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[NNAM.1996.488.272.014] Literature and Research - 'Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection'
Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection
Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection
Accession Number NNAM.1996.488.272.014
Accession Date 01/05/1996
Date Created 10/26/1942
Object Desciption A bomb explodes in the water after a near miss on the carrier Enterprise (CV 6) during an attack by Japanese aircraft during the Battle of Santa Cruz.
Object Notes The USS Enterprise (CVN-6) was the first nuclear aircraft carrier. She was commissioned Nov. 25, 1961 and continues in Navy service. She carries 80 aircraft. Several carrier commanders have said that the great advantage of nuclear power is the availability of vast reserves of electrical and steam power and the assurance that fuel will not be used up too rapidly. Even a carrier steaming at less than flank speed uses a lot of power to catapult aircraft. The reactors of a nuclear carrier have such large margins designed into them that the achievement of full electrical power is no problem. The nuclear carrier also has the freedom to steam at full speed, over 30 knots, for an extended period. The faster the carrier the more difficult a target she is for preplanned long-range air strikes. The primary role for which the F4-A had been purchased was interception and air superiority, but deployment of the type to Vietnam put emphasis upon secondary strike role carrying a wide range of external stores. Destroyers and cruisers are fast enough to keep up with a carrier. The destroyers functioned as anti-submarine warfare, missile defense and man overboard pick ups. Cruisers served as anti aircraft or enemy ship protection in a task force
Medium Black and white
Notes USS Yorktown (CV 5), USS Enterprise (CV 6) and USS Hornet (CV 8) comprised an improved Third Generation of carriers. Yorktown and Enterprise were laid down in 1934. Hornet was not laid down until 1939. These ships approximated 20,000 tons and had 34-knot capability. There was a starboard island, encompassing navigation and flag bridges,as well as flight control and uptake, a configuration that would persist for all succeeding generations of U.S. carriers. Their notional air groups numbered some 80 aircraft. Each ship had three elevators, and 8 5" multipurpose guns and a large number of fixed-ammunition rapid-fire guns for close-in defense.

Enterprise escorted Hornet for the 1942 Doolittle raid. Together with Yorktown and Hornet she took part in the Battle of Midway, and was heavily damaged in the Guadalcanal/Santa Cruz Islands battle attending the invasion of Guadalcanal and the opening of the Solomons Campaigns. Following repair and overhaul Enterprise took part in many subsequent Pacific engagements during the Central Pacific island hopping and the Battle of the Philippine Sea (the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot). Enterprise was among those carriers that covered the Iwo Jima landings. The U.S. Navy entered World War II with seven carriers of the 1930s era, only three of which - Saratoga (CV 3), Ranger (CV 4) and Enterprise - survived. Enterprise was one of the most decorated ships of the war. She was damaged by bombs and twice by kamikaze attacks, the second time in May1945, off Okinawa. Enterprise did not fight again after this attack, her subsequent service including transporting returning servicemen back to the United States as part of Operation Magic Carpet, Decommissioned in 1947, she was sold for scrap in 1958.
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