world war ii: uss enterprise

“Artwork titled “April Showers- USS Enterprise” by artist Commander Edward T. Grigware showing the flight deck and island of the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CV-6) in 1944. In the foreground a “yellow shirt” directs an F6F Hellcat as it taxis forward.”

(National Naval Aviation Museum: NNAM.1963.074.022)


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.

“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)