The great ship’s keel was laid on December 1, 1941. Less than a week later, Pearl Harbor was attacked — and America entered World War II. In the years to come, as the United States Navy defended the freedom in the Pacific, the men of “the Fighting I” would be in the thick of the battle. The Intrepid participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands. She played a key role in the amphibious assault on Okinawa. She was part of one of the greatest sea battles in history: the Battles of Leyte Gulf.
In that massive engagement, American forces faced some of the most formidable elements of the Japanese Navy. The Japanese fleet included the Yamamato [sic] and the Musashi — these were the heaviest and the largest battleships ever constructed. The Imperial Navy approached the coast of the Philippines from three different directions, and it was a fearsome challenge — but the men of this ship were ready. The Intrepid’s Air Group fought courageously and without rest. By the time the battle ended three days later, the United States Navy had sunk the Musashi to the ocean floor, and lifted hopes for victory in the Pacific.
Even before its refurbishing, it was a fascinating museum you could spend days at.
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