Navy celebrates USS Enterprise's 50th birthday

Associated Press
Seaman Tzitlali Rivero, 18, left, the youngest sailor in the Enterprise crew, and original crew member Billy Angeroth, 93, get ready to cut the cake as the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise celebrates its 50th birthday at Naval Station Norfolk on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.  (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)
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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has turned 50.

Hundreds of current and past crew members gathered Sunday and Monday at Norfolk Naval Station to celebrate the USS Enterprise's 50th birthday.

There also was a memorial service on Monday to honor those who died while serving aboard the carrier known as "Big E."

The Enterprise was commissioned on Nov. 25, 1961, in Newport News. It participated in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War, and it launched the first strikes against the Taliban in October 2001. It will deploy one final time in March 2012 and is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015.

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