2019 … a new year for former CV-11 crewmembers (FCMs) to re-connect

FCMs, lets re-connect with each other and, reach out to find other FCMs. If you have any memories or stories about your service aboard the Intrepid, or any other comments that fellow former crewmembers would be interested in, please don’t hesitate to send to me by email at: cv11texfcm@gmail.com

Please Note: On the ‘Subject’ Line of your email to me, please type-in “Blog Submission”

Thanks you.

And … Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us.

John Simonetti, Past Association President, ’03-’05


Vietnam Statistics and Myths

Go to: http://uswings.com…t-us-wings/vietnam-war-facts


Intrepid 75th Anniversary UPDATE

– Our allotment of 170 rooms at the hotel sold out.
– Expecting more than 300 FCM to attend
– Expecting more than 1,000 for dinner on INTREPID Thursday night
– Expecting 500 – 700  for the dinner cruise on Saturday.
– This will be my last Reunion due to health.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve our
USS Intrepid Former Crewmember Association
Ralph Slane
Former Crewmember
Association Reunion Activities Co-ordinator & Benefactor
Past Member
New York Council
Navy League of the U.S.

Lynn Bari, ‘PinUp’

Lynn Bari Lynn Bari was one of 14 young women “launched on the                 trail of film stardom” August 6, 1935, when they each received a six-month contract with 20th Century Fox after spending 18 months in the company’s training school. The contracts included a studio option for renewal for as long as seven years.

In most of her early films, Bari had uncredited parts usually playing receptionists or chorus girls. She struggled to find starring roles in films, but accepted any work she could get. Rare leading roles included China Girl (1942), Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), and The Spiritualist (1948). In B movies, Lynn was usually cast as a villainess, notably Shock and Nocturne (both 1946). An exception was The Bridge of San Luis Rey  (1944). During WWII, according to a survey taken of GIs, Bari was the second-most popular pinup girl after the much better-known Betty Grable.

Bari’s film career fizzled out in the early 1950s as she was approaching her 40th birthday, although she continued to work at a more limited pace over the next two decades, now playing matronly characters rather than temptresses. She portrayed the mother of a suicidal teenager in a 1951 drama, On the Loose, plus a number of supporting parts.

Bari’s last film appearance was as the mother of rebellious teenager Patty McCormack in The Young Runaways (1968) and her final TV appearances were in episodes of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. and The FBI.

She quickly took up the rising medium of television during the ’50s, which began when she starred in the live television sitcom Detective’s Wife, which ran during the summer of 1950, and in Boss Lady

In 1955, Bari appeared in the episode “The Beautiful Miss X” of Rod Cameron’s syndicated crime drama City Detective. In 1960, she played female bandit Belle Starr in the debut episode “Perilous Passage” of the NBC western series Overland Trail starring William Bendix and Doug McClure and with fellow guest star Robert J. Wilke as Cole Younger.

From July–September 1952, Bari starred in her own situation comedy, Boss Lady, a summer replacement for NBC’s Fireside Theater. She portrayed Gwen F. Allen, the beautiful top executive of a construction firm. Not the least of her troubles in the role was being able to hire a general manager who did not fall in love with her.

Commenting on her “other woman” roles, Bari once said, “I seem to be a woman always with a gun in her purse. I’m terrified of guns. I go from one set to the other shooting people and stealing husbands!

Ref: THE INTREPID newsletter, Volume 3, Number 4, October 1945 and the Internet

Two Typhoons From Okinawa

In the Fall of 1945, the INTREPID was in Buckner Bay at Okinawa and the weather was hot and calm. There were several other vessels in the same enclosed body of water. Most of the aircraft were on the hanger deck and it seemed like a very quite day. Suddenly, we were given an alarm of an approaching typhoon with waves as high as 70 feet. Everyone scrambled to secure all movable items on the flight and hanger decks. It seemed like in a few minutes the flight deck was vacant and the steel doors were downed locked on the hanger deck. The crew was ordered to stay below decks as the ship raced to get out of the Bay opening into the Ocean.

Shortly, we did clear the island by about a half mile when the first wave was visible on the horizon. It appeared as a wide white line at a distance. As it rolled toward us, we slowed down to meet the first wave which stopped the Intrepid while it lifted us upward and shuck everything violently. Water went over the flight deck. This was a serious storm. Within a few minutes the waves increased in height to 90 feet. The ship headed into the waves at an angle to reduce the impact of head-on collisions. The forward speed was about 4 knots to maintain steerage. When a wave was under the hull at mid-ship, the bow and stern would bow down and the expansion plates on the flight deck would cover wide gaps. We would “crash” into a new wave every few seconds and everything on the ship would shake and make noises. This continued for three days.

