Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the USS Forrestal Fire (7/29/1967) - Oct 14th, 2003
Naval Aviation News ^ | October 1967 | Senior Chief Journalist John D. Burlage

Posted on 10/14/2003 12:00:21 AM PDT by SAMWolf


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

Our Mission:

The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.

The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.

If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.

We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

To read previous Foxhole threads or
to add the Foxhole to your sidebar,
click on the books below.

The Forrestal Fire

The day was a typical one for the 5,000 officers and enlisted men of the attack aircraft carrier USS Forrestal as the huge, 80,000-ton ship cut a wake through the calm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It was as typical as it could be, that is, for men at war. And the men of Forrestal were definitely in combat. For the first time since their ship was commissioned in October 1955, they had been launching aircraft from her flight deck on strikes against an enemy whose coastline was only a few miles over the horizon.

The ship in which these men served was the first U.S. carrier built from the keel up with the angled deck that enables aircraft to be launched and recovered simultaneously. For four days, the planes of Attack Carrier Air Wing 17 had been launched on, and recovered from, about 150 missions against targets in North Vietnam. On the ship's four-acre flight deck, her crewmen went about the business at hand, the business of accomplishing the second launch of the fifth day in combat.

Overhead, the hot, tropical sun beat down from a clear sky.

It was just about 10:50 a.m. (local time), July 29, 1967.

The launch that was scheduled for a short time later was never made.

This is the story of the brave men of USS Forrestal.

It is not a story about just a few individuals. Or ten. Or twenty. Or fifty. It is the story of hundreds of officers and enlisted men who were molded by disaster into a single cohesive force determined to accomplish one mission: Save their ship and their shipmates.

It is the story of the acts of heroism they performed-acts so commonplace, accomplished with such startling regularity, that it will be impossible to chronicle all of them. It will be impossible for a very simple reason:All of them will never be known.

This is what is believed to be the last photo taken of the Forrestal on the morning of July 29, 1967

Lt. Cmdr. Robert "Bo" Browning one of the pilots due for launch with many others, he was seated in the cockpit of his fueled and armed Skyhawk; the plane was spotted way aft, to port. Lt. Cmdr. John S. McCain III said later he heard a "whooshy" sound then a "low-order explosion" in front of him. Suddenly, two A-4s ahead of his plane were engulfed in flaming jet fuel — JP-5 — spewed from them. A bomb dropped to the deck and rolled about six feet and came to rest in a pool of burning fuel.

The awful conflagration, which was to leave 132 Forrestal crewmen dead, 62 more injured and two missing and presumed dead, had begun.

As the searing flames, fed by the spreading JP-5, spread aft and began to eat at the aircraft spotted around the deck, Lt. Cmdr. Browning escaped from his plane. He ducked under the tails of two Skyhawks spotted alongside his and ran up the flight deck toward the island area. Twice, explosions knocked him off balance. But he made it.

The fire soon enveloped all the aircraft in its wake. It spread to the fantail, to decks below. Bombs and ammunition were touched off in the midst of early fire-fighting efforts. Black, acrid smoke boiled into the sky. Other ships on Yankee Station sped to the aid of the stricken carrier.

As the fuel-fed fire licked at planes, ammunition and bombs, the heroes of Forrestal rushed to avert a total disaster; some died in the process. A chief petty officer, armed only with a small fire extinguisher, ran toward the bomb that had dropped to the flight deck. He was killed when it exploded as were members of fire-fighting teams trying to wrestle fire hoses into position. Shrapnel from the explosion was thrown a reported 400 feet.

"I saw a dozen people running . . into the fire, just before the bomb cooked off," Lt. Cmdr. Browning was quoted as saying later. He called very one of them "a hero of the first magnitude."

That was only the beginning.

This photo shows one of the bomb explosions at the rear of the ship, with smoke billowing.

"There was a horrendous explosion that shook 'Angel Two Zero.' It seemed as if the whole stern of the Forrestal had erupted. Suddenly there were rafts, fuel tanks, oxygen tanks, trop tanks and debris of every description floating in the water below."

