Intrepid – The Beginning

Introduction

The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) was authorized by the Congressional Act of 14 June 1940. She was the fourth ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name INTREPID and was built by the Newport News Ship-building & Dry Dock Company of Newport News, VA. Constructed in No. 10 Graving Dock, she was launched on 26 April 1943. On 16 August she was commissioned with Captain thomas L. Sprague in command.

The “Fighting I” served the Navy during three wars and was finally decommissioned on 30 March 1974 at Philadelphia and placed in the reserve fleet. She was acquired by the Intrepid Museum Foundation on 23 February 1982 and is now berthed in the Hudson River in Manhattan where she is currently serving as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.

The Beginning

The first INTREPID was a bomb ketch armed with four guns of unknown size. She had a length of 60′, a beam of 12′ and displaced 64 tons. Built in France in 1798 for Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition, she was subsequently sold to Tripoli and renamed MASTICO.

The MASTICO was one of several Tripolitan vessels which captured the frigate PHILADELPHIA on 31 October 1803 after running fast aground on the uncharted Kaliusa reef about five miles east of Tripoli. On 23 December 1803k while enroute from Tripoli to Constantinople, the MASTICO was taken as a prize by the schooner ENTERPRISE and frigate CONSTITUTION and renamed INTREPID.

In February 1804 the INTREPID, in company with the brig SIREN, set out to destroy the PHILADELPHIA before the Tripolitans could fit her out for use against the U.S. squadron in the Mediterranean. At 1900 hours on the evening of 16 February the INTREPID entered the harbor at Tripoli while the SIREN took up station outside the harbor to stand by for rescue or assistance.

Since the INTREPID could pass as a North African vessel, she was able to enter the4 haror unnoticed and two and a half hours later she was alongside the frigate PHILADELPHIA. The Americans, under the command of Stephen Decatur, boarded and, after a brief struggle with cutlasses and scimitars ( a backsword or sabre with a curved blade ), gained control of the frigate. The PHILADELPHIA was set ablaze and the INTREPID managed to escape during the confusion.

Because the INTREPID was able to enter the harbor at Tripoli with relative ease, the commander of the American squadron, Edward prele, decided to outfit her as a fire ship. The plan was to send the INTREPID into the harbor in the midst of the corsair fleet. The men were to set fuses and evacuate the ship where she would be blown up close under the walls of Tripoli. Conversion work was completed on 1 September and on the evening of 4 September the INTREPID, with a volunteer crew of three officers and ten men under the command of Lt. Richard Somers, entered the harbor at Tripoli. At 2130 hours, sometime before expeced, there waa a violent explosion which destroyed the INTREPID.

Commodore Preble reasoned that the Tripolitans must have suspected and boarded the INTREPID prompting the crew to blow her up to prevent the Tripolitans from seizing the valuable powder and explosives. All on board were lost.

The second INTREPID was an experimental, torpedo ram built by the Boston Navy Yard and launched on 5 March 1874. She was an iron hulled, screw steamer 170′ long, with a beam of 35′, displaced 438 tons and was armed with four 24-pound howitzers.

In August 1882, work began to convert her to a light-draft gunboat. Still unfinished, work on the conversion was suspended in 1889. A survey in 1892 found the INTREPID unserviceable and she was stricken from the Navy List and sold on 9 May 1892.

The third INTREPID, built by the Mare Island Navy Yard was launched on 8 October 1904. She was a bark-rigged sail training ship with a length of 211′, a beam of 45′ and a displacement of 1,800 tons.

After her commissioning on 16 August 1907, the steel hill bark was assigned to the Yerba Buena Training Station at San Francisco until 1912 and then became a receiving ship for that station. In 1914, the INTREPID was moved back to her birthplace a Mare Island to serve as that station’s receiving ship for about a year and a half. She then became the barracks ship for submarines F-1 through F-4 of the Pacific Fleet. In 1920, she again became the receiving ship for Mare Island until her decomissioning on 30 August 1921. The INTREPID was sold to M. Parker of San Francisco on 20 December 1921.

On 23 August 1941, the Navy acquired the hull of the ex-INTREPID from her owner at that time, the Hawaiian Dredging Company. She was placed in service as the unnamed YF 331, a non-self-propelled lighter and assigned to the 14th Naval District at Pearl Harbor. Her designation was changed to YR 42 on 7 August 1945 and she served as a sludge removal barge until placed out of service on 20 November 1945. The YSR 42, ex-INTREPID, was finally struck from the Navy List on 8 May 1946.

The fourth INTREPID (CV-11), was commissioned in August 1943, and was also known as The FightingI”. She was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy.

Source: Warship’s Data – Pictorial Histories Publishing Company

 

 

Founder – Intrepid Museum

Founder – Intrepid Museum

Zachary Fisher (September 26, 1910 – June 4, 1999) was a prominent Jewish American philanthropist in the New York real estate community and a major philanthropic benefactor for the men and women in the United States Armed Forces and their families, as well as numerous other not-for-profit organizations.

In 1978, Fisher founded the campaign to save the historic and battle-scarred World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) from the scrapyard and transform it into America’s largest naval museum. The ship became the center of New York City’s Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, which hosts nearly one million visitors annually. 

He founded the Fisher House Foundation, which builds “homes of comfort” at or near military and Veterans Administration hospitals. These Fisher Houses provide free temporary lodging to the families of veterans and service members who are receiving medical care.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Fisher began working in construction at the age of 16. Shortly thereafter, he and his brothers, Martin and Larry, joined forces to form Fisher Brothers, which grew into one of the real estate industry’s premier residential and commercial developers, owning more than five million square feet of office space.

From the earliest days of his construction career, Mr. Fisher was a strong supporter of the U.S. Armed Forces. Prevented from active service in World War II due to a leg injury, Mr. Fisher drew on his building skills to assist the U.S. Coastal Service in the construction of coastal fortifications. His patronage of the Armed Forces became an ongoing concern from that time, evolving to occupy increasing amounts of his energies.

In the 1970s, while remaining active in Fisher Brothers, Mr. Fisher’s commitment to both the Armed Forces and other philanthropic causes intensified still further through his leadership role in a number of major projects.

In 1982, the same year as the Museum’s opening, Mr. Fisher established the Zachary and Elizabeth M. Fisher Armed Services Foundation. Through the Foundation, he made significant contributions to the families of the victims of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Since then, the Foundation has made contributions of $25,000 to numerous military families who have lost loved ones under tragic circumstances.

Mr. Fisher has also supported the families of New York City firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. His Armed Services Foundation also provides scholarship funds to active and former service members and their families.

In 1990, Mr. Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, founded the Fisher House Foundation, after Pauline Trost, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Carlisle Trost, presented to Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher the need for temporary lodging facilities for families at major military medical centers. The Fishers personally dedicated more than $20 million to the construction of comfort homes for families of hospitalized military personnel.

More than 50 Fisher Houses now operate at military bases and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the nation. More than 183,000 days of lodging are provided by Fisher Houses every year, saving families an estimated $5 million annually. Since the program’s inception, more than 50,000 families have stayed in Fisher Houses.

These temporary living facilities served as “homes away from home” for families of military personnel who were undergoing treatment at military or VA hospitals.

In April 1995, Zachary Fisher was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton.

In 1997 Mr. and Mrs. Fisher were given the Naval Heritage Award from the U S Navy Memorial Foundation for their efforts on the development of Fisher House.

In 1998, Mr. Fisher received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton in honor of his wide-ranging contributions on behalf of the young men and women in the US Armed Forces.

He also received the Horatio Alger Award, the Volunteer Action Award, the Senior Civilian Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense, as well as the top awards a civilian can receive from each branch of the military.

In 1999 the U. S. Senate introduced a bill that would confer upon Fisher the status of honorary veteran of the Armed Forces. Fisher had attempted to enlist in the military during World War II but was disqualified due to a pre-existing medical condition. The bill, Public Law 106-161, was signed on December 9, 1999. Only Bob Hope shares the status of honorary veteran of the Armed Forces.

Separately, Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Clinton, as well as Margaret Thatcher and the late Yitzak Rabin, recognized Mr. Fisher for his support of charitable organizations throughout the United States.

In 1994, Mr. Fisher, in partnership with David Rockefeller, established the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, which funds Alzheimer’s disease research with the goal of finding a cause and cure. The Foundation operates the nation’s largest and most modern Alzheimer’s research laboratory, housed at The Rockefeller University in New York City.

Throughout his life, Mr. Fisher held a number of posts on a variety of charitable and arts organizations and military charities throughout the country. He served as Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Marine CorpsLaw Enforcement Foundation and was a supporter of the Coast Guard Foundation, the Navy League and other military charities. Mr. Fisher also established the annual Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine.

He was a major supporter of the Metropolitan Opera, Temple Israel, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, the George C. Marshall Foundation, the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, the Reagan Presidential Library, the United Jewish Appeal and many other organizations. Mr. Fisher also served on the boards of Carnegie Hall and several other institutions and received honorary doctorate degrees from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Fisher

 

 

CVS-11 Nuclear Policy/Ops

The Visit by USS Intrepid (CVS-11) to Copenhagen, 1971

The USS Intrepid (CVS-11) arrived in Copenhagen in July 1971, only three years after Denmark’s non-nuclear policy was tested by the crash of a nuclear-armed bomber in Greenland. The visit created little controversy and the Danish government turned a blind eye to what appears to be one of the clearest violations of Denmark’s prohibition against nuclear weapons in its ports.

The USS Intrepid was converted from an attack carrier (CVA) to an anti-submarine carrier (CVS) in 1969 following operations against North Vietnam. The ship was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and home ported in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, then the center of all carrier-based anti-submarine forces in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. As an anti-submarine carrier the mission of USS Intrepid was to hunt down and destroy Soviet submarines. In the North Atlantic training for this mission brought the ship deep into the Baltic Sea and high up into the Norwegian Sea in 1971 and 1972 on exercises.

The 1971 Deployment

The USS Intrepid formed the center of Task Force 83.2, which during the extended overseas deployment encountered “considerable Soviet surveillance.” Embarked on the USS Intrepid during the 1971 deployment were Air Antisubmarine Squadron TWENTY-FOUR (VS-24) and Air Antisubmarine Squadron TWENTY-SEVEN (VS-27) wings. The task force also included several other nuclear-capable warships, including the diesel submarine USS Greenfish (SS-351) which also carried nuclear weapons during the deployment and visited Århus, Denmark, while the carrier was in Copenhagen. The extensive deployment reached from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea and Barents Sea.

USS Intrepid (CVS-11) Operations – April-Octobeer 1971

The task force left Quonset Point on April 16 for a visit to Lisbon, Portugal, after which it steamed north for NATO exercise Rusty Razor and a port visit to Plymouth in the United Kingdom. After Plymouth, USS Intrepid and part of Task Force 83.2 entered the Kattegat, transited the narrow Danish Straits on May 16 to became the first U.S. aircraft carrier to conduct operations in the Baltic Sea.

During the operations in the “Sea of Peace,” the USS Intrepid conducted flight operations and sailed to within only 20 miles of the Soviet coastline. Continuous anti-submarine operations were conducted and “numerous Soviet submarines were detected, prosecuted and kept under surveillance.” An anti-submarine warfare demonstration was performed for Kontra-Admiral Kierkegaard and visiting Swedish dignitaries. The operations in the Baltic were later heralded by U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Zumwalt to be “superb in a situation that demanded no less.”

After the Baltic operations and a four-day visit to Kiel, West Germany, USS Intrepid left the Baltic and sailed south to the Mediterranean Sea where it conducted port visits in France, Italy, and Spain. During an anti-submarine exercise with the USS Greenfish, an “intruder submarine contact was detected, prosecuted for 3 hours, photographed and evaluated as a Soviet Victor Class SSN.”

On July 6, the USS Intrepid sailed north again to Hamburg, West Germany, after which the carrier continued to Copenhagen where it arrived on July 21 for a week stay.

On July 28, the USS Intrepid departed Copenhagen enroute Greenock, Scotland, and after a week in port the carrier sailed north into the Norwegian Sea for NATO exercise Alert Lancer. During the exercise, the carrier’s anti-submarine squadron gained numerous contacts with Soviet November class and diesel submarines.

