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Operation Sea Orbit

In 1964, the United States Navy "paraded" the pride of its fleet -- the nuclear-powered Task Force One -- on a 65-day, 30,000 global voyage with only six ports of call.

The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, the world's largest ship, the missile cruiser U.S.S. Long Beach, and the missile-carrying frigate U.S.S. Bainbridge sailed out of the Mediterranean on July 31, and reached their ports at Norfolk, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina, on October 3. In between,the ships visited Karachi, Pakistan; Freemantle, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia; Wellington, New Zealand;and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Special guests were flown out to the Enterprise while the "fleet" sailed along west coast of Africa and the east coast of Sourh America. Made without refueling stops, the operation served to showcase the U.S. Navy's ability to send ships to any ocean they were needed, as well as a means of convincing the U.S. Congress to appropriate money for future nuclear-powered ships.

Planes spell out "E=mc2" on the deck of the USS Enterprise during Operation Sea Orbit.
Enterprise, Long Beach, Bainbridge

U.S. Naval Institute

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The Robinson Library >> In The Year... >> 1964

This page was last updated on June 18, 2017.