The description is from Lt. David Clement, pilot of a rescue helicopter from the carrier USS Oriskany (CV 34), who had been asked to fly plane guard for Forrestal after completing a flight to that carrier. Soon, he and his crew — Ens. Leonard M. Eiland, Jr., Aviation Machinist's Mate (Jets) 3rd Class James D. James, Jr., and Airman Albert E. Barrows — would be on a far different mission. They would be rescuing Forrestal crewmen who jumped, fell or were knocked from the carrier — no less than five times within an hour. Later, they would be shuttling medical supplies to the stricken ship. The continuing explosions on Forrestal's flight deck would rock their helo, leaving the ship's aft end, in Lt. Clement's words, "a mass of twisted steel, with holes in the flight deck, a vacant space where there had been many aircraft and a towering column of black and gray smoke and flames."

As the Forrestal burned, a huge black cloud rolled off the Tonkin Gulf. Note how small the carrier looks in relation to the smoke plume. (It is just barely visible on the extreme lower left.)

At 11:47 A.M., Forrestal reported the flight deck fire was under control.

At 12:15, the ship sent word that the flight deck fire was out.

At 12:45, stubborn fires remained on the 01 and 02 levels and in hangar bay three. All available COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) aircraft were being sent to the carriers Oriskany and USS Bon Homme Richard (CV 31) to be swiftly rigged with litters medical evacuation.

KEYWORDS: forrestalfire; freeperfoxhole; michaeldobbs; usnavy; ussforrestal; veterans; vietnam
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-131 next last
There will be stories told of the brave men of Forrestal for years to come. These are only a few examples:

1 posted on 10/14/2003 12:00:21 AM PDT by SAMWolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it; PhilDragoo; Johnny Gage; Victoria Delsoul; Darksheare; Valin; bentfeather; radu; ..
Fed by clothing, bedding and other flammables, the fires in the levels between the flight and hangar decks burned with an awesome fury. Men trying to locate shipmates trapped in compartments were driven out by flames and smoke. The after section of the hangar deck was so thick with smoke that it was impossible to see.

As the crew realized that some of the bombs were exploding in the fire very quickly, they decided to get rid of them in any way possible. The photo at left shows crew members rolling a bomb over to the deck edge so they could throw it over.

These are excerpts from an account given by Ens. Robert R. Schmidt, a 24-year-old engineering officer:

"... My work really wasn't the exciting kind of thing; just keeping the fire from spreading into any other areas. My people were doing all kinds of dirty work, moving into areas where the water was so hot it was almost boiling. OBA (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus) windows started fogging up and the people could hardly see anything. Yet, these kids went into the deeper areas of the ship, endangering their own lives. . . ."

At 1:48 p.m., Forrestal reported that the fires in the 01, 02 and 03 levels still burned, but that all the ship's machinery and steering equipment were operational.

Flight deck personnel aboard USS Oriskany (CVA-34) disembark a wounded Forrestal sailor from a SH-3A Sea King helicopter. Oriskany, herself the victim of a fire the previous year, provided medical support during the Forrestal fire.

At 2:12 p.m., the after radio compartment was evacuated because of dense smoke and water. "All fires out on 01 level, port side," the ship reported.

At 2:47 p.m. the compartment fires continued but progress was being made. Forrestal was steaming toward a rendezvous with the hospital ship USS Repose (AH 16).

At 3 p.m., the commander of Task Force 77 announced he was sending Forrestal to Subic Bay, Philippines, after the carrier rendezvoused with Repose.

At 5:05, a muster of Forrestal crewmen — both in the carrier and aboard other ships — was begun. Fires were still burning in the ship's carpenter shop and on the main deck.

At 6:44 p.m., the fires were still burning.

At 8:30 p.m., the fires in the 02 and 03 levels were contained, but the area was still too hot to enter. Holes were cut in the flight deck to provide access to compartments below.

Ens. Schmidt and his damage control team continued to fight their way into burning compartments; his work later that afternoon was as an investigator for the damage control assistant. There were times he had to enter spaces that were virtually inaccessible. "I asked for volunteers," he recalled, "and I immediately had two or three who followed me back into the guts of the fire. Several times, people would come up to me and say, 'What can I do? How can I help?' ... At first, I couldn't find work for all the people who wanted to help. I can't give enough praise to the sailors I supervised. They fought the fire and did all the dirty jobs ... These kids worked all night, 24-28 hours, containing the fire. . . . I've nothing but praise for the American sailor."

At 8:33 p.m., Forrestal reported that fires on the 02 level were under control but that fire fighting was greatly hampered because of smoke and heat.

