USS Enterprise (CV-06)

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The Big E in action.
The hit that took her out of the War
The USS Enterprise (CV(N)-06) (also known as the Big E, Lucky E, Galloping Ghost, and Grey Ghost) is the second ship of the Yorktown-class carriers and the most decorated ship of WW2 having participated in twenty major battles. The Enterprise is also one of only three pre-WW2 USN aircraft carriers to survive the war (the others were USS Saratoga (CV-03) and USS Ranger (CV-04)).


Contents

History

Launch and Commissioining

World War II

Easily qualifying for the title of the most decorated ship ever to serve in the United States Navy. This ship was an Yorktown-class aircraft carrier and was laid down on July 16, 1934. The ship had a capacity for carrying 90 combat aircraft including during its career, SBD-2 Dauntlesses, F4F-3 Wildcats, TBD Devastators, TBF-1 Avengers, F6F-3 Hellcats, F4U-2(N) Corsairs, SB2C Helldivers, TBM-3D Avengers(night combat bombers), and F6F-5(N) Hellcats(night combat fighters). The ship was a participant in nearly every naval engagement in the Pacific Theater of WWII. From October 26, 1942 to May 1, 1943 she served as the only operational aircraft carrier serving in the Pacific fighting the Japanese navy constantly during this period. After this she was massively refitted and returned to service on November 6, 1943. Part of the extensive modifications included improved Radar and radio landing beacons earning the ship the addition of an N to its designation to indicate its new night operations capability, the first carrier to successfully perform a night attack and recovery of aircraft. She served in combat operations until battle damage from a kamikaze hit on her forward elevator took her out of action on May 16, 1945.

The ship has received 20 Battle Stars, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation, the British Admiralty Pennant(Only non Royal Navy Ship with this honor), the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal.

Fate

The ship was deactivated on January 17, 1946 at the New York Naval Shipyard and decommissioned on February 17, 1947. On July 1, 1958, the Enterprise was sold to the Lipsett Corporation for scrapping and by May 1960, the scrapping was complete. The steel was sold to General Electric.

Notable Battles

  • Coral Sea
  • Battle of Midway
  • Battle of Guadalcanal
  • Battle of the Eastern Solomons
  • Battle of Santa Cruz
  • Battle of Rennell Island
  • Gilbert Islands Operations
  • Marshall Islands Operations
  • Battle of Truk
  • Hollandia (New Guinea) Operations
  • Mariana Islands Operations(otherwise known as the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot)
  • Battle of Leyte Gulf
  • Battle of Iwo Jima
  • Battle of Okinawa
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