Archive for May, 2013

May 31

Commemorating the Battle of Midway

Friday, May 31, 2013 12:35 PM

The Battle of Midway, fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway, is considered the decisive battle of the war in the Pacific and one of the most significant events in US Navy history. Through innovative naval intelligence, bold tactics, raw courage, and determination, the US Navy emerged victorious and changed the tide of the war. The victory also had tremendous influence on the ethos of the US Navy and helped set the standard for expectations of today’s Sailors.

Join us online for the Battle of Midway panel “U.S. Navy: The Battle of Midway and the Pacific Today” using a Google+ Hangout scheduled for 2 p.m. EST on Monday, June 3rd. Those interested can participate on the US Navy’s Google+ page at Panel will be recorded and available for viewing afterwards at

Please check out our Battle of Midway blog series at from 3-7 June, as we investigate and discuss the innovative intelligence gathering and analysis techniques employed by the US Navy; share stories and experiences of the Sailors and pilots that fought the battle; and share the important lessons learned and the impact the battle had on shaping future Navy doctrine.


We have a few other surprises planned throughout the week, so be sure to stay tuned to all of our digital properties for additional content.


Naval History News:



Naval History Blog:



May 29

Sharing the Naval History Narrative: Battle of Midway

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 11:10 AM

 BOM 29 blog pic

Attention naval historians, authors, bloggers, web masters and enthusiasts: Next week marks the 71st Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the nation’s most historically significant naval victory. As this historic event approaches, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has taken the liberty of listing out numerous Battle of Midway resources, such as videos, images, documents and more, so that you or your command can repurpose and share the Midway and Navy narrative. We hope that the below resources allow you to celebrate this important Naval victory and share this pivotal period in American and naval history.

Still Images:
Images from NHHC Photo Section
NHHC Art Collection

The Course to MIDWAY
Battle of Midway: The Japanese Attack
Battle of Midway: The American Counterattack
CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert on the Battle of MIDWAY

Rear Admiral John Ford
Lieutenant Commander George Henry Gay
Commodore Dixie Kiefer
Rear Admiral Clarence Wade McClusky, Jr.
Admiral Marc Andrew Mitscher
Admiral Frederick C. Sherman

MIDWAY Remembered
Interrogations of Japanese Officials
Combat Narratives – Battle of Midway
US Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific) Account of the Battle of Midway
Aerology and Naval Warfare – The Battle of Midway
Japanese Story of the Battle of Midway

Additional Resources:
Commemoration Planning
NHHC Battle of Midway Midway Page


May 23

National Maritime Day: Remembering The Forgotten

Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:29 PM

Memorial Day is traditionally a time to honor those who have not only served our nation, but who through their service made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen bear arms and go in harm’s way because they are the warriors of our great nation. Each year in May, we remember and honor these warrior heroes. 

But there is another important group of men and women who do not wear the uniforms of our armed forces – yet still willingly go in harm’s way for our country, and they have done so since our nation was born.

They are the brave, self-sacrificing men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

To learn more about the history of the merchant mariners during this Memorial Day Weekend, visit the Navy Live blog at:

Merchant mariners stand alongside damage suffered by his ship, tanker SS Malay, when it was attacked by a German U-123 off North Carolina in January 1942

Merchant mariners stand alongside damage suffered by his ship, tanker SS Malay, when it was attacked by a German U-123 off North Carolina in January 1942

May 22

Honoring Admiral Farragut’s Gravesite as a National Historic Landmark

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:12 AM

The naval officer best known for his famous quote: “Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” is being honored. For naval history purest, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut is known for much more than that. The Woodlawn Cemetery on Thursday, May 23, 2013 will be honoring Admiral David Glasgow Farragut gravesite as a national historic landmark at Webster Avenue and East 233rd St Bronx, New York.


Admiral Farragut

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, US Navy (1801 – 1870) 

David Glasgow Farragut was born at Campbell’s Station, near Knoxville, Tennessee, on 5 July 1801, and died at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 14 August 1870, after fifty-nine years of Naval Service.

