|Ship Class||Yorktown-class Aircraft Carrier|
|Laid Down||16 Jul 1934|
|Launched||3 Oct 1936|
|Commissioned||12 May 1938|
|Decommissioned||17 Feb 1947|
|Displacement||19,800 tons standard; 25,500 tons full|
|Machinery||Nine Babcock and Wilcox boilers, four Parson geared turbines, four screws|
|Power Output||120,000 shaft horsepower|
|Range||12,500nm at 15 knots|
|Armament||8x5in single 38 caliber guns, 4x1.1in quad 75 caliber machine guns, 24x0.50 caliber machine guns|
|Armor||2.5-4in belt, 4in bulkheads, 2-4in conning tower, 4in side over steering gear|
|Flight Deck Hydraulic Catapaults||2|
|Hangar Deck Hydraulic Catapaults||1|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseEnterprise sailed off South American for her shakedown cruise and operated off of the east coast of the United States and the Caribbean Sea until Apr 1939. Transferred to the Pacific, she trained navy pilots on carrier operations. When Pearl Harbor was struck by the Japanese in Dec 1941, she was en route from Wake, thus escaping potential damage or destruction. Her aircraft scouted the area for retreating Japanese vessels but failed in the search attempt. They did, however, find and sink submarine I-70 on 10 Dec 1941. In late Dec 1941, she sailed for Wake to assist the defending garrison, but it was already too late to make a difference. Beginning in Jan 1942, she began operating in South and Central Pacific.
ww2dbaseOn 1 Feb 1942, her task force struck the Marshall Islands, dealing significant damage. Enterprise received minor damage. During Feb and Mar, she continued to supply the aircraft that attacked various Japanese bases in the Central Pacific. She returned to Pearl Harbor in late Mar 1942 and received repairs. In Apr, she provided air cover for USS Hornet to launch the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
ww2dbaseIn early May, Enterprise sailed south in anticipation of what would become the Battle of Coral Sea, but she arrived too late to participate in the action. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 26 May, and immediately began to prepare for another anticipated action somewhere off of the Hawaiian Islands. On 28 May, she set sail from Pearl Harbor as the flagship of Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance "to hold Midway and inflict maximum damage on the enemy by strong attrition tactics." On 4 Jun 1942, a combination of luck and skill on the part of pilots from three American carriers led to the discovery and sinking of four Japanese fleet carriers. Enterprise's pilots were given credit for the sinking of Soryu and Akagi. She returned to Pearl Harbor undamaged on 13 Jun.
ww2dbaseOn 15 Jul 1942, Enterprise sailed for the South Pacific. As a part of Task Force 61, her aircraft support the landings on the Solomons Islands on 8 Aug. On 24 Aug, she participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. With Enterprise's aircraft lured to a sideshow by light carrier Ryujo, aircraft from Shokaku and Zuikaku passed the anti-aircraft curtain laid down by North Carolina and other ships and attacked Enterprise. One of the three bombs that hit Enterprise passed through several decks aft and exploded deep in the carrier and caused serious fires and casualties. However, effective damage control kept her from being disabled. She was able to restore use of the flight deck briefly while the Japanese aircraft returned for fuel. Enterprise managed to transfer the majority of her aircraft to Henderson Field at Guadalcanal before limping away to the southeast to fight another day. During this confrontation, Enterprise's aircraft also disabled the Japanese seaplane carrier Chitose, though she would be saved. The three bomb hits and four near misses cost Enterprise 74 lives with another 95 wounded.
ww2dbaseAfter down time between 10 Sep and 16 Oct, Enterprise returned to Task Force 61 in late Oct. On 26 Oct, she engaged in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands with carrier Hornet. Initially hidden in a squall, Enterprise was hidden from Japanese detection, leading to Hornet bearing the entire weight of the attack by herself. But by 0930 that day, Enterprise's aircraft found the Japanese carrier Shokaku and commenced their own attack. Without adequate fighter cover, Enterprise's dive bombers suffered heavy losses, but did successfully plant several 1,000-lb bombs on Shokaku causing damage so heavy that she was to be placed in repairs for nine months. At 1000, Japanese aircraft found Enterprise, and just like Enterprise's aircraft they mounted an uncoordinated attack on the enemy vessel. Out of the 23 bombs released, only two landed on the Enterprise. The first hit exploded 50 feet under the forecastle deck, and the second crashed into the third deck before exploding. Despite damage, Enterprise was not disabled. The Japanese sank carrier Hornet and sailed away with a tactical victory; the battle cost Enterprise 44 killed and 75 wounded.
