For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!
Just wondering if anybody, besides me, made it to both of the fires. Forrestal on July 29, 1967, and Enterprise on January 14, 1969???
Was kind of a bad tour of sea duty. Was wondering if anybody else was there.
Jim Parks AME1 (Ret.)
I was NOT on the Forrestal when the fire occurred, but I believe I was on the first cruise AFTER the ship was repaired and sent to the Med with RVAH-13 in 1969, 1970. I was an AQB-2 and our shop was just below the flight deck probably about cable #3 where all the parked Vigies were burned. Our shop shared the space were the Conflag (fire control/watch) for the aft hanger deck was located. There was always a fire watch looking out the blast-proof windows at the hanger deck manning the controls for the fire suppression system for that part of the ship. I would guess there would have been a bunch of action there when the fire first started and that the area would have been abandon shortly after the fire gained control. The other thing that was on the ship for that 69/70 cruise was a very large brass plaque on the inside of the hanger bay door for the starboard forward hanger bay to flight deck elevator with the names of all who perished in the 1967 fire. I wonder where that plaque is now???
Last I knew, the FORRESTAL Hangar Bay One Plaque listing the 134 men who died in July 1967 is now located in the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.