We were lucky the ship did not fail that test. We felt like we were comparable to a “bar of Ivory soap in an old fashion washing machine”.  The control tower was subject to wave splashes  20-to 30 feet high.

After three days, we returned to Buckner Bay to “take inventory and observe damages”. We resumed destroying floating mines in the seas around Japan for another ten days before we were given another “typhoon alert”. This time we responded quicker…got out of the Bay in shorter time and knew more about what to expect. The second was about the same as the first one, but it ended after 2.5 days. Fortunately, we saw no more rough water until December.

That is when we boarded 2000 paratroopers as guests to ride from Japan to San Francisco for Christmas leaves. On the eleven day trip we had seven days of heavy seas and hundreds of sea sick paratrooper. “What happened on that trip… stay on the ship”!!!

Story contributed by AOM3/c Keith Butterfield

Meritorious Mast

Information found in THE INTREPID Newsletter Vol. 3, Num 4 of Oct 1945

Citations from Com First Car Task For, Pac award to: Naylor, Wm. B., ACOM, Ivcic, Walter S., AOM2c, Samuels, Edgar N., S1c

Presidential Unit Citations awarded to: Pyle, R. G., PhM1c, Preston, F. A., PhM3c

Bronze Star Medal awarded to: Schwabe, L. R., Lt. Cmdr., USN, Treuer, G.E., Lieut., USN,   Luce, S. L., Lt.(jg), USNR, Ross, H. M., ACOM … Watson, A. J., AMM2c was awarded the Bronze Star Medal posthumously

Purple Hearts: Altman, R., S1c, Bailey, H., S1c, Bass, R., StM1c, Beavers, H. N., S1c, Boyington, L. S., S1c, Bowen, C. K., S1c, Brookens, M. L., F1c, Carpenter, M. F., S2c, Cifelli, A. P. B., Pfc, Clark, O., SC3c, Cleothlis, G. A., S1c, Coggins, C. G., S2c, Dooley, L. A., S1c, Dimmick, G. C., Pfc, Dunning, T. A., S1c, Eads, J. E., S1c, Eagan, J. P., S1c,  Foster, C. H., Jr., S2c,  Forguer, R. R., S1c, Garner, F. E., S2c, Gilliam, E. T., S1c, Gibbs, J. C., S1c, Gomez, A. A., S2c, Gray, E. R., S2c, Grimes, J. L., S2c,  Harper, R. N., AON2c, Heiland, R. J., S2c, Hendrix, W. B., Pfc,  Hiatt, L. R., S2c, Kahle, R. L., S2c, Maile, J. W., S1c, Mayberry, J. E., S1c, Mayo, J. B., S2c, Mertz, H. A., EM3, Metcalf, B. E., S1c, Mouzon, H. F., StM1c, McDowell, M. F., S2c, Pavitt, G. F., AOM3c, Powell, W. K., AOM2c, Richard, J. G., StM1c, Reeves, S. T., S2c, Sapp, S. R., S1c, Shaforth, F. H., S1c, Sommerville, G. A., Cpl, Stensberg, K. W., EM1c, Swointeck, C. B., S1c, Svoboda, C., S2c,  Treece, A. H., St3c, Toland, H., Jr., S1c, Underwood, O., S1c, Walker, I. N., Pfc, Wallace, C. M., F2c, Whitaker, J. L., S1c

Ref: THE INTREPID newsletter, Volume 3, Number 4, October 1945


The Intrepid Band

Information found in THE INTREPID Newsletter Vol. 3, Num 4 of Oct 1945

Murray-Led Band Reports Aboard

One day last April at the Washington Music School  22 musicians were assembled with Chief Bandmaster Arthur Murray and told that it was Navy Unit Band 98. And thus the INTREPID BAND was born.

Within a month’s time, the band reported aboard and was beginning to play the music that sailors love to hear. It is easy enough to get two or three musicians to make a song sound something like it is supposed to, but when you take 22 men, who had never seen each other before, you have a job. And that is the task that was assigned to Chief Murray, a veteran of 19 years in the Navy.

The band is composed of five clarinet players, four men of the cornet, two on the saxophone, two French hornists, three trombonists, two drummers, two tuba players and one man each on the baritone and the piccolo.

