Intrepid ketch - History

Intrepid ketch - History

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Intrepid I

(Ketch: t. 64; l. 60'; b. 12'; cpl. 70; a. 4 guns)

The first Intrepid was built in France in 1798 for Napoleon's Egyptian expedition. She was subsequently sold to Tripoli, whom she served as Mastico The bomb ketch was one of several Tripolitan vessels capturing Philadelphia 31 October 1803 after the American frigate had run fast aground on uncharted Kaliusa reef some 5 miles east of Tripoli.

Enterprise, Lt. Stephen Decatur in command, captured Mastico 23 December 1803 as she vvas sailing lfrom Tripoll to Constantinople under Turkish colors and without passports. After a time-consuming search for a translator, the ketch's papers and the testimony of an English ship master who had been in Tripoli to witness her role in operations against Philadelphia convinced the commander of the American squadron, Commodore Edward Preble that Ua$tico was a legitimate prize. He took her into the U.S. Navy and renamed her Intrepid.

Meanwhile, Philadephia lay in Tripoli Harbor threatening to become Tripoli's largest and most powerful corsair. Preble decided that he must destroy the frigate before the enemy could 9t her out for action against his squadron. In order to take the Tripolitans by surprise he assigned the task to the only ship which could be sure of passing as a North African vessel, Intrepid. He appointed Lieutenant Stepheu Decatur captain of the ketch 31 January 1804 and ordered him to prepare her for a month's cruise to Tripoli in company with Siren. Preble's orders directed Decatur to slip into harbor at night, to board and burn the frigate, and make good his retreat in Intrepid, unless it then seemed feasible to use her as a fire ship against other shipping in the harbor. In the latter case, he was to escape in boats to Siren which would await Just outside the harbor.

Intrepid and Siren set sail 2 February and arrived ofl Tripoli 5 days later. However, bad weather delayed the operation until 16 February. That evening Siren took station outside the harbor and Inunehed her boats to stand by for rescue work. At 7 o'clock Intrepid entered the harbor and 2~2 hours later was alongside PhUadelphia. Leaving a small force commanded by Surgeon Lewis Heermann on board Intrepid, Decatur led 60 of his men to the deck of the frigate. A brief struggle, conducted without 9ring a gun, gave the Americans control of the vessel enabling them to set her ablaze. Decatur, the last man to leave the burning frigate, remained on board Philadelphia until flames blazed from the hatchways and ports of her spar deck. When he finally left the ship her rigging and tops were abalze Shore batteries opened up on Intrepid as she escaped only to be answered from abandoned Phitadelphia when her guns discharged by the heat of the conflagration

When Lord Nelson, then blockading Toulon, heard of Intrepid's feat, he is said to have called it "the most bold and daring act of the age."

Intrepid returned to Syracuse 19 February, and the next day her crew returned to their original ships. The ketch remained iu Syracuse with only a midshipman and a few men on board while the squadron was at sea during the next few months. She became a hospital ship 1 June and continued this duty through July. She departed Syracuse 12 August for Malta, where she took on board fresh supplies for the squadron and departed 17 August. She rejoined the squadron ofl Tripoli 22 August. A week later she began to be fitted out as a "floating volcano" to be sent into the harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of Tripoli. Carpenters of every ship were pressed into service and she was ready 1 September. However, unfavorable weather de rayed the operation until 4 September. That day Lt. Richard Somers assumed command of the the ship. His crew of Lt. Henry Wadsworth and 10 men, all volunteers

was completed shortly after Intrepid got underway when Midshipman Joseph Israel arrived with last-minute orders from Commodore Preble and insisted on accompanying the expedition. The anxious fleet heard two sigual guns as Intrepid entered the harbor; and at 9:30, sometime before she was expected to reach her destination, the American squadron was shaken by the concussion of' a violent explosion.

Commodore Preble later concluded that Tripoline defenders must have boarded Intrepid prompting her vacant men to blow her up giving their lives to prevent the ship's valuable cargo of powder from falling into the hands of the enemy. All on board were lost.

A Former USS Intrepid (CV-11) Crew Member Blog - Introduction

The following was copied from the Second Anniversary ‘Program’
of the U.S.S. INTREPID CV-11

Capt. Giles E. Short, U.S.N., Commanding Officer
Comdr. W. E. Ellis, U.S. N., Executive Officer

The first INTREPID is believed to have been built as a bomb ketch in France in 1798, for the Egyptian Expedition of General Bonaparte. It was sold to Tripoli and named MASTICO, and when captured off Tripoli by the American schooner ENTERPRISE, was given the name INTREPID.

The INTREPID was under the command of Stephen Decatur in his brilliant expedition which resulted in the destruction of the U.S.S. PHILADELPHIA on the night of Feb. 16, 1804. The PHILADELPHIA had grounded and was in the. Hands of the enemy. The purpose of the expedition was to prevent her further use against the United States Naval forces. Later the same year, Sept. 4, 1804, under the command of Lieutenant Somers, the ship was blown up with all hands in a perilous and fatal attempt to damage enemy shipping in the harbor of Tripoli.

Commodore Preble who had directed these exploits, returned to the United States and received the vote of thanks from Congress and an emblematic gold medal from President Jefferson. Lieutenant Decatur was promoted to Captain and presented with a sword by a grateful Congress. They were both highly commended by Lord Nelson who characterized the first exploit of the INTEPID as “ the most bold and daring act of the age.” At the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis stands the Tripolitan Monument erected to the memory of the officers and men of the INTREPID who lost their lives on her fatal expedition.

The second INTREPID was built at Boston, commissioned in 1874, brig rigged and iron hull, 170 feet in length, 35 feet beam, 11 feet feet depth, steam torpedo ram, 438 tons. From Aug. 3 to Oct. 30, 1874, she cruised along the North Atlantic coast trying her torpedos. From 1875 to 1882, she was in commission at the New York Navy Yard. From 1883 to 1889, she was undergoing repairs and alterations at that Yard striken from Navy list, and sold in 1892.


USS Enterprise, a schooner with Lt. Stephen Decatur in command, captured Mastico on 23 December 1803 as it was sailing from Tripoli to Constantinople under Turkish colors and without passports. After a time-consuming search for a translator, the ketch's papers and the testimony of an English ship master who had been in Tripoli to witness her role in operations against Philadelphia convinced the commander of the American squadron, Commodore Edward Preble, that Mastico was a legitimate prize. He took her into the U.S. Navy and renamed her Intrepid. Ώ]

Remember the Intrepid

The Space Shuttle Enterprise is delivered to the USS Intrepid, both named after ships that fought together in the first Barbary War.

The Enterprise and the Intrepid - together again after two hundred years.

In 1801 the schooner USS Enterprise, then commanded by Lt. Andrew Sterrett, was the first American ship to engage the Barbary Pirates in combat, taking on the corsair Tripoli in a fierce battle that left the pirate ship destroyed without any American casualties.

The remains of the men of the Intrepid washed ashore and were buried outside the castle walls, where they remain today, despite the two century long efforts of the Somers and Wadsworth families to have them repatriated home. The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study to determine the feasibility of returning their remains.

We are trying to obtain the repatriation of all of the remains of the men of the Intrepid from Tripoli, and the Veterans who served on the USS Intrepid carrier have supported this effort in a big way, and have offered to hold the official repatriation ceremony for these men aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid when and if it ever occurs.

USS Enterprise 1799

The third USS Enterprise, a schooner, was built by Henry Spencer at Baltimore , Maryland , in 1799, and placed under the command of Lieutenant John Shaw. This ship was overhauled and rebuilt several times, effectively changing from a twelve gun schooner to a fourteen gun topsail schooner and eventually to a brig rigged ship.

On 17 December 1799 , Enterprise departed the Delaware Capes for the Caribbean to protect United States merchantmen from the depredations of French privateers during the Quasi-War with France . Within the following year, Enterprise captured eight privateers and liberated 11 American vessels from captivity, achievements which assured her inclusion in the 14 ships retained in the Navy after the Quasi-War. Placing her for sale was suggested in mid-March, 1801.

After Lieutenant Shaw, due to ill health, was relieved by Lieutenant Andrew Sterett, Enterprise sailed to the Mediterranean . Being delayed by getting new masts, she left Baltimore in early May 1801. Raising Gibraltar on 26 June 1801 , where she was to join other U.S. warships in the First Barbary War. Enterprise 's first action came on 1 August 1801 when, just west of Malta , she defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli , after a fierce but one-sided battle. Unscathed, Enterprise sent the battered pirate into port since the schooner's orders prohibited taking prizes. the 1st of August (1801), the schooner Enterprize , commanded by captain Sterrett, and carrying 12 six pounders and 90 men, bound to Malta for a supply of water, fell in with a Tripolitan cruiser, being a ship of 14 six pounders, manned by 80 men.

Captain Sterrett, listening to the voice of humanity even after such perfidious conduct, ordered the captain either to come himself, or to send some of his officers on board the Enterprize. He was informed that the boat of the Tripolitan was so shattered as to be unfit for use. When we compare this great slaughter, with the fact that not a single individual of the crew of the Enterprise was in the least degree injured, we are lost in surprise at the uncommon good fortune which accompanied our seamen, and at the superior management of Captain Sterrett .

Fighting Pirates - Yesterday and Today

The murders of four American yachtsmen by pirates and the continued attacks on merchant ships off Africa reflects the threat against American ships by the Barbary Pirates that lead to the creation of the United States Navy and continues today with the USS Sterrett and USS Bainbridge sailing anti-pirate patrols off Africa.

When the Barbary Pirates of North Africa began to attack American ships and hold crews as hostage for ransom and tribute, the Americans responded with the battle cry of "Millions for Defense but not once cent for tribute," and sent a fleet of ships to the Mediterranean to fight them.

As President John Adams said, "We ought not to fight them at all, unless we determine to fight them forever," and indeed, here we are, still fighting them.

The USS Sterrett, on pirate duty off Africa today is named after Lt. Andrew Sterrett, whose schooner USS Enterprise was the first American vessel to engage the Barbary pirates in 1801.

Among the warships outfitted for the US Navy to fight the pirates were the frigate Philadelphia , and a number of smaller schooners, including the schooner USS Enterprise and Nautilus.

Lt. Richard Somers, of Somers Point , New Jersey , who was named skipper of the schooner Nautilus, reported on Sterrett's first early action against the pirates in a letter he wrote to Lt. Stephen Decatur, who would later command the Enterprise himself.

"I was about to close my letter," Somers wrote, "when one of our officers got a letter from a friend on the ENTERPRISE, and as it shows how the Barbary corsairs fight, I will tell you part of it. While running for Malta , on the 1st of August, the ENTERPRISE , came across a polacca-rigged ship such as the Barbary Corsairs usually have, with an American brig in tow. It had evidently been captured and her people set adrift. Sterrett, who commands the ENTERPRSIE, as soon as he found the position of affairs, cleared for action, ran out his guns, and opened with a brisk fire on the Tripolitan. He got into a raking position, and his broadside had a terrific effect upon the pirate. But - mark the next- three times were the Tripolitan colors hauled down, and then hoisted again as soon as the fire of the ENTERPRISE ceased. After the third time, Sterrett played his broadside on the pirate with the determination to sink him for such treachery but the Tripolitan rais, or captain, appeared in the waste of the ship, bending his body in token of submission, and actually threw his ensign overboard. Sterrett could not take the ship as a prize, because no formal declaration of war had reached him from the United States but he sent Midshipmen Porter…aboard the pirate to dismantle her. He had all her guns thrown overboard, stripped her of everything except one old sale and a single spar, and let her go, with a message to the Bashaw of Tripoli that such was the way Americans treated pirates."

"I understand that when the rais (captain) got to Tripoli with his one old sail, he was ridden through town on a jackass, by order of the Bashaw, and received the bastinado and that since then the Tripolitans are having great trouble in finding crews to man their corsair ships because of the dread of the 'Americanos'."

". Now I must tell you a piece of news almost too good to be true. I hear the Government is building four beautiful small schooners, to carry sixteen guns, for use in the Tripolitan war, which is to be pushed actively and that you, my dear Decatur, will command one of those vessels, and I another! I can write nothing more exhilarating after this so, I am, as always, your faithful friend, Richard Somers."

While the USS Sterrett is now patrolling for pirates off Africa , it is not known what effect the killing of three pirates by American snipers from the USS Bainbridge last year had on these pirates today.

As with the USS Sterrett, the USS Bainbrige is an American warship named after a hero of the War against the Barbary Pirates. Bainbridge was the Captain of the frigate USS Philadelphia when it ran aground outside Tripoli harbor while chasing a pirate corsair. Bainbridge and his 300 man crew were taken prisoner and held in the dungeons of the Old Castle Fort, which is now a museum.

