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yeah.. things got real bad, lucky it wasn't any worse or it might have sunk the ship

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I had read about the accidental firing of the Zuni rocket while reading John McCain's biography, but for some reason, had stayed on the idea that the accident happened in a hangar, not on the flight deck. Had it been the case, the carrier may have been lost, watching such pictures. Carriers have always been floating bombs, with crowded ammo, volatile fuel, and never enough aired hangars acting as big sound boxes for giant blasts. It's enough to see the death toll on some unfortunate ships like USS Liscome Bay or USS Franklin, not even to speak about the Jap flattops during WW2. Firefighters on these ships would better have an updated will accepting the possibility of missing body...

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I had read about the accidental firing of the Zuni rocket while reading John McCain's biography, but for some reason, had stayed on the idea that the accident happened in a hangar, not on the flight deck. Had it been the case, the carrier may have been lost, watching such pictures. Carriers have always been floating bombs, with crowded ammo, volatile fuel, and never enough aired hangars acting as big sound boxes for giant blasts. It's enough to see the death toll on some unfortunate ships like USS Liscome Bay or USS Franklin, not even to speak about the Jap flattops during WW2. Firefighters on these ships would better have an updated will accepting the possibility of missing body...

 

 

Don't forget the Oriskany, Enterprise both friendlys making mistakes.

Edited by MAKO69

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I had read about the accidental firing of the Zuni rocket while reading John McCain's biography, but for some reason, had stayed on the idea that the accident happened in a hangar, not on the flight deck.

 

Do McCain wasn't front of the departing Zuni in his A-4 at this time ?

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Do McCain wasn't front of the departing Zuni in his A-4 at this time ?

 

The zuni was shot by an F-4 waiiting to taxi to the cat for a launch, crew onboard and fully fueled and all weapon safety pins pulled. I belive there was a short in the system the pilot or radar guy swithed somthing and enough electricity went through the bird to set off 1 zuni which struck McCain's plane.

Edited by MAKO69

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Thank you for this information, I only had a vague recollection of the accident, from an old good article where a vertical drawn of "Zippo"'s deck was drawn. This ship never returned in a war zone following this tragedy ?

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The Zuni hit the fuel tank of the A-4 next to McCains A-4. McCain sat in the cockpit of his airplane trying to decide whether to get out and run or eject. After the first bomb exploded McCain unstrapped,got out,ran down the refueling probe jumped to the deck and ran like HE!!. If you google Forrestal fire and watch the movie you will see him.

The A-4's were carrying the old style 1000 lb bombs,which "cook-off" with a lot less heat than the newer ones.

If they had been carrying the newer bombs,the damage might not have been so bad.

Instead of going with his squadron on the Forrestal back to Peal Harbor,McCain transferred to the A-4 squadron on the Oriskany. He was shot down and became a POW a month or so later.

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This incident was the driving force behind changing the bombs carried on carriers so they would NOT explode when on fire.

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Imagine that VPAF had been succesful in hitting a carrier when they performed those antiship raid in the Tonkin Gulf. If a single MiG-17 slipped thru the air defence and BARCAPs and loosed a salvo of rockets on a populated deck during Linebacker 2 it would have been a disaster.

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