Appointed midshipman on 17 December 1810, he saw his first sea service off the coast of the United States in the frigate Essex in 1811, and the next year was made the prize master of the Alexander Barclay, one of the prizes taken by the Essex. Farragut, then twelve, took her safely to Valparaíso. Failing a preliminary examination for a lieutenancy in 1821, he tried again and passed, receiving the rank of lieutenant in August 1825. He attained the rank of commander on 7 September 1841; captain in 1855; and was commissioned rear admiral on 16 July 1862. The rank of vice admiral was created for him by President Abraham Lincoln on 31 December 1864, and on 25 July 1866, by Congressional Act, he was commissioned admiral, the first officer of the U.S. Navy to hold that rank.

Five ships of the U.S. Navy have been named in honor of Admiral Farragut. The first was Farragut (Torpedo Boat No. 11), launched on 16 July 1898; the second was Farragut (Destroyer No. 300), launched on 21 November 1918; the third Farragut (DD 348), launched 15 March 1934, had World War II service; the fourth Farragut (DLG 6) was launched on 18 July 1958; the fifth Farragut (DDG 99) was launched on 9 July 2005 and commissioned on 10 June 2006.

 For more information on Admiral Farragut, visit NHHC’s website at

May 21

30th Naval Construction Regiment Command History

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 7:45 AM


For over 70 years, the men and women of the Naval Construction Force have been giving their all to protect our Nation and serve our armed forces with pride and living up to the slogan…We Build, We Fight. On May 19, 1965 the 30th Naval Construction Regiment was activated at Danang, Vietnam. Let’s take a dive into the history of the 30th Regiment…

Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment Seabees are an integral part of the Naval Construction Force and provide valuable construction support to Navy and Marine Corps units. The Naval Construction Force is an integrated force of both active and reserve units. 30thNCRpatch

Naval Mobile Construction Battalions are the bulk of the active Pacific Naval Construction Force, under the direct command of the Thirtieth Regiment. Each has about 600 officers and enlisted personnel. Their complement includes Civil Engineer Corps officers, other staff officers, enlisted craftsmen from every construction trade and various fleet support ratings.

There are four active units of the Naval Construction Force serving the Pacific, and an Underwater Construction Team which provides the Pacific Fleet Seabees with unique underwater construction and demolition capabilities. The Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment provides deployable command and control of operational units.

Pacific-based Naval Construction Force units deploy to Pacific Fleet and Atlantic Fleet forward logistics support bases in order to provide construction support to Navy, Marine Corps and other organizations. Seabees provide needed construction and repair to military operational and community support facilities, as well as disaster relief and construction training to U.S. communities and independent Pacific Island nations.

The main Pacific deployment sites are Okinawa, Japan and Guam. Smaller details operate in Chinhae, Seoul and Pohang, Korea; Sasebo, Iwakuni, Atsugi, and Yokosuka, Japan; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Diego, and Lemoore, California; Fallon, Nevada; and Bangor, Washington.

The Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment was first established in 1944, on Saipan after the invasion of Tinian. The regiment moved to Marianas and was known as the “Airfield Construction” Regiment of the Sixth Naval Construction Brigade.

Elements of different Battalions assigned under the regiment landed with the assault units of the 4th Marines for the invasion of Tinian. The initial invasion tasking was rebuilding a captured Japanese airfield for use by Naval aircraft, construction for roads, water facilities, camp hospitals, tank farms, ship moorings, pipelines, and drainage and sanitation lines.

The construction of North Field from which B-29 bomber strikes were launched against the islands of Japan kept the Regiment battalions busy from November 1944 to May of 1945, and it was inactivated on Tinian, Marianas in October 1945.

Two years later, they were activated in Guam, taking over the duties that had been assigned to the Fifth Naval Construction Brigade.

The regiment was under the administration and operational control of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, and assigned control of Naval Construction Battalion 103 and Construction Battalion Detachments on Peleliu; on Saipan; on Kwajalein; on Midway; and on Johnston Island.

Seabee Dets served at various times on Okinawa; and worked at Sangley Point Naval Air Station and Subic Bay Naval Operating Base in the Philippines.

The Thirtieth Regiment was transferred from Guam, Marianas to Cubi Point, Luzon, Philippine Islands in March of 1952. The regiment absorbed the Philippine Naval Construction regiment whose commanding officer became the commanding officer of the Thirtieth Regiment.

