Sailors mark Intrepid's 70th birthday - New York News

Sailors mark Intrepid's 70th birthday

Posted: Updated:

KAREN MATTHEWS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- About 300 former crew members of the battleship-turned-museum the USS Intrepid returned to it on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of its commissioning during the height of World War II.

The Navy veterans served on the aircraft carrier between 1943 and 1974, when it was decommissioned.

The 27,100-ton vessel has been a tourist attraction since it opened as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the West Side of Manhattan in 1982.

World War II veteran Joseph Barry, of Cary, N.C., remembered his first sight of the Intrepid a few weeks before its Aug. 16, 1943, commissioning in Newport News, Va.

"I couldn't believe anything that big could possibly float," said Barry, 88.

But he said his commanding officer told him "it would not only float, but she was about to go to sea and win the war."

The Intrepid took part in several campaigns in the Pacific Ocean Theater and was damaged five times by kamikaze aircraft, museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner said.

Barry, then a radioman first class, remembered the sound of gunfire from Japanese planes getting closer, first "boom, boom, boom," then "bang, bang, bang" and finally a rapid "bat-bat-bat-bat-bat."

"There was no place to hide," he said. "Just grit your teeth and keep copying transmissions."

The Intrepid was modernized after the war and became an anti-submarine carrier. It participated in the Vietnam War and was the recovery ship for two space missions.

William Bradler, of Ashtabula, Ohio, joined the Navy in 1959 and served as an aviation machinist on the Intrepid during a European cruise in 1960-61.

Friday was his third time returning to the ship since it became a museum.

"I can relive my youth when I'm up here," said Bradler, 73. "If I'd just smell that jet fuel and hear those engines I'd be back in 1959 or '60."

The era included some good times when the Intrepid was docked in New York in the early '60s. Bradler and his buddies were waved past the line at the city's hottest nightclub, the Peppermint Lounge.

"We were in our uniforms so they let us go in, and we actually did the twist in the Peppermint Lounge," he said. "So that was quite a thing."

Some of the oldest veterans attended the ceremony in wheelchairs, assisted by children and grandchildren.

Daniel Kaszubski, of North Tonawanda, accompanied his 89-year-old father, John Kaszubski, and said he was overcome by emotion at the sight of the Intrepid and the thought of his father's service.

"It brings tears to my eyes," he said.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • New York's smallest piece of private land

    New York's smallest piece of private land

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:52:57 GMT
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
  • Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki to run New York City Marathon

    Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:42:50 GMT
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
  • 5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:55:21 GMT
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about the subway system.
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about the subway system.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New York's smallest piece of private land

    New York's smallest piece of private land

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:52:57 GMT
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
  • Runners of 3,100-mile race in Queens seek spiritual experience

    Runners of 3,100-mile race in Queens seek spiritual experience

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:26:44 GMT
    Since mid-June, 14 runners have been on a mission that is spiritual at its core. They are running the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in Jamaica, Queens. Spiritual leader and former Queens resident Sri Chimnoy, who died in 2007, created the race, which lasts 52 days.
    Since mid-June, 14 runners have been on a mission that is spiritual at its core. They are running the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in Jamaica, Queens. Spiritual leader and former Queens resident Sri Chimnoy, who died in 2007, created the race, which lasts 52 days.
  • Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:37:29 GMT
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices