Jackson man remembers service on legendary USS Enterprise | News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS)-
The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was retired from active service on Saturday, temporarily reducing the number of carriers in the U.S. fleet to 10 until 2015.
Lin Klob of Jackson, Mo. was on the ship when it was first commissioned.
"It was quite a ship," Klob said. "I used to watch the planes land and take off."
Klob says it was a tough life but he would do it all over again.
"It's better for a single guy, but I enjoyed it," Klob said.
The USS Enterprise ended its notable 51 year career during a ceremony at its home port at Naval Station Norfolk, where thousands of former crew members, ship builders and their families lined a pier to bid farewell to one of the most decorated ships in the Navy.
The Enterprise was the largest ship in the world at the time it was built, inheriting the nickname "Big E" from a famed World War II aircraft carrier. It didn't have to carry conventional fuel tanks for propulsion, allowing it to carry twice as much aircraft fuel and ordnance than conventional carriers at the time. Using nuclear reactors also allowed the ship to set speed records and stay out to sea during a deployment without ever having to refuel, one of the times ships are most vulnerable to attack.
Every other aircraft carrier in the U.S. fleet is now nuclear-powered, although they only have two nuclear reactors each compared to the Enterprise's eight. The Enterprise was the only carrier of its class ever built.
It was only designed to last 25 years, but underwent a series of upgrades to extend its life, making it the oldest active combat vessel in the fleet.
Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.