The regiment’s mission was to act as the single director of both naval construction forces and civilian contractor forces in the construction of the U.S. Naval Air Station Cubi Point, a task that lasted five years. During the five-year project, the regiment employed Mobile Construction Battalions TWO, THREE, FIVE, NINE and ELEVEN; Construction Detachments 1802 and 1803; and Detachment A of the Tenth Brigade.

Naval Construction Forces were utilized only during the September – June dry construction season. A large part of the airfield and air station facilities were constructed by contractors; but SEABEES did all the earth moving – over twenty million cubic yards of dirt –Seabee2 constructed many of the stations auxiliary facilities, and assisted in dredging operations for waterfront facilities.

The regiment operated under the military and operational control of Commander, Naval Forces, Philippines and administrative control of the Director, Pacific Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks, until 1955. In 1955, the Tenth Naval Construction Brigade was activated at Pearl Harbor and assumed administrative control of the regiment.

Jumping ahead ten years, On 10 May 1965, the Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment was activated at Da Nang, republic of Vietnam (RVN), under the Commander, Naval Construction Battalions, U. S. Pacific Fleet.

Its principle mission was to exercise operation control over mobile construction battalions deployed to Vietnam. It maintained liaisons with other military commands, assigned construction projects to SEABEE units, and monitored performance. On 1 June 1966, the Thirtieth Regiment was assigned to report to the newly established Third Naval Construction Brigade in Saigon. December of 1969, having completed most SEABEE construction projects in Vietnam, the Thirtieth Regiment was re-deployed to Okinawa.

The Thirtieth Naval Construction Regiment, headquartered on Okinawa, exercised command over all SEABEE battalions in the western Pacific Ocean area outside of Vietnam. It also directed the activities of SEABEE teams deployed to the western Pacific. In September of 1973, the headquarters of the Thirtieth NCR was moved to its birthplace of Guam, Marianas. From Guam, the Thirtieth directed the activities of the mobile construction battalions that built the major air and naval base at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory, between 1971 and 1982. On 15 August 1984, the Thirtieth NCR was disestablished on Guam.

The Thirtieth NCR was reactivated in July 1982 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Overseas tasking in the Pacific arena included work in our two mainbody sites of Guam and Okinawa as well as detachment sites in Diego Garcia, Adak, Korea, Hawaii, Sasebo, Iwakuni, Yokosuka, Fuji, Atsugi, and the stateside tasking in Southern California. In addition to the normal active duty battalion contribution, reserve battalions contributed 45,000 mandays of support construction effort into CINPACFLT bases, USMC activities and Naval Reserve Centers.

The Thirtieth NCR, NMCB ONE, NMCB FORTY, and ACB ONE completed tasking in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope in 1993. Primary tasking was to provide vertical construction support to U.S. and Coalition Forces, who would establish base camps at each of the humanitarian relief sites.

Repair and improvement of the main supply routes was another big part of our effort. The largest project was at the Baidoa Airstrip, which deteriorated as C-130 relief flights increased in the early part of the operation. ACB ONE provided construction support and fuel and water offload service at the port of Mogadishu.

Today, more than 2,700 active duty and 5,700 reserve officers, men and women are assigned to the Pacific Fleet Seabees. Construction tasks in the Pacific range from renovating living quarters, ports and airfields, to constructing major operational training and support facilities.

Disaster relief and helping others help themselves have always been part of the Seabee tradition. Seabees provide relief after natural disasters, which includes providing temporary berthing and utilities, cleaning debris, restoring communication systems, repairs to damaged homes, buildings and base structures.

Pacific Fleet Seabees were involved in disaster recovery following a major earthquake and typhoons on Guam, participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The “Can Do” spirit of the Seabees has a long and gallant history. The Seabees of today uphold that legacy and continue to be the military construction force of choice.  

For more historyon Navy Seabee units visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website:


May 17

May 17, 1942: USS Tautog sinks Japanese submarine I-28

Friday, May 17, 2013 1:00 AM

This article appeared in the March 1958 issue of Proceedings, published as Deep Battleground by Commander Charles W. Rush, Jr., USN.

