US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal


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Forrestal CVA under construction. General view from port quarter, 22 November Forrestal was christened on Saturday, December 11, by Mrs. Forrestal, widow of the ship's namesake. James Forrestal, widow of the First Secretary of Defense, and her two sons admire the silver service presented her after she christened the giant aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in ceremonies on 11 December in Newport News, Virginia. At left is Michael Forrestal. His brother, Peter, stands beside their mother. This photo was probably taken late on 11 December , after Forrestal was christened and launched, and when she was about to be moored to the outfitting pier.

This photo was probably taken late on 11 December , after Forrestal was christened and launched, and after she was moored to the outfitting pier. Note the bunting has only been partly removed. Forrestal CVA leaving pier for trial run, 22 August Navy photo of Forrestal CVA from "Jane's Fighting Ships, —," possibly taken when she was about to begin her builder's trials.

Navy on October 1, Navy photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships, — Photograph taken during Forrestal 's shakedown cruise, January 24—March 31, This picture was the front cover of Naval Aviation News , August issue. Another photo taken during Forrestal 's shakedown cruise, January 24—March 31, She embarked ATG, consisting of the following squadrons: The first major medical operation aboard Forrestal was performed on this day by Dr. Johnson, is pointing out distant aircraft. Forrestal CVA during recent carrier trials. The fastest all-weather fighter now on Navy operational duty, the advanced Demon is powered by an Allison J engine with afterburner augmentation.


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This photo was most likely taken in April Mirror landing system is on the right. There is no test logged in May, however. Quoted date may be, therefore, the date the photo was received by the Office of Public Information, or perhaps the date it was released to the public. Navy photo, USN , 10 May Sunday, 11 November Suez Crisis. Note forward sponsons, with two 5" guns each, and open fantail. This photo is believed to have been taken off Monaco in June The original, slanted stack had already been replaced, but the T-shaped after mast had yet to be installed.

Change of Command ceremony, Captain Richard L. Kibbe relieves Captain William E. Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Thursday, 4 July Number 1 elevator forward, starboard can be seen in the lowered position and shows that horizontal surfaces were painted in a darker blue-gray color. Original slanted-top funnel had been replaced with a rectangular one, flat-topped. Aft mast was still in its original configuration.

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Note ship's crane right , 5" guns and sponson center and ECM antennas just aft of the guns and on flight deck's edge. Note the various items on the oiler's cargo deck, among them a Jeep and a pickup truck. This was the follow-on ship to the CVA which had been cancelled six years earlier. This is Forrestal with the Sixth Fleet in October Navy Naval Aviation News , August issue.

US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal

Mount Vesuvius is in the distance. This photograph was released by the Department of Defense on 19 May Forrestal 's —59 Sixth Fleet tour had ended on 12 March of that year. The pilot was killed in this accident. USN Photo - U. Note new flight deck markings, as compared to earlier photos, above e. The "59" at the aft end of the flight deck had been removed, and the one at the forward end was only an outline.

The yellow, converging, landing lines had been replaced by white, parallel lines. National Naval Aviation Museum photo Navy Naval Aviation News , February The planes are Bureau s and Official US Navy photo. The crew does a "spell out" of the ship's name and awards in the middle of the 1,foot flight deck, as the mighty warship steams the last of her 50, miles, which was covered during her six-month deployment to the Mediterranean.

Note the camera ports. Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers , by Norman Polmar. Although this photo is dated September 2, it appears to have been taken just minutes before photo NS , below according to Ken Killmeyer, Forrestal Association historian, the carrier was anchored at Naples, Italy, on Sep.

An A4D Skyhawk has just taken off from the angled flight deck and the two forward catapults show signs of two more planes being set up for take off, since the jet blast deflection plates can be seen raised behind both planes midships.

A helicopter is visible above the bow. Circa the first half of , location unknown. From fore to back: This picture is dated September 2, but must have been taken somewhat earlier, as on that date Forrestal was anchored at Naples, Italy thanks to Ken Killmeyer, Forrestal Association historian. Under the new, joint designation system, the A4D-2 was redesignated A-4B.


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Squadron VA was renamed "Sunliners" on April 3, Note the variable incidence wing in the up position, for additional lift — this was a unique feature of the Crusader. Note the blast deflector behind the jet to protect the flight deck crew. Official US Navy photograph. Puente, believed to have been taken in late January—early February Note the aircraft parked in the bow area so that planes could land on the angled fligh deck, aft. Three A4D Skyhawk s are in tow for servicing and storage. The radio antennas on the port bow are in the lowered position for air operations, and raised to a vertical position when flight operations were complete.

