She was one of the few carriers the U. S. Navy had on December 7, 1941 and luckily at sea on that fateful day. The USS Enterprise (CV-6) was also the flagship of Vadm. William F. Halsey at that time. Her name came from a long history of American naval warships the U.S. Navy had since the Revolutionary War. She was the second of the Yorktown-class carriers. She displaced 19,800 tons or almost 25,500 tons when fully loaded, built at Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned in 1938. Her two sister ships, the USS Yorktown and USS Hornet, fought with her at the Battle of Midway that resulted in the sinking of four Japanese Fleet carriers.
Her flight deck was almost 802-feet long and 86-feet wide. Powered by four steam turbines backed by nine boilers that turned four propellors, she had a listed top speed of just more than 32 knots. Her three flight deck elevators were 48-feet long and 44-feet wide each with a capacity of lifting 17,000 tons. She could carry up to 96 aircraft but typically went to sea with about 80-90 planes aboard. During wartime, her crew numbered as many as 2919 men.
Her war record during World War II was an illustrious one where she engaged in all but two of the naval battles of the Pacific war. During the Guadalcanal campaign, she fought during the two carrier battles, The Battle of the Eastern Solomons and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she sustained damage from Japanese air attacks. With her forward elevator disabled, she still managed to launch her aircraft that attacked Japanese ships during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
She served at sea during all of World War II and after many attempts to salvage her, the navy decommissioned her in 1947 and sold her for scrap in 1958. If you wish to read more of her history, you visit a web site that provides many more details of this great ship who served her country with distinction. Another ship now carries her famous name, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-6), thus keeping her legacy alive and well.