Chief Murray in his 19 years of service has served aboard 16 ships and two shore stations. His ships have included nine cruisers, four destroyer or seaplane tenders and one battleship. the INTREPID is his first carrier and he, speaking for the band as well as himself, says he really enjoys it here.

Band members include: Sauer, Dzoba, Norris, Combs, Carrier, Passalacqua, Lang, Morgan, Boyce, Elwell, O’Malley, Mancini, Larson, Fox, Mitchell, Sasse, Mulley, Koupel, Lenzi, Troyer, DeNeen ,and Ferdon.

Ref: THE INTREPID newsletter, Volume 3, Number 4, October 1945

“Our Air Group”

Information found in THE INTREPID Newsletter Vol. 3, Num 4 of Oct 1945

Now that fighting is a thing of the past, a few statistics of “Our Air Group” was always willing to tackle the enemy, and that is precisely what it did. Exactly 100 enemy aircraft were shot out of the skies, while 86 were destroyed on the ground. A total of 94 ships of all descriptions were either sunk or severely damaged.

Besides the attack on the battleship YAMATO and its escorts, the most outstanding encounter of the squadron happened on the morning of April 16 when one division of four planes bagged twenty Japs. Since then one of the pilots has been killed and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously. The division leader was credited with six planes and was awarded the Navy Cross; his wingman bagged four planes and was awarded the Silver Star. The fourth man, who was awarded the Navy Cross, was high man of the day, gathering seven.

“Our Air Group” may soon be replaced, and at that time many facts that at present cannot be released will be published. One thing about these pilots and combat air crewmen, they certainly did their share in keeping up the traditions of the “Mighty I” and the Naval Air Corps.

Ref: THE INTREPID, Volume3, Number 4, October 1945

A Thought

Information found in THE INTREPID Newsletter Vol. 3, Num 4 of Oct 1945

     Joe sat on the flight deck with a cold and low morale. Other people thought he wind was warmed just right by the sun but Joe had chills along with a bad disposition.

     Usually the sight of an armada thrilled Joe but this morning those battlewagons and cruisers were just another item of the war that had kept hi in the service so long. Joe thought he would write a letter to his congressman and find out why the point system had to be so high and beyond him. Under this present system he would have another year tacked onto his three and a half of service.

     That island off to the starboard about ten miles looked dismal through the haze. Joe thought it would be good to stretch his legs even if he wasn’t at peace with the world. Walking forward along the starboard catwalk he bumped everybody that cam that way. Thinking, “I may as well let them know I’m around”.

It was kind of funny the way that island sat off on the horizon. Looked plenty small from back yonder but up close it got big and stared a guy in the face. The closer a fellow got the more of it appeared out of the haze. Joe stood there looking hard for what he wanted to see and suddenly a faint trace of an outline stuck its arm up into the sky.

“Mt. Suribachi” muttered Joe, and he lost some of that disgust for the world. He remembered that letter three weeks ago from the little woman telling him about all the guys from home that are buried out here.

Joe feels pretty cheap all of a sudden, he’s sitting almost at the foot of his friends’ graves and griping about a cold and a discharge. He says, “sure Joe, you’ve been fighting this war a long time but you’re still in one piece to talk about it.” Joe thinks its hell that people can forget so easily, he know that a lot of people in the states probably never realized the true meaning of Okinawa. Its more than a Nap name to Joe, it means ‘hell on earth’ and Joe does like a lot of other Joes will do, he says just a little prayer for those gyrenes and doggies who gave their lives for him and the rest of the U.S. population.

Ref: THE INTREPID newsletter, Volume 3, Number 4, October 1945

‘The KETCHER History’

FORMER CREWMEMBERS ... 'The Ketcher' History, as recorded here, is 
based on the copy of 'THE INTREPID' Newsletter, *Volume 3, Number 2 
of April 1945, in hand by this Blog Editor.
     If any former crewmember (FCM) has any earlier published copies of 
The Ketcher, this Editor would be greatly appreciative. Please 
contact the Editor by email at cv11texfcm@gmail.
                            *THE INTREPID
Commanding Officer, Captain Giles E. Short, USN
Executive Officer, Commander R.P. Kauffman, USN 
Supervising Editor, Lt.(jg) R. H. Smith
Editorial Staff
G. F. Pavitt AOM3c, Co-Editor
B. S. Nusbaum, Jr. RdM3c, News Editor
P. M.Jones, PhoM2c, Photographic Editor
Chaplain M.D.Safford, W. B. Naylor, ACOM,      Don Ickes, Y3c, 
R. J. Boyce, S1c.     W. Loff, PhoM3c.      Lt.(jg) N. C. Peterson
J.E.Kroeger,PhoM2c.  H. F. Krasin, PhoM1c.  T. H. Fredrickson, PhoM3cW. Loff, PhoM3c
H.J.Devlin,Prtr1c.   V. J. Lenzi, Prtr2c.      H. J. Stoll, Prtr3cD 
R. aleto, Prtr3c
Publication Censor
Lt. J. B. Kirsch

