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Enterprise (CVN-65)

(Formerly CVAN-65) 

KN-9027

KN-9027. Task group of nuclear-powered surface ships operating in formation in the Mediterranean Sea, 18 June 1964. The ships are the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVAN-65), left; the guided-missile cruiser Long Beach (CGN-9), center; and the guided-missile frigate Bainbridge (DLGN-25), right. Official U.S. Navy photograph. Click image to download.

Ship History

The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was commissioned on 25 November 1961 and completed 25 deployments during 51 years of service. Click the links below to access the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entries for Enterprise, which provide the carrier's history by time period.

1961–1965 | 1966–1970 | 1971–1975 | 1976–1980 | 1981–1985

1986–1990 | 1991–1995 | 1996–2000 | 2001–2004

Command operations reports from Enterprise also provide information on the ship's operational history.

Digital Content

  • Enterprise infographic. Available for download from the multimedia gallery, this infographic shares a brief glimpse into one of the most storied ships in U.S. Navy history. The infographic was originally posted shortly after Enterprise was inactivated in 2012, after 51 years of service.
  • JFK Visits the Atlantic Fleet (1962). Available on YouTube, this 1962 Navy film follows President John F. Kennedy on a visit to the Atlantic Fleet and Camp Lejeune. Two other future presidents (Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford) were also present during the visit. Navy and Marine Corps units conducted extensive exercises in the presence of the President, including air operations, anti-submarine exercises, and an amphibious assault landing.
  • The Nuclear Navy (released 1967). Available on YouTube, this 1967 Navy documentary explores the development of nuclear power in the United States Navy.

Enterprise Commanding Officers

Click each portrait to download image; view list of dates of command below.


Vice Adm. de Poix

Adm. Michaelis

Adm. Holloway

Vice Adm. Lee

Vice Adm. Petersen

Rear Adm. Tissot

Vice Adm. Smith

Rear Adm. Austin

Adm. Kelly

Rear Adm. Leuschner

Vice Adm. Spane

Rear Adm. Rittenour

Capt. Roper

Vice Adm. Naughton

Vice Adm. Malone

Vice Adm. Chanik

Adm. Winnefeld

Capt. Neidlinger

Rear Adm. Rice

Rear Adm. Horton

Capt. Honors

Rear Adm.
Mewbourne

Capt. Hamilton

Capt. Beltz
 

List of Commanding Officers

Commanding Officer Date
1. Vincent P. de Poix, VADM, USN (Ret.) November 25, 1961 - July 20, 1963
2. Frederick H. Michaelis, ADM, USN (Ret.)
Died August 13, 1992
July 20, 1963 - July 17, 1965
3. James L. Holloway III, ADM, USN (Ret.) July 17, 1965 - July 11, 1967
4. Kent L. Lee, VADM, USN (Ret.) July 11, 1967 - July 8, 1969
5. Forrest S. Petersen, VADM, USN (Ret.)
Died December 8, 1990 
July 8, 1969 - December 3, 1971
6. Ernest E. Tissot, Jr., RADM, USN (Ret.) December 3, 1971 - April 9, 1974
7. Carol C. Smith, Jr., VADM, USN
Died October 14, 1983 
April 9, 1974 - December 10, 1976
8. James W. Austin, RADM, USN (Ret.) December 10, 1976 - February 23, 1980
9. Robert J. Kelly, ADM, USN (Ret.) February 23, 1980 - June 17, 1983
10. Robert L. Leuschner, Jr., RADM, USN (Ret.) June 17, 1983 - January 28, 1986
11. Robert J. Spane, VADM, USN (Ret.) January 28, 1986 - October 28, 1988
12. Harry T. Rittenour, RDML, USN (Ret.) October 28, 1988 - August 7, 1991
13. Daniel C. Roper, CAPT, USN (Ret.) August 7, 1991 - August 27, 1993
14. Richard J. Naughton, VADM, USN (Ret.)
Died February 25, 2011 
August 27, 1993 - February 2, 1996
15. Michael D. Malone, VADM, USN (Ret.) February 2, 1996 - November 10, 1997
16. Evan M. Chanik, VADM, USN (Ret.) November 10, 1997 - March 10, 2000
17. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., ADM, USN (Ret.) March 10, 2000 - February 15, 2002
18. Eric C. Neidlinger, CAPT, USN (Ret.) February 15, 2002 - December 10, 2004
19.  Lawrence S. Rice, RADM, USN (Ret.) December 10, 2004 - May 17, 2007
20. Ronald Horton, RDML, USN (Ret.) May 17, 2007 - May 6, 2010
21. Owen P. Honors Jr., CAPT, USN (Ret.) May 6, 2010 - January 4, 2011
22. Dee L. Mewbourne, RADM, USN January 4, 2011 - August 17, 2011
23. William C. Hamilton, Jr., CAPT, USN (Ret.) August 17, 2011 - October 15, 2015
24. Todd A. Beltz, CAPT, USN October 15, 2015 - February 3, 2017
NH 106551-KN

NH 106551-KN. USS Enterprise (CVN-65) underway, probably in the 1990s. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Click image to download.
Published:Wed Feb 22 15:09:43 EST 2017