Following a visit to Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and Bergen in Norway, USS Intrepid  steamed far north into the Norwegian Sea for NATO exercise Royal Night. This was an advanced strike fleet exercise where USS Intrepid joined forces with two other aircraft carriers (USS Independence and HMS Ark Royal). USS Intrepid’s mission was to “sanitize” the waters for enemy submarines to enable the strike carriers to sail far enough north for their aircraft to strike the Kola Peninsula.

B57 Nuclear Strike/Depth Bomb

The light-weight B57 nuclear strike/depth bombs carried onboard USS Intrepid (CVS-11) during its port visit to Copenhagen in 1971 each had a yield of 15-20 kilotons

 

Nuclear Weapons Operations

After the visit to Copenhagen and the completion of the extended deployment deep into the Baltic Sea and Norwegian Sea, the USS Intrepid returned on October 15 to its homeport in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, on the U.S. East Coast. Two more nuclear weapons security exercises were held inport before the ship sailed to Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) Earle in New Jersey to offload all weapons prior to a shipyard period. The weapons offloaded at Earle included the ship’s complement of nuclear weapons, an operation that took approximately three hours to complete. The ship’s deck log explicitly mentions that the offload included nuclear weapons and that it was the Chopsticks team that carried out the operation: “12:15 Went to CHOPSTICKS stations for offload of NucWeapons. 15:12 Secured from CHOPSTICKS.”

USS Intrepid (CVS-11) Nuclear Weapons Offload After Copenhagen
Excerpt from USS Intrepid (CVS-11) Deck Log documenting offload of nuclear weapons after an extended overseas deployment and port visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1971. Click the image to download high-resolution PDF-version of deck log pages (requires Adobe Acrobat).

Even if one believe that the USS Intrepid offloaded the nuclear weapons in another port before arriving in Copenhagen and then picked them up again after the visit — something retired U.S. Navy officials have always insisted the U.S. Navy never did, the route of the USS Intrepid rules out that possibility: None of the ports visited prior to Copenhagen were re-visited after Copenhagen . There is also no mentioning in the documents that the weapons were offloaded to another warship — something retired U.S. Navy officials also have insisted the U.S. Navy avoided — prior to the arrival in Copenhagen.

The nuclear operations of the USS Intrepid around the time of its 1971 port visit to Copenhagen, as recorded in the ship’s command history, deck log, and other official documents, are listed in the following table:

USS Intrepid Nuclear Operations Around Denmark Visit, 1971
Date Description & Remarks
01/07/71 Following a brief shipyard period to repair storm damage, a nuclear weapons accident exercise was held onboard while inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 14:37 Broken CHOPSTICKS drill. Material condition ZEBRA set.
01/18-02/01/71 Conducted antisubmarine training against the nuclear submarines USS Nautilus (SSN-571) and USS Skate (SSN-578).
02/08/71 Inport Quonset Point, RI. Designated nuclear weapons personnel returning to the ship included Gunner’s Mate Technician (GMT) Greenovich, D B160924. [The Deck Log entry is listed on 9 February.]
02/18/71 An ammunition onload took place while inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 14:00 Secured pier to automobile traffic while loading ammunition. 14:45 Ammunition load complete.
02/25/71 Nuclear weapons handling was conducted onboard while the ship was underway off the U.S. East Coast.
Deck Log: 12:30 Called away CHOPSTICKS stations. 12:55 Commenced operation CHOPSTICKS.
02/28/71 Underway as before. More nuclear weapons handling conducted.
Deck Log: 8:30 Called away CHOPSTICKS.  10:13 Secured from CHOPSTICKS.
03/04/71 Another 28 degree roll is suffered during a storm following an exercise off the East Coast. The roll “caused considerable damage throughout the ship.”
03/22/71 Inport Quonset Point, RI, where ammunition was loaded onboard.
Deck Log: 8:20 Commenced taking on ammunition.15:45 Secured from taking on ammunition.
03/30/71 Another ammunition onload occurred while inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 10:00 Commenced loading ammunition. 11:30 All ammunition on deck. Ammunition onload complete.
04/05/71 More ammunition was loaded onboard.
Deck Log: 13:40 Commenced loading ammunition. 14:10 Completed ammunition on load.
04/13/71 A nuclear weapons accident exercise was held while inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 11:00 Commenced CHOPSTICKS operation. 13:45 Commenced Broken CHOPSTICKS and general quarters. 14:20 Secure from CHOPSTICKS.
04/16/71 Departed Quonset Point, RI, for a six-month deployment of extended overseas operations in the Mediterranean, Eastern Atlantic, and Baltic Sea operations IAW COMASWGRU FOUR OPORD 4-71.
During this cruise, the ships Weapons Department included a Special Weapons (W) Division team of 19 personnel. Air Antisubmarine Squadrons TWENTY FOUR (VS-24) and TWENTY SEVEN (VS-27) were embarked. The escort includes the conventionally powered submarine USS Greenfish (SS-351).
04/16/71 A nuclear weapons accident exercise was conducted onboard while underway from Quonset Point, RI, enroute Portugal.
Deck Log: 14:03 Commenced Broken CHOPSTICKS drill. Sounded general quarters. 14:23 Set CIRCLE WILLIAM throughout the ship. 14:56 Relaxed CIRCLE WILLIAM. 15:09 Set material YOKE. 15:20 Secured from general quarters.
04/17/71 Another nuclear weapons security exercise while underway enroute from Quonset Point, RI, to Lisbon, Portugal.
Deck Log: 7:00 Called away CHOPSTICKS stations. 9:19 Penetration. 9:23 Secure from penetration drill. 15:26 Secured from CHOPSTICKS.
05/03/71 After Lisbon, Portugal, the ship departed for Plymouth, England, in company with units of Task Group 400.1. Transit IAW RUSKY RAZOR Joint Exercise OPORD 1-71.
05/16/71 Following a visit to Portsmouth, England, the ship continued to a port visit to Kiel, West Germany, and operations in the Baltic Sea. The transit to Kiel was done IAW COMASWGRU FOUR OPORD 4-71.
The USS Intrepid become the first U.S. carrier to conduct flight operations in the Eastern Baltic.  Escorted by three other U.S. warships, the operations brought the ship to within only 20 miles of the Soviet coastline. Soviet surface, submarine and air surveillance was considerable. Admiral Zumwalt, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, subsequently praised the ship’s performance as “superb in a situation that demanded no less.” Numerous Soviet submarines were detected, prosecuted and kept under surveillance. During operations in the Baltic the ship passed through the Bornholmsgat from the Baltic Sea.
When transiting the Danish Straits, the Danish pilots Captain Jørgensen and Hansen were brought onboard by helicopter.
05/26/71 Following the visit to Kiel, West Germany, the USS Intrepid was dispatched to the Mediterranean Sea where a Soviet Victor class SSN was detected and photographed. The transit occurred IAW COMASWGRU FOUR LOI 4-71.
During passage out through the Danish Straits, the Danish pilots Captain Thesmer and Captain Nielsen embarked.
07/21-28/71 In Copenhagen, Denmark, following a transit from the Mediterranean. Also present was USS N. K. Perry (DD-883).
Danish docking pilot was Captain Jacobsen, and Channel Pilot was Captain Petersen.
Upon arrival the ship received visits from several high-ranking officials, including the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Danish Chief of Defense, Commander of Copenhagen Captain Kisum and Captain Prause.
The inport period only lasted until 25 July, when the ship was moved outside port and anchor was dropped at Middelgrund, still in Danish territorial waters. This move occurred while the U.S. Ambassador was onboard.
When departing, Danish pilots were Captain Thodsen and Captain Albertsen.
09/22-25/71 Inport Bergen, NorwayAlso present were USS Kennedy (DD-850) and USS Taussig (FF-1030). During the port call the ship was visited by Norwegian Minister of Defense and the German Minister of Defense.
The visit took place following operations in the Norwegian Sea against the submarines USS Bluefish and USS Sirago and “Soviet vessels of opportunity.” Numerous contacts were made with Soviet November class and diesel submarines. The U.S. Ambassador to Norway and Norwegian Minister of Defense officials visited the squadron during this period.
Following the visit the ship participated in NATO exercise Royal Knight.
10/15/71 Returned to Quonset Point, RI.
10/16/71 While inport Quonset Point, RI, the ship offloaded ammunition.
Deck Log: 13:06 Commenced offloading ammunition. 14:19 Completed offloaded ammunition.
10/20/71 A nuclear weapons security drill was held while inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 1137 Conducted penetration drill. 11:41 Secured from penetration drill.
10/28/71 Another nuclear weapons security drill was conducted. Inport Quonset Point, RI.
Deck Log: 14:02 Held Penetration drill. 14:07 Secured from penetration drill.
11/30-12/01/71 At NAD [NWS] Earle, NJ, for ammunition offload prior to shipyard period. Weapons offloaded included nuclear weapons.
Deck Log: (11/30) 9:50 Commenced offload of ammunition. (12/01) 00-04 Ammunition off-load is in progress. 12:15 Went to CHOPSTICKS stations for “offload of NucWeapons.” 15:12 Secured from CHOPSTICKS. 15:15 Completed offloading of ammo, 283 tons total.

Operations in 1972 and 1973

The USS Intrepid returned to Europe and to Copenhagen in 1972, and the documents strongly suggest that the ship was once again nuclear armed. The Chopstick deck handling crew was drilled in how to respond to a nuclear weapons accident. The drill was preparation for a subsequent nuclear weapons certification inspection which the ship must pass in order to have nuclear weapons onboard.

The Nuclear [Navy] Technical Proficiency Inspection (NTPI) was passed in May 1972 “with the Squadron’s loading teams performing their loads satisfactorily.” Yet the documents reveal that part of the carrier’s response to a simulated nuclear weapons accident was not sufficient, so before USS Intrepid was allowed to leave for Europe with nuclear weapons onboard, the crew underwent additional training to pass the certification. Finally, in late June, only a month before the ship arrived in Copenhagen, the USS Intrepid passed its certification inspection. While underway to Denmark, a nuclear weapons security practice was held onboard. USS Intrepid arrived in Copenhagen on July 25 for a week long visit.

After the visit, USS Intrepid steamed north into the Norwegian Sea to conduct anti-submarine operations. During the operations in the Norwegian Sea, the carrier crossed the Arctic Circle and sailed as high north as 75N 27.16E and as far east as 72.25.2N 31-40.8E, the farthest east a U.S. aircraft carrier had ever been in that region up to that time. “Needless to say, Soviet interest in the ship’s activities was extremely high,” the ship’s Command History stated.

USS Intrepid (CVS-11) Underway
During operations in the Noregian Sea in 1972, the USS Intrepid (CVS-11) sailed farther east toward the Soviet Kola Peninsula than any other U.S. aircraft carrier until that time.
 

After a visit to Bergen in Norway, USS Intrepid returned to its home ports in Quonset Point, RI. During the transit, more nuclear weapons training was held onboard. Once back in the United States, the USS Intrepid began upgrading from anti-submarine carrier to strike carrier. The air wing was added more A-4E Skyhawk strike aircraft which “gave the INTREPID a strike capability and enabled her to subsequently commence phasing into the ‘CV’ concept.” The anti-submarine mission was retained as well.

The new strike mission was practiced during an overseas deployment to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea beginning in November 1972. A few days before arriving in Athens, Greece, the crew practiced bringing nuclear weapons up from the Special Weapons Magazine to the strike aircraft on the flight deck. During the Mediterranean deployment, the USS Intrepid conducted “two launch Sequence Plans and numerous single aircraft special weapons loads.”

The 1973 Mediterranean cruise would be USS Intrepid’s last overseas deployment. The carrier returned to the U.S. East Coast in May 1973, but before it arrived in its homeport the USS Intrepid conducted a unique offload of nuclear weapons and other ammunition at sea to the ammunition ship USS Santa Barbara (AE-28). The nuclear portion of the weapons transfer took three and a half hours. It is unclear why the navy decided to conduct this risky nuclear operation at sea, a procedure the U.S. Navy normally tried to avoid, rather than offloading the nuclear weapons at NAD Earle as it was done in 1971.

