Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Archives

Alfred A. "Pete" Smith Oral History Edit

Summary

Identifier
OHP 028

Dates

  • January 16, 2014 (Creation)

Extents

  • 30 Sheets (Part)
  • 6 Files (Part)

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Scope and Contents

    Alfred “Pete” Smith began his interview by stating that he joined the Navy Reserves in 1947, at the age of 17. He then provided a brief outline of his early Navy career, from being an enlisted reservist, to joining a submarine division, and then entering the Naval Academy, graduating in 1953. Smith continued, recounting his assignments in the aviation community, from receiving his wings in November 1954, through assignments in HUKFORLANT and a VS squadron in Key West. He then came to his time on board Intrepid from 1970 to 1972. However, before discussing his time on Intrepid he provided an overview of the rest of his career, stating that he: spent 12 years in the VS community (including his time on Intrepid), became the head of CNO briefers in the Pentagon, commanded the attack cargo ship St. Louis (LKA-116), and commanded the helicopter carrier Tripoli, before returning to the Pentagon to serve as the executive assistant to the Navy’s Director of Command and Control. Returning to Intrepid, Smith discussed anti-submarine warfare during the Cold War and the seriousness of the threat posed by submarines. He also explained his role as operations officer aboard Intrepid. He then discussed Intrepid’s ASW (anti-submarine warfare) capabilities, noting ASCAC (Anti-Submarine Classification and Analysis Center), describing its function on Intrepid, the equipment in that space, and the improvements that it brought about in internal command and control capability. Smith then explained the role of C.I.C. (Combat Information Center) in great detail. He also spoke about the two commanding officers during his time on Intrepid, Isham Linder and Charles Williams. The interview then shifted back to discussing specific locations on the ship with Smith discussing CATCC (Carrier Air Traffic Control Center) and cryptology. Smith also recounted the time when Intrepid ran aground while traveling to its new home port, Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Toward the end of the interview, Smith explained a typical day for an operations officer, and he also discussed life aboard ship, describing his living quarters, meals in the officers’ wardroom, and relationships with junior officers and enlisted men. Alfred Smith ended his interview by expressing how he, and many others, believes the ASW period of Intrepid’s history is an important issue.

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