– INTREPID is Born Again

CV 11 8 16 1943

Intrepid was launched 26 April ’43, by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Newport News, VA. She was the 4th Essex-class aircraft carrier to be launched and was sponsored by the wife of Vice Admiral John H. Hoover. On 16 August ’43, she was commissioned with Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command before heading to the Caribbean for shakedown and training missions.

Intrepid’s motto was “In Mare In Coelo” ( “In the Sea In Heaven” ) or “On the Sea (and) In the Sky”.

On October 2, ’08, it was the “Dawn of a New Era” for Intrepid. She was on her way to re-open as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum located at Pier 86 on the Hudson River located at 12th Ave. & 46th Street in New York.

The Intrepid Museum features a range of interactive exhibits and events providing a snapshot of Intrepid’s service history to our nation, heroism, education and excitement.

The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science and service as related to its home aboard the USS Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark.

As you explore the Museum you will be able to examine original artifacts, view historic video footage, and explore interactive exhibits. Visitors can also ride in the A-6 Cockpit Simulator, visit the Virtual Flight Zone and tour the inside of the world’s fastest commercial airplane, Concorde and see the Museum’s new addition the space shuttle Enterprise that is now positioned in the Museum’s new Space Shuttle Pavilion located on Intrepid’s flight deck.

Intrepid fought valiantly in WWII, survived 3 tours off Vietnam and played a vital role in submarine surveillance during the Cold War. She also escaped a grim fate.

For all their storied years and accomplished missions in the fleet, Navy ships are eventually decommissioned. With no mission nor crew, these ships are either adopted by a foreign military or abandoned for scrapping, sometimes forgotten for years in a ‘moth-ball’d’ or ‘ghost fleet’ decaying from the inside out before they’re sold for scrap.

Intrepid was decommissioned after WWII, missed being scrapped and actually made her way back into service over the years. The Intrepid Museum now serves our nation as a venue providing the history of Intrepid, while also providing loving memories – not just for some of those who served her with pride and dedication, and still serve her as volunteers – but also for all former Intrepid crewmembers, many who still make an attempt to visit their once ‘home-away-from-home’.

There are many sections of Intrepid open to the public that have been restored & maintained. Restoration costs are expensive so vast portions of Intrepid still remain unrestored and as they were when the ship left naval service in ’74. Some areas of Intrepid have been untouched for nearly 40 years.

Exploring these areas, Intrepid is seen as it was when President Nixon was neck-deep in the Watergate scandal, the Vietnam war still waged, and when the Intrepid was finally decommissioned. Well – maybe not just as it was then…after all, 4 decades have taken their toll on the 69 year old carrier, but – there were…and still may be – enough old personal items around to make one feel like the crew had just left.

For USS Intrepid CV-11 History go to…
Leave a comment


  1. Harry Newkirk

     /  August 3, 2012

    Thanks John for these emails. I always enjoy them, however; I agree with “Larry” about the need for more current info. I haven’t heard about any reunions except Alaska next month.
    Thanks again for all you do…

  2. Otis L. Spencer HMCM USN(Ret)

     /  August 5, 2012

    5 Aug 2012
    The emails continue to be most interesting and enjoyable. I served on Intrepid 1959 – 1961, as an HM2 during the ‘Cold War”. The ship and crew members were enjoyable and memorable. The ‘Shake Down’ cruise to Quantanimo and The Dominican Republic was most enjoyable filled with lasting memories. The 1960 Mediterranean Cruise, was one that most sea going sailors dream about. One of the most memorable stops Rome. We got the opportunity to see and enjoy the 1960 Olympics, and the sights of Rome.

    • Otis, thanks for your comments and I appreciate your interest in my Intrepid Educational Venue of which I just replaced with my Blog. I copied your response to a fellow former crew member Larry Blackburn. Larry is a former Medical Department Head aboard the Intrepid. I noted to him that he should be interested in emailing you.

      Again, thank you and take care.

      John Simonetti
      Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc. (’03-’05)

  3. Robert G. Ressler

     /  August 9, 2012

    Hello: I am former LI – 2 Robert G. Ressler and I served under Wayne in the ships print shop. Thanks to Bill Townsend for keeping me up to date. I now wish I had listened to his advise about the Navy. After my transfer from the Intrepid I became disalusiond and eventually got out at 6 years two months and 28 days. I have been to the ship once and hope to take my grandchildren. I only have good memories when I read your articles.

  4. Garfield Withers

     /  August 9, 2012

    I served aboard Intrepid from 1959 to 1962. Made two Med cruises, a “shakedown” to Gitmo and Dominican Republic as well as the North Atlantic.I was an ABE2 in V-2C Div. Port Catapult. My most memoriable event was when we picked up astronaut Scott Carpenter during the Mercury program. I have visited Intrepid twice and hope to visit one last time to see Enterprise.

    • Garfield…thanks for your support of my Blog…and…I was also aboard for the ‘shakedown’ and emergency trip to the Dominican Republic…and…for the pick-up of Aurora 7. – John Simonetti, AMS3, V6 Division


     /  August 9, 2012

    Hi John I served on her from Feb 71 till May 73, we did her twilite cruise was HM2 in Medical, was at the 60th party when the lights went out in New York, keep up the great work

    • Thanks, Roger…I hope you had your Intrepid Flashlight at the 60th LOL …and thanks for your support!- John

  6. earl cline

     /  August 12, 2012

    Hello fellow and past crew members… I served on the Fighting I 67-68 West Pac cruise in the V3 Div…. Lot of great memories but haven’t been to see her yet. Want to take my grandson for the tour…. Grand ole Lady and appreciate more now than I did then… life shaping experiences especially coming from small town USA to the real world…. keep up the great work for all to review where we came from and why we protect….. earl

    • And, knowing you (Earl) as a former Navy Commander…and friend, I hope your visit to the Intrepid with your grandson will be a memorable and happy occasion for both of you…and the support you continuous show for your fellow former Intrepid crew members is most appreciated. – John

  7. Thanks for the excellent information!

  8. David Borland

     /  May 8, 2013

    John keep up the great work. You give FCMs the real thing. I always enjoy them.
    Dave Borland
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

  9. Bob…what was your capacity during all of this…rating/job assignment/etc. – John

  10. Dave, happy to hear from you…we apparently passed each other during our tour together, and I appreciate your comments and support of my Blog…AND…Lets Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us.

  11. Nice job John….you’ve always been there for us…thank you for what you do…

    Bob Hendry

  12. Bill Zinke

     /  June 12, 2015

    Have an I.D. bracelet for “Harold V. Dawson RDM USS Intrepid CV-II” On the back are numbers” 358-42-38
    Found in Weatherford, Texas.
    I would like to know what era this man served and if you knew him.
    Thank you,
    Bill Zinke
    Weatherford, Texas

    • Bill, sorry to say I do or did not know Harold V. Dawson, also, even with his service number, as you provided, there is no way to tell when Harold served aboard the Intrepid. Thanks for asking … and I live in Mabank, TX. Take care. – John Simonetti, Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc. ’03-’05


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