The USS Intrepid finally returned to NAS Quonset Point, RI, two days later where it began  preparations for transferring to the reserve fleet and eventually decommissioning a year later on 15 March 1974.

© Hans M. Kristensen | www.nukestrat.com | 2004-2005

General Quarters…Hit the Deck

USS INTREPID (CV-11)S24/00-redm 28 March 1944Ser: 051C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

From: The Commanding Officer
To  : Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet.
Subject: USS INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

1. At 0011, 17 February 1944, Zone plus 12 Time, the USS INTREPID was hit, by an aircraft torpedo, just forward of the rudder post. The night was clear but dark. The resultant damage presented various problems which may be of interest in handling similar damage in the future.

2. At the time the torpedo hit the INTREPID was in a left turn using 15° left rudder and at 25 knots.

The detonation ruptured the bottom of the steering engine ram room and motor room, immediately flooded these two compartments and jammed the rudder. Propellers and engines sustained no damage. The crosshead and the rams of the steering gear were completely wrecked.

The rudder was severely distorted and the fin which fills in over the counterbalance of the rudder was blown off. The detonation opened a hole in the starboard side which extended from near the keel to above the fourth deck. The fourth deck in way of the explosion was completely missing. The third deck in the Chief Petty Officers’ country was pushed up to the overhead of the second deck, and missiles penetrated the hangar deck. Complete details of the damage are contained in the Action Report. The net result of this damage insofar as ship control was concerned was to create the permanent effect of approximately 6½° left rudder. The INTREPID had the advantage of having made the standardization trials for the CV-9 class.

One of the tests conducted was to lock an outboard shaft on one side, go ahead full power on the two shafts on the other side and determine the rudder angle necessary to maintain a steady course. This rudder angle during the trial proved to be approximately 6½°. After the torpedo hit it was found that the combination needed to maintain a steady course approximated the condition found during trials.

 The continuous backing, coupled with the hull damage aft, however, created so much vibration that numerous steam and water leaks began to develop in the engine rooms. The rapid increase of make up feed required began to approach the capacity of the evaporators and some other means of controlling the vessel became a necessity. It was then decided to tow the vessel with the seagoing tugs which had been made available. A 2½” wire was taken from the towing engine of the tug USS MUNSEE, and secured to the port anchor chain. The chain was veered to place the 60 fathom shackle on the forecastle and about 240 fathoms of wire was put out by the tug. This rig worked very well towing into the wind, with a good catenary. The tug worked up to 14 knots and the INTREPID made 5 knots for a net speed made good of about 8 knots. An attempt was then made to reverse the course. It was found that the tug could not pull the ship out of the wind. The tug immediately got in stays and worked back to a position on the port quarter in spite of stopping the INTREPID’s engines. A 2ndtug then passed a line to the 1st tug to assist in holding up the head of the tug. This tandem combination worked satisfactorily and the vessel was turned through 180° in about 1¼ hours. For the remaining three days of the wait outside Pearl, during the storm, the tandem towing arrangement worked very well, making good about 5 knots, the tug making turns for about 14 knots and the INTREPID’s engines stopped. The tugs would find a position of about 45° on the lee bow. In this connection it is worthy of note that the tugs used in this operation have their towing engine too far aft and their rudder appears to be of insufficient area. Tugs designed for towing heavy ships should have the towing engine located near the pivot point of the tug.5. Upon returning to the dry dock at Pearl a jury fin was installed to restore a fin area equal to that of the original rudder.

One hundred square feet of this fin was hinged. This hinged portion represented about one-fifth of the area of the original rudder. (See enclosures). It had a maximum angle of 20° right or left and was controlled by wire cables brought up outboard to the fan tail. The ends of the rudder cables were secured to three-fold wire jiggers, the running ends of which were taken to the after capstan.

 The large hole in the skin of the ship on the starboard side was filled in to reduce the drag on that side although the patch was not watertight.     6. It was the intention of the designers of the jury rig that the movable part of the fin would be used to overcome the effect of the wind and that steering would be done primarily with the engines. Upon sortie from Pearl, however, it was found that steering by engines was extremely difficult and the yaw to each side could not be reduced below an average of about 40°. The jury rig to the capstan worked so smoothly that the final combination, which proved very satisfactory, was to adjust engine revolutions to overcome the effect of the wind and use the jury rudder to steer. The effect of the jury rudder when hard over, appeared to bo equivalent to about 4° to 5° of the designed rudder. The yaw, using the jury rudder to steer, averaged from 10° to 15° on either side. Winds of 15 to 25 knots were encountered. The passage from Pearl was made at speeds of 14 to 16 knots without any further difficulty. The starting panel of the capstan is not designed for continuous service, such as that required for steering, but frequent cleaning of the contacters prevented shorting due to arcing. Special arrangements were necessary to provide lubrication for the capstan shaft, because the pump did not provide sufficient lubrication during the short starts and stops necessary.

7. Upon arrival at the Parallon Islands the vessel was met by four tugs and a line was taken from a single tug.

The vessel was towed to the entrance of the dredged channel over the bar at a speed of about 10.5 knots, the INTREPID making turns for about 7 knots and the tug making turns for about 14 knots. 150 fathoms of wire and 30 fathoms of the port chain were used.

The weather was perfect – no sea and very light wind. At the entrance to the dredged channel the ship slowed down and four additional tugs were taken alongside, two on each side. At slow speeds the ship was very difficult to control because of insufficient rudder effect. It was planned to arrive at the Golden Gate at high slack before ebb.

Due to local conditions the ebb actually commenced about half an hour earlier than shown in the current tables. The result was that the ship was caught in some very erratic tidal currents and at times was almost completely out of control.

 It was frequently necessary to use the engines at high powers to correct a sheer to the right or left. After passing under the Golden Gate Bridge the scope of the towing tug ahead was shortened to 100 fathoms. A towing speed of about 7 knots was used, which in certain places, gave a speed of advance of about one knot due to strong ebb current.CONCLUSIONS     8. The steps taken to maintain steering control of the ship as described in the proceeding narrative, were as follows:

(a) Trim the ship by the stern.
(b) Slow down, stop or lock shafts on one side.
(c) Move aircraft on the flight deck forward to act as a headsail
(d) Rig a sail between flight dock and forecastle, Additional canvas could have been rigged, with some difficulty, on the radio masts forward, from a stay leading forward from the island structure, or on palisades arranged fore and aft.

9. Further steps which could have been taken but which proved to be unnecessary during the INTREPID’s voyage are as follows:

(a)   Rig a paravane on one side. A paravane creates a very considerable pull on its towing cable and would materially assist in keeping the bow out of the wind, if rigged on the leeward bow.

(b)   Tow a small vessel (an escort destroyer or, preferably, a tug) with a short scope astern. This scheme was successfully employed in the Pacific some years ago in the case of a large passenger vessel that was unlucky enough to have lost her rudder, The towed tug, in this case, stopped her engines and used her rudder to steer the heavy vessel which provided the motive power.

Speeds as high as 18 knots were maintained. A little consideration will indicate that the tug’s rudder was put right when the heavy vessel desired

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

USS Intrepid 1965-1974 History

                                         – INTREPID (CVS/CVA-11)-1965-1974 –

  • September 1965: Intrepid, was in her final Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) job performed by the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY, which was slated to close after more than a century and a half of service to the nation.
  • With her work approximately 75% completed, she eased down the East River to moor at the Naval Supply Depot at Bayonne, NJ, for the completion of her multi-million dollar overhaul. After builder’s sea trials and fitting out at Norfolk she sailed to Guantanamo on shakedown.  

Mid-1966 found Intrepid with the Pacific Fleet off Vietnam. Nine A-4 Skyhawks and six A-1 Skyraiders, loaded with bombs and rockets, were catapulted in seven minutes, with only a 28-second interval between launches. A few days later planes were launched at 26-second intervals. After seven months of service with the 7th Fleet off Vietnam, Intrepid returned to Norfolk having earned her Commanding Officer, Captain John W. Fair, the Legion of Merit for combat operations in Southeast Asia.

Intrepid operating as an auxiliary attack carrier off Vietnam, in 1966

  • October 9, 1966: Ltjg William T. Patton of VA-176 from the Intrepid, flying a propeller driven A-1H Skyraider, shot down one MiG-17. For his action, Ltjg Patton was awarded the Silver Star.

In June 1967, Intrepid returned to the Western Pacific by way of the Suez Canal just prior to its closing during the Israeli-Arab crisis. There she began another tour with the 7th Fleet.

  • In 1968, she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.
  • In 1969, Intrepid was home ported at Quonset Point, Rhode Island,  relieving the carrier Yorktown as the flagship for Commander Carrier Division 16. In the fall, the ship was run aground by Captain Horus E. Moore, but was freed within two hours.

 Intrepid operating in the Mediterranean in the 1970s.

From April–October 1971, Intrepid took part in NATO exercises, and made calls in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean ports of Lisbon, Plymouth, Kiel, Naples, Cannes, Barcelona, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Greenock, Rosyth, Portsmouth, and Bergen.

During this cruise, submarine detection operations were conducted in the Baltic and at the edge of the Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle, under close scrutiny of Soviet air and naval forces. She subsequently returned to her homeport to be refitted and then, beginning in July 1972, Intrepid participated once again in NATO exercises, visiting Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Bergen, Brussels, Portsmouth and Gourock. Once again Intrepid found herself in the Barents and made round the clock flight operations as she was once again above the Arctic Circle.

She cut her North Atlantic cruise short, returned to Quonset point for a mini-overhaul and was designated, once again, as CV-11 and made her final cruise in the Mediterranean, stopping twice in Barcelona and Malaga Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Nice, France; Naples, Italy; Palma, Majorca; and Piraeus, Greece once. Due to fuel limitations Intrepid spent as much time in port as she did underway.

  • March 15, 1974: Intrepid was de-commissioned for the final time.
  • In 1976, Intrepid was moored at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, PA and hosted exhibits as part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations.
  • Plans originally called for Intrepid to be scrapped after decommissioning, but a campaign led by real estate developer Zachary Fisher and the Intrepid Museum Foundation saved the carrier, and established it as a museum ship.
  • In August 1982, the ship opened in New York City as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. Four years later, Intrepid was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark. 
  • Over the years, Intrepid has, and still hosts many special events  including wrestling events, press conferences, parties and the FBI operations center after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

2006–2008 renovation

Throughout these several years, the Intrepid museum operated a fund it’s  restoration, raising over $60 million to refit Intrepid, to improve its exhibits for visitors, and improve Pier 86. 

USS Intrepid docked at Pier 86 on the Hudson River in NY

In early July 2006, it was announced that Intrepid would undergo renovations and repairs, along with Pier 86 itself. It closed on 1 October 2006, in preparation for its towing to Bayonne, New Jersey for repairs, and later Staten Island, New York, for renovation and temporary docking.

On 6 November 2006, an attempt to remove the aircraft carrier from the pier for restoration was temporarily put on hold by the Coast Guard. Despite the use of several tugs with a combined 30,000 hp (22,000 kW), officials said the ship was stuck in 24 years worth of accumulated silt and would not move. 

On 11 November 2006, the United States Navy announced that it would spend $3 million to dredge the mud and silt from under Intrepid. The effort was led by the United States Navy Supervisor of Salvage and Diving with assistance from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Coast Guard, and contractors. The teams operated for three weeks to clear the site of mud and silt.

On 5 December 2006, after the removal of 39,000 cu yd (30,000 m3) of muck from under the ship and around its four giant screws, Intrepid was successfully removed from its pier and was towed to Bayonne.

Intrepid made a D-Day “landing” on Staten Island, 6 June 2007, after being towed from a slip at Bayonne Dry Dock & Repair Corp.

While in Staten Island, Intrepid underwent the next phase of her refurbishment, and received an $8 million interior renovation. Never-before-seen areas of the ship including the forecastle (fo’c’sle, commonly known as the anchor chain room), general berthing quarters and the ship’s machine shop were opened to the public for the first time. The hangar deck now features a new layout and design including new interactive exhibits. Total cost of the renovation was $120 million — $55 million for the ship and $65 million for Pier 86.

