USA USS Entreprise CV 6 Part 1 (English Version)

Article écrit par : Claude Balmefrezol

Mis en ligne le 16/11/2008 à 18:01:21



The CV 6 USS Enterprise
Part 1 Operational Life (Part 2)
French Version


The Big E was the most decorated ship of WW2
the Yorktown-class carriers were the first class of   aircraft carrier built since the beginning as an aircraft carrier and they , were built with the experience gained from earlier carrier designs: the CV2 and CV3 Lexington and Saratoga which were built on converted battle-cruiser hulls and the CV4 Ranger first US carrier specifically designed as a carrier. The CV-6 Enterprise was  the second of the three Yorktown-class carriers.
On October 3rd 1936 Mrs. Claude A. Swanson sends Enterprise down the ways at Newport News, News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. . This ship at this time was the seventh ship of that now-historic name to serve the United States.



Butto arrive at this moment you can make a flash back and return in 1921
In November 1921, the major world powers had gathered in Washington, D.C. for a conference aimed at heading off a developing naval arms race. After negotiations, the Washington Naval Treaty emerged. The treaty imposed a naval tonnage ratio between the five signatory powers: the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France and Italy.
This treaty was simple for every five capital ships built by the British, and the United States Japan could built 3 and France and Italy 1.75
The maximum tonnage of any battle ship was to 35,000 tons, and imposed a ten year moratorium on any capital ship construction , Most of new battle ship in construction were scrapped and some were transformed in Air craft carrier. For the USA treaty allowed 135,000 tons for aircraft carrier .So the first three carriers built by the United States were the CV1 . Langley CV- a converted collier and 2 . converted battle cruisers CV2  Lexington and CV 3 Saratoga His It his the only solution because the  hulls will been scrapped to meet treaty limits. And CV 4 Ranger launched in February 1933,.
An other event took place in  on July 1921,
Billy Mitchell an US aviation pioneer had graphically demonstrated the potential of air power, when  eight biplane bombers under his command sank the former German battleship Oestfriedland before hundreds of observers .
In 1931, USA with  55,000 tons under the carrier limit set by treaty, decide to built  two 19,800 ton carriers, In the summer of 1933, after the election of  Franklin Roosevelt the , Congress enacted a huge package of legislation known as the New Deal .The federal state   paid workers thanks to the Public Works Administration , one of the many new federal programs created by the New Deal ,which, allotted $238 million for new naval construction, including nearly $ 40 million for the two new carriers. The first  the CV 5 Yorktown, was laid down May 21st 1934, at the Newport News shipyard and his  sister ship Enterprise, was laid down July 16th followed by the CV8 Hornet This ships took nearly four years each to build and fit out. The aircraft carrier class, while of a third smaller displacement than Lexington and Saratoga, could carry practically the same number of aircraft, and 30% more aviation fuel.
Enterprise was commissioned on May 12th  1938, and she go to Rio de Janeiro for her shakedown cruise.  After  January 2nd 1939, she make fleet exercises in the Caribbean with sister ship Yorktown under the of Rear Admiral William F. Halsey an  in April 1939, she was based at San Diego and in May 1940, Enterprise with f the rest of the Pacific fleet was transferred to a new base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii island  were he is the only other carrier based at Pearl Harbor  
Immediately after the attack, Enterprise was ordered to seek out and attack the Japanese fleet. On December 9th 1941, The war begin for the USS Enterprise
The USS Enterprise and WW2


1942 began much as 1941 had ended, with patrols on the western approaches to the Hawaiian islands and periodically returned to Pearl Harbor for supplies,
February 1st 1942 - Gilbert and Marshall Islands Raid and
February 24th 1942 - Wake Island Raid
LCDR Lieutenant Commander

CEAG: Commander Howard L Brigham Young 
  VB 6 
LCDF W Hollingsworth
18 SBD-2 Dauntless
LCDR Halstead Hopping
M.I.A. off Roi, 1 Fevrier 1942
LT Earl Gallaher
Eff. 5 Fevrier 1942 
18 F4F-3 Wildcat
LCDR C. Wade McClusky
18 TBD Devastator
LCDR Eugene Lindsey



April 18th  1942
Escort of USS, Hornet launched US Army B-25 aircraft for attack on Tokyo by Doolittle




CEAG:  Lieutenant Commander C. Wade McClusky



SBD-2/3 Dauntless
LCDR Max Leslie
F4F 4 Wildcat
Lt James Gray
SBD-2/3 Dauntlesses
LT Richard H. Best
TBD-1 Devastator
LCDR Eugene Lindsey


