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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:47 PM

 

The Day John McCain Got Shot Down

John McCain received mixed reviews from fellow pilots when he arrived on the USS Oriskany in 1967, a month before he was shot down and captured. Cal Swanson, commander of fighter squadron VF-162, was enthusiastic. Swanson thought McCain proved he had the right stuff by getting himself assigned to the Oriskany, an aircraft carrier sailing off the coast of North Vietnam in the South China Sea. The Oriskany had seen more combat and suffered heavier casualties than any ship in the Vietnam War. McCain’s own aircraft carrier, the USS Forrestal, had been put out of action by a horrific fire two months earlier.

After the Forrestal fire, McCain was assigned to Saigon as a navy PR aide. He was perfect for the job—handsome, charming, witty. He had met R.W. (Johnny) Apple, a well-known reporter for the New York Times, and Apple had smoothed his way in Saigon by introducing him to journalists and to the U.S. military and civilian command.

John McCain could have served out his tour flacking for the navy and having a lot of fun doing it—dining at Saigon’s French restaurants and hitting the bars full of pretty Vietnamese girls. But McCain wanted to get back into combat. He had completed only five missions before the Forrestal fire. Cal Swanson thought McCain’s attitude reflected well on his courage and patriotism.

McCain would not be joining VF-162, Swanson’s fighter squadron, however. McCain was not a fighter pilot, although in later years the media would perpetuate the mistaken belief that he was. Trained as an A-4 bomber pilot, he was assigned to attack squadron VA-163, which had an illustrious history. James Stockdale, a legend in the war, had commanded the squadron—and the air wing—before he was shot down and captured.

Still, a lot of pilots on the ship were not as enthusiastic as Swanson about McCain. They were not really convinced that he had the right stuff. Naval aviation was a small, tightly-knit community made up of highly-trained men with large egos and a fiercely competitive nature. Even if they did not know each other personally, everybody was linked together via the gossip hotline, and McCain’s reputation had preceded him to the Oriskany.

Some of the negativity was not his fault. His family background was bound to stir skepticism and jealousy. McCain’s grandfather had been a highly-decorated admiral in World War Two. His father, John S. McCain II, also an admiral, would soon become commander-in-chief of all forces in the Pacific, making him the highest ranking officer in the Vietnam War.

In military terms, John Sidney McCain III was born with two silver spoons in his mouth. It was something he evidently considered later in life to be both a blessing and a curse.

Nevertheless, McCain had acted as though he was determined to show all those who were inclined to think the worst of him that they were right. As he wrote in his book Faith of My Fathers, “I did not enjoy the reputation of a serious pilot or an up-and-coming junior officer.”

His record as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy was dismal. He piled up demerits left and right for breaking the rules, and barely passed his schoolwork, graduating 894th in a class of 899.


Full Story here:
http://www.pythiapress.com/wartales/McCain-Shootdown.htm

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Day John McCain Got Shot Down (Original post)
johnlennon_shallrise Nov 2012 OP
russspeakeasy Nov 2012 #1
dballance Nov 2012 #2
TexasProgresive Nov 2012 #3
dougreese Nov 2012 #9
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #10
left on green only Nov 2012 #4
ksoze Nov 2012 #5
iandhr Nov 2012 #6
cliffordu Nov 2012 #7
Sunlei Nov 2012 #8

Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:27 PM

1. He was/is a prick, liar and attempted traitor.

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:03 PM

2. Why did he have to lie about the SAM vs AA Fire?

Why did it matter which brought him down? Is it sexier to be shot down by a missile? Maybe it is to people of his generation who were there.

It seems the only reason he was still flying in the first place was because of his Grand Father and Father. Yet another privileged brat. Perhaps we should have Benghazi-like hearings about you John. You were hot-dogging by flying under power lines after already crashing two airplanes. Only someone with the surety they'd never be called to account would be so bold.

As for not following procedure and rolling to avoid the missile you were totally, totally out of line. You should have aborted the mission if that was necessary so you could bring yourself and your plane back another day. But no, you wanted to drop your bombs so you could mark up another mission on your record. Just like all little boys trying to impress or be their daddy you made the wrong decision. You should have been court marshaled the moment you got back to US command.

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:11 PM

3. Some think McCain was responsible for the burning of the USS Forrestal.

He was exonerated but what would you expect with his family's clout in the navy?

Here's one believer's take ( I know that this is an iffy site but the facts are that McCain wet started his A-4 which began a chain reaction ending in a lot of death. And it is also a fact that he was the first and only able bodied person evacuated off the Forrestal):
McCain crashed 5 jets, plus he was responsible for the horrible USS Forrestal fire In 1967.

Surviving crewmen and those who investigated the Forrestal fire case reported that McCain deliberately 'wet-started' his A-4E Skyhawk to shake up the guy in the F-4 Phantom behind his A-4.

'Wet-starts', done either deliberately (the starter motor switch allowed kerosene to pool in the engine and give a wet start) or accidentally, shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft. In McCain's case, the 'wet-start' 'cooked off' and launched the M34 Zuni rocket from the rear F-4 that punctured the Skyhawk's fuel tank, knocked the M-65 1000 lb. bomb off it's 500 lb. rated mount, and touched off the explosions and massive fire.

....McCain was quickly (they were still counting the Forrestal dead) transferred to the USS Oriskany (the only Forrestal crewman to be immediately transferred).

http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?noframes;read=119707

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:31 PM

9. Of Course He was Exonerated . . .

. . .And it had nothing to do with his family connections. The entire incident is on film, and McCain had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Doug Reese

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Response to dougreese (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:34 PM

10. Saw the film too....

looks like he was a victim also....



Edit to add video..

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:19 PM

4. Of course upon his return from Vietnam, McCain missed his real opportunity.....

....to do something more meaningful with his life.

A lot of highly trained pilots came back from that war with a lot of skill for which they could not find employment for. They were very good at flying real low....like right next to trees. But there wasn't much call for it at United Airlines. So they invented their own little cottage industry. The Tree Top Flyer. As told and composed by Stephen Stills, and performed here by David Jacob Strain.



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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:42 PM

5. Not a fan of perceived swift boating of any vet, even republican

Don't like McCain's politics and especially his recent behavior, but think the picking over the past of way hero's is off putting. Did not like it with Kerry and have not read the McCain piece fully, but just don't feel right even being perceived of judging a political foe who spent that kind of time as a POW.

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:28 PM

6. The GOP tried to swift boat him in 2008 questioning his service.

There is a reason he can't raise his arms fully over his head HE WAS TORTURED.

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:40 PM

7. Kinda lame.

Is this the second or third OP you've posted about McCain?

Just asking - you seem a little obsessed.

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Response to johnlennon_shallrise (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 06:48 PM

8. yes,McCain is just a distraction from more important current Gov. business




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