May 17, 1942. Somewhere under the long mid-Pacific swells.

The stillness inside the conning tower of the U. S. submarine Tautog muffled the tense excitement of men who knew they were about to battle their most feared enemy—another submarine.

“Bearing—zero-seven-five,” the sound man called.

“Range-two thousand yards,” Lieutenant Jim Barnard read from the dial of the torpedo data computer.

Perspiration glistened on the faces of the men. At that moment, the enemy sub might be aiming a lethal salvo at Tautog.

But Captain J. H. Willingham had the drop on his opponent. His orders followed in rapid succession:

“Make ready all tubes forward. Set depth fifteen feet—speed high.”

“Open the outer doors forward.”

“Fire One! . . . . . . . . . . Fire Two!”

A tremor passed through Tautog as the torpedoes were blown out by high-pressure air. The whine of propellers was tracked on the sound gear. After an interminable minute, a weak explosion was heard—the enemy was hit, damaged, but not killed. Then, like a wounded bull, the damaged sub fought back.

Tautog‘s sound man reported, “Enemy sub is firing torpedoes!”

No time for deliberation. Captain Willingham shouted down to his diving officer, Lieutenant Norman D. Gage, “Take her down, Norm—one hundred and fifty feet!”

In the control room, Lieutenant Gage signalled the manifold operator, the planesmen. Tautog leaned forward, seeking the dark, safe deep.

Thirty seconds later, Gage reported, “One hundred and fifty feet, sir.”

Slowly, he gazed upward. The men’s eyes followed his; their ears caught the buzz-saw sound of a torpedo getting closer. The sound grew louder—then faded.

“Z . . Z . . Z . . . z . . . . z . . . z . . . “: a second torpedo passed overhead.

But Captain Willingham, who had bested the Japanese submarine RO-30 in an under­-sea duel three weeks previously, was not willing to call it quits. He brought Tautog up to periscope depth and sighted the damaged ­sub, bored in to point-blank torpedo range and aimed another shot at the enemy’s ex­posed underside. This torpedo ran straight and true, gouged into the vitals of the Japanese submarine I-28 and exploded, sending her to the bottom.

Tautog‘s exploit is a true example of submarine vs. submarine fights-to-the-finish during World War II. Although our sub­marines of the war years were not designed to sink enemy undersea craft and although anti-submarine work was not their main job, they sank 25 enemy submersibles—23 Japanese and two German U-boats—in the Pacific, thus giving a ring of truth to the pre-war prediction, “The best defense against sub­marines is other submarines.”

The blood that pumped through the arteries of the Japanese Empire of 1941 was men, material, and supplies carried on the sea lanes by six million tons of merchant shipping. The primary mission of our wartime undersea force was to cut off this life-giving flow by sinking the ships that carried it. They did a bang-up job of it. Tautog sent 26 enemy ships to the bottom—more than any other submarine in our history. Her sister subs demolished some five million tons of Japanese merchantmen and more than half a million tons of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s warships, including all types: aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines.

We can be thankful that many unsung pa­triots of the 1930’s—planners, designers, builders—had the foresight to provide our operators with the proper submersible to fight the war in the Pacific; the fleet-type submarine was long-legged, tough-skinned, and equipped with a double-ended battery of ten torpedo tubes with which it could saturate the water through which enemy ships had to pass. In short, our subs were successful because they were designed to do the job at hand.

In many respects, building a modern navy is like playing a gigantic poker game, in which the chips are billions of dollars (or rubles); the cards are ships, weapons, and trained men; and the stakes are national life or death. The game is not played according to Hoyle. If we are unwilling to risk coming out second best, we must keep a winning hand ready for the showdown at any time—hiding cards up our sleeve whenever possible.

In this game, Red chips have already been spent on making their navy the greatest under-sea power ever known. The 1956-57 edition of Jane’s Fighting Ships reported that the Soviets had over 400 submarines, with another 100 under construction in their dockyards. The Reds now have 450 to 500 undersea craft—most of them modern, ocean-going ships, fitted with snorkels and the latest in equipment and weapons.

