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USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Retires l Photos

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After 51 years of distinguished service the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) will be inactivated on Dec. 1, 2012, during a ceremony at Norfolk, Va. The world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and currently longest serving ship in the U.S. Navy, the Enterprise has seen action in U.S. conflicts ranging from the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. When launched in 1961, no one envisioned the Enterprise serving 51 years. She was designed for 25. After deactivation, the Enterprise‘s nuclear reactors and fuel will be removed and she will be towed to Washington state for scrapping. Currently, no plans exist for the U.S. Navy to commission another Enterprise, although a petition has been created to name the next U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, CVN 80, USS Enterprise.

[Update]

At the inactivation ceremony of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) it was announced that the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier (CVN 80) will be named the Enterprise.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...

  • My name is Brian Clason and I was stationed on board the USS Mount Hood AE=29 and we did several unreps and vereps with the Grat USS Enterprise during 1974=1978. I can’t believe that the Enterprise isn’t going to be used for training or a museum somewhere.Goodbye to a Great ship.

  • grand ol lady, spent 4 yrs time onboard 82 ~ 86 keeping an eye on the now defunct USSR. Hope another ship will carrry on the legacy.

  • Godspeed, ol’ Lady. You have done your service. RIP…if they only knew?

  • The first ship My family new was the USS Enterprise, I was the ship my Uncle served on threw the good time’s and the fire. Micky Thomasino. She will sleep with you. Please name the next carrier The USS Enterprise. God speed to the Big E.

  • Steven Hoarn

    I don’t know if you’ve seen one of our more recent stories Dan, but the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier, (CVN 80), will be named the Enterprise. Here is the link: http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/uss-enterprise-cvn-80-will-be-the-third-gerald-r-ford-class-aircraft-carrier/

    I think we can both agree that this is great news!

  • Well done Enterprise your service was worthy of your namesakes. Nice to hear they are naming the next carrier Enterprise, got really tired of honoring politicians, and not the historical events or names that made this navy great. Maybe someday they will realize that the proper names for aircraft carriers are Saratoga, Oriskany or Coral Sea.

  • Donald A. Gugin

    I was onbourd Big E from 1970 to 1974 We made 2 West-Pac tours together. She will always be in my heart as the best friend a Man could have. Thanks for the Memories

  • Donald i to made two cruises 1971,72,73 same as you you are right she will always be in our hearts .She is the only ship i got to serve on in my twenty years and i do miss being on board. ENTERPRISE all of us who had the pleasure to serve on you thanks for the memorys