Navy coins are a proud part of military tradition. Whether to reward outstanding performance, commemorate a deployment or a selfless act, they are a staple of Navy life. We are honored to provide custom challenge coins for the final deployment of the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in 2012.
This exceptional ship served a 55-year commission, longer than any other U.S. aircraft carrier. The Enterprise was the eighth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and it was quite literally in a class by itself. It was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and at 1,123 feet, the longest naval vessel ever built. The ship had the most nuclear reactors (8) of any aircraft carrier, and it cost $451 million to build. Dubbed the "Big E," it was meant to be the first of a class of six carriers. However, the cost put a halt to the other before their construction began.
The Enterprise launched in 1960, making its maiden voyage in early 1962. By October of the same year, it served as part of the Navy blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The ship later saw duty in the waters off Vietnam, as well as the Iraq War. Over the course of its five decades in service, the Enterprise traveled around the world multiple times. It's final deployment alone covered 80,968 miles during 238 days at sea.
Over 100,000 sailors served aboard the Enterprise, adding to its history and legacy. When the time came for the Big E’s final deployment, officials sought Navy coins to commemorate the last voyage and the ship’s impressive history. They turned to Challenge Coins 4 Less, and we were honored to respond. We are proud of the work we have done over the years for every branch of the U.S. military.
We are grateful to have earned the trust of the men and women of the Enterprise to produce a series of coins to commemorate the great ship’s last voyage. We created custom coins in both bronze and silver to honor the ship. The front boasts a 3-D replica of the ship, the words “USS Enterprise CVN 65 Final Deployment.” In a smaller scale on the coin was the ship’s official insignia – featuring an imprint of the ship, a big “E,” two sides of the globe and an atom symbol. Three other insignia featured the ship’s Carrier Air Wing 1, Carrier Strike Group 12 and Destroyer Squadron 2.
The reverse side boasts 3D images of all eight ships to bear the Enterprise name, while encircled by "Since 1775, eight military ships have carried the name Enterprise. Keep the name alive.” The Enterprise returned to its homeport of Norfolk (VA) Naval Station in November 2012, deactivated in December of that year. On February 3, 2017, the Big E was officially decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Registry. The name will live on in a ninth ship, as the Navy has announced that an upcoming aircraft carrier will be named Enterprise (CVN-80).
Construction is planned to begin next year, and the ship is expected to be commissioned in 2025. We at Challenge Coins 4 Less are honored to have been able to provide Navy coins to those who served on the USS Enterprise and salute her service to our nation.