The carrier was towed back into place on the Hudson River on 2 October 2008 and reopened to the public on 8 November. 

The story of the Intrepid‘s move was featured on the History Channel’s Mega Movers’s program. The episode was titled “Intrepid: On the Move” and premiered 5 July 2007.

The ship has been featured in blockbuster films, including Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, the 2004 film National Treasure and the 2007 film I Am Legend, as well as Bordello: House of the Rising Sun.

The ship can be seen briefly in a shot of New York in the last few seconds of the series finale of The Suite Life on Deck, next to the SS Tipton being dismantled.

                             Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Intrepid_(1798)

Richard Somers – Master Commandant

                                Richard Somers (1778 or 1779– September 4, 1804)

Born at Great Egg Harbor, NJ he attended school in Philadelphia with future naval heroes Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart. He was appointed midshipman on 25 April 1797 and served in the West Indies during the Quasi-War with France on the frigate United States with Decatur and Stewart, a ship commanded by Captain John Barry.

Promoted to lieutenant on 21 May 1799, Somers was detached from the United States on 13 June 1801 and ordered to the Boston on 30 July 1801. He served on the latter frigate in the Mediterranean. After Boston returned to Washington, DC, Somers was furloughed on 11 November 1802 to await orders.

On 5 May 1803, Somers was ordered to Baltimore, MD, to man, fit out, and command the USS Nautilus, and when that schooner was ready for sea, to sail her to the Mediterranean. The Nautilus got underway on 30 June, reached Gibraltar on 27 July, and sailed four days later to Spain. He then returned to Gibraltar to meet Commodore Edward Preble, aboard the Constitution, who was bringing a new squadron for action against the Barbary pirates.

The Nautilus sailed with Preble on 6 October to Tangier where the display of American naval strength induced the Europeans of Morocco to renew the treaty of 1786. Thereafter, Tripoli became the focus of Preble’s attention.

Somers’ service as commanding officer of the Nautilus during operations against Tripoli won him promotion to Master Commandant on 18 May 1804. In the summer, he commanded a division of gunboats during five attacks on Tripoli, during the First Barbary War.

On 4 September 1804, Somers assumed command of fire ship Intrepid which had been fitted out as a “floating volcano” to be sailed into Tripoli harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of the city. That night, she got underway into the harbor, but she exploded prematurely, killing Somers and his entire crew of volunteers.

Somers is buried in Tripoli, Libya. In 2004, the New Jersey state assembly passed two resolutions calling for the return of his remains. It is hoped that with the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya in August 2011 that the effort to repatriate the remains will finally be successful.

Since 1804, six ships of the US Navy have successively been named the USS Somers in his honor.The town of Somers, NY, located in Westchester County is named in his honor. Somers Point, NJ, is named after Richard’s great-grandfather.

                               Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Somers

_____________________________________________________________

Intrepid Project Works To Return Intrepid Sailors To United States

The bodies of five New York sailors who were killed when the first USS Intrepid sank back in 1804 may at last be returned to American soil thanks to improved relations between the United States and Libya, but tension between advocates and the Navy could bring things to a halt.

The bodies of five New York sailors who were killed when the first USS Intrepid sank back in 1804 may – hopefully – be returned to American soil, but tension between advocates and the Navy could bring things to a halt.  

The United States didn’t send Americans to fight in Libya this last time, but they did two centuries ago. Some never came home.

I only have one hero in my family. I would like to visit his grave,” says Dean Somers, a descendent of Captain Richard Somers, who led a crew of 13 men, including five sailors who enlisted in New York City.

In 1804, the Intrepid was loaded with explosives to repel Barbary pirates attacking merchant ships. It blew up, either from an enemy cannon, or an intentionally lit fuse to escape capture.

The sailors’ bodies washed ashore. They were fed on by dogs. Most ended up in communal graves long left in disrepair.

I saw the pictures of the graves and I heard the story of how they were treated, and I’m just not able to sleep at night until these men come home,” says Michael Caputo of the Intrepid Project.

The cause has attracted a motley crew that includes Caputo, who ran the campaign of Carl Paladino, the failed GOP candidate for governor. On the other side of this issue has been an unlikely opponent…the United States Navy.

Officials have said they would consider the men’s final resting spot, adding that the cemetery is being renovated.

Congress has been expecting to force the Navy to begin a nine-month study into the feasibility of bringing the remains home. Some say that may not be good enough.

We think we have a window, but we don’t know what a future government will look like. We don’t know what their relationship will be like with the United States. We don’t know if they will be friendly,” says New Jersey Representative Frank Lobiondo.

And the Somers family says their demand has always been a U.S. burial.

For years after Somers’ death, his sister asked that his body be returned from Tripoli and be reinterred at the family plot in New Jersey. Her wish was unfulfilled at the time of her own death, so she asked that a marker in memory of her brother be placed next to her grave.

I could come and be here and visit it. It’s home for him,” says Somers.

The others sailors may never be paired with their descendants, but under the plan, the nation could honor their service with a burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Panetta becomes first SecDef to visit Libya ( Dec 2011 ):

Panetta made an emotional visit to what historians believe isthe gravesite of 13 U.S. sailors killed in 1804. Those deaths were caused by the explosion of the U.S.S. Intrepid, which was destroyed while slipping into the Tripoli harbor to attack pirate ships that had captured an American frigate.

Panetta walked into the small walled cemetery with more than two dozen gravestones, and over to a corner where five large but simple white gravestones mark the graves of the American sailors. The stones read “Here lies an American sailor who gve his life in the explosion of the United States Ship Intrepid in Tripoli Harbour, Sept. 4, 1804”.

Panetta placed a wreath at the site, and then observed a moment of silence. He also left behind a memento of his visit on top of one of the stones, a Secretary of Defense souvenir coin.

Ref: http://www.ny1.com/content/news_beats/political_news/152481/ny1-exclusive–intrepid-project-works-

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Intrepid_(1798)

USS Intrepid (CV-11) WWII History

This 4th named Intrepid (CV-11), Commissioned in August 1943, was also known as The FightingI”, she was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy.

Intrepid was launched on 26 April 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA., and was the fifth Essex-class aircraft carrier to be launched. She was sponsored by the wife of Vice Admiral Joh H. Hoover. On 16 August 1943, she was commissioned with Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command (See Chapter X) before heading to the Caribbean for shakedown and training. Intrepid‘s motto upon setting sail was “In Mare In Caelo“, which means “On the sea, in the sky“, or “In the sea in Heaven“.

Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and re-commissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS).

In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War. Her notable achievements include being the recovery ship for a Mercury and a Gemini space mission. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed “the Fighting I”, while her often ill-luck and the time spent in dry dock for repairs earned her the nickname “the Dry I”.

Intrepid has one of the most distinguished WWII service records of any Navy ship, seeing active service in the Pacific Theater including the Marshall Islands, Truk, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. At war’s end, she was in *Enewetak and soon supported occupation forces providing air support and supply services before heading back to California.

*Enewetak Atoll is a large coral atoll of 40 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain of the Marshall Islands. Its land area totals less than 5.85 square kilometres (2.26 sq mi), surrounding a deep central lagoon, 80 kilometres (50 mi) in circumference. It is the second westernmost atoll of the Ralik Chain, and is located 305 kilometres (190 mi) west from Bikini Atoll. The U.S. government referred to the atoll as “Eniwetok” until 1974, when it changed its official spelling to “Enewetak” (along with many other Marshall Islands place names) to more properly reflect their proper pronunciation by the Marshall Islanders.

Intrepid’s  WWII Service Record

Marshalls, January-February 1944

  • December 3, 1943: Intrepid sailed from Naval Station Norfolk for San Francisco, then to Hawaii.
  • January 10, 1944: She arrived at Pearl Harbor and prepared for the invasion of the Marshall Islands, the next objective in the Navy’s massive island-hopping campaign.
  • January 16th: She left Pearl Harbor with carriers Cabot and Essex.
  • January 29-February 2nd: She raided islands at the NE corner of Kwajalein Atoll and pressed the attack until the last opposition vanished.
  • January 31st: By then, the raids destroyed all of the 83 Japanese aircraft based on Roi-Namur. The 1st landings were made on adjacent islets. That morning, Intrepid’s aircraft (a/c) strafed Ennuebing Island until 10 minutes before the first Marines reached the beaches.
  • Thirty minutes later, that islet – which protected Roi’s SW flank and controlled the North Pass into Kwajalein Lagoon – was secured, enabling Marines to set up artillery to support their assault on Roi.
  • February 2nd: Her work in the capture of the Marshall Islands was now finished. Intrepid headed for Truk, the tough Japanese base in the center of Micronesia.
  • February 17th: Three fast carrier groups arrived undetected at dawn. That night, an aerial torpedo struck Intrepid’s starboard quarter, 15ft below her waterline, flooding several compartments and distorting her rudder. By running her port engines a full power and stopping her starboard engines or running them at 1/3 ahead, Captain Sprague kept her roughly on course. Her crew moved all the a/c on deck forward to increase her headsail to further aid in control.
  • February 18th: The 3 carrier groups sank 2 Japanese destroyers and 200,000 tons of merchant shipping in 2 days of almost continuous attacks in Operation Hailstone. The carrier raid demonstrated Truk’s vulnerability and thereby greatly curtailed its usefulness to the   Japanese as a base.
  • February 19th: Strong winds overpowered the improvised steering and left her with her bow pointed toward Tokyo. Sprague later confessed: “Right then I wasn’t interested in going in that direction.” At this point the crew made a jury-rig sail of wood, cargo nets, and canvas to further increase her headsail, allowing Intrepid to hold her course.
  • February 24th: Intrepid reached Peal Harbor.
  • March 16th: After temporary repairs, Intrepid sailed for the West Coast of the United States.
  • March 22nd: She arrived at Hunter’s Point, CA
  • June: She was back in fighting trim and departed for 2 months of operations out of Pearl Harbor, then to the Marshalls.

 Palaus and Philippines – September-November, 1944

  • September 6-7: Intrepid’s a/c struck Japanese positions in the Palaus concentrating on airfields and artillery emplacements on Peleliu.
  • September 8th: Her fast carrier task force steamed west toward southern Philippines.
  • September 9-10: She struck airfields on Mindanao.
  • September 12-14: She raided bases in the Visayan Sea.
  • September 17th: She returned to the Palaus to support Marines in overcoming opposition from hillside caves and mangrove swamps on Peleliu.
  • When the struggle settled down to rooting Japanese defenders out of the ground man-to-man, Intrepid steamed back to the Philippines to prepare the way for liberation. She struck throughout the Philippines, also pounding Okinawa and Formosa to neutralize Japanese air threats to Leyte.
  • October: Intrepid’s a/c flew missions in support of the Leyte landings. Japan’s Navy, desperately striving to hold the Philippines, was converging on Leyte Gulf from 3 directions.
  • October 12-26: Ships of the U.S. Navy parried thrusts in 4 major actions collectively known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • October 24th (morning): An Intrepid a/c spotted Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita’s flagship, Yamato. 2 hrs later, a/c from Intrepid and Cabot braved intense antiaircraft fire to begin a day-long attack on Center Force. Wave after wave followed until by sunset American carrier-based a/c sank battleship Musashi and damaged her sister ship Yamato, along with battleships Nagato and Haruna and heavy cruiser Myoko, forcing Myoko to withdraw.
  • Throughout the day, the attack continued and, after 5 more strikes, Japan had lost 4 carriers and a destroyer.
  • The still-potent Center Force, after pushing through San Bernardino Strait, had steamed S along the coast of Samar where it was held at bay by a small escort carrier group of 6 “baby flattops”, 3 destroyers, and 4 destroyer escorts until help arrived and it went back towards Japan.
  • As Intrepid’s a/c hit Clark Field on October 30th, a burning kamikaze crashed into her #10 gun tub killing 10 men and wounding 6. Soon skillful damage control work enabled Intrepid to resume flight Ops.
  • Intrepid a/c continued to hit airfields and shipping in the Philippines.
  • November 25th (shortly after noon): A heavy force of Japanese a/c struck back at the carriers. Within 5 minutes, 2 kamikazes crashed into Intrepid killing 6 officers and 5 crew…(Actual report from Air Group 18 states…”60 were dead, 15 missing, and about 100 wounded”. Intrepid never lost propulsion nor left her station in the task group, and in less than 2 hours had extinguished the last blaze.
  • November 26th: Intrepid headed for San Francisco.
  • December 20th: She arrived for repairs.

