Stern Plate of the USS Enterprise – River Vale, New Jersey - Atlas Obscura

Stern Plate of the USS Enterprise

River Vale, New Jersey

The only remaining piece of hull of the most decorated US ship of WWII is this giant name plate. 


There have been a succession of ships throughout history known as the USS Enterprise (and there will continue to be be well into the far future if Star Trek is to be believed), but the seventh US ship to bear the name has long since been dismantled, its huge name plate the only relic of its titanic hull.

The seventh USS Enterprise was one of America’s first giant aircraft carriers. She took to the sea in 1936 as one of the few US aircraft carriers commissioned prior to World War II. The nearly 800-foot long vessel could hold up to 90 aircraft and was the sort of giant ship that seemed like it was too big to die. But even the Enterprise had to meet its fate eventually. 

The ship served during World War II, primarily in the actions against Japan, taking part in conflicts from the Battle of Midway to the Guadalcanal, earning it more decorations than any other US ship in World War II. However by 1945, the country was already building bigger and better aircraft carriers, making the Enterprise obsolete, no matter how many medals she had. 

In 1958, after having been purchased by a private shipbreaker, the Enterprise began being taken apart. The process took two years, and most of the ships components scrapped, but some remnants managed to survive including an anchor, the ship’s bell, and the ship’s huge nameplate, which was plopped down near a New Jersey little league baseball field.

In 2000, the 16-foot-long, one ton nameplate was refurbished, and moved to a more suitable location, Veteran’s Memorial Park. Now the proud name Enterprise is on display to remember all those who served on her decks.

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