April 30th to May 26th 1942 Delivered Marine Fighter Squadron to Efate. Not participation, to Coral Sea Battle because she arrive too late to be engaged in the battle ( May 7th and 8th 1942 )

CEAG: Lieutenant Commander. Wade McClusky
SBD-2/3 Dauntless
LT Richard H. Best
18 SBD-2/3 Dauntless
LT Earl Gallaher
F4F 4 Wildcat
Lt James Gray
TBD-1 Devastator
LCDR Eugene Lindsey

May 28th June 13th 1942 battle of Midway


Battle of Midway

After a series of raids during the spring, Enterprise, Yorktown CV-5 and Hornet CV-8 give an abrupt halt at the Japanese fleet at Midway


CEAG: Lieutenant Commander Wade McClusky
SBD-2/3 Dauntless
LT Richard H. Best
18 SBD-2/3 Dauntless
LT Earl Gallaher
F4F 4 Wildcats
Lt James Gray
TBD-1 Devastators
LCDR Eugene Lindsey
+June 4th to 13th from Yorktown (sunked)
SBD-2/3 Dauntless
Lt Shumway
LT Wallace Short 
July 15th to August 25th 1942 Occupation of Guadalcanal, and battle pf Eastern Salomon with on August 24th 1942 - Battle of Stewart Islands
During summer 1942 , Enterprise covered the Allied landings on Guadalcanal But during the Battle of the Eastern Salomon in August she was heavily damaged
CEAG: Lieutenant Commander Max Leslie
18 SBD-3 Dauntless
LT Ray Davis
18 SBD-3 Dauntless
LT Turner F. Caldwell
36 F4F-4 Wildcat
LT Louis H. Bauer
15 TBF-1 Avenger
LCDR C. M. Jett

10 September - 16 October 1942 - under repair in Pearl Harbor Navy Yard
26 October 1942 - Battle of Santa Cruz Islands
Under Attack October 1942

.After the Battle of Santa Cruz in October, she go once more in November to block another major Japanese effort to retake Guadalcanal.
During the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, on November 12th to 15th 1942, the US Navy after five days of heavy combat, destroyed the Japanese landing forces and their supporting battle groups, . This action signalling the end of Japan's southern expansion
CAG: Lieutenant Commander Richard K. Gaines

4-15 November 1942 - Battle of Solomon Island

CAG: Lieutenant Commander Richard K. Gaines
18 SBD-3 Dauntless
LCDR J. A. Thomas
18 SBD-3 Dauntless (Redesignated VB-20, 1 March 1943)
LCDR James R. Lee
LT William I. Martin
Eff. 1 March 1943
36 F4F-4 Wildcat
LCDR James Flatley
LCDR William R. "Killer" Kane
Eff. 13 February 1943
15 TBF-1 Avenger
LCDR John A. Collett
K.I.A. 26 October 1942
LT Albert P. Coffin
Eff. 26 October 1942 
In 1942 the Big E was struck six times by Japanese bombs, and more than 300 of her men were killed or wounded
The losses for US Navy were important CV2 Lexington was lost in May, and Yorktown less than a month later. And the CV7 . Wasp CV-7, was sunk by three torpedoes on September 16, was not so lucky.
And in august, CV3 Saratoga CV-3 hit by torpedoes was forced to retire to Pearl Harbor
The beginning of 1943 is marked by a period of recovery and regrouping for both Japan and the United States after the hard battles of 1942,
But the fighting not ceased entirely.
On Guadalcanal the fight continued until February 9th 1943.during this period in late January, known place the Battle of Rennell when USS Enterprise was sent into the Coral Sea, to cover the landings of four transports full of men and supplies on Guadalcanal, In her final engagement in the seas around Guadalcanal, she provided air cover for the heavy cruiser USS Chicago, torpedoed by land-based Japanese planes the evening of January 29th . But the USS hit by four more torpedoes sunk
Halsey - operating under MacArthur's command - would conduct a series of landings in the Solomon Islands, from Guadalcanal to New Georgia, and on to Bougainville, just 250 miles from Rabaul. In the end, Rabaul was isolated and bypassed, but not without several bitter night engagements between Japanese and Allied surface forces.( operation Cartwheel )
From May 8th to October 31st 1943 US Enterprise was under repair at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard and after at Puget Sound Navy Yard

November 10th to December 9th 1943- Gilbert Island Occupation Makin Island, Tarawa, Kwajalein Atoll