At 8: 54, only the 02 level on the port side was still burning. Medical evacuation to Repose was in progress.

At 12:20 a.m., July 30, all the fires were out. Forrestal crewmembers continued to clear smoke and cool hot steel on the 02 and 03 levels.

The tragedy of the hours that had passed since the fire started began to penetrate into the minds and bodies of the men aboard the carrier. The adrenalin that had pumped through them began to seep away. They were tired but they could not sleep; they walked restlessly about the ship, lending a hand wherever they could.

The fire destroyed millions of dollars worth of planes and other equipment. The flight deck and much of the rest of the ship was in ruins after the fire.

As time passed, volunteers were still requested and swarms of men — men who had fought the fire since 11 a.m. and who were dead tired and sick from smoke and the sights they'd seen — forgot their fatigue and their sickness and raced through passageways to man the hoses again.

Lt. j.g. Frank Guinan sat on the deck next to his room, too tired to get up and go inside. "It seems so unreal," he said, and he added: "Nobody had better say to me that American youth [is] lazy. I saw men working today who were not only injured but thoroughly exhausted and they had to be carried away. They were trying so hard to help but they were actually becoming a burden."

It was time, now, to begin to assess the damage. There were four gaping holes in the flight deck where bombs exploded, pushing armored steel down and under — much like an old-fashioned hole in a beer can.

Stock was taken of the aircraft. It leveled off to a report of 26 either destroyed or jettisoned and 31 more damaged to some extent.

Aerial view of the flight deck on fire

And it was time to arrive at a final toll of dead and injured. For hours, the muster of Forrestal men continued; it was made terrifically difficult because so many of the crew were scattered in other ships.

And it was time to recall how those ships had come to the aid of the stricken Forrestal. From Oriskany and Bon Homme Richard had come medical teams and fire-fighting equipment. The skippers of the destroyers USS Rupertus (DD 851) and USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836) , in what Rear Adm. Harvey P. Lanham, ComCarDiv Two, called an act of "magnificent seamanship," had maneuvered their ships to within 20 feet of the carrier so fire hoses could be effectively used.

But mostly it was a time to think of shipmates, those who had fought the flames and died because of their heroism. They were men like Data Systems Technician 2nd Class Stephen L. Hock, who was one of the first to reach the 03 level and who fought the fire and aided survivors until he was driven back by fire and smoke, then donned an OBA and returned again to the blazing area to fight the flames and help the injured. He kept up the pace for hours, then was overcome in a flooded and gas-filled compartment. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

A ruined 5 inch gun is hoisted out of the ship during repairs. The guns were sent to the scrappers and eventually were replaced by missiles.

They were men like Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Joseph C. Shartzer who returned to the inferno on the 03 level from which he had narrowly escaped and sacrificed his life as he aided in rescuing trapped men and fighting the fire.

They were men like Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Hydaulics) 3rd Class Robert A. Rhuda, who could have escaped from the smoke-filled compartments where he was on duty as a police petty officer, but who remained behind to awaken and direct or physically assist shipmates out of the area — returning time and time again until the explosion of a bomb destroyed the compartment in which he was last seen.

They were men like that.

Eighteen of the crew were eventually buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
They are buried beneath the memorial that appears above

As Forrestal steamed for Subic Bay, a memorial service was held in Hangar Bay One for the crewmen who had given their lives for their ship and their country. More than 2,000 Forrestal men listened to and prayed with Chaplains Geoffrey Gaughan and David Cooper as they paid tribute to their lost shipmates. The three volleys fired by 13 U.S. Marines were followed by the benediction, which closed the service after 15 minutes of prayer and hymns.

The heroes and the brave men aboard Forrestal were uniformly praised by those under whom they served. Vice Adm. C. T. Booth, ComNavAirLant, paid tribute to their courage, as did Adm. Roy L. Johnson, CinCPacFlt, Adm. E. P. Holmes, CinCLantFlt, and Paul Nitze, Deputy Secretary of Defense, who also spoke for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara.

And there was this personal message to Capt. Beling: "I want you and the men of your command to know that the thoughts of the American people are with you at this tragic time. We all feel a great sense of personal loss. The devotion to duty and courage of your men have not gone unnoticed. The sacrifices they have made shall not be in vain." It was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson.

