Cheney Free Press -

By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Picking up the pieces

Vietnam War medical veteran recalls role on USS Repose patching-up the consequences of combat


Last updated 4/18/2019 at 5:06pm

Lee Hughes

Navy veteran David Griffith today. He wears his cap emblazoned with USS Repose, the hospital ship on which he served as an operating room technician during the Vietnam War, as a sort of greeting card. He said is regularly approached and is open to talking about his experiences. "Talking about it was the solution" to overcoming his experiences during the war, he said.

On the morning of July 29, 1967, the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal was conducting combat flight operations on "Yankee Station" off the coast of war-torn Vietnam.

Suddenly, at 10:50 a.m., a "stray electrical signal," a U.S. Navy investigation concluded, caused a rocket strapped beneath the wing of a fighter to ignite, sending it hurtling across the flight deck of the carrier. It hit the fuel tank of another plane, which exploded, causing volatile jet fuel to burst into an orange ball of flames.

That explosion also caused a 1,000 pound bomb to fall to the deck, where it cracked open and be...

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