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Hornet and Enterprise

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Ron, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. Ron

    Ron Member

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    The fates of the other two US carriers of Midway are interesting.
    Hornet (from which B-25's had raided Tokyo) was lost at the Battle of Santa Cruz in October of 1942.
    She was damaged by torpedo hits, taken in tow, hit again, and declared a total loss so thus the US tried to scuttle her with destroyers, but before they could finish off her, the Japanese fleet chased them away and was finally sunk by torpedoes from 2 Japanese destroyers.
    Enterprise survived the war and became the most decorated US warship in WW2. recieving 20 battle stars (most for any US warship), only carrier to recieve both a Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Citation and recieved 5 other significant awards that even included a British Admirality pennant.
    She was seriously damaged on 7 occasions by bombs and kamakazes and lightly damaged 9 times. She claimed 911 enemy planes shot down by her guns and fighters, 71 ships sunk (that included Akagi, Kaga, and Hiryu) another 192 ships damaged and or sunk.
    Her battle history included: [1942] Raids on instalations at the Gilbert and Marshal Islands, Wake Island Raid, Marcus Island Raid, Doolittle Tokyo Raid, Battle of Midway, Occupation of Guadalcanal, Battle of Stewart Islands, Battle of Santa Cruz, Battle of Solomon Islands [1943] Occupation of Rennel Island, Gilbert Island Occupation, Kwajalein Atol Raid, [1944] Marshall Island Occuption, Truk Islands Raid, Jaluit Raid, Pelau-Woleai-Yap Islands Raids, another Truk Islands Raid, Marianas Islands Occupation, Battle of Philippean Sea, Occupation of Palau, Formosa Raid, Occupation of Leyte Island, Raids on the Philippean Islands. [1945] Raids on Tokyo and Japanese main Islands, Occupation of Iwo Jima, and finally the Occupation of Okinawa.
    She was a literal time machine for the battles of the Pacific war. However what was the fate of the most decorated US warship?
    after victory voyages after the surrender she was dry docked at Bayonne, New Jersey. She was never modernized and thus mothballed. Attempts were made to save her but proper funds could never be attained. In 1958 The battle hardend Enterprise was brought to Kearny, New Jersey for the biggest indignity of an experienced warship. She was sold for scrap for $561,333. Slowly eaten away over 2 years; her final Battle and the only one she lost was finished in March of 1960 when Enterprise finally was no more.
    However there still are pieces of her around: Her anchor is at the Washington Navy Yard, Her battle history plaque is with her elevator tower which is at the Navy-Marine Corps football stadium at the Navy Academy{the ships bell is here also} The fantail portion of the ship with "Enterprise" on it is in River Vale, New Jersey.
    A sad ending to a great ship but interesting nontheless.

    ------------------
    Admiral William "Bull" Halsey...

    There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.
     
  2. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    I have a piece of her!! My dad was an Ensign/Lt. aboard the Enterprise during 1942/43. From the USS Enterprise Association I obtained several blocks of wood salvaged from the flight deck of CV-6 when she was broken up. From the blocks I made thin sheets of wood, then built a 1/500-scale Enterprise using the flight deck wood of the original CV-6 for the wooden flight deck of the model!! It was proudly on display at the "Centennial of Naval Aviation, 1911-2011" exhibit in Coronado (San Diego, CA) this past year. Here is a so-so pic of it! (Of course, during the war the deck would have been painted, but I used "artistic license" to leave it exposed for the benefit of display.)

    [​IMG]
     
  3. grunt49

    grunt49 Member

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    I remember as a kid, must have been early 60's, reading a short article in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics about the process of dismantling the Enterprise. I recall being surprised that they'd sold off a famous ship like that.
     
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    America in the early-mid sixties was a different place from today. Actually I regret the destruction of Saratoga a bit more as she had a unique outline, though the Big E had a better war record. They just couldn't save everything.
     
  5. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    They're doing the same thing with the "replacement" Enterprise (CVN-65). Now, as in the past, it is just too expensive to immobilize large ships. If I recall correctly, the group that tried to save CV-6 ran short of their fundraising goal and didn't have enough money to acquire the ship. There was a group trying to do the same with CVN-65, but they fell short as well.
     
  6. DaveBj

    DaveBj Member

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    The History Channel did a series called Battle 360 on the activities of the Enterprise during WWII. The DVDs can be purchased, or one can also watch segments on Youtube.

    DaveBj
     
  7. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    What a genuinely irreplaceable piece! Top marks for originality.
     
  8. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Here is something I posted on the old Enterprise thread. It's an account of the Big Es last battle. In this post I share an account from Ed Stafford's fine book The Big E.

    Her last days in the war were much like all her operations, she was right in the thick of it. On May 6th after undergoing repairs after a kamikaze crashed into her side off Okinawa, she was assigned to TF 58.3 along with Essex, Bunker Hill (Mitscher's flag, and my old ship) and Randolph for ops off Kyushu. Enterprise was specializing in night air ops, relatively new-but pioneered by Enterprise aviators. On the 11th of May Bunker Hill was hit by two Kamikazes and nearly sunk, Mitscher transferred his flag to Enterprise. He was never a big fan of night ops, but observing first hand he was quickly won over. On the morning of the 14th the Japanese were sending a lot of Kamakazes out towards the task force, by 0650 the CAP had splashed all the attackers before they could get within 20 miles.
    Even though this took her out of the war, she was lucky as the bomb exploded in a storeroom full of bundled rags and bed linens. She suffered relatively light casualties for such a heavily damaged ship-13 dead and 48 wounded.

    At the bottom of the wreckage in the elevator shaft the body of Chief Pilot Tomi Zai was found. As Stafford says, he had accomplished what the Imperial Japanese Navy had failed to do in 3 1/2 years of concentrated effort. He had knocked the Big E out of the war.
     
  9. Raider42

    Raider42 recruit

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    I think it was a travesty what happened to the "Big E" after the war. If any ship deserved to be saved it was her. She was the only carrier to make it through from beginning to end and should have been made into a museum to honor all those navy personnel that died to preserve our freedom!
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Raider42, welcome to the forum!. Agreed it would have been grand to save her.
     
  11. 36thID

    36thID Member

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    Raider42, I agree and I'm in Ballwin !
     
  12. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Me too. 1959 seems to have been a housecleaning year for the Navy; that was also when they finally disposed of the "Big Five" battleships and the remaining prewar heavy cruisers.
     

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