29 January 2008

Sympathy For Lonely Warships

The Intrepid has been in the waters off Staten Island for a while now. It's a wonderful angle to see the ship from, it almost looks vulnerable and naked. It's at an angle which was impossible to view when it was on West 46th Street.

The Intrepid is scheduled to return to Pier 86 in November of 2008. But while in Staten Island, The Intrepid will undergo the next phase of her refurbishment, and receive an $8 million interior renovation. She is a mueseum after all.

Never-before-seen areas of the ship including the fo’c’sle (commonly known as the anchor chain room), general berthing quarters and the ship’s machine shop will be opened to the public for the first time when it returns. The hangar deck will feature a new layout and design including new interactive exhibits.

The USS Intrepid is an Essex-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. The Intrepid participated in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and also, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history.

USS Intrepid in the Philippine sea, November 1944

At war's end, she was in Enewetak and soon supported occupation forces providing air support and supply services before heading back to California. As a matter of fact on this date in 1944, The Intrepid raided islands at the northeastern corner of Kwajalein Atoll and pressed the attack until the last opposition had vanished.

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", while her often ill luck earned her the nickname "the Evil I".

USS Intrepid in the South China Sea, 1968

Wikipedia has exhaustive service records of the Intrepid. In fact, The Intrepid has one of the most distinguished service records of any Navy ship.

I don't think anyone has ever been able to view her docked like this and unobstructed. It's quite interesting. You should all go visit her, she looks lonely out there. And this is her first trip in almost 30 years!

Find your way to Bay Street, then Front, then Edgewater on Staten Island and just follow the shore. You'll see her. Bring cookies. She likes Lorna Doone's best.

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