Intrepid Curator of History

Subject: Gus Grissom prescription
I’ve been in touch with FCM Intrepid Crew Member and Pharmacy Technician, HM1 Richard (John) Ryder (65-’66), who informed me of his donation of his copy of the ship’s pharmacy compounding book to the Intrepid Association.   The Rx was dated 1965, and was authorized by then, Dr. Howie Minners, one of the Flight Surgeons caring for the astronauts. He asked me if I knew anything about the were abouts of the book, since the Museum never received any news of it being donated.  In the book is a record of Ryder’s  whiskey prescription he wrote for astronaut, Gus Grissom, when Intrepid picked him up at sea after his orbital flight. Ryder later retired from the Medical Service Corps as a LCDR.
Question is…WHERE is it…or…WHO has it?  If any FCM can help with any answers, they are asked to please contact…
Ms. Jessica Williams
Curator of History
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
One Intrepid Square
West 46th Street & 12th Avenue
New York, NY 10036-4103
Phone: 646 381 5241

Sick Bay

Former Crew Members…you may remember FCM Bobby Williams, the ’43-’45 VF-8 squadron member who was seen on a TV clip being taken fishing? Former Intrepid Medical CO, Retired Captain Laurence Blackburn was able to locate him in a nursing home in Mechanicsburg PA, and wrote him a letter. He got a response from his POA and friend, Cathy Odell, relating that Williams was very happy to get his letter and offer of a Intrepid History Channel DVD and Intrepid book by Bill White. 
Capt Blackburn asked Ms Odell if Williams had received any other coorespondence from other FCMs after he posted a request on the Intrepid Association’s Website ‘Guest Book’. At this time, Williams had only received one other letter from a FCM named Hudson, who was aboard in ’66-’67.
Ms Odell relates that Mr. Williams is quite sick now and is concerned and also has no family…is lonely…but loves the Intrepid.
Captain Blackburn is asking former Intrepid shipmates to send their ‘thanks for his service’ to Mr. Williams which will surely mean a great deal to him. Mr. William’s current mailing address is Robert T. Williams, Bethany Village West, Room 44, 5225 Wilson Lane, Mechanicsbury, PA 17055…
…and…Lets Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before Us.

In Search of…FN S.A. Hoover

If anyone knows the where-a-bouts of former ‘R’ Division crewmember, FN S.A. Hoover please contact former Medical Dept. CO Captain Laurence Blackburn, USN (Ret) at or this editor at .
Hoover was a crewman that suffered a skull fracture in a void accident (in the 60s) and was carried down to Sick Bay by DC1 Hawes who, himself, died from deadly fumes resulting from that accident. Hoover was later med-evaced to Subic Bay and then to Clark AFB Hospital. The question is…did Hoover survive or not.

Major Steam Casualty Incident

USS Intrepid (CVA-11) Major Steam Casualty Incident

of 25 April, 1961 as remembered by:

Former crew member, YN2, David E. Benedict, USN, “R” Division,

Leading Yeoman of the Engineering Department

   I reported aboard the Intrepid in October 1958 and transferred in July 1961. My initial assignment in the Engineering Department was “B” Division, No. 2 Fire Room. I worked in the Fire Room for a short while when I was asked to become a Log Room Yeoman, replacing a Yeoman for the Damage Control Assistant. I was given a typing test, filing skills test, etc. and interviewed by LCDR T.E. Craig, USN, the DCA. It turned out in my favor as I was now out of the Fire Room. I was Seaman in late 1958 and left in July 1961 as a YN2. I was reassigned to “R” Division for mustering purposes when I left the fire Room.

The events of 25 April 1961 began at 1817 hours as entered into the ship’s Deck Log as “Casualty in number two (2) fireroom”. The ship was in the Virginia Capes Operating Area conducting flight ops and recovering aircraft at the time. The incident was caused by a broken shaft from the main feed pump which caused additional damage to other components in the fire room.

A 600 psi steam line carrying 850 degree superheated steam ruptured that led to multiple steam casualties. The hatch on the 3rd deck going into No. 2 Fire Room was open at this time and this was the path for the steam to rise to the decks above the fire room. I was in the Log Room when the incident occurred, as were several other Log Room yeomen and a few others from the Engineering Department. As soon as the steam built up in our area I escorted some of the new yeoman out of the Log Room (on our hands and knees) to the hangar areas on the main deck. I went back to the Log Room and began removing five gallon foam cans from the passageway across from the Log Room for fear of them exploding. This area was near an opening about 12’ wide on the 2nd deck going to the 3rd deck where the hatch to No. 2 Fire Room was located, so we were in the path of this very hot steam.

Everyone on the 2nd deck near the Log Room were told to vacate and get to safe areas topside. On one of my trips into the passageway to retrieve the fog foam cans I heard a call for help.  I asked the shipmate in distress for his location and he responded “…in the Admin Office”.  I told the others that I was going to attempt to rescue this sailor.  I crawled on my hands and knees, past the 12’ opening and into the Admin Office and found a shipmate behind a desk. I half dragged him out and as we got in front of the 12’ opening he stood and I stood up too to pull him back down. SN Skousgard was the shipmate I saved that night and he received 2nd and 3rd degree burns. I suffered 1st degree burns, seam inhalation and heat exhaustion. There were a total of 12 crew members injured as a result of this incident – all admitted to sick bay, treated and remained overnight for observation, perhaps some transferred to Portsmouth Naval Hospital, while the rest of us were returned to duty the following day, the 26th after being released from sick bay.

YN3 Francis Krhovsky was one of the Log Room Yeomen and he took over my GQ station in Main Engine Control and he told me he remembers watching the paint peeling off the bulkhead between Main Control and No. 2 Fire Room and thinking that here were probably some shipmates who sustained injuries during this incident…We had a real hot time that night! By the time the 850 degree steam reached us on the 2nd deck it had to be at least 300-500 degrees.

I went back to the Log Room and I couldn’t believe the mess I saw inside our office space. All the deck tiles had popped off the deck (as did the surrounding area offices and passageways), water filled paint bags were hanging from the overhead and vent ducts. We cleaned up the mess and the “R” Division personnel came in and retiled our decks and repainted our Log Room. In a matter of days we looked great again.

On 20 Sept 1961, Captain J.L. Abbot, Jr., USN, our Commanding Officer, signed a Letter of Commendation addressed to me for my actions during this incident. It was presented to me on 13 Oct 1961 at my new duty station in New York City.

I remained in the Navy until 30 June 1975 when I transferred to the Fleet Reserve after completing 20 years active service.  I retired a Chief Yeoman.  Prior to my Naval career I served in the Army first with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC and then with the 7th Infantry Division in South Korea.

FCM David Benedict, YNC (Ret)

History of the Aircraft Carrier

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The Words that started it all…

The Words That Started It All


In celebration of Independence Day…

The Unanimous Declaration of the
Thirteen United States of America

In Congress, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops
among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

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