After 50 years of service, once more, unto the breach. Our friend URR has a nice little post over at the USNI blog:
Tomorrow, 11 March 2012, the storied USS Enterprise (CVN-65) will leave home port to ply the world’s oceans for the 22nd, and last time. As she is about to head toward Middle Eastern waters, the Associated Press published a nice piece about her, and the challenges that her crew of 4,000 face in keeping a ship that is older than most of their parents operating and ready.
Since SWMBO reminded me how expensive picture books were to print, I figured I would take advantage of this newfangled internet thing to post some pictures of the Big E, and relate some things about her 52 years in service. A good deal of these pictures will come from familiar places, such as NavSource.org, and DANFS, as well as some others included from various spots.
I’ve always had an affinity for the Big E. She was unique, she was distinctive in a way other carriers weren’t. Just a glance and you knew which carrier she was. She was the warship that took my father on his only combat deployment. And thankfully, brought him home. She’s served her nation well for over half a century. Tens of thousands of sailors have called her home. She is the oldest ship in the fleet, by quite a margin.* Well done, old girl.
Iconic photo of Enterprise (CVAN-65), Long Beach (CGN-9 next to starboard), and Bainbridge (DLGN-25) during 30,000 mile unrefueled global circumnavigation, June, 1964 (Operation SEA ORBIT)
Enterprise celebrates her 50th, November 2011
**Not counting the USS Constitution.