USS Intrepid - CVS-11
USS Intrepid, a 27,100 ton Essex class aircraft carrier built at Newport News, Virginia, was commissioned in August 1943. After arriving in the Pacific, she operated in support of the Kwajalein invasion in January-February 1944. On 17 February, while taking part in raids on the Japanese central Pacific base at Truk, she was hit by an aerial torpedo. An improvised sail was used to help maintain course while she steamed to Pearl Harbor for repairs. The carrier was back in the combat zone in September 1944. Over the next few months, she participated in strikes on the Palaus, Okinawa, Formosa and the Philippines. Her planes sank or helped to sink several Japanese ships during the 24-25 October Battle of Leyte Gulf. On 25 November, while attacking targets in the Philippines, Intrepid was hit by a suicide plane. She lost over sixty officers and men and had to go to the U.S. for shipyard work.
Intrepid returned to the western Pacific in time for attacks on the Japanese home islands in mid-March 1945, during which she was lightly damaged by a "Kamikaze". She next participated in the Okinawa operation, beginning in late March. On 16 April, two suicide planes attacked her, one hitting the flight deck and causing enough damage that Intrepid again needed Stateside repairs. Japan surrendered while she was en route to rejoin the fight in mid-August, and she spent most of the rest of 1945 supporting occupation efforts. Inactive through much of 1946, Intrepid was decommissioned in March 1947.
Temporarily recommissioned in February 1952, Intrepid went to Newport News, Virginia, for thorough modernization over the next two years. Redesignated CVA-11, and now equipped with a stronger flight deck, new island and powerful steam catapults, she reentered active service in June 1954. The carrier twice deployed to the Mediterranean during 1955-56, then was further updated with an angled flight deck and enclosed "hurricane" bow. She continued her Atlantic and Mediterranean attack carrier operations until late 1961. In March 1962 she was reclassified as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) support aircraft carrier with the new designation CVS-11.
Into the mid-1960s, Intrepid took part in anti-submarine exercises in the Atlantic area, occasionally deployed to European waters and helped with space flight recovery work. Following a major overhaul, the ship was given an air group of light attack planes and the temporary designation of "special attack carrier" for Vietnam war service. She deployed to Southeast Asia three times in 1966-69 before returning to her regular Atlantic Fleet ASW role. Intrepid cruised in the Mediterranean in 1971 and 1973 and visited Northern Europe in 1972. Decommissioned in March 1974, she was a Bicentennial exhibition ship at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1976. USS Intrepid was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in February 1982 and transferred to a New York City organization for further service as a museum, a role she plays to the present day.