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Personal Experiences

USS Forrestal

 

John J. Cavanaugh

Service Dates: AUG 1962---NOV 1964

jocavy@louisa.net

"While on the FID during a cruise for carrier quals. some hot shot pilot made two landings and two launches (not on cat) with a C130. to this day I can't find anyone to beleive it. "

 

BT3 Bryon Haslam (Barney)
Service Dates: 1981-1985

509 Kadluback Way
Tuckerton, NJ
08087
haslambk@worldnet.att.net

It was a time I won't forget.We were in port,one plant on line,2 boilers lit,no load.I had pulled mid-8 watch with my friend in 1MMR,we had partied and were tired.Well somewhere around 4am,on the boiler front we fell asleep in between both 600psi main steam boilers while watching fires.I woke up once,my partner asleep next to me,I checked the fires,all looked good then nodded out again.I slept for what seemed like awhile,to be woken by someone who gave me a shake and said "hey". I looked at my partner,Phil he was still asleep.I looked to my left & right of the burner front,no one there.I looked at the fires in 1a boiler OK. I looked at 1b and saw FIRES OUT.I woke Phil as the other boiler screamed picking up the load,Phil jumped to his feet,called the control booth,and took care of his equipment.I loaded up one boiler while securing the other. We saved the load.We were given KUDOS for a job well done.Later we found out that ther was water in the fuel,which put the fires out.We were 50 gallons of water away from being vaporized when raw fuel would of lit off the back wall of the affected boiler.I don't know if it was a Forrestal ghost or my Guardin Angle,but someone save my life...

Patane Joseph M.
Service Dates=4/65 to 9/68

I served aboard Forrestal at the time of the fire aboard ship while attached to fighter squadron eleven out of Oceana Va. It just so happend that I was working on the flight deck at the time of the fire onthe flight deck, if it wasn't for this I believe in all honesty that I would have been killed with the 80 0r 90 some of my shipmates caught in their bunks asleep, I also believe that I wouldn't be able to say I saw what started the fire to begin with, and that's why I was put back on forrestal when she came home from PI ON her way back to Norfolk Va. McCain keeps blaming my squadron for this fire, when in all actuality, it was a fuel leak off his center line tank, and the ships power cords used to supply the electrial to turn up our craft, not VF-11 SHOOTION a missle acrost the flight deck as we we blamed for, and still are to this day,and if able I would tell Senator McCain what a lier he really is.

 

Donald E. Sabo
Service Dates=VF-103 1958-59 Med Cruise

A great day , the day I went aboard this great ship with our squadron VF103. When I first reported to VF103 they had just got the F8U Crusader's. I was assigned to line duty as a plane captain. At the time I never thought I would be involved sending out almost daily an individual destined to become one of our greatest astronauts, of course this was John W.Young. A Ltjg at the time I can recall a day he went out on a gunnery flight when the banner was examined his green paint from the 20mm shells was the only ones that could be seen. His explanation was that the aircrafts fire control system was not working properly so he used the fixed site. He was a fly by the seat of your pants pilot and to this end it never ceased to amaze me later when I was discharged that I leared of his space accomplishments. My tour aboard the FID was very memorable, when she comes to Baltimore I will be there to see her again, I'm 66 now that may be my last chance, I would like to hear from any former shipmates from VF103 that served during 1958-59 . Donald E. Sabo 4889074 ADJ3

Sailor=Gerald W. Farrier
Service Dates=1967

Relation=Friend
R. Email=leeneilbk@hotmail.com
TextAreaName=On July 29th, 1967, Gerald W. Farrier died trying to put out a fire on the deck of the USS Forrestal off the coast of Vietnam. Lt. Commander John S. McCain III, who later became a U.S. senator, said it was the bravest thing he had ever seen.

I met Gerald at the same time I met my late husband, in the summer of 1954. What can I say about Gerald, he was a great guy. He was a little wild in his younger days, but turned all that around when he met, and married, Ann Doolin of Batesville, Arkansas. I knew Ann long before I knew Gerald. We went to school together for several years, and she was a good frined of mine. It is kind of funny, I knew Ann before Gerald did, and Gerald knew my husband before I did. While Gerald was in the Navy, and before he went to Vietnam, to help make ends meet, he sold kitchen ware. I still have a set of cutlery knifes he gave me not too long before he left on the Forrestal for Vietnam.

Gerald was survived by his wife, Ann, and their 4 children. On Jan. 1st, 1987 Ann died when a car hit her on the highway to Cave City, Arkansas. After Gerald's death Ann went on to collage and became a teacher. I always admired her for that. It couldn't have been easy with 4 small children.

Gerald is missed by both family and friends

 

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