Tag Archives: uss enterprise

Santa’s Reindeer, TBM edition

December 25, 1943: “On Christmas Day, Santa Claus arrives aboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6) in a dive bomber with six torpedo planes bearing names of his steeds, to distribute gifts. Lt. Louis L. Bangs (Air Group 10) plays the part. ‘Vexen’ in background.”

National Archives 80-G-207814 via NARA https://catalog.archives.gov/id/148728468

Several other TBMs of “Santa’s” team were photographed that day as well. 

According to DANFS, Enterprise began December 1943 in heavy action, raiding Japanese shipping around Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls at the close of Operation Galvanic— the Tarawa campaign– with her airwing damaging the light cruisers Isuzu and Nagara and sinking the cargo ship Tateyama Maru, among others.

Returning to Pearl Harbor on 9 December, she “stood down the channel and trained two days before Christmas 1943, and early in the New Year (4–7 January 1944) qualified planes flying from NAS Punnene. The ship’s next action occurred during Operation Flintlock — the occupation of the Marshalls.”

As for “Santa,” Bangs, a Kansan, would go on to earn the Navy Cross with VB-10 from Enterprise’s decks in the Philippines Sea just six months after the above image was snapped. Turns out, Kris Kringle could fight.

The Big E, at the end of an era, 75 years ago today

Here we see a Kodachrome of the sole surviving Yorktown-class carrier to make it out of WWII, USS Enterprise (CV-6), being pushed by tugboats, New York, 17 October 1945.

The 7th U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, Enterprise was present and in the thick of it at Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Santa Cruz Islands, Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Leyte Gulf, winning 20 battlestars the hard way. From the period between USS Wasp‘s sinking on 15 September 1942 and USS Essex‘s entrance to the Pacific after rushed builder’s trials in May 1943, she and Saratoga, which earned 8 battlestars, were the only U.S. fleet carriers in the Pacific.

Decommissioned 17 February 1947, the Big E was scrapped in 1958 though remnants have of her have remained aboard both the 8th Enterprise (CVN-65) and the newest to carry the name, CVN-80.

A Frequent Wind Tomcat, at 44

A “Wolfpack” F-14A Tomcat from VF-1 operating from the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), flying a combat air patrols over South Vietnam to provide fighter cover for the evacuation route used by American advisors and civilians as well as “at-risk” Vietnamese personnel from Saigon, 29 April 1975.

Note the Sidewinders…just in case a MiG pops up.

The newly fielded F-14A’s first combat action was Operation Frequent Wind, with VF-1 and VF-2 operating from the Big E. The last helicopter lifted off the roof of the U.S. Embassy at 0753, local, on 30 April 1975 carrying the rear guard of 11 embassy Marines out of Saigon.

During Frequent Wind, aircraft from Enterprise flew 95 sorties, most of those Tomcats.

An F-14A Tomcat of Fighter Squadron (VF) 2 pictured just after launching from the carrier Enterprise (CVAN 65). F-14s flew combat air patrols during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of South Vietnam (1st PHX launch from CV: Bean Barrett/Wizard McCabe) Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection NNAM.1996.253.7419.029

Farewell Big E, you will live on

The Enterprise – CVN 65 – was the eighth Navy ship to carry that name. She was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, her keel laid 4 Feb 1958 – exactly 59 years ago this month– at Newport News. Over her generations of service, some 250,000 Sailors and Marines walked her decks. Her decommissioning ceremony, above, was held in the ship’s hangar bay, Feb. 3. The ceremony not only marked the end the ship’s half-century career, it also served as the very first decommissioning of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

However, she will endure as Naval History and Heritage Command’s curators have combed the ship for artifacts.

Steel from her will be recycled into the hull of the new USS Enterprise (CVN-80) as will the portholes from her Captain’s cabin (which were carried on CV-6 during WWII!) and her bell.

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.

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.

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.

And she will always endure in maritime art and in the hearts of those who walked her decks.

"Enterprise on Yankee Station" by R.G. Smith, Oil Painting, c. 1968. Accession: 88-160-EU Courtesy U.S. Navy Art Gallery, Naval History and Heritage Command

“Enterprise on Yankee Station” by R.G. Smith, Oil Painting, c. 1968. Accession: 88-160-EU Courtesy U.S. Navy Art Gallery, Naval History and Heritage Command

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Tom W. Freeman

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sunday, I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Tom W. Freeman

Born in 1952 in Pontiac, Michigan, Tom’s family moved to the East Coast when he was 12. At age 18, Freeman joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1970 and left the military during the post-Vietnam draw down in 1977.

Although not professionally trained as an artist, Tom was skilled and had an eye for naval subjects, visiting the offices of the U.S. Naval Institute and pitching artwork that went on to grace the cover of the USNI’s journal, Proceedings (I’ve had a subscription since 9th grade NJROTC and encourage you to do the same!)

In all, he did the covers for 9 issues of Proceedings and 22 issues of Naval History magazine. He became the first artist in residence to the United States Naval Institute.

Freeman's first cover, Feb. 1977, Proceedings.

Freeman’s first cover, Feb. 1977, Proceedings.

He went on to become widely accepted and painted portraits for the White House, National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Annapolis, the SECNAV’s office, the Naval Historical Command, CNET, the NROTC program, and others as well as publish extensively.

Yamato's Final Voyage

Yamato’s Final Voyage

USS Tennessee

USS Tennessee

USS Houston, CA 30 valiantly fights on alone during the night of February 27-28, 1942 against an overwhelming Japanese Naval Force. “They Sold Their Lives Dearly” by Tom Freeman.

USS Houston, CA 30 valiantly fights on alone during the night of February 27-28, 1942 against an overwhelming Japanese Naval Force. “They Sold Their Lives Dearly” by Tom Freeman.

USCG Hamilton, (WMSL-753) interdicts drug runners by tom freeman

USCG Hamilton, (WMSL-753) interdicts drug runners by tom freeman

Pioneers

Pioneers

Pawn Takes Castle during Battle of Midway by Tom Freeman (Akagi means red castle)

Pawn Takes Castle during Battle of Midway by Tom Freeman (Akagi means red castle)

Oil on canvas by the artist Tom Freeman entitled The Harder (SS-257) Rescues Ensign John Gavlin. Date is 1 April 1944. Image via Navsource

Oil on canvas by the artist Tom Freeman entitled The Harder (SS-257) Rescues Ensign John Gavlin. Date is 1 April 1944. Image via Navsource

Too Close

Too Close

Action in the Slot PT-109

Action in the Slot PT-109

IJN Soryu (Blue Dragon) by Tom Freeman

IJN Soryu (Blue Dragon) by Tom Freeman

French helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc

French helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc

(16 June 2003) Award-winning artist Tom W. Freeman presents his painting "Payment in Iron" to the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson, Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The artwork will hang in the main entrance to the Acting SECNAV’s office. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Craig P. Strawser.

(16 June 2003) Award-winning artist Tom W. Freeman presents his painting “Payment in Iron” to the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson, Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The artwork will hang in the main entrance to the Acting SECNAV’s office. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Craig P. Strawser.

He delved extensively into Civil War maritime history, a subject that is often left uncovered.

You Can Run, CSS Alabama chases down Yankee clipper.

You Can Run, CSS Alabama chases down Yankee clipper.

url

The Fatal Chase by Tom Freeman. The USS Hatteras engages the Confederate raider CSS Alabama. Hatteras was sunk in the ensuing battle

The Fatal Chase by Tom Freeman. The USS Hatteras engages the Confederate raider CSS Alabama. Hatteras was sunk in the ensuing battle

"Gunfight on the Roanoke," The gun crew of the U.S.S. Miami witnesses the sinking to the U.S.S. Southfield by the C.S.S. Albemarle, April 19, 1864. Via TomFreemanArt.com

“Gunfight on the Roanoke,” The gun crew of the U.S.S. Miami witnesses the sinking to the U.S.S. Southfield by the C.S.S. Albemarle, April 19, 1864. Via TomFreemanArt.com

gotmb_tf-jpg.43930

CSS Fredericksburg at Trent's Reach - Tom Freeman

CSS Fredericksburg at Trent’s Reach – Tom Freeman

Freeman’s magnum opus was a series of 42 paintings and a mural covering the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 for the USS Arizona Museum, who display them prominently in their collection, seen by millions.