Lt. Decatur, aboard the captured pirate ship renamed the USS Intrepid, slipped into Tripoli Harbor on an early special ops mission and scuttled the Philadelphia and escaped without any casualties.

Lt. Somers then sailed the Intrepid, filled with explosives, back into Tripoli harbor on September 4, 1804 in what turned out to be a suicide mission. When the Intrepid exploded prematurely in the harbor, Somers, two officers and ten men were killed, their bodies washed ashore the next morning.

Captain Bainbridge convinced the Bey of Tripoli to allow the captured chief surgeon from the Philadelphia and a detail of prisoners to bury them, which they did east of the Old Castle Fort in what is now Martyrs Square , the epicenter of the Libyan revolution.

While the Navy kept the pirates bottled up at Tripoli Harbor, Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon and a detachment of eight marines, American diplomat William Eaton, 200 Greek Christian mercenaries and 2,000 Arab tribesmen marched across the desert and attacked and captured the eastern port city of Derna, while the Enterprise and other American warships pounded the city from the sea.

They were about to march on Tripoli and fight to free the prisoners from the Philadelphia when a treaty was hatched and Bainbridge and his men were freed.

The Bey at the time was Yousef Karamandi, the same name of the Mayor of Tripoli in 1949 when a ceremony was held at the graves of five men of Somers' men from the USS Intrepid. After over a hundred and fifty years, the same family was still ruling Tripoli .

Her next victories came in 1803 after months of carrying dispatches, convoying merchantmen, and patrolling the Mediterranean . On 17 January, she captured Paulina, a Tunisian ship under charter to the Bashaw (Pasha) of Tripoli , and on 22 May, she ran a 30-ton craft ashore on the coast of Tripoli . For the next month Enterprise and other ships of the squadron cruised inshore, bombarding the coast and sending landing parties to destroy enemy small craft.

On 23 December 1803 , after a quiet interval of cruising, Enterprise joined with frigate Constitution capture the Tripolitan ketch Mastico. Refitted and renamed Intrepid, the ketch was given to Enterprise 's commanding officer, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr., for use in a daring expedition to burn frigate Philadelphia , captured by the Tripolitans and anchored in the harbor of Tripoli . Decatur and his volunteer crew carried out their mission perfectly, destroying the frigate and depriving Tripoli of a powerful warship. Enterprise continued to patrol the Barbary Coast until July 1804 when she joined the other ships of the squadron in general attacks on the city of Tripoli over a period of several weeks.

Enterprise passed the winter in Venice , Italy , where she was practically rebuilt by May 1805. She rejoined her squadron in July and resumed patrol and convoy duty until August of 1807. During that period she fought 15 August 1806 a brief engagement off Gibraltar with a group of Spanish gunboats who attacked her but were driven off.

Enterprise returned to the United States in late 1807, and sailed coastal waters until June 1809. After a brief tour in the Mediterranean , she sailed to New York where she was laid up for nearly a year.

Repaired at the Washington Navy Yard, Enterprise was recommissioned there in April 1811, then sailed for operations out of Savannah , Georgia and Charleston , South Carolina . She returned to Washington on 2 October and was hauled out of the water for extensive repairs and modifications: when she sailed on 20 May 1812 , she had been rerigged as a brig.

At sea when war was declared on Britain , she cruised along the east coast during the first year of hostilities. On 5 September 1813 , Enterprise sighted and chased the brig HMS Boxer. The brigs opened fire on each other, and in a closely fought, fierce and gallant action which took the lives of both commanding officers, Enterprise captured Boxer and took her into nearby Portland , Maine , with Edward McCall in command. Here a common funeral was held for Lieutenant William Burrows, Enterprise , and Captain Samuel Blyth, Boxer, both well-known and highly respected in their services.

After repairing at Portland , Enterprise sailed in company with brig Rattlesnake, for the Caribbean . The two ships took three prizes before being forced to separate by a heavily armed ship on 25 February 1814 . Enterprise was compelled to jettison most of her guns in order to outsail her superior antagonist. The brig reached Wilmington , North Carolina , on 9 March 1814 , then passed the remainder of the war as a guardship off Charleston , South Carolina .

Enterprise served one more short tour in the Mediterranean (July-November 1815), then cruised the northeastern seaboard until November 1817. From that time on she sailed the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico , suppressing pirates, smugglers, and slaves in this duty she took 13 prizes. An attack on Cape Antonio , Cuba in October 1821 resulted in the rescue of three vessels taken by pirates and the breaking up of an outlaw flotilla reputedly commanded by James D. Jeffers, aka Charles Gibbs. Her long career ended on 9 July 1823 , when, without injury to her crew, she stranded and broke up on Little Curacao Island in the West Indies .

Sketch of the Intrepid as it sailed into Tripoli Harbor - September 4, 1805

Killing the Prisoners: What Did Decatur Order in Tripoli Harbor?

When the Intrepid, a U.S. Navy ketch commanded by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, entered Tripoli Harbor on a dark night in February 1804, she had an important mission: to destroy the captured frigate Philadelphia. The Bashaw of Tripolitania had declared war against the United States in 1801, but the Navy had spent the intervening two years conducting a mostly lackluster blockade. When the frigate ran aground on 31 October 1803, her 307-man crew was imprisoned, and the ship soon was taken into the city’s harbor. Three months later, Decatur and 60 men from the Intrepid boarded the Philadelphia, scattered or killed her watch, burned her, then made good their escape in the Intrepid. Decatur’s raid is a seminal event in the Navy’s history and established his reputation for leadership.

Burning the Philadelphia was so important in the Barbary Wars, and such a dramatic aspect of Decatur’s life, that it is retold by every naval historian writing about that era. Yet one element of the action remains unexplored—and casts a shadow over the story. An assistant naval surgeon who participated in the mission, Dr. Lewis Heermann, claimed the U.S. sailors killed Tripolitan prisoners at a critical point in the raid, almost certainly on Decatur’s orders. 1 Of the dozens of accounts of the raid, only one refers to the possibility that prisoners were killed, and none of Decatur’s biographers mentions it. 2

Heermann left three accounts of the events. The first, which deals with organizing the raid and its immediate aftermath, is contained in The United States Naval Chronicle, an 1824 history of the Navy by the former chief clerk of the Navy Department, Charles W. Goldsborough. 3 Second, in 1826, Heermann wrote a 12-page “Reminiscences” (that has almost never been cited by historians although it is in the National Archives) to support Susan Decatur’s request for financial relief.4 Finally, Heermann drafted an affidavit in 1828 that is cited extensively in the naval historical literature and is published in the seven-volume official Navy collection of documents. 5

‘Give No Quarter’

Heermann’s accounts provide a clear narrative. After days of battling storms and atrocious conditions on board, the Intrepid slowly wafted into Tripoli on the evening of 16 February 1804. According to Heermann, the “immediate plan” for the attack had been “a frequent subject of conversation” in the Intrepid’s cabin among Decatur and his four fellow officers—Lieutenants James Lawrence, Joseph Bainbridge, and Jonathan Thorn and Heermann—in the nearly two weeks leading up to the attack.

During these conversations, Decatur distilled his directives into 11 “rules.” The second rule was “to give no quarter.” Heermann’s “Reminiscences” reports Decatur’s explicit justification for why no prisoners were to be taken: “First, because we did not expect any secondly, our force was too small to guard many prisoners [and] thirdly, as we had a right to expect hard fighting at close quarters, and pursuit to a considerable distance, the prisoners within might seize a critical moment to turn the scale against us.” 6

More than 100 cannon in batteries and on gunboats protected the captured frigate inside the harbor. The water was smooth the night of the raid. In the moonlight, the U.S. sailors could see the bashaw’s castle and the city’s prominent buildings and minarets as the ship slipped by a Tripolitan gun battery, which did not open fire. The Philadelphia lay directly ahead. The Intrepid sailed directly toward her and several small gunboats nearby. 7

Sixty men were to make the assault, while others were to take the Intrepid’s boats off the bow and stern of the Philadelphia to prevent Tripolitan reinforcements from intervening. Decatur told Heermann that, in distributing responsibilities for the assault, he had run out of officers. Heermann was left on board the Intrepid—in command of seven men, anticipating that the Tripolitans guarding the Philadelphia, “when pressed hard, will be apt to retreat from the spar deck and board the ketch.” 8 If they tried to board, Decatur warned, “your safety will consist of giving no quarter.” Without the Intrepid, there was no escape for the Americans, and Decatur ordered the doctor “at all events, to defend her to the last man.” 9

As the Intrepid drew close to the Philadelphia, Decatur quietly passed the word for his assault groups to gather on deck. The silence was broken when the Intrepid was 100 feet or so away from the looming frigate. A lookout on board the Philadelphia hailed in Arabic to demand what ship was that, and what was she doing. Decatur was ready for this moment. Standing next to him was Salvadore Catalano, the pilot, who spoke enough Arabic to make himself understood. Catalano called out that the ketch was from Malta and had lost her anchors in a gale. He asked if she could tie up to the anchored frigate for the night. The lookout called back with permission. Just as the Intrepid was about to come into contact with the much larger frigate, however, the wind shifted. Blowing from the frigate toward the ketch, the wind pushed the Intrepid about 20 yards away from the Philadelphia. 10

Charles Morris, then a 19-year-old midshipman, later recalled this as “a moment of great anxiety.” Quietly, Decatur motioned Lieutenant Lawrence to lower the Intrepid’s boat and make fast a line from the Intrepid’s bow to the Philadelphia’s bow. At the same time, Decatur directed Midshipman Thomas Anderson to gather the nine men he had brought over from the U.S. brig Syren the day before, man the Syren’s boat (which the Intrepid was towing), row over to the frigate’s stern, and toss up another line. (The Syren had accompanied the Intrepid to Tripoli but lagged far behind her in the failing wind.) With hawsers between the ketch and the frigate fore and aft, the sailors in the Intrepid would pull themselves to the Philadelphia. The Syren’s boat began to row across. But a Tripolitan boat, perhaps from the frigate, met the ketch halfway. Without a word, the Americans handed their line over, the two lines were knotted together, and each boat rowed back to its own ship. With links between ketch and frigate established, Anderson passed the line up to the Intrepid’s deck. Her crew began to haul the ketch closer and closer to the frigate by main force. 11

When only a few yards separated the Intrepid from the Philadelphia, an unknown Tripolitan looked down into the ketch from the frigate’s deck, realized who the men massed on her deck with cutlasses and pikes and axes must be, and screamed an alarm. But the U.S. sailors were almost there. A moment later, the ketch nudged up against the frigate.

Boarders Away

Decatur and Morris were the first two Americans to jump onto the side of the frigate, but soon, in Heermann’s memorable phrase, the “boarders hung on the ship’s side like [a] cluster [of] bees.” 12 Up the side they went, over the rail onto the frigate’s spar deck. In front of this torrent, Tripolitan sailors jumped overboard, and others who resisted were overwhelmed by U.S. sailors stabbing and slashing with cutlasses and pikes. In a few seconds of frantic fighting, the Americans seized control of the deck. Only one was slightly wounded. 13

Heermann recalled the action in detail:

After the first exclamation of “Ali Mohamed!” the sound of voices and the clashing of arms, left, during the contest nothing of distinct perception to the ear and the fire of small arms now commencing from the two cruizers close by (xebecs) and followed soon after by the cannon of the bashaw’s castle and other batteries, together with the whooping and howling on shore, filled the air. . . . Some of the Enemy in retreating, had gone up the rigging, some in the channels, some jumped overboard, and others [hid] in the hold of the ship. . . . As a signal of success, and also for assistance of men and boats from the Syren, a rocket was fired. 14

The U.S. sailors did nothing to stop “one large boat load [who] made their escape many leapt into the sea & it is supposed a number hid themselves below.” The raiding parties went below in search of armed defenders. There were none. Decatur ordered each assault group to lay their “combustibles.” Men dashed back to the Intrepid to haul the explosive charges to their planned destinations on the frigate. As the minutes ticked away, the Tripolitans kept up an inaccurate fire with small arms and cannon but did not counterattack. Although two large Tripolitan corsair vessels lay close by, they did not intervene. 15

Who Gave the Order?

But the fight was not over. According to his 1828 affidavit, Heermann heard from his post on board the Intrepid one of the U.S. sailors standing lookout on the recaptured Philadelphia call out “in quick succession the approach of [the] enemy’s boats, and their retreat, with an interval of time just sufficient to execute the order[s] which grew out of it—‘of killing all prisoners,’ and draw[ing] from the ketch part of a supply of ammunition, small arms, and pikes, for the defence of the ship.” 16

Heermann also stated that prisoners were killed in his 1826 “Reminiscences”:

The advance of armed boats from the shore at this moment led to the death of every prisoner above deck and from the apparent necessity of making a rigorous resistance on board the Frigate suspended for a while her being fired. The boats however retreating again, when the gun deck was all of a sudden beautifully illuminated by the candles of the crew. The squads, supplied with combustibles, repaired to their stations [and then, on Decatur’s order, lit fires to burn the ship]. 17

To be sure, in neither account did Heermann identify who gave the order, or how many Tripolitan prisoners were slain. Killing prisoners is an ugly business, and it is not surprising that Heermann provided no additional details, particularly because that was not the purpose of his accounts. What is surprising is that he stated under oath in an affidavit, and in a separate account in Mrs. Decatur’s bid for financial relief, that the Americans had done so at all.

