The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
National U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Month was established in 2016 to honor the value, accomplishments, and contributions of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, and the men and women who serve aboard them.  November was chosen because the month is full of historic milestones in the development of the modern aircraft carrier and their contributions to the nation.

Those important November dates and milestones include: 

November 14, 1910 – Naval aviation was born when Eugene Ely launched from the deck of a U.S. Navy ship in a Curtiss Model D plane.

November 8, 1917 – Lieutenant Commander Earl W. Spencer Jr., U.S. Navy, became the commanding officer of the first permanent naval air station for training, today known as Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, CA.

November 17, 1924 – USS Langley (CV 1), converted from the collier USS Jupiter (AL 3), became the first operational aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy.

November 25, 1961 – The USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was commissioned.

November 9, 2013 – The first of the next generation of aircraft carriers, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was christened.

This exhibit celebrates Aircraft Carrier Month by examining the history of the vessels; their special characteristics, including the use of steel; and why they are so important to the American past, present, and future.  We hope you enjoy it!

“The impact of a new carrier is global, for no other ship represents to the world the power of the United States.”
Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy, January 10, 2009