Attack on the Tang

Attack on the Tang

Tom_Freeman.jpg~original

Nakajima B5N2 attack bomber taking off from aircraft carrier Akagi, 7 December 1941. Artwork by Tom Freeman.

Nakajima B5N2 attack bomber taking off from aircraft carrier Akagi, 7 December 1941. Artwork by Tom Freeman.

The Last Mooring

The Last Mooring

Fuchida's planes cross the coast, by Tom Freeman.

Fuchida’s planes cross the coast, by Tom Freeman.

DC-242-2356.jpg~original

Sadly, Mr. Freeman crossed the bar last month on June 18 at age 62. Freeman is survived by his wife Ann, five children and 13 grandchildren.

Artist Tom Freeman at Pearl Harbor

Artist Tom Freeman at Pearl Harbor

His official website, Tom Freeman Art.com is up and running and I encourage you visit it.

'A Guest of the King' USS Enterprise arrives in Bahrain for a port call. Tom Freeman

‘A Guest of the King’ USS Enterprise arrives in Bahrain for a port call. Tom Freeman

This month’s Proceedings has a salute to Freeman included and is repeated on their website and they note that his “Guest of the King” might well be the only American painting gracing the palace of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

Thank you for your work, sir.

The Enterprise is Dead….Long live the Enterprise

Ray Mabus, a fellow Mississippian of mine, inactivated the USS Enterprise CVN-65 after 51 years of service today.

She will be hacked apart, her reactors recycled, and her steel turned into scrap iron.

However…a new USS Enterprise (CVN-80) will join the fleet in 2025 according to Mabus

 

enterprise decomissioned inactive

The video:

http://www.navy.mil/viewVideo.asp?id=17852

 

More:

NORFOLK (NNS) — Nearly 12,000 past and current crewmembers, family and friends attended the inactivation of aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Dec. 1, 2012, at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, recently completed its 25th and final deployment and returned to its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk for a scheduled inactivation, held prior to the ship’s terminal offload program and subsequent decommissioning.

The inactivation ceremony was the last official public event for the ship, and served as a celebration of life for the ship and the more than 100,000 Sailors who served aboard.

The Chief of Naval Operations, the Commander of United States Fleet Forces, nine of twenty-three prior commanding officers, many decorated war heroes, and thousands of Enterprise veterans attended the event.

“Enterprise is a special ship and crew, and it was special long before I got here” said Captain William C. Hamilton, Jr., the twenty-third and final commanding officer, during the ceremony.

“Before I took command of this ship, I learned the definition of ‘enterprise’, which is ‘an especially daring and courageous undertaking driven by a bold and adventurous spirit.’ Fifty-one years ago, this ship was every bit of that definition.”

“Here we are 51 years later,” he continued, “celebrating the astonishing successes and accomplishments of this engineering marvel that has roamed the seas for more than half the history of Naval Aviation. Daring, courageous, bold, and adventurous indeed.”

In honor of that spirit, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, in a video message played at the ceremony, announced that the name Enterprise will live on as the officially passed the name to CVN-80, the third Ford class carrier and the ninth ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name.

Commissioned on November 25, 1961, the eighth ship to bear the illustrious name Enterprise, the “Big E” was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

A veteran of 25 deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Middle East, Enterprise has served in nearly every major conflict to take place during her history. From the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to six deployments in support of the Vietnam conflict through the Cold War and the Gulf Wars, Enterprise was there. On September 11, 2001, Enterprise aborted her transit home from a long deployment after the terrorist attacks, and steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea. Big ‘E’ once again took her place in history when she launched the first strikes in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

More than 100,000 Sailors and Marines have served aboard Enterprise during its lifetime, which has included every major conflict since the Cuban Missile Crisis. It has been home ported in both Alameda, Calif., and Norfolk, Va., and has conducted operations in every region of the world.

