On November 25th, 1961, USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was commissioned into the service of the US Navy. On Friday, November 25th, 2011, she marked her 50th year of service to this nation.
equivalence on her flight deck. She is in company with the nuclear-powered cruiser
USS Long Beach and the nuclear-powered destroyer USS Bainbridge.
The three ships circumnavigated the world in 65 days during Operation Sea Orbit
without refueling or requiring resupply, setting a new record.
Enterprise has seen generations of service personnel come and go - as many as a quarter of a million of them, according to one source. I'm informed there are several cases where three generations of a single family have served aboard her; the grandparent in the 1960's, then the parent in the 1980's, then the son or daughter in the 2000's.
Enterprise is the first and only aircraft carrier to have rendered 50 years of service in any navy. The ship is scheduled to be retired in 2013, when she will be well into her 52nd year of service.
Today and tomorrow will see special commemorative celebrations, to which all who have served aboard Enterprise have been invited. A photo tribute to her 50 years of service may be found here.
Congratulations to the ship, her present crew and air group, and all who have helped to make her the icon of the US Navy that she has become.