The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid is an icon hero of World War II. She suffered five attacks by suicide pilots — — and over 200 sailors were killed on her decks.
Intrepid participated in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Later she recovered spacecraft of the Mercury and Gemini programs and served in the Vietnam War. Since 1982, Intrepid has been part of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed “the Fighting I.”
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Above: USS Intrepid in the World War II time frame
Intrepid Returns to New York WaterfrontFrom Fox News, NY
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is reopening to the public with a two-day celebration.
A Saturday ribbon cutting aboard the World War II aircraft carrier will be followed by musical performances and fireworks. Members of the Fire Department, the Police Department and the military also will gather for a game of tug-of-war.
The museum on the Hudson River underwent a 22-month, $120 million restoration at a New Jersey drydock. It returned home last month.
After WWII, the ship saw service in the Korean and Vietnam wars and was twice a recovery ship for NASA astronauts. Since 1982 it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist sites, drawing some 750,000 visitors yearly over the past decade.
USS Intrepid’s Reopening, New Dedication Features Honors, Praises, HistoryBy Bill Blayer, Newsday
After a two-year, $120-million restoration project for ship and pier, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum reopens to the public Saturday with a day of special events.
The official grand reopening event will be held Tuesday on Veterans Day, when President George W. Bush is scheduled to be onboard to be honored by the museum.
After extensive work at a Bayonne drydock and a Staten Island pier, the historic aircraft carrier berthed at Pier 86 at West 46th Street and 12th Avenue offers new exhibits including areas of the ship never before accessible, four new aircraft and the rest of the planes repainted, a new public park-like pier and new handicapped accessibility. It also will charging higher admission fees: $3 more for adults to $19.50.
The first visitors begin touring the new displays and renovated aircraft in the hangar bay on board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)
On Saturday, the museum will open at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the Chaminade High School band will perform; at 1 there will be a tug-of-war between the FDNY, NYPD, Navy and Marine Corps; at 5:30 there will be a performance by the USO and Liberty Belles; at 6 a performance by Annapolis Men’s Glee Club and Barbershop Quartet; and fireworks at 7 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 to 6.
On Tuesday, the ship commissioned in 1943 will be closed to the public until 2 p.m. while the president attends Veterans Day ceremonies and is presented with the 2008 Intrepid Freedom Award. The award recognizes world leaders who embody the ideals of world freedom and democracy. Prior honorees include presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Margaret Thatcher and Silvio Berlusconi, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
“This is only the second time a sitting president has visited us,” museum president Bill White said.
Gov. David A. Paterson also is scheduled to attend along with 2,500 veterans.
The museum expects 1 million visitors in the next year to see the new exhibits aboard the 29,000-ton ship, including the newly opened fo’c’sle area where the anchor chains are stored in the bow, officers’ quarters and crew’s mess.
Ben Kalsman, 5, reaches skyward, as he sits on the shoulders of his Father, Arden, waiting to board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today, after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)