In contrast, the German Navy had only 57 U-boats at the outset of World War yet blasted at the outset of World War II; yet they blasted the Allied convoys and came close to winning the Battle of the Atlantic. The U-boats were armed with torpedoes loaded with a few hundred pounds of TNT; the modern submarine may be armed both with torpedoes and with missiles carrying hydrogen warheads the equivalent of millions of tons of TNT.

Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, the Chief of Naval Operations, recently stated that the Soviet Union is building toward a fleet of 1,200 submarines—enough to station a every mile on a line from the northernmost coast of Maine to Miami, Flor­ida. In addition, the Soviets are reported to have an atomic-powered submarine undergoing trials, to be building a number of additional atomic subs, and to have produced a submarine missile which can be fired from underwater at targets 150 miles distant.

In the undersea department, they hold a powerful hand—increasing in strength with every draw of the cards. Unless we meet this threat with sufficient counter-strength in the right places, we could be exposed to annihilation launched from under the sea. That is the main reason we are building nuclear powered submarines—to prevent enemy submarines from attacking and isolating our country.

After World War II, we had about one hundred fleet-type submarines still in service. They had smashed the Japanese right under the shadow of Mount Fuji. Archerfish sank the 59,000-ton monster Shinano, a brand-new aircraft carrier, before the Japanese even completed her sea trials.

But, we are no longer opposed by an island empire; our own life-lines, our own shores are threatened by a power building the world’s largest submarine fleet. Our fleet-type submarines were not equipped to fight other undersea craft—most of the enemy submersibles which they had given a one-way ticket to Davy Jones’ locker had been caught on the surface.

It was apparent that submarine warfare had to undergo a “sea change.” We had to fit our submarines to meet the new threat con­fronting our Navy.

First, our subs were streamlined and given increased storage battery power; then, they were fitted with snorkels to allow them to ex­pose a smaller target when they had to come up to use their diesel engines. These re­modelled fleet-subs were named “Guppies”—because of their higher speed, the men called them “hot rods.” But high speed was only a partial answer to the problem.

The next major improvement was not one of submarine design, but one of equipment. Radars could not find subs hiding hundreds of feet underwater—a better means of detect­ing submerged submarines had to be devised. By 1949 Congress authorized the Navy to build three new craft of a radical type—the first SSKs, “killer” submarines designed to detect and destroy other subs. They were de­signed to carry new sound detection equip­ment unlike any sonar our Navy had ever seen. On the bow of the ship, the builders in­stalled a large, boxy housing for the new
sound equipment’s “ears.” They looked awk­ward, but when the sonarmen first pulled on the earphones and plugged into the new sonars, they were amazed!

Sounds which with the older “hearing aids,” they had been unable to hear from more than a few hundred yards suddenly came in clearly and distinctly from distances of many miles. But these “killer” subs still had an Achilles’ heel—when their storage bat­teries became exhausted, it was necessary to come up from the depths and gasp for air like a spouting whale.

The Navy and the Atomic Energy Com­mission had been working on the solu­tion to this problem for some time. A nuclear reactor already had been built and tested at the AEC’s National Reactor Testing Station at Arco, Idaho, and the development of con­trolled fission power had progressed to the stage where it could safely be installed in a ship. The Navy selected a submarine for the first application of nuclear power. This was not a coincidence—a power plant which is in­dependent of the atmosphere offers greater advantages to an undersea craft than to a sur­face ship. For the first time, a true submarine became possible—one capable of operating fully submerged indefinitely.

The submarine Nautilus, the first applica­tion of nuclear propulsion, was built. Into her blunt nose, streamlined for high underwater speed, electronic detection equipment like that on the killer-subs was carefully installed. Designated SS(N), nuclear, she is the fore­runner of a new breed of submarine—SSK(N), designed to do a new job—hunt down and kill enemy submarines.

With this revolutionary development came the need for a new shape to go with the new power. For years, submarines had been fash­ioned to travel both on the surface of the water and submerged. Now that a true sub­marine was possible, it could be configured for underwater travel only. Because a surface ship kicks up a big wave at high speeds and a submerged submarine doesn’t, designers had long known that with enough power they could make a submarine go faster underwater than on the surface. By testing models in the wind tunnel at the David Taylor Model Basin in Carderock, Maryland, they found the best design for high underwater speed.

