NORFOLK VA. — On Dec. 1, 2012, AE2 Richard E. Morgan of Willsboro, travelled to Norfolk, Va to be part of the inactivation of the USS Enterprise, CVN-65.
Morgan served in VF-1, working on the F-14 Tomcat aircraft. He deployed on the Big E on its 12 cruise in 1978 taking him to the Western Pacific.
The USS Enterprise, launched on Nov. 25, 1961, was not only the first nuclear carrier, but also the biggest ever built by the US Navy with a crew of 5,000. The flight deck is 4.5 acres. The hanger bay is 3.5 acres. It housed 8 nuclear reactors that allowed speeds of 30 + knots.
“When I heard about the ceremony back in May, I know it was something I really wanted to witness first-hand,” Morgan said. “I was on the Enterprise when I was 19-years-old. It is a part of my life I will never forget.”
Approximately 15,000 former sailors, friends, family, and dignitaries were in attendance. At the close of the ceremony, the Secretary of the Navy, made an announcement to the crowd that resulted in a huge round of cheering and applause. Because of the significance of the Enterprise name in Navy History, the next carrier to be built will be CVN-80, carrying the name, USS Enterprise.