 Okinawa & Japan – March-December, 1945 

  • Mid February: Back in fighting trim, Intrepid steamed for Ulithi.
  • March 13th: she arrived at Ulithi.
  • March 14th: She set off eastward.
  • March 18th: She made powerful strikes against airfields on Kyushu. That morning a twin-engined Japanese G4M “Betty” broke through a curtain of defensive fire turned toward Intrepid and exploded only 50’ off Intrepid’s forward boat crane. A shower of flaming gasoline and a/c parts started fires on the hangar deck, but damage control teams quickly put them out.
  • Intrepid’s a/c joined attacks on parts of the Japanese fleet anchored at Kure damaging 18 naval vessels including the Yamato and Amagi. 
  • The carriers turned to Okinawa as L-Day, the start of the most ambitious amphibious assault of the Pacific war, approached.
  • March 26-27: Intrepid a/c attacked the Ryukyus, softening up enemy defensive works.
  • April 1st: The invasion began with a/c flying support missions against targets on Okinawa and made neutralizing raids against Japanese airfields in range of the island.
  • April 16th: During an air raid, a Japanese a/c dived into Intrepid’s flight deck forcing the engine and part of her fuselage right on through, killing 8 men and wounding 21. In less than an hour the flaming gasoline had been extinguished, and only 3 hours after the crash, a/c were again landing on her flight deck.
  • April 16th: Intrepid retired homeward via Ulithi and Pearl Harbor.
  • May 19th: She arrived at San Francisco for repairs.
  • June 29th: Intrepid left San Francisco.
  • August 6th: In passing, her a/c smashed Japanese on bypassed Wake Island.
  • August 7th: Intrepid arrived at Eniwetok.
  • August 15th: She received word to “cease offensive operations.”
  • August 21st: Intrepid supports the occupation of Japan.
  • December 2nd: She departed Yokosuka.
  • December 15th: Intrepid arrived San Pedro, CA.
  • February 4, 1948: Intrepid shifted to San Francisco Bay.
  • August 15th: Her status was reduced to “In commission in reserve.”
  • March 22nd: She was decommissioned and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

                      Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/uss_intrepid_(CV-11)

Growth of the Intrepid

Navy VIPs gathered for the keel laying of the 3rd USS Intrepid, a steel *bark, at Mare Island Navy Yard on January 2, 1904. She was the first all steel ship constructed at the yard. Building 112 with the Navy Band on hand for the occasion.

                       The 4th USS Intrepid began its career as aircraft carrier CV-11.

                                            Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding

                                            Laid down:: December 1, 1941

                                            Launched: April 26 1943

                                            Commissioned: August 16, 1943

                                            Decommissioned: April 9, 1952

                                            Recommissioned: June 18, 1954

                                            Decommissioned: March 15, 1974

                                            Reclassified: CV to CVA – October 1, 1952

                                                                       CVA to CVS – March 31, 1962

It was commissioned only eighteen months later in 1943 and since has become a cultural icon for America and one of the most popular tourist’s sites in New York City…The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

It exists as a living memorial of the past and a tribute to the courage and bravery of the thousands who served aboard. Its interior has been renovated and preserved, creating of a multitude of exhibits that provide insight into Intrepid’s diverse past. Part of these exhibits boast a digital display of three cruise books, designed by the crew for the crew, memorializing the ships activity through World War II, the Jet Age and Vietnam.

In 1943, Intrepid was commissioned to serve in World War II, but she went on to become the primary recovery vessels for NASA. In the later years of her commissioning she also served three tours of duty in Vietnam, and provided submarine surveillance in the North Atlantic during the Cold War. These missions provide for a wide and diverse history, which is presented on the ship using various mediums to the satisfaction of its diverse audience that range from kindergarten students to older academic scholars. Its existence as a museum is a testament to history and American perseverance in warfare.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions. Its mission to honor heroes, educate the public, and inspire youth is an ambitious undertaking that is supported by a dedicated staff, a devoted Board of Trustees, and the continued patronage from the surrounding New York community. All have contributed to Intrepid’s long history of success, from its creation as a warship to its rehabilitation into a museum in 1982. The Fighting I, as it became known to its crew, served thirty-one years with the United States Navy and became one of America’s most decorated warships. After its decommissioning in 1974 it was destined for the scrap yard, until it was purchased for the purpose of creating a museum. Since its doors opened in 1982 the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum has seen ten million people come aboard. It served its mission in the Navy in the years of its commissioning, and continues to service the nation with its newly designed exhibits and refurbished interior.

Since its opening in the 1980s, 750,000 people visit the museum each year and 50,000 of them are children, k-12, whose schools have partnered with Intrepid for many of its various programs. The co-founders of the Museum, Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, looked at the aircraft carrier as a landmark in America’s vast military history, which could be used as an important educational tool.

Since the Fisher’s successfully saved the Intrepid from the scrap yard in the late 1970s it has served its mission of teaching America’s youth. The establishment of the Michael Tyler Fisher center for Education in 2005 has given a home to meetings, conferences, workshops and seminars for teachers, administrators and students associated with the NYC Public Schools and beyond. Intrepid’s mission to educate the public is at the heart of the Museum’s success as a historic institution and it hopes to continue that mission by expanding into the digital media world.

For the curators and staff at the Intrepid, displaying the hardware used on an aircraft carrier wasn’t enough. To honor those that fought for American freedoms, visitors have to understand the men’s lives in the context of their experiences on board. It’s important to display the humanity of the men who worked on the air craft carrier, most who were no older then nineteen years of age. It is hard to identify with the sailors and marines, if their individual stories are lost among displays of the evolution of flight. Thus, the Intrepid has put a great importance on displaying both artifacts that belonged to the crew and the stories that bind them to the Intrepid and the brotherhood it fostered.

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is hoping to preserve the memory of this brotherhood by digitizing the collection of cruise books. It will then hope to create a website dedicated to portraying an accurate image about what life was like onboard from the perspective of its crew. The website will portray, in its first phase, three of the thirteen cruise books along with additional resources for scholars, young students and teachers. The long-term goals are to completely digitize all thirteen cruise books and incorporate them into the provided resources.

Too often in military narratives, the individuality of those who have served our nation and continue to serve is lost. What life was like for the men who served six to nine months on the Intrepid, is often lost in the greater context of war. Although preserved by the Museum, the exhibits can only reach those who visit. Creating a digitized collection and website honors the sacrifices the men made for the freedoms of Americans. With this free site, their experiences can be brought into classrooms and homes all over the world. There is no better way to display gratitude then honoring them by preserving the memories they cherished enough to record.

The cruise books were compiled by sailors who served onboard the Intrepid and like any yearbook have an assortment of photographs and text, which describe the events of the time period. Printed and bound on the home front, usually on the west coast, the crew members could purchase the book from the years they were deployed to remember their experiences and each other.

The books emerge today as an amazing primary resource, especially since the men were uncensored in there descriptions of events and could provide firsthand accounts of over thirty years of active military service. As an unparalleled educational tool for students of all ages, the cruise books can honor the memory of those who served the nation and teach important lessons about America’s past. Students often learn more from personal stories then they can ever hope to learn from a text book, which isolate them from history and the men and women who lived it.

In 2005 Mayor Giuliani stood on the Intrepid’s flight deck to proclaim that you “can’t stand on this deck without being an optimist”. After surviving the Second World War, three tours in Vietnam, becoming a primary recovering vessel for NASA, and looking for submarines in the cold war Intrepid took on its mission of becoming a Museum with pride. The Intrepid will continue to give back to the military community with digitizing the cruise books, hoping to continue its ambitious mission of honoring our heroes, educating the public and inspiring our youth.

                                 Ref: http://historynewmedia.wikidot.com/uss-intrepid-cv-11-later-cva-11-and-cvs-11

Intrepid

Intrepid I
Fearless, brave

The first Intrepid was built in France in 1798 for Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition. She was subsequently sold to Tripoli, whom she served as Mastico. The bomb ketch was one of several Tripolitan vessels capturing Philadelphia 31 October 1803 after the American frigate had run fast aground on uncharted Kaliusa reef some 5 miles east of Tripoli.

Enterprise, Lt. Stephen Decatur in command, captured Mastico 23 December 1803 as she was sailing from Tripoli to Constantinople under Turkish colors and without passports. After a time-consuming search for a translator, the ketch’s papers and the testimony of an English ship master who had been in Tripoli to witness her role in operations against Philadelphia convinced the commander of the American squadron, Commodore Edward Preble, that Mastico was a legitimate prize. He took her into the U.S. Navy and renamed her Intrepid.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia lay in Tripoli Harbor threatening to become Tripoli’s largest and most powerful corsair. Preble decided that he must destroy the frigate before the enemy could fit her out for action against his squadron. In order to take the Tripolitans by surprise, he assigned the task to the only ship which could be sure of passing as a North African vessel, Intrepid. He appointed Lieutenant Stephen Decatur captain of the ketch 31 January 1804 and ordered him to prepare her for a month’s cruise to Tripoli in company with Siren. Preble’s orders directed Decatur to slip into harbor at night, to board and burn the frigate, and make good his retreat in Intrepid, unless it then seemed feasible to use her as a fire ship against other shipping in the harbor. In the latter case, he was to escape in boats to Siren which would await just outside the harbor.

Intrepid and Siren set sail 2 February and arrived off Tripoli 5 days later. However, bad weather delayed the operation until 16 February. That evening Siren took station outside the harbor and launched her boats to stand by for rescue work. At 7 o’clock Intrepid entered the harbor and 2% hours later was alongside Philadelphia. Leaving a small force commanded by Surgeon Lewis Heermann on board Intrepid, Decatur led 60 of his men to the deck of the frigate. A brief struggle, conducted without firing a gun, gave the Americans control of the vessel enabling them to set her ablaze. Decatur, the last man to leave the burning frigate, remained on board Philadelphia until flames blazed from the hatchways and ports of her spar deck. When he finally left the ship, her rigging and tops were afire. Shore batteries opened up on Intrepid as she escaped only to be answered from abandoned Philadelphia when her guns discharged by the heat of the conflagration.

When Lord Nelson, then blockading Toulon, heard of Intrepid’s feat, he is said to have called it “the most bold and daring act of the age.”

Intrepid returned to Syracuse 19 February, and the next day her crew returned to their original ships. The ketch remained in Syracuse with only a midshipman and a few men on board while the squadron was at sea during the next few months. She became a hospital ship 1 June and continued this duty through July. She departed Syracuse 12 August for Malta, where she took on board fresh supplies for the squadron and departed 17 August. She rejoined the squadron off Tripoli 22 August. A week later she began to be fitted out as a “floating volcano” to be sent into the harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of Tripoli. Carpenters of every ship were pressed into service and she was ready 1 September. However, unfavorable weather delayed the operation until 4 September. That day Lt. Richard Somers assumed command of the fire ship. His crew of Lt. Henry Wadsworth and 10 men, all volunteers, was completed shortly after Intrepid got underway when Midshipman Joseph Israel arrived with last-minute orders from Commodore Preble and insisted on accompanying the expedition.
The anxious fleet heard two signal guns as Intrepid entered the harbor; and at 9:30, sometime before she was expected to reach her destination, the American squadron was shaken by the concussion of a violent explosion.

Commodore Preble later concluded that Tripoline defenders must have boarded Intrepid prompting her valiant men to blow her up giving their lives to prevent the ship’s valuable cargo of powder from falling into the hands of the enemy. All on board were lost.

Intrepid II

The second Intrepid was launched by the Boston Navy Yard 5 March 1874; sponsored by Miss H. Evelyn Frothingham Pooke and commissioned 31 July, Comdr. Augustus P. Cooke in command.