Soon, workmen at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard were forming flat plates of heavy steel into curved patterns laid down by the designers. The plates were welded together to form Albacore, the world’s fastest submarine.

All the pieces of the puzzle, nuclear power, tear-drop shape, and electronic sound equip­ment, were now ready to be fitted together.

The Navy plans to build a second Tautog­—one of the new breed. With her nuclear power plant moving her streamlined hull through the depths, the new Tautog will carry her electronic ears down under the cold layers of water where enemy subs lurk. There she will stay as long as her captain wills, hunting the enemy in his own element.

She will be a key fighter on the Navy’s air, surface, and submarine team—ready to meet the enemy in deadly combat where a war need never be fought if we are prepared to fight it—in the deep battleground.

May 15

The Legend of the USS ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 8:47 AM


The month of May historically has been an important time for the USS Enterprise. On May 12, 1938 the USS Enterprise CV-6 was commissioned and on May 18, 1775 the Enterprise I was captured from the British Fleet. These historic May events have led us to take a look at the history of the USS Enterprise, which represents a name that has been a continuing symbol of the great struggle to retain American liberty, justice and freedom since the first days of the American Revolutionary War to today. The most recent ENTERPRISE VIII (CVN 65) is the eighth ship of the Fleet to carry this illustrious name. 

USS Enterprise information is brought to you by the official USS ENTERPRISE Website


The Legend of the USS Enterprise



The first Enterprise originally belonged to the British and cruised on Lake Champlain to supply their posts in Canada. After the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Americans on 10 May 1775, it became the object of desire in the mind of Benedict Arnold who realized he would not have control of Lake Champlain until its capture. He learned it was stationed at a small British garrison at St. John’s on the Richelieu in Canada, and set out from Skenesborough (Whitehall, New York) in the commandeered sloop Liberty for that place on 14 May 1775. He surprised and captured the British garrison on 18 May, took possession of the 70-ton sloop, and sailed it south to Crown Point. It was named Enterprise by Arnold and fitted out with twelve long 4-pounder carriage guns and ten swivels. About 1 August 1775, Captain James Smith was sent by the New York Provincial Congress to General Philip Schuyler and ordered to take command of “the sloop Enterprise.”


The second Enterprise was an eight-gun schooner of 25 tons with a crew of 60 men. Granted a letter of marque commission from the state of Maryland, it made a remarkably successful cruise (June-December 1776) under the command of Captain James Campbell. Enterprise was purchased by the Committee of Secret Correspondence of the Continental Congress 20 December 1776. Under the command of Captain Campbell, Enterprise served chiefly in convoying transports in Chesapeake Bay. It was also active in reconnoitering the enemy’s ships and preventing their tenders and barges from getting supplies from the shores of Maryland and Virginia.


The third Enterprise was a twelve-gun schooner built by Henry Spencer at Baltimore, Maryland at a cost of $16,240.00. It had a length of 84 feet, 7 inches; extreme beam of 22 feet, 6 inches; tonnage of 135, depth of hold, 10 feet; and a complement of 70 officers and men. It was originally armed with twelve long 6-pounders and placed under the command of Lieutenant John Shaw. On 1 September 1812, Enterprise got underway in search for British privateers reported off the coast of Maine. After chasing a schooner to the shore on Wood Island, Enterprise discovered what appeared to be a ship of war in the bay near Penequid Point on the coast of Maine. It immediately gave chase and soon found her quarry to be the British brig Boxer, mounting fourteen 18-pounder carronades, and manned by 72 men. When within half a pistol shot, broadsides exchanged by the two brigs brought death to Lieutenant William Burrows as well as to the British commander, Captain Samuel Blyth. Another broadside was exchanged before Enterprise ranged ahead to cross Boxer’s bow and kept up a deadly fire until the enemy hailed and said they had surrendered but could not haul down the colors that were nailed to the mast. The surviving senior officer, Lieutenant Edward R. McCall, took the prize into Portland where a common funeral was held for the two commanders, both well-known and favorites in their respective services.


