Story of the Intrepid


let me tell you this we won was 3200 men

on this ship but at the given signal

3200 men became one there would be 50 or

60 zeroes setting up over the target

waiting force with an altitude advantage

then we'd have to dogfight these guys

playing by playing minute by minute

until we got the Bombers reformed and

out of there if you're going to survive

you'd have to stay with your wingman

your wingmen have to stay with you if

you win you win if you don't you don't

get back I lost my very best friend the

first day I found that never seen again

that's far too or not the easy part

circular motion master the Special

Attack was not an attack he was an act

of defense they were acting to defend

their loved ones parents siblings the

weaker to protect them and the times

where you hit we lost a lot of very

close crew members and the average I

would say the average crew member on

that ship at the time was probably 19

years of age we are very young if

somebody got killed you know you didn't

have somebody around children pour your

heart out so you had your shipmates and

they were scared you were scared but you

always did what you hadn't told you

always did your duty and if you didn't

this ship wouldn't be here today

we were in the Cold War we practiced the

launching of conventional weapons but we

also practiced low-level simulated

strikes into the Soviet Union with

nuclear weapons and the threat of the

Soviet Union was real and we felt that

when we were deployed to the

Mediterranean that we were in the front

line of defense

I felt like we were out there making

sure that the Russians wouldn't drop

anything or in the United States because

we were out there ready to retaliate if

we if we had to and it was a feeling of

doing something important that was

really one of the most pervasive

feelings that we were out there really

making the difference in preventing

World War 3 from starting

we choose to go to the moon in this

decade and do the other things not

because they are easy but because they

are hard

preeminence in space was a condition of

our freedom the people on the other side

of the Iron Curtain thought the same

thing and it was that competition which

drove us more than even the curiosity

that goes with pioneering the first

thought that I had when I got into orbit

was not something involving pioneering

it was hooray we Americans have another

man in orbit and now we're tied with the

Soviet we would write the height of the

Cold War and the Communists had vowed

that they were going to take over in

conquer the world we had the choice

either we were going to go to Vietnam

and try and help South Vietnam or we

could stand by and do nothing and the

Communists just do what they wanted and

take over the world which we weren't

going to do they were flying 18 hours a

day the poor guys who worked on a flight

day had no they would just fall out on a

plane's wing for a half hour cat nap

between launches and then be back and

but then again we always knew we had

friends that were laying in the mud over

there most of us had people that went

join the Marines or the army or

different places so we were doing our

job to maybe make their job a little

easier I think most of the American

people realize that what we did there we

did in the best interests of of the

people we were trying to help it just

didn't work out so I think there were

lessons learned

when I came home I really had an

appreciation for what our country really

is the freedoms we have and why you know

so many of us were willing to go there

and fight to protect these things that

we we take for granted every day and as

Paul Golani one of the other POWs has

said he says you can never have a bad

day when you got a door knob on the

inside the door that's a profound