Capt. Beling also commented on his crew: "I am most proud of the way the crew reacted. The thing that is foremost in my mind is the concrete demonstration that I have seen of the worth of American youth. I saw many examples of heroism. I saw, and subsequently heard of, not one single example of cowardice."

Forrestal men were men like that.

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 10/14/2003 12:00:55 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
List of those who lost their lives onboard USS Forrestal - 29 July 1967 (As listed on panel 24E at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (the Wall) in Washington, D.C.)

Marvin J. Adkins * Everettt A. Allen * Gary J. Ardeneaux

Tony A. Barnett * Dennis M. Barton * Robert L. Bennett

Mark R. Bishop * James L. Blaskis * William V. Brindle

Bobby J. Brown * Jerry D. Byars * Marvin F. Campeau

Jack M. Carlan * Daniel G. Cavazos * Ray A. Chatelain

Richard D. Clendenen * William D. Collins * Robert B. Cotton

James L. Crenshaw * Mario C. Crugnola, Jr. * Robert J. Davies

Thomas J. Dawson, Jr. * Jerold V. Despard * Edward R. Dorsey

Joseph G. Dugas * Paul A. Dupere * John S. Duplaga

Walter T. Eads * James A. Earick * John T. Edwards

Gerald W. Farrier * Kenneth L. Fasth * John J. Fiedler

Russell L. Fike * Harold Fontenot * Johnnie L. Frazier

Gerald G. Fredrickson * Herbert A. Frye * Ramon Garza

Robert E. Geller * Richard H. Gibson * Laurence J. Gilbert

William T. Gilroy * Larry E. Grace * Russell A. Grazier

Charles C. Gregory * William C. Hartgen * Robert L. Hasz

Richard A. Hatcher * William K. Hinckley * Stephen L. Hock

Larry D. Holley * Calvin D. Howison * Philip L. Hudson

Julius B. Hughes * Donald N. Hugo * Ralph W. Jacobs

Donald W. Jedlicka * William B. Justin * Thomas M. Kane

Charles D. Kieser * Joseph Kosik III * Edward L. La Barr

Wade A. Lannom, Jr. * William Lee * Robert C. Leonberg

John T. Lilla * Arnold E. H. Lohse * Charles E. Long

William E. Lowe * Kenneth W. Lozier * James S. MacVickar, Jr.

Ralph E. Manning * Earle E. McAuliffe, Jr. * Brian D. McConahay

George C. McDonald * Frank C. McNelis, Jr. * William V. McQuaide

Allan R. Metz * George D. Miller * Edward A. Mindyas

Hubert H. Morgan, Jr. * Leroy Moser * James E. Neumeyer

Gary E. Newby * James E. Newkirk * Ronald R. Ogring

Thomas D. Ott II * Wayne H. Ott * Richard L. Owens

Richard T. Pinta * Raymond N. Plesh * John C. Pody

Ernest E. Polston * Douglas A. Post * Robert M. Priviech

John M. Pruner * Robert A. Rhuda * Charles R. Rich

Jerry P. Rodgers * Dale R. Ross * James M. Runnels

Harvey D. Scofield * Joseph C. Shartzer * William J. Shields

Richard M. Sietz * David W. Smith * Richard T. Smith

John F. Snow * John C. Spiess * Nelson E. Spitler

Johnny W. Spivey * Gerry L. Stark * Walter E. Steele

Wendell W. Stewart * Robert A. Stickler * Kenneth D. Strain

Robert H. Swain * Delton E. Terry * Norman A. Thomas

William F. Thompson * Richard J. Vallone * Robert J. Velasquez

Juan A. Velez * George E. Wall * Harold D. Watkins

Gregory L. Webb * Gerald A. Wehde * Judson A. Wells, Jr.

Richard L. Wescott * Edward J. Wessells * Fred D. White

Kerry D. Wisdom * Robert L. Zwerlein

Not to be forgotten...

3 posted on 10/14/2003 12:01:24 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: All

God Bless America!
God Bless This Man!

Keep Our Republic Free

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at

It is in the breaking news sidebar!

4 posted on 10/14/2003 12:01:44 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf

5 posted on 10/14/2003 12:01:46 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf
Veterans Day 2003 - Attention Northern California
PDN News Desk ^ | Monday, October 13, 2003 | Patriot Defenders Network

Posted on 10/13/2003 11:56 AM PDT by comwatch

Veterans Day is right around the corner. 

