USS Enterprise (CVN-65)

The First Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier


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About the Book

This is the thrilling story of USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Her story spans 51 years (1961-2012) of active service from the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis to the first global cruise by nuclear-powered ships, to the first strikes during the Vietnam War, battles against the Iranians and Iraqis in the 1980s and 1990s, a pivotal role during 9/11 and the Global War on Terrorism, and hunting pirates off the Horn of Africa. More than just an operational history of Enterprise, this book recounts the experiences of the men and women who served on board—the pilots who flew from the flight deck, the men who fought to save the ship during a fire in 1969, the sailors who brought retribution against Al-Qaeda terrorists—with detailed descriptions of sorties through flak-filled skies and harrowing escapes from capture behind enemy lines. This book is dedicated to the men and women who have served on board Big E, and to those who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

About the Author(s)

The late Mark L. Evans passed away in October 2021 after a courageous 8-year battle with cancer, with his wife Tracey by his side. He retired from the Department of the Navy in December 2020 after a 23-year tenure as a naval historian, after receiving the Navy’s Superior Civilian Service Award, the highest honorary award given to a civilian employee. Mark contributed articles to Naval History Magazine, Naval Aviation News and authored a number of books including Great World War II Battles in the Arctic. Mark’s final book, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was his last work and labor of love. Mark had the deepest respect and admiration for those who served our country. In honor of Mark and his fellow Veterans, proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Veterans Organization Operation Second Chance (OSC).

Bibliographic Details

Mark L. Evans

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 360
Bibliographic Info: 164 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8686-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4470-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
1. We Are Defending Our Homeland 3
2. Carry the Fight to the Enemy 11
3. Queen of the Seas 19
4. Offensive Action 29
5. Surprise Attack 35
6. A Full Retaliatory Response 41
7. A Smell of Burning Hung in the Air 44
8. We Will Test the Ability of These New Ships 47
9. The Order of Golden Shellbacks 55
10. To Slash at the Viet Cong 63
11. A New Era 69
12. In a Death Grip 77
13. Smoking Rubble 83
14. Pull Up! Pull Up! 89
15. Bandits 95
16. Untold Horror Exists Behind the Door 103
17. An Act of Piracy 114
18. Nuclear Options 119
19. Annihilate and Crush 123
20. The Dirtiest Type of Fighting 128
21. Both Guns Returning Enemy Fire 133
22. The Confidence of the MiG Pilots 138
23. Fire Roaring Across the Deck 143
24. A Quick and Telling Blow 155
25. Lose Confidence 161
26. No Advanced Warning 167
27. We Must Punish the Enemy 172
28. MiG Killers 176
29. From Generosity to Treachery 180
30. Anytime Baby 186
31. Rapidly Deteriorated 196
32. Extraordinary Reception 204
33. In All Seas and Oceans 211
34. Hell Lies Under the Arabian Gulf 219
35. The Line of Death 226
36. The Stark Has Been Hit 233
37. Vietnam Was Hovering Over Everyone’s Shoulder 241
38. Incredible Bravery 245
39. We’ve Shed Enough Blood 252
40. Why We Are Really Here 255
41. To Make Saddam Pay 262
42. Broke His Undertakings 268
43. When You Least Expect It 275
44. We’re Not Going Home 279
45. Fight to the Death 285
46. A Whole New Attack 290
47. You Never Defeated US 297
48. A Conflict of a Different Kind 302
49. We Are a Nation at War 306
50. The Character of America 309
Appendix 1: Commanding Officers 317
Appendix 2: Principal Deployments 318
Chapter Notes 323
Bibliography 339
Index 351