Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – A Day Onboard The “Fighting I”

USS Intrepid, Philippine Sea, 1944 - Wikipedia

USS Intrepid, Philippine Sea, 1944 – Wikipedia

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.

A distinguished record

The scorecard says, “Don’t mess with the Fighting I”

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.

USS Growler

USS Growler, SSG-557 (USN, retired)

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.

Read-out dials aboard USS Growler

Read-out dials aboard USS Growler

Up periscope!

Up periscope!

Everything is small, this is the Captain's Cabin

Everything is small, this is the Captain’s Cabin

Officer's Quarters

Officer’s Quarters

Officer's Mess

Officer’s Mess

Crew's Mess

Crew’s Mess

Okay, Sailer, you'll be sleeping in the Torpedo Room

Okay, Sailer, you’ll be sleeping in the Torpedo Room

Then, we’re off to the Intrepid.

USS Intrepid, CV-11 (USN - retired)

USS Intrepid, CV-11 (USN – retired)

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.

SR-71 Blackbird

SR-71 Blackbird

F-14 Tomcat

“Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby.”

MiG-21

MiG-21

F-11 Tiger, former "Jet 5" from the Blue Angels

F-11 Tiger, former “Jet 5” from the Blue Angels

AH-1 Cobra

AH-1 Cobra

The Empire State Building sneaking through

The Empire State Building sneaking through

The crown-jewel of the flight deck is, of course, the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Enterprise, OV-101

Enterprise, OV-101

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).

Replica of a Mercury capsule

Replica of a Mercury capsule

Be still my heart, a giant USS Intrepid in Legos!

Be still my heart, a giant USS Intrepid in Legos!

Overlooking the Hudson

Overlooking the Hudson

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?

Mike Knotts

Mike Knotts was born in 1968 in a small town in southern Indiana. Even when very young, Mike showed a love for all-things technical and sci-fi. Moving with his family to California in the early 80's, he eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in History. Rather than put that to good use, Mike continued to pursue his passion for technology by working for early, regional ISP's in the mid 1990's. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a project manager for an Internet startup. Mike is a co-founder of Geekometry.

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