The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Harry Andrew D. Gordon)

The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — the USS Enterprise — is being harvested for parts for other U.S. Navy flattops.

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When I saw that the renowned aviation reporter Tyler Rogoway had unearthed a 1985 pre-release interview with the Top Gun cast by the media crew aboard the USS Enterprise, my heart raced faster than a Kenny Loggins jam. But after watching that slice of retro cinema, I mostly felt pity for the poor Navy petty officer who managed to somehow antagonize Tom Cruise during a contractually-obligated interview.

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The Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding have officially pulled the plug on the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, ending a painstaking, never-before-done process that began several years ago.

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Photo via DoD/Wikimedia Commons

Spend some time with Google Earth, an atlas or a globe and you will see that California, for peoples used to the Atlantic, was indeed the far side of the world well into the nineteenth century. What is now one of the most populated, navalized coastlines on Earth remained poorly known even to mariners.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jared M. King

Jim Voorhies keeps coming back to the USS Enterprise.

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