This month, the Naval Institute takes pride and great pleasure in publishing the new, illustrated edition of The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise. The work—hardcover, 9” x 12”, 576 pages, with 370 photos, maps, and other illustrations—tells the tale of the aircraft carrier that contributed more than any other warship to the naval victory in the Pacific. The scoreboard on her hangar deck at the end of World War II included 20 battle stars, 911 aircraft destroyed, and 71 ships sunk.
The first edition of The Big E was published in 1962. The author, the late Commander Edward Peary Stafford, USN (Ret.), was a naval aviator. He gives us a superb study—literate, scholarly, highly dramatic—of a great ship, her crew, and the action they saw. His work is judged to be one of the finest pieces of naval writing to emerge from the war. The U.S. Naval Institute gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support and invaluable partnership of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Executive Chairman Andrew C. Taylor for making this special edition of Commander Stafford’s The Big E possible.