According to Heermann’s affidavit, “The whooping and screaming of the enemy, on being boarded and defeated, drew an almost instantaneous and continued fire of small arms from two xebecs lying near and that, after throwing a rocket by Captain Decatur, which was done immediately upon possession being had of the ship, a brisk cannonade commenced, and was kept up from the castle and other batteries.” 18 With the sailors outnumbered and encumbered with prisoners, Heermann recalled two orders: that sailors were sent back to the Intrepid for a “supply of ammunition, small arms, and pikes, for the defence of the ship” and “of killing all prisoners.”

The tactical situation is not perfectly clear from the surviving eyewitness accounts, but as enemy gunboats approached, it appears Decatur understood a counterattack was in the offing. Decatur was ruthless enough to order that prisoners be killed. Moreover, his three lieutenants—Lawrence, Thorn, and Bainbridge—all were below deck at least for some of this time, directing the laying of combustibles to fire the ship. Decatur likely was the only commissioned officer on deck, and he was the senior officer. The accounts do not state explicitly who gave the order, but who besides Decatur could have done so?

Heermann was the only person in Decatur’s expedition who asserted that the Americans killed their prisoners. But there is a reference in a Tripolitan document suggesting the same thing. Two weeks after the raid, the bashaw’s minister, Sidi Muhammed Dghies, wrote to Captain William Bainbridge, the former commander of the Philadelphia who was then a prisoner in Tripoli. Dghies said that “three of the Guards of the Frigate have been found dead on the shore between Tripol[i] and Mesurat covered with wounds. How long has it been since Nations massacred their Prisoners?” 19 Bainbridge passed a translation of the letter to Commodore Edward Preble, commander of the Mediterranean Squadron, but wrote Dghies that it was “an incontrovertible fact, that the Americans always treat their Prisoners with the greatest humanity and give [quarter] the moment opposition ceases.” 20

Preble’s own response to Dghies was less definitive:

I regret that any lives were lost in destroying the Frigate, [but] the Men who were killed in taking possession of her, had a right to expect their fate from the opposition they made, and the alarm they endeavoured to create. Our People were few in number, and had everything to apprehend from an attack by their Cruisers and armed boats[.] The Officer who conducted the expedition has not reported to me any Massacre or inhumanity.” 21

The fact that the Tripolitans saw dead bodies with many wounds two weeks later does not necessarily mean those men had surrendered and then were killed deliberately as the gunboats approached they may have been killed at any point in the fighting.

Yet in two accounts, Heermann stated that the prisoners on the Philadelphia’s deck were killed. Moreover, he contrasted the order to kill prisoners with his attempt, minutes later, to save the life of a wounded Tripolitan. Near the end of the assault, the Naval Chronicle reports, a Tripolitan sailor “jumped on board the ketch, from the gun deck of the ship but as he was severely wounded, and the motive for making no prisoners no longer existed, the doctor spared his life.” 22

‘Expressely against the Law of Arms’

What are we to make of the doctor’s account?

Heermann heard an order issued to kill the prisoners, and his statements make clear that prisoners were killed. He did not state explicitly that he saw Tripolitan prisoners executed that may be due to his indirect writing style. It is also possible that because the alleged killings took place on the deck of the Philadelphia, which was alongside but far above where Heermann stood on the Intrepid, he may not have been able to see the killing. Nevertheless, he clearly understood that it happened.

Lewis Heermann is the only known source for the claim that Decatur’s men killed prisoners. Historians have deemed him a reliable eyewitness: His affidavit and the Naval Chronicle are widely cited sources on the burning of the Philadelphia and have not had their accuracy or honesty otherwise questioned. Moreover, it is doubtful that Heermann, a respected senior naval surgeon in the 1820s who venerated Decatur, would have fabricated something so morally problematic as killing prisoners, not least because other veterans of the raid, including then-Captain Charles Morris, were alive to correct his account if it were false.

Assuming, then, the accounts are true—does it matter? Surely, it does. First, Heermann’s accounts add an important and disturbing element to the story. The order to kill prisoners is crucial to understanding Decatur, demonstrating not only the desperation he felt, but also his ruthless dedication to the mission and his men. How we understand Decatur as a man and as a leader must be affected by Heermann’s accounts.

Second, Heermann raises difficult issues. Long before the raid into Tripoli Harbor, killing prisoners had been proscribed under the law of nations and was considered an egregious moral violation in Western culture. For instance, in Book III of On the Law of War and Peace (1625), the Dutch theorist of international law Hugo Grotius cited a host of ancient Greek writers, Saint Augustine, and others to set forth the principle that prisoners of war may not be killed and makes clear that those who violate that law are guilty of a great crime. In the 1599 play Henry V, Shakespeare depicts the 1415 Battle of Agincourt. As the battle winds down in Act IV, Henry, panicking as the French reinforce their lines, orders, “Then every soldier kill his prisoners!” After the deed is done, Fluellen, a Welsh captain in the English service, declaims, “Kill the poys and the luggage? ’Tis expressly against the law of arms ’tis as arrant a piece of knavery, mark you now, as can be offert—in your conscience, now, is it not?” Like the English king in the play, Decatur likely saw the tactical situation teetering out of control and wanted to be able to defend against a counterattack without having Tripolitan sailors in his midst. Nevertheless, if we believe Heermann, Decatur had planned on killing prisoners from the outset, unlike Henry V.

Prisoners of war have been killed during and after many battles across the centuries, although revenge, not the tactical situation, has been the more common motive. During the American Revolution, the British Army gave no quarter to the Continental Army in a number of battles, including a September 1777 engagement still known as the “Paoli Massacre.” 23 After the siege of Jaffa in March 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte—outraged that Ottoman troops had severed the heads of French prisoners and had violated their parole to fight against French forces—ordered hundreds of prisoners killed. 24 At Fort Pillow in the Civil War, on 12 April 1864, Confederate soldiers under Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest massacred dozens of black soldiers who had tried to surrender. 25 During World War II’s Battle of the Bulge, in revenge for the massacre at Malmédy, U.S. soldiers shot German prisoners, particularly from SS units. 26

The Effect on Decatur’s Legacy

If a commander today ordered enemy prisoners killed, it is impossible to imagine the Navy not investigating such a report, with severe consequences to the perpetrators. Indeed, had Heermann reported in 1804 the events he wrote about in the 1820s, the Navy might have investigated it contemporaneously. Of course, that did not happen, and Heermann’s narratives have been hiding in plain sight for almost two centuries.

How historians now will tell the story of the raid to burn the Philadelphia, and what they will write about Decatur, only time will tell.

“The Most Bold and Daring Act of the Age” Stephen Decatur, and the Defeat of the Barbary Pirates

“Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right but right or wrong, our country!” Stephen Decatur

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

In 1803 the United States Navy was two years into its campaign against the Barbary Pirates who sailed from Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Morocco. For years the United States like other nations had paid tribute to the rulers of these states for free passage of its ships and hefty ransoms to free the sailors that were enslaved following the capture of their ships. By 1800 tens of millions of dollars had been paid and in that year the amount of tribute paid was 20% of the government’s total revenue.

In 1801 the Pasha of Tripoli Yusuf Karamanli demanded the payment of $225,000 tribute from the new President of the United States President Thomas Jefferson. In years past Jefferson had advised against payment of tribute believing that such payment only encouraged the Barbary States to continue their actions. The anti-naval partisans and even his Republican allies had blocked his recommendations even though Secretary of State John Jay and President John Adams agreed with him. These partisans insisted that tribute be paid irregardless of the effect on European trade or the fate of American seamen because they believed that the Atlantic trade and involvement in the “Old World” detracted from the westward expansion by diverting money and energy away from the west. When Jefferson refused the demand and put his beliefs into practice Karmanli declared war on the United States by cutting down the flag at the US Consulate in Tripoli.

Jefferson sent a small force to defend protect American ships and sailors and asked Congress to authorize him to do more as he did not believe that he had the Constitutional power to do more. Congress did not issue a declaration of war but authorized Jefferson to “employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be judged requisite… for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean and adjoining seas.”

Jefferson sent the best of the United States Navy to deal with the situation and US Navy ships soon began to take a toll on the pirate vessels. The squadron was composed of ships that would become legend in the history of the Navy. Commanded by Commodore Richard Dale, Edward Preble, and later Commodore John Rogers, at various times the squadron included the USS Argus,Chesapeake, Constellation, Constitution, President, Congress,Enterprise, Intrepid, Essex,Philadelphia, John Adamsand Syren. The Constitution, Chesapeake, and Constellation, Congress and Presidentwere among the first six frigates authorized by Congress on March 27th 1794. Philadelphia a subscription Frigate paid for by citizens and merchants of Philadelphia, Essex a subscription Frigate pride for by the citizens of Salem and Essex County, Massachusetts, John Adams, a Subscription Frigate paid for by the citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, Argus a 20 gun Brig, Enterprise and Vixen 12 gun Schooners, Syren (later Siren) a 16 gun Brig, and Intrepid a captured Tripolitan Ketch, several smaller American built vessels, and about a dozen gunboats and mortar boats supplied by the Kingdom of Naples, which also provided the Americans with access to the ports of Messina, Palermo, and Syracuse, as well as supplies, and craftsmen to maintain the American Squadron.

Many of the officers who served in the Squadron, including William Bainbridge, Issac Hull, Charles Stewart, David Porter, would continue in service and make names for themselves in the war of 1812 and after.

One of the young officers was the 24 year old Captain of the 12 Gun Schooner USS Enterprise Lieutenant Stephen Decaturthe son of a Navy Captain who had entered the Naval service as a Midshipman in 1798 and who had risen rapidly through the ranks due to his abilities and leadership. He was among the few officers selected to remain in service following the end of the Quasi-War with France. By the time that he took command of Enterprise Decatur had already served as the First Lieutenant of the Frigates USS Essex and USS New York. After an altercation with British officer while wintering in Malta he was sent home to command the new Brig of War USS Argus. He was ordered to bring her to Europe where he handed over command to Lieutenant Isaac Hull who would achieve fame in the War of 1812 as Commanding Officer of the USS Constitution. Decatur was given command of Enterprise on when he detached from the Argus.

On December 23 rd 1803 while operating with the Constitution Decatur and the Enterprise captured the small Tripolian ketch Mastico which was sailing under Turkish colors. The small ship was taken to Syracuse where Commodore Edward Preble condemned her as a prize of war, renamed her Intrepid and placed Decatur in command.

Normally such an event would be considered a demotion for an officer of Decatur’s caliber but events at Tripoli had forced Preble to make a bold strike at the heart of the enemy. On October 31 st 1803 the Frigate USS Philadelphia one of the most powerful ships in the squadron under the command of Captain William Bainbridge ran aground on an uncharted shoal and was captured. Her crew was taken prisoner and the ship floated off by the Tripolians partially repaired and moored as a battery in the harbor until her foremast could be remounted having be cut away by Bainbridge in his unsuccessful attempt to float the ship off the shoal.

Burning the Philadelphia

The threat posed by such a powerful ship in the hands of the enemy was too great to ignore. Preble order Decatur to man the Intrepid with volunteers to destroy the Philadelphia at anchor. Decatur took 80 men from the Enterprise and was joined by eight more volunteers from USS Syren including Lieutenant Thomas McDonough who had recently served aboard Philadelphia and knew the ship well.

Under the cover of night of February 16 th 1804 Decatur took the former Tripolian ship into the harbor beneath the dim light of the new moon. Posing as a Tripolian ship he was able to slip past the guns of the forts overlooking the harbor using a Sicilian sailor who spoke Arabic to request permission. This was granted and Intrepid approached Philadelphia and when close enough ordered his crew to board the Frigate. After a brief skirmish with the small contingent of sailors aboard he took control of the vessel and set it ablaze. When he was sure that the fire could not be extinguished he ordered his men back aboard Intrepid and sailed out of the harbor under the fire of the shore batteries and gunboats.

Decatur sailed Intrepid back to Syracuse where he was greeted as a hero and became one of the Navy’s legends. Pope Pius VII publicly proclaimed that “the United States, though in their infancy, had done more to humble the anti-Christian barbarians on the African coast, than all the European states had done for a long period of time.”Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, one of the most heroic sailors that ever lived and no stranger to daring said that Decatur’s accomplishment was “the most bold and daring act of the Age.

Decatur leading American Sailors in hand to hand combat against Barbary Pirates at Tripoli 1804 his younger brother Lieutenant James Decatur was killed aboard another gunboat in the action

Decatur would return to command the Enterprise and was given command of Constitutionand was promoted to Captain bypassing the rank of Master Commander. He would prove himself again against the forces of Tripoli before departing for the United States. He distinguished himself in the years to come against the Royal Navy in the War of 1812 where when in command of USS United States defeated and captured HMSMacedonian which would serve in the U.S. Navy and later in the Second Barbary War.

During that war, which began in 1815 Decatur’s squadron decisively defeated the Algerian fleet capturing the Frigate Mashouda and killing the highly successful and chivalrous commander of the Algerian raiding squadron Rais Hamidu. The Pashas of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli all made peace and reimbursed the Americans for the financial damage that they had done. His victory ended the terror that the Barbary States had inflicted on Europeans for centuries and helped bring peace to the Mediterranean. Following that he became a Navy Commissioner in 1816 and moved to Washington, D.C.

Stephen Decatur more than any one man ended their reign of terror against the United States and the great European powers. The actions of Decatur, Preble, their officers, crews and ships in the Barbary Wars, and the War of 1812 established the United States as a credible nation, willing use its Navy to protect its citizens and commerce overseas, without becoming an occupying power. The latter would not occur for another eighty plus years during the Spanish American War, and continues to the present day.

Of course, that did not apply to our conquest of North America which involved countless small wars which exterminated vast numbers of American Indians, opened vast lands to the expansion of slavery, and the conquest of forty percent of Mexico. I am sure that Decatur, who so boldly proclaimed, My Country Right or Wrong, would not have approved of subjugating non-hostile weaker nations. He lived in a different time, when the United States was being threatened alternately by France, Britain, and the Barbary States at sea, and Britain and its American Indian allies as it expanded west.

Likewise, Decatur did not live a long life. He was killed in duel with Commodore James Barron on March 22nd 1820. Barron had never forgiven Decatur for voting for his conviction and removal from service after being humiliated when his ship, the Frigate Chesapeake, was caught unprepared for action, fired upon, and after twenty minutes surrendered, to HMS Leopard in 1807. Following her surrender several of her men were taken off as supposed deserters from the Royal Navy. Leopard’s commander then allowed Chesapeake to return to Norfolk where Barron was relieved of command and tried by a Naval Court which included John Rogers and Decatur.

Barron was convicted removed from the Navy for at least five years. Six years later he returned from a self imposed exile and petitioned for reinstatement. Decatur remained one of his fiercest opponents, and though reinstated was embittered toward Decatur. Their seconds arranged the duel to be conducted in such a way that one or both would die. During the negotiations between their seconds, Commodore William Bainbridge, and Captain Jesse Elliott, the two came close to reconciling but the seconds pushed for the duel. Decatur was mortally wounded and refused medical treatment, dying late that night. Barron, though horribly wounded, survived, eventually becoming commander of the Norfolk Naval Yard, becoming the senior Naval officer on active duty in 1839. He died in 1851 and is buried in the cemetery of Trinity Episcopal Church, in Portsmouth, VA.

The death of Decatur, a bonafide hero, at the hands of a fellow officer stunned Washington. President James Monroe, the members of the Supreme Court, most of Congress and 10,000 citizens attended his funeral. His pallbearers included four Commodores, and two other officers, followed by many other officers and other ranks. During the funeral, one sailor burst forth and cried out “He was the friend of the flag, the sailor’s friend the navy has lost its mainmast.”

Decatur to help form the United States Navy, and among its early leaders, who included many valiant and brilliant men, he remains the foremost. While he achieved greatness, it was that night in Tripoli harbor where he was immortalized by the words of Lord Nelson as the man who led “the most bold and daring act of the age.”

Intrepid ketch - History

Ships Data Section
Office of Public Information
Navy Department

CV-11 was the Navy's fourth INTREPID. First and most famous of her predecessors was an armed ketch built by the French in 1789 and sold to Tripoli as the MASTICO. At the turn of the century, the Jefferson administration decided to cease appeasing piratical Yusuf. Caramelli, Bashow of Tripoli, and in place of tribute sent a naval expedition to the Mediterranean. On 23 December 1803 the U.S. frigate ENTERPRISE overtook and captured the corsair MASTICO.

Commodore Edward Preble renamed the rakish ketch with lateen sail INTREPID, earmarked her for danger. Commissioned to destroy USS PHILADELPHIA, which had been captured when she ran aground off Tripoli, INTREPID slipped into the fortified harbor the night of 16 February 1804. Not until PHILADELPHIA had been boarded and blown up did the Bashaw's shore batteries open up on what had been thought a friendly blockade runner. USS INTREPID escaped, having perpetrated, according to British Admiral Lord Nelson, "the most bold and daring act of the age."

Tragedy surrounded the end of this first INTREPID. Tripoli was a seaport of stone walls and gaunt fortifications, bristling with land batteries and a swarm of armed Arab feluccas. To shatter its castle and town and wipe out the shipping it contained, Commodore Preble called for INTREPID. One hundred barrels of powder and 150 fixed shells were packed into the little ship, and slow-burning fuses were led to the magazines so that the three officers and ten seamen (volunteers from CONSTITUTION and NAUTILUS) might make good their escape in two fast rowboats once INTREPID had penetrated to the midst of the anchored enemy fleet.

Under sail the evening of 4 September 1804, INTREPID stood into fog-shrouded Tripoli Harbor with a leading breeze from the east. Officers of the squadron which had accompanied her part way and which was to await the crew's return heard a volley of shots, wild shouts. There was a deep-throated blast as the powder ship let go. Of INTREPID and the Americans aboard there was no trace.

An experimental steam torpedo ram of 438 tons, the second INTREPID was constructed at the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned 31 July 1874. She was brig-rigged, and had an iron hull 170 feet long, 35 feet in the beam, and a draft of 11 feet. From August to November 1874, INTREPID cruised along the North Atlantic coast testing her torpedoes. In 1892 she was stricken from the Navy list and sold.

On 8 October 1904 a third INTREPID was launched at the Mare Island (California) Navy Yard, one of two 1800 ton steel ships built for the training of landsmen and apprentices. She was placed in service at San Francisco on 16 August 1907 and used as a receiving ship, later as a barracks for men of the Pacific Fleet's F-boats. Placed out of commission 30 August 1921, she was sold on 20 December of that year.

Aircraft carrier INTREPID (last of the line and named in commemoration of the historically significant original) was slated to travel with the famed, fast carrier task forces, whose planes, operating far beyond the range of land based bombers, neutralized the enemy's island outposts, leveled defenses in regions marked for invasion, and finally took the war to Japan proper. An army of steel helmeted shipwrights had riveted into INTREPID - destined to become the "most hit" US flattop - the toughness necessary to keep her afloat and fighting in the kamikaze hot corners of the forward area.

Captain Thomas Lamsen Sprague, USN, assumed command of USS INTREPID on 16 August 1943, when the ship was formally accepted by the Navy and placed in commission. Having served aboard several aircraft carriers and a large seaplane tender, and as superintendent of aviation training at Pensacola, Captain Sprague (now rear admiral, chief of aviation training at Pensacola) was well qualified to con the newest, and one of the biggest, as she commenced wartime operations. Commander A. M.C.B. Jackson, USN, made the first landing on the broad INTREPID flight deck 16 September 1943. On 2 October ship and crew were inspected by Vice Admiral P.N.L. Belonged, USN. Air Group EIGHT, led by Commander Jackson, reported aboard on 7 October. On that date INTREPID left the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, bound for Trinidad and shakedown.

In the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, the ship dropped anchor 12 October. Until the 17th INTREPID worked out of the Gulf worked out of the Gulf, training and exercising beneath the bright Caribbean sun. She then shifted to Trinidad's Port Spain and finished shaking down in that area. With fliers continually rehearsing take-offs and landings, there were the usual spectacular barrier crashes. Sea-seasoned, her crew functioning like the works of a fine Swiss watch, USS INTREPID shoved off 27 October to return home.

Air Group EIGHT was detached when INTREPID put in at Hampton Roads the 19t of November. On 25-26 November INTREPID churned upcoast to Rockland, Maine there, minus aircraft, she made post commissioning trial runs and tests 27-28 November. By 30 November, the carrier was back in Norfolk, storing and provisioning for the trip to the Pacific. On 3 December 1943, with air Group EIGHT again on board, the trip began.

Passage through the Panama Canal was a close shave for the beamy INTREPID, and not without mishap. Her bow was hard aground in the Canal's steep shoulder on 9 December, resulting in minor damage. At Balboa, Canal Zone, where the ship anchored the same day, a hole in her hull was temporarily patched before she set out for San Francisco 14 December.

Mooring at Alameda Naval Air Station (in San Francisco Bay area) on 22 December, INTREPID shed her planes and entered dry dock at Hunter's Point next day. With the damage incurred in Panama fully repaired, she went to Alameda on 5 January 1944, and picked up Air Group EIGHT. On 6 January, she put to sea.

Upon arrival at Pearl Harbor on 10 January, the INTREPID traded air Group EIGHT (ordered to Naval Air Station on Maui) for the fighters and torpedo bombers of Air Group SIX, under Commander John L. Phillips, USN. On 12 January, INTREPID stood out of Pearl Harbor to conduct qualification landings with her new group, returning the 14th.

Central Pacific Forces aimed their next spearhead at the Marshall Islands, northwest of the invaded Gilberts and extending over six hundred miles of ocean. Kwajalein Atoll was the key assault point, which meant bypassing the strong garrisons at Jaluis and Wotje. Acting under orders of Commander Task Group 58.2, INTREPID set course for the Marshalls on 16 January, accompanied by carriers CABOT and ESSEX plus smaller combatants.

From 29 January Commander Phillips' fliers gave Roi and other sandy studs in the Kwajalein chain a thorough working over, bombing and strafing in support of marine assault forces. Carrier INTREPID had launched her first strike against the Japanese when she dropped anchor in newly seized Majure Lagoon (some 270 miles southeast of Kwajalein) on 4 February 1944.

So overwhelming was American sea and air power in the Marshalls that Task Force 58, with several battleships and carriers, was ordered to execute a carry over foray against the naval fortress of Truk in the central Carolines. INTREPID rendezvoused with Task Force 58, consisting of Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3 on 4 February and bore down on Truk.

Throughout the 16th of February Commander Phillips' fliers gave Roi and other sandy studs in the Kwajalein chain a thorough working over, bombing and strafing in support of marine assault forces. Carrier INTREPID had launched her first strike against the Japanese when she dropped anchor in newly seized Majure Lagoon (some 270 miles southeast of Kwajalein) on 4 February 1944.

Throughout the 16th of February the U.S. Navy's wings reared out in vengeance at the big Caroline bastion. Though the bulk of the enemy fleet had gone elsewhere, many ships and scores of Jap planes were destroyed before the Navy planes flew back to their carriers at sunset.

That night torpedo planes attacked the task force, one of them scoring on USS INTREPID a "tin fish" exploded portside at the waterline, tearing a huge gash in her hull and killing five enlisted men (six others were missing). INTREPID retired from her second combat operation a cripple, it being necessary for the ship to steer by her engines since the rudder was jammed hard to port.

By speeding up the port and idling the starboard screws, Captain Sprague kept his ship trimmed and on a comparatively controlled course for a couple of days. Then the winds came up. As her skipper described it: "She (the ship) was like a giant pendulum, swinging back and forth. She had a tendency to weather-cock into the wind . turned her bow toward Tokyo. But right then I wasn't interested in going that direction."

It was at this point, INTREPID traveling in circles with a rudder resembling a "huge potato chip," that Commander Philip Reynolds, USN, damage control officer, collaborated with Chief Bo'sun Frank E. Johnson together they improvised a makeshift sail of hatch covers, scrap canvas and anything available outside of a burlap sack. Attached to the forecastle, open forward of the hangar deck and on the same level, the sail served to ease the strain on the screws and, with all planes moved forward and all possible cargo weight aft to put the stern low in the water, wind resistance was created.. INTREPID swung about, swayed momentarily, and grudgingly held her course.

Orders which had originally routed INTREPID to Eniwetok had been countermanded, setting Pearl Harbor as her destination.. No speed records were set on that run, and the carrier's course on the chart looked like a seismograph reading gone wild. Her escorts, destroyers STEMBEL and STEPHEN POTTER, were hard pressed to figure what she would do next.

Said Captain Sprague of the trip to Pearl: "No enemy sub could have ever figured out her zigzag plan. As a matter of fact there was no plan the pattern was created as we went along, and no one knew for sure how long she'd keep on anything like a straight course." But INTREPID made the long haul to Oahu, standing into the navy yard there on 24 February 1944.

