Intrepid Returns Home

Former Intrepid Crew Member, Gene Whitten provided the following for all to enjoy:”Intrepid Returns to NY”

From 1965 to 1968, Frank Vacirca and Gene Whitten were fellow Radarmen aboard the USS Intrepid CVS-11, among a large contingent of radarmen and sonarmen in OI Division. We made two cruises to the South China Sea and Vietnam waters, in 1966 and 1967. We met again after 41 years to take this memorable voyage together. We were among the privileged few former Intrepid crew members to be aboard and to man the rail as the Fighting “I” was towed back to a rebuilt pier 86 in New York City from Staten Island, after a two-year renovation. She has never looked better!

We got up in the middle of the night to make the 6 AM Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan on Thursday morning to get to the pier where Intrepid was moored. Then we rode the train two stops. When we got off, we could see the Intrepid in the distance — the sun still hadn’t risen yet. To see that familiar ship’s dark outline silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky when we first arrived was overwhelming. That big number 11 was lit up like a beacon. It made me feel like I was just returning from liberty in some foreign port.
Our gracious hosts in New York, dan and Keren, were there to accompany us, aboard a chartered yacht. Frank and I spent a wonderful day on board Intrepid, running around the flight deck, roaming through passageways, meeting other former Intrepid sailors, and making new friends. We especially enjoyed meeting some of the former WW II crew members. On the journey up the Hudson, we stopped for ceremonies at the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center site. A 100-foot WTC flag was unfurled on the starboard side. It was a glorious day and an emotional trip back in time, to be remembered forever.

For a great and memorable ‘Screen Show’ of this historic day…go to:

http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/OukWnJRJ/6356980/2988763#imageID=52654386

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2 Comments

  1. JACK HICKMAN

     /  September 6, 2016

    I AM JACK HICKMAN AND I WOULD LIKE TO ADD A LITTLE TO THE HISTORY OF THE INTREPID.
    I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE INTREPID SIX MONTHS BEFORE SHE LEFT THE SHIP YARD AND STOOD WATCH ON HER WHILE THEY WERE STILL WORKING ON HER.
    WE WERE STATIONED AT A BASE IN NEW PORT AND WHEN I WAS THERE, ALL THERE WAS. WAS PEOPLE FOR THE MESS AND WE WERE ABLE TO COME AND GO AS WE WISHED,FOR A SHORT WHILE. .
    I DID NOT SERVE ON HER AFTER WE WERE TORPEDOED . I WAS ABLE TO SEE SOME OF MY SHIP MATES WHEN THEY CAME BACK TO PEARL HARBOR.
    I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE THE INTREPID WITH MY FAMILY AT 86 PIER IN NEW YORK ONLY ONCE AND MET SOME OF MY SHIP MATES WHILE THERE..
    I DID HAVE A REUNION FOR THE V6 GROUP IN ORLANDO FL. AND WE HAD A GREAT TIME. THEY WANTED ME TO HAVE ANOTHER ONE, BUT ONE AS ENOUGH. SOME OF THE FELLOWS AND FAMILY DID COME BASK TO SEE ME WHILE I WAS LIVING THERE. I AM NOW BACK IN MICHIGAN WERE MY SON IS HELPING ME.

    Reply
  2. I emailed Jack with my personal comments thanking him and wishing him well.

    Reply

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