The official history of the aircraft carrier that distinguished itself in combat from World War II to Vietnam.
This fall the USS Intrepid will return, following extensive renovations, to its dockside berth in New York City where it serves as a museum. It will also likely receive many mentions as the first ship of then-young naval officer John McCain, who contributes the foreword. White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and Gandt (Acts of Vengeance, 2002, etc.), a former U.S. Navy fighter, recount the ship’s rich past, beginning with its service in the Pacific, where the Intrepid participated in the assault on the Japanese stronghold at Truk, the Palau campaign and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She helped sink the famous battleship Yamato and was the victim of torpedo strikes and numerous, desperate kamikaze attacks. The authors are at their best chronicling the resulting devastation to crew and carrier from these furious battles. During the ’60s the ship did a star turn as the recovery vessel for Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter and Gemini astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young and also served three busy combat tours in Vietnam. Named the official vessel of the 1976 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Bicentennial Exposition, the Intrepid, after heroic efforts by New York City philanthropist Zachary Fisher, became a floating museum, but never totally left the fight, serving after 9/11 as temporary emergency headquarters for the FBI-NYPD joint terrorism task force. Though the accumulated details sometimes slow the narrative, the ship’s glittering history provides the authors with plenty of interesting stories, ranging from the long-delayed Navy Cross awarded sailor Alonzo Swann, to the flight-deck heroics of the various Air Groups attached to the carrier, to her peacetime extrication from the mud of the Hudson River.
A worthy tribute to the nation’s sea power, as well as all who served aboard the Intrepid.