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Launched in 1943 as one of the Navy's then-new Essex-class attack carriers, USS Intrepid figured in six major Pacific War campaigns including Leyte Gulf, history's greatest naval battle, surviving five Japanese kamikaze suicide planes.
It later saw service in the Korean and Vietnam wars and was twice a recovery ship for NASA astronauts before it was decommissioned and mothballed in a Philadelphia shipyard — slated for demolition until rescued by New York real estate developer and philanthropist Zachary Fisher.
Since 1982 it has become one of New York's most popular tourist sites, drawing some 750,000 visitors yearly over the past decade.
The 22-month renovation at a New Jersey drydock included repair and refurbishment of the ship's 65-year-old hull, followed by interior work at Staten Island's Stapleton naval dock — with the opening of formerly sealed spaces and expanded interactive museum exhibits, and the addition of five new aircraft to its flight deck collection.
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