The experimental steam torpedo ram departed Boston 3 August and arrived Newport, R.I. the next day. She departed Newport 31 August and arrived New York Navy Yard 1 September. The following 2 months were devoted to torpedo trails along the North Atlantic Coast. Intrepid arrived New York Navy Yard 24 October and decommissioned 30 October.

The steamer recommissioned New York Navy Yard 28 August but, with the exception of brief visits to New England ports in 1875 and 1876, she remained at the Navy Yard. She decommissioned 22 August 1882 for conversion to a light-draft gunboat. Work was suspended in 1889 and a survey in 1892 found Intrepid unserviceable. She was sold 9 May 1892 to Mathew Gill, Jr., of Philadelphia.

Intrepid III

The third Intrepid was launched by Mare Island Navy Yard 8 October 1904; sponsored by Miss Helen de Young and commissioned 16 August 1907, Comdr. Edward E. Capehart in command.

The steel bark was assigned to the Yerba Buena Training Station, San Francisco for duty until 28 February 1912 when she became the receiving ship at the same station. The latter assignment lasted until 25 January 1914 when Intrepid became receiving ship at Mare Island Navy Yard, where she decommissioned 15 October.

Intrepid commissioned in ordinary at Mare Island Navy Yard 11 November 1915 for use as a barracks for the men of submarines F-l through F-4 of the Pacific Fleet. In 1920 she again became receiving ship at Mare Island Navy Yard. Intrepid decommissioned 30 August 1921 and was sold 20 December.

Intrepid IV 

The fourth Intrepid was launched 26 April 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; sponsored by Mrs. John Howard Hoover; and commissioned 16 August, Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command.

After training in the Caribbean Intrepid departed Norfolk 3 December 1943 for San Francisco, then to Hawaii. She arrived Pearl Harbor 10 January and prepared for the invasion of the Marshall Islands, the next objective in the Navy’s mighty island-hopping campaign. She sortied from Pearl Harbor with carriers Cabot and Essex 16 January to raid islands at the northeastern corner of Kwajalein Atoll 29 January 1944 and pressed the attack until the last opposition had vanished 2 February. The raids destroyed all of the 83 Japanese planes based on Roi and Namur before the first landings were made on adjacent islets 31 January. That morning Intrepid’s planes strafed Ennuebing Island until 10 minutes before the first marines reached the beaches. Half an hour later that islet, which protected Roi’s southwestern flank and controlled the North Pass into Kwajalein Lagoon, was secured, enabling marines to set up artillery to support their assault on Roi.

Her work in the capture of the Marshalls finished, Intrepid headed for Truk, the tough Japanese base in the center of Micronesia. Three fast carrier groups arrived undetected daybreak the 17th, sinking two destroyers and 200,000 tons of merchant shipping in 2 days of almost continuous attacks. Moreover, the carrier raid demonstrated Truk’s vulnerability and thereby greatly curtailed its usefulness to the Japanese as a base.

The night of 17 February 1944 an aerial torpedo struck Intrepid’s starboard quarter, 15 feet below her waterline, flooding several compartments and jamming her rudder hard to port. By racing her port screw and idling her starboard engine, Captain Sprague kept her on course until 2 days later strong winds swung her back and forth and tended to weathercock her with her bow pointed toward Tokyo. Sprague later confessed: “Right thenI wasn’t interested in going in that direction.” At this
point the crew fashioned a jury-rig sail of hatch covers and scrap canvas which swung Intrepid about and held her on course. Decorated by her crazy-quilt sail, Intrepid stood into Pearl Harbor 24 February 1944.

After temporary repairs, Intrepid sailed for the West Coast 16 March and arrived Hunter’s Point, Calif., the 22d. She was back in fighting trim 9 June and departed for 2 months of operations out of Pearl Harbor, then to the Marshalls.

Intrepid’s planes struck Japanese positions in the Palaus 6 and 7 September concentrating on airfields and artillery emplacements on Peleliu. The next day her fast carrier task force steamed west toward the southern Philippines to strike airfields on Mindanao 9 and 10 September.

Then, after raids on bases in the Visayan Sea 12 through 14 September, she returned to the Palaus 17 September to support marines in overcoming fanatical opposition from hillside caves and mangrove swamps on Peleliu.

When the struggle on that deadly island settled down to rooting Japanese defenders out of the ground on a man to man basis, Intrepid steamed back to the Philippines to prepare the way for liberation.

She struck throughout the Philippines, also pounding Okinawa and Formosa to neutralize Japanese air threats to Leyte.

As Intrepid’s planes flew missions in support of the Leyte landings 20 October 1944, Japan’s Navy, desperately striving to hold the Philippines, was converging on Leyte Gulf from three directions. Ships of the U.S. Navy parried thrusts in four major actions collectively known as the Battle for Leyte Gulf.

The morning of 24 October, an Intrepid plane spotted Admiral Kurita’s flagship, Yamato. Two hours later, planes from Intrepid and Cabot braved intense antiaircraft fire to begin a day-long attack on Center Force. Wave after wave followed until by sunset American carrier-based planes had sunk mighty battleship Musashi with her mammoth 18-inch guns and had damaged her sister ship Tomato along with battleships Nagato and Haruna and heavy cruiser Myoko forcing the latter to withdraw.

That night Admiral Halsey’s 3d Fleet raced north to intercept Japan’s Northern Force which had been spotted off the northeastern tip of Luzon. At daybreak the tireless fliers went aloft to attack the Japanese ships then off Cape Engano. One of Intrepid’s planes got a bomb into light carrier Zuiho to begin the harvest. Then American bombers sank her sister ship Chitosi, and a plane from either Intrepid or San Jacinto scored with a torpedo in large carrier Zuikaku knocking out her communications and hampering her steering. Destroyer Ayitsuki went to the bottom and at least 9 of Ozawa’s 15 planes were shot down.

On through the day the attack continued and, after five more strikes, Japan had lost four carriers and a destroyer.

The still potent Center Force, after pushing through San Bernardino Strait, had steamed south along the coast of Samar where it was held at bay by a little escort carrier group of six “baby flattops”, three destroyers, and four destroyer escorts until help arrived to send it fleeing in defeat back towards Japan.

As Intrepid’s planes hit Clark Field 30 October a burning kamikaze crashed into one of the carrier’s port gun tubs killing 10 men and wounding 6. Soon skillful damage control work enabled the flattop to resume flight operations. Intrepid’s planes continued to hit airfields and shipping in the Philippines.

Shortly after noon 25 November a heavy force of Japanese planes struck back at the carriers. Within 5 minutes 2 kamikazes crashed into the carrier killing 6 officers and 59 bluejackets. Intrepid never lost propulsion nor left her station in the task group; and, in less than 2 hours, had extinguished the last blaze. The next day, Intrepid headed for San Francisco, arriving 20 December for repairs.

Back in fighting trim in mid-February 1945, the carrier steamed for Ulithi, arriving 13 March. The next day she pushed on eastward for powerful strikes against airfields on Kyushu, Japan, 18 March. That morning a twin engine “Betty” broke through a curtain of defensive fire, turned toward Intrepid and exploded only 50 feet off Intrepid’s forward boat crane. A shower of flaming gasoline and plane parts started fires on the hangar deck, out damage control experts quickly snuffed them out.

Intrepid’s planes joined attacks on remnants of the Japanese fleet anchored at Kure damaging 16 enemy naval vessels including super battleship Yamato and carrier Amagi. Then the carriers turned to Okinawa as D-Day of the most ambitious amphibious assault of the Pacific war approached. Their planes lashed the Ryukyus 26 and 27 March, softening up enemy defensive works. Then, as the invasion began 1 April, they flew support missions against targets on Okinawa and made neutralizing raids against Japanese airfields in range of the embattled island.

During an air raid 16 April, a Japanese plane dove into Intrepid’s flight deck forcing the engine and part of her fuselage right on through, killing 8 men and wounding 21. In less than an hour the flaming gasoline had been extinguished, and only 3 hours after the crash, planes were again landing on the carrier. The following day, Intrepid retired homeward via Ulithi and Pearl Harbor arriving San Francisco 19 May for repairs.

Intrepid stood out of San Francisco 29 June and enlivened her westward voyage 6 August as her planes smashed Japanese on by-passed Wake Island. The next day she arrived Eniwetok where she received word 15 August to “cease offensive operations.”

The veteran carrier got under way 21 August to support the occupation of Japan. She departed Yokosuka 2 December and arrived San Pedro, Calif., 15 December 1945.

Intrepid shifted to San Francisco Bay 4 February 1946. Her status was reduced to “in commission in reserve” 15 August before decommissioning 22 March 1947 and joining the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Intrepid recommissioned at San Francisco 9 February 1952 and got underway 12 March for Norfolk. She decommissioned in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard 9 April 1952 for conversion to a modern attack aircraft carrier.

Re-classified CVA-11 1 October, she recommissioned in reserve 18 June 1954. She became the first carrier in history to launch aircraft with American-built steam catapults 13 October 1954. Two days later she went into full commission as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet.

After shakedown out of Guantanamo Bay 1955, Intrepid departed Mayport, Fla., 28 May 1955 for the first of two deployments in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet, mainstay in preventing Communist agression in Europe and the Middle East. She returned to Norfolk from the second of these cruises 5 September 1956. The carrier got under way 29 September for a 7-month modernization overhaul in the New York Navy Yard, followed by refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay.

Boasting a reinforced angle flight deck and a mirror landing system, Intrepid departed the United States in September 1957 for NATO’s Operation “Strikeback”, the largest peacetime naval exercise up to that time in history. Operating out of Norfolk in December 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 planes while steaming downwind.

During the next 4 years Intrepid alternated Mediterranean deployments with operations along the Atlantic coast of the United States and exercises in the Caribbean. On 8 December 1961 she was reclassified to an antisubmarine warfare support carrier, CVS-11. She entered the Norfolk Navy Yard 10 March 1962 to be overhauled and refitted for her new antisubmarine warfare role. She left the shipyard 2 April carrying Air Antisubmarine 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. Shortly before noon of 24 May 1962, Carpenter splashed down in Aurora 7 several hundred miles from Intrepid. Minutes after he was located by land-based search aircraft, two helicopters from Intrepid, carrying NASA officials, medical experts, Navy frogmen, and photographers, were airborne and headed to the rescue. One of the choppers picked him up over an hour later and flew him to the carrier which safely returned him to the United States.

After training midshipmen at sea in the summer and a thorough overhaul at Norfolk in the fall, the carrier departed Hampton Roads 23 January 1963 for warfare exercises in the Caribbean. Late in February she interrupted these operations to join a sea hunt for Venezuelan freighter, Anzoategui whose mutinous second mate had led a group of pro-Castro terrorists in hijacking the vessel. After the Communist pirates had surrendered at Rio de Janeiro, the carrier returned to Norfolk 23 March 1963.

Intrepid operated along the Atlantic Coast for the next year from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean perfecting her antisubmarine techniques. She departed Norfolk 11 June 1964 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.

Intrepid operated along the East Coast during the fall. Early in September she entertained 22 NATO statesmen as part of their tour of U.S. military installations. She was at Yorktown 18 to 19 October 1964 for ceremonies commemorating Lord Cornwallis’s surrender 183 years before.

During a brief deployment off North Carolina, swift and efficient rescue procedures on the night of 21 November 1964 saved the life of an airman who had plunged overboard while driving an aircraft towing tractor.

Early the next year Intrepid began preparations for a vital role in NASA’s first manned Gemini flight. On 23 March 1965 Lt. Comdr. John W. Young and Maj. Virgil I. Grissom in Molly Brown splashed down some 50 miles from Intrepid after history’s first controlled re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere ended the pair’s nearly perfect three-orbit flight. A Navy helicopter lifted the astronauts from the spacecraft and flew them to Intrepid for medical examination and debriefing. Later Intrepid retrieved Molly Brown and returned the spaceship and astronauts to Cape Kennedy.

After this mission Intrepid entered the Brooklyn Navy Yard in April for a major overhaul to bring her back to peak combat readiness.

