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Navy decommissions ‘legendary’ carrier that shaped history

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Shipyard workers attended the decommissioning ceremony of the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. today. It served more than 50 years, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A sailor attended the decommissioning ceremony of the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. today. It served more than 50 years, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Following a decommissioning ceremony, two shipyard workers rode their bicycles by the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. today. It served more than 50 years, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. >> The U.S. Navy has officially decommissioned the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

During today’s ceremony at a Newport News shipyard, the USS Enterprise was described as a “legendary” vessel that helped shape history. It served more than 50 years, playing a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Affectionately called the “Big E,” the ship retired from service in 2012. The Navy has spent the past few years defueling its reactors. The ship will eventually be taken apart and its metal recycled.

One of the Enterprise’s original sailors was 77-year-old Ray Godfrey of Bigfork, Montana. He said the ceremony was emotional for him realizing that “she’s done.”

But he said, “We started something really good.”

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