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Seventeen stories tall and three football fields long, the magnificent U.S.S. Intrepid was one of the fiercest warships ever to steam out of a navy shipyard. From the epic World War II battle for Leyte Gulf and deadly struggle in Vietnam to the peacetime recovery of American space capsules, the â€œFighting Iâ€ and her crew could always be found at the center of the action. The Fighting I: The Story of the USS Intrepid would be useful for classes on American History, World History, American Culture, and Maritime History. It is appropriate for middle school and high school.
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1. The U.S.S. Intrepid has been called an example of a â€œliving monument.â€ What is a â€œliving monument?â€ Why is the U.S.S. Intrepid an example of one? Do you know of any other â€œliving monuments?â€
2. On December 1941, Japan bombed the United Statesâ€™ naval base, Pearl Harbor. Why did Japan bomb Pearl harbor? How did this bring the United States into World War II? Why did war with Japan also include war with Germany?
3. Discuss some of the dangers faced by naval aviators.
4. Many of the navy aviators had quirky rituals or good luck charms that they performed or carried when they went into battle. Why do people need these rituals or charms? Do you have any rituals or charms you perform or carry when you want a bit of luck?
5. Despite an elaborate decoy plan executed by the Japanese navy, the US navy defeated the Japanese navy at the Leyte Gulf. How did U.S.S. Intrepid fighter pilots contribute to a US victory?
6. What is a kamikaze pilot? How were these pilots products of Japanese culture?
7. Discuss the role of racism in World War II. How did racism prevent Alonzo Swann and his African-American shipmates from getting the recognition they deserved for their heroic feats? Why did it take almost a half-century for the US to recognize the sacrifice and contribution of Alonzo Swann and the other African-American crewmembers of the U.S.S. Intrepid?
8. Why is mail call such an important event in the life of sailors and soldiers?
9. What were some of the U.S.S. Intrepidâ€™s activities and duties after World War II?
1. Design a monument for the U.S.S. Intrepid and the men who served aboard its decks.
2. Imagine that you are a fighter pilot on board the U.S.S. Intrepid during World War II. Write a letter home to your family or friends describing your adventures and experiences aboard the great carrier.