This was the final Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) job performed by the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, N.Y., slated to close after more than a century and a half of service to the nation. In September, Intrepid, with her work approximately To percent completed, eased down the East River to moor at the Naval Supply Depot at Bayonne, N.J., for the completion of her multi-million dollar overhaul. After builder’s sea trials and fitting out at Norfolk she sailed to Guantanamo on shakedown.

Mid-1966 found Intrepid with the Pacific Fleet off Vietnam. Here her gallant pilots delivered powerful blows for freedom and scored what is believed to be one of the fastest aircraft launching times recorded by an American carrier. Nine A-4 Skyhawks and six A-l ‘Skyraiders, loaded with bombs and rockets, were catapulted in 7 minutes, with only a 28-second interval between launches. A few days later planes were launched at 26-second Intervals. After 7 months of outstanding service with the 7th Fleet off Vietnam, Intrepid returned to Norfolk having earned her Commanding Officer, Captain John W. Fair, the Legion of Merit for combat operations in Southeast Asia.

In June 1967, Intrepid returned to the Western Pacific by way of the Suez Canal just prior to its closing during the Israeli-Arab crisis. There she began another tour with the 7th Fleet to safeguard the peace and freedom of the world, for, as Daniel Webster said in 1834, “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.”

          Today, the USS Intrepid serves our nation again as the USS Intrepid Sea-Air & Space Museum in NY City

 

                           Source: Naval History & Heritage Command, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Repatriation of Remains of 13 U.S. Sailors in Libya

The Repartriation of the remains of 13 U.S. Intrepid sailors may not happen soon.

The remains of 13 American sailors buried in the libyan capital of Tripoli for more than 200 years may be there a bit longer.

The sailors were the casualties of a mission to destroy a once-thriving pirate fleet, and their descendants have sought for years to repatriate the remains. Their efforts have been alternately blocked by the Gaddafi government and resisted by defense officials.

Soon after the ouster of the Gaddafi government, the Senate was on the brink of passing legislation that would have required the Pentagon to seek the return of the remains. But the provision now appears to be on hold.

As a result, the repatriation of the officers and crew of the USS Intrepid might not happen anytime soon.

The story of the USS Intrepid is part of the history of what is known as the First Barbary War. In 1804, the 13 sailors aboard the vessel were dispatched with explosives to blow up the Tripoli harbor. The city’s ruler had been using it as a base for pirate ships that were pillaging American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean, and the covert mission was a last-ditch effort to end the practice.

The Americans’ vessel, however, exploded prematurely — it’s unclear exactly why — killing all on board.

The Navy has respectfully declined to retrieve the remains, saying it believes Libya is the “final resting place” of the sailors and noting that it is custom to honor the burial grounds of those lost on ships and downed aircraft. There was a formal memorial ceremony held in honor of the sailors and crew in Tripoli in 1949, and the Navy says that U.S. Embassy personnel conducted regular services there for decades afterward.

The cemetery that is believed to be the site of most of the remains is U.S. diplomatic property.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert considers the Tripoli Protestant cemetery to be the final resting place of the Intrepid sailors who sacrificed their lives for our nation,” Lt. Cmdr. Alana Garas, a Navy spokeswoman, said in a statement this week, echoing the stance of Greenert’s predecessor, Adm. Gary Roughhead.

Those behind the grass-roots repatriation effort, however, say the Tripoli cemetery is hardly Normandy.

The sailors “are not honored there,” said Michael Caputo, who coordinates the Intrepid Project, the group that has pressed to have the remains brought back. “They’re stashed there.”

The Navy has previously raised doubts about whether the remains could be found and identified after 207 years. Caputo said his group has provided the Navy with historical records that should allay those concerns.

Veterans’ organizations have backed the effort, as have key lawmakers on the Hill.

At the end of the day, the families are not satisfied with the fact that [the military] marched around the place and blew the Bosun’s whistle,” Caputo said. “The Navy should be concerned about the status of some of their earliest heroes, too.”

In the spring, the House passed legislation that would compel the Pentagon to act. And it seemed likely that the Senate would support a similar provision in the defense authorization bill — until, according to backers of the measure, it was blocked by Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) – who – by the way – was once a former crewmember of the U.S.S. Intrepid CVA-11, as attached to VA-65 during the 1961-1962 cruise.

A spokesman for McCain, a former Navy pilot and the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said the senator “is still reviewing the issue, and has asked the Navy, the Defense POW/MIA Office and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command for their views on it.”

Supporters of repatriation say they’re stunned.

Among those killed aboard the USS Intrepid were Capt. Richard Somers, the commander of the ship, and his second in command, Lt. Henry Wadsworth.

A descendant of the lieutenant, William A. Wadsworth, a Republican representative in Connecticut’s General Assembly, has been among those to recently rally to the cause for the repatriation of the remains.

He noted that several of his relatives served in the military and died in the line of duty. And although he has visited their graves, he can’t easily do the same with the burial ground of Henry Wadsworth.

Unlike the others, he said, the lieutenant’s grave has not been treated with the same degree of honor.

I think they owe us this much as a family,” he said of the military, noting that the family has given rise to senators, soldiers and statesmen, not to mention the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the nephew of the lieutenant.

There’s an opportunity to get [Lt. Wadsworth] back now to the United States,” William Wadsworth said. “I think we should take advantage.”

Ref: Jason Ukman, Published: The Washington Post

cv11texfcm@gmail.com

Handling of After Battle Damage – Feb, 1944

U.S.S INTREPID (CV-11)

S24/00-redm 28 March 1944.

Ser: 051

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

From: The Commanding Officer
To  : Commander Air Force, Pacific Fleet.
Subject: U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.
Enclosures:

1.       At 0011, 17 February 1944, Zone plus 12 Time, the U.S.S. INTREPID was hit, by an aircraft torpedo, just forward of the rudder post.

The night was clear but dark. The resultant damage presented various problems which may be of interest in handling similar damage in the future.

NARRATIVE

2.       At the time the torpedo hit the INTREPID was in a left turn using 15° left rudder and at 25 knots.

The detonation ruptured the bottom of the steering engine ram room and motor room, immediately flooded these two compartments and jammed the rudder. Propellers and engines sustained no damage. The crosshead and the rams of the steering gear were completely wrecked.

The rudder was severely distorted and the fin which fills in over the counterbalance of the rudder was blown off. The detonation opened a hole in the starboard side which extended from near the keel to above the fourth deck. The fourth deck in way of the explosion was completely missing. The third deck in the Chief Petty Officers’ country was pushed up to the overhead of the second deck, and missiles penetrated the hangar deck. Complete details of the damage are contained in the Action Report. The net result of this damage insofar as ship control was concerned was to create the permanent effect of approximately 6½° left rudder. The INTREPID had the advantage of having made the standardization trials for the CV-9 class.

One of the tests conducted was to lock an outboard shaft on one side, go ahead full power on the two shafts on the other side and determine the rudder angle necessary to maintain a steady course. This rudder angle during the trial proved to be approximately 6½°. After the torpedo hit it was found that the combination needed to maintain a steady course approximated the condition found during trials.

– 1 –


S24/00-redm U.S.S INTREPID (CV-11)
Ser:  051

28 March 1944.

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

Subject:       U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

3.       Steering control was lost immediately and the gyros tumbled. Until the gyros were brought back to the meridian the course was determined by using the bridge alidade as a dummy pelorus by observation of the North Star, which was visible.

At the time of the explosion the vessel was on a south heading and continued in a left turn. As soon as it became obvious that steering control could not be regained, because of the rudder damage, the starboard engines were stopped and the effect noted. It was apparent that the ship could be controlled by the engines, so a slow turn was continued to the left through north, west and south and the ship steadied on course east. The yaw was reduced to about 30° on either side of east and in general a good course was made good.

Shortly after steadying on course east, instructions were received to proceed to Eniwetok and course was changed to 065. The wind was almost dead ahead and, as experience was gained in steering with the engines, the yaw was reduced to about 15° to either side of the course.

The average combination for steering on a course into the wind was approximately full power on the two port engines and stop to one-third on the starboard engines. This combination gave a speed of between 20 and 22 knots. Control could not be maintained below this speed because it was necessary to go full power on the left engines to prevent the ship from swinging left.

On the following day, orders were received to proceed via Majuro. This necessitated taking the wind on the port bow and steering control of the vessel was lost. The CV-9 class has a tendency, with way on the ship, to weathercock into the wind. This is due to the fact that the center of pressure of the hull is near the forward edge of the island structure.

The island acts as the mainsail of a schooner. The trim immediately after the detonation of the torpedo was 10 feet down by the stern. This was reduced by damage control to a drag aft of about 5 feet and maintained at that trim in order to improve steering and reduce yaw. It was obvious that the ship needed some headsail and the problem was how to rig a jib or to reduce the effect of the jammed left rudder. The first step taken was to lock No. 1 (outboard starboard) shaft.

The effect of this was beneficial but was still insufficient to keep the ship from swinging left. The next step taken was to move all the airplanes on the flight deck forward of the island to act as a foresail.

This worked satisfactorily for about 24 hours when control was again lost. The possibility of rigging canvas on the forward radio masts was investigated but it

– 2 –

 

 

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

Subject:       U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

was decided that the structure was of insufficient strength and rigging in any case extremely difficult. A jury sail was then rigged between the forecastle deck and the underside of the flight deck. A Sail of approximately 3000 square feet was improvised using cargo nets and such canvas as could be found around the ship. The wind continued throughout the passage to Pearl at velocities from 20 to 30 knots. The tendency of the wind to weathercock the ship was found to be a maximum when the wind was about 45° on either bow.

With No. 1 shaft locked, the planes forward and the sail rigged, it was found that the ship could be adequately controlled with the engines. At low wind, velocities a speed as low as 18 knots could be made good.

4.       Upon arrival at Pearl the vessel was immediately docked and the damage already described was disclosed. The decision was made by technical personnel at Pearl to remove the damaged rudder and send the vessel to a West Coast yard for permanent repairs. The vessel sortied from Pearl in this condition and was found to be completely unmanageable. Vessels of the CV-9 class have an unusually small tactical diameter. To accomplish this the hull was designed with practically no dead wood. The designed rudder acts as a fin to provide directional stability for the hull. With the rudder completely removed it was found the hull had no directional stability, whatsoever.

It could be compared to an arrow without a feather or an airplane without a vertical stabilizer. The heading of the ship had no direct relation to the direction of motion of the hull. It was found that it was impossible to steady the ship on my course.

At times the ship would swing uncontrollably through 360°. It is to be noted, however, that the track made good as shown by DRT was almost exactly into the wind. During the time spent in efforts to gain control, the track made good was in a southeast direction directly into the wind and away from the entrance to Pearl. Because it was obviously undesirable to stop and drift back towards Pearl, efforts were then made to turn the ship abound and proceed at low speed in a northwest direction.

It was found by going ahead standard on one side and back two-thirds to full on the other, that the yaw could be reduced and a reasonably accurate course could be steered at a speed of advance of four to five knots. Due to a strong Kona wind blowing, conditions for entry were dangerous and the vessel was ordered to remain outside until weather conditions improved. For 48 hours the vessel was controlled by going ahead standard on one side and backing two-thirds to full on the other, alternately.

– 3 –


S24/00-redm U.S.S INTREPID (CV-11)
Ser:  051

28 March 1944.

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

Subject:       U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The continuous backing, coupled with the hull damage aft, however, created so much vibration that numerous steam and water leaks began to develop in the engine rooms. The rapid increase of make up feed required began to approach the capacity of the evaporators and some other means of controlling the vessel became a necessity.

It was then decided to tow the vessel with the seagoing tugs which had been made available. A 2½” wire was taken from the towing engine of the tug USS MUNSEE, and secured to the port anchor chain. The chain was veered to place the 60 fathom shackle on the forecastle and about 240 fathoms of wire was put out by the tug. This rig worked very well towing into the wind, with a good catenary.

The tug worked up to 14 knots and the INTREPID made 5 knots for a net speed made good of about 8 knots. An attempt was then made to reverse the course. It was found that the tug could not pull the ship out of the wind. The tug immediately got in stays and worked back to a position on the port quarter in spite of stopping the INTREPID’s engines. A 2nd tug then passed a line to the 1st tug to assist in holding up the head of the tug.

