Intrepid Post War History

                                                     Intrepid Post War History

  • February 4, 1948: Intrepid shifted to San Francisco Bay.
  • August 15th: Her status was reduced to “In commission in reserve.”
  • March 22nd: Decommissioned and joins the Pacific Reserve Fleet.
  • February 9, 1952: Intrepid is re-commissioned at San Francisco.
  • March 12th: Intrepid gets underway for Norfolk, VA. 
  • April 9, 1952: She is decommissioned in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for her SCB-27C modernization.
  • June 18, 1954: Intrepid is re-commissioned in reserve.
  • October 1, 1954: Intrepid is reclassified CVA-11
  • October 15th: She went into full commission as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.
  • 1955: Shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • May 28th: Intrepid departed Mayport, FL, for the 1st of 2 deployments in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet.
  • September 5, 1956: She returned to Norfolk from her 2nd cruise.
  • September 29th: Intrepid entered New York Navy Yard for her SCB-125 modernization until April 1957, which included an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck. This was followed by refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay.
  • September 1957: She departed the U.S. for NATO’s Operation Strikeback, the largest peacetime naval exercise up to that time in history.
  • December 1957: Operating out of Norfolk, VA she conducted Operation Crosswind, a study of the effects of wind on carrier launches. Intrepid proved that carriers can safely conduct flight operations without turning into the wind and even launch a/c while steaming downwind.
  • 1958-1961: Intrepid alternated Mediterranean deployments with operations along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and exercises in the Caribbean. 

Intrepid operating as an attack carrier in the early 1960s

The Mission of Intrepid – 1958-1962

United States Ship INTREPID (CVA-11), the name itself stands for valor, courage, integrity, and dauntlessness. The ship confirmed that definition with definiteness as her record shows

For better and for worse she sailed forward on her missions as an Attack Carrier to carry the Defense of our Nation and Freedom of Mankind close to the aggressors’ boundaries. As a mobile elusive target she was capable of launching nuclear weapon attacks at a moment’s notice. 

An instrument of tremendous Air Sea Power she would launch day and night attack bombers, to protect her existence with radar equipped supersonic fighter interceptors, photograph target areas, and fill the overhead skies with Anti-Aircraft explosives.

Through efficient organization and teamwork she operated independently in the oceans fueling and replenishing at sea. She housed her 3,000 officers and men and provided abundant food supplies and services, a completely self-supporting floating home.

Intrepid was an ambassador of good will in every port she visited.  Thousands of her men poured into exotic Mediterrean seaports and spread goodwill and friendship wherever they went. Hundreds of equally friendly and warmhearted visitors came aboard to get acquainted with her crew and see her planes and equipment. The people of the Free Nations rested more easy and those of captive states kept hope alive knowing that night and day INTREPID and other ships of the Sixth Fleet were only minutes away.

  • December 8, 1961: Intrepid was reclassified to an anti-submarine warfare carrier, CVS-11
  • March 10, 1962: She entered the Norfolk Navy Yard to be overhauled and refitted for her new antisubmarine warfare role.
  • April 2nd: Intrepid left the shipyard with Carrier Antisubmarine Air Group 56
  • After training exercises, Intrepid was selected as the principal ship in the recovery team for astronaut Scott Carpenter and his Project Mercury space capsule Aurora 7.
  • May 24th: Shortly before noon, Scott Carpenter splashed down in Aurora 7 several hundred miles from Intrepid. Minutes after he was located by land-based search a/c, 2 helicopters from Intrepid, carrying NASA officials, medical experts, Navy frogmen, and photographers, were airborne and headed to the rescue. One of the choppers picked Carpenter up over an hour later and flew him to the Intrepid which safely returned him to the United States.
  • 1962 (Summer): Training midshipman at sea.
  • 1962 (Autumn): A thorough overhaul at Norfolk
  • January 23, 1963: Intrepid departed Hampton Roads for warfare exercises in the Caribbean. 
  • February 1963: She interrupted these operations to join a sea hunt for the Venezuelan freighter Anzoategul, whose mutinous 2nd mate had led a group of pro-Castro terrorists in hijacking the vessel. The Communist pirates had surrendered at Rio de Janeiro.
  • March 23rd: Intrepid returned to Norfolk.

Intrepid operated along the Atlantic Coast for the next year from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean perfecting her antisubmarine techniques.

  • June 11, 1964: She left Norfolk carrying midshipmen to the Mediterranean for a hunter-killer at sea training with the 6th Fleet.
  • While in the Mediterranean, Intrepid aided in the surveillance of a Soviet task group. En route home her crew learned that she had won the coveted Battle Efficiency “E” for antisubmarine warfare during the previous fiscal year.
  • 1964 (Autumn): Intrepid operated along the East Coast of the U.S.
  • September 1964: She entertained 22 NATO statesmen as part of their tour of U.S. military installations.
  • October 18-19: Intrepid was at Yorktown for ceremonies commemorating Lord Cornwallis’s surrender 183 years before. The French Ambassador attended the ceremony and presented the U.S. with 12 cannon cast from molds found in the Bastille, replicas of those brought to American forces by Lafayette.
  • November 21st: During a brief deployment off N. Carolina, swift and efficient rescue procedures saved the life of an airman Jenner Sanders who fell overboard while driving an a/c towing tractor.
  • Early 1965: Intrepid began preparations for a vital role in NASA’s 1st manned Gemini flight, Gemini 3.
  • March 23rd: Lieutenant Commander John Young & Major Gus Grissom in their space capsule Molly Brown splashed down 50 miles from Intrepid after history’s 1st controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere after their 3-orbit flight. A Navy helicopter lifted the astronauts from the spacecraft and flew them to the Intrepid for medical examination and debriefing. Later, Intrepid retrieved the spacecraft and returned it and the astronauts to Cape Kennedy.

                                Ref: Mediterranean Cruise Book – 1961-1962

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