CAG: Lieutenant Commander Edward "Butch" O'Hare (M.I.A. 26 November 1943)
CAG: Lieutenant Commander John C. Phillips (Eff. 4 December 1943)
SBD-3 Dauntless
LT William M. Hampton
TBF-1 Avenger
LCDR John C. Phillips
F6F-3 Hellcat
LCDR William A. Dean 

she return in Pearl Harbor on November 6th
But now around the surviving veterans of 1942. Enterprise and Saratoga, we found now over a dozen new flattops, including six new Essex-class fleet carriers.
Returning to action November 19, off the Gilbert Islands, Enterprise would not return to the United States for another 560 days
Task Force 58

1944 in all the Theater of operations is the year where war would be won or lost.
On January 22nd 1944, the Task Force 58, slowly filed out of Pearl Harbor and set course southwest for the Marshall Islands. She his divided into four task groups - any one of which could have crushed the Japanese forces at the Eastern Solomons or Santa Cruz - the "big blue fleet" would not return to Pearl Harbor until the war's end.
It is the application by the USA of the War Plan Orange Or liberation of the Philippines by two simultaneous offensives one commanded by General Douglas Mac Arthur from the south and the other led by Admirals Spruance and Mitscher through the Marshall and Marianas islands
The Japan would be attract the US Navy into Japanese home waters, to be destroyed in a single, decisive battle and USS Enterprise was tirelessly in action for the entire year.
We found all the action took part by the USS Enterprise during 1944
29 January - 4 February 1944 Raid on Taroa, in the Marshall islands, and to the north of Kwajalein atoll in preparation for its occupation
16-17 February 1944 Truk Islands raid . Truk was the Japan's feared mid-Pacific fortress, USS Enterprise break her own record for the tonnage of bombs dropped in a single day, and launch the first night bombing attack in the history of naval warfare.
20 February 1944 Jaluit raid she covered the Emirau landings (one of the few easy landings of the war )
30 March - 1 April 1944 Palau, Woleai and Yap Islands raid where she bomb the Japanese defenders of the Palau atoll, including Peleliu
20-24 April 1944 She raid Woleai, sailed to Majuro atoll for a short rest, then headed south to cover MacArthur's landings at Hollandia, on the northwest coast of New Guinea
29-30 April 1944 New Truk Islands raid and return to Majuro
11 June - 5 July 1944 Marianas Island occupation Like in ETO simultaneously, in PTO a fleet of 535 ships and 127,000 soldiers and Marines bore down on Guam, Saipan and Tinian: major links in Japan's inner defensive line.USS Enterprise hammered on Japanese planes and air fields in the Marianas, in preparation for invasion launched on June 15th .
19-20 June 1944 Battle of the Philippine Sea the last great carrier battle of the war when US Task Force with Mitscher and Spruance faced off against Ozawa in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and destroyed Japan's naval air power for good
16 July - 4 August 1944 under repair Pearl Harbor Navy Yard ,and to bring aboard a new air group: Air Group 20.
31 August - 3 September 1944 - Bonin Islands raid and on Yap, Ulithi, Peleliu
6-18 September 1944 - occupation of Palau
10 October 1944 - Nansei Shoto raid
12-13 October 1944 Formosa raid
14-31 October 1944 occupation of Leyte Island
24-25 October 1944 second Battle of the Philippine Sea
11-19 November 1944 Philippine Islands raids

CAG: Commander Roscoe L. Newman (CV-6 Air Officer, eff. 23 February 1944)
CAG: Commander William R. "Killer" Kane (Eff. 23 February 1944)
SBD-3 Dauntless
LCDR Richard L. Poor
To Air Dept. 1 June 1944
LCDR James D. 'Jig Dog' Ramage
Eff. 1 June 1944
4 F4U-2(N) Corsair
LCDR Richard E. Harmer
F6F-3 Hellcat
LCDR William R. "Killer" Kane
LCDR R. W. Schumann Jr.
Eff. 23 February 1944
TBF-1 Avenger
LCDR William I. Martin 

Air Group 20
On Christmas 1944 USS Enterprise was re designated CV(N)-6. The "N" stood for "Night". Because she was the first fleet carrier able to fight around-the-clock warfare.
CAG: Commander CDR Daniel "Dog" Smith
20 SB2C Helldiver
CDR R. Emmett Riera
LCDR Raymond E. Moore
Eff. 10 November 1944
?  VF(N)-78
4 F6F-3(N)    Hellcas
CDR James Gray
32 F6F-5 Hellcat
CDR Fred Bakutis 
16 TBM-1C Avenger
LCDR Samuel L. Prickett 
Night Air Group 90
In attacks in October 1944 the first Kamikaze attack change the nature and psychology of the Pacific war.
In the face of this threat, and with Japanese naval air power in ruins, U.S. carrier forces had three primary roles:
providing air support for ground forces and landings,
providing air defense for the fleet,
suppressing Japan's ground-based air forces.
As a night carrier, carrying Night Air Group 90, Enterprise was particularly involved in the latter two missions.
Luzon Invasion, Tokyo Raids Iwo Jima, Okinawa
CAG: Commander William I. Martin
34 F6F-5(N) Hellcat
LCDR Robert J. McCullough
21 TBM-3D Avenger
LT Russell F. Kippen
K.I.A. 21 January 1945                                       
LT "C" "B" Collins
Eff. 22 January 1945
K.I.A. 22 February 1945
LT C. E. Henderson
Eff. 22 February 1945

