The USS Forest Fire

The USS Forrestal (CV-59) will forever be known as “The Forest Fire” because of events on 29 July 1967.

A drawing of the stern of Forrestal showing the spotting of aircraft at the time. Likely source of the Zuni was F-4 No. 110. White’s and McCain’s aircraft (A-4s No. 405 and 416, respectively) are in the right-hand circle.


PO2 Marvin J Adkins, VF-11 SN Everett A Allen, CVA-59 PO3 Gary J Ardeneaux, VF-11
PO1 Toney A Barnett, VF-74 LT Dennis M Barton, VA-46 PO2 Robert L Bennett, VF-11
PO2 Mark R Bishop, VF-11, SN James L Blaskis, CVA-59, AA William V Brindle, VF-74
PO3 Bobby J Brown, VF-11, PO1 Jerry D Byars, VF-11, PO3 Francis Campeau, VF-11
PO3 Jack M Carlan, VF-74 , AN Daniel G Cavazos, VF-74, SN Ray A Chatelain, CVA-59 *
AN Richard D Clendenen, VF-11, SN William D Collins, VF-11 , AN Robert B Cotten, VF-11
PO2 James L Crenshaw, VF-74  PO2 Mario C Crugnola, VF-74 AN Robert J Davies, VF-74
PO2 Thomas J Dawson, VA-65, PO3 Jerold V Despard, VF-11 , PO3 Edward R Dorsey, HS-2
PO3 Joseph G Dugas, VF-11, PO3 Paul A Dupere, VF-74, SN John S Duplaga, VF-11
SN Kenneth Dyke, CVA-59, PO1 Walter T Eads, VF-74, PO2 James A Earick, VA-106
PO2 John T Edwards, VF-11, CPO Gerald W Farrier, CVA-59, FN Kenneth L Fasth, CVA-59
PO1 John J Fiedler, VF-74, AN Russell L Fike, VF-74, PO1 Harold Fontenot, VA-106
AN Johnnie L Frazier, HS-2 , AN Gerald G Fredrickson, CVA-59, PO1 Herbert A Frye, VF-74
AN Ramon Garza, VF-74, LT Robert E Geller, VA-65, PO3 Richard H Gibson, CVA-59
AN Lawrence J Gilbert, VF-74 , PO3 William T Gilroy, VF-11,PO3 Larry E Grace, VF-74
PO3 Russell A Grazier, VF-74,PO3 Charles C Gregory, VF-74,SN William C Hartgen, CVA-59
AN Robert L Hasz, CVA-59,AN Richard A Hatcher, VA-46,AN William K Hinckley, VF-11
PO2 Stephen L Hock, CVA-59,PO3 Larry D Holley, VF-11 ,PO2 Calvin D Howison, VF-11
AA Philip L Hudson, CVA-59 * AO3 Julius B Hughes, VF-11,WO Donald N Hugo, CVA-59
AN Ralph W Jacobs, VF-74,PO3 Donald W Jedlicka, VF-11,AN William B Justin, CVA-59
AN Thomas M Kane, VF-74,AN Charles D Kieser, VF-74,AN Joseph Kosik, VF-11
PO3 Edward L La Barr, VF-11,SN Wade A Lannom, VF-11,AN William Lee, CVA-59
PO2 Robert C Leonberg, CVA-59 ,AN John T Lilla, VF-11, PO3 Arnold E Lohse, VF-11
AN Charles E Long, VF-11,PO2 William E Lowe, VF-11 ,PO3 Kenneth W Lozier, VF-11
PO3 James S Mac Vickar, VF-74 ,AN Ralph E Manning, CVA-59,PO2 Earle E Mc Auliffe, VF-74
AN Brian D Mc Conahay, VF-74,PO1 George C Mc Donald, VF-74 ,PO2 Frank C Mc Nelis, VF-11
PO3 William V Mc Quade, VF-11,AN Alan R Metz, VA-106,AN George D Miller, VF-74
AN Edward A Mindyas, VF-74,PO3 Hubert H Morgan, VF-11,PO3 Leroy Moser, VF-11
AN James E Neumeyer, VF-74,PO3 Gary E Newby, VF-11,AA James E Newkirk, VF-11
FN Ronald R Ogrinc, CVA-59,AN Thomas D Ott, VA-46 ,AN Wayne H Ott, VF-74
CPO Richard L Owens, VA-46,PO3 Richard T Pinta, VF-11,PO2 Raymond N Plesh, VA-106
AN John C Pody, VA-46,PO2 Ernest E Polston, VF-11 ,AN Douglas A Postt, VF-74
PO3 Robert M Priviech, VF-11,PO3 John M Pruner, VF-11,PO3 Robert A Rhuda, VF-74
AN Charles R Rich, VA-106,PO3 Jerry P Rodgers, VF-11,PO2 Dale R Ross, VF-11
AN James M Runnels, VF-11,AN Harvey D Scofield, VF-11,PO2 Joseph C Shartzer, VA-65
PO3 William J Shields, VF-11,PO3 Richard M Sietz, CVA-59,AN David W Smith, VF-11
SN Richard T Smith, VF-74,PO2 John F Snow, VF-74,PO1 John C Spiess, VF-74
SN Nelson E Spitler, CVA-59,PO3 Johnny W Spivey, VF-74,LCDR Gerry L Stark, VA-46
AN Walter E Steele, CVA-59,PO2 Wendell W Stewart, VA-106 *,AA Robert A Stickler, VF-74
AN Kenneth D Strain, CVA-59,PO2 Robert H Swain, CVA-59,AN Delton E Terry, VF-11
PO3 Norman A Thomas, CVA-59,PO1 William F Thompson, VF-74 PO3 Richard J Vallone, VF-11
AN Robert J Velasquez, CVA-59 AN Juan A Velez, VA-106 AN George E Wall, VA-106
AN Harold D Watkins, VA-46 AA Gregory L Webb, VF-74 PO3 Gerald A Wehde, VA-65
PO3 Judson A Wells, VF-11 PO3 Richard L Wescott, VF-11 AA Edward J Wessels, VF-74
LCDR Fred D White, VA-46AN Kerry D Wisdom, VF-74 AN Robert L Zwerlein, VA-46 *