The fourth Enterprise was a schooner built by the New York Navy Yard where it launched on 26 October 1831. Its length between perpendiculars was 83 feet, molded beam 23 feet, 5 inches; depth of hold 10 feet and tonnage 197. It was armed with ten 24 and 9-pounder guns. The schooner was placed in commission on 15 December 1831 when Lieutenant Commander Samuel W. Downing assumed command. Its original complement was nine officers and 63 men.


The fifth Enterprise was a steam corvette with auxiliary sail power. Its hull was built of live oak in Portsmouth Naval Yard by John W. Griffith. It was launched 13 June 1874 and placed in commission 16 March 1877, Commander George C. Remey in command. The ship measured 185 feet between perpendiculars, breadth, 35 feet; depth of hold, 16 feet, 2 inches; tonnage 615, and displacement 1,375 tons. It had a speed of 11.4 knots and a complement of 20 officers and 164 men. Its original armament was one 11-inch moth bore, four 9-inch broadside guns, one 60-pounder pivot, and 1 short Gatling gun.



Enterprise VI

The sixth Enterprise was a 66-foot motor patrol craft purchased by the Navy on 6 December 1916. It was placed in the service of the Second Naval District on 25 September 1917 and performed harbor tug duties at Newport, Rhode Island. It shifted to New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 11 December 1917 for operations inside the breakwaters and was transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries on 2 August 1919.


ENTERPRISE VII (CV 6)Enterprise CV 6


The seventh Enterprise (CV 6) was the first of the Enterprise ships to receive the nickname of Big ‘E’. Other nicknames included the Lucky ‘E’, the ‘Grey Ghost’ and the ‘Galopping Ghost’. CV-6 became the sixth aircraft carrier to join the U.S. Navy fleet upon its commissioning as a Yorktown-class carrier. It had an overall length of 827 feet and displaced more than 32,000 tons of water. Enterprise fought in many of the key Pacific theater battles of World War II, and was one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to survive the war (along with USS Saratoga and USS Ranger).

Enterprise was ordered to serve in the Pacific fleet in April 1939, and was sent underway to conduct training and transport Marine Fighter Squadron 211 (VMF-211) to Wake Island in November 1941. Big ‘E’ was returning to the Hawaiian island of Oahu on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 when it received news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Enterprise became one of the first ships to respond to its nation’s call to war and went on to earn 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, for the crucial roles it played in numerous battles including Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and the ‘Doolittle Raid’ on Tokyo. Japanese forces announced that the Big ‘E’ had been sunk in battle on three separate occasions throughout its Pacific campaign.

After its legendary World War II service, the first Big ‘E’ was decommissioned on Feb. 17, 1947 as the most decorated ship in U.S. naval history.



 Enterprise VIII (CVN 65)

In 1954, Congress authorized the construction of the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the eighth U.S. ship to bear the name Enterprise.

The giant ship was to be powered by eight nuclear reactors, two for each of its four propeller shafts. This was a daring undertaking. for never before had two nuclear reactors ever been harnessed together. As such, when the engineers first started planning the ship’s propulsion system, they were uncertain how it would work, or even if it would work according to their theories.

Materials used by the shipyard included 60,923 tons of steel; 1507 tons of aluminum; 230 miles of pipe and tubing; and 1700 tons of one-quarter-inch welding rods. The materials were supplied from more than 800 companies. Nine hundred shipyard engineers and designers created the ship on paper, and the millions of blueprints they created, laid end-to-end, would stretch 2400 miles, or from Miami to Los Angeles.

Three years and nine months after construction began, Enterprise was ready to present to the world as “The First, The Finest” super carrier.

The newly-christened Enterprise left the shipyard for six days of builder and Navy pre-acceptance trials. Its escort during the trials, destroyer Laffey, sent this message; “Subject: Speed Trails. 1. You win the race. 2. Our wet hats are off to an area thoroughbred.” When the Big “E” returned to port, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr., stated enthusiastically, “I think we’ve hit the jackpot.”

