Carrier 1971
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Cruise Chronology

View a CRUISE MAP showing operations in European waters.

16 April 1971 U.S.S. Intrepid departs Quonset Point, Rhode Island for 6-month NATO deployment.
16-28 April 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid crosses the North Atlantic to the coast of the Iberian peninsula. Three days out, there is a rendezvous at sea with other ships that make up Task Group 83.2. Five of these vessels are destroyers: the U.S.S. N. K. Perry (DD-883); the U.S.S. J. P. Kennedy (DD-850); the U.S.S. J. K. Taussig (DE-1030); the U.S.S. Cromwell (DE-1014); and the U.S.S. Hartley (DE-1029). There is also an oil tanker, the U.S.S. Chuckawan (AO-100), which keeps the entire group refueled at sea, and a diesel powered submarine, the U.S.S. Greenfish (SS-351). During this transit, "the Task Group encountered the first of what later proved to be considerable Soviet surveillance."
28 April-2 May 1971 Intrepid in port at Lisbon, Portugal.
28 April-17 May 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid takes part in NATO exercise, "Rusty Razor," with navies of United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Belgium, and West Germany. One squadron (VS-27) reports: "The ASW forces sanitized designated areas for later transit by the CVA [attack carrier] strike force. Squadron flight crews localized opposing submarines and conducted simulated attacks."
10-13 May 1971 Intrepid in port at Plymouth, England.
16-20 May 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid operates in the Baltic Sea near East Germany, West Germany, Denmark, Finland, and Poland, coming within 20 miles of the coast of the Soviet Union! On one occasion, a Soviet Kamov Ka-25 helicopter, operating from shore or from a guided missile cruiser, "buzzes" the flight deck. During this period, Intrepid becomes either the "first carrier to conduct flight operations in the eastern Baltic," the first U.S. carrier in the Baltic since World War II, or the the first American "warship" of any kind to operate in the Baltic (sources vary in regard to this particular distinction). Three destroyers accompany Intrepid-the U.S.S. Joseph P. Kennedy (DD-850), the U.S.S. Taussig (DE-1030), and the U.S.S. Hartley (DE-1029). When one of HS-11's helicopters flies from the deck of Intrepid to the Danish island of Bornholm, to bring Guilford Dudley-the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, aboard for a visit, the Soviets charge that a treaty, designating Bornholm off limits to military activity, has been violated.
21-24 May 1971 Intrepid in port at Kiel, Germany.
27 May 1971

USS IntrepidWhile passing through the English Channel near Folkestone, Intrepid veers into a "shipping graveyard" but is saved from disaster by alertness of British coast guard, which fires warning flares. Despite reports in both U.S. and British newspapers, the U.S. Navy officially denies the incident ever occurred.

Read a report of this incident in the Dallas Morning News.

31 May 1971 USS IntrepidAt dawn, Intrepid sails through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea.
4-11 June 1971 Intrepid in port at Naples, Italy.
11-19 June 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid in transit from Naples, Italy to Cannes, France.
19-24 June 1971 Intrepid in port at Cannes, France.
27 June 1971 A "Swim Call" is held for the crew somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea, between Cannes and Barcelona.
28 June-14 July 1971 CNO Elmo ZumwaltChief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., visits Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Great Britain for meetings with several high-level military and civilian leaders regarding the growing Soviet presence in European waters.
30 June-6 July 1971 Intrepid in port at Barcelona, Spain.
30 June 1971 Soyuz 11NEWS: Soviet astronauts, returning to Earth in Soyuz 11, die on entry when spacecraft hatch fails.
3 July 1971 Jim MorrisonNEWS: The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison dies mysteriously in Paris.
12-19 July 1971 Intrepid in port at Hamburg, West Germany; Dependents Flight brings wives and other family members to visit crew members.
19-21 July 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid in transit from Hamburg, West Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark.
21-28 July 1971 Intrepid in port at Copenhagen, Denmark. Most of the crew are probably unaware that the ship is carrying nuclear weapons (depth bombs), in violation of a treaty with Denmark. For more information, see The Nuclear Information Project: The Visit by USS Intrepid (CVS-11) to Copenhagen, 1971.
30 July-2 August 1971 Apollo 15NEWS: Apollo 15 astronauts travel to and land on the Moon.
30 July 1971 USS IntrepidWhile Intrepid is en route to Scotland, one of HS-3's SH-3D helicopters crashes in the water "during a landing attempt." The crew is rescued relatively unharmed but the chopper sinks during efforts to lift it by crane. Soviet ships watch from a distance.
2-11 August 1971 Intrepid in port at Greenock, Scotland, near U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch.
12 August 1971 A-4 Skyhawk and Russian Bear BomberIntrepid's A-4 Skyhawks trail two Soviet Tupelov "Bear" bombers as they fly above the ship.
12 August-6 September 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid participates in NATO exercise "Alert Lancer," operating in the Norwegian and Arctic Seas.
14 August 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid crosses the Arctic Circle at Longitude 02-58.6E. The crew is afterward awarded "Blue Nose" certificates.
17-19 August 1971 Intrepid makes an unscheduled port call at Rosyth, Scotland (near Edinburgh).
19 August-7 September 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid operating at sea and in transit from Rosyth, Scotland to Portsmouth, England.
7-14 September 1971 Intrepid in port at Portsmouth, England.
14-22 September 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid in transit from Portsmouth, England to Bergan, Norway.
22-25 September 1971 Intrepid in port at Bergen, Norway.
26 September-4 October 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid participates in NATO exercise "Royal Knight," operating in the Norwegian Sea.
5-7 October 1971 Intrepid in port at Greenock, Scotland.
7-15 October 1971 USS IntrepidIntrepid in transit to CONUS (Contintental United States) across North Atlantic Ocean.
15 October 1971 Intrepid returns to Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

Sources:

  • Personal recollections of the host of this website.

  • U.S.S. Intrepid 1971 Cruise Book

  • Dept. of the Navy, U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11) Command History for 1971, n.d.

  • Dept. of the Navy, U.S.S. Intrepid (CVS-11), "Deck Log" (excerpt), December 1, 1971.

  • Dept. of the Navy, Air Antisubmarine Squadron Twenty-Four, Command History for 1971, February 28, 1972.

  • Dept. of the Navy, Air Antisubmarine Squadron Twenty-Seven, Command History for 1971, April 1, 1972.

  • Zumwalt, Elmo R. Jr., On Watch (New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., 1976).

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Please Note: This website is maintained by a veteran who has no official connection with the United States Navy or any government or private organization connected with the U.S.S. Intrepid or any other ship.

This website copyright © 2008-2011 (except where noted) by Steven R. Butler, Ph.D. (formerly PR3). All rights reserved.