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The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise
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The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A lasting memorial to the USS Enterprise, this classic tale of the carrier that contributed more than any other single warship to the naval victory in the Pacific has remained a favorite World War II story for more than twenty-five years. The Big E participated in nearly every major engagement of the war against Japan and earned a total of twenty battle stars. The Halsey-D ...more
Paperback, 616 pages
Published April 18th 2002 by US Naval Institute Press (first published January 1st 1962)
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4.44  · 
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 ·  135 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had read this book while in middle school. When I heard that a new printing of the book was made, I wanted to read it again as it had left an impression on me so many years before. I was not disappointed. The author does a superb job describing the actions of the USS Enterprise (CV-6) in World War II. The main actions such as the Battle of Midway are described but what I found more fascinating was the smaller actions. These are various raids and secondary actions which played a roll in the All ...more
Ralph R. Echtinaw
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More than just the story of the pilots and planes that flew from the Enterprise. There are plenty of stories about the rest of the crew, including one man who worked aloft to repair the air search radar during an attack.
If there is any one ship that symbolizes the efforts, trials and victories of the US Navy in the war against Japan in the Pacific Ocean during the Second World War, it is the USS Enterprise, and this book tells the wartime story of the ship and her crew. Commissioned in 1938, the "Big E" was in almost constant combat until May 1945, when a kamikaze knocked her out of the war. After her gunners and pilots downed 911 enemy planes and sank 71 enemy ships, and after the ship itself earned twenty ba ...more
Bill V
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an OK book. Much of the strategic matter is dated and in some instances incorrect. There were a few puzzling mistakes such as in part of the book, he'll write that six Japanese carriers attacked Pearl Harbor, which is correct but later on in the book he'll write there were 5. A chapter later it would be six and later still it would be five again.
The best parts of the book are the individual stories of sailors and the recounting of flight deck accidents and accidental deaths occurring due
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You've no doubt heard of "The Greatest Generation" when referring to the generation that endured World War II. This book tells that story from the view point of the Navy, with the brave and selfless exploits of those who served on the original Enterprise carrier. This book is a classic: meticulously researched, well written, and as true to the heroics of those that served aboard the Big E as they were to the country who depended upon them. It's a definite keeper in my library and will be re-read ...more
Greg Gates
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After reading Incredible Victory in grade school, I came across this book in my Junior High School library. This is when I fell in love with CV-6 USS Enterprise. Wow! What a ship! What a war-record!
If you ever have wondered why the name "Enterprise" was used in Star Trek, or why the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier or first Space Shuttle was named Enterprise, then read this book and you'll begin understand...
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This on one of those book you stumble across as a rare treasure in a stack of mediocre print. It has a single topic and it stays on topic throughout. Well-written, very informative, carefully crafted, and complete. It was sad to finish such a great read about such a pivotal ship in America's greatest moment.
Alex Bergman
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Beside Unbroken, this is my favorite World War II novel. For those people who enjoy history, or military history I recommend this book, it is very descriptive about the "life" of the Enterprise.
Patrick Barnum
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you ever want to know why the generation that lived, worked, and fought in WWII will always be considered one of if not the best we have ever produced this is one of the books you need to read. What they went through was absolutely astounding.
Sep 10, 2009 added it
Found this book in a Thrift Dime Store in Chula Vista, CA, last week... and thought it might be a good read...
Patrick Macke
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
seemingly everywhere during wwii ... the battle record is unsurpassed
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this as a kid. I recall I enjoyed it then as I was very much into WWII Naval history. I'd like to read it again as a refresher on this greatest ship of the line.
Andrew McBurney
Mar 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best and most riveting naval histories written. It helps give a feel for what day-to-day operations were like on one of America's capital ships in the Pacific War.
Nick Mosey
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you like Historical fiction, I highly recommend this book for you.
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