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USS Enterprise (CVN 65)

- formerly CVAN 65 -
- decommissioned -

USS ENTERPRISE - the Navy's eighth ship to bear the name - was the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. During her more than 50 years of service she has set many records and milestones including steaming with a speed of more than 40 knots during her sea trials after construction. Later, she became the first nuclear carrier to transit the Suez Canal and the first carrier to operate the F-14 fighter aircraft. Additionally, the ENTERPRISE is still the longest warship ever put to sea.

Deactivated at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on December 1, 2012, the ENTERPRISE was towed to the nearby Newport News Shipbuilding Shipyard at Newport News, Va., for dismantling on June 20, 2013. Defueling of ENTERPRISE's last reactor took place at Newport News in December 2016. The Navy subsequently planned to tow ENTERPRISE to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., for the final dismantling, however, by 2022 it became obvious that the shipyard would not have the capacities to do the job. At the moment, it looks as if the ENTERPRISE would end up at Brownsville, Tx., for scrapping.

General Characteristics:Keel Laid: Februar 4, 1958
Launched: September 24, 1960
Commissioned: November 25, 1961
Deactivated: December 1, 2012
Decommissioned: February 3, 2017
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Va.
Propulsion system: eight nuclear reactors
Propellers: four
Blades on each Propeller: five
Aircraft elevators: four
Catapults: four
Arresting gear cables: four
Lenght, overall: 1,123 feet (342.3 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 257 feet (78.4 meters)
Area of flight deck: about 4,5 acres (18211.5 m2)
Beam: 132.8 feet (40.5 meters)
Draft: 39 feet (11.9 meters)
Displacement: approx. 93,500 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Planes: approx. 85
Crew: Ship: 3,200 ; Air Wing: 2,480
Armament: three Mk 29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, three 20mm Phalanx CIWS Mk 15

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS ENTERPRISE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Notes of Interest:

Read about the history of USS ENTERPRISE.
Read about the deployments of USS ENTERPRISE.

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Accidents aboard USS ENTERPRISE:

February 9, 1963AtlanticIn the mid-Atlantic a wave washes over the #1 elevator on the ENTERPRISE while the elevator is in the down position. Four men are washed overboard. Two are rescued but one later dies.
February 20, 1963AtlanticAn aircraft crash aboard USS ENTERPRISE sweeps the carrier's deck with fire, killing two.
January 14, 196970 nautical miles off Honolulu, HI.
On its way to the coast of Vietnam the carrier conducts flight operations. During the arming of an F-4 Phantom one of the aircraft's Zuni missiles detonates causing a fire that quickly spreads to other armed planes and causes some of their bombs and missiles to explode, too. ENTERPRISE subsequently turns into the wind to keep the flames away from the isle.

One hour later, the fire on the flight deck was under control but there were still fires below decks which took additional hours to be extinguished.

During the eight explosions and the resulting fires aboard USS ENTERPRISE, 27 crewmen were killed and 85 were injured.

ENTERPRISE suffers heavy damage including three holes in the flight deck (one of them through two decks). 15 aircraft were destroyed or damaged.

Click here for a detailed report of the accident from the USS ENTERPRISE WestPac Cruise Book 1969.

Click on the images to enlarge them:

