USS Enterprise (CV-6), colloquially referred to as the "Big E," was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Launched in 1936, she was a ship of the Yorktown class, and one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to survive the war (the others being Saratoga and Ranger). She participated in more major actions of the war against Japan than did any other US ship. These actions included the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, various other air-sea engagements during the Guadalcanal campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, as well as the "Doolittle Raid" on Tokyo. On three separate occasions during the Pacific War, the Japanese announced that she had been sunk in battle.
Enterprise earned 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II. Some have labeled her the most glorious and honored ship in all of United States Naval history, rivaled only perhaps by the 18th century frigate USS Constitution.