ww2dbaseOn 30 Oct 1942, Enterprise made port call at Noum√©a, New Caledonia for repairs. On 11 Nov, she sailed prematurely for the Solomon Islands again with repair crew still on board due to war demands. She arrived at the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, in which battle her aircraft helped sinking 16 ships (including helping to sink the battleship Hiei) and damaging 8. She returned to Noum√©a on 16 Nov to complete her repairs. She spent most of Dec 1942 and Jan 1943 at Espiritu Santo for training.
ww2dbaseOn 30 Jan 1943, Enterprise's aircraft flew air cover during the Battle of Rennell Island. Between 1 Feb and May 1943, she covered troops and supplies being shipped to the Solomons Islands. On 27 May 1943, she received the first Presidential Unit citation won by an aircraft carrier. On 20 Jul 1943, she made port call at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an extensive overhaul.
ww2dbaseReturning to action in Nov 1943, Enterprise provided air-support during the landing on Makin Island. During the night of 26 Nov, she launched the first carrier night fighters of the United States Navy. She returned for Pearl Harbor after launching an aerial attack on Kwajalein on 4 Dec.
ww2dbaseBetween 29 Jan and 3 Feb 1944, Enterprise's aircraft, as members of Task Force 58, attacked the Marshall Islands and Kwajalein. On 17 Feb, she attacked Truk in the Caroline Islands. Three days later, she launched a strike on Jaluit Atoll. From this point on, she provided air cover and close ground support on nearly every landing operation, large or small, in the Pacific. One of the major engagements she participated during this time was the Battle of the Philippine Sea between 19 and 20 Jun 1944, where she provided air cover for the landings at Saipan. At the end of that battle, 429 Japanese aircraft were shot down at the total cost of 29 American aircraft.
ww2dbaseBetween Oct 10 and 20 1944, Enterprise attacked Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippine Islands in preparation of an invasion of the Philippines. During the Battle of Sibuyan Sea, her aircraft played a major role in the sinking of several major Japanese vessels. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 6 Dec 1944 after another month of support in the Philippines area. She returned to the Philippines at the end of the year, performing raids on Japanese shipping as well as providing day- and night-time fighter escort for bombers that headed for the Japanese home islands.
ww2dbaseDuring the Battle of Iwo Jima, Enterprise's aircraft provided air cover between 10 Feb and 9 Mar. On 15 Mar, she departed Ulithi for attacks on Kyushu, Honshu, and Japanese shipping but was turned back on 18 Mar after receiving damage from a Japanese bomb. Between 5 Apr and 11 Apr, she supported the Okinawa landings and received damaged from a kamikaze aircraft. She returned to Okinawa once again on 6 May after receiving repairs at Ulithi, but was once again damaged by kamikaze on 14 May 1945, causing 14 deaths with another 34 wounded. She sailed for repairs at Puget Sound Navy Yard and remained there until the end of the war.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Enterprise participated in Operation Magic Carpet that brought troops back to the United States. While at Britain, she received the British Admiralty Pennant, the only ship outside of the Royal Navy to receive the honor. Enterprise was decommissioned in Feb 1947 and was sold for scrap to the Lipsett Corporation of New York City.
