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News Release No. 1232-31, page 1.

News Release No. 1232-31, page 2.

News Release [DOD Seal] Depatment of Defense
Please Note Date Office of Public Affairs
Washington 25, D.C.
Immediate Release October 31, 1961 No. 1232-61
OXford 7-6161

The world's largest ship, the Navy's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, Enterprise, successfully completed her initial sea trials today.

Enterprise put to sea from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, at 9:14 A.M., October 29, 1961. During these trials she developed her design full power, and demonstrated her ability to go from full speed ahead to emergency astern.

The Enterprise has a length of 1101 feet, a flight deck beam of 252 feet, and a displacement of 85,000 tons. Her eight pressurized water nuclear power plants enable her to operate for extended periods without refueling; this increases her striking capacity and operational flexibility. In continuous operation she could circle the earth several times at high speed.

The nuclear propulsion plant trials were under the direction of Vice Admiral H.G. Rickover, USN, acting for the Atomic Energy Commission and the Navy.

Commanding officer of the Enterprise is Captain V. P. De Poix, USN, of Newport News, Virginia.

Aboard for trials were Commissioner L. K. Olson, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission; Vice Admiral H. D. Riley, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Operations and Readiness); Vice Admiral F. O'Beirne, USN, Commander, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Rear Admiral R. K. James, USN, Chief of the Bureau of Ships; Rear Admiral F. B. Schultz, Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ships; Captain W. M. Ryon, USN, President of the U.S. Navy Board of Inspection and Survey; and Commander A. F. Hancock, USN, of the Office of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia.

The Atomic Energy Commission was also represented by Lieutenant Commander R. E. Kosiba, USN, Senior AEC Representative, Newport News; Mr. G. A. Pricew, Chairman of the Board, and Mr. C. H. Weaver, Vice President, Atomic Power Group, Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Mr. P. N. Ross, Manager of the AEC's Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory; Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company was represented by Mr. W. E. Blewett, Jr., President; and M. L. Ireland, Jr., Vice President, Nuclear Power Activities.

The Enterprise is the second of four nuclear powered surface ships authorized by Congress. The first is the guided missile cruiser USS Long Beach, which was commissioned in September and is now at sea, and the third is the guided missile frigate Bainbridge, which is expected to go to sea in 1962. One additional nuclear powered frigate was authorized by Congress this year.


Operation of the Enterprise, together with the nuclear powered Long Beach and the Bainbridge will make possible the first nuclear powered surface task force with the practically unlimited endurance and seakeeping qualities afforded by nuclear power. These ships could profoundly affect present concepts of Naval warfare.

The reactor plant for the Enterprise was designed and developed by the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in cooperation with and under the technical direction of the Naval Reactors Branch of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The Bettis Laboratory is operated for the Atomic Energy Commission by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

Enterprise was designed by and built under the cognizance of the Bureau of Ships of the Navy Department. The Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia, was responsible to this Bureau for the construction of the ship, including installation of the nuclear propulsion plant components.

The keel of Enterprise was laid at Newport News on February 4, 1958. She was christened on September 24, 1960, by Mrs. William B. Franke, wife of the then Secretary of the Navy.


Source: Enterprise, USS file, ZC files, Navy Department Library.

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