The Most Highly-Decorated US Navy Ships of WWII

The Most Highly-Decorated US Navy Ships of WWII

June 2, 2023

The United States showcased an impressive naval fleet in WWII. Among the numerous ships that served during the war, a select few stood out as the most decorated, earning battle stars for their accomplishments. (See the most mass produced U.S. naval ships in WWII.)

Battle stars are awards and recognition given to naval vessels for their active involvement and meritorious performance in a specific naval engagement, battle, or even campaign. As these stars add up, these vessels gain more prestige having survived and succeeded in multiple conflicts.

To determine the most decorated ships of World War II, 24/7 Wall St. referenced Official Military Ribbons, an online database of WWII ships and their decorations. We ranked the ships according to how many battle stars each received over the course of the war, excluding any ship with less than 15 battle stars. These battle stars convey how many conflicts each ship has survived, with more battle stars meaning more prestige. We included supplemental information about each ship’s type, class, year entered service, and personnel from various military and historical stories.

The undisputed champion in terms of battle stars earned during WWII is the USS Enterprise (CV-6), which boasts an impressive 20 battle stars. Launched in October 1936, the USS Enterprise contributed to many significant battle campaigns in the Pacific theater. This vessel earned accolades for its action during the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, and the Guadalcanal Campaign. Due to its significant role in providing air support, the USS Enterprise contributed immensely to the United States’ victory in the Pacific.

Next in line, the USS San Francisco (CA-38), a New Orleans-class heavy cruiser, received 17 battle stars during its service in WWII. This vessel saw action in some of the most significant campaigns and battle engagements in the Pacific Theater. Key engagements included the battles of Cape Esperance, Wake Island, and the Guadalcanal Campaign. (Conversely, these are famous U.S. ships that were sunk in WWII.)

The USS Enterprise and USS San Francisco are only two of the most decorated U.S. military ships of WWII. With the backing of the rest of the fleet, these vessels played a vital role in achieving victory in the Pacific and an ultimate conclusion to the war through their gallantry and meritorious performance. Here’s a look at the most decorated U.S. warships from  WWII.

Click here to see the most highly-decorated US ships of WWII.

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