Judging from flight deck markings and Air Group composition, this photo appears to have been taken during the second half of or very early in , off the East Coast. The tests were conducted miles out in the North Atlantic off the coast of Massachusetts. In so doing, Forrestal and the C set a record for the largest and heaviest airplane landing on a Navy aircraft carrier. The problem was there was no aircraft which could provide resupply to a carrier in mid ocean. The Hercules was stable, reliable, and had a long cruising range and high payload. At 85, pounds [38, The Navy concluded that with the C Hercules , it would be possible to lift 25, pounds [11, However, the idea was considered a bit too risky for routine COD operations.

The C-2A Greyhound program was developed and the first of these planes became operational in Quoted text courtesy of the US Navy. Additional information from KC Look at the sailor on the flight deck near the Union Jack: Look at the two ton anchors, and to the right bottom part of the photo you can see the red stack off to the right on the north side of the next pier; that stack is the SS Queen Mary which is also now sea history.

The people in the foreground are waiting in line to tour the first super aircraft carrier which was open for the public viewing. The port side elevator is in the lower position, and the Hudson River can be seen in the distant background. Window view from Pier 90 looking north.

USS Forrestal 's starboard side massive ton anchor has a striking appearance. Lt Ken McMillen escaped. Cmdrs Gerry Stark and Dennis Barton were missing. When he got back on deck, Browning recalled, "The port quarter of the flight deck where I was is no longer there. Campbell recoiled for a few moments in stunned dismay as burning torches tumbled toward him, until their screams stirred him to action. Neighboring ships came alongside and pulled the men from the water. The first bomb detonation destroyed White's and McCain's aircraft, blew a crater in the armored flight deck , and sprayed the deck and crew with bomb fragments and shrapnel from the destroyed aircraft.

Burning fuel poured through the hole in the deck into berthing compartments below. In the tightly packed formation on the aft deck, every aircraft, all fully fueled and bomb-laden, was damaged. Bodies and debris were hurled as far as the bow of the ship. All seven F-4s caught fire. In less than five minutes, seven or eight pound bombs, [7] [26] one pound bomb, one pound bomb, and several missile and rocket warheads heated by the fire exploded with varying degrees of violence.

The other H6-based bombs performed as designed and either burned on the deck or were jettisoned, but did not detonate under the heat of the fires. The explosions tore seven holes in the flight deck. The explosions and fire killed fifty night crew personnel who were sleeping in berthing compartments below the aft portion of the flight deck.


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  • Forty-one additional crew members were killed in internal compartments in the after portion of Forrestal. Personnel from all over the ship rallied to fight the fires and control further damage. They pushed aircraft, missiles, rockets, bombs, and burning fragments over the side. Sailors manually jettisoned numerous and lb. Sailors without training in firefighting and damage control took over for the depleted damage control teams. Unknowingly, inexperienced hose teams using seawater washed away the efforts of others attempting to smother the fire with foam. Lanham, aboard Forrestal , called the actions of Rupertus commanding officer Cmdr Edwin Burke [28] an "act of magnificent seamanship".

    About 30 minutes later, they had put out the flight deck fires. Fire fighting crews continued to fight fires below deck for many more hours. Undetonated bombs were continually found during the afternoon. LT JG Robert Cates, the carrier's explosive ordnance demolition officer, recounted later how he had "noticed that there was a pound bomb and a pound bomb in the middle of the flight deck They hadn't detonated or anything; they were just setting there smoking.

    So I went up and defused them and had them jettisoned. Later on, LT JG Cates had himself lowered into the compartment to attach a line to the bomb so it could hauled up to the deck and jettisoned. Throughout the day, the ship's medical staff worked in dangerous conditions to assist their comrades.

    Documentary: USS Forrestal Aircraft Carrier Disaster

    It took many hours to account for the ship's crew. Wounded and dead had been transferred to other ships, and some men were missing, either burned beyond recognition or blown overboard. Fire fighting was greatly hampered because of smoke and heat. Crew members cut additional holes in the flight deck to help fight fires in the compartments below. Forrestal crew members continued to put out hot spots, clear smoke, and cool hot steel on the 02 and 03 levels. The fires were declared out at 4: The fire left men dead [30] and more injured.

