NHHC Curators Preserve Enterprise Story

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 23, 2012) An E-2C Hawkeye assigned to the Screwtops of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 flies past the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during an air power demonstration. Enterprise is completing its final deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 23, 2012) An E-2C Hawkeye assigned to the Screwtops of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 123 flies past the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during an air power demonstration. Enterprise is completing its final deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman/Released)

 

From Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

Fifty-five years after she first entered naval service, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) will be officially decommissioned tomorrow.

The Navy’s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier has played a pivotal role in defending freedom around the world for more than a half century; from the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The “Big E” pioneered modern day carrier operations by launching the first nose-wheel launch bar designed catapult system, recovered Astronaut John Glenn when he returned to Earth after making America’s first orbital space flight, and launched the first strikes against Al Qaeda and Taliban targets following the attack on American on Sept. 11, 2001. Through years of global presence, Enterprise cemented the Navy’s worldwide maritime superiority, ensuring security and prosperity worldwide.

Although CVN 65’s time in the fleet has come to an end, Naval History and Heritage Command’s curators are doing their part to preserve pieces of the ship’s history that will help tell its story for generations to come. The following are a few of the artifacts they hold in their collection:

 

Plaque, Historical Data, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 47 ¼” x 21 ½” x 1” Brass NHHC 2013.025.002 Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command Eight U.S. Navy vessels have born the name Enterprise. This plaque displays the different engagements that each vessel bearing the name Enterprise was involved in since 1775. This plaque was on display aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) which is the longest serving aircraft carrier in United States Navy history with 51 years of active service.

Plaque, Historical Data, USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
47 ¼” x 21 ½” x 1”
Brass
NHHC 2013.025.002
Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command
Eight U.S. Navy vessels have born the name Enterprise. This plaque displays the different engagements that each vessel bearing the name Enterprise was involved in since 1775. This plaque was on display aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) which is the longest serving aircraft carrier in United States Navy history with 51 years of active service.

 

Medallion, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 38” x 1” Brass NHHC 2013.025.054 Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command Operation Sea Orbit was a 1964 around-the-world cruise by the United States Navy’s all-nuclear-powered unit. The arduous journey began on 31 July 1964 and was accomplished in a mere 65 days. The USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Long Beach (CGN-9), and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) cruised over 30,000 miles without refueling once during the entire operation.

Medallion, USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
38” x 1”
Brass
NHHC 2013.025.054
Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command
Operation Sea Orbit was a 1964 around-the-world cruise by the United States Navy’s all-nuclear-powered unit. The arduous journey began on 31 July 1964 and was accomplished in a mere 65 days. The USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Long Beach (CGN-9), and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25) cruised over 30,000 miles without refueling once during the entire operation.

 

Tailhooks, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 136” x 6” x 4” and 75” x 6” x 4” Metal NHHC 2013.025.042 and 2013.025.043 Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command These two tailhooks were utilized by aircraft stationed aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier between 1961 and 2012. These metal bars, with a claw-like hook, were swivel-mounted on the underside of the aircraft in order to aid in the successful landing of the aircraft on the carrier flight deck. The hook at the end of the bar is used to catch one of multiple cables strung across the flight deck for aircraft recovery.

Tailhooks, USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
136” x 6” x 4” and 75” x 6” x 4”
Metal
NHHC 2013.025.042 and 2013.025.043
Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command
These two tailhooks were utilized by aircraft stationed aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier between 1961 and 2012. These metal bars, with a claw-like hook, were swivel-mounted on the underside of the aircraft in order to aid in the successful landing of the aircraft on the carrier flight deck. The hook at the end of the bar is used to catch one of multiple cables strung across the flight deck for aircraft recovery.

 

Bell, Ship’s, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 23” x 22”, 200 lbs. Brass NHHC 2013.025.001 Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command This bell hung within the hull of USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. During its career, the ship saw service as a tracking station for the Friendship 7 space capsule, performed blockade duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, had six combat deployments to Southeast Asia, was refitted to support the brand new F-14A Tomcat, and deployed to the North Arabian Sea in the fall of 2001 to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Bell, Ship’s, USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
23” x 22”, 200 lbs.
Brass
NHHC 2013.025.001
Headquarters Artifact Collection: Naval History and Heritage Command
This bell hung within the hull of USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. During its career, the ship saw service as a tracking station for the Friendship 7 space capsule, performed blockade duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, had six combat deployments to Southeast Asia, was refitted to support the brand new F-14A Tomcat, and deployed to the North Arabian Sea in the fall of 2001 to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

One of six porthole frames and covers removed from the bridge of USS Enterprise (CV-6) in 1958. These portholes were installed in the Captain's cabin aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and are slated to be installed aboard the next ship to bear the name of Enterprise, CVN-80.

One of six porthole frames and covers removed from the bridge of USS Enterprise (CV-6) in 1958. These portholes were installed in the Captain’s cabin aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and are slated to be installed aboard the next ship to bear the name of Enterprise, CVN-80.

 

For more information about USS Enterprise, visit https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/ships/enterprise.html.