ww2dbaseSources: the Struggle for Guadalcanal, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Sep 2006
Aircraft Carrier Enterprise (CV-6) Interactive Map
Enterprise Operational Timeline
|12 May 1938||Enterprise was commissioned into service.|
|15 Jun 1938||USS Enterprise conducted her first air operation.|
|18 Jul 1938||USS Enterprise departed Norfolk, Virginia, United States for her shakedown cruise.|
|25 Jul 1938||Several officers and men of USS Enterprise participated in a parade in Ponce, Puerto Rico, during which several Puerto Rican nationalists disrupted parade with gunfire.|
|20 Aug 1938||USS Enterprise crossed the Equator off Brazil.|
|21 Dec 1938||Charles Pownall was named the commanding officer of USS Enterprise.|
|2 May 1939||USS Enterprise departed the Panama Canal Zone for California, United States.|
|15 Feb 1941||An advance echelon of the US Marine Corps 1st Defense Battalion departed San Diego, California, United States aboard USS Enterprise for Johnston Island and Palmyra Atoll via Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|21 Mar 1941||George Murray was named the commanding officer of USS Enterprise.|
|28 Nov 1941||The air echelon of US Marine Fighter Squadron 211 secretly flew 12 F4F-3 fighters from Ewe to Ford Island for further transfer to USS Enterprise. Later on the same day, USS Enterprise set sail for Wake Island. En route, Captain G. D. Murray of the USS Enterprise informed his subordinates that the carrier was now operating under war conditions.|
|3 Dec 1941||Carrier USS Enterprise began to launch F4F Wildcat fighters of the US Marine Corps for Wake Island.|
|4 Dec 1941||Carrier USS Enterprise completed launching F4F Wildcat fighters of the US Marine Corps for Wake Island and set sail for Hawaii Islands, scheduling to arrive on 6 Dec 1941.|
|6 Dec 1941||USS Enterprise and her task group (Enterprise, Northampton, Chester, Salt Lake City, Balch, Maury, Craven, Gridley, McCall, Dunlap, Benham, Fanning, & Ellet) encountered heavy weather which delayed the refueling operation for destroyers and delayed the group's arrival at Pearl Harbor.|
|16 Dec 1941||USS Enterprise task force returned to Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii after failing to find the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack force.|
|20 Dec 1941||US Navy Task Force 8 with USS Enterprise departed from Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for waters between Johnston Island and Midway.|
|11 Jan 1942||USS Enterprise and Task Force 8 departed from Pearl Harbor to escort transports of US Marines to American Samoa.|
|21 Jan 1942||American carriers Enterprise and Yorktown and their task forces set course to raid Marshall and Gilbert Islands.|
|1 Feb 1942||The United States launched its first air offensive against the Marshall Islands as SBD and TBD aircraft from carriers USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise struck Japanese bases in the island group. Cruisers USS Northampton, USS Chester, and USS Salt Lake City also bombarded atolls in the Marshall Islands, sinking gunboat Toyotsu Maru and transport Bordeaux Maru and damaging cruiser Katori, submarine I-23, submarine depot ship Yasukuni Maru, minelayer Tokiwa, and several others. Vice Admiral Mitsumi Shimizu was wounded aboard Katori. USS Chester sustained damage from a Japanese dive bomber during the attack; 8 were killed, 21 were wounded.|
|5 Feb 1942||USS Enterprise and Task Force 8 arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|14 Feb 1942||USS Enterprise departed from Pearl Harbor for Wake Island.|
|24 Feb 1942||USS Enterprise launched aircraft to attack Wake Island. Cruisers USS Salt Lake City and USS Northampton shelled Wake Island.|
|4 Mar 1942||USS Enterprise launched aircraft against Marcus Island. Cruisers USS Salt Lake City and USS Northampton shelled Marcus Island.|
|11 Mar 1942||USS Enterprise arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|8 Apr 1942||USS Enterprise and Task Force 16 departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii to make rendezvous with USS Hornet, which was en route to strike the Japanese home islands.|
|13 Apr 1942||Task Force 16 (USS Enterprise) made rendezvous with Task Force 18 (USS Hornet) north of Midway and pressed on westward toward the launch point for the Doolittle Raid. Later on the same day, they crossed the 180th meridian.|
|25 Apr 1942||USS Enterprise arrived at Pearl Harbor after conducting the Doolittle Raid.|
