All posts in “USS Enterprise”

The ENTERPRISE Petition – A Gentle Reminder

Underway once again, Fleet CQ in VACAPES…

Background here.  Petition here.

Over 3,000 signatures as of today (28 July) — let’s keep pressing.  50th Anniversary of her christening is coming up in September.  Just think, what a great way to kick off the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation next year with the naming of the next CVN as ENTERPRISE!

Article Series - Centenary of Naval Aviation (1911-2011)

  1. Flightdeck Friday: Smoke and the Battle of Midway
  2. Flightdeck Friday: RF-8 Crusaders and BLUE MOON
  3. Flightdeck Friday: Midway POV – Wade McClusky
  4. Flightdeck Friday: 23 October 1972 and The End of Linebacker I
  5. Former VFP-62 CO and DFC Recipient, CAPT William Ecker, USN-Ret Passes Away
  6. CAPT John E. “Jack” Taylor, USN-Ret.
  7. Flightdeck Friday: USS MACON Added to National Register of Historical Places
  8. Tailhook Association and Association of Naval Aviation
  9. Flightdeck Friday: Speed and Seaplanes – The Curtiss CR-3 and R3C-2
  10. Flightdeck Friday: A Family Remembers a Father, Naval Officer and Former Vigilante B/N
  11. Out of the Box Thinking and Execution 68 Years Ago: The Doolittle Raid
  12. The ENTERPRISE Petition – A Gentle Reminder
  13. USS Enterprise (CVAN/CVN-65) At Fifty
  14. A Golden Anniversary: The Hawkeye At 50
  15. Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy
  16. Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part II)
  17. Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part III)
  18. Reflections on the E-2 Hawkeye’s 50th Anniversary
  19. An Open Letter to “The 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation”
  20. U.S. Naval Aviation – 100 Years
  21. Doolittle’s Raiders: Last Surviving Bomber Pilot of WWII Doolittle Raid, Dies at 93
  22. More Naval Aviation Heritage Aircraft (But Still No Hawkeye)
  23. Naval Aviation Centennial: Neptune’s Atomic Trident (1950)
  24. Naval Aviation Centennial: One Astronaut, A Future Astronaut and Reaching for New Heights
  25. Flightdeck Friday Special Edition: The Space Shuttle – Thirty Years of Dreams, Sweat and Tears
  26. Flightdeck Friday – Postings from the Naval Aviation Museum
  27. Saturday Matinee: US Naval Aviation – the First 100 Years
  28. National Museum of Naval Aviation – Some Thoughts and A Call to Action
  29. Flightdeck Friday – 100 Years of Naval Aviation and the USCG
  30. Guest Post: THE U.S. NAVY’S FLEET PROBLEMS OF THE THIRTIES — A Dive Bomber Pilot’s Perspective
  31. This Date in Naval Aviaiton History: Sept 18, 1962 – Changing Designators
  32. Centennial Of Naval Aviation – The Shadow Warriors

USS Enterprise (CVN-79): Petition Update

Readers here will recall the petition we launched last July when it came to light that there was a “sense” of Congress motion passed that the next ship following the Gerald Ford (CVN-78) should be named after Barry Goldwater.  You will recall we were, well, less than enthusiastic (to put it charitably) that yet another capitol ship was going to be named after a politician, when there was a prospect we’d be without an Enterprise in the fleet of carriers envisioned post-2013 (CVN-65’s presumed decom).

Evidently, many more of you feel the same way – emphatically so by the comments on the petition.  At almost 6 months to go, we are closing in on 2,000 signatures (1,986 as of 18 Jan 2010).  Outstanding as that is, I’d like to see if that can be doubled in the remaining six months.  My intention is to print out the petition for delivery to the Secretary of the Navy, CNO and Senator Webb (my senator and a former SECNAV), hopefully in person, as a direct and tangible “sense” of both our nation and friends abroad (check the countries of some of the signers).  But that’s not all – I want to do this before the 50th Anniversary of the christening and launch of the current USS Enterprise (24 Sept 1960).

Time is pressing – there are no namings for a carrier slated for this year, but that is no guarantee that something won’t be pulled behind closed doors.  Just take a look at this document and see what is in the wings: RS22478_20091223_Navy-Ship-Names_23Dec09 (downloads PDF)

So please, lend a hand, post an article or link, advocate, write your Senators and Representatives.


Let’s see if we can get 4,000 – 5,0000 or more signatures on this petition! (ed. BTW, we are one of the top 10 petitions at! – SJS)

Let our effort be the very definition of the word — and in the spirit of the ship we would see named “ENTERPRISE”!

Update (24 Jan 2010): 2100+ signatures and climbing!  Along with the support in the comments section, the following arrived this week as well:


My name is Austin.  I have been lurking on the Navy blogs for awhile.  I don’t usually comment, just read what people with a lot more experience than me have to say.  I came across the Petition for the Enterprise at the USNI board and then yours.  If you have noticed lately, it seems to be hijacked by a mysterious entity called Webb Institute.  I graduated in 2009 and am responsible for the influx of Webb students, alumni and family that have signed the petition in the past few days.  Webb is solely a naval architecture school.  I was the 113th graduating class and there are a little over 1000 living graduates.  Its small.  But I sent the petition to the current classes and my class and we have made an impact on the petition.  Many graduates work for the Navy as civilians (myself included), a couple active duty nuke officers, and lots of DoD contractors.  I have no doubt a Webbie or 10 has worked on the various Enterprise’s through the years and are currently working on the Gerald Ford.  We are proud of our founder’s and our own accomplishments and contributions to the US Navy and would like to see it continue in the proud traditions that it should hold dear.

Thanks to you and the Navy blog community in general.

