United States Ships named Enterprise

Enterprise I: A British supply sloop captured by the United States in Canada and armed for use on Lake Champlain -- run aground and burnt to avoid capture by the British in 1777.

Enterprise II: schooner purchased in 1776 for the Continental Navy and sailed the Chesapeake Bay to protect from the British -- records are hazy but indicate the ship was given to the Maryland Council of Safety in 1777.

Enterprise III: schooner built in Baltimore, Maryland in 1799. She fought in miscellaneous battles in the Caribbean, near Malta and along the East Coast -- stranded and sunk (non-hostile) on Little Curacao Island in the West Indies.

Enterprise IV: schooner launched from the New York Navy Yard in 1831 and sent to monitor US interests in Brazil -- decommissioned and sold in 1884.

Enterprise V: a bark-rigged screw sloop-of-war built in Kittery, Maine in 1874, used primarily for surveying operations at the mouth of the Mississippi and up the Amazon and Madeira rivers. in 1882 it went around the world and came back with a plethora of information about the oceans, currents, and the sea floor. Used as a training vessel at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland until it was sold in 1909.

Enterprise VI: a noncommissioned motor boat built and used during World War I.

Enterprise VII: launched in 1936 out of Newport News, Virginia, this aircraft carrier was used throughout the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The ship was heavily damaged, suffering 3 direct hits and 4 near misses killing 74, wounding 95, and inflicting serious damage on the carrier. despite this, she returned to Hawaii on her own power and was overhauled at Pearl Harbor. -- decommissioned in 1947 and sold in 1958.

The Current Enterprise (Enterprise VIII)

The USS Enterprise is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier designated CVN65 belonging to the United States Navy and based out of Norfolk, Virginia. The Enterprise was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the naval fleet, as well as being the tallest, and longest warship ever built (interestingly, it was larger by only 3/4 of an inch). It was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company.

The USS Enterprise was christened on Sept. 24 1960, and commissioned in 1961. Her first use was in the quarantine of offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba in 1962.

In 1964, two more nuclear powered vessels (The USS Long Beach and the USS Bainbridge) joined the Enterprise as a group called "Task Force One" and were sent on a journey 30,565 miles around the globe without stopping for refueling or replenishment (Operation Sea Orbit). That October, Enterprise returned to Newport News for its first refueling and overhaul.

Due to the rising conflict in Southeast Asia, the Enterprise was transferred to the Seventh Fleet (based in the Pacific Ocean). The "Big E" was the first nuclear powered ship to engage in combat when it launched aircraft on combat missions against the Viet Cong on December 2, 1965. On its second day of combat use, the Enterprise set a record of 165 strike sorties launched from the deck in a single day. The Enterprise made a total of 6 combat deployments during the Vietnam conflict.

In 1973, the Enterprise was sent to Bremerton, Washington to be refitted to support the F-14A Tomcat fighter plane and was the first carrier to deploy the new high tech aircraft.

In 1975, the Enterprise was called back to Southeast Asia to aid in the evacuation of Saigon.

It sailed to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in January 1979 for a 30-month comprehensive overhaul.

In 1986, the Enterprise became the first nuclear powered ship to pass through the Suez Canal.

in 1988, in response to a request from Philippine President Corazon Aquino for air support from the US to help quell an impending rebellion and coup, the Enterprise participated in "Operation Classic Resolve".

in 1990, it was decided that the Enterprise was in need of a very complex overhaul and the ship was put in dry-dock in Norfolk until September 27, 1994 when sea trials to the Mediterranean Sea found the ship to be as fast as when she was first built -- still the fastest combatant in the world.

in 1996, the "Big E" was sent to enforce no-fly zones in Bosnia (Operation Joint Endeavor).

in 1997, the ship was sent back to Newport News for workups and in 1998 as a part of Carrier Air Wing 3(CVW 3) it relieved the USS Eisenhower in the Arabian Gulf on November 23.

On December 18, 1998, the Enterprise Battle Group initiated Operation Desert Fox against Iraq, dropping an astonishing 691,000 pounds of ordnance and delivering more than 200 tomahawk cruise missiles during the 70 hour operation. Upon the success of Operation Desert Fox, the Enterprise moved into the Adriatic Sea in anticipation of combat missions in Yugoslavia. The ship returned to home port in May of 1999, and is scheduled for it's next deployment in the spring of 2001.


Commissioned: 1961
Operating budget: $50 million
Population of Sailors: Over 2,800
Population of Chiefs: Over 170
Population of Officers: Over 200
Population With the Air Wing: Over 5,000
Type of ship: Nuclear powered aircraft carrier
Horse power: More than 280,000
Maximum speed: 30+ knots (specific top speed is classified)
Length: 1,123 feet
Breadth: 257 feet
Height (keel to mast): 250 feet
Anchors: 2 (30 tons each)
Propellers: 4
Rudders: 4 (35 tons each)
Reactors: 8 (according to my brother, a former damage control officer on the USS Enterprise, one of the ships nuclear reactors has been offline since it's extensive overhaul in 1990 -- this is unconfirmed as i cannot find information to prove or disprove this)
Catapults: 4
Compartments: More than 3,500
Area of flight deck: 4.47 acres