|30 Apr 1942||USS Enterprise sailed toward Coral Sea, but would arrive too late to participate in the upcoming battle.|
|11 May 1942||USS Enterprise arrived near New Hebrides.|
|16 May 1942||USS Enterprise received orders to return to Pearl Harbor.|
|26 May 1942||USS Enterprise arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|27 May 1942||Jack Kleiss was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal by Admiral Chester Nimitz aboard USS Enterprise.|
|28 May 1942||USS Enterprise and Task Force 16 departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for Midway Atoll.|
|2 Jun 1942||USS Enterprise made rendezvous with USS Yorktown and USS Hornet 350 miles northeast of Midway. Rear Admiral Fletcher took overall tactical command of this fleet.|
|13 Jun 1942||USS Enterprise arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|15 Jul 1942||USS Enterprise departed Pearl Harbor for the South Pacific.|
|12 Sep 1942||USS Enterprise departed Tongatapu, Tonga for Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|16 Oct 1942||Carrier USS Enterprise, with destroyer USS Shaw among her escorts, departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii bound for the Solomon Islands|
|23 Oct 1942||USS Enterprise and USS South Dakota arrived at Noum√©a, New Caledonia.|
|26 Oct 1942||At the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands, US forces achieved victory but saw USS Enterprise, USS South Dakota, and USS San Juan damaged. Aircraft carrier USS Hornet (Yorktown-class) was badly damaged from aerial bombs and torpedoes and then finally hit by three Type 93 torpedoes launched from Japanese destroyers Akigumo and Makigumo which caused her to sink 30 minutes later. On the Japanese side, carriers Shokaku and Zuiho were damaged by dive bombers from USS Hornet and USS Enterprise, respectively.|
|11 Nov 1942||USS Enterprise departed Noum√©a, New Caledonia with welders still working aboard.|
|14 Nov 1942||Japanese Furutaka-class Heavy Cruiser Kinugasa was sunk by planes based at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and by carrier planes from USS Enterprise as Kinugasa was withdrawing from a bombardment of Guadalcanal.|
|20 Jul 1943||USS Enterprise arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington, United States for an extensive overhaul.|
|31 Oct 1943||USS Enterprise departed Puget Sound Naval Shipyard after overhaul.|
|22 Jan 1944||USS Enterprise departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii.|
|16 Jan 1945||Aircraft from USS Enterprise struck neutral Portuguese Macau, destroying stores of aviation fuel at the Naval Aviation Center.|
|14 May 1945||Japanese special attack aircraft damaged USS Enterprise off Okinawa, Japan.|
|6 Jun 1945||USS Enterprise arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repairs of extensive damage following being hit by two special attack aircraft off Okinawa.|
|10 Oct 1945||USS Enterprise arrived at the Panama Canal Zone.|
|11 Oct 1945||USS Enterprise departed the Panama Canal Zone.|
|17 Oct 1945||USS Enterprise entered the Hudson River in New York, New York, United States in preparation of the Navy Day holiday celebrations.|
|17 Feb 1947||Enterprise was decommissioned from service.|
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Visitor Submitted Comments
3 Jan 2010 09:24:05 PM
where is the ww2 carrier enterprise now?
18 Jan 2010 08:27:02 AM
The end of the "Big E"
Enterprise entered the New York Naval Shipyard on 18 January 1946 for deactivation, and was decommissioned on 17 February 1947. In 1946, she had been scheduled to be handed over to the state of New York as a permanent memorial, but this plan was suspended in 1949. Subsequent attempts were made at preserving the ship as a museum or memorial, but fund-raising efforts failed to raise enough money to buy the vessel from the Navy, and the "Big E" was sold on 1 July 1958 to the Lipsett Corporation of New York City for scrapping at Kearny, New Jersey. A promise was made to save the distinctive tripod mast for inclusion in the Naval Academy's new football stadium, but was never fulfilled instead, a memorial plaque was installed at the base of what is still called "Enterprise Tower." Scrapping was complete as of May 1960. In 1984, a permanent "Enterprise Exhibit" was dedicated at the Naval Aviation Museum, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida to house artifacts, photos and other items of historical interest.
