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In midsummer 1967, the United States aircraft carrier Forrestal, stationed off Vietnam, lost 134 men to fires and ensuing explosions after an errant missile from one of its own planes ruptured a fuel tank on a nearby jet. Gregory A. Freeman's Sailors to the End is a starkly illuminating account of the disaster which, like so many maritime tragedies, was perfectly preventable. Although a faulty detonation switch (similar to a surge suppressor) caused the rocket to fire, the crippling, deadly conflagrations were caused by exploding ordnance--"ancient ... thin-skinned" bombs of World War II vintage. The Navy never admitted its guilt in the matter, a point Freeman makes very clear. He has a knack for balancing instructive overviews with telling details (for example, each link in the ship's anchor chain weighed 360 pounds). Freeman does not shy from the grotesque detail, and many scenes, especially in the sick bay, are harrowing to read. The sad tale of the men of the Forrestal is a model of narrative clarity and honest reporting. --H. O'Billovich --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The tragic events that occurred on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in July 1967, while the ship's crew was preparing for an air strike against North Vietnam, ranks high with other naval disasters at sea. Told through personal narratives of 12 eyewitness sailors, the book shows how through a series of accidents misfire from a Phantom aircraft's Zuni rocket struck another aircraft on the flight deck, piloted by (later Senator) John McCain. The misfired rocket set off a series of explosions, some from 1000-pound vintage World War II bombs already loaded on jets on the flight deck. The ensuing series of cataclysmic events caused a bloody carnage and loss of 134 men. Freeman (Lay This Body Down) doesn't spare the gruesome details. McCain, a combat pilot and POW during the Vietnam War, was caught in the middle of exploding aircraft and walls of jet fuel fireballs. Sailors were trapped below decks or thrown overboard by each succeeding explosion as deadly shrapnel hissed across the deck. Despite the damage and loss of life, the aircraft carrier did not sink. This thorough, absorbing account is recommended for large public libraries and Vietnam War collections. Gerald Costa, Brooklyn P.L., NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a very good book that takes the reader into the details and reasons for the disaster on the Forrestal. Read morePublished 4 days ago by MARGARET C LAMB
An exhaustive narrative on all aspects of the USS Forestal's. 5 days on station in the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam war.. Forget the rumors and stories you've seen or heard. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
Superbly researched and told, this story is a gory reminder of the crucial nature of safety training and procedures. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jack Sparacino
I have the book. I found several errors, which is probably common. I was on the USS Rupertus (DD-851) that day and we were the first ship alongside helping to fight the fire. Read morePublished 1 month ago by vet63
Well written and factual. Really enjoyed learning all the inside information. Many heroes that day indeed.Published 2 months ago by Amy
One of the best books I have ever read. The extensive details, captivating personal insight to the sailors, and the gripping emotions made this book a must read. Mr. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a retired sailor and someone who has worked on the flight deck, I wish that the author would have had a carrier sailor proof read this book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Deeney