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Old 03-06-2023, 01:10 PM
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Post George Shattuck - 1965 Combat Cruise, USS "Bonny Dick", VA-192

George Shattuck - 1965 Combat Cruise, USS "Bonny Dick", VA-192
By: Skyhawk Association & You

Video link:
Actual video of the that ship (I also served on back then two tours) [Chilling memories!]

1,912 views Dec 4, 2017
Skyhawk Association member, George Shattuck, provided this video, produced from his 8mm
home movies taken as an Attack Pilot with Attack Squadron 192 during a 1965 combat cruise to Vietnam.
Never say never - accidents happen even for the pro's who risk their lives day and
night. Not just the pilots but the whole ships crew are always at times risking their
lives in many way. This video has some happenings - if your skemish don't watch
but never say never the Navy does this type of work 24/7 and at times issues
do arise.
July 28, 1967 - a Rocket causes deadly fire on aircraft carrier USS Forrestal
This was tragic in more ways than one. I was on leave during that fire but my Bud
on the Don Homme Richard CVA31 was witness to this first and several other
escort vessels tried to help fire the fight on deck.

A fire on a United States Navy carrier stationed off the coast of Vietnam kills 134 service members on July 29, 1967.
The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal began with the accidental launch of a rocket.

During the Vietnam War, the USS Forrestal was often stationed off the coast of North Vietnam, conducting combat operations.
On the morning of July 29, the ship was preparing to attack when a rocket from one of its own F-4 Phantom jet fighters was
accidentally launched. The rocket streaked across the deck and hit a parked A-4 Skyhawk jet. The Skyhawk, which was waiting
to take off, was piloted by John McCain, the future senator from Arizona.

Fuel from the Skyhawk spilled out and caught fire. The fire then spread to nearby planes on the ship’s deck and detonated a
1,000-pound bomb, which killed many of the initial firefighters and further spread the fire. A chain reaction of explosions blew
holes in the flight deck and had half the large ship on fire at one point. Many pilots were trapped in their planes as the fire
spread. It took a full day before the fires could be fully contained.

Hundreds of sailors were seriously injured and 134 lost their lives in the devastating fire. Twenty planes were destroyed.
It was the worst loss of a life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II. Temporary repairs were made to the ship in the
Philippines before the Forrestal headed back to Norfolk, Virginia. It was repaired and put back into service the following
April, but never returned to Vietnam.

Note: As we all know - John McCain narrowly escaped the fire and, afterwards, volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany.
Just three months later, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken prisoner. He was not released
until five-and-a-half years later, in 1973.
Closing comment: When off-line [near VN] several severe cases of wounded were
flown to one or more carriers for emergency medical care. Many wounded were saved
by our Navy Doctor's - both on shore - but at sea as well. They brought several
severely wounded and even captured - but the wounded VN were later interrogated
by others later.
We'd off load them from the inland areas to our decks along with our severely
wounded were also offloaded - and taken for immediate surgery.
On the shore - or a ship at sea [Note: shit can happens] at any time. We lost three
or four from our division and later a few more from exposure to A.O. & AvGas.
At times one would be blown over the side - or walk into a prop - or be sucked
into a jet intake. Of course a few wing tip slice's ended up in sick-bay as well.
I was picked up at sea at night from Da Nang by a helo and flown to my new ship
CVA31 then attached to the V4 Flight Aviation Fuels Div. We'd fuel the aircraft and help
load weapons at times - or push aircraft if need be. We also were periodically scheduled
to fuel the Cat Birds that [also called ready birds] which were loaded and on the cats for
immediate launch if the call was made.

When not at duty we all would stand four hour watch's and make check all departments
applicable to our fuel stations and pump rooms. Log books would be signed every four hours
and report of any leakage reported immediately to your Division Officer & the OD for
immediate repairs.
When not flying - but off the VN coast - Pilot's were assigned sit in the aircraft I think for
4 hours shifts and then rotated by others - who would take their place on the aircraft on
deck with engine's running - incase we had any incoming bad guys in route to our ship.
After running for four hours - we'd top them off while running. The Cat Birds would be launched
at any time to run off any unwanted soviet planes that were in the area & prevent them from
flying directly over the carrier's. The Cat Birds were loaded with heat seekers & rockets should
they be needed.

They were always armed and ready to go at a 1-3 min. - should the call be made. They could
launch within a minute from the cats - and intercept the mischievous aircraft from flying
directly over our carriers.
This just a short history of the carrier's at sea and how they stand watch over us 24/7 and
how the ships security is always underway to prevent any issues.

[Now - The Forrestal issues were tragic and difficult to fight - the stories above are a sad one
and normally doesn't happen often or to that degree but now you know that, as say shit can
happen - it was tragic - and many good men were killed or wounded.]
May they All Rest In Peace knowing they are not forgotten! - John McCain narrowly escaped
the fire and, afterwards, volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany. Just three months later,
his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken prisoner. He was not released
until five-and-a-half years later, in 1973. Anchors Away Mate's & a Right Hand Salute as well.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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