Surviving Enterprise artifacts include the ship's bell, which resides at the U.S. Naval Academy, where it is traditionally rung only after midshipmen victories over West Point and the sixteen-foot, one-ton nameplate from the ship's stern, which sits near a Little League park in River Vale, New Jersey. Her commissioning plaque and one of her anchors are on display at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Various other artifacts and mementos (including one of her portholes) are kept aboard her namesake successor.
23 Feb 2013 09:38:08 AM
Admiral Halsey was fighting to save the Big E, but those efforts failed, and he died within a year of its scrapping. Interestingly, the 1960 movie based on Halsey's war experiences, "The Gallant Hours", has a brief scene with James Cagney, as Halsey, walking with other officers in front of what appears to be the actual decommissioned Enterprise, while it is getting worked over with cutting torches. I'm trying to find info that can verify this.
27 Feb 2013 04:58:32 PM
Looking for info on my father. FRED G. KIRSCH. I know very little and would appreciate any help. Don't know the dates he served but know it was before 1958. I am new to searching so am open to any tips. Thank You.
16 Oct 2013 08:43:21 PM
Looking for anyone who knew my father Elmer Grubbs on the use enterprise
22 Mar 2014 08:59:43 PM
Is there somewhere I can get my fathers service records without paying a site for them?
3 Mar 2015 08:44:14 PM
does anyone remember my uncle michael meko who was a steamfitter who died on the enterprise may 14th 1945 by kamikaze planes? he was trapped down below so the carrier wouldnt sink
27 May 2015 08:47:48 AM
The carrier shown being repaired in The Gallant Hours is not CV6 USS Enterprise. It's an Essex Class ship. Don't know which one. Enterprise had a distinctive Tripod Mast that the Essex Class lacked. This ship doesn't have that mast. Also, the Island is markedly different than that of Enterprise.
14 Jul 2015 11:29:38 AM
The USS Enterprise was the backbone of the US Pacific Fleet. I do similar work. Come check me out at www.historybuff.info//
15 Oct 2015 08:01:52 PM
My dad was on the big e from before pearl to long after and was on the flight deck in most of the battles. I didn't realize until now that when she was in Bremerton 20 July 43 it was three weeks after that that he and my mom were married in Yakima. They stayed married until their death in 2001.
11 Nov 2015 09:57:31 AM
Did any of you hear stories of Charles Clayton, typist? Just wondering. I don't think he did anything important, but I'm curious.
15 Mar 2016 01:26:42 PM
I'm building a 1/350 model of the Big E and would like to display it with her campaign ribbons. Does anyone have info on what ribbons she earned? Thanks
29 Mar 2016 03:27:50 PM
Looking for any information about my grandfather. he supposedly served on the enterprise from 43 to 45. there is some ambiguity to what exactly his duties were while aboard. his name is Herman Eugene Klugh may have been known by the nickame "gene".
29 Mar 2016 07:10:13 PM
A check of the Navy‚Äôs WWII Muster Rolls shows Seamen 1st class Herman Eugene Klugh served aboard the light cruiser USS Marblehead from Sep 1943 to May 1945. The Marblehead served most of this time in the southern Atlantic and then the Mediterranean. From May to Sep 1945 he was in Newport, RI for routine retraining. He then served aboard the second light cruiser USS Helena (CL-75) from her commissioning in Sep 1945 until Oct 1945 when he was transferred off in New York. Sorry, no Enterprise.
7 Apr 2016 08:50:28 PM
Say, does anyone know how many kinds of aircraft Enterprise carried during WW2? From the oldest model until the latest model.
29 Apr 2016 11:55:54 AM
My Grandpa is decease and he was on this ship October 12, 1953 can i get email about Vern Hildebrand
16 May 2016 01:21:53 PM
My Dad loved the Enterprise and told me about it many times when I was a kid. After the Navy he became a police officer. R. L. Chambers was his name. Best Navy friends were Bill Thornton and Joe LaRue I was named after them.