It's an opportunity for us to support our troops, our country and show appreciations for our local veterans. It's another way to counter the Anti-Iraq campaign propaganda.  Would you like to help?  Are there any VetsCoR folks on the Left Coast?  We have a school project that everyone can help with too, no matter where you live.  See the end of this post for details.

Three Northern California events have been scheduled and we need help with each:
Friday evening - November 7th Veterans in School (An Evening of Living History, A Veterans Day Ice Cream Social)
Saturday - 11 a.m. November 8th: Veterans Day Parade (PDN & Friends parade entry)
Sunday November 9, 2003 Noon to 3:00 PM Support our Troops & Veterans Rally prior to Youth Symphony Concert
Each of the WebPages above have a link to e-mail a confirmation of your interest and desire to volunteer.  These are family events and everyone is welcome to pitch in.  We'd really appreciate hearing from you directly via each these specific links.  This way, we can keep you posted on only those projects you want to participate in.

Veterans in School - How you can help if you're not close enough to participate directly. If you are a veteran, share a story of your own with the children.  If you have family serving in the military, tell them why it's important that we all support them. Everyone can thank them for having this special event.  Keep in mind that there are elementary school kids. 

Help us by passing this message around to other Veteran's groups.  I have introduced VetsCoR and FreeperFoxhole to a number of school teachers.  These living history lessons go a long way to inspire patriotism in our youth.  Lets see if we can rally America and give these youngsters enough to read for may weeks and months ahead.  If we can, we'll help spread it to other schools as well.

  Click this link to send an email to the students.

6 posted on 10/14/2003 12:02:06 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; radu; Darksheare; All
Good morning everyone!

7 posted on 10/14/2003 12:09:42 AM PDT by Soaring Feather (Poet's Rock the Boat!! WHOO HOO, Ms Feather is home!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: bentfeather
Good Morning Feather. Glad to see you're home.
8 posted on 10/14/2003 12:16:22 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Lost interest? It's so bad I've lost apathy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf; JulieRNR21; Vets_Husband_and_Wife; Cinnamon Girl; Alamo-Girl; Bigg Red; jwalsh07; ...
God Rest and Keep you in His loving care, Shipmates!

Dear Lord, watch over our Brothers and Sisters who remain in harms way, where ever they are around the globe. Grant them Thy blessing, that they be protected from harm, and may they be safely, and swiftly, returned to their loved ones. AMEN

Thanks again, Sam, for all the hard work you and Snippy do to post these threads!

Click on the imageCMHonor to visit the tribute page

"The Era of Osama lasted about an hour, from the time the first plane hit the tower to the moment the General Militia of Flight 93 reported for duty."

9 posted on 10/14/2003 12:25:09 AM PDT by Neil E. Wright (An oath is FOREVER)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Matthew Paul; mark502inf; Skylight; The Mayor; Prof Engineer; PsyOp; Samwise; comitatus; ...
.......FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!

.......Good Tuesday Morning Everyone!

If you would like added to our ping list let us know.
10 posted on 10/14/2003 2:22:32 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: bentfeather
Beautiful Graphic feather. Good morning.
11 posted on 10/14/2003 2:23:29 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Howdy Snippy, you had your coffee yet??

I did at 3:00am and now I can't sleep!!! LOL
12 posted on 10/14/2003 2:29:27 AM PDT by Soaring Feather (Poets' Rock the Boat!! WHOO HOO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: bentfeather
No coffee yet, Foxhole ping list comes first. I'm going to get a cup now though. Glad to have you home.
13 posted on 10/14/2003 2:33:25 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Thanks snippy, glad to be home.
14 posted on 10/14/2003 2:35:42 AM PDT by Soaring Feather (Poets' Rock the Boat!! WHOO HOO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Good Morning Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole. How's it going?
15 posted on 10/14/2003 3:01:54 AM PDT by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: E.G.C.
Good morning EGC. It's the start of a shortened work week for me, still seems like a Monday!
16 posted on 10/14/2003 3:17:18 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf
I saw the movie "Trial by Fire" in boot camp. I scared the hell out of me. I thought about it everytime I went on the flight deck. This year I read the book "Sailors to the End." They were truly Sailors to the End. Heros every one.
17 posted on 10/14/2003 3:17:52 AM PDT by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf

Today's classic warship, USS Wisconsin (BB-9)

Illinois class battleship
displacement. 11,564
length. 373'10"
beam. 72'2.5"
draft. 28'8.1"
speed. 16 k.
complement. 531
armament. 4 13", 14 6", 16 6-pdrs., 6 1-pdrs., 4 .30-cal. mg.

