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Big E To Become National Shrine

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (AP) - The heroic aircraft carrier Enterprise, too old to fight anymore, will become a national shrine, the Navy disclosed today.

President Truman has approved a proposal from Navy Secretary Forrestal to preserve the "fightingest ship of the fleet," affectionately known to her crew as the "Big E" and the "Gallopin' Ghost of the Oahu Coast."

The Enterprise is now in Boston where she will be equipped and sent back to Europe to pick up returning war veterans. Presumably as soon as she completes her trans-Atlantic taxi service she will become a national shrine. For the past two weeks the Enterprise has been on public display in New York. A half million persons visited her decks.

President Truman authorized the preservation by approving Forrestal's letter which read in part:

"Time has accomplished what the enemy failed to do in four years of desperate and costly effort: the U. S. S. Enterprise must be taken out of service because modern planes cannot be flown in combat from her flight deck.

"I believe, Mr. President, that the Enterprise should be retained permanently at some proper place as a visible symbol of American valor and tenacity in war, and of our will to fight all enemies who assail us, and I request your approval of this proposal."

Rare Honour For U.S.N. Carrier

Gift of Admiralty Flag as Naval Tribute

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, Nov. 23 (AP) - Naval history was made at Southampton today when Mr. A. V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Cunningham of Hyndhope, First Sea Lord, and Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge, Third Sea Lord visited the United States aircraft carrier Enterprise and the Admiralty flag was hoisted in the ship.

It was the first official visit paid by the Board of the Admiralty to an American warship and the first time the Admiralty flag had been hoisted in one. Mrs. Alexander presented the flag to Enterprise as a momento.

The Admiralty Board, who were accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Geoffrey Blake, liaison flag officer to the United States Naval Forces in Europe, and Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, were received by Admiral H. Kent Hewett, commanding the United States Naval Forces in Europe.

Mr. Alexander, addressing the officers and ship's company, said Enterprise had achieved a battle honour that would put any other ship at the end of her first commission in the shade. After a reference to Enterprise's fighting record, Mr. Alexander said, "Having fought alongside you on two occasions, we would pay a tribute from the Royal Navy to the great exploits of the officers and men of the United States Navy, who have greatly enriched the sea and established once more the efficacy of sea power." It would be a great thing if Enterprise could be preserved by the United States Navy as HMS Victory has been by the British.

Speaking of the gift of the Admiralty flag, Mr. Alexander said, "It is a historic flag with its anchors. That emblem was first adopted in 1570, and Lord Howard of Effingham flew its streamer from the foretop in the fight against the Spanish Armada. The Board of the Admiralty would be proud if you would accept the gift of this flag to Enterprise as a token of respect for her gallant record, and as a sincere tribute from a great and historic Navy to the prowess of the comrades-in-arms in the United States fleet. May the cooperation and friendship and mutual esteem forged of war be a link between us of such great strength that it will never be broken."

This afternoon, Enterprise, with 4700 United States service personnel aboard departed Southampton for America.

Famous Aircraft Carrier Converted To Troopship

The aircraft carrier, "Enterprise," whose record of deeds during the war years has been so great and whose endurance has been so lasting that she has been named as a symbol of American Naval might, is now a troopship. The famous vessel, eventually to be preserved for posterity along with such American ships as the U.S.F. Constitution and the Merrimac, docked at South Boston Naval Drydock a few weeks ago, the first flattop to be converted to a troopship in Boston.

Workmen labored all over the big ship, removing flight gear and equipment, converting the hangar deck into berthing spaces. Stanchions now rise out of the deck where lashed-down planes once stood. Over 3500 bunks were installed in the ship.

And now the carrier has once again sailed, this time across the Atlantic, to bring GI's from the European shores. The trip will be swift - five days - but not too comfortable. Bunks are in five tiers, with heavy canvas stretched on iron frames, with mattresses only for women - WACS, nurses, and Red Cross girls. But there are many of them, the new capacity being 4400.

It will be chilly on the Atlantic in November but the travel will be swift and anticipation of home great.

U.S. Warships 'Ride' Storm To Land Vets

59 Troop Vessels Bring 40,000 Men

NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (AP) - The U. S. S. Washington, her decks, guns and superstructures covered with ice, nosed into New York harbor three days late today after weathering Atlantic storms which reached hurricane force.

The 35,000-ton Washington brought 1,626 home-bound G.I.'s from Europe. Many will not reach home for Christmas because of the delay.

"We encountered the worst storms I have seen in all my years at sea," Capt. Francis X. McInerney, the battleship's commanding officer, said.

"There were seven storms, and twice the winds reached hurricane force. The waves ran from 75 to 100 feet high, loosening rafts, damaging the superstructure and injuring several seamen," he added.

"However," Capt. McInerney said, "The morale of the troops was splendid. They knew they were headed home and we fought our way through the seas to make certain those boys would arrive."

Army officers aboard ship played host to Navy men Saturday night at a pre-Christmas dinner. Captain McInerney was presented with a scroll signed by all Army officers and enlisted men aboard as a tribute to the Washington and its crew for bringing them safely through the hurricane.

The Washington led a parade of 59 troop-carrying ships bringing more than 40,000 servicemen into three east coast and five west coast ports today in efforts to get them home sometime during the Christmas holidays.

Behind the Washington came the aircraft carrier Enterprise, the famed "Big E" of the Pacific naval battles, bringing 4,945 troops into New York after a stormy nine-day trip from Southampton, England. This ship, too, was covered with icicles - and badly battered.

Much small gear had been carried away from the Enterprise's decks by the 75-foot waves and 80-knot winds of four successive storms. Steel guards around the ship's anti-aircraft guns were crumpled.

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