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USS Intrepid Collection

Identifier: A00.2015.03

Scope and Contents

This artificial collection contains papers created and used during the operations of USS Intrepid (CV-11) from 1943 to 1975. The collection includes records created by official ship functions, anonymous sailors’ personal papers, and publications created by the ship’s print shop.

The operational records series contains records created in the process of performance of the ship’s official operations. There are records arranged by record type and function and by department. Record types and functions include correspondence and personnel management. Records of the Engineering Department are particularly well-represented, as are those of the Air Department, Gunnery Department, and Navigation Department.

Sailors’ personal papers consist of papers that would have been in the possession of Intrepid sailors, but that are unrelated to sailors’ official duties on board. The series includes a Crossing the Line Ceremony script, annotated maps, letters, and ephemera from ship events and ports of call.

The publications series is made up of material that would have been produced by Intrepid’s print shop, including newspapers, booklets, plans of the day, cruise maps, ephemera, and action reports.


  • Majority of material found within ca. 1943–75


Conditions Governing Access

Some folders may contain personally identifiable information, which will be reviewed before providing access to the public. Within the operational records series, personnel management records that provide performance evaluations of individuals should be reviewed for privacy concerns before providing access to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

For rights and reproduction, contact

Biographical / Historical

On December 1, 1941, the keel for USS Intrepid was laid and its construction began. Intrepid saw immediate action in World War II after its commissioning ceremony in 1943. It participated in the invasion of the Marshall Islands, air strikes against the Japanese base on Truk, a major naval engagement in the Philippines’ Leyte Gulf and the amphibious assault on Okinawa. During the course of War World II, Intrepid was damaged five times by kamikaze aircraft and one torpedo attack. After joining the reserve fleet in mothballs at the end of World War II, Intrepid returned to service in 1954. The ship was modernized to accommodate new jet aircraft. During the Cold War, Intrepid primarily served in an anti-submarine warfare role, monitoring Soviet submarines in the Mediterranean Sea. In the 1960s, Intrepid served as a primary recovery vessel for the Mercury-Atlas 7 and Gemini 3 space missions, picking up astronauts and their capsules after ocean landings. In 1966, Intrepid was deployed to Vietnam for its first of three tours of duty. The ship resumed its anti-submarine mission during its final years of service. Intrepid was decommissioned on March 15, 1974, in a ceremony at Quonset Point, Rhode Island.


23 Cubic Feet : 23 linear feet housed in document boxes and half document boxes AC 10–AC 54 on S19-C to S20-E; Oversize material in Oversize Box AC 1 on S20-E, Double Oversize Boxes AC 1–AC 6 on S4-A, and Flat File FA-5; Cased volumes AC 2–AC 16 on S4-A and S19-D; material treated for mold in document box and double oversize box in Intake Room

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Some records have been exposed to mold, water, fire, or dirt. At present, fragile items have been sleeved in acid-free paper or polyester. Soiled items have been sleeved to separate them from papers to either side. At a future point, they may be cleaned with a dirt eraser. Records of the Gunnery Department are particularly soiled and potentially have been exposed to mold. If items from this department are viewed or removed for any purpose, they should not be placed in proximity to any other collection material. Records definitively exposed to mold and treated have been stored separately in the Intake Room.

Custodial History

This collection contains papers found in current and previous collections storage spaces, former Museum office space, and combat information center (CIC) exhibit spaces. Some of this material may have come from donations without paperwork. Much of it has probably been on board Intrepid since decommissioning and moved around the ship one or more times over the course of the Museum’s history. The operational records, particularly the entirety of the Engineering Department and Gunnery Department records, seem to have been on board since decommissioning and are natural products of the activities of their offices of origin. In a sense, this collection is then partially artificial and partially not; although the provenance and original order were not always clear and were never provable, they were clearer in some places than in others.

Processing Information

In 2009–2010, Britta Arendt, Collections Manager, led a project to process paper material found in the collections. This resulted in an Excel finding aid that organized material primarily by subject (Collections>Archives Finding Aids>Outdated>Archives Finding Aid 9-01-2010). This finding aid did not follow Describing Archives: A Content Standard. In September 2011, consultant Field Horne prepared a report outlining a new method of arrangement and recommending adherence to the archival principles of provenance and original order (Collections>Archives Finding Aids>Outdated> Field Horne- Archive Review). His recommendations were partially executed in the following years. Field Horne’s arrangement of found-in-collections material was still partially by subject. In November 2013, Katherine Meyers was hired as Collections Assistant, Archives Specialist. She created a new arrangement and description for found-in-collections material, authoring this finding aid and the finding aid for the general collection in accordance with the principle of provenance and Describing Archives: A Content Standard. As of April 2015, Katherine Meyers processed into this collection a significant volume of material removed from Room 6. She also added some material from a former Museum office space, CIC exhibit spaces, the Manual Collection and the FIC (found-in-collections) “with names” accessions. Appraisal was performed at this time as well. A new version of the finding aid was produced with more of an emphasis on arrangement by ship’s department, in an attempt to preserve and re-create original order.


Katherine Meyers
September 10, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Online Archives Repository

One Intrepid Square
W. 46th Street and 12th Avenue
New York NY 10036-4103 United States