"That sail," said Commander Reynolds, "looked pretty rough. I can't say I was proud of its looks. I wanted to take it off before we came into Pearl Harbor but the captain laughed and said 'Nothing doing."' That sail was soon famous.

Workmen labored over INTREPID and repaired her battle damage to the extent that she might steam on to Hunter's Point, completely removing the damaged rudder in the process. On 29 February INTREPID got underway for the West Coast shipyard, but trouble in the form of heavy winds came up from the southwest. All possible combinations of the engines were tried for steering purposes even heading into the wind the ship yawed as much as ninety degrees. Approximately five to eight knots could be made good in any direction, but control at any given instant was problematical.

Three destroyer escorts, the cruiser BIRMINGHAM, two tugs and a salvage vessel were ordered to assist INTREPID as necessary. Unmanageable and incapable of further steaming, the flat-top was ordered back. With INTREPID taken in tow, the entire group stood off to windward and returned her to Pearl Harbor.

A jury rudder was rigged and the ship released again on 16 March, sailing successfully this time to Hunter's Point, California. Her destination was reached on 22 March 1944, climaxing a series of strenuous efforts to get INTREPID home.

CVG-6 (Air Group SIX) left INTREPID shortly before she entered dry dock. On the credit side of CVG-6's ledger while assigned to INTREPID: (1) fifty-five enemy planes destroyed, twelve in the air and forty-two on the ground (2) five Jap ships sunk, five probably sunk, and two damaged. On the debit side: (1) nine planes lost, nine pilots dead or missing, and four aircrewmen dead or missing.

His ship laid up at Hunter's Point, Captain Sprague turned over command of USS INTREPID to the executive officer, Commander Richard Kenna Gaines, USN, on 28 March 1944. Only an acting commanding officer, Commander Gaines was in turn relieved on 19 April by Captain William Dodge Sample, USN.

Captain Sample filled the position for a month directed to take over USS LEXINGTON (CV-16), he left INTREPID in the hands of Commander Gaines on 19 May. INTREPID had been rostered to her peak of fighting trim by 30 May 1944, on which date Captain Joseph Francis Bolger, USN, assumed command.

Post repair trials held 3 June proved satisfactory, and INTREPID was ready to rejoin the fleet when she moored at Alameda Naval Air Station on the 4th Packed with spare aircraft, motorized equipment and miscellaneous cargo, the carrier stood out for Pearl Harbor on 9 June 1944.

Cargo and passengers were discharged when Pearl Harbor was reached on 14 June. Eight days later Air Group NINETEEN, under Commander Karl E. Jung, USN, reported aboard for transportation to Eniwetok Atoll. Task Group 19.7 was formed for the junket to the Marshalls, consisting of INTREPID and destroyers SMALLEY and LEUTZE. On 23 June "19.7" was underway. INTREPID transferred CVG-19 to Eniwetok Air Station on 1 July, the day after her arrival, by catapulting the entire air group at anchor. Hundreds of soldiers, sailors and marines boarded the flat-top on 4 July, some on stretchers to be hospitalized in the rear area, others anticipating transfer to new duty stations. Still playing transport, INTREPID headed back to Pearl Harbor with her two-destroyer screen on the 4th.

Task Group 19.7 was dissolved when its component trio put into Pearl Harbor on 11 July. There the carrier remained for more than a month, her sailors making liberty in Honolulu or at Waikiki Beach with a view to the near day when recreation would be a scarce item.

President Roosevelt's visit to the Oahu naval base brought the men of USS INTREPID to the rail in neat, white ranks on 27 July. A huge, 300-pound anniversary cake, manufactured and artfully embellished by the ship's bakers, was brought forth on 16 August to tastefully mark the end of INTREPID's first year in active service. It also signified termination of a brief breather at Pearl Harbor.

Four destroyers and carriers INTREPID, INDEPENDENCE, and ENTERPRISE formed Task Unit 12.3.2 (Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, USN, as flag) on 16 August, and sortied for Eniwetok. Parked about INTREPID were the planes of Air Group EIGHTEEN, skippered by Commander William Edward Ellis, USN.

On 24 August the task unit made Eniwetok and was dissolved, INTREPID going out on the 25th for training exercises with Task Group 58.2. Continual practice firing during the day put an edge on her gunnery. She returned to Eniwetok 25 August and stood out as a unit of Task Group 36.2 on the 29th.

Unannounced, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air and his aide literally dropped in on USS INTREPID on 4 September. They had luncheon aboard with Captain Bolger, talked over coming operations, and were launched in their plane about 1500 to return to Manus.

INTREPID began her third combat operation on 6 September 1944, CVG-18 its first. Heavy aerial strikes were carried out against the Jap-held Palau Group on 6 and 7 September, Palau Island being the primary target. Airfields were neutralized anti-aircraft and coastal gun positions shattered, all in preparation for the assault and capture which were to follow on 15 September. On the evening of the 8th the task force moved west to raid enemy airfields on the big Philippine island of Mindanao.

U.S. Task Groups 38.1, 38.2 and 38.3 struck Mindanao on the 9th and 10th, destroying airfields that might launch support for the defenders of Palau. Carrier planes next attacked island bases in the Visayan Sea area, on the 12th, 38th, and 14th of September.

Task Group 38.2 was diverted on the 17th to aid the marines who were fighting a stiff, slow battle among the hillside caves and mangrove swamps of Pelaelius. When it was certain that INTREPID and her sister "fighting ladies" were no longer needed in the Palaus they were ordered back to the Philippines.

Manila, Pearl of the Orient, felt the crushing power of Navy aircraft for the first time on 21 September, and again on the 22nd INTREPID's CVG-18 also hit air installations on Luzon and shipping in the vicinity. On the 24th, "38.2" commenced more strikes in the Visayan area.

Search planes reported a heavy concentration of Jap shipping, principally tankers, at remote, rocky Coron Island. Cognizant of the three hundred miles which lay between "38.2" and Coron (southwest of Mindoro in the Calamian Group), the task group commander nevertheless had no hesitation in sending a heavy strike against this important target on 24 September. CVG-18 was in the big force of raiders, which employed masthead level bombing to sink five vessels and fire three. Despite the extreme range for carrier aircraft, none ran dry of fuel.

Stopping 28 September at captured Saipan for replenishment and rearming, INTREPID and Company proceeded to Ulithi in the western Carolines. Ulithi was reached on 1 October, at which time Commander Task Group 38.2 shifted his flag to USS INTREPID. An approaching typhoon two days later sent the ships hurrying out of the atoll anchorage material damage incurred in riding out the storm 2-4 October was insignificant. Preliminary to American reentry into the Philippine Islands the highly successful strikes of September were resumed, this time farther north. From Ulithi on 6 October 1944, the flagship and her carrier task group headed northwest, rendezvousing with the bulk of Task Force 38 on the 7th. Submarines and long range aircraft ran interference, destroying reconnaissance planes and picket boats so that the heavies achieved total tactical surprise when they arrived south of Okinawa on 10 October.

After a day of pounding Okinawan airfields and shipping facilities, the planes were retrieved and the surface units retired for fuel. Formosa caught it heavily 12 to 14 October, the seaplane base at Tansui and airfield at Shinchiku getting special attention from Air Group EIGHTEEN. On the 18th INTREPID's Task Force 38.2 shifted its attacks to northern Luzon.

"Sho No. 1," the Japanese operational plan for defense of the Philippines, was about to be put to the test. At 0800 on 17 October 1944 and an advance party of Rangers began planting themselves on islets in the mouth of Leyte Gulf. In support of Sixth Army troops battling to sustain the Leyte beachhead, INTREPID and the others sent strikes winging over the Visayan area on 21 October.

Reports of the approaching Japanese fleets trickled in from U.S. submarines operating off Borneo, Palawan and Manila on the 23rd of October. The entire combatant strength of the Japanese Navy was converging on Leyte Gulf. On Leyte Island, MacArthur's men pulled in their battle lines, consolidated their positions and awaited the outcome of the battle in which they were the pawns. There ensued the three almost simultaneous naval actions (the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Samar, the Battle off Cape Engano) which have been collectively dubbed the "Battle for Leyte Gulf," as the myriad ships of America's Third and Seventh Fleets were welded together to meet the oncoming foe.

Quickly "38.2" refueled and committed itself to the demolition of the Japanese central force, which spotters had located in the Sibuyan Sea. Throughout the 24th of October the central force was badly mauled, losing one YAMATO Class Battleship. Then electrifying news came through: search planes reporting contact with the Empire's northern force (1 large carrier, 3 light carriers, 2 battleships with flight decks, 5 cruisers, 6 destroyers) off the northeastern tip of Luzon. Task Force 38 mustered its units and surged north to intercept.

That night, farther down the Philippine Archipelago, Rear Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf ranged his old battleships across the mouth of Leyte Gulf, carried out the classic crossing of the "T," and crushed the huge Jap southern force as it glided in rough column up Surigao Strait.

Shortly before dawn on the 28th Admiral William F. ("Bull") Halsey, overall boss of Task Force 38, sent his planes swooping in on the northern force near Cape Engano. While the strong collection of enemy surface units was being hacked apart, word came at noon that the central force, which INTREPID's outfit had hit in the Sibuyan Sea on the 24th, had pushed through San Bernardino Strait, turned south and was flailing Rear Admiral C.A.F. Sprague's thin-skinned escort carriers off Samar.

Detached, Task Group 38.2 steamed at top speed to the rescue. But the central force unaccountably broke off contact and back tracked through San Bernardino it was not in evidence when INTREPID and her carrier cohorts arrived off Samar. On the morning of 26 October, "38.2" renewed strikes against that force as it passed through the Sibuyan Sean, west of Panay Island and inflicted extensive damage.

MacArthur's return to the Philippines had survived the major threat of an all out Jap attack seaward. In the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the U.S. Navy wrote a fiery finis to the Nipponese Navy as an effective fighting unit, also garroted Sho No. 1 in its embryo.

Luzon fields were full of Japanese aircraft and Manila Harbor was choked with their ships. INTREPID launched several strikes against the Clark Field area in central Luzon on 29 October and only momentarily halted flight operations at noon when an enemy suicide plane, hit and burning from anti-aircraft fire, crash dived a port 20mm gun tub. Ten enlisted men (including several Negro steward's mates - volunteer gunners) died in the action of the 29th. Meanwhile the carrier blows continued, and in a few days the harbor bottom was paved with shipping, the hills littered with wrecked planes.

Macabre, effective, supremely practical under the circumstances (few planes, fewer pilots), sparked by a powerful propaganda campaign, the suicidal tactics which the Imperial Air Force initiated in the Philippines, and which were to play hob with the U.S. Navy until the war's end, constituted the last concerted effort of a nation facing suicide. Desperate men loose in the sky replace fighting tops on the horizon. Southern Luzon was pummeled again on 5 and 6 November, where upon INTREPID and task group retired on the 7th to Ulithi. All hands worked hard shipping aboard tons of food and provisions at Ulithi from 10 to 14 November, after well over a month at sea. On the 14th Task Group 38.2 went back toward in the Philippines.

Taking up where she left off, INTREPID began pounding southern Luzon and the Visayan area on 19 November 1944. Flight operations were still in progress on 25 November, when INTREPID experienced the blackest day in her hazard- filled career.

Swarms of suicide-bent Jap planes were in evidence that day, the flattops presenting a fine target against the placid Philippine Sea. At 1228, thirteen minutes after INTREPID went to general quarters, one of her planes sighed three Vals (single engine dive bombers) high over the formation. Two attempted suicide dives came, one at HANCOCK and one at CABOT and each resulted in near misses.

No more enemy aircraft were contacted until 1252, when the after director picked up what appeared to be two Zeroes at 8000 feet, gliding in toward INTREPID from about eight miles out. Existing conditions were almost hopeless from a gunnery stand point, there being so many friendly planes orbiting within gun range that each plane had to be carefully examined before it was fired upon. At 1253 INTREPID's after batteries opened fire on the left hand plane of the two Zeroes, exploding it just above the water 1500 yards astern.

At this time Captain Bolger issued a "hold fire" order to prevent the guns from firing into an Avenger and a Hellcat which were orbiting protectively astern. Starboard 40mm and 20mm guns turned back another diving Jap. Then the second of the two Zeroes originally detected came sweeping in low from the stern, dodged a Hellcat and dove through flak from the after 40s and 20s, which continued to fire despite the "hold fire" order.

It went into a power stall when some 1000 yard astern, did a wingover from an approximate altitude of 500 feet and rocketed into INTREPID's flight deck at 1255. The bomb it carried penetrated to, and blew apart, the pilot's ready room, which was fortunately empty. Not so fortunate where the thirty-two men killed in an adjoining compartment.

Immediately the task group commander began performing right hand turns for INTREPID's benefit, the turns spilling water and flaming gasoline over the port side, away from critical systems in the island structure on the starboard side. Fire-fighting parties were met with a hail of exploding .50 caliber and 20mm ammunition as they sought to extinguish raging fires on the hangar deck.

