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USS Intrepid


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The USS Intrepid is a WW2 "Essex Class" carrier with an illustrious history. Commissioned in 1943 she was in the thick of the action as US forces advanced across the Pacific, falling victim to Kamikazes on more than one occasion but subsequently repaired and returned to the fight. After the war she was mothballed but then re-commissioned and modernized in the early 50s. Several upgrades later she was designated a "special attack carrier" in '66 and went on to serve three tours in Vietnamese waters. She was decommissioned once more in '74 and became a USN exhibit ship until being bought by an enterprising NY businessman who founded the Intrepid Museum Foundation. Thereafter, she was moored off of one of NYC's many piers and first opened to the public in '86 having been designated a National Historic Landmark.


In 2006, she was towed away from her moorings for an extensive re-fit. She returned to her new moorings in 2008 complete with new exhibits and re-opened to the public as "Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum."


I'm fortunate enough to have visited the Intrepid both pre and post re-fit...most recently just last week. She is a mightily impressive vessel crammed with fascinating exhibits. The flight deck is home to a collection of post-war aircraft of all nationalities. The hangar deck also contains historic aircraft plus a range of audio-visual and interactive exhibits. The gallery deck is also accessible so you get to see the bridge, radar room and air traffic control centre etc.


Alongside Intrepid is a former British Airways Concorde and a submarine, the USS Growler, a former guided missile submarine which served in the USN during The Cold War. Access to the museum also includes access to these external exhibits.


My visit there last week coincided with the worst thunderstorm NYC had experienced for many a year! Amost two inches of rain fell in as many hours! Standing on the flight deck some twelve storeys up the rain was coming in sideways! I got soaked to the skin but managed to photograph most of the external exhibits though the picture quality is not that good due to the prevailing conditions, but they'll give you some idea of what can be seen there. If you find yourself in NYC then do pay it a visit!


Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum West 46th Street & 12th avenue New York, NY 10036 (Pier 86)



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