This tandem combination worked satisfactorily and the vessel was turned through 180° in about 1¼ hours. For the remaining three days of the wait outside Pearl, during the storm, the tandem towing arrangement worked very well, making good about 5 knots, the tug making turns for about 14 knots and the INTREPID’s engines stopped. The tugs would find a position of about 45° on the lee bow. In this connection it is worthy of note that the tugs used in this operation have their towing engine too far aft and their rudder appears to be of insufficient area. Tugs designed for towing heavy ships should have the towing engine located near the pivot point of the tug.

5.       Upon returning to the dry dock at Pearl a jury fin was installed to restore a fin area equal to that of the original rudder.

One hundred square feet of this fin was hinged. This hinged portion represented about one-fifth of the area of the original rudder. (See enclosures). It had a maximum angle of 20° right or left and was controlled by wire cables brought up outboard to the fan tail. The ends of the rudder cables were secured to three-fold wire jiggers, the running ends of which were taken to the after capstan.

– 4 –


S24/00-redm U.S.S INTREPID (CV-11)
Ser:  051

28 March 1944.

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

Subject:       U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The large hole in the skin of the ship on the starboard side was filled in to reduce the drag on that side although the patch was not watertight.

6.       It was the intention of the designers of the jury rig that the movable part of the fin would be used to overcome the effect of the wind and that steering would be done primarily with the engines. Upon sortie from Pearl, however, it was found that steering by engines was extremely difficult and the yaw to each side could not be reduced below an average of about 40°.

The jury rig to the capstan worked so smoothly that the final combination, which proved very satisfactory, was to adjust engine revolutions to overcome the effect of the wind and use the jury rudder to steer.

The effect of the jury rudder when hard over, appeared to bo equivalent to about 4° to 5° of the designed rudder. The yaw, using the jury rudder to steer, averaged from 10° to 15° on either side. Winds of 15 to 25 knots were encountered. The passage from Pearl was made at speeds of 14 to 16 knots without any further difficulty.

The starting panel of the capstan is not designed for continuous service, such as that required for steering, but frequent cleaning of the contacters prevented shorting due to arcing. Special arrangements were necessary to provide lubrication for the capstan shaft, because the pump did not provide sufficient lubrication during the short starts and stops necessary.

7.       Upon arrival at the Parallon Islands the vessel was met by four tugs and a line was taken from a single tug.

The vessel was towed to the entrance of the dredged channel over the bar at a speed of about 10.5 knots, the INTREPID making turns for about 7 knots and the tug making turns for about 14 knots. 150 fathoms of wire and 30 fathoms of the port chain were used.

The weather was perfect – no sea and very light wind. At the entrance to the dredged channel the ship slowed down and four additional tugs were taken alongside, two on each side. At slow speeds the ship was very difficult to control because of insufficient rudder effect. It was planned to arrive at the Golden Gate at high slack before ebb.

Due to local conditions the ebb actually commenced about half an hour earlier than shown in the current tables. The result was that the ship was caught in some very erratic tidal currents and at times was almost completely out of control.

– 5 –


S24/00-redm U.S.S INTREPID (CV-11)
Ser:  051

28 March 1944.

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T-I-A-L

Subject:       U.S.S. INTREPID – handling of after Battle Damage.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It was frequently necessary to use the engines at high powers to correct a sheer to the right or left. After passing under the Golden Gate Bridge the scope of the towing tug ahead was shortened to 100 fathoms. A towing speed of about 7 knots was used, which in certain places, gave a speed of advance of about one knot due to strong ebb current.

CONCLUSIONS

     8.       The steps taken to maintain steering control of the ship as described in the proceeding narrative, were as follows:

(a) Trim the ship by the stern.
(b) Slow down, stop or lock shafts on one side.
(c) Move aircraft on the flight deck forward to act as a headsail
(d) Rig a sail between flight dock and forecastle, Additional canvas could have been rigged, with some difficulty, on the radio masts forward, from a stay leading forward from the island structure, or on palisades arranged fore and aft.

9.       Further steps which could have been taken but which proved to be unnecessary during the INTREPID’s voyage are as follows:

(a)   Rig a paravane on one side. A paravane creates a very considerable pull on its towing cable and would materially assist in keeping the bow out of the wind, if rigged on the leeward bow.

(b)   Tow a small vessel (an escort destroyer or, preferably, a tug) with a short scope astern. This scheme was successfully employed in the Pacific some years ago in the case of a large passenger vessel that was unlucky enough to have lost her rudder, The towed tug, in this case, stopped her engines and used her rudder to steer the heavy vessel which provided the motive power.

Speeds as high as 18 knots were maintained. A little consideration will indicate that the tug’s rudder was put right when the heavy vessel desired

– 6 –

Space Program – Aurora 7

Aurora 7 – Astronaut Scott Carpenter

Fifty years after he was plucked from the Atlantic Ocean and deposited onto the deck of the USS Intrepid, pioneering astronaut Scott Carpenter marked the anniversary of his three orbits of Earth and tense re-entry with a return to the ship that brought him to safety.

  • Carpenter’s Aurora 7 mission came three months after John Glenn’s first American orbital flight as the United States pursued the Soviet Union in the Cold War race to outer space. Carpenter’s flight is remembered most for the drama-filled re-entry when his tiny space capsule overshot its target by 250 miles.
  • The expected communications blackout as the capsule re-entered the atmosphere lasted nine minutes, more than twice the length of Glenn’s blackout period. The worried nation waited tensely for word of his fate, and President Kennedy’s White House kept an open phone line to NASA’s mission headquarters.
  • After splashing down, Carpenter was afloat beyond line-of-sight radio communications. NASA waited 40 minutes before announcing to the world that Carpenter was alive. He climbed out of his capsule and waited in a raft for a helicopter to hoist him out of the sea.
  • I was alone, but I didn’t worry about that,” Carpenter said. “My mind was busy reviewing that marvelous and recent experience.”
  • His flight of just under five hours was so much fun, he said, “I got a little tired of having to talk to the ground (mission control) so much.”
  • I was very happy to see that it all ended successfully,” Carpenter said. “It got the United States back in the space race. We were tied with the Soviet Union, and that was important.”
  • Carpenter and Glenn are the only survivors among the original seven U.S. astronauts, and neither Carpenter’s flight nor name are as well remembered as those of Glenn, who later served as U.S. senator from Ohio and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his flight on Feb. 12.
  • I know that first flights get the attention, but each flight builds on the one before it,” Glenn, 90, said in recent interview. “That’s the way we make progress.”
  • Carpenter and Glenn worked closely together — Carpenter was Glenn’s backup, meaning he was both understudy and alter-ego, Glenn recalled, before getting his own ride on the next mission. “Scott did a marvelous job for me,” Glenn said.
  • One of the most memorable quotations of the early space age was Carpenter’s words broadcast around the world from mission control during the final seconds before Glenn’s blast off: “Godspeed, John Glenn.”
  • Besides asking for divine help, Carpenter was praying for speed: The two previous NASA flights had been suborbital, and to circle the planet, the launch rocket needed to obtain orbital velocity, more than 17,500 miles an hour.
  • It came straight from the heart,” Carpenter said. “What John needed sitting on that rocket ready to ride was speed, more than any of his predecessors had had. … It had special meaning. It was appropriate.”
  • A ceremony held, among several marking Carpenter’s anniversary, honored him by Swiss watchmaker Breitling, which built a special 24-hour watch Carpenter wore on his orbital flight and later produced a Scott Carpenter special edition Cosmonaute timepiece.
  • Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid museum, said ship lore has it that once his initial debriefing and doctor’s exam were conducted, Carpenter sat down to a dinner of two steaks, prepared by the Intrepid crew.
  • It was kind of exciting,” recalled John Olivera, 71, a retired New Jersey police officer who was a seaman on the Intrepid then. “He was whisked away quickly.”
  • For Carpenter and Glenn, the end of the space shuttle program is an unhappy development. Glenn says that “we’ve gotten ourselves into a lousy situation,” relying on the Russians to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station. Carpenter left NASA after his flight and explored under the ocean as part of the Navy’s SEALAB program.
  • Failure to explore space is a failure of global importance,” Carpenter said. “It’s not a Russian effort, not a Chinese effort, not an American effort to explore space. It’s an effort for humanity. And if we back off and don’t investigate our location in the solar system, it’s a loss felt globally.”

                                                                                     – Molly Brown –

                                             Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Command Pilot – John W. Young, Pilot

The first manned Gemini flight and first U.S. space flight with two astronauts aboard featured the first use of an Orbital Attitude Maneuvering System (OAMS) to create a controlled orbital and re-entry path. This capability created the first fully maneuverable U.S. manned spacecraft.

During the flight, the Gemini 3 spacecraft’s orbit was altered to a more oval and higher pattern, ranging in altitude from 100 to 139 miles. Orbit was also shifted to a more circular pattern, using on-board thrusters to practice techniques which would be applied during upcoming Gemini rendezvous and docking missions.

Grissom became the first person to fly in space twice. Sadly, this was the astronaut’s last flight prior to being killed in the tragic Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967.

The Gemini 3 capsule was unofficially dubbed “Molly Brown” in reference to the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” of Titanic fame. Grissom’s capsule sank and was lost during his first space flight, Mercury MR-4, thus precipitating this “Molly Brown” nickname.

Unauthorized Gemini 3 “cargo” included a corned beef sandwich reportedly purchased at Wolfie’s Restaurant in Cocoa Beach, which was eaten by Grissom during the flight. Astronaut Young was authorized to eat specially prepared space food, and Grissom was not authorized to eat anything.

Crumbs from the “weightless” sandwich scattered throughout the Gemini 3 spacecraft, posing a potential, if unintentional, flight safety risk. This rules violation caused NASA to clamp down on what astronauts could and could not carry into space.

Although one of the primary goals of the Gemini program was to make pinpoint spacecraft recoveries, the Gemini 3 capsule splashed down about 60 miles from the primary recovery vessel.

Unlike the Mercury capsules, which splashed down upright, the Gemini capsules were designed to splash down on their sides. This was the first time a U.S. manned spacecraft had splashed down on its side, and the force of this type of water impact caused the faceplate in Grissom’s helmet to crack.

Note: The Gemini 3 capsule nickname “Molly Brown” was unofficial. During the Mercury program, astronauts were permitted to select official nicknames for their spacecraft. These nicknames were then used as official call signs during the mission.

The capsule nickname policy was rescinded by NASA during the Gemini program, during which mission managers instead opted to use the mission name as the official spacecraft call sign.

Astronauts were again permitted to nickname their spacecraft during the Apollo program, but only during flights involving both a Command Module and Lunar Module. The operation of two spacecraft during an individual mission was then made easier through the use of different call signs for each spacecraft.

Note: The Soviet space program jumped from one-person flights to a three-person flight. Cosmonauts Komarov, Feoktistov and Yegorov were launched aboard Voskhod 1 on October 12, 1964.

Ref:  http://spaceline.org/flightchron/gemini3.html

 cv11texfcm@gmail.com

Intrepid is Born Again

An Educational Venue

 for former U.S.S. Intrepid (CV, CVA, CVS-11) Crewmembers

Chapter I

– INTREPID is Born Again

The 4th 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 Intrepid 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 – coming soon – the space shuttle Enterprise that will be 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 un-restored 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.

Ref: Numerous USS Intrepid Website sources

____________________________________________________________________________

 

If you would like to continue receiving future ‘Educational Venues’, please email your request to Former Intrepid Crewmember and Past USS Intrepid Association President, (’03-’05) John Simonetti at cv11texfcm@gmail.com with the following message…

‘Continue EV Chapters’

_____________________________________________________________________

 

This Educational Venue is for former Intrepid Crewmembers

who served ’With pride and dedication’

Intrepid (CVA-11) Post War History

An Educational Venue

 for former U.S.S. Intrepid (CV, CVA, CVS-11) Crewmembers

Chapter VIII

  •                -INTREPID (CVA-11) 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 carrying 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 

This Educational Venue is for former Intrepid Crewmembers

who served …’with pride and dedication’

cv11texfcm@gmail.com