Meanwhile men in the gun galleries continued fending off further attack. At 1257 two more Zeroes were spotted flying about 100 feet from the surface. The relative wind was from the port bow and was blowing smoke from the burning hangar deck across the flight deck, obscuring the view of all starboard and after island mounts.

These two planes were taken under fire by port 40s and 20s, the left hand attacker being splashed at 1500 years' range. Making violent evasive moves, the second Zero drove through a blizzard of traces, power-stalled and went into a wing over to crash on the flight deck at 1259. Its' missile detonated on the hangar deck.

For three trying hours, during which time INTREPID looked to the other carriers like a distant smudge-pot, sailors struggled to bring roaring gasoline fires under control. That part of Air Group EIGHTEEN which was airborne, returning from strikes to find their carrier's deck an inferno cluttered with charred, tattered fuselages was directed to land on various other ships in the task force those for which there was no room were ordered to set down on Leyte.

Six officers and fifty-nine enlisted men were killed or listed as missing as a result of this dual kamikaze thrust. INTREPID had taken it, and badly. Her flight deck ripped apart, her hangar deck a place of twisted steel, blackened and wetted down, US INTREPID withdrew on 26 November 1944.

Three days after Captain Bolger brought the battered carrier into Ulithi, Admiral Halsey on 30 November embarked to inspect damage. To the surprise of the INTREPID crew, elements of CVG-18 returned from their emergency bases and landed on Ulithi's airstrip the 30th. Commander Ellis' pilots, who never expected to see INTREPID again, reported aboard the same day. There is an old saying: "Pilots like to sleep in their own beds." On 1 December Air Group Eighteen was officially detached. Losing 66 planes, 31 pilots and 27 aircrewmen, CVG-18 had: (1) downed 154 enemy planes, ruined 169 on the ground, damaged 240, for a total of 563 (2) sunk 53 ships, probably sunk 30, damaged 135, for a total of 218.

Destroyer escorts FAIR and MANLOVE formed Task Unit 30.9.12 with INTREPID and sortied for Pearl Harbor 2 December. Captain Bolger held meritorious mast coincident with the arrival 11 December, officially commending his men for their gallantry when the chips were down.

At Pearl Harbor the task units were dissolved. Hunter's Point was INTREPID's destination when she set out on 16 December she arrived there on 20 December 1944 and went into dry dock. Hunter's Point personnel, who sheared away the damaged part of her flight deck and went to work repairing battle damage, began to think of INTREPID as their own.

USS INTREPID was underway for post repair trials on 11 February 1945. Moored at Alameda Naval Air Station on 13 February, she made ready to embark Air Group TEN, under Commander John J. Hyland, USN.

A veteran of the war against Nazi submarines in the Atlantic, (onetime commander officer of the sub hunting escort carrier BOGUE), Captain Giles E. Short, UNS, relieved Captain Bolger as skipper of INTREPID on 15 February 1945.

CVG-10 reported aboard next day, and after subsequently flexing her new air arm, INTREPID weighed anchor. On 2 March 1945, the veteran CV made Pearl Harbor, where fliers of Fighter Squadron EIGHTY-SIX embarked for transportation to the forward area. Task Group 12.2, composed of INTREPID, FRANKLIN, BATAAN, battle cruiser GUAM and eight destroyers and commanded by Rear Admiral Francis S. Low, USN, left for Ulithi the 3rd.

Seat of the swift U.S. carrier groups which were regularly raiding in and around Japanese home island, Ulithi was a familiar sight to INTREPID sailors when their ship stood into the coral reefed, heart shaped lagoon on 13 March. With the disbanding of "12.2", INTREPID was assigned to Task Group 58.4. Movement orders took Tin out of Ulithi 14 March to resume the Pacific chase.

Occupying an area east of Okinawa Jima on 18 March, INTREPID's task group commenced launching powerful strikes against airfields on Kyushu. Bogies (unidentified aircraft "bandits" are planes definitely established as enemy) appeared on INTREPID's radar at 0730 that day, and subsequent aerial retaliation was frequent and fierce. At about 0806 a gleaming twin engine "Betty" whipped through the concentrated anti-aircraft fire of the entire formation, past a screening cruiser 3000 yards for INTREPID, and turned in.

Its approximate altitude was 450 feet when it started a shallow glide, apparently aiming at INTREPID's waterline. All starboard 5 inch and 40mm batteries peppered the Betty, the 20s holding their fire until about 1500 yards. With every starboard gun brought to bear, the suicider still could not be stopped. Just when it appeared that INTREPID would be tagged again, a direct 5 inch hit chopped for the bomber's tail. The plane upended and splashed 50 to 100 feet off the ship at the forward boat crane.

Geysers of water accompanied the explosion of its bombs, while fragments of the plane showered the forward end of the hangar deck. Flaming gasoline and plane parts caused minor fires and burned fabric off the control surfaces of two aircraft. No injury was incurred by INTREPID personnel as a direct result of the crash, but a ship to port accidentally put a 5 inch burst too close during the action. The shell struck INTREPID's fantail and killed one seaman.

Attacks continued 19-20 March, with Jap fleet remnants anchored at Kure getting CVG-10's special attention on the 19th. Three days later strikes were initiated against Okinawa itself, with the southern Rkukyus also absorbing punishment on the 26th, Amami and Minami the 27th, and Kyushu airfields on 29 March - results negative.

Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, brought the invasion of Okinawa Jima, most difficult U.S. undertaking in the Pacific, also the most ambitious amphibious assault of the Pacific war (1,213 ships 564 carrier-based support aircraft 451,866 Army-Marine ground forces). Successful seizure of Okinawa became INTREPID's main concern.

Beginning 1 April INTREPID and the others of "58.4" flew an extended series of support missions at Okinawa and neutralizing raids against Kyushu, Shikoku and southern Honshu. Sakashima Gunto, a key plane base in the Nansei Shoto, was also a prime target. Suiciders were persistent. Provisioning, rearming and refueling were done from ships of the train while underway in the open sea. Ability of the "fleet that came to stay" to sustain itself in the operational theater proved a critical factor in wearing down Japanese resistance, denying them sufficient time to prepare adequate defenses.

On 7 April 1945 a Japanese cruiser-destroyer force, cynosure of which was the new super battleship YUAMATO, boldly ventured into the inland sea. They were sunk. Carrier aircraft, including planes of Air Group TEN, did the job efficiently and without delay.

Several serious enemy attacks were pressed home on 16 April, 1945, one Jap plane managing to penetrate the task force screen at about 1336. He had his choice. He chose INTREPID.

Hit and trailing smoke, the kamikaze plunged into the flight deck in a near vertical angle, forcing engine and part of the fuselage right on through. So great was the plane's impact that the exact imprint of its wings was smashed into the deck. A large hole was blown in the hangar deck by its bomb. Because of the crew's thorough experience in fighting fire, the gasoline conflagration was putout in a record fifty one minutes. Eight enlisted men were killed, one was missing, and twenty one wounded in this suicide blow, the fourth such attack USS INTREPID had endured.

Repairs to the flight deck were rushed, and three hours later INTREPID landed her planes. Commander Task Force 53 directed INTREPID to retire to the fueling area and investigate her damage and determine its extent. After a thorough examination next day, the 17th, it was decided that INTREPID could only continue in action at greatly reduced efficiency. She was ordered to proceed to Ulithi for temporary repairs by an advance service squadron.

Funeral services for the INTREPID dead were held 18 April on number two elevator. On 20 April the carrier reached Ulithi, and on the 215' service squadron technicians commenced tidying up the "Tough Old Lady",. INTREPID's sobriquet in the fleet. That she required more than temporary treatment was sadly apparent when previously undiscovered damage to the elevators came to light.

Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, upon being apprised of this additional difficulty, ordered that INTREPID move to Pearl Harbor for onward routing to Hunter's Point. With destroyer GERGORY escorting, INTREPID left Ulithi on 4 May and steamed across the Pacific to make Pearl the 11th.

To INTREPID sailors, it was a repetition of an old story: the brief period spent at Pear Harbor shipping aboard cargo and passengers, the departure on 14 May, the cruise home, the glad sight of Golden Gate Bridge on 19 May, 1945.

Her air group detached at Alameda for temporary duty ashore, INTREPID went to Hunter's Point Naval Dry Docks on the 20th. Alongside the laid up INTREPID a sign was constructed for the benefit of those who tended her: "This Fighting Lady has a date in Tokyo. DON'T MAKE HER LATE!."

Captain Giles E. Short, USN, still in command, USS INTREPID left for Pearl Harbor with Air Group TEN on 29 June, 1945. She stood into Pearl S July, took on stores and went out on training exercises the 8th, returned the 11th, went out again the 13th, and settled down for the remainder of July on the 18th. USS COTTNE (DD-669), USS ROSS (DD-563) and US INTREPID made up Task Unit 12.5.5, departed Pearl Harbor for Eniwetok on 30 July 1945.

Bypassed Wake Island, already a point of historical significance, was leveled by the bombs and rockets of CVG-10 on 6 August. One by one the planes went snarling into the wind, chasing each other to the rendezvous point, executing a combat mission for the last time. On 7 August the task force unit arrived at Eniwetok and was dissolved.

Halsey's Third Fleet planes conducted the spectacular "Month of Fire" raids on the Japanese mainland during July, beginning their skyward siege of Honshu on the 10th and then thundering north to hit Hokkaido. Delivery of the Potsdam Ultimatum on 16 July, Soviet Russia's eleventh hour decision to march on Japan in Manchuria, the awesome atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan was ready to give up the divine ghost. August 15th brought the long awaited "cease offensive operations" message to USS INTREPID at Enewetok. Commander Third Fleet ordered the formation of Task Unit 30.3.9 on 21 August, consisting of INTREPID, ANTIETAM, CABOT and seven destroyers. Scheduled to join the fleet east of Japan, the task unit shoved off from Eniwetok that date. ANTIETAM discovered structural damage on route and had to head for Guam the 23rd. Two days later the remaining ships of "30.3.9" joined Task Force 38 for duty in connection with the occupation of defeated Japan.

INTREPID was sent with CABOT to Okinawa on 28 August, there joining Task Force 72 on the 30th. Operations kept INTREPID on the move in the general area of the Japanese home islands, touching at Jinsen, Korea and Taku, China in September, until 8 October, on which date she left the Gulf of Pohai, China bound for Saipan.

From 14 to 22 October the carrier was moving in the Mariannas, departing Guam the 21st for a return to Japan. She was located at shattered Yokosuka Naval Base from 25 October through 2 December. Anchor was hoisted December 2nd, and the long, trans Pacific voyage home began.

Relegation to an inactive status awaited INTREPID when she put in at San Pedro, California on 15 December 1945. On 4 February 1946, under the command of Captain Robert E. Blick, USN, (he relieved Captain Short in January 1946) she moved up cost to San Francisco.

A designated unit of the San Francisco Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, USS INTREPID was placed "in commission in reserve" on 15 August 1946. With her guns and machinery weather proofed and rust proofed, the carrier's status was changed on 22 March 1946 to "out of commission in reserve."

USS INTREPID earned five engagement stars for service as outlined:

INTREPID was given "sure" credit for shooting down thirteen enemy planes and assisting in the destruction of five others.

Air Group TEN's record included one hundred enemy planes shot down and another eighty-six destroyed on the ground, eleven ships sunk, two probably sunk, and forty-one damaged. It lost eighty-eight of its own aircraft, with twelve pilots, and three aircrewmen dead or missing..

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Copyright © US Navy Department - Office of Public Information
Special thanks to Anne Newsome Kenny, daughter of WWII Navy Pilot
James M. (Buck) Newsome Jr., for providing this text.
This Home Page was created by wa3key, Saturday, October 3, 1998
Most recent revision Saturday, October 3, 1998

Cape Dory Yachts

Cape Dory Yachts was founded by Andrew Vavolotis. The company was located in East Taunton, MA (USA).
In the following 28 years, the company built over 2,800 sailboats ranging from 22 to 45 feet, and over 2,000 of the 19' Typhoon and the 22' Typhoon Senior, as well as the Cape Dory 10, which was the original Cape Dory dory. Most of the designs were by Carl Alberg.

By the late 1970s, the company began building power boats of various types. The most popular model, by far, was the CAPE DORY 28 of which more than 100 were built.

Around 1991, Cape Dory ceased operating in New England. The name and most of the powerboat designs were sold to Newport Shipyards Corp. of Amityville, New York, which itself reportedly ceased operations in 1996. The other molds were scattered among a number of builders, and some models are still being made, mostly on a semi-custom basis (see below).

