uss enterprise (cv 6)

75 years ago today

Lt. Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare in his Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat giving a thumbs up at the Naval Air Station Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii.
April 10, 1942.

(Note the “Felix the Cat” insignia of Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3) and five Japanese flags representing the five enemy bombers he was credited with shooting down.)

Lt. Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare was credited with five confirmed victories, which made him the first U.S. Navy flying ace of World War II. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and became the first naval aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II.

While leading the first night-time fighter raid off of the USS Enterprise (CV-6) on 26 November 1943, O’Hare was presumably killed in action, although his Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat was never found.

The USS O’Hare and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago are namesakes of Lt. Butch O’Hare.

(Colorised by Mike Gepp from Australia)

A Japanese Type 99 carrier bomber (a type later code-named “Val”) burns as it is shot down directly over USS Enterprise (CV-6). Note radar antenna atop the carrier’s foremast, and anti-aircraft shell bursts overhead.


The eight pre-war aircraft carriers of the US Navy and their fate.

  • CV-1, USS Langley
    • Sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft south of Tjilatjap, Java.
  • CV-2, USS Lexington
    • Sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft in the Battle of Coral Sea.
  • CV-3, USS Saratoga
    • Survived the war. Sunk in Operation Crossroads nuclear bomb test, 1946.
  • CV-4, USS Ranger
    • Survived the war. Scrapped in 1947.
  • CV-5. USS Yorktown
    • Sunk by Japanese submarine I-168 in the Battle of Midway.
  • CV-6, USS Enterprise
    • Survived the war. Scrapped in 1958-60.
  • CV-7, USS Wasp
    • Sunk by Japanese submarine I-19 southeast of San Cristobal Island.
  • CV-8, USS Hornet
    • Sunk by Japanese destroyers Akigumo and Makigumo following the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.

Note: At the time of her sinking, USS Langley was a seaplane tender.

Flak bursts blanket the skies above USS Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Santa Cruz, October 26th, 1942. In the distant background the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) can be seen, as well as two destroyers. Enterprise is credited with downing 46 Japanese aircraft by AA fire, and South Dakota is credited with 26. This outstanding success is often attributed to the recent installation of the new 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun.

“Ships of the U.S. Pacific fleet anchored at Majuro, 25 April 1944, shortly before leaving to attack Truk. USS Enterprise (CV-6) is at right, with four Essex-class carriers beyond her. Battleships at left include USS Iowa (BB-61) and New Jersey (BB-62). There are three other fast battleships and three light carriers (CVL) present, as well as several old battleships, cruisers and auxiliaries.”

(NHHC: 80-G-225251)

F6F Hellcat fighter ready for launch on board USS Lexington (CV-16), during TF 58 airstrikes on the Mariana Islands, 13 June 1944. USS North Carolina (BB-55) and two other battleships of TG 58.7 in the background, with a light carrier of TG 58.3 in the distance. Carrier beyond the bow of North Carolina might be USS Enterprise (CV-6).

(NHHC: 80-G-236892)

anonymous asked:

Why is Enterprise so famous

Ah, Enterprise. I assume you’re taking about USS Enterprise, CV-6 or CVN-65? If so, there is a lot of reasons.
The first one: Enterprise is a name that has been in the U.S. Navy for centuries, with nine ships (including the soon-to-be-built CVN-80) having used the name. It’s been in the Royal Navy since the early 1700s, with fifteen ships named Enterprise or Enterprize.

Second: USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the most highly decorated carrier of WWII. She participated in every major fleet action except for two, earning twenty battle stars. She sank or damaged 263 ships, and downed 911 planes. From December 7, 1941, to May 14, 1945 - when a kamikaze blew one of her elevators hundreds of meters sky high - she fought in WWII.

At one point in the Pacific, when Lexington, Wasp, Yorktown, and Hornet were sunk, and Saratoga damaged, she was the only U.S. carrier remaining in the entire Pacific. Whole war strategies depended on CV-6’s survival and strength, Enterprise vs. Japan. After the war, she languished until 1958 when she was scrapped. Admiral Halsey had been leading an effort to save her by turning her into a museum ship, but he was unable to raise enough money.

Third: USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was the first nuclear-powered ship, not to mention aircraft carrier, in the world. She ushered in the nuclear age for the navies of the world, and was the longest ship in the world. She was decommissioned in 2013, ending 51 years of service.

Fourth: Enterprise (OV-101), the space shuttle.

Originally to be named Constitution and rolled out on Constitution Day, thousands of letters to the White House convinced president Gerald Ford to name her Enterprise, after the ship from Star Trek. Speaking of Star Trek…

Fifth: USS Enterprise (XCV-330, NX-01) NCC-1701/A/B/C/D/E/J) plus ISS Enterprise (NX-01, NCC-1701). Originally supposed to be named after USS Yorktown (CV-5), she was renamed to Enterprise. Since then, Star Trek and therefore Enterprise has become one of the most famous scifi series to ever play on television. Amusingly, NCC-1701 is a Constitution-class vessel, just like how OV-101 was supposed to be named Constitution.

Sixth: Enterprise, Rent-A-Car. This company that you may or may not have rented a car from in this past was founded by WWII veterans.

A Japanese bomb exploding on the flight deck of USS Enterprise (CV-6), just aft of the island, on 24 August 1942.

Note: According to the original photo caption, this explosion killed the photographer, Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Robert F. Read. However, Morison’s “History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II” (volume 5, page 97) states that Read was killed by the bomb that had earlier hit the after starboard 5"/38 gun gallery, which can be seen burning in the upper left. Morison further states that the bomb seen here exploded with a low order detonation, inflicting only minor damage.

Suddenly there was a Jake - fat, dumb, and happy, cruising along far off my port wing. I too was fat, dumb, and happy. In fact, I had my shoes off, feet on top of the instrumental panel, smoking a cigar. I still don’t know what happened to the cigar. All I do know is that I was shortly 90 degrees port, full throttle, guns charged, and hands sweating. I knew I’d only have one chance.
—  Lieutenant Junior Grade Charles English Henderson III, torpedo bomber pilot from USS Enterprise (CV-6), recalls the moments before he shot down an Aichi E13A “Jake” floatplane with his TBF Avenger, during a scouting mission before the Battle of the Philippine Sea. 18 June 1944.

“Chikuma under air attack during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, 26 October 1942. Photographed from a USS Enterprise (CV-6) plane.

Note the smoke coming from her bridge area, which had been hit by a bomb, and what appears to be a recognition marking painted atop her number two eight-inch gun turret. The ship’s catapults and aircraft crane appear to be swung out over her sides, aft of amidships. The original photograph came from Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s World War II history project working files.”

(NHHC: NH 82404)