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Subject: Fair Winds and Following Seas to the Big E rss

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Jim Ransom
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I knew this was coming one day soon, but it feels like losing an old friend; like Walter Cronkite signing off for the last time.

The good news: SecNav promises that CVN 65 will not be the last US Navy aircraft carrier to carry the proud name ENTERPRISE. But until that day arrives, this ship, and the Sailors who manned her for over 50 years, will carry the legacy and be remembered for their honor, courage and commitment.

http://www.freep.com/usatoday/article/1739507?odyssey=mod%7C...





PS: Guess the game.
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Roger Brandon
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It's a shame that to remove the nuclear fuel, they'll basically have to destroy her! She would have been something wonderful to keep as a floating museum! It's like the WW2 Enterprise being scrapped, which even though it happened before my birth, I still feel angry about! Some ships embody so much history that it would be nice to keep them around for future generations to see and explore!

There are people who put down our military because stuff is so expensive, but when you have something like the Enterprise, serving over 50 years, or B-52 bombers who could theoretically have many generations of the same family having flown them, or something like the F-15, which is still a top of the line fighter after something like 35 years, they do, at times get more than their money's worth!

I could only think of the old "Gulf Strike" game, which has similar coloring for the different countries on the map, but the orientation of the map is different.

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Colin Raitt
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5th Fleet
Victory games 5th fleet. Manys the time I've fought my way into the gulf, escorting marines, fending off subs, passing tankers going the other way and plastering each soviet airbase once the cruise missiles suppress the air defence missiles and CAP. Its a brave man who sends a carrier into the Persian Gulf all on her lonesome. To me she looks naked without a pair of cruisers, a couple of destroyers and an air wing. I normally go mob handed with 2 whole carrier battle groups combined.
Here is her predecessor, whilst she didn't serve as long, she packed as much if not a little more into her 13 years of service and suffered for it.
Which game?
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Bill Eldard
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The article states the CVN 65 earned the nickname The Big "E" because of her size. Actually, she inherited that nickname from her legendary predecessor, CV 6, whose battle record in World War II was unmatched by any carrier in the USN.
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Brian Morris
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She indeed will not be the last. The Navy has announce that the third of new Gerald R Ford class aircraft carriers will be named the Enterprise. Currently they will be CVN-78 USS Gerald R Ford, CVN-79 USS John F Kennedy and CV-80 USS Enterprise. If all goes as planned the new Enterprise will replace the USS Dwight Eisenhower in 2025.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_R._Ford_class_aircraft_c...
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Tom Willcockson
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Eldard wrote:
The article states the CVN 65 earned the nickname The Big "E" because of her size. Actually, she inherited that nickname from her legendary predecessor, CV 6, whose battle record in World War II was unmatched by any carrier in the USN.


Yes absolutely incredible that they scrapped the original big E, I still have to scratch my head over that even though it happened before my time as well. I did see CVN 65 while visiting my brother who was living in San Francisco at the time in the late 70s I think (Same trip I bought my copy of SPI's War in the Pacific from a San Francisco game shop). They had her open for a day or two for tours while she was in port and I got to walk the deck and go into the hanger. All the aircraft were gone and I was just amazed at how huge and empty the ship appeared, especially the hanger deck. The other thing that made a big impression on me were the massive blast doors to seal off sections of the hanger deck.
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Bill Eldard
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TomW731 wrote:
Eldard wrote:
The article states the CVN 65 earned the nickname The Big "E" because of her size. Actually, she inherited that nickname from her legendary predecessor, CV 6, whose battle record in World War II was unmatched by any carrier in the USN.


Yes absolutely incredible that they scrapped the original big E, I still have to scratch my head over that even though it happened before my time as well. . . .


Actually, it was a rather simple decision made possible by the Japanese. The Big E had (once again) suffered heavy battle damage, this time by kamikazes off Okinawa. She departed the AO and went home to the US for repairs.

The war ended before she could be repaired, and with all the Essex-class CVs in the fleet and the arrival of the 3 Midway-class CVBs (lasted re-typed as CVAs and then CVs), scrapping her rather than repairing her made great sense economically, since the post-war fleet was to reduce in size.

