The real USS Enterprise commander was a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: The Original Series didn’t have stellar ratings in any of its three seasons, and even series star William Shatner thought it would be cancelled after the second season. However, the January 17, 1968 issue of The Telegraph told the world that there were other NBC shows that were in worse trouble than Star Trek. And the series was renewed for what wasn’t known then as the final season, but that renewal made one commander very happy.
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, H.L. Miller, was the first Carrier Division Commander to take the nuclear-powered Enterprise into combat, and he was also a Star Trek fan. So much so that after the series was renewed, on July 30, 1968, Admiral Miller sent a letter on official government stationery [via The Trek Files] to Gene Roddenberry, expressing his delight and telling Roddenberry that he would be eagerly looking forward to watching further episodes in what he called Roddenberry’s “good ship ENTERPRISE.”
Gene Roddenbery’s response to the Enterprise commander confirms where the name of Captain James T. Kirk’s starship came from.
Roddenberry responded to Admiral Miller, telling him that his naming of the Enterprise came out of his affection for the U.S. Navy and its own “Big E.” He expressed his envy of the Admiral’s experience on the Enterprise and included a desire to visit the vessel when it was in the west port.
Admiral Miller followed with a letter letting Roddenberry know the Big E was in port in Bremerton, Washington and that his office would arrange a visit for him. He ended with an invite to lunch should Roddenberry ever get back to Washington, D.C.
Star Trek has been loved by many people across the world, and it’s especially cool to know the real-life commander of the Enteprise was a Trekkie.