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USS Enterprise CV-6
The Most Decorated Ship of the Second World War

"Just as Enterprise deserves not to be forgotten, so too should her era not be forgotten."
Steve Ewing, from "USS Enterprise (CV-6): The Most Decorated Ship of World War II"

Enterprise left an indelible mark on the course of the Pacific War, and on the hearts of the men who served in her. Although the campaign to preserve Enterprise herself met with failure, her memory and spirit have been preserved in myriad ways, largely through the efforts of her former crew and air groups.

Memorials and Relics


Two flags known to have flown from Enterprise's mast still survive to the present day. Her battle flag at Santa Cruz (26 October 1942) was later presented to Landing Signal Officer LT Robin Lindsey for his exemplary performance that day, and is now on display in the USS Enterprise CV-6 exhibit at the National Museum of Naval Aviation, in Pensacola, Florida.

Commissioning Day Flag
The Big E's Commissioning Day flag, as displayed in Fall 1999, in Phoenix's professional baseball stadium.

For many years, this flag was believed to be the only Enterprise flag remaining, but a second flag surfaced during the summer of 1999. Raised on the Big E on her Commissioning Day (12 May 1938), the flag was presented to her Chief Signalman Chester B. Clark. After his death, his widow sold the flag to a collector, who in turn sold it to Atlantic Financial Corp., which displayed it for some time. The flag eventually ended up in the hands of E. G. Marshall & Associates - an auction house - until August 1999, when it was sold to Mr. Brian Hageman, of Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Hageman contacted the Enterprise Association and verified the flag's authenticity. For the first time in many years, the flag was put on public display, at Phoenix's Bank One Ballpark in Fall 1999. Mr. Hageman also generously loaned the flag to the Association for display at its National Reunion in October 1999.

Enterprise Stern Plate

Enterprise Nameplate
Enterprise's stern plate in its current location in River Vale, New Jersey. Photo courtesy Mel Hofer (pictured).

The difficult task of dismantling Enterprise was directed by W. Henry Hoffman. An engineer with an appreciation of history, Hoffman took over 150 photographs of Enterprise before and during her scrapping, and also took possession of the stern plate from her fantail: a massive steel work, 16 feet long, which proudly proclaimed the ship's name in raised letters. Hoffman donated the plate - the only major remaining piece of Enterprise's hull - to the township of River Vale, New Jersey, where for many years it was displayed behind the center field fence of a Little League ballfield.

On 2 October 2000, the stern plate - having been sandblasted and repainted - was placed in River Vale's Veterans Park - its new, permanent home - where a dedication ceremony was held 9 December 2000.

Ship's Bell and Anchor

Ship's Bell
Enterprise's ship's bell, in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 1950, the United States Naval Academy, with the assistance of then-Superintendent Admiral Harry W. Hill, took possession of the Enterprise ship's bell. The bell is now stationed in front of Bancroft Hall, in a mount donated by the Academy Class of 1921, and rung when the Academy observes Morning Colors, and to celebrate sports team victories over rival Army.

One of Enterprise's 15-foot tall anchors is on exhibit in the Washington Naval Yard, in Washington, DC, and maintained by the Naval Historical Center.

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Copyright © 1998-2003 Joel Shepherd (webmaster@cv6.org)
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