New York City Guide

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Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum

The USS Intrepid was commissioned in 1943, and had a long and distinguished career. The ship took part in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and was involved in the Pacific Campaign during World War II. The Intrepid suffered seven bomb attacks, five kamikaze strikes and one torpedo hit. This earned it the reputation amongst the enemy as "The Ghost Ship". After the war, the Intrepid began accommodating jet aircraft and served as a recovery vessel for NASA. and as a submarine tracking ship during the Cold War.

Intrepid Museum 2New York real estate tycoon Zachary Fisher founded the museum after he rescued the USS Intrepid from destruction in 1982. He wanted to create a place for the nation’s heroes to be remembered. Today, the foundation honours soldiers and sailors and welcomes them home during its annual Fleet Week. The Intrepid has four exhibition halls, the United States Navy Hall, Stern Hall, Technologies Hall and Intrepid Hall. There are numerous displays and film shows throughout the day.

Intrepid Museum 3The Intrepid has a helicopter collection that includes two Vietnam-era UH-1 Hueys, a Marine Corps AH-1J Sea Cobra, and a fully restored Army AH-1G Cobra gunship. On the flight deck and portside aircraft elevator, can be found, a Navy F-14 Tomcat, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, a Marine Corps aV-8C Harrier, and an A-12 Blackbird spy plane formerly in service with the CIA. During your visit, you’ll also find international air power on display with a British F-1 Scimitar, a French Entendard IV-M, and a Polish MiG-21.

In 1945, on top of the island of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the image of five American Marines and one sailor raising a U.S. Flag during the height of the battle. This photograph became one of the most recognizable images of World War II.  Felix DeWeldon created a sculpture based on Rosenthal's photograph. The sculpture became so popular that it prompted the construction of a larger, permanent statue, at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. DeWeldon's original sculpture became almost forgotten until it was rediscovered by New York collector, Rodney Hilton Brown. The statue was brought to the Museum and restored to its original splendour where it remains on show.

USS Edson and USS Growler are also on show. The USS Edson was a Forrest Sherman class destroyer. It was decommissioned after 30 years of service on December 15th, 1988, and it was stricken from the Navy list on January 31st, 1989. On June 30, 1989, the Edson was donated to the Museum. The USS Growler SSG 577 is the only intact strategic nuclear missile submarine ever to be opened to the public. Constructed in 1958, the submarine was active for only six years. During its service, it carried and launched the 56 foot long Regulus missile.

Located on a barge next to the Intrepid, and now a popular attraction at the museum, is a British Airways Concorde. This was the fastest airliner to enter commercial service. This particular Concorde holds the record for crossing the Atlantic in only two hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds.

The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space museum is located on Twelfth Avenue, at 46th Street, Pier 86. To reach the main entrance from Twelfth Avenue, visitors go up some steps and along a walkway that crosses over the West Side Highway. As its name would suggest, the museum is based around the former aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid, that is now serving out its retirement as the centrepiece of Manhattan's only floating museum.

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