Today’s entry from the RedState Department of History details the service life of one of the United States Navy’s most beloved ships – the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The “Big E” was launched on this date in 1960 at Newport News, Virginia. She was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and was one of the standard bearers of the Navy for 55 years.
A worthy successor to the Enterprise of World War II (CV-6), the nuclear-powered Enterprise was the eighth ship in Navy history to bear that storied name. To this date she remains the longest naval vessel ever built, at 1,123 feet in length.
She had 24 commanding officers during her service lifetime and was the personal flagship of Admiral Chester Nimitz until his retirement from service in 1966.
So long was her service that 25 cruise books were made of her voyages around the globe. If you have a lot of time on your hands and are interested in the subject, you can view them all at this link.
She was even grounded twice accidentally, in 1983 and 1985, but the ship’s history is one of excellent and extended service. The ship’s awards and decorations include:
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation (three stars)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (six stars)
Navy E ribbon (with three Battle “E” decides)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (nine stars)
Navy Expeditionary Medal (one star)
Armed Forces Service Medal (one star)
Humanitarian Service Medal (one star)
Vietnam Service Medal (ten stars)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (four stars)
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross)
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
She was deployed at least 97 times during her illustrious career, which finally came to an end in 2015 as Captain Todd Beltz became her final commanding officer. Final decommissioning of the ship took place on February 3 of this year, and she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry on the same day.
However, if you’re a fan of the name, never fear – the next ship in the Gerald Ford class of aircraft carriers will be named Enterprise (CVN-80), scheduled to enter service in 2027.
The storied history of this iconic carrier is far too long to list individual actions. Instead, I’d encourage you to click any of the links in this piece and discover her incredible history for yourself.
Happy Sunday and enjoy today’s open thread!