This is CV-11 INTREPID in February 1944 during operation HAILSTONE. The 5th Essex class carrier to enter the fray, she joined Task Force 58 at Pearl on 10 Jan 44. Along with ESSEX and CABOT, she made up Task Group 58.2.
One of 9 Essex class to be build at Newport News, VA, INTREPID was laid down 6 days before the attack on Pearl Harbour and Commissioned in August 1943.
During her fitting out at Norfolk, her AA fit was upgraded. By moving mounts closer together, extra 20mm guns could be added bringing them upto 55. She also received an extra 2 40mm tubs on the starboard aft main deck.
INTREPID was fitted with an H IVA athwartships hangar deck catapault with an outrigger that could be stowed in the upright position on port and starboard. The design feature of the hangar deck catapult was fitted only to the units YORKTOWN, INTREPID, HORNET, FRANKLIN, BUNKER HILL and WASP. It was supposed to provide an emergency launch option in case the flight deck was inoperable. However, through wartime experience it was assumed that if the flight deck had been damaged to such a degree, the ship would probably be listing, rendering the hangar deck catapult useless. For this reason, it was omitted from the later units.
Another visible difference from ESSEX, is the reduction of radio masts from 5 to 4.
INTREPID went into action by attacking Japanese bases in the Marshall Islands as support for the US landing on Kwajalein Atoll. Operation HAILSTONE: On February 14 while attacking Truk in preparation for a landing on Eniwetok, she was struck starboard side aft by an Japanese aerial torpedo which wrecked her steering. The rudder was jammed to port and to counter act this, the port screws were ran at high speed while idling the starboard screws. As the ship limped home to Pearl the wind picked up and she started to corkscrew. The crew then jury rigged a sail from canvas bags along the forcastle deck and enabled her to reach Pearl Harbor on the 24th Feb.
After permanent repairs at Hunter's Point, CA, INTREPID rejoined the fray in August 1944 with TF 38. She had an illustrious career, her planes scoring hits on MUSASHI but also being hit thrice by kamakazes. After the war, she was placed in reserve in March 1947.