This shot was taken right after a port side explosion with several men struggling with wounded as volunteers run aft to take their places.Time: 08:26:19. Detonation in starboard corner. A-7 Corsairs armed with 500lb bombs, 2.75 and 5 inch Zuni rockets and 400 rounds of 20mm.
Lost in the flames are seven Phantoms, four of which are loaded with six 500lb bombs and eight Zuni rockets a piece. All F-4's are armed with sparrow missles.Flames now rage from #112 to #310 straight across deck, no hoses left on port side. Hoses in view coming back from bow stations.Bombs under F-4 #103 explode sending sparks and debris high aloft. This is the first starboard side explosion.
On the port side even the engines are gone from the terrific explosions of F-4's #105 and #106. Only the nose section of #106 remains. Engines seen at extreme right are those of A-3 Skywarrior tanker which was parked next to the #106.Blast, schrapnel, and broken up flight deck blew the interior of the ship apart and penetrated all the way down to the waterline.Bombs under F-4 #105 explode decimating port side fog team and killing several repair party fire fighters directly below. Author of 'Trial: Ordeal of the USS Enterprise, Jan. 14th 1969' is second to last man on the hose.
July 27, 1974off CaliforniaUSS ENTERPRISE suffers a fire in an electrical maintenance area off California. No reported injuries.
October 29, 1975 While aboard the USS ENTERPRISE the engine of an F-14 ("NJ 453") of VF-124 started burning and destroyed the plane.
December 19, 1976South China SeaAn F-14 ("NK 213") of VF-2 misses a landing on the USS ENTERPRISE and its wingtip strikes two other aircraft on the flight deck before it veers out of control and crashes into the South China Sea.
June 21, 1979Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Wash.USS ENTERPRISE, under overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Wash., sustains a two-hour Class Alpha fire in a catapult room, machine shop, and passageway.
April 28, 1983off San Francisco, Calif.USS ENTERPRISE runs aground within sight of the port of San Francisco after eight months at sea. It is stranded for five hours until the tide and tugs pull it free.
November 2, 1985Bishop's Rock, about 100 miles west of San Diego, Calif.USS ENTERPRISE is grounded on Bishop's Rock. Reports say the ENTERPRISE sustains a 60-foot gash in the outer hull and damages one propeller. The carrier continues planned operations, taking part in ReadiEx 86-1 exercise before going into drydock on November 27.
December 11, 1997AtlanticA McDonnell Douglas T-45A trainer ("Goshawk") splashed into the Atlantic shortly after take-off.
November 8, 1998AtlanticDuring night landing re-qualifications aboard ENTERPRISE in the Atlantic, two jets collided. An EA6-B Prowler from VAQ-130 based at Whidbey Island collided with an S-3 Viking from VS-22 (Zappers) based at Jacksonville, Fla. The S-3 was sitting on the flight deck, the Prowler then fell into the sea.
The S-3 had just landed and was in the Prowler's path. The LSO's declared a Fouled Deck but the Prowler clipped the Viking as it attempted to go around.
All six crew, four from the Prowler and two from the Viking ejected. The two from the S-3 were injured one landing into a radar on the ship's island, the other into the sea. The four crew of the Prowler were killed, one body was found the other three missing presumed killed. The search was called off after 24 hours.The two survivors, suffering burns received treatment at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center.

The body of Lt. j.g. Brenden J. Duffy, 27, of Annapolis Md., was recovered soon after the crash. Those missing presumed dead were Lt. j.g. Charles E. Woodward, 26, of Herndon Va., Lt. j.g. Meredith Carol Loughran, 26, of Sanston Va., and the pilot Lt. Cmdr. Kurt W. Barich, 35, of Oak Harbour, Wash. The two injured were Cmdr. James G. Wallace, 44, of Jacksonville Fla., and Lt. j.g. Kirk A. Schneringer of Cardiff, Calif., they were both listed as stable.
April 3, 2011Arabian SeaA sailor assigned to the flight deck falls overboard during flight operations but is quickly rescued by a helicopter of HS-11. The sailor suffers only minor injuries.

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ENTERPRISE Patch Gallery:

Operation Desert FoxS-5 DivisionOperation Desert FoxWESTPAC '88 - VS-212001 - Last Tomcat Cruise
WESTPAC '84 Gonzo StationSuez Canal '86Click here to view more USS ENTERPRISE Patches.

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Click here to view more photos.

The two photos below were taken by Karl-Heinz Ahles and show USS ENTERPRISE atNaval Base Norfolk, Va., on May 11, 1999, respectively in September 1998.

The photos below were taken by Howard Walsh Jr. and show the USS ENTERPRISE during the Broward Navy Days in Port Everglades, FL, in 2000.

The photos below were taken by me and show the USS ENTERPRISE at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., on October 27 and 29, 2010, after completing the Composite Training Unit Exercise in preparation for her upcoming and final deployment.

The photos below are official US Navy photos taken during the deactivation ceremony of USS ENTERPRISE at Naval Station Norfolk on December 1, 2012.

The photos below are official US Navy photos taken on June 20, 2013, and showing the ENTERPRISE being towed from Naval Base Norfolk to Newport News Shipbuilding for dismantling. Most striking is the carrier's missing main mast.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on October 28, 2013, and show the deactivated ENTERPRISE at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on October 24, 2014, and show the deactivated ENTERPRISE at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on October 4, 2017, and show the ENTERPRISE at Newport News Shipbuilding where she is slowly dismantled.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on September 23, 2018, and show the ENTERPRISE at Newport News Shipbuilding.

The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on September 6, 2022, and show the ENTERPRISE at Newport News Shipbuilding. The ship is at Newport News for more than 9 years now while the Navy is still planning the carrier's disposal. The Newport News shipyard, however, took the time to completely repaint the ship's island and pretty up the large "65" again, making the ENTERPRISE almost look like an active aircraft carrier during a shipyard period and not like a warship waiting for the breakers.

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