7-8 January 1945 support of invasion of Luzon Island.
12-16 January 1945 strikes on French Indo-China, Hong Kong and Canton
20-22 January 1945 strikes on Formosa and Okinawa
16-17 February 1945 first carrier strikes on TokyoDwarfing the Doolittle raid of April 1942, the February 16-17 strikes on Tokyo involved nearly 800 Navy fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes: blasting airfields, shipping and port facilities and industrial targets in and around Tokyo Night Air Group 90 (NAG-90)of the USS Entreprise flew into Tokyo Bay at dusk February 16, attacking the air base at Yokosuka, tearing up planes and airfields, radio and radar installations, trains and depots.
19 February - 9 March 1945 In support of occupation of Iwo Jima with attacks nearby enemy airfields, and providing close air support for the Marines who landed on February 19th On Iwo Jima, 5931 Marines, 881 sailors and over 20,000 Japanese defenders died.
Kamikaze attacks sank the escort carrier Bismarck Sea CVE-95, and knocked old Saratoga . USS Enreprise provided air defense Iwo Jima Only severe weather forced the Big E to halt flight operations on March 2nd .
18-21 March 1945 Strikes on Kyushu and Shikoku , in preparation for the Okinawa landings The next day, USS Enterprise herself was under attack. Late in the afternoon, two 'Judy' bombers dove on the ship in separate attacks. The near misses caused no serious damage. After 20 minutes of fire-fighting efforts, fires were under control, and 15 minutes later, out for good.
Burning Hellcat

7-12 April 1945 In support of occupation of Okinawa After reparation at Ulithi, on April 5, she sailed to joint TF 58 off Okinawa, where the 3rd Marine Corps and XIV Army Corps had landed on April 1.
On the 6th, as the Big E steamed northwest, 350 Kamikazes attacked TF 58, sinking three ships. Over the next six weeks, suicide attacks sank another 33 ships and damaged 368 others. On April 11, for the second time in less than a month, Enterprise was again attacked. Two Kamikazes crashed within yards of her, wrenching her hull, killing one man, and wounding 18.
6-11 May 1945 - After a withdrew to Ulithi for repairs , three weeks later, she returned to combat with strikes on Anami Gunto and Daito Gunto On May 11th after the attack on CV 17 Bunker Hill CV-17 Mitscher transferred his Flag to Enterprise.
11-14 May 1945 Strikes on Kyushu and Shikoku
On 14th may one Kamikazes penetrate the destroyer screen, and hit USS Enterprise, The explosion sent the 15 ton elevator rocketing 125 meters into the air, wounding 72 men and killing 12. And on 16 May 1945, she withdrew from combat .
She would not return to war. returning to Pearl Harbor, she received an enormous pennant: She was repaired and overhauled: to Pier 6 in Puget Sound Navy Yard when Japan surrendered on August 14th 1945.
She rejoined the fleet in New York Harbor October 17, for the Navy Day celebration on October 27.
After is the Magic Carpet voyage Her last Magic Carpet voyage took her to the Azores, where she picked up 3557 passengers, including 212 WACS, returning to New York January 17, 1946. The next day she moored at Bayonne, New Jersey: a proud ship, but never to sail under her own power again.

After WW2
She remained in active service until February 17th 1947 when she was decommissioned, and reclassified as a unit in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.
As a reserve unit she was redesigned CVA-6 (attack carrier) in October 1952, and then CVS-6 (anti-submarine carrier) on August 8th 1953. But she could not economically to be modernized
In October 1956, US Navy released a list of ships to scrapped . The list included Enterprise, as well as several of the great battleships that had fought at her side: North Carolina, South Dakota and Washington
When the Navy announced it could no longer maintain Enterprise; the Association stepped forward to save her. But all as a catch and the Association have ,no money to assume full fiscal responsibility for maintaining Enterprise
Having served the USA ,CV 6 Enterprise or, the Big E, the Galloping Ghost, "the carrier that fought the most throughout the entire war" - was sold for scrap on July 1, 1958 and in March 1960, she was gone.

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