USS Intrepid Former Crew Member UPDATE

Intrepid Former Crew Member
Decommissioning Ceremony Invitation
Invitation to the decommissioning ceremony of the USS Intrepid. (Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of Charlie Kampton.)
Dear Former Crew Member,
Forty years ago — on March 15, 1974—the crew of Intrepid gathered on the hangar deck to mark a historic occasion: the ship’s decommissioning. The ceremony at Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, marked the end of Intrepid’s three-decade naval career. The ship’s last commanding officer, Lee Levenson, praised the men who served on board the ship over the past three decades. Intrepid’s commissioning pennant was lowered, and the crew of nearly 700 men—far fewer than the 3,000-plus of a typical World War II crew—left their ship for the last time.Intrepid was one of 24 ships of the Essex class. While frequent modernizations extended their lifespans, these vessels became outdated by the 1960s. A number of Essex-class carriers served during the Vietnam War, but they could not handle the U.S. Navy’s most modern aircraft, such as the F-4 Phantom. As newer, larger aircraft carriers joined the U.S. Navy fleet, the Navy began to retire its Essex-class ships in the late 1960s. Intrepid was one of the last Essex-class carriers to leave active service.Most Essex-class ships were scrapped, but—as you well know—Intrepid avoided that fate. After the ship’s decommissioning, Intrepid joined the reserve fleet in Philadelphia. In 1975-76, Intrepid was a highlight of the U.S. Navy’s bicentennial celebrations in Philadelphia. New York City developer and philanthropist Zachary Fisher spearheaded a campaign to save Intrepid, and the ship opened as a museum in 1982. Intrepid is one of only four Essex-class ships that survived, all of which are preserved as museums.

And it is not only the ship that has been preserved—it is also the history of those who served aboard. As a result, the Museum is always looking for memorabilia and artifacts relating to Intrepid. There is a significant lack of artifacts—including photographs—relating to the ship’s final years of service, and we would love to hear from anyone who has kept anything from that time period. The Museum is also always keen to discover first-hand accounts from all periods of Intrepid’s service, through personal letters or diaries kept while on board. You never know how these objects might shed light onto a previously unknown piece of Intrepid’s history. If you have anything you’d like to share, we encourage you to reach out to Rachel Herman, Collections Manager, at or 646-381-5235.

Commemorative coin
Commemorative coin from Intrepid’s decommissioning. (Collection of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Gift of R.K. Zimmerman.)
Intrepid’s storied journey from the Norfolk Navy Yard to the west side of Manhattan is one that no one could have predicted, and we thank you for all that you do to continue the legacy of this great ship. Though Intrepid’s years of active duty are now 40 years behind us, we look forward to continuing the ship’s service as an educational institution for generations to come.

JW signatureJessica Williams
Curator of History
CG signatureCarly Goettel
Director of Institutional Advancement
Commemorative coin
Intrepid Logo
Intrepid Museum | Pier 86 | W 46th St and 12th Ave | New York NY, 10036

If any former crew member would like to be added to the Director of Institutional Advancement’s email list,

just send your request to Ms Carly Goettel at


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.