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NavSource Online:  Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

Contributed by Scott Dyben.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives (photo # 80-G-463357)

(later CVA-6 and CVS-6)

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The Scrapping
CVS-6 Enterprise

After her second "Magic Carpet" trip (January 1946) Enterprise was decommissioned at Bayonne, N.J., and remained there for 12 years. She was then towed to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where her distinctive tripod mast was cut—it was supposed to be placed on top of the Enterprise tower at the new Navy and Marine Corps football stadium at Annapolis, Md.

(Thanks to Rich Mathsen, who pointed out that in these photos Enterprise is being towed to, not from, the Brooklyn Navy Yard.)

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CVS-6 Enterprise
108k Robert Hurst
CVS-6 Enterprise

A rare color photograph of ex-USS Enterprise (CVS-6) tied up at Brooklyn Navy Yard in the summer of 1958. The future USS Independence (CVA-62) is fitting out on the opposite side of the pier.

Darren Large,
via Gordon Buttars
CVS-6 Enterprise

At the Brooklyn Navy yard, 22 June 1958, shortly before they started scrapping her by first cutting off her tripod mast — she was sold for scrapping nine days later, on 1 July.

The carrier on the opposite side of the pier is USS Independence (CVA-62) nearing completion. Ships visible in the left foreground include (from front): USS DeLong (DE-684), USS Coates (DE-685) and USS Hoe (SS-258). Ten other destroyers are also present, as is a "Liberty" type ship.

The F. & M. Schaefer brewery is visible in the center background — the longest and last operating brewery in New York City (when it was closed in 1976), and America's oldest lager beer brewing company.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

"New York (August 21, 1958)—It's the last voyage for the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVS-6), as she moves past the lower Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Kearny, N.J., where she will be cut up for scrap. In the foreground, newsreel photographers cover the event."

"UPI New York Bureau photo #NXP-1164906."

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-6 Enterprise

A final effort (supported by retired Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey) to preserve the Big E as a museum at Washington, D.C. failed due to lack of funds and lack of time to raise them.

Fall of 1958. Ex-USS Enterprise is towed under the Brooklyn Bridge, from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to her last port of call, Kearny, N.J.... to the shipbreakers... and into History.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

Being scrapped, 1958.

Steve Whitby
The following images, from "USS Enterprise (CV-6), A Pictorial History", by Steve Ewing
(Pictorial Histories Publishing Company), are used with permission of the publisher.
CVS-6 Enterprise

Inside the hanger deck, some of Enterprise's accomplishments still visible, 1958. She was the first carrier ever awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

Intact hull, waiting... Spring 1959.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

The tripod mast on the flight deck. It had been cut so that the ex-carrier could pass under several bridges on her way from New York City to Kearny.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

Uncropped copy of photo above.

Haze Gray & Underway, via Austin Oliver
CVS-6 Enterprise

The top of Enterprise's tripod mast and assorted bracing lying on her flight deck at the start of her scrapping by the Lipsett Co. at Kearny, New Jersey, Spring 1959. She was sold for $561,333.00. You couldn't even pay for half of an F-14 on the Enterprise of today for that amount.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

Enterprise's hanger deck waiting for the torch, rather a lonely looking place. Spring 1959.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

Pilots ready room just before scrapping. All that stuff was just left there, hard to believe.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

A section under the fantail being hoisted off the stern as the butchering begins in earnest.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

This photo shows CV-6's hull looking from stern to bow. Cut almost down to the keel at the stern, you can see six deck levels leading up to the hanger deck.

Steve Whitby
CVS-6 Enterprise

The end of the U.S.S. Enterprise, CV-6. A portion of the bow still being torched by the scrapping crew. Most of her wooden flight deck was burned, and by February 1960, her keel was winched onto a beaching area and cut up.

Steve Whitby

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Last update: 6 February 2021