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What is the thought about McCain's connection with the Forrestal fire?

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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:06 PM
Original message
What is the thought about McCain's connection with the Forrestal fire?
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 fueltank, knocked the M-65 1000 lb bomb off it's 500 lb rated mount, and touched off the explosions and massive fire. The F-4 pilot was reportedly killed in the conflagration, along with 167 of his fellow Forrestal shipmates (including those who died later from wounds suffered). 'Wet starting' was a common practice among young 'hot-dog' pilots. McCain was quickly (they were still counting the Forrestal dead) transferred to the USS Oriskany (the only Forrestal crewman to be immediately transferred).


John McCain And The USS Forrestal Fire

John McCain And The USS Forrestal Fire

USS Forrestal In 1967

132 Dead Sailors, And Countless Wounded

A Small Rocket Hit A Fuel Tank On Another Plane

Where Is The Truth Here?

I have heard five versions of the Forrestal fire, but this one makes sense.

McCain Aviation Career

McCain crashed 5 jets, plus was responsible for the Forrestal fire. Something made the plane behind McCain fired a rocket, which hit McCain's external center fuel tank, and caused a fire. McCain panicked, and dropped two bombs into the fire.

Did He Start The USS Forrestal Fire?

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 plane.

Incompetence Or A Stunt

'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. 'Wet starting' was a common practice among young 'hot-dog' pilots.

Zuni Rockets Were Volatile Design

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 fueltank, knocked the M-65 1000 lb bomb off it's 500 lb rated mount, and touched off the explosions and massive fire.

The Carrier Oriskany

The USS Oriskany came along side to treat the wounded.

Wounded Flown Out

They were transferred to other ships.

McCain Left With The Wounded

When the carrier Oriskany came along side, and McCain was put in a chopper and whisked away. McCain was the only Forrestal crewman to be immediately transferred

The Forrestal Crew

I have a hunch McCain left for his own safety, because the crew wanted blood.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Of all the things we can hit McCain with...
Edited on Tue Apr-22-08 06:15 PM by Cooley Hurd
...the USS Forrestal accident is NOT one of them.:thumbsdown:

Untreated PTSD, on the other hand, IS.:thumbsup:
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Crabby Appleton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are completely correct. nt
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:15 PM
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:21 PM
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:23 PM
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. What have YOU done for MY party, Ms Nebraska?
:eyes:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:28 PM
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:30 PM
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-23-08 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
30. McCain should be given the opportunity to respond to these
questions about his conduct on the Forrestal. He apparently crashed a number of planes while in the Navy. I don't know if all Navy pilots crash that many aircraft. You may be extremely knowledgeable about military matters, but I would like to know whether McCain is overly impulsive, what kind of judgment he exercised while in the Navy.

True, he may have learned from stupid mistakes when he was young. People can change, and the reports I heard about careless or impulsive behavior while he was in the Navy would not raise my concerns were in not for reports of relatively recent signs of overly impulsive behavior. The stories about his marital problems, his temper tantrums in the '90s and the frequency with which he seems to change his mind on policy are additional signs of emotional imbalance and flightiness. I have serious questions about McCain's mental stability.

After all, we are questioning McCain's own behavior, not that of third parties. Obama has been questioned about the statements and opinions of his pastor and the long past conduct of someone who lived in his area, served on a board and apparently attended or hosted a private fundraising party for Obama. If those peripheral matters are fair game, so are McCain's escapades in the Navy. After all, that was his life.

We have paid dearly for the lack of scrutiny of George W. Bush's youth and early adulthood by the press. The child is the father of the man. Bush was a thrill-seeker, rebellious, irresponsible, ungrateful for the tremendous advantages he enjoyed in life. As we discovered too late, he didn't really change much.

So we need to know what kind of young man McCain was. If he was a joker, a risk-taker who caused others to pay for his "fun," we need to know that. If he wasn't he should want us to know that, and he should be able to prove that he wasn't. I believe he graduated close to the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. Contrast that with Hillary and Obama, both of whom excelled at top schools. We deserve to know enough of all aspects of McCain's life to be able to compare him to Obama or Hillary.
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WHEN CRABS ROAR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Do I sense to much anger?
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. It's 'too'. Too much anger.
And no.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. When someone accuses me of being a "McCain lover," you bet yer ass it pisses me off...
Edited on Tue Apr-22-08 06:32 PM by Cooley Hurd
On edit - you were addressing the correct angry party - my bad.:hi:
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. This kind of crap is not needed from Democrats
There's tons of stuff to use in McCain's political life to use. You are no better than the Swiftboaters!
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. I couldn't disagree more.
The myth of John McCain as a true maverick and American hero must be destroyed. If this is a factual story, a lot of families deserve to know why their sons and husbands died that day and McCain needs to leave the stage in disgrace.

