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INTREPID formerly the Tripolitan ketch Mastico, was captured by Stephen Decatur during the war with Tripoli and used by him on 16 February 1804 in burning the Philadelphia, which had been captured by the Tripolitans. On the night of 4 September 1804, the vessel, carrying 15,000 pounds of powder and 150 large shells, solid shot, and combustibles, was sailed into the harbor of Tripoli by Lt. Richard Somers, accompanied by two other officers and ten men, where it exploded before getting sufficiently near the enemy gunboats to destroy them. The thirteen Americans were all killed. Also bearing the name was the World War II era aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, currently decommissioned and site of the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in New York City.


Lewis, Charles Lee. The Romantic Decatur. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1937.

Charles LeeLewis/a. r.

See alsoBarbary Wars ; Gunboats ; Navy, United States .

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in·trep·id / inˈtrepid/ • adj. fearless; adventurous (often used for rhetorical or humorous effect): our intrepid reporter. DERIVATIVES: in·tre·pid·i·ty / ˌintrəˈpiditē/ n. in·trep·id·ly adv. in·trep·id·ness n.

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intrepid XVII. — F. intrépide or L. intrepidus, f. IN-2 + trepidus agitated, alarmed.