The remainder of the boatbuilding operation, and the marine hardware division of the company, Spartan Marine, were moved to Robinhood, Maine where Andy Vavolotis continued to build sailboats. (The molds for the CAPE DORY 36 and 40 were being used to build the ROBINHOOD 36 and 40.)
HID(for Cape Dory Yachts): CPD

USS Intrepid (1798)

The first USS Intrepid was a captured *ketch in the United States Navy during the First Barbary War.

Intrepid was built in France in 1798 for Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition. She was subsequently sold to Tripoli, whom she served as Mastico. The bomb ketch was one of several Tripolitan vessels which captured the Philadelphia on 31 October 1803 after the American frigate had run fast aground on uncharted Kaliusa reef some five miles east of Tripoli.

The USS Enterprise, a schooner with Lt. Stephen Decatur in command, captured Mastico on 23 December 1803 as she was sailing from Tripoli to Constantinople under Turkish colors and without passports. After a time-consuming search for a translator, the ketch’s papers and the testimony of an English ship master who had been in Tripoli to witness her role in operations against Philadelphia convinced the commander of the American squadron, Commodore Edward Preble, that Mastico was a legitimate prize. He took her into the U.S. Navy and renamed her Intrepid.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia lay in Tripoli Harbor threatening to become Tripoli’s largest and most powerful corsair. Preble decided that he must destroy the frigate before the enemy could fit her out for action against his squadron. In order to take the Tripolitans by surprise, he assigned the task to the only ship which could be sure of passing as a North African vessel, Intrepid.

He appointed Lieutenant Stephen Decatur captain of the ketch on 31 January 1804 and ordered him to prepare her for a month’s cruise to Tripoli in company with Syren. Preble’s orders directed Decatur to slip into harbor at night, to board and burn the frigate, and make good his retreat in Intrepid, unless it then seemed feasible to use her as a ‘fire ship’ against other shipping in the harbor. In the latter case, he was to escape in boats to Syren which would await just outside the harbor.

Intrepid and Syren set sail 2 February and arrived off Tripoli five days later. However, bad weather delayed the operation until 16 February. That evening Syren took station outside the harbor and launched her boats to stand by for rescue work. At 7 o’clock Intrepid entered the harbor and 2½ hours later was alongside Philadelphia. When hailed, they claimed to be traders who had lost their anchor in the late gale, and begged permission to make fast to the frigate till morning. Guards suddenly noticed the ketch still had her anchors and gave the alarm. Leaving a small force commanded by Surgeon Lewis Heermann on board Intrepid, Decatur led 60 of his men to the deck of the frigate. A brief struggle, conducted without firing a gun, gave the Americans control of the vessel enabling them to set her ablaze.

Decatur, the last man to leave the burning frigate, remained on board Philadelphia until flames blazed from the hatchways and ports of her spar deck. When he finally left the ship, her rigging and tops were afire.

Shore batteries opened up on Intrepid as she escaped only to be answered from abandoned Philadelphia when her guns discharged by the heat of the conflagration.

When Lord Nelson, then blockading Toulon, heard of Intrepid’s feat, he is said to have called it “the most bold and daring act of the age.”

Intrepid returned to Syracuse on 19 February, and the next day her crew returned to their original ships. The ketch remained in Syracuse with only a midshipman and a few men on board while the squadron was at sea during the next few months. She became a hospital ship on 1 June and continued this duty through July.

She departed Syracuse on 12 August for Malta, where she took on board fresh supplies for the squadron and departed on 17 August. She rejoined the squadron off Tripoli on 22 August.

A week later she began to be fitted out as a “floating volcano” and was to be sent into the harbor and blown up in the midst of the corsair fleet close under the walls of Tripoli. The vessel was loaded with 100 barrels of powder and 150 fixed shells, the fuses leading to the explosives were calculated to burn for 15 minutes. Carpenters of every ship were pressed into service and she was ready on 1 September. However, unfavorable weather delayed the operation until 4 September. That day, Lt. Richard Somers, assumed command of the fire ship. Volunteers for the mission also included Henry Wadsworth and ten sea men.

Shortly after Intrepid got underway, Midshipman Joseph Israel arrived with last-minute orders from Commodore Preble and insisted on accompanying the expedition.

Two of the fastest rowing vessels were chosen to assist in the mission and return the volunteers. At eight o’clock on 4 September the Intrepid got underway with the Argus, Vixen and Nautilus serving as escorts up to the point by the rocks near the harbor’s entrance, remaining there to watch and pick up the returning rowing boats and return the crew from their mission. As the Intrepid approached the enemy fleet they were discovered and fired upon by Carronades from the overlooking shore batteries. At 8:30 before the Intrepid could get to its final position it exploded, lighting up the entire scene and sending the hull, yards and rigging and exploding shells in all directions, killing all on board.

The anxious crews of the awaiting squadron were shaken by the concussion by the great explosion but at this time could not determine the exact fate of the mission. They remained there the entire night with the hope that the rowing vessels would return with the volunteers, but by morning their hopes turned to despair when the light of day finally revealed what had happened.

Commodore Preble later concluded that an attempt was made by intercepting boarding vessels, and that Somers decided to destroy the vessel, himself, and his crew to avoid capture and enslavement. However, there was no way of knowing the exact turn of events which caused the actual explosion.

The remains of the 13 sailors on the ship washed ashore the next day after the explosion and were dragged through the street by angry locals. The bodies were buried in an unmarked mass grave outside Tripoli. In 1949, the Libyan government unearthed the remains and moved them to the current cemetery. Since then, the Libyan government has maintained the grave site, although sometimes has allowed maintenance of the site to deteriorate. On December 17, 2011, US defense chief Leon Panetta visited the cemetery in Tripoli and placed a wreath at the grave site. The US currently has no plans to repatriate the remains to the US.

* A ketch is a sailing craft with two masts: a main mast, and a shorter mizzen mast abaft (aft of) the main mast, but forward of the rudder post.


Early Edit

Ketch Secor and Chris "Critter" Fuqua [10] first met in the seventh grade in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and began playing music together. [7] They performed open mics at the Little Grill diner, [12] as did Robert St. Ours who went on to found The Hackensaw Boys. Secor had been "driving up to Mt. Jackson, VA to the bluegrass Saturday night in the summer, going up to Davis and Elkins College to participate in the Old-Time Music week there, and meeting guys like Richie Stearns." [12] Secor formed the Route 11 Boys with St. Ours and his brothers, often performing at Little Grill.

Willie Watson first met Ben Gould in high school in Watkins Glen, New York. After playing music together, both dropped out of school and formed the band The Funnest Game. [n 2] Their brand of electric/old-time was heavily influenced by the old-time music scene prominent in Tompkins and Schuyler County, New York, including The Horse Flies and The Highwoods Stringband.

After the breakup of the Route 11 Boys, Secor attended Ithaca College. [1] [20] : 5 He brought Fuqua up to New York State, where they met Watson. Watson dissolved The Funnest Game and together they assembled players all around Ithaca, New York "where there is a very lively old-time music scene." [n 3] This included Kevin Hayes. [20] : 5 They recorded an album that they could sell on the road — a cassette of ten songs called Trans:mission.

The group embarked on their Trans: mission tour in October 1998, busking across Canada. Circling back east in Spring 1999, they moved into a farmhouse on Beech Mountain, near Boone, North Carolina, where they were embraced by the Appalachian community. Their repertoire of old-time songs grew as they played with local musicians." [1]

"Wagon Wheel" Edit

Fuqua first brought home a Bob Dylan bootleg from a family trip to London containing a rough outtake called "Rock Me, Mama", [n 4] passing it to Secor. [i 3] Not "so much a song as a sketch," Secor would later say, "crudely recorded featuring most prominently a stomping boot, the candy-coated chorus and a mumbled verse that was hard to make out". [23] But the tune kept going through his mind. A few months later, while attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and "feeling homesick for the South," he added verses about "hitchhiking his way home full of romantic notions put in his head by the Beat poets and, most of all, Dylan." [n 5]

Secor says he sang his amplification of the song "all around the country from about 17 to 26, before I ever even thought, 'oh I better look into this.'" [12] When he sought copyright in 2003, to release the song on O.C.M.S. in (2004), he discovered Dylan credited the phrase "Rock me, mama" to bluesman Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (who likely got it from a Big Bill Broonzy recording) "In a way, it's taken something like 85 years to get completed," Secor says. [24] Secor and Dylan signed a co-writing agreement, and share copyright [w 5] on the song, agreeing to a "50-50 split in authorship." [7]

Officially released twice, on an early EP and their second album ("O.C.M.S." in 2004), the song would become the group's signature song — going gold in 2011 and platinum in 2013. [13]

Busking break Edit

One day the group were busking outside a pharmacy called Boone Drug — "playing on Doc's old corner" where he'd "started playing in the 1950s" on King Street in Boone, North Carolina [i 1] — when the daughter of folk-country legend Doc Watson (d. May 29, 2012 [25] ) heard them. [n 6] Certain her father would be impressed, she led the blind musician over for a listen. The group "struck up 'Oh My Little Darling', a well-known old-time song they thought Doc would like." When they finished, he said: "Boys, that was some of the most authentic old-time music I've heard in a long while. You almost got me crying." [1] Doc invited the band to participate in his annual MerleFest music festival [n 7] in Wilkesboro, North Carolina [i 4] (for 2000). [w 2] : 2000

"That gig changed our lives and we look to it as a pivotal turning point as Old Crow Medicine Show," says Secor. [i 5] He and Fuqua wrote a song "About being on the corner in Boone and [Watson] discovering us. It honors Doc and the high country blues sound." [i 6]

Grand Ole Opry Edit

The big busking break led to the act's relocation to Nashville in October 2000. [1] [n 8] At MerleFest, Secor explains, Sally Williams "from the Grand Ole Opry . . invited us to participate in some summer music events at the Grand Ole Opry House doing our street act, our busking, and that's why we came to Nashville . ." [i 1] Williams first booked them for "an Opryland Plaza outdoor show." [28] In Nashville they were "embraced and mentored" by Marty Stuart, the president of the Grand Ole Opry, who first spied the group at the Nashville-area Uncle Dave Macon Days festival and added them to his "Electric Barnyard old-fashioned country variety package show bus tour" with acts like Merle Haggard, Connie Smith, and BR5-49. Soon they were opening for "everyone from Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to Ricky Skaggs and Del McCoury . ." [28]

The group made their Grand Ole Opry debut at the Ryman Auditorium, "The Mother Church of Country Music", in January 2001. Given just four minutes on stage, they played "Tear It Down"—a "singing jug-band romp about punishing infidelity" [1] —and received a "rare first-time-out standing ovation, and a call for an encore." [28] In August 2013, Stuart unexpectedly appeared onstage at the Ohio Theatre in Cleveland, where the group was performing, to invite them to become official members of the Opry. [29] They were formally inducted at a special ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, September 17, 2013. [2]

Carry Me Back (2012) Edit

Carry Me Back was released July 17, 2012 on ATO Records. Recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, produced by Ted Hutt, [w 7] the name derives from "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", former official state song of Virginia. [30]

"Levi" is "about a soldier who grew up in the wild hillbilly woods of Virginia," [r 1] First Lieutenant Leevi Barnard from Ararat, Virginia who was "killed by a suicide bomber" [r 1] in Baghdad's Dora Market in 2009. [i 7] In the NPR broadcast where Secor heard the story, the late lieutenant's friends [30] "broke into Barnard's favorite song" . . "Wagon Wheel" [30] at his funeral. [i 5]

The album sold over 17,000 copies its debut week, "landing at #22 on the Billboard Albums Chart", leading to both the band's best-ever sales week and their highest ever charting position. It attained #1 on both the Bluegrass and Folk charts and was the #4 Country album in the nation". [w 7]

Carry Me Back exploits a kaleidoscopic galaxy of joyous old-timey string sounds updated for the 21st century. [r 1]

Remedy (2014) Edit

The group's ninth album, Remedy, was released in July 2014 by ATO Records and produced by Ted Hutt—who produced their previous studio record. The album features a collaboration with Bob Dylan, "Sweet Amarillo", and ballads "Dearly Departed Friend" and "Firewater", the latter written by Fuqua. [31] Remedy won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2015. [3] This award—created in 2012 to address "challenges in distinguishing between" previous category Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Traditional Folk Album musical genres [32] —was won by Guy Clark the previous year and Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn the next. Also nominated in 2015 were Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas & Rob Ickes for Three Bells, Alice Gerrard for Follow the Music, Eliza Gilkyson for The Nocturne Diaries, and Jesse Winchester (1944-2014) for A Reasonable Amount of Trouble.

50 Years of Blonde on Blonde (2017) Edit

The group released 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde on April 28, 2017 on their new label Columbia Nashville. [9] The album pays tribute to Dylan's 1966 masterpiece Blonde on Blonde with live recordings of the group's re-creation of it at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville in May 2016.