The tragedy of the Forrestal is infamous, and if there was a cover-up to protect an admiral's son and current Presidential candidate, I want to know about it. We deserve the truth and EVERYTHING's on the table in a Presidential election.
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I agree, but I've not read anything credible that blames McCain for the Forrestal fire...
...and I've read ALOT on it.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. That story is a piece of crap
Go read the book Sailors to the End or watch the documentary on the Forrestal fire for the truth on this incident.

1 - The plane the Zuni was accidentally fired from was to the rear and across the deck from McCain's plane.

2 - Flames exit the rear of a jet engine - there was no plane behind McCain's - only deck and ocean. His plane and the other plane hadn't been moved out toward the catapaults.

BTW, the real culprit was McNamara, LBJ, and the Pentagon for being so all fired up about bombing North Vietnam there was a shortage of bombs and the previous night old thin-skinned, leaking WWII era bombs that had been stored in open areas of the tropics in the Phillipines were loaded aboard the Forrestal. The first bomb that fell off McCain's plane cooked off in 134 seconds. The toll was 134 killed in the end.

How many times is this idiot story going to be posted on DU and debunked?

Go find some other crap on McCain. This and the song bird POW crap doesn't wash here.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Why the anger? Just asking about the validity of it.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. I'm getting tired of DU'ers posting this story
I'd think DU'ers especially after seeing how Kerry was swiftboated would do a bit of research before posting this kind of untruth!

About 10:50 (local time) on the 29th, while preparations for a second strike were being made near 199′5″N, 10723′5″E,<3> an unguided 5-inch Mk-32 "Zuni" rocket, one of four contained in a LAU-10 underwing rocket pod mounted on a F-4 Phantom II, was accidentally fired due to an electrical power surge during the switch from external power to internal power.

The rocket flew across the flight deck, striking a wing-mounted external fuel tank on an A-4 Skyhawk, either Aircraft No. 405 piloted by LCDR Fred D. White<1> or No. 416 piloted by future Arizona Senator, LCDR John McCain,<4> which were waiting to launch.<3> The warhead's safety mechanism prevented it from detonating, but the impact tore the tank off the wing and ignited the resulting spray of pressurized fuel, causing an instantaneous conflagration. The heat caused additional fuel tanks to overheat, rupture and spew volatile jet fuel onto the deck, feeding the flames. Huge gusts of fire shot into the air along the flight deck, trapping pilots in their aircraft with no recourse but to escape through the flames or be incinerated in their cockpits. LCDR Fred D. White, waiting to launch in Aircraft No. 405, leaped out of his burning Skyhawk in an attempt to escape the inferno, but was killed instantly (along with many firefighters) by the cooking-off of the first bomb. LCDR Herbert A. Hope of VA-46 (and operations officer of CVW-17) jumped out of the cockpit of his Skyhawk between explosions, rolled off the flight deck and into the starboard man-overboard net. Making his way down below to the hangar deck, he gallantly took command of a firefighting team. "The port quarter of the flight deck where I was" he recalled, "is no longer there."<3> With his aircraft surrounded by flames, McCain escaped by climbing out of the cockpit, walking down the nose and jumping off the refueling probe.

The impact of the Zuni on the initially-struck aircraft had also dislodged two of the 1000-lb bombs, which lay in the burning fuel. The fire teams chief, Gerald Farrier (without benefit of protective clothing) immediately drenched the bombs with a PKP fire extinguisher in an effort to knock down the fuel fire long enough to allow the pilots to escape. According to their training, the fire team normally had almost three minutes to reduce the temperature of the bombs to a safe level, but the chief did not realize the bombs were already critically close to cooking-off until one split open. The chief, knowing a lethal explosion was imminent, shouted for the fire team to withdraw but the bomb exploded seconds later.

One minute and 34 seconds after the impact and initial fire, and with the on-deck firefighting teams still actively battling the blaze, a 1000-lb. "Comp. B" bomb cooked off from the heat of the flames and exploded underneath McCain's plane; the force destroyed the aircraft (along with its remaining fuel and armament), blew a smoking crater in the armored flight deck, and sprayed the deck and crew with shrapnel and burning jet fuel. The explosion killed the entire on-deck firefighting contingent, with the exception of 3 men who managed to survive with critical injuries. The two bomb-laden A-4s in line ahead of McCain's were riddled with shrapnel from the explosion and engulfed in the flaming JP-5 jet fuel still spreading over the deck, causing more bombs to detonate and more fuel to spill.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_USS_Forrestal_fire
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Oh, you McCain lover!
;)

I agree - I've read a great deal on the USS Forrestal accident, and you just cannot blame McCain or his A-4 for anything than just being in the way.:thumbsup:
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. My thought is "Easy Target"
Both then and now. So why fling cheap bullshit when you can just kill him with the truth?
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. McCain was a walking cluster fuck while he was in the Navy




... and he got many breaks that most other junior officers would not have gotten because he was third generation Navy. His father and his grandfather were both Admirals with more distinguished careers than he ever had. Losing five aircraft and putting an aircraft carrier out of commission while in combat ops (not to mention several dead and wounded USN personnel) was just a wink and a nod by the brass who reviewed the events.