The U.S.S. INTREPID receives Camp Newspaper Service material. Republication 
of credited matter prohibited without permission of CNS, 205 E. 42ndSt., NYC 17

Cover: Photo overlay by Krueger, PhoM2c and Krasin, PhoM1c


Second Anniversary of the U.S.S. INTREPID CV-11, 16 August 1945

The following was copied from the Second Anniversary ‘Program’
of the U.S.S. INTREPID CV-11

Capt. Giles E. Short, U.S.N., Commanding Officer
Comdr. W. E. Ellis, U.S. N., Executive Officer

The first INTREPID is believed to have been built as a bomb ketch in France in 1798, for the Egyptian Expedition of General Bonaparte. It was sold to Tripoli and named MASTICO, and when captured off Tripoli by the American schooner ENTERPRISE, was given the name INTREPID.

The INTREPID was under the command of Stephen Decatur in his brilliant expedition which resulted in the destruction of the U.S.S. PHILADELPHIA on the night of Feb. 16, 1804. The PHILADELPHIA had grounded and was in the. Hands of the enemy. The purpose of the expedition was to prevent her further use against the United States Naval forces. Later the same year, Sept. 4, 1804, under the command of Lieutenant Somers, the ship was blown up with all hands in a perilous and fatal attempt to damage enemy shipping in the harbor of Tripoli.

Commodore Preble who had directed these exploits, returned to the United States and received the vote of thanks from Congress and an emblematic gold medal from President Jefferson. Lieutenant Decatur was promoted to Captain and presented with a sword by a grateful Congress.  They were both highly commended by Lord Nelson who characterized the first exploit of the INTEPID as “ the most bold and daring act of the age.” At the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stands the Tripolitan Monument erected to the memory of the officers and men of the INTREPID who lost their lives on her fatal expedition.

The second INTREPID was built at Boston, commissioned in 1874, brig rigged and iron hull, 170 feet in length, 35 feet beam, 11 feet feet depth, steam torpedo ram, 438 tons. From Aug. 3 to Oct. 30, 1874, she cruised along the North Atlantic coast trying her torpedos. From 1875 to 1882, she was in commission at the New York Navy Yard. From 1883 to 1889, she was undergoing repairs and alterations at that Yard; striken from Navy list, and sold in 1892.

The third INTREPID was built at Mare Island in 1904 by the U.S. Navy. Whe was a steel vessel, bark rigged, length 176 feet, beam 45 feet, mean draft 16 feet, tonnage 1800 tons, armament four (4) six-pounders and two (2) one-pounders. She was designed and used as a training vessel. This INTREPID was stationed at Yerba Buena, California. She is now moored at Pearl Harbor.

The new U.S.S. INTREPID (CV-11) is the first aircraft carrier and the fourth naval vessel to be given this name. Her keel was laid Dec. 1, 1941, and she was launched April 26, 1943, at the Newport News Ship Building and Dry Dock Company. Mrs. John Howard Hoover, wife of Vice Admiral Hoover, was her sponsor. The INTREPID was the first major war vessel to be constructed at that yard in a graving dock.

The U.S.S. INTREPID (CV-11) was commissioned Aug. 16, 1943, by Rear Admiral Herbert W. Leary, U.S. Navy, Commandant of the Fifth Naval District. Former Commanding Officers are: Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague, U.S.N., Aug. 16, 1943 to March 28, 1944; Rear Admiral William D. Sample, U.S.N., April 19, 1944 to May 19, 1944; Capt. Richard K. Gaines, U.S.N., March 29, 1944 to April 18, 1944, and May 20, 1944, to May 29, 1944; Captain Joseph F. Bolger, U.S.N., May 29, 1944 to Feb. 15, 1945.

Today, aboard this modern, mighty INTREPID we celebrate her second birthday. On this second anniversary, officers and men join with Captain Giles E. Short, U.S.N., in the hope that in our future engagements with the enemy we shall continue to be worthy of the name INTREPID. God grant that, in the cool courage and fearless bravery of the present crew, the spirit of the heroic and undaunted crews of the past will live again in another “most bold and daring act of the age.”