The project doubles as the group's first release for the Columbia label, which also released Blonde on Blonde. They announced their addition to the roster with an impromptu performance of "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" from the Dylan album. In support of the album release, Secor states:

Fifty years is a long time for a place like Nashville, Tennessee. Time rolls on slowly around here like flotsam and jetsam in the muddy Cumberland River. But certain things have accelerated the pace of our city. And certain people have sent the hands of the clock spinning. Bob Dylan is the greatest of these time-bending, paradigm-shifting Nashville cats. [33]

Volunteer (2018) Edit

Old Crow Medicine Show released their sixth studio album, Volunteer, through Columbia Nashville on April 20, 2018 — coinciding with their 20th anniversary as a group. The album was recorded at Nashville's "historic" RCA Studio A with Americana "super-producer" Dave Cobb, known for his work with Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton. The album features electric guitar for the first time since 2004 [34] — when David Rawlings added his Telecaster to "Wagon Wheel". [35] Joe Jackson Andrews plays pedal steel guitar. [34] As quoted in Billboard, Secor says of the album's sound: [36]

Because we were working with Dave, we wanted to pull out some of our more, I guess, rockin' sounds and do less of a roots music or old-time acoustic record. We wanted to have it be a little bigger. We were in a big room, RCA Studio A as opposed to Studio B, and a lot of times the music kind of matches the space.

"Look Away" is a "Rolling Stones-inspired tribute to the history of the American South," while "A World Away" is an "upbeat homage to refugees." "Dixie Avenue" is a wistful tribute to the place in Virginia where Secor and Fuqua first "fell in love with music." The closing song "Whirlwind" is a "bittersweet love song that could easily describe Old Crow Medicine's rise to prominence from the ground up." [35]

The lead single "Flicker & Shine" was released January 19, 2018. [35]

Variously described as old-time, Americana, bluegrass, alternative country, and "folk-country", the group started out infusing old Appalachian sounds with new punk energy. Country Music Television notes their "tunes from jug bands and traveling shows, back porches and dance halls, southern Appalachian string music and Memphis blues." [w 8] Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum—who sponsors ROMP: Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival, which Old Crow headlined one night in 2012—holds the group "is in the direction of progressive bluegrass." [l 3] Their live touring show has been described as a "folk-bluegrass-alt-country blend." [r 2]

"We just knew we wanted to combine the technical side of the old sound with the energy of a Nirvana," states Fuqua. [i 8] Starting from old-time music in the Appalachian hills, the group found themselves "making a foray into electric instruments and 'really knocking up the rock 'n' roll tree' on their 2008 release 'Tennessee Pusher'." On the documentary "Big Easy Express" about the Railroad Revival Tour with Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros they "practice(d) a complimentary variation of folk" bringing "a pleasingly smoky amalgam of country, bluegrass, and blues." [r 3] With "Carry Me Back" (2012) they've "circled back to the original sound that so excited (Secor) and Fuqua as kids . . full of old-timey string sounds updated for the 21st century – sing-a-longs that lift the soul, ballads that rend the heart and a few moments of pure exhilaration." [37]

Busking Edit

"Our performance comes out of all those years spent cutting our teeth on the street corner," claims Secor. [38] The earliest beginnings of the group involved busking in the Northeast U.S., attracting fresh talent. Guitjo player Kevin Hayes — originally from Haverhill, Massachusetts — was in Bar Harbor, Maine raking blueberries when he encountered Secor "on the street in front of a jewelry store playing the banjo." [20] : 5 Bassist Morgan Jahnig joined the group [n 9] as a result of a "random" encounter with early Old Crow performing on the streets of Nashville in 2000. [i 9] Guitarist Gill Landry first met the group in 2000 while both were street performing during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, joining full-time in 2007. [i 10]

Songwriting Edit

Early on the group didn't perform songs they'd written, instead drawing on a storehouse of pre-war jug band, string band, minstrel show, blues and folk fare. As with other young groups in the genre, driven by all that punk music energy, they played this old material "fast and hard". [39] When they started writing original material they distinguished themselves "from the crowded field of New Wave string bands as genuine stars. And both groups have done it by writing new songs more ambitious than mere rewrites of old hillbilly and blues numbers." [39] Songs they write often have a socially conscious theme, such as "I Hear Them All", "Ways Of Man", "Ain't It Enough", and "Levi".

Secor admits to developing "the habit of writing what he calls 'stolen melody songs'"—in much the same way he'd created "Wagon Wheel", carrying on in the folk tradition—"like when he penned fresh, war tax-themed lyrics to a tune that had already passed through other wholesale re-writes during its descent from old-time Scots-Irish balladry." [40] Dave Rawlings states: "I've always thought that a really important thing that the Old Crow Medicine Show brought to the table was new songs—some reinterpreted old ones, some really nicely written and brand new—with the old flavor, but also with that vitality." [41]

In August 2014, Downtown Music Publishing signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Old Crow Medicine Show. This agreement covers all five of the band's studio albums, including 'Remedy'. [19]

Influences Edit

An early Secor influence was John Hartford who performed for his first grade class in Missouri, making him want "to play the banjo after that" [i 1] and the first song he ever learned to play was Tom Paxton's "Ramblin' Boy". [20] : 6 Guns N' Roses was Fuqua's "first influence": when they released Appetite for Destruction (1987), while he was in seventh grade, he knew he wanted to be a musician. He also claims AC/DC and Nirvana as influences "and then into blues and then into more obscure fiddlers. Some Conjunto from down in San Antonio." [i 11] "Take 'Em Away", written when he was 17, is "loosely based on Mance Lipscomb, a blues singer and sharecropper from Navasota County" who he says "was a big influence on me." [i 11]

Naming his major influences, Secor states: "Certainly, Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan. More than anything else. More than any book or song or story or play. The work and the recorded work of Bob Dylan. It's the most profound influence on me. And then the other people that really influenced me, tend to be the same people who influenced Bob Dylan." [i 1] Fuqua concurs on Dylan's influence:

He's a link to Woody Guthrie, who's a link to an even earlier form of American music history. He's. a great doorway for all sorts of artists because he's not just folk or just rock . I think bands like us, Mumford and Sons, and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings are sort of doing what he has done before, in that we take our own experiences and observations and put them into songs made of traditional, American roots form. That form is still a great vehicle for songs, whether the song is about love, the Iraq War or anything else. [i 11]

The Dylan doorway led to the first recordings of the New Lost City Ramblers, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Canned Heat, The Lovin' Spoonful, Dylan and The Band in the basement, and the Grateful Dead. [28]

Impact Edit

When Secor, Fuqua, and company first got together "old-timey pickers their age were few and far between. Modern rock was still a force to be reckoned with. Now hard-driving string bands are where it's at." [42] To Americana Music Association (AMA) President Jed Hilly, the historic path of Americana music passes through the group: "The baton is passed from Emmylou Harris to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to Old Crow Medicine Show to the Avett Brothers." [42] Emmylou Harris was, in fact . .

. among the gateway artists who helped Mumford and bandmates Ben Lovett, Ted Dwane and Winston Marshall discover their love for American roots music. It started with the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack . . That eventually led them to the Old Crow Medicine Show and then deep immersion in old-timey sounds from America's long-neglected past. [6]

Marcus Mumford, front man of Mumford & Sons, credits the group's influence: "I first heard Old Crow's music when I was, like, 16, 17, and that really got me into, like, folk music, bluegrass. I mean, I'd listened to a lot of Dylan, but I hadn't really ventured into the country world so much. So Old Crow was the band that made me fall in love with country music." [40] Mumford acknowledges in "Big Easy Express", Emmett Malloy's "moving documentary" about the vintage train tour they'd invited Old Crow to join them on, that "the band inspired them to pick up the banjo and start their now famous country nights in London."

Old Crow received the 2013 Trailblazer Award from the Americana Music Association. [17]

  • Old Crow Medicine Show performed on a float for the 2003 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. [45]
  • Their music video of "I Hear Them All" (from Big Iron World) was first-round finalist in both CMT Award categories in which it was nominated. [44] Directed by Danny Clinch, the video was shot in the Mid-City area of New Orleans featuring local residents with inspirational stories about surviving Hurricane Katrina.
  • For the Americana Music Award show held November 1, 2007 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville they joined Uncle Earl, Sunny Sweeney, Todd Snider, The Avett Brothers, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, the Hacienda Brothers, Elizabeth Cook, Amy LaVere, and Ricky Skaggs with Bruce Hornsby as performers on stage. [l 4]
  • They opened for the Dave Matthews Band in 2009 at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Pelham, AL and the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY.
  • The band headlined at the Grand Ole Opry, [i 4] after earlier having performed at that institution's 75th-anniversary celebration, [46] and appeared in special New Year's Eve shows in 2009 (with special guest Chuck Mead) [l 6] and 2010 [w 9] at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
  • The music documentary Big Easy Express, in which the band was featured along with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Mumford and Sons, won a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in March 2013. Directed by Emmett Malloy, the video was produced by Bryan Ling, Mike Luba, and Tim Lynch under the S2BN Films label. [w 1]
  • Their recording of "Wagon Wheel" was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 2013. [13]
  • Old Crow Medicine Show was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry at a special ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on September 17, 2013. [2] They join other group Opry members like Gatlin Brothers, Oak Ridge Boys, Osborne Brothers, and Rascal Flatts—and individual member acts Roy Clark, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Tom T. Hall, Alison Krauss, Loretta Lynn, Patti Loveless, Del McCoury, Charley Pride, and Ricky Skaggs. [w 10]
  • The group performed during the 12th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Show, which took place September 18, 2013 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, sharing stage with such acts as Stephen Stills, Richard Thompson, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell. [17]
  • Darius Rucker's version of "Wagon Wheel" was nominated for CMA Single of the Year in October 2013, along with Florida Georgia Line ("Cruise"), Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift & Keith Urban ("Highway Don't Care"), Miranda Lambert ("Mama's Broken Heart"), and Kacey Musgraves ("Merry Go 'Round"). [l 5]
  • Rucker sang "Wagon Wheel" to close out the televised CMA awards ceremony November 6, 2013. [47]
  • Old Crow Medicine Show performed on the soundtrack for the film Transamerica in 2005, which was nominated for a number of awards—including two Academy Award nominations—winning several around the world. "Critter" Fuqua wrote "Take 'Em Away" while "We're All in This Together" was written by Ketch Secor and Willie Watson. [w 11]
  • They appeared in the PBS American Roots Music series "In the Valley Where Time Stands Still", a film about the history of the Renfro Valley Barn Dance [w 8] and "Bluegrass Journey", a portrait of the contemporary bluegrass scene. [w 12]
  • They appeared in the musical documentary Big Easy Express, directed by Emmett Malloy, being made of The Railroad Revival Tour, which premiered March 2012 at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW Film) in Austin, Texas[l 7] —winning the Headliner Audience Award. [48]

The line-up has changed, and we aren't the same group of guys that set out for the Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1998. We're not the same group of individuals that picked grapes in New York State to fill our gas tank and roll out of town. [49]

In August 2011, the group announced they were on hiatus, cancelling three shows scheduled for the following month, with "little word from the band on whether there would continue to be a band." [r 4] Original member Willie Watson [1] left in Fall of 2011, a couple months before Chris "Critter" Fuqua rejoined the group in January 2012. [i 12] He had left in 2004 "to go to rehab for his drinking, then staying out to attend college." [40] [i 13] Cory Younts, who left Old Crow a few months into 2012 to perform in Jack White's backup band Los Buzzardos [50] (or The Buzzards) on world tour to support White's album Blunderbuss, [51] returned to the group in 2013. [52] [n 10]

Current members of the band: [w 13] [53]

  • Mike Harris – guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, vocals
  • Morgan Jahnig – upright bass
  • Jerry Pentecost [54] - drums, vocals
  • Ketch Secor – vocals, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, guitar
  • Mason Via – guitar, vocals
  • Cory Younts - mandolin, drums, keyboards, [[vocals
  • Joe Andrews - pedal steel, banjo, mandolin, dobro
  • Critter Fuqua [54] – slide guitar, banjo, guitar, vocals
  • Ben Gould – stand-up bass
  • Kevin Hayes – guitjo, vocals
  • Matt Kinman – bones, mandolin, vocals [55] – banjo, resonator guitar, guitar, vocals
  • Chance McCoy – fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals
  • Robert Price [54] - multi-instrumentalist [n 11] – guitar, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, vocals - guitar, banjo, vocals

Chris 'Critter' Fuqua (guitar) with Ketch Secor (banjo) at benefit show for Our Community Place
Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg, Virginia
January 14, 2012.

Ketch Secor (harmonica) Morgan Jahnig (bass) Willie Watson (guitar)
Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee
May 5, 2010.

David Rawlings Machine performing at Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas December 13, 2009. (l-r) Gillian Welch, Ketch Secor, David Rawlings, Morgan Jahnig, and Willie Watson.

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