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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. FIVE AIRCRAFT? He's an ACE!!!
WOOHOO!
:-)
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-23-08 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #20
31. What would be a normal number of planes for a pilot to crash?
What is/was the average?
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-23-08 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. For me it was zero in over 35 years.
As it is for almost every pilot I know.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Deleted message
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Did we? We all thought a guy who didn't go AWOL in 'Nam could be a good CIC...
Get your facts straight. Oh, and welcome to DU, oh-not-long-for-this-site.:hi:
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bbinacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. You make a valid point and
welcome to DU. But, there is more to being a good CIC then having Viet Nam experience.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Again - not to blame for the Forrestal
Edited on Tue Apr-22-08 06:56 PM by RamboLiberal
and that is one of the aircraft he lost - how in the hell is he a bad pilot for losing his aircraft on the deck of a carrier to a missile shot off from another plane?

The 5th aircraft was when he was shot down over Nam. Wow, then every prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton who was a pilot must've been a very bad pilot.

His first aircraft was in training - he lost an engine and landed in Corpus Christi bay. His fault - I don't know.

2nd plane was when he flew in to some power lines in Italy. It happens. Yeah being an admiral's son he could've caught a break.

3rd plane was to an engine flameout - not an uncommon way the military loses jets, especially back in those earlier days of jet engines and fighters/bombers.

Military flying is a helluva lot more dangerous than commercial or private flying. Not that uncommon for military flyers to have lost a plane or two.

The man landed planes on carriers - not an easy task. And they don't tolerate bad pilots for carrier ops.

Whether he got any breaks - till I read his records I reserve judgement and am not going by some keyboard combat pilots who's closest connection to combat flying is video games.

Sorry - this crap won't fly this year. Never works for Dems and with neither of our candidates having ever served in the military - want McCain to win - just put this crap out. Even the truth from Dan Rather got him hung out to dry, not AWOL Bush.
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-23-08 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #24
32. Look, even if McCain didn't cause these incidents, you really
have to ask how in the world one person could be so unlucky? Also, you have to ask whether the facts were doctored up in some of these cases -- to protect the person reporting the events from the wrath of McCain's friends high up in the Navy. McCain was obviously a golden boy. Five planes -- sounds like a huge financial loss to taxpayers to me. Or do all Navy pilots crash five planes -- just by accident of course?
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. I have no horse in this race; but the self-censorship here is pathetic...
Edited on Tue Apr-22-08 07:40 PM by arendt
This is the first time I am hearing about this incident.

Why am I told that I should accept the conventional wisdom on this? McCain, through his father's military connections, was every bit as protected as Bush - in a different manner. Not to say McCain was a coward; but he was insulated from the consequences of his actions (until he made an unscheduled stop in N. Viet Nam).

McCain was, as someone upthread said, "a walking clusterfuck". If the incident is still "debatable" after all this time, why not publicize it? If John Kerry can be character assassinated by liars; why can't we at least raise the issue that McCain was in four plane crashes that had nothing to do with enemy action? Even Napoleon preferred generals who were lucky. McCain either had some very bad luck or he was a fuck up. Either way, if we are going to crucify Obama for saying the word "bitter", we can spend some time on McCain losing millions of dollars of government property.

arendt


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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
27. First I've Heard Of This, And I Served on the Forrestal in the late 80's
Like everyone onboard a ship in the Navy back then (and even today, for all I know), I was required to watch a documentary on the Forrestal fire as training for what NOT to do if a fire breaks out. I don't remember what the film said was the initial cause of the blaze, but I'm pretty sure I'd remember if said it was pilot error. Of course, this was a documentary created BY THE NAVY, so if there WAS any kind of cover-up, any wrong-doing wouldn't have been mentioned. I'm just conspiracy-minded enough to believe in the possibility, but I certainly wouldn't accept this as truth without lots more research.

In any case, as others have said, there are better, PROVEN things to attack McCain with.
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sutz12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Me, too. 1972-3 with VMFA-531
Never heard of that one. We were told it was a defective static meter which allowed a live missile to be activated with improper grounding.

I don't know where the McCain connection came from. :shrug:
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mvccd1000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. The McCain connection comes from him being in the plane the missile hit.
Doesn't that make it his fault? :)

Anyone who's been in the Navy since the Forrestal disaster has watched the footage. Anyone who's seen the Discovery (or History, I can't remember) Channel documentary of the disaster has watched the footage.

A missile or rocket clearly launched from a place across the flight deck and struck McCain's plane. He then had to open his canopy, climb out to the nose of his plane, and jump through the fire to get away. I don't see how you could assign blame to anyone BUT McCain....

:sarcasm:
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