Update – Robert E. Blick, Jr.

Robert Edwin Blick , Jr.

Date of birth: July 8, 1899
Date of death: December 23, 1972
Place of Birth: Indiana, Peru
Home of record: Michigan City Indiana

Robert Blick graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1922. He retired as a Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy.


Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Robert Edwin Blick, Jr. (NSN: 0-57463), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Escort Carrier U.S.S. SANTEE (CVE-29), Captain Blick was engaged in furnishing air support to amphibious attack groups landing on the shore of Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, from 18 to 27 October 1944. On 25 October 1944 his ship was hit by a Japanese suicide dive bomber and shortly afterwards was torpedoed by an enemy submarine. Under his courageous leadership the fire that ensued in the hangar was soon extinguished and the ship proceeded to launch flight after flight against the enemy fleet approaching Leyte Gulf from the east. These planes damaged the enemy ships and contributed to their turning away from the attack on our forces in Leyte Gulf. By his personal courage, skill in combat, and determination, he gave encouragement to his personnel in a manner that caused his actions to contribute to turning away the enemy fleet, thereby helping it win the critical Battle of Samar Island. His conduct throughout was in accordance with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States.

General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 0193 (January 19, 1945)

Action Date: October 18 – 27, 1944

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Santee (CVE-29)

Legion of Merit

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” to Captain Robert Edwin Blick, Jr. (NSN: 0-57463), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. SANTEE (CVE-29) during operations against the enemy in the Southwest Pacific Area from 13 August 1944 to 9 November 1944. Captain Blick directed effective strikes against enemy shore installations, air power and forces afloat. His outstanding efforts were of considerable value in the success of many allied campaigns. His courage, leadership and professional skill were at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Captain Blick is authorized to wear the Combat “V”.)

Action Date: August 13 – November 9, 1944

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Santee (CVE-29)

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” to Captain Robert Edwin Blick, Jr. (NSN: 0-57463), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States during the period 1 July 1945 to 15 August 1945 while serving as Chief of Staff to a Task Group Commander. During the period of time mentioned, the Task Group was engaged in active combat operations against the enemy at sea and against the Japanese homeland. His initiative, resourcefulness and foresight were outstanding and contributed materially to the success of operations against the enemy. On all occasions, his courageous leadership and determination were an inspiration to officers and men. His professional skill and judgment were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Captain Blick is authorized to wear the Combat “V”.)

Action Date: July 1 – August 15, 1945

Service: Navy

Rank: Captain

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Gold Star in lieu of a Third Award of the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” to Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Blick, Jr. (NSN: 0-57463), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commander Carrier Division THREE and Commander Task Force SEVENTY-SEVEN during operations against enemy North Korean and Chinese Communist Forces in the Korean Theater from 15 May to 27 July 1953. Rear Admiral Blick commanded a striking force of aircraft carriers, heavy support ships and screening vessels. He displayed outstanding initiative and professional skill in directing effective air and sea operations against the Communist enemy in Korea. He contributed to the planning and advance preparations for stepped-up aerial assaults against vital hydro-electric plans in North Korea and aggressively took full advantage of the mobility of the task force under his command as he planned and executed air and sea blows against the enemy. His successful air and sea interdiction resulted in the destruction of numerous important enemy industrial and supply centers and transportation junctions and staging points. During the month of June and July 1953 when the enemy conducted heavy offensive operations against front line troops, Rear Admiral Blick was directly responsible for the heavy air support provided friendly forces to combat those enemy assaults. These operations resulted in the infliction of heavy casualties upon enemy forces. Through his service as Commander Carrier Division THREE, Rear Admiral Blick contributed immeasurably to the termination of hostilities against the Communist Forces in North Korea. His steadfast devotion to duty was at all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. (Rear Admiral Blick is authorized to wear the Combat “V”.)

General Orders: All Hands (April 1955)

Action Date: May 15 – July 27, 1953

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Company: Commander

Division: Task Force 77

A May 1944 Monthly History Report

The USS Intrepid, 75 years ago (this past August 16th, 2017) was commissioned and joined the U.S. Navy in the middle of World War II. For the next two years she and her crew trained, fitted out and then fought their way across the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, the contributions the ship and crew made to victory were vital and the price they paid heavy. Travel with our Museum tour guides here each month as they follow Intrepid’s journey and its crew’s experience throughout World War II.

