"The carrier that fought the most through the entire
Dedicatory Plaque, Enterprise Tower,
U.S. Naval Academy
Enterprise entered World War II on the morning of December
7, 1941, when her scout planes encountered the Japanese squadrons attacking Pearl
Harbor. Not until May 14, 1945, when a Kamikaze attack off Kyushu, Japan, left a
gaping hole in her flight deck, was she forced to leave the war.
Of the more than twenty major actions of the Pacific War,
Enterprise engaged in all but two. Her planes and guns downed
911 enemy planes; her bombers sank 71 ships, and damaged or destroyed 192 more.
Her presence inspired both pride and fear: pride in her still unmatched combat
record, and fear in the knowledge that Enterprise and hard
fighting were never far apart.
The most decorated ship of the Second World War, Enterprise
changed the very course of a war she seemed to have been expressly created for.