This page is dedicated to all Enterprise people - past, present and future - and to
my grandfather, Arthur F. Cunningham, the best Electrician's Mate I ever knew.
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) 1/350th Scale Model by Louis Carabott
1/350th scale model
of the Big E!

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) Ship's Logo
USS Enterprise (CVN 65)
Official Website

Welcome to

I hope you enjoy your stay aboard the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (my home for 4 years).
Click the 'Big E' button to start the tour!

Most photos were taken by myself or with my camera. Thank you for visiting, and please help yourself to a wallpaper from the Water page!

AO3 Smitty's USS Enterprise Logbook
message board and guestbook
Big E World Cruise '06 Homecoming
Big E World Cruise '06
Homecoming at Norfolk Naval Base

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) : The Big E Enterprise Hatches F/A-18 Hornet Ordies and Ordnance Ordies and Ordnance Part II: Legendary Enterprise Photos Squids and Shipwrecks
F-14B Tomcat Water, Water, Everywhere Airdales Big E In Portsmouth, U.K. Big E In Portsmouth, U.K. - Part II Vertreps, Ordies, and other Flight Deck photos

1958: Mid-Production
Big E in Mid-Production, 1958

1960: Launching of a legend
The Launching of a Legend, 1960

1967: Unrep at Yankee Station
USS Enterprise and USS Taluga unrep in Tonkin Gulf, 1967

1991: Big E entering drydock
Big E entering drydock, 1991

Pierside Homecomings
Big E Statistics

Designation: USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
Keel Laid: February 4, 1958
Launched: September 24, 1960
Commissioned: November 25, 1961
Overall Length: 1,123'
Width (at widest point): 257'
Height (from keel to mast): 250'
Area of Flight Deck: 4.47 acres
Area of Hangar Bay: 216,000 sq. feet
Displacement: 93,000 tons fully-loaded
75,000 tons without airwing, jet fuel, or ordnance
Crew: 5,500 (airwing + ship's company)
3,500 (ship's company only)
Nuclear Reactors: Eight
Horsepower: 280,000
Top Speed: 30+ knots
Propellors: Four, each measures 18' diameter
Rudders: Four, each weighs 35 tons
Anchors: Two, each weighs 32 tons

Mailing Address: [ sailor's rate & full name ]
[ sailor's department & division ]
USS Enterprise, CVN-65
FPO AE 09543-2810

Patch from Enterprise Overhaul, 1991-1994, Newport News Shipyard, Virginia

Construction on the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), began on February 4, 1958, and the ship was first launched to sea on September 24, 1960. The ship was commissioned into the US Navy's fleet on November 25, 1961, and since then has served as one of the fastest, finest, and most powerful military vessels in the world. Measuring 1,105 feet from stern to aft, she is the longest ship in the US Navy's fleet. Her four giant propellors are powered by eight nuclear reactors which can push her massive bulk of 90,000 tons at speeds well over 30 knots, making her one of the fastest ships in the fleet as well.

During her fifty-plus years of service, she has undergone several major overhauls and refits. In 1973 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA, the Big E was retrofitted to accomodate the Navy's newest fighter jet, the F-14 Tomcat. In January 1979, the Enterprise pulled into Puget Sound once again to begin an extensive 30-month overhaul in which the Big E's original 'beehive' island tower was removed and replaced with the current cubicle island tower. For nearly four years between December 1990 and September 1994, the Enterprise was stationed in drydock at Newport News Shipbuilding while undergoing what would be the longest and most extensive overhaul ever accomplished on any Naval vessel.

I checked onboard the Enterprise in 1992 while it was in the middle of that big overhaul. It was amazing seeing that gigantic city of steel sitting in the drydock being held up by giant wooden blocks. It was essentially gutted down to the steel hull, and was a noisy industrial construction work site. It looked like gray swiss cheese - holes everywhere from welders removing and replacing steel plates, and would have sank to the bottom of the James River if they tried to put water underneath it. For the next two years, I worked for several different crews that helped rebuild the ship, one of which was tasked with the dirty job of cleaning all the ship's air ventilation ductwork, and the other which rebuilt all the ship's berthing compartments, officer's staterooms, and all the ship's heads (that's bedrooms and bathrooms for you landlubbers.)

In September 2004, two years after I'd checked aboard the ship while it was in the drydock, we finally left the Newport News Shipyard, pulled out of the drydock, and floated down the James River on the ship's own power, towards it's original and once-again soon-to-be home at Norfolk Naval Base. I spent the next two years of my Naval service working as a flight deck ordnanceman, responsible for receiving, handling and storage, and distribution of the missiles and bombs that were flown by the various aircraft aboard the carrier. It was an excellent experience working up on the flight deck during flight operations. Being right there on the flight line just literally yards away from the powerful F-14 Tomcats, F/A-18 Hornets, A-6 Intruders, and other aircraft during launch and recovery operations was an experience I'll never forget. I proudly served for one full four-year term in the Navy and was honorably discharged in June of 1996, having achieved the rank of AO3, Aviation Ordanceman Petty Officer Third Class.

Most of the original photos on this site were taken in 1995 and 1996 while I worked for the Enterprise Weapons Department G-1 Flight Deck Ordance Division. The photos sat in a shoebox for a few years until 1999, when I started scanning them and uploading them to my AOL user account. I was in the middle of uploading some of my Big E photos when I got a dreaded 'out of disk space' message from AOL, so in June of 1999 I launched my own domain where this site has resided since then.

The USS Enterprise is scheduled to be decommissioned sometime between 2012 and 2015, and will have been in service for well over six decades when she is finally retired.

Homecoming 2007 at
Norfolk Naval Base

2007 Med Cruise

World Cruise '06
Homecoming at
Norfolk Naval Base

streaming videos

Bomb Writings
messages to Osama bin Laden

Downloadable .MP3
"When I'm In The US Navy"

more USS Enterprise and Navy resources...

AO3 Smitty's Page is the one-and-only Unofficial USS Enterprise (CVN 65) site listed at
Haze Gray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Lists

Take a virtual tour of the USS Enterprise by ImagicDigital
including the awesome 12-foot model of the Big E built by Steve Henninger
on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

The Official Website of Reactor and Engineering Departments
"Official Big E Rx Site"

CVN-65 stats, info, photos, links, and more...
"The Unofficial Page of the USS Enterprise"

"Voyages of the Enterprise"
A History of the Ships, Aircraft,
and Spacecraft Named

USS Enterprise CVAN-65
A Personal On-Line Museum

Navy NewsStand Focus on USS Enterprise

The USS Enterprise CVAN/CVN-65 Association

The AO Shack

The Association of Aviation Ordnancemen

The Colossus: Carrier News

This Military Aviation Webring site is owned by AO3 Smitty.

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In memory of the crew of the space shuttle Columbia: David M. Brown, Rick D. Husband, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael P. Anderson, William C. McCool, and Ilan Ramon.