Thursday, October 24, 2013

USS Forest Fire

If you were in the USN during it’s life time you  would recognize that as the nick name awarded the USS Forrestal the huge aircraft carrier built in 1954 and served the USN until 1993.

                (Haze Gray and underway, CVA59)

A long and honorable tour of duty. Due to an electrical malfunction, there was a huge explosion on the flight deck, causing a fire that threatened to destroy the entire ship. But due to the dedication of fire crews and damage control crews steady hands the ship was saved.

But Salvation came with a price, the deaths of 134 and injuries to 300 of her shipmates.  A fire on a ship is a scary thing.  I was on the Independence during one fire and I had the watch.  A very scary thing to be in the bowls of a ship filled with smoke. My job was to ensure the men in my area were out of danger.

Funny how men think. In one compartment men were still trying to watch TV. I still remember the movie they were watching, “Desert Rats”. They did not want to leave. Strange, looking back. I finally remembered my own training, ‘get on the deck and crawl’, I did, you can breath down low, the smoke goes up. I tried to do my duty, and was grateful to breath fresh air once out on the cat walk.

Fortunately the damage was not great, and no injuries. Years later I was an inspector for Ships Intelligence Centers. I was on the Forrestal for two weeks during her refresher training.  The Chaplain was a great guy with very good worship services.

She received very good marks in readiness.  Sometimes readiness comes from some terrible incident in the past.

I am talking about the Forrestal now because at her commissioning, She cost our government 217 million (todays figure 2 billion). This year she sold for ONE PENNY!  The Navy tried to find someone to use her as a museum, but had no takers.


Now let me tell you, if you had bought this SHIP, and anchored her out, you would have some kind of home.  Maybe have a hotel, at her prime she carried 85 planes, fed and housed, about 5,500 men and officers.

I am sitting here imagining a nice Hotel. Boats carrying customers to and Fro. An area on the flight deck for Helicopters of the rich and famous to land…..  Near the tropical trees (planted on deck) and Big Olympic size pool….Oh well they are dreams.

I am sure there are sailors from the Forrestal history saying, “A PENNY? ONE CENT?”

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


No one knows their future, I wonder if our life’s value is decided in our final fate?


1964 Studebaker Truck

Shirl’s 1964 Studebaker truck, I have seen my mama in the back of that truck, we joked about the Beverly Hill Billies.

That is an award for first place on the hood.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What would one do with a ship like that. Strange the sold it at all. You've had some experiences that most of us never will. Fire is always scary no matter where you are. Glad you survived it all. Parts of northern Ohio are seeing snow here. Not us. Thankfully it's a dry but cold day here.

Lucy said...

Jack you should have taken over that ship and done all of those things you talked about. You could do it.

Dar said...

A Penny??? what's wrong here? I wonder what's in her Forrestal now?
I love that cool truck. What happened to her? and how fortunate for Shirl to have loved this beauty...and for Mama to have hitched a ride in the back. Priceless!
Life sure is Good even when it's bad

Dar said...

oops, I meant to ask what's in her 'future' now...the Forrestal, that is.
danged fingers and mindless me


Sounds like a real bargain for a penny. I can visualize your hotel, though.

betty said...

I did hear that it had sold only for a penny from hubby. That is a shame. Lots of history there. I do like your idea about a hotel though.

I'm sure it would be frightful to be aboard a ship with a fire especially on watch!


Chatty Crone said...

It is kind of sad to think of all that history and memories and then it sold for one penny.

Hey that is kind of like life. We probably aren't worth that much money now either!

shirl72 said...

I would love to have the ship
dock it and use it as a home.
Someone would figure how to charge
me rent just sitting there in the water. I could charge for a tour.

It would be panicville for me if
on a ship and have a fire. Glad you
knew what to do...and came out alive.

Louis la Vache said...

John McCain was on the Forrestal when that fire happened.

Great looking Stude Champ pickup!
Shirl, «Louis» wishes you still had all those Studebakers!

It was a great move on Studebaker's part to put the Lark body on the pickup chassis. It instantly gave them a fresh new truck after having the '49 design for all those years - never mind that the Lark body shell dated to '53. It still worked!