Enterprise and U.S. Naval History
The USS Enterprise (CVN 65) is not the first ship in the U.S. Navy bearing the name. CVN 65 is named after the most decorated warship in U.S. Naval history, USS Enterprise (CV-6), the Navy's sixth aircraft carrier and the seventh ship to bear the name. Given the anticipation around the world's first nuclear-powered surface vessel and largest aircraft carrier to date, it seemed fitting to add it to the most prestigious lineage in the Navy.
The Enterprise Lineage
1775 - The first USS Enterprise was a sloop-of-war originally named George. She fought in the Battle of Quebec (1775) and the Battle of Valcour Island (1776) during the Revolutionary War for the Continental Navy.
1776 - The second Enterprise, a schooner, served on the Chesapeake Bay under the Continental Navy, also during the Revolutionary War.
1799 - The third USS Enterprise fired the first shots in the First Barbary War. She was built as a 12-gun schooner later re-rigged as a 14-gun brig.
1831 - The fourth USS Enterprise was a 10-gun schooner.
1874 - The fifth USS Enterprise (1874) was a barque-rigged screw sloop.
1917 - USS Enterprise (SP-790) was a motor yacht and served as a non-commissioned vessel during World War I.
1938 - USS Enterprise (CV-6), "Big E", was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier that served in World War II. It is the most decorated vessel in the history of the U.S. Navy. During the war in the Pacific, CV-6 and her air group sunk or damaged 35 Japanese vessels and shot down 185 Japanese aircraft. She received 20 battle stars and both a Presidential Unit Citation and a Navy Unit Commendation for her service. She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding.
1961 - USS Enterprise (CVN 65), also nicknamed "Big E," became the world's first nuclear-powered surface vessel when it was comissioned. It has served in every major U.S. military conflict in its 51-year service. CVN 65 Infographic
2012 - At the Inactivation Ceremony for CVN 65 on Dec. 1, 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that CVN 80 will carry on the name USS Enterprise. It will be the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier and, like the last two ships in its lineage, will be built by Newport News Shipbuilding.