WC vs History: The Evil "I"
Two ships bear the name Intrepid in Wing Commander lore. The first, TCS Intrepid, appeared in the novel End Run as one of two escorts for TCS Tarawa on its mission to Kilrah. The second, BWS Intrepid, was our second home during Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.
Along with the corvette TCS Kagimasha, Intrepid formed the screen around the TCS Tarawa during Operation Back Lash in 2667. Helmed by Captain Grierson, Intrepid was one of the three ships tasked with raiding the Kilrathi home system of Kilrah. As a result of the raid, six carriers under construction, and much of the shipyard on the Klirathi moon Largkza, were destroyed by Marine Commandos landed from Tarawa. After fleeing the Kilrah system by an atomic ruse, the two remaining ships of the strike force made their way to the Baragh system. Here they encountered Prince Thrakhath’s carriers that had been split off from the Home Fleet. Angry with the destruction at Kilrah, but also with the loss of five more carriers during the Battle of Vukar Tag, Thrakhath wanted to insure the destruction of TCS Tarawa and Intrepid. Both ships were damaged following their actions in Kilrah and during the escape. Captain Grierson was committed to the protection of Tarawa and took his destroyer against a Kilrathi cruiser. Both ships were destroyed when they simultaneously launched full torpedo spreads. The Intrepid’s sacrifice kept the Kilrathi off the chase long enough for Tarawa to be rescued by TCS Concordia who had raced from Vukar Tag to help aid the escape.
The second ship to bear the name in the Wing Commander universe will be familiar to all as the carrier which we called home for most of Wing Commander IV. Of all the carriers in Wing Commander, the BWS Intrepid is certainly the most unique. Converted from a Durango-class Heavy Destroyer into a carrier, by essentially opening the deck space for flight operations, Intrepid was far from the sleek lines of the Tiger’s Claw or imposing power of the Concordia. She even made old Tin Can Sally look like a frontline carrier by comparison.
BWS Intrepid played a major role in the Border Worlds Crisis of 2673. Captained by a veteran of the Terran-Kilrathi War, Raul Dominguez, the ship had participated in many of the early actions against Black Lance and Confederation forces. During the crisis, a number of Confederation officers from the TCS Lexington, among them Colonel Christopher Blair and Captain William Eisen, defected to the Border Worlds. The Intrepid was informed of their defection and arrived in the Masa System to collect them, but was pursued by the TCS Achilles, which fired a pair of torpedoes at the vessel. The hull around the crew quarters and bridge were breached, killing two-thirds of the crew, including Captain Dominguez.
The Intrepid survived the attack and command of the vessel was accepted by Captain Eisen. After the devastating attack, a replacement bridge and Combat Information Center were installed in the Auxiliary Control Room. Command later passed on to Colonel Blair when Eisen decided to pursue an internal investigation into the Confederation's military activities. Accommodations were primitive, as the crew had to use what little space was available as makeshift sleeping quarters. However, the vessel, despite its age and technological inferiority, served her purpose well and fought in many major engagements. She hampered enemy activities across the Border Worlds and intervened in the civil war in the Circe System. She was later the first ship to respond to the disaster on Telamon. This led to the discovery of the Black Lance and its base of operations in the Axius system. Intrepid then began an all-out race to Sol against TCS Vesuvius. Eventually corned by the super carrier, Intrepid was only saved by the timely intervention of TCS Mount St. Helens which had been commandeered by Captain Eisen. The Intrepid managed to reach the Sol System and allowed Blair to expose the conspiracy to the Terran government, preventing a war. After the conflict's resolution, the Intrepid was refitted as a training ship for potential pilots with the Terran Confederation, and stationed in the Sol System.
Twelve ships, eight British and four American, have carried the name Intrepid. The first to do so was actually a captured 64-gun third rate French ship in 1747. Renamed after its capture, it remained in service of the Royal Navy until 1765. Five years later, the British built a 64-gun third rate ship and christened it Intrepid. This Intrepid served in the West Indies and North America. During the American Revolution, it was part of the British fleet turned away Battle of the Capes in 1781.
Four additional British ships were named Intrepid over the next century. None really have anything interesting to note save one was used as a blockship during the First World War.
Twenty years later, as tensions rose in Europe, the British laid down an I-class destroyer in 1936 and christened it Intrepid. In a short, but illustrious, career, this ship sank a U-boat (U-45) in October 1939, chased the Bismarck in May 1941, took part in Operation PEDESTAL in August 1942. She was sunk by German aircraft in Leros Harbor on the Aegean Sea on 27 September 1943.
The last British ship to bear the name was a Fearless-class amphibious warfare ship commissioned in 1967. Her career was fairly quiet until the 1982 Falklands War when she had been decommissioned for sale to Argentina. She was put back into commission and was part of the British fleet that was sortied to the islands. The surrender ceremony ending the Falklands War took place on the deck of HMS Intrepid in June 1982.
Next time we'll look at the American ships to bear the name Intrepid!
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