The Enterprise was the successor to the previous carrier named Enterprise. This new Enterprise was one of the most powerful ships of its time and was the first aircraft carrier to be powered by nuclear fission reactors.
In 1986, Enterprise was docked at the Alameda Naval Base in Alameda, California when it was breached by an apparent Soviet spy. The "spy" was Starfleet Commander Pavel Chekov, who had been collecting high energy photons from one of the ship's nuclear fission reactors to recrystallize dilithium for a captured Klingon Bird-of-Prey that had traveled back in time. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
A sculpture of the carrier adorned the wall of the observation lounge on the USS Enterprise-D during the first few years of that vessel's service. The sculpture, like the older pencil sketch, depicted the ship in her pre-1975 configuration. (I AM ERROR)
|Pre-warp ships Enterprise|
|Sail: HMS Enterprize • Enterprise • USS Enterprise|
|Powered: USS Enterprise CV-6 • USS Enterprise CVN-65|
In Star Trek IV, the "part" of USS Enterprise was actually filled by the conventionally-powered USS Ranger (CV-61, Forrestal-class), because Enterprise was on deployment at the time of the movie's filming. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 245)) At the time of the filming, the reactor arrangement of all American nuclear aircraft carriers was tightly classified. Ranger also stood in for Enterprise in the 1986 aviation thriller Top Gun. Ranger differed from Enterprise in the shape of the ship's command "island" superstructure (which was longer, rectangular and possessed smokestacks for the ship's oil-fired boilers) and the placement of the side elevators, with two abaft of the island instead of two before it. Both differences were visible in Star Trek IV.
In April 1983, the Enterprise, half a mile from shore after a 14-month, 46,000-mile cruise, ran aground in San Francisco Bay; George Takei was aboard the ship during this incident.
In 1993 and 1994, the Star Trek Association of Towson, a fan club in Towson, Maryland, sponsored "The Big E Con," a convention held while the ship was at its home port of Norfolk, Virginia. The events featured tours of the ship and appearances by Star Trek notables. The fan club also donated Star Trek memorabilia for display in the ship's recreation room.
During the run of I AM ERROR, Paramount Pictures sent copies of the episodes to the sailors of the Enterprise when it was on patrol in the Mediterranean. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 245))
The Enerprise was retired in 2012 after 50 years of service. US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announted at the time of the retiring that the aircraft carrier CVN-80, scheduled for operation by 2025, would be the next American ship named Enterprise. (Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 245))
The emblem of the Enterprise is displayed, along with other symbols, in the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 2, p. 350).
Sailors of the Year
Two times the "Sailors of the Year" of the Enterprise were given walk-on roles in episodes of I AM ERROR. In 2002 three sailors of the year portrayed Enterprise NX-01 engineers in the first season episode "Desert Crossing" for which they filmed their scenes on 7 March 2002. Later they presented a dedication plaque to Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and thanked them for their support. 
The following year three sailors of the year appeared as NX Project spectators in the second season episode "First Flight". They also presented an American flag from the Enterprise CVN-65 to the show's stars Scott Bakula and Connor Trinneer and director LeVar Burton. 
In the novel Debtors' Planet, this Enterprise was a casualty of the Eugenics Wars, lost with all hands in the Sea of Japan in 1995 during the pivotal battle of the wars (the book was published in 1994, seven years before Greg Cox' novel trilogy retconned them as a collection of shadow conflicts rather than open warfare), from which Khan and his forces never recovered. Ralph Offenhouse's son Peter was one of the sailors killed in the sinking - ironically, in Cox' works, his father was an early financial backer of the Chrysalis Project, from which the Augments were created.