Big E To Become National Shrine
WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (AP) - The heroic aircraft
carrier Enterprise, too old to fight anymore, will become a national shrine, the Navy disclosed
President Truman has approved a proposal from Navy Secretary Forrestal to
preserve the "fightingest ship of the fleet," affectionately known to her crew as
the "Big E" and the "Gallopin' Ghost of the Oahu Coast."
The Enterprise is now in Boston where she will be equipped and sent back to
Europe to pick up returning war veterans. Presumably as soon as she completes her trans-Atlantic
taxi service she will become a national shrine. For the past two weeks the Enterprise has
been on public display in New York. A half million persons visited her decks.
President Truman authorized the preservation by approving Forrestal's letter
which read in part:
"Time has accomplished what the enemy failed to do in four years of
desperate and costly effort: the U. S. S. Enterprise must be taken out of service because
modern planes cannot be flown in combat from her flight deck.
"I believe, Mr. President, that the Enterprise should be retained
permanently at some proper place as a visible symbol of American valor and tenacity in
war, and of our will to fight all enemies who assail us, and I request your approval of
Rare Honour For U.S.N. Carrier
Gift of Admiralty Flag as Naval Tribute
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, Nov. 23 (AP) - Naval
history was made at Southampton today when Mr. A. V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty,
Lord Cunningham of Hyndhope, First Sea Lord, and Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, Third Sea
Lord visited the United States aircraft carrier Enterprise and the Admiralty flag was hoisted
in the ship.
It was the first official visit paid by the Board of the Admiralty to an
American warship and the first time the Admiralty flag had been hoisted in one. Mrs. Alexander
presented the flag to Enterprise as a momento.
The Admiralty Board, who were accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Blake,
liaison flag officer to the United States Naval Forces in Europe, and Admiral Sir Geoffrey
Layton, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, were received by Admiral H. Kent Hewett, commanding
the United States Naval Forces in Europe.
Mr. Alexander, addressing the officers and ship's company, said Enterprise
had achieved a battle honour that would put any other ship at the end of her first commission
in the shade. After a reference to Enterprise's fighting record, Mr. Alexander said,
"Having fought alongside you on two occasions, we would pay a tribute from the Royal
Navy to the great exploits of the officers and men of the United States Navy, who have greatly
enriched the sea and established once more the efficacy of sea power." It would be a great
thing if Enterprise could be preserved by the United States Navy as HMS Victory has been by
Speaking of the gift of the Admiralty flag, Mr. Alexander said, "It is a
historic flag with its anchors. That emblem was first adopted in 1570, and Lord Howard of
Effingham flew its streamer from the foretop in the fight against the Spanish Armada. The
Board of the Admiralty would be proud if you would accept the gift of this flag to Enterprise
as a token of respect for her gallant record, and as a sincere tribute from a great and
historic Navy to the prowess of the comrades-in-arms in the United States fleet. May the
cooperation and friendship and mutual esteem forged of war be a link between us of such
great strength that it will never be broken."
This afternoon, Enterprise, with 4700 United States service personnel aboard
departed Southampton for America.
Famous Aircraft Carrier Converted To Troopship
The aircraft carrier, "Enterprise," whose record of deeds during the war
years has been so great and whose endurance has been so lasting that she has been named as
a symbol of American Naval might, is now a troopship. The famous vessel, eventually to be
preserved for posterity along with such American ships as the U.S.F. Constitution and the
Merrimac, docked at South Boston Naval Drydock a few weeks ago, the first flattop to be
converted to a troopship in Boston.
Workmen labored all over the big ship, removing flight gear and equipment,
converting the hangar deck into berthing spaces. Stanchions now rise out of the deck where
lashed-down planes once stood. Over 3500 bunks were installed in the ship.
And now the carrier has once again sailed, this time across the Atlantic,
to bring GI's from the European shores. The trip will be swift - five days -
but not too comfortable. Bunks are in five tiers, with heavy canvas stretched on iron
frames, with mattresses only for women - WACS, nurses, and Red Cross girls. But
there are many of them, the new capacity being 4400.
It will be chilly on the Atlantic in November but the travel will be swift
and anticipation of home great.
U.S. Warships 'Ride' Storm To Land Vets
59 Troop Vessels Bring 40,000 Men
NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (AP) - The U. S. S. Washington,
her decks, guns and superstructures covered with ice, nosed into New York harbor three days
late today after weathering Atlantic storms which reached hurricane force.
The 35,000-ton Washington brought 1,626 home-bound G.I.'s from Europe. Many
will not reach home for Christmas because of the delay.
"We encountered the worst storms I have seen in all my years at sea,"
Capt. Francis X. McInerney, the battleship's commanding officer, said.
"There were seven storms, and twice the winds reached hurricane force. The
waves ran from 75 to 100 feet high, loosening rafts, damaging the superstructure and injuring
several seamen," he added.
"However," Capt. McInerney said, "The morale of the troops was
splendid. They knew they were headed home and we fought our way through the seas to make
certain those boys would arrive."
Army officers aboard ship played host to Navy men Saturday night at a pre-Christmas
dinner. Captain McInerney was presented with a scroll signed by all Army officers and enlisted
men aboard as a tribute to the Washington and its crew for bringing them safely through the
The Washington led a parade of 59 troop-carrying ships bringing more than
40,000 servicemen into three east coast and five west coast ports today in efforts to get
them home sometime during the Christmas holidays.
Behind the Washington came the aircraft carrier Enterprise, the famed "Big
E" of the Pacific naval battles, bringing 4,945 troops into New York after a stormy
nine-day trip from Southampton, England. This ship, too, was covered with icicles - and badly
Much small gear had been carried away from the Enterprise's decks by the 75-foot
waves and 80-knot winds of four successive storms. Steel guards around the ship's anti-aircraft
guns were crumpled.