The exhaust heat (about 850°F) from an aircraft engine-starting unit (an MD-3A “Huffer”) was inadvertently directed onto a pod containing four 5-inch ZUNI rockets hanging under the wing of an F-4J aircraft. The heat caused one or more of the warheads to detonate in the pod. Each warhead contained about 15 pounds of Composition B. Unlike the accident aboard the USS FORRESTAL (CVA-59) in July 1967, the ZUNI rockets did not launch and strike another aircraft on the flight deck. Rather, the trigger event here was the “cook-off” of the Composition B explosive charge in the warhead.




On 26 October 1966, there was an aircraft flare fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS ORISKANY operating in the Gulf of Tonkin in Southeast Asia. Two sailors were re-stowing unexpended MK-24 Mod 3 Flares when one was accidentally dropped. The igniter had not been reset to SAFE. As it dropped, the safety lanyard was inadvertently pulled. This actuated the flare. For reasons known only to him, one of the sailors picked up the armed flare, threw it into the magazine locker, and closed the door. Some 2.75-inch rocket warheads loaded with Composition B were stowed in that locker.



Star Trek Turns 50


Sharon Gimpel as "the salt vampire" in The Man Trap
Sharon Gimpel as “the salt vampire” in The Man Trap

Star Trek is now 50 years old.  To celebrate, we thought we’d share some facts from the show. Although “Charlie X” was the first episode filmed, Star Trek debuted with “The Man Trap”.


walt-startrekWe figure this will start more than one fight. Before slapping down paychecks or pink slips, be advised that the facts given come from all the shows, movies, books and interviews. And yeah, Spock’s name is Edward. He’s named after his paternal grandfather. It’s rare (on Vulcan), hard to pronounce (in Vulcan) and he’s embarrassed by it. Go read “Spock’s World”. stbbq

The line, “To boldly go where no man has gone before” was hijacked verbatim from a 1957 White House booklet on space exploration. It is one of the more famous examples of a split infinitive and is grammatically incorrect.

 Doctor McCoy’s medical scanner was a salt shaker.
Doctor McCoy’s medical scanner was a salt shaker.


The transporter effect was glitter stirred in water and filmed upside down.


The view screen embedded in tricorders was always designed to the same size according to a fixed aspect ratio, that which was used in a typical 1960’s television set.

Gene Roddenberry 1942

Gene Roddenberry joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941,and flew many combat B-17 Flying Fortress missions in the Pacific Theater with the 394th Bomb Squadron, the “Bomber Barons.” He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. On 2 August 1943, Roddenberry was the pilot of B-17E Flying Fortress, 41-2463, “Yankee Doodle”, of the 394th BS, 5th BG, when it crashed on takeoff due to mechanical failure at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, killing 2 crew.



During the Vietnam war, Army Captain Pierre Kirk was commanding the 363rd Transportation Company. He was a big Star Trek fan. The company’s communications were patterned after the show. He was “Kirk”, his exec was “Spock”, the Medic was “Bones”, etc. etc. The company was ambushed by a vastly superior force of Viet Cong. Captain Kirk immediately called for support from a U.S. destroyer stationed off shore. It went something like, “Kirk to Enterprise. We need an immediate fire mission on the following coordinates.”
Apparently, the Viet Cong were monitoring the transmissions and were Star Trek fans. Fearing a phaser barrage from an orbiting star ship, they immediately withdrew. This story has been confirmed by sources in Vietnam.

James Doohan was a true war hero. An enlisted man who rose to captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery, he was with the Royal Canadian Artillery on Juno Beach on D-Day. He was shot seven times, with an eighth bullet lodging in his metal cigarette case. Three bullets shredded the middle finger of his right hand. Eventually, the finger was amputated, which is occasionally noticeable in Star Trek episodes and movies.


Buyer beware, there were only eleven communicators made for the show. Including a stunt communicator that was crushed by one of Mudd’s sexy androids.

The Enterprise six lane bowling alley is located on deck 21.

Because they were never shown (or even implied) there has been a long standing joke that there are no bathrooms on the Star Ship Enterprise. Paramount countered this charge when it published the official blue prints of the Enterprise in 1973. The blueprint then spawned the joke that the star ship was a space going hotel. Please note that in Star Trek XI, Kirk and Scotty “Transwarp transport” into the ship’s water treatment plant.



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