Of all the USN CVs in service at the time of Pearl Harbor, only the Big E (CV 6), Saratoga (CV 3), and Ranger (CV 4) survived. Ranger was deemed unsuitable for the Pacific War, and spent her war service in the Atlantic and Med. Enterprise and Ranger were scrapped, and Saratoga was sunk as empty target ship in an A-Bomb test. All 3 names were reassigned to new construction carriers, "Saratoga" and "Ranger" going to the Forrestal-class.
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Bill Eldard
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mrbeankc wrote:
If all goes as planned the new Enterprise will replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in 2025.


A reminder of how old I'm getting. I served aboard Ike on her second (Indian Ocean, 1980) and third (Mediterranean, 1982) major deployments. She was the newest carrier in the fleet then; now only her older sister Nimitz has served longer among the carriers. When she decoms in 2025, she will have served almost 50 years in the fleet.
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Tom Willcockson
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Eldard wrote:
Actually, it was a rather simple decision made possible by the Japanese. The Big E had (once again) suffered heavy battle damage, this time by kamikazes off Okinawa. She departed the AO and went home to the US for repairs.


Interesting point however she was still able to ferry troops home across the Atlantic from the ETO after the end of the war. While there the British recognized her special significance by making her the only foreign ship ever to receive an Admiralty Pennant in the 400 years of the award. So why not just keep her as a museum ship kamikaze damage and all, I cant think of a better demonstration of the ferocity of the Pacific war at sea and the bravery of those who served on her. Anyway, all academic as this one was settled long ago.
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Bill Eldard
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TomW731 wrote:
Eldard wrote:
Actually, it was a rather simple decision made possible by the Japanese. The Big E had (once again) suffered heavy battle damage, this time by kamikazes off Okinawa. She departed the AO and went home to the US for repairs.


Interesting point however she was still able to ferry troops home across the Atlantic from the ETO after the end of the war. While there the British recognized her special significance by making her the only foreign ship ever to receive an Admiralty Pennant in the 400 years of the award. So why not just keep her as a museum ship kamikaze damage and all, I cant think of a better demonstration of the ferocity of the Pacific war at sea and the bravery of those who served on her. Anyway, all academic as this one was settled long ago.


The museum phenomenon in the US is a relatively recent trend. The old 19th Century frigate USS Constitution was restored from a miserable condition many years after she'd been taken out of service; she was recommissioned, is crewed by USN officers and sailors, and is carried on the rolls of the USN, though she serves as a museum. (This is why here name hasn't been reissued.) In the past few decades, US cities and private enterprises have bought and partly restored retired USN ships and subs to serve as museums.

I suspect that in the Big E's day, no one wanted to spend the $$$ on her repair if she was only going straight to mothballs.

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Tom Willcockson
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Yea she may have missed that movement by a decade or so and the country had a different mindset back then about this sort of thing. I know in my own town of Woodstock, Illinois the beautiful old courthouse building from the 1840s narrowly escaped being turned into a parking lot in the 1960s which would have created a big hole on the square and damaged its historic charm which is a major selling point for the town these days. If you have seen Groundhog Day or Planes Trains and Automobiles you have seen this building and probably Groundhog Day would not have been made here if that had happened. Unfortunately given the travails of the Olympic we may be moving back to a time where many of these things are once again demolished or scrapped due to lack of funding and neglect.
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Leo Zappa
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Actually, the original Enterprise (CV-6) survived for nearly 15 years after World War Two. She was repaired and laid up in reserve. As with much of the mothball fleet, she was earmarked for disposal, and while there was some talk of making her a museum, no group came forward with a plan suitable to the Navy, which wanted to make sure that if she were to become a museum, she would be properly cared for and not allowed to fall into disgraceful disrepair.

Here is a cool shot of the original Big E moored alongside the newest supercarrier of the day, the USS Independence:

This shot was taken in 1958.


Here is a much sadder shot, the Big E being scrapped,later that same year.


Here is a video of the same...
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