Austin – thank you and all the good folks at the Webb Institute for your support. – SJS

Air Force Pilot Missing In Action From Vietnam War Is Identified

In the mail today:

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial.

Air Force Maj. Russell C. Goodman of Salt Lake City, Utah, will be honored this week at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., home of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird demonstration team. At the time of his loss, Goodman was assigned to the Thunderbirds and was flying with the U.S. Navy on an exchange program. He will be buried in Alaska at a date determined by his family.

On Feb. 20, 1967, Goodman and Navy Lt. Gary L. Thornton took off in their F-4B Phantom from the USS Enterprise for a bombing mission against a railroad yard in Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam. They were struck by enemy antiaircraft fire and their plane exploded. Thornton was able to eject at just 250 feet altitude, but Goodman did not escape. Thornton survived and was held captive until his release in 1973.  Search and rescue attempts were curtailed because of heavy anti-aircraft and automatic weapons fire in the area of the crash.

But wait, there’s more…

20 Feb 1967.  Operation ROLLING THUNDER has been underway for almost two years now.  Today, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), part of Task Force 77 operating on Yankee Station, is launching elements of Air Wing NINE on a strike to attack a railyard near the city of Tanh Hoa, in North Vietnam’s Tahn Hoa province.  In the strike package is an F-4B (NG 614/BuNo 150413) from VF-96.  Piloting “Showtime 614” was Maj Russell Goodman, on an exchange tour from the Air Force and a member of the 1964-65 Thunderbirds demonstration team.  Flying with him was his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer), ENS Gary L. Thorton, USN.

In North Vietnam, the leadership determined that since gaining air superiority over U.S. forces was out of the question, it would instead implement a policy of air deniability. At the beginning of the Rolling Thunder, North Vietnam possessed approximately 1,500 anti-aircraft weapons, most of which were of the light 37 and 57mm variety. Within one year, however, the U.S. estimated that the number had grown to over 5,000 guns, including 85 and 100mm radar-directed weapons. That estimate was later revised downward from a high of 7,000 in early 1967 to less than a thousand by 1972.  Additionally, North Vietnam’s deployment of SAMs was such that by 1967, North Vietnam had formed an estimated 25 SAM battalions (with six missile launchers each) which rotated among approximately 150 sites. With the assistance of the Soviet Union, the North Vietnamese had also quickly integrated an early warning radar system of more than 200 facilities which covered the entire country, tracking incoming U.S. raids, and then coordinating SAMs, anti-aircraft batteries, and MiGs to attack them.

During 1967 U.S. losses totaled 248 aircraft (145 Air Force, 102 Navy, and one Marine Corps).

Click on thumbnail to enlarge image

Somewhere south of the city of Tahn Hoa, an  S-75 Dvina (NATO designation: SA-2 GUIDELINE) surface to air missile is launched and approaches its target at speeds nearing Mach 3.  Near the target, its proximity fuse detonates the 430 lb fragmentation warhead, blowing debris in a lethal radius up to 150 ft.  Onboard Showtime 614, the aircraft is rocked by the blast, just off the portside and slightly below the wingline.  With communications lost to the pilot and the aircraft disintegrating around him, ENS Thorton ejects, his last image of Maj Goodman leaving him with the impression he was either dead or unconcscious because his head was down and wobbling back and forth.  Captured almost immediately by the North Vietnamese, ENS Thorton remained a POW until 4 March 1973 when he was reapatrioted along with the other American POWs as part of Operation Homecoming.  During his debriefing, ENS Thorton expressed his belief that Maj. Goodman did not eject.

Without confirmation though, Goodman would remain classified as MIA.  Back home, Maj Goodman left behind his wife of 12 years, June, two daughters and a son.

Between October 1993 and March 2008, joint U.S.-Vietnamese teams led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigated the crash site twice and conducted two excavations, recovering human remains and pilot equipment. The aircraft debris recovered correlates with the type of aircraft the men were flying.  Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched two of his maternal relatives — in the identification of Goodman’s remains.

The family learned their father’s remains had been identified about a week after their mother died Nov. 10 in Alaska, daughter Sue Stein told KTUU-TV in Anchorage.  Later this year, the children hope to spread their parents’ ashes on an Alaskan mountain. Before that though, the Thunderbirds will host a welcoming/remembrance ceremony at their homebase, Nellis AFB, tomorrow (13 January).

Maj. Richard Goodman (from left), U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron; Chaplain (Capt.) David Horton, 99th Air Base Wing; and members of the Goodman family salute as the remains of Maj. Russell C. Goodman are transferred Jan. 12, 2010, from an aircraft to a hearse at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Rest easy Maj Goodman, and welcome home – may you find eternal peace and rest with your loved ones.

Note: this is my 1,000th post since beginning this blog some four years ago.  While it has covered a wide range of topics during that time, I can think of no better way to mark this milestone than the resolution of another MIA case by those wizards at the Joint POW Accounting Command. – SJS

A Petition to Name the Next CVN “USS ENTERPRISE”


en⋅ter⋅prise [en-ter-prahyz] –noun

A project undertaken or to be undertaken, esp. one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy: To keep the peace is a difficult enterprise;

Participation or engagement in such projects: Our country was formed by the enterprise of resolute men and women.

Boldness or readiness in undertaking; adventurous spirit; ingenuity.

498 500 800+ 1280+ signatures now,  but more are needed.

A lot more — I want to show up at SecNav’s doorstep with a big frickin’ box full of big, heavy 3-ring binders of signatures, so we’re going to need a lot more signers…You sign the petition – I’ll find a way to deliver it to SecNav, in  person if need be.

Let our effort be the very definition of the word — and in the spirit of the ship we would see named “ENTERPRISE”!