and ram it into DC in a blaze of glory.
Back in ‘66 we had a diving job on the USS ENTERPRISE in Subic Bay, PI. The ships crew needed to install new packing on one of the rudder posts.
Our job was to install a dam around the rudder post underwater. Once it was installed the ships crew removed the packing glands and installed new packing.
We spent a few hours doing the job. Our diving barge was tied to the stern. One of our guys took a chipping hammer to the paint on the stern about 5 feet above the waterline. When he was finished he had written “HUEY”, his name, on the stern.
True story not a “Sea Story”.
I read the whole article before I commented a**hat. Regardless of whom posted the caption it is in the wrong place and my comment was valid. That carrier is not the Nuke Enterprise and those are not jets. Please take your snarky a**ed comments and shove them up your Obama.
Thanks for the new info. Too bad he can’t make it.
Hang two you ignorant pogue.
Thanks for the ping to 51 years of honorable service.
I read today that the first opportunity for a new one they can name Enterprise is 2025. The next two aircraft carriers will be the Gerald Ford and another John F. Kennedy.
I had the honor of serving on the USS Enterprise 1983-1986. She was my first ship. I remember standing on the pier in Alameda, fresh from A school, and looking up at that huge monster and thinking, “What the hell have I got myself into?”
In my opinion your actions make you an ignorant jackass and that is me being polite.
Once again you are incorrect. Once again there is no caption attached to the photo. A description of that photo and all other photos in the article are embedded in the text of the article. Most of those reading the article figured that out. You didn't.
In your initial comment you have publicly acknowledged that you aren't very bright, are easily confused and directed your criticism of the layout of the article at the wrong person. You are in the distinct minority and have exposed your own ignorance despite your wail to the contrary. You emote, you do not think because you are incapable of thinking. You ponder that the next time you sit down to void your bladder, madame.
Instead of publicly flaunting your deficient grey matter, which is not a character trait to be proud of, pay attention to what is actually written not what you perceive to be written. Had you bothered to visit the source you would have discovered that the photo of CV-6 is on page 2 of 9, not page 1 of 9. Now apologize to lbryce for being as dense as a slab of granite and shut your gaping, whining, ignorant maw.
It’s a shame CV-6 was never preserved as a museum, it ended up being scrapped 15 years after WWII ended.
Per the SecNav just now at CVN-65’s inactivation ceremony: CVN-80 will be name ENTERPRISE.
I sit corrected. According to Norfolk’s Virginian-Pravda/Red Star, a new Ford class carrier (CVN-80 if I count correctly) will be named ‘Enterprise.’ So this is good news!