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    The Incredible Legacy of USS Enterprise CV-6: WWII’s Most Decorated Warship

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    The USS Enterprise (CV-6), the seventh vessel to bear the esteemed name, stands as an enduring symbol of American valor and naval dominance.

    Commissioned on May 12, 1938, this Yorktown-class aircraft carrier embarked on a journey that would earn her a legendary status in the annals of naval history.

    THE HMAS AUSTRALIA [II] STORY: famed USS ENTERPRISE seen from the RAN flagship – RAN, courtesy Brent Jones USS ASTORIA.org website.” by Kookaburra2011 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    With Captain Newton H. White at the helm and christened by Lulie H. Swanson, the Enterprise was poised for greatness.

    “The one ship that most nearly symbolizes the history of the United States Navy in World War II,” as remarked by Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal, the Enterprise earned a staggering 20 battle stars throughout 18 campaigns, outstripping any other ship in her class.

    Her illustrious record includes major Pacific battles such as Midway and Guadalcanal, where her valor and strength turned the tides in favor of the Allies.

    Of the more than twenty major actions of the Pacific War, Enterprise engaged in all but two.

    Her planes and guns downed 911 enemy planes; her bombers sank 71 ships and damaged or destroyed 192 more. Her presence inspired pride for the Allies and sparked fear in the heart of the enemy.

    The Guadalcanal Campaign further underscored her crucial role as she provided air cover for landings and engaged in both the Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz Islands battles.

    Despite sustaining damage, her resolve never wavered, and she launched aircraft to assist in the crucial Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

    Beyond her battle prowess, Enterprise was the only carrier to be awarded both the Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Unit Commendation for service in WWII.

    Her international acclaim was solidified when she received the British Admiralty Pennant on November 23, 1945—making her the singular recipient of this honor outside the Royal Navy.

    Following Japan’s surrender, the Enterprise’s role shifted to a more humane mission, participating in the Magic Carpet voyages to reunite thousands of Sailors, Marines, and Soldiers with their loved ones.

    Her journey concluded in New York Harbor, where, during Navy Day celebrations in October 1945, she proudly welcomed over a quarter million visitors and saluted President Harry S. Truman.

    071004-N-5928K-005 Persian Gulf (October 4, 2007) – The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), conducts an underway replenishment with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6), while the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51), and the guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG-69), follow behind. Enterprise and embarked Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) are currently underway on a scheduled six-month deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class N.C. Kaylor. Image released by LT Mark C. Jones, PAO CVN 65.

    Moored at Bayonne, New Jersey, on Jan. 18, 1946, Enterprise never sailed again under her power.

    Decommissioned on Feb. 17, 1947, and stricken from the List of Naval Vessels on Oct. 2, 1956, there was a push to establish Enterprise as a national memorial in Washington, D.C. However, the costly repairs led to the project’s demise. By February 1960, Enterprise had been completely scrapped.

    Relevant articles:
    Enterprise (CV, Navy (.mil)
    USS Enterprise (CV, Navy (.mil)
    USS Enterprise (CVN, navy.mil

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