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
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...