May 1944: Captains

During Intrepid’s long career in the United States Navy, 30 different men served as the ship’s captain, or commanding officer (CO). Today, there is a plaque on the restored navigation bridge listing the names of these men and the years they were aboard. Museum guests are often very surprised to find out that not one of the captains held that post on Intrepid longer than 14 months. In fact, many served aboard for far shorter periods of time. But while the frequency of changes in command may seem strange, it has long been common practice in the U.S. Navy. Officers are regularly rotated to different positions and jobs, as well as between ship and shore posts. The variety helps to mold well-rounded leaders and ensure that each receives experience in both the command as well as the administrative side of Navy officership. During times of war, the number of available commanding officer billets grows, and the reassignment process tends to accelerate. In fact, in May 1944, while Intrepid spent yet another month in California under repair, three different men rightly called themselves captain.

Intrepid’s History
Capt. William Dodge Sample (pictured) was in command of USS Intrepid for a single month before being reassigned to USS Hornet. Courtesy of the National Museum of Naval Aviation
At the beginning of May 1944, Capt. William Dodge Sample was only in his second week aboard. Back on April 19, he reported to Intrepid and took over from Cdr. Richard Gaines. Gaines, Intrepid’s Executive Officer, had served as interim commanding officer since the promotion and departure of Adm. Thomas Sprague in March. As for Sample, he was a rising star in the Navy. The son of a retired army general from Buffalo, New York, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1919 and qualified as an aviator a few years later. Before Intrepid, Sample supervised the conversion of USS Santee from oil tanker into escort carrier. Next he took Santee into harm’s way in support of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. Sample’s tenure on board Intrepid was significant, as he supervised continuing repairs, but brief. On May 19, after just a month as captain, he was reassigned to fill a vacancy on another fully operational carrier, USS Hornet.  As captain of Hornet, Sample went on to lead it through the battle of the Philippine Sea in June. Later that summer he was promoted to Rear Admiral, becoming the youngest Admiral in the Pacific Fleet during World War II. Sample served through the rest of the war and into the occupation of Japan until his death in October 1945 during an airplane crash. Sample is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Intrepid’s History
Capt. William Dodge Sample (center, at microphone) took over command of Intrepid from Cdr. Richard Gaines (to Sample’s left) on April 19, 1944, only to turn the ship back over to Gaines a month later. Courtesy of the National Museum of Naval Aviation
Upon Sample’s departure Cdr. Gaines assumed temporary command of USS Intrepid for the second time. Gaines, the son of a congressman, was from White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. He graduated from Annapolis in 1925. As executive officer Gaines was with Intrepid from the very beginning, reporting aboard in June 1943. He would stay aboard until September 1944. Though Gaines’s rank during his two brief periods as CO remained commander, he nevertheless held the title of “captain.” In the U.S. Navy, any officer commanding a ship is always referred to as “captain” while aboard their vessel. This time around, Gaines’s tenure as captain included the May 26, 1944 refloating and dry-docking of Intrepid. Five days later he turned over command of the carrier for the last time to newly arrived Captain Joseph F. Bolger.
Intrepid’s History
Capt. Joseph F. Bolger took command of USS Intrepid in late May 1944. In the months that followed, he led the ship and crew through their largest battle and closest brush with disaster. Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Like Sample, Bolger was another promising aviator on his way to bigger and better things, though his stay aboard would be far longer. Bolger was part of the Naval Academy Class of 1921 and from Adams, Massachusetts. Since October 1942 he had served ashore as aide to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air. On May 30, 1944 the same day Bolger took command, Intrepid’s repairs were finally completed. Preparations began immediately for a return journey to Pearl Harbor. One of Bolger’s first acts upon taking command was to begin an intense training program with much emphasis on anti-aircraft gunnery. Eighteen years later, the 1963 cruise book made reference to the training program observing that “there was hardly a fact to be learned that would not find its practical application in the very near future.” Intrepid seemed to finally be heading back into the Pacific War.

Read the full post »

Websites of Interest to Former Crewmembers

Former Crewmembers (FCMs), as a proud father of a 23 yr. retired U.S. Navy Deep Sea Diver, Michael Simonetti (BM1, & former AMS2) , I submit the following:

Please check-out the following Website…
https://www.jsdesignindustries.com/ … also please check-out …
Enjoy, and pass-the-word to your shipmates.
Thank you,
John Simonetti
AMS3, V6 Division, USS Intrepid (CVA-11), ’61-’62
Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc., ’03-’05


The obituaries LINK, in the column to the R of your screen has been updated and will be updated daily/weekly as needed. Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us.

For Obit Updates, please go to: http://www.ussintrepidcv11.org/products2.html