U.S.S Intrepid serviceman to address RMA

World War II veteran and author Ray Stone will address the Retired Men’s Association July 31.

Mr. Stone wrote, My Ship, The U.S.S. Intrepid, about the carrier’s history, and his experiences serving on it during the Second World War. He provides observations as to how he felt about people and the events, often taken from pages from his unauthorized diary. Twenty-six of his fellow radar men were among the sixty-nine men killed on the day two kamikazes crashed into the Intrepid while it was supporting the invasion of the Philippines. He shares his stories, positive or negative, about the Intrepid’s crew members, and his accounts of shore liberty and life aboard ship contain many amusing details.

The U.S.S Intrepid, also known as The Fighting “I” for its prominent role in battle, is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy, the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August, 1943, the Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The contributions the ship and the crew made to victory were vital and the price they paid was heavy.

Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier, and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier. In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War. Decommissioned in 1974, in 1982 Intrepid became the foundation of the Intrepid Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Mr. Stone enlisted with the Navy in April, 1943, serving for two years on the Intrepid in the Pacific theater, as a radar man in the ship’s “brain center,” the Combat Information Center. CIC’s primary responsibility was to detect enemy planes with their radar and direct fighter pilots to intercept and shoot them down. He survived multiple kamikaze attacks in the Philippines, Formosa, Okinawa, and off the Japanese Coast, while many of his fellow sailors were killed. His service to his country was recognized with the World War II Victory Medal for the Asiatic Pacific Campaign, and he received seven battle stars.

After leaving the service he embarked on a career in advertising, serving as advertising director, art director and creative director for a number of New York City agencies and firms and was president of SSK&F Advertising. He now serves as an Intrepid volunteer at the ship’s permanent berth on West 46th Street in New York City and is on the board of the Intrepid Former Crew Members Association.

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