For more information on USS Enterprise, her legendary history, and Inactivation Week, please visit Welcome to Navy Forces Online Public Sites.

For news from Enterprise’s final deployment, pictures of the Inactivation Ceremony, and video footage of the event, log onto Command Home Page.

Visit the ship’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65.

Sad end to a heroic ship

U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (Oct. 2, 2012) The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) transits back to its homeport of Norfolk, Va. Enterprise is returning from a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, where the ship conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman & Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Atherton/Released)

Headed back home for decommissioning. At 51-years young, the Big E is the oldest nuclear powered ship afloat, the oldest commissioned warship in the fleet (the Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat, but is no longer an active warship capable of undertaking missions), and the second oldest aircraft carrier in operation anywhere in the world (the Indian Navy’s INS Viraat is two years older and the Brazilian São Paulo is two years younger).

The 95,000-ton ship is to be deactivated in Norfolk on December 1 and decommissioned once all reusable items are removed, Ensign Brynn Olson, the ship’s deputy public affairs officer, said Monday.
The ship will then be towed to Washington state for scrapping, Olson said. What the Enterprise will not become is a museum, she said, because removing its eight nuclear reactors will involve so much destruction that the ship could not be repaired to museum quality. “It would just be too expensive to put her back together,” Olson said.  Newport News Shipbuilding will deactivate and de-fuel the ship after her decommissioning. The process is scheduled to begin in mid-2013 and be completed in 2015. Once the Navy dismantles and recycles the ship’s reactors, there will be very little left to turn into a museum; virtually everything two decks below the hangar bay would have to be cut apart. What remains of ex- Enterprise following 2015 is currently scheduled to be taken to Washington state for scrapping. It remains possible the ship’s island could be removed and used as a memorial.

Whether there will be a ninth USS Enterprise remains to be seen.

The Big E still on watch after 50 years

The USS Enterprise, commissioned in 1961 and for two decades after she hit the waves was the largest warship ever built, is still on active duty at full combat readiness. Odds are she is older than most of the 6,000 sailors on board. She is older than every potential escort ship for her in the US Navy (USS Boone FFg-28 was commissioned in 1982 and is the oldest Navy surface warfare escort ship) and the US Coast Guard (The USCGC Reliance was commissioned in 1964)

Talk about an excellent return on investment.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 17, 2011) Sailors spell out “E=MC2” on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ship’s commissioning. Enterprise is the first and oldest nuclear powered aircraft carrier still in service and is celebrating its 50th birthday on Nov. 25, 2011. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd class Alex R. Forster/Released)

Keep a USS Enterprise in the Navy

Name the next US Navy nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier, CVN-80, USS Enterprise

  

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To:  the Secretary of the US Navy and the US CongressA petition by the citizens of the United States of America, and particularly by US Navy veterans and their familes, to the Secretary of the Navy and to the US Congress to name the next nuclear powered aircraft carrier, CVN-80, the USS Enterprise.

The current aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, CVN-65, will be replaced by CVN-78, the USS Gerald R. Ford after more than fifty years of service. The name, USS Enterprise, has been utilized on ten occassions in service to our nation since 1775 when a vessel was first named USS Enterprise in the Continental Navy during the revolutionary war.

The 8th vessel, the Yorktown class carrier USS Enterprise, CV-6, was the most highly decorated military vessel of World War II and the most highly decorated combat vessel in the history of the United States Navy.

This name has served with distinction and honor throughout our nation’s history and with the upcoming decomissioning of the current USS Enterprise, CVN-65, which was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the world, we will be left without this honorable and distinguished name serving on the high seas in the interests of our nation.

We petition the Secretary of the Navy and the US Congress to establish that name again with CVN-80, the 3rd nuclear powered Ford Class super carrier so the tradition of honor and service may continue.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

 

 

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