7 Jun 2016 05:14:15 PM
Did anyone aboard the USS Enterprise know my grandpa Carl H. "Mikey" Zangger?
4 Aug 2016 11:11:06 PM
My dad just died and he was the chief radioman on the Enterprise WW11 1941. Is anyone still living that was on the first Enterprise.
23 Aug 2016 10:34:12 AM
My dad, Richard "Dick" Knudson, was the bugler on the Enterprise in WWII. Is there somewhere that I can donate his bugle?
23 Oct 2016 06:12:08 AM
The Wright Museum in Wolfeboro, NH is dedicated to telling the story of World War II on the Homefront. They may be interested in donations. We are forever grateful to the men and women who served.
2 Nov 2016 07:03:25 PM
My uncle was an Ensign on the Neosho, and later was deployed to Enterprise - he became a Captain after senior officers were lost during during the Battle of Midway. He was only 24 yrs. old. Leonard Gearin.
30 Dec 2016 05:28:13 AM
A relative of mine flew in the Guadalcanal campaign. Wanted to know if Luke Sauder was on the enterprise?
11 Feb 2017 02:50:00 AM
Can anyone tell me the name of the mm3 (i think it was Bruno Gaito) who manned the gun of a parked airplane on the flight deck of cv-6 & kept the damaged Japanese bomber from making a successful kamikaze run on the big E ? Please correct/confirm the info i gave here . thanks!
10 Mar 2017 08:46:54 AM
My Father was on the USS Enterprise during WWII. His name is Herman M. Kauffman, from Philadelphia. He is deceased.
I think he was a radioman. How can I find out his rank?
6 Jan 2018 11:07:12 AM
My father in laws brother was supposedly on the Japanese sub I-70 which was sunk by the Enterprise on Dec 10 1941. Can I find names of Japanese crew
1 Mar 2018 11:02:54 AM
My father, Adis E. Isler was on the USS Enterprise. I'm trying to find more information. Thank you.
23 Jun 2018 10:42:07 AM
Looking for info or photos of my Uncle, John H. Koon who served on the USS Enterprise during WWII.
22 Nov 2018 10:15:31 AM
Wanting to meet someone who served on the enterprise in WWII. I cuttently reside in Florida. Please contact me at email@example.com.
11 Nov 2019 03:34:44 PM
My father, Elzy Wendell served on the Enterprise. I have very little information, other than he was there during a kamikaze hit, and couldn't feel it because he was on the opposite end.
16 Nov 2019 12:03:51 PM
My uncle Bob Donoghue served on Enterprise during ww2
Injured in kamajazee attach but kept on board for duration of the war. I would like to get details if anyone knows a source
13 May 2020 08:27:34 AM
My dad served from. May 31,1944 to November 11th, 1945. Doing research on the enterprise from beginning (construction to after scrapping in 1958. I live in Metairie, La. next door to New Orleans.
13 May 2020 08:28:15 AM
My dad served from. May 31,1944 to November 11th, 1945. Doing research on the enterprise from beginning (construction to after scrapping in 1958. I live in Metairie, La. next door to New Orleans.
27 Jun 2022 06:59:15 PM
My father Carroll Walker Williams served on the Enterprise. He was the Chief Radio Officer and was in all the battles you mentioned. He enlisted 1940. He was also at Nuclear testing Bikini Atoll. I still have his Atoll card. He died from a brain tumor that was more than 40 years old. Possibly attributed from Atoll. He had four cancers and lived until almost 92. He received a DOJ settlement for $75K at age 89 as 2 cancers were attributed to Bikini Atoll. Cause of death brain tumor.
Dec 17, 1922 - Oct 30, 2014
I have decking from WW11 Enterprise, along with his trunk and other memorabilia.
Daughter - Kelly Williams -Gartner
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» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Raid into the South China Sea
» Battle of Iwo Jima
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943
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9 Dec 2007 01:30:26 PM
Seeking information about my dad who was a Radar Operator during 13 major battles on the USS Enterprise during World War 2. thank you Ralph E. Shaffer