Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – A Day Onboard The “Fighting I”
Sporting one of the most distinguished service records in U.S. Navy history, the USS Intrepid was commissioned on April 26, 1943 – just one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers the U.S. produced during World War 2.
The Intrepid’s record in World War 2 is amazing, Wikipedia has a good write up. The museum has some powerful audio/video presentations and some amazing and moving artifacts, especially in regards to the kamikaze attacks Intrepid suffered. Post-war, she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet, where she served through 1974, frequently being selected for special events, such as recovery for Gemini and Mercury space flights. Seemingly destined for scrap, Intrepid was saved in 1982 to become the cornerstone of a new museum in New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is about more than just the Intrepid. Anchored across from her is the USS Growler. One of the original missile submarines, rapid developments in rocketry and submarine-design made Growler’s operational history extremely short. Launched in 1958, she was placed into the reserve fleet in 1964, and struck from the Naval Registry in 1980. Although not particularly distinguished, Growler is a fascinating time-capsule from a time, that’s actually not that long ago.
Then, we’re off to the Intrepid.
The flight deck of the Intrepid is filled with beautiful examples of important and classic aircraft from the jet era, including some prop-driven planes and helicopters.
The crown-jewel of the flight deck is, of course, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
Below decks, are the A/V shows, some outstanding simulations (I crashed while landing…), areas for kids to play (and parents to sit for a bit), as well as other interesting items (such as the score-card at the top of the article).
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a must for any space, aircraft, world war 2, military, history, sub or ship geek visiting or living in the New York City area. It’s not all that expensive, and you get to crawl through a submarine and explore a gigantic ship, all while seeing historic aircraft – what could be better?