    Navy ship since World War II. Twenty-one aircraft were stricken from naval inventory: The ship's chaplains held a memorial service in Hangar Bay One for the crewmen who had given their lives for their ship and their country. More than 2, Forrestal men attended. During welcoming ceremonies, a fire alarm signal alerted crews to a fire in mattresses within the burned-out compartments. Due to the necessity of returning the ship to the United States for repair, the panel acted quickly to interview personnel on board the ship. Investigators identified issues with stray voltage in the circuitry of the LAU rocket launchers and Zuni missiles.

    They also identified issues with the aging lb "fat bombs" carried for the strike, which were discovered to have dated from the Korean War in The board of investigation stated, "Poor and outdated doctrinal and technical documentation of ordnance and aircraft equipment and procedures, evident at all levels of command, was a contributing cause of the accidental rocket firing. Other carriers had problems with the Zuni rockets. The investigation found that safety regulations should have prevented the Zuni rocket from firing.

    A triple ejector rack TER electrical safety pin was designed to prevent any electrical signal from reaching the rockets before the aircraft was launched, but it was also known that high winds could sometimes catch the attached tags and blow them free. In addition to the pin, a "pigtail" connected the electrical wiring of the missile to the rocket pod. US Navy regulations required the pigtail be connected only when the aircraft was attached to the catapult and ready to launch, but the ordnance officers found this slowed down the launch rate.

    The Navy investigation found that four weeks before the fire, Forrestal ' s Weapons Coordination Board, along with members of the Weapons Planning Board, held a meeting to discuss the issue attaching the pigtail at the catapult. Launches were sometimes delayed when a crew member had difficulty completing the connection. They agreed on a deviation from standard procedure.

    In a memorandum of the meeting, they agreed to "Allow ordnance personnel to connect pigtails 'in the pack', prior to taxi, leaving only safety pin removal at the cat. But the memo and the decision were never communicated to the Captain Beling, the ship's commanding officer, who was required to approve such decisions.

    Aircraft Carrier Photo Index: USS FORRESTAL (CVA)

    The official inquiry found that the ordnance crew acted immediately on the Weapons Coordination Board's decision. They found that the pigtail was connected early, that the TER pin on the faulty Zuni missile was likely blown free, and that the missile fired when a power surge occurred as the pilot transferred his systems from external to internal power. White, on the port side of the aft deck. The accidental firing was due to the simultaneous malfunction of three components: They concluded that the CA pylon electrical disconnect had a design defect, and found that the TER-7 safety pin was poorly designed, making it easy to confuse with ordnance pins used in the AERO-7 Sparrow Launcher, which if used by mistake would not operate effectively.

    When temporary repairs in the Philippines were completed, she departed on 11 August, arriving at Naval Station Mayport in Florida on 12 September to disembark the remaining aircraft and air group personnel stationed in Florida. Two days later, Forrestal returned to Norfolk to be welcomed home by over 3, family members and friends of the crew, gathered on Pier 12 and onboard Randolph , Forrestal ' s host ship. From 19 September to 8 April , Forrestal underwent repairs in Norfolk Naval Shipyard , beginning with removal of the starboard deck-edge elevator, which was stuck in place.

    It had to be cut from the ship while being supported by the shipyard's hammerhead crane. The carrier occupied drydock number 8 from 21 September , until 10 February , displacing USS John King , an oil tanker, and a minesweeper that were occupying the drydock. The forward four guns had been removed prior to On September 18, , Captain Robert B.

    Baldwin assumed command of Forrestal. While accomplishing trials, the ship also recorded its first arrested landing since the fire, when Commander Robert E. Ferguson, Commander, CVW, landed on board. The Naval investigation panel's findings were released on October They concluded Beling knew that the Zuni missiles had a history of problems, and he should have made more effort to confirm that the ordnance crew was following procedure in handling the ordnance. Beling was assigned temporary duty on the staff of Admiral Ephraim P.

    Holmes , Commander-in-Chief of the U.

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    Holmes disagreed with many portions of the Navy's report into the Forrestal disaster, including the section clearing Beling. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 28, Jeff rated it it was amazing. Great summary My father served on the Forrestal. This provides an historical summary of its movements. It left out some details that my father shared before his death. Michael Barr marked it as to-read Jan 31,

    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal
    US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-59 USS Forrestal

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