After years of planning and work by thousands the day finally arrived. At the commissioning of Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Secretary of the Navy John B. Connally Jr. called it a worthy successor to the highly decorated seventh USS Enterprise of World War II. “The fighting Gray Lady, as it was called, served in such well-known battles as the raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Midway.” Secretary Connally went on to say, “The new Enterprise will reign a long, long time as queen of the seas.”

In October 1962, Enterprise was dispatched to its first international crisis. Enterprise and other ships in the Second Fleet set up quarantine of all military equipment under shipment to communist Cuba. The blockade was put in place on October 24, and the first Soviet ship was stopped the next day. On October 28, Soviet leader Krushchev agreed to dismantle nuclear missiles and bases in Cuba, concluding the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the U.S. and USSR have ever come to nuclear war.

In the Fall of 2001, Enterprise aborted her transit home from a long deployment after the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., on Sept. 11, and steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea. In direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Big ‘E’ once again took its place in history by becoming one of the first units to respond in a crisis with its awesome striking power. Enterprise expended more than 800,000 pounds of ordnance during the operation. The ship returned to home port at Naval Station Norfolk November 10, 2001.

Following several more deployments and an extended shipyard period that began in 2008, Enterprise embarked on its 21st deployment in January 2011, during which the carrier supported operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and multiple anti-piracy missions. During its six-month tour of duty, Big ‘E’ made port visits to Lisbon, Portugal, Marmaris, Turkey, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Mallorca, Spain.

Big ‘E’ became the fourth aircraft carrier in naval history to record 400,000 arrested landings on May 24, 2011. The milestone landing was made by an F/A-18F Super Hornet piloted by Lt. Matthew L. Enos and Weapon System Officer Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Welsh from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11.

On November 25, 2011, Big ‘E’ celebrated its 50th birthday, making the carrier the oldest active duty ship in the U.S. Naval fleet. After 25 deployments and 51 years of active service, ENTERPRISE was officially inactivated December 1, 2012 and is currently undergoing an extensive terminal offload program leading up to her eventual decommissioning. For more than two centuries, ENTERPRISE Sailors have set the standard for excellence aboard the eight ships to proudly bear her name, and will continue to do so upon the future commissioning of the ninth ENTERPRISE (CVN 80).


May 13

@HistoryNavyNews Manned and Ready

Monday, May 13, 2013 1:02 PM

Open letter to naval history enthusiasts and Twitter users:

I’m Dave Werner, and earlier this year I joined the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) to help lead the Communication and Outreach efforts. I couldn’t be happier. We have some work to do, but our team is energized and grateful to have the responsibility for sharing the naval history narrative. Learning from the past is important for us as citizens and as a country, but it doesn’t have to be like what you remember from high school history class.


It’s in that spirit that we’re going to put naval history into motion on Twitter, and reprise an old Twitter account I used to author for the Navy (@NavyNews). For a variety of reasons we’re changing the handle to @HistoryNavyNews, but I’ll be at the helm once again (that’s why the account is named “NavyHistoryNewstoMe”). It will serve alongside the NHHC account @NavyHistoryNews for those who prefer their naval history tidbits served in a more traditional style.

Let’s face it: There’re a lot of naval history buffs out there with their own version of how things may have gone down in our past. And, yes, I make more than my fair share of typos. Heck: It’ll be fewer than 140 characters at a time – how far astray can I go? I do plan to challenge your thinking, and, on occasion, try to make you smile.

CARAT 2000

History is not – or should not – be found only in a pile of dusty books in the back of a library. It’s a roadmap (err… navigation chart) of where we’ve been. So frequently our Navy – our nation – has sailed in uncharted waters, but always on a course guided by values like freedom, liberty and security. Sure, we’ve made a few course corrections as the times changed, the technology advanced, and the geopolitical backdrop morphed. But what happens on the water still affects us all. To understand the impact the U.S. Navy makes in our daily lives, think of the 70-80-90 rule. Seventy percent of the earth is covered by water, 80 percent of the earth’s population lives near the ocean, and 90 percent of international trade travels by sea.

It’s time you to get your sea legs. Join me as @HistoryNavyNews gets underway again – with a new set of sails.

So, where is it exactly our nation wants to go? I’m thinking we’ve been there before.

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