The USS Wisconsin (Battleship No. 9) was laid down on 9 February 1897 at San Francisco, Calif., by the Union Iron Works; launched on 26 November 1898; sponsored by Miss Elizabeth Stephenson, the daughter of Senator Isaac Stephenson of Marinette, Wis., and commissioned on 4 February 1901, Capt. George C. Reiter in command.

She mainly operated along the western coasts of North and Central America during the next two years, often serving as flagship of the Pacific Squadron. She also cruised to the South Pacific in late 1901 and to Chile early in 1902. Between June 1903 and September 1906 Wisconsin was stationed in the Far East as Asiatic Fleet flagship. She was out of commission at the Puget Sound Navy Yard from November 1906 until April 1908, and in July 1908 joined the "Great White Fleet" battleships that were then preparing for the trans-Pacific stage of their cruise around the World. Participating in the remainder of this epic voyage, Wisconsin visited New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, China, Ceylon, then crossed the Indian Ocean, transited the Suez Canal, and passed through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic before steaming into Hampton Roads, Virginia, in February 1909.

Over the next few months, Wisconsin underwent modernization work that greatly changed her appearance. Emerging from the shipyard with a new "basket" foremast, grey paint and many other alterations, she operated along the U.S. East Coast and in the Caribbean from mid-1909 to the spring of 1910, then went into reserve. Fitted with a second "basket" mast, she emerged briefly from reserve in 1912, and in 1915 joined the Naval Academy Training Squadron. In the middle of that year, the battleship passed through the Panama Canal on a Midshipmen's training cruise, thus returning to the Pacific for the first time in nearly seven years.

However, Wisconsin's remaining career was primarily spent in the Atlantic. Her Naval Academy tour ended when the United States entered World War I in April 1917. During that conflict she was employed to train the huge numbers of new Sailors needed to man the greatly enlarged wartime Navy. Wisconsin generally operated in the Chesapeake Bay for this purpose, but made occasional trips along the East Coast. With the War at an end, in early 1919 she participated in Atlantic Fleet exercises off Cuba and, in mid-year, carried Naval Academy midshipmen on a Caribbean cruise. Decommissioned in May 1920, a few weeks later Wisconsin was given the hull number BB-9, but had no further active service. She was sold for scrapping in January 1922.

18 posted on 10/14/2003 3:20:21 AM PDT by aomagrat (IYAOYAS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf
Thank you SAM for today's thread on the USS FORRESTAL.

"I've nothing but praise for the American sailor."

"Nobody had better say to me that American youth [is] lazy. I saw men working today who were not only injured but thoroughly exhausted and they had to be carried away."

"USS George K. MacKenzie (DD 836) , in what Rear Adm. Harvey P. Lanham, ComCarDiv Two, called an act of "magnificent seamanship," had maneuvered their ships to within 20 feet of the carrier so fire hoses could be effectively used."

"I am most proud of the way the crew reacted. The thing that is foremost in my mind is the concrete demonstration that I have seen of the worth of American youth. I saw many examples of heroism. I saw, and subsequently heard of, not one single example of cowardice."

SAM, imo, after having met the young men of the USS TARAWA, I have no doubt that this is how sailors would respond no matter the ship or the time and place. They showed a bond between them that I can only guess happens not only with Sailors but also with Soldiers and Marines and any of our Armed Forces in harms way and this is why all those serving are hero's in my eyes.

Heartbreaking story SAM, I thought of "our" sailors while I read this and it makes it even more touching and sad.

May God Bless the lost and the living of the FORRESTAL.

19 posted on 10/14/2003 3:56:45 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: snippy_about_it
Run the straight race through God's good Grace,
Lift up your eyes and seek His face; Life with it's way before us lies, Christ is the path and Christ is the prize.
20 posted on 10/14/2003 4:17:07 AM PDT by The Mayor (I asked God for a friend, He gave me all of YOU...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-131 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson