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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret)
(bluejacket.com)

The Forrestal Fire,
July 29, 1967

Ship's Logs

Contributed by Ken Killmeyer, USS Forrestal Association Historian.
Aboard July 29, 1967.

Deck Log Book

Deck Log Book, July 1967
4.52 Mb

July 2, 1967 (Sunday)

On 2 July 1967 as Forrestal continued steaming for Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines she commenced her approach alongside the navy oiler USS Caloosahatchee AO-98.

Today, the Forrestal is scheduled to refuel from the USS Caloosahatchee, a bright Sunday morning. The weather today would make Davey Jones shudder. The wind is blowing with great force and the waves are tossing the 80,000-ton Forrestal around like it was a rowboat. The question is would the seas calm sufficiently to allow Forrestal to alleviate its critical fuel shortage, or would the operation have to be called off until the next day, with no guarantee that conditions would improve decidedly. The Weather Office is called, Chief Aerographers Mate Fred Baillie is summoned to the bridge, and the decision is made, after much deliberation, to attempt the refueling.


July 3, 1967 (Monday)

On the morning of 3 July 1967 Forrestal rendezvoused with USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD-850, and USS Caloosahatchee. Just passed noon a flight deck accident occurred as a KA-3B tanker aircraft #611 landed and broke the port main mount. But, luckily no injuries were reported.

VAH-10 Vikings,
Aircraft modex AA611
When Heavy Attack Squadron VAH-10's KA-3B Skywarrior #611 slammed onto the flight deck upon landing the port main mount broke sending the aircraft sliding toward the sea along the ship's port side. The port engine slid along the flight deck edge railing and kept the aircraft on the flight deck. The port wing was hanging way out over the flight deck edge. ATN3 Robert Beaman VAH-10 Safety Checker was on the starboard side of the landing area and closest person to the Skywarrior's hard landing. ATN3 Beaman ran to the Skywarrior as the aircraft's crew was exiting the aircraft. Later the damaged Skywarrior was craned to a location forward of elevator #1. After the Skywarrior was inspected it was determined that the aircraft would be offloaded when Forrestal made port at Subic Bay.


July 4, 1967 (Tuesday)

4 July 1967, steaming in company with USS Caloosahatchee AO-98 and USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. DD-850 enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands on course 085, speed 17 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Guide of formation is USS Caloosahatchee. USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. is screen of formation. Boilers 1B, 3A, 3B, 4B, and generators 1, 3, 4, 6, and 8 are on the line. The ship is darkened with the exception of navigation lights. Material condition Yoke and general condition of readiness 5 is set throughout the ship.

0000 LTJG David A. Rosow assumes the OOD watch.
0400 LT Reginald C. Corbeille assumes the OOD watch.
0800 LTJG Edwin L. Hoopes, III assumes the OOD watch. Shipís 0800, position is Latitude 37 degrees 05.8'S and Longitude 23 degrees 19.9'E.
0806 Changed course to 070; speed 24 knots. Maneuvering while changing station to true bearing 200, distance 1 mile to USS Caloosahatchee.
0830 Maneuvering while on course 085, speed 15 knots. Maneuvering while making approach on the port side of USS Caloosahatchee on course 200; speed 12 knots.
0915 First shot line over.
0943 Commenced pumping NSFO.
0958 Commenced pumping JP-5.
1110 Secured from pumping NSFO.
1200 LTJG Calvin M. Jones assumes the OOD watch.
1220 Secured pumping JP-5.
1224 Commence breakaway. All line clear. All engines ahead flank. Changed course to 201. Detached USS Caloosahatchee and USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr..
1232 Secured from all refueling stations.
1317 Secured boiler 1A.
1325 Secured boiler 4B.
1404 Brought boiler 4B back on the line with JP-5 for cleaning.
1430 Secured boiler 4A.
1600 LTJG William R. Hunt assumes the OOD watch.
1800 LT James H. Russell assumes the OOD watch.
2000 LTJG David A. Rosow assumes the OOD watch.


USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98)

Today, Forrestal refueled from the USS Caloosahatchee AO-98 for three hours and 5 minutes with no problems.


July 8, 1967 (Saturday)

The time in transit was not all work. On 8 July 1967 a Smoker is held. Boxing matches were held in the Hangar Bay. The referee for these matches was Boatswain Mate First Class A. L. "Sal" Cortez, of the First Division.

During the evening smoker the crew was entertained by the Country-Western music sung by crewmen Simonds and LeMaster. The fabulous "Admirations" with lead singer Melvin Phillips, plus Philip Lonnie Hudson both from V-1 Division rocked the Hangar Bay and crew with their outstanding soul music. The Rock and Roll group "Dynasty" rounded out the evening's entertainment with their great renditions of popular rock music.

The talented members of "Dynasty" are Glenn Edward Roberts of V-1 Division on drums, Tim Frodge of X Division on bass guitar; Dave Warren of S-3 Division plays lead guitar and Kenny Ringer of E Division is the group's vocalist. Tim and Dave also sing.

Boxing Boxing
Everyone is a Winner.
(left) Unknown; (center) BM1 A.L. Cortez, First Division; (right) Airman Richard P. Wheeler, V-3 Division
Simonds and Lemaster
Simonds and Lemaster

Dynasty
Dynasty
The Admirations
The Admirations


July 12, 1967 (Wednesday)

USS Forrestal underway

Steaming independently in the Indian Ocean enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on course 057 at 22 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 2B, 3A, 4A, 4B and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

Commander Edward L. Carver, Forrestal's Assistant Air Officer, today became an "Honorary Checkertail" having taken a supersonic ride in an RVAH-11 RA-5C Vigilante. Later CDR Carver was welcomed to the squadron by Commander Thomas J. Kilcline, Checkertail commanding officer. Commander Carver rode in the Reconnaissance Attack Navigator's seat on the flight over the Indian Ocean, which Forrestal is crossing today with LCDR A. J. Perrella, RVAH-11 Training Officer, piloting the Sanford, Florida, based aircraft.


July 13, 1967 (Thursday)

On 13 July 1967 it was announced during ceremonies held aboard Forrestal, that Airman Larry G. Lentz of Pittsburgh, PA, is Fighter Squadron Seventy-four "Plane Captain of the Month." Commander H. N. Wellman commanding officer of VF-74 presented the award. The award is an effort to give recognition to the dedication, integrity, and outstanding performance of enlisted members of the squadron.


July 14, 1967 (Friday)

Entered South China Sea. Steaming independently enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on course 063T at 25 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 2B, 3B, 4A, 4B and generators 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

0000 LTJG William R. Hunt assumes the OOD watch.
0038 Changed course to 067. Maneuvering at 25 knots while approaching the Suda Straits.
0144 Entered the Great Channel, Sunda Straits.
0400 LT James H. Russell assumes the OOD watch. Continued maneuvering while transiting Sunda Straits. 0510 changed course to 030.
0542 Low water casualty in boiler 2B. Secured boiler 2B. Cross-connected #2 and #3 main spaces. Reduced speed on #2 and #3 shafts to make ship's speed about 23 knots.
0600 Casualty evaluated as no damage. Lit fires under boiler 2B.
0630 Boiler 2B on the line. Split plant. Speed 25 knots.
0800 LTJG David A. Rosow assumes the OOD watch. Ship's position as of 0800 is Latitude 04 degrees 24'S and Longitude 106 degrees 52.9'E.
0831 Changed course to 040.
0851 Changed course to 030.
1050 Changed course to 349. Commenced maneuvering while transiting Stolze Straits.
USS Chemung and USS Forrestal
1200 LT Reginald C. Corbeille assumes the OOD watch.
1240 Changed course to 017.
1321 Commenced maneuvering to effect rendezvous with USS Chemung AO-30.
1348 Completed transit of Stolze Strait. Entered the South China Sea.
1357 Commenced maneuvering while making approach to portside of USS Chemung.
1415 First shot line over.
1445 Commenced pumping NSFO at station #3.


Refueling at Sponson Two

1456 Launched one helicopter.
1542 Recovered one helicopter.
1600 LTJG Edwin L. Hoopes, III assumes the OOD watch.
1622 Commenced pumping JP-5.
1800 LTJG Calvin M. Jones assumes the OOD watch.
2000 LTJG William R. Hunt assumes the OOD watch.
2045 Commenced breakaway.
2048 All lines clear. Speed 25 knots. Released tactical command of USS Chemung.
2053 Changed course to 346.

Forrestal was alongside the USS Chemung AO-30 refueling for six hours and three minutes.



VAW-123 E-2A Hawkeye

July 15, 1967 (Saturday)

Steaming independently in the South China Sea enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on course to 344T at 25 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, and generators 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

1053 Launched one helicopter.
1103 Commenced maneuvering while launching and recovering aircraft. Launched two E-2A Hawkeye aircraft of VAW-123, to NAS, Cubi Point, Philippines.
1139 Recovered one C-2A Greyhound aircraft from Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Philippines.
1142 Recovered one helicopter.

July 16, 1967 (Sunday)

Steaming independently in the South China Sea enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on course 046 at 23 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, and generators 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

0445 Effected rendezvous with USS Procyon (AF-61) and took tactical command. Commenced maneuvering to take station 3,000 yards astern of USS Procyon. Base course 046; speed 14 knots.
0600 On station astern of USS Procyon.


Pallet load after pallet load.

Plenty of men on the working party.

Forrestal was alongside the USS Procyon (AF-61) conducting an underway replenishment, for three hours 13 minutes. A lot of food came aboard today.

Today, a briefing team from Saigon, South Vietnam, Detachment Charlie, flew on board to brief Air Wing SEVENTEEN pilots and ship's company personnel. Pilots studied charts and received briefings while the remaining crew prepare themselves for the action ahead.


July 17, 1967 (Monday)

Steaming independently in the South China Sea enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on course 065 at 20 knots. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and generators 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. Material condition Yoke and general condition of readiness 4 modified is set throughout the ship.

1635 USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) reported for duty to Commander Task Group 77.6. Directed by Commander Task Group 77.6 to take tactical command of USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875). CTG 77.6 assumes tactical command of USS Henry W. Tucker and directed her to exercise independently within visual signaling range and to be in station B1 by 1800.
2247 Speed 27 knots. Proceeding in accordance with COMNAUPHIL MSG 1710347 July 1967 to rendezvous with USNA Allison K. Lykes to provide medical evacuation for crewman with severed toes.
2255 Commenced maneuvering to effect rendezvous with USNA Allison K. Lykes.
2346 On station with USNA Allison K. Lykes. Lowered starboard lifeboat.

"Men of Forrestal, This is the Captain Speaking... ... ..."

As our long period of transit comes to an end, I'd like to compliment you, the men of Forrestal, for your performance so far on this Southeast Asian Deployment.

If the Operational Readiness Inspection is any indication of what this ship can do, for war. We must now maintain and improve that high standard of excellence we have established. One way to achieve that goal is by the use of one nine-letter word _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ integrity.

Mr. Webster defines integrity as "the uprightness of character, honesty; the condition of quality of being unimpaired or sound. The state of being complete or undivided." Let's break down this definition into more understandable terms that can relate to your jobs aboard ship.

As everyone knows, this cruise will be the most arduous, if not the longest, Forrestal has ever undertaken. We are in Southeast Asia to take part in war, an undeclared war, but still a war. If you want to know what war is like, ask some of the older members of the crew who were involved in World War II or the Korean conflict. Better yet most of your fathers or some other relative, who has been involved in war, can attest to the fact that integrity on this nation's part had much to do with our victories in the end.

Integrity in the Navy is no different from integrity out of the Navy. When you are told to do a job, acknowledge your order and carry it out to the best of your ability.

The only way to complete the important task that is ours in this troubled part of the world successfully, is for everyone to pitch in willingly and do his job, whether it be an office job, mess cooking, plane pushing or any of the other sundry tasks that must be done on a ship of this size. The sooner we achieve a high percentage of cooperation in our jobs, the easier our main task will be, and the faster the deployment will go.

I'd like to reiterate the request I made in my last message to you, the idea of saving money while we are on this cruise. Since you will be finding a little more money in your paycheck every payday, and since there is no place to spend it aboard ship, except for our fine ship's stores, this would be an excellent time to start a savings account. Stop down at disbursing and have a chat with the disbursing clerk. It's always nice to have a little stashed away for a rainy day.

There are so many benefits available to you while we are in Southeast Asia, it would take more space than is allotted me to list them all. Some of the more notable ones include that extra money we will be receiving from now to January for operating in a hostile-fire zone, the postage-free zone, the ten per cent savings plan and the federal tax reduction. But there is one that not too many people are aware of. That is the fact that the Variable Reenlistment Bonus you get for reenlisting while we are in a hostile-fire zone is tax-free! There's something to think about for those of you whose enlistments expire while we are in WESTPAC! See the Career Counselor (725) for more information.

Captain John K. Beling
Commanding Officer

July 18, 1967 (Tuesday)

Steaming in company with USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) in the South China Sea on course 070 at 5 knots enroute to U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Boilers 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, and generators 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. Material condition Yoke and general condition of readiness 4 modified is set throughout the ship.

0000 LTJG Edwin L. Hoopes, III, assumes the OOD watch. Change course to 090. Maneuvering while transferring an injured seaman from the USNA Allison K. Lykes to Forrestal for necessary medical attention.
0016 Forrestal changes her course to 070.
0018 Injured seaman is transferred from lifeboat to Forrestal.
0030 Speed 12 knots. Received report from Medical Department that James Cole Low, injured seaman from USNA Allison K. Lykes, date of Birth 3 Nov. 1914, was in good condition at present. Injury diagnosed as traumatic amputation, 1st, 2nd, 3rd toes, left foot. Prognosis: Good.
0600 Set the Special Sea and Anchor Detail. Change course to 034. LTJG William R. Hunt assumes the OOD watch. Speed 30 knots. Commenced maneuvering while entering Subic Bay, Philippines enroute to starboard side, Leyte Pier, Subic Bay.
0810 First mooring line over to pier.
0839 Secured the Special Sea and Anchor Detail. LTJG J. E. Summers, Jr, assumes the OOD watch.

 
Subic Bay Arrival.

Cubi Point, Subic Bay.
 

USS Forrestal moored at NAS Cubi Point, Philippines.


July 19, 1967 (Wednesday)

Moored starboard side to Leyte Pier, U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines with standard carrier mooring lines doubled. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO, RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Receiving miscellaneous services from the pier. Ships present include USS Rainier (AE-5), USS Dixie (AD-14), and USS Virgo (AKA-20) [Note 1]. Boiler 4A and generators 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke is set.

0000 LTJG Edwin L. Hoopes, III assumes the OOD watch.
0330 Forrestal secures from receiving NSFO from oil barge alongside.
0400 LT Gerald E. Paul assumes the OOD watch.
0615 YCV-16 alongside in preparation to deliver ordnance material.
0750 Mustered the crew at quarters, 5 crewmen absent.
0800 LT A. H. Hilliard assumes the OOD watch.
1200 LTJG J. E. Major assumes the OOD watch.
1600 CWO John T. Pillow assumes the OOD watch.
1800 LT R. E. Dorman assumes the OOD watch.
2000 LT William W. Eggleston assumes the OOD watch.



Air Wing Seventeen at NAS Cubi Point.

(1) Editor's note: USS Virgo had been recommissioned as an ammunition ship, hull number AE-30, on August 19, 1966. [Back]


July 20, 1967 (Thursday)

USS Forrestal moored at Leyte Pier

Moored starboard side to Leyte Pier, U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO, RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Receiving miscellaneous services from the pier. Ships present include USS Rainier (AE-5), USS Dixie (AD-14), and USS Virgo (AKA-20) [Note 2]. Boiler 4A and generators 2, 4, 5, and 6 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke is set.

(2) Editor's note: USS Virgo had been recommissioned as an ammunition ship, hull number AE-30, on August 19, 1966. [Back]



Boats off loaded by Fourth Division

July 21, 1967 (Friday)

Moored starboard side to Leyte Pier, U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines with standard carrier mooring lines doubled. SOPA is COMCARDIV TWO, RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. OTC is Captain John K. Beling Commanding Officer USS Forrestal. Receiving miscellaneous services from the pier. Ships present include USS Rainier (AE-5), USS Dixie (AD-14), and USS Kawishiwi (AO-146) and other units of the U.S. SEVENTH Fleet. Boiler 4B and generators 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke are set.


July 22, 1967 (Saturday)

Moored starboard side to Leyte Pier, U. S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines with standard carrier mooring lines doubled. Senior Officer Present Afloat, COMCARDIV TWO, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command, Captain John K. Beling. Forrestal is receiving miscellaneous services from the pier. Ships present include USS Rainier (AE-5), USS Dixie (AD-14), and USS Kawishiwi (AO-146). Boiler 4B and generators 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness 5 and material condition Yoke is set.


USS Dixie (AD-14), USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875), and USS Rupertus (DD-851).

The destroyer USS Rupertus (DD-851) is moored starboard side abreast the destroyer USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) which is moored starboard side abreast USS Dixie (AD-14) in a nest of three vessels at buoy 25 Port of Olongapo, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands with standard mooring lines doubled. Commanding Officer Commander Edwin J. Burke, USN. Commander Destroyer Division THIRTY-TWO embarked in USS Rupertus.

Both USS Henry W. Tucker and USS Rupertus are Gearing-class destroyers. Both USS Henry W. Tucker and USS Rupertus have been assigned to accompany Forrestal while enroute to Yankee Station and serve as escort and plane guard destroyers for Forrestal.

0000 Aboard FORRESTAL, Lieutenant Gerald E. Paul assumes the OOD watch.
0400 Aboard Forrestal, Lieutenant Junior Grade J. E. Summers, Jr., assumes the OOD watch. Aboard USS Rupertus Lieutenant Junior Grade A. J. Rosen assumes the OOD watch. USS Rupertus commences making preparations for getting underway. Aboard USS Henry W. Tucker Lieutenant Junior Grade David C. Emerson assumes the OOD watch.
0730 USS Rupertus stations her Special Sea and Anchor Detail. Aboard USS Henry W. Tucker stations her Special Sea and Anchor Detail.
0746 USS Henry W. Tucker completes her preparations for getting underway.
0750 Aboard Forrestal the crew musters on station. No absentees reported.
0800 Aboard Forrestal, Lieutenant Junior Grade Calvin M. Jones assumes the OOD watch. Aboard USS Rupertus Lieutenant D. R. McGinnis assumes the OOD watch. Aboard USS Henry W. Tucker Lieutenant Junior Grade David C. Emerson assumes the OOD watch.
0806 USS Rupertus is underway for special operations as a unit of Task Group 77.6. USS Rupertus commences steering various courses and speeds while standing out of Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. Aboard USS Rupertus Commanding Officer Commander Edwin J. Burke has the conn.
0813 USS Henry W. Tucker is underway for sea as a unit of Task Group 77.6. USS Henry W. Tucker commences maneuvering to clear anchorage. Aboard USS Henry W. Tucker Commanding Officer Captain J. H. D. Williams has the conn.
0824 USS Henry W. Tucker commences maneuvering on various courses and speeds while standing out of Subic Bay, Philippine Islands.
0830 Aboard Forrestal the Officer of the Deck shifts his watch to the bridge. Lieutenant Junior Grade William R. Hunt of OI Division assumes the OOD watch. USS Forrestal commences making preparations for getting underway.
0836 Aboard USS Henry W. Tucker Lieutenant Junior Grade David C. Emerson assumes the conn.
0837 Aboard Forrestal, harbor pilot, Captain Horshum arrives on the bridge.
0838 USS Henry W. Tucker secures her Special Sea and Anchor Detail.
0845 Aboard Forrestal the Boatswain's Mates of the Deck Force single up all thirteen mooring lines. On the pier the word is passed to cast off all remaining mooring lines. The line handlers' working party on the pier begins casting off the heavy wire pendant mooring lines. Forrestal is free of Leyte Pier. Quickly all along Forretal's starboard side the long mooring lines are being hauled aboard ship. Beginning with four lines forward at the Foc'sle, five lines from several sponsons along the hull, three from the starboard quarter and one back aft on the fantail. Slowly the ship is nudged away from the pier by several tugs. This departure is much more subdued from what the crew experienced on 6 June when Forrestal departed Norfolk, Virginia. The ship appears to be somewhat quieter.
0855 Forrestal is underway from Leyte pier, Cubi Point, Naval Air Station, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, enroute to "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam. Commanding Officer Captain John K. Beling has the conn. Forrestal commences maneuvering on various courses and speeds while departing harbor.
0922 USS Rupertus changes course to 289.
0923 USS Rupertus increases her speed to 15 knots. USS Henry W. Tucker commences maneuvering on various courses and speeds while conducting ASW search at Subic Bay entrance.


July 23, 1967 (Sunday)

Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 USS Forrestal, USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) enroute from Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines to Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on course 340 at 20 knots for Special Operations. Formation is a 3C2 bent line screen with USS Henry W. Tucker ahead of Forrestal at station #1, USS Rupertus at station #2 and Forrestal is guide in formation center. Senior Officer Afloat is Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked aboard Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain John K. Beling. Commander Destroyer Division THIRTY-TWO embarked aboard USS Rupertus. Forrestal boilers 1B, 2B, 3A, 4B, and generators 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness is 5 and material condition Yoke is set throughout the ship.


USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) astern of Forrestal.


July 24, 1967 (Monday)

Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 in company with USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) enroute from Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines to Yankee Station on course 270 at 22 knots. Forrestal is formation guide in column formation. USS Rupertus is in station 2. USS Henry W. Tucker is proceeding to rejoin formation. Senior Officer Afloat is Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain, John K. Beling. Screen Commander is COMDESDIV 32 embarked in USS Rupertus. Destroyers are screening against submarines. Boilers 1A, 1B, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4B, generators 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are on the line. Material condition Yoke and condition of readiness III are set throughout the ship.

1350 Forrestal recovers one helicopter. Forrestal commences maneuvering while remaining astern of USS Constellation (CVA-64), during helicopter transfer of Yankee Station assets.
USS Constellation (CVA-64)
1415 USS Henry W. Tucker changes course to 195 and decreases her speed to 18 knots.
1450 USS Henry W. Tucker changes course to 240.
1451 Forrestal recovers one C-1A Trader aircraft.
1509 USS Henry W. Tucker secures her plane guard detail. USS Henry W. Tucker commences maneuvering on various courses and speeds to take station 3,000 yards astern of Forrestal.
1510 Aboard Forrestal, COMCARDIV FIVE departed, via helicopter.

Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 composed of USS Forrestal and her two destroyer escorts USS Rupertus and USS Henry W. Tucker proceed to an area in the Tonkin Gulf called "Yankee Station." This will be the Task Group's area of operation for the next thirty days during their first "On Line Period." Yankee station is located at approximately latitude 18 degrees 30' N and longitude 108 degrees 30'E. U. S. Naval Combat Air operations conducted from Yankee Station primarily are against targets in North Vietnam. Yankee Station is approximately 60 miles off the coast of North Vietnam and Hainan Island. Hainan Island is a possession of the People's Republic of China. Yankee Station is located basically midway between the city of Vinh, North Vietnam, and the island of Hainan. Hainan Island is well known for its presence of Chinese military aircraft including the very agile MiG-17.

U. S. Naval aircraft of VF-96 operating from USS Ranger (CVA-61) first encountered an air-to-air engagement with Chinese MiG-17's off Hainan Island on 9 April 1965. Equally Forrestal and CVW-17 combat air patrols will have to be ever vigilant of the possible presence of Chinese and North Vietnamese MiG aircraft.

Normally two carrier battle groups operate on Yankee Station, but as the Forrestal's battle group approaches there soon will be three carrier groups operating on Yankee Station.

Further south there is another area from which U. S. Naval Air operations are conducted to support our ground forces in South Vietnam called "Dixie Station."


July 25, 1967 (Tuesday)

Forrestal's First Day on Yankee Station and First Combat Launch. Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 in company with USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on course 230 at 15 knots. Senior Officer Present Afloat, Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain, John K. Beling. COMDESDIV THIRTY-TWO and screen commander embarked in USS Rupertus. USS Henry W. Tucker is in station #1 and USS Rupertus is in station #2 of a bentline screen. Boilers 1A, 2A, 3A, 1B, 2B, and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. The ship is darkened. Material condition Yoke and General Condition of Readiness III is set.

Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.8 composed of USS Oriskany (CVA-34) [Note 3], USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747), and USS George K. Mac Kenzie (DD-836) is also operating on Yankee Station. COMCARDIV NINE Rear Admiral W. L. Curtis is embarked in USS Oriskany. OTC is Captain B. D. Holder, USN Commanding Officer of USS Oriskany. Carrier Task Group 77.8 approximate position is Latitude 19 degrees 22' N and Longitude 106 degrees 37' E.

Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.7 composed of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31), USS Sproston (DD-577), and USS Preston (DD-795) is operating on Yankee Station. COMCARDIV SEVEN Rear Admiral V. P. DePoix is embarked in USS Bon Homme Richard. OTC is Captain C. K. Ruiz, USN Commanding Officer of USS Bon Homme Richard. Carrier Task Group 77.7 approximate position is Latitude 18 degrees 32' N and Longitude 107 degrees 22' E.

USS Intrepid (CVS-11) in company with USS Bausell (DD-845), and USS Porterfield (DD-682) are enroute to Yankee station.

(3) Editor's note: NavSource General Project Manager, Gary Priolo, was a crewmember of USS Oriskany at the time. [Back]



USS Forrestal (CVA-59)
July 26, 1967 (Wednesday)

Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 in company with USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) and USS Rupertus (DD-851) on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on course 305 at 15 knots. Senior Officer Present [Afloat,]Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain John K. Beling. Screen Commander is COMDESDIV 32 embarked in USS Rupertus. Destroyers are screening against submarines in a bent line screen. USS Henry W. Tucker is in station 1 and USS Rupertus is in station 2. Boilers 1B, 2A, 2B, 4A, 4B, and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness III (modified) and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

Another successful refueling was conducted. Forrestal's time alongside the oiler USS Mispillion (AO-105) was 3 hours and twenty minutes.

Captain Beling spoke to the crew today. He told the crew that the attacks on targets in North Vietnam are going well. Photos of the areas attacked will be posted on the second deck.

"I'm most satisfied at the way the air wing and ship have performed," said Captain John K. Beling.

"Our training period was intense and directly pointed at the theater of operations. There have been some adverse weather factors these first two days on Yankee Station that the pilots have had to contend with. But I am most pleased. They've handled themselves like veterans in pressing home their attacks."


July 27, 1967 (Thursday)

Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 in company with USS Mispillion (AO-105), USS Rupertus (DD-851), and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) on Yankee Station, in the Gulf of Tonkin on course 177T at 20 knots. Senior Officer [Present] Afloat, Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain John K. Beling. Screen Commander is COMDESDIV 32 embarked in USS Rupertus. Boilers 1A, 2B, 3A, 4A and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness III (modified) and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship. USS Henry W. Tucker is operating astern of Forrestal and USS Mispillion. USS Rupertus is maneuvering on random patrol.


July 28, 1967 (Friday)

Bomb detonations over North Vietnam.

Steaming as a unit of Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6 in company with USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on course 180 at speed 12 knots. Senior Officer Present Afloat Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group 77.6, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Officer in Tactical Command is Captain John K. Beling. Screen Commander is COMDESDIV 32 embarked in USS Rupertus. USS Rupertus is maneuvering in station one and USS Henry W. Tucker in station two of screen 3C2. Boilers 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 4B, generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. General condition of readiness III (modified) and material condition Yoke are set throughout the ship.

This evening Captain Beling spoke to the crew again and expressed his pleasure in the good reports coming back from the successful missions that Air Wing SEVENTEEN pilots have flown. Today our pilots flew missions against a bridge, railroad sidings, trans-shipments sites, refineries and petroleum transfer site.

The F-4 Phantom's of VF-11 were the first over the target attacking four triple A sites, anti-aircraft sites. The flak suppression flights were successful in knocking out all four sites. With the anti-aircraft sites destroyed that makes the attack aircraft missions easier. Attack aircraft of VA-46, VA-106, and VA-65 knocked out a railroad siding, inflicted heavy damage on a trans-shipment area, and hit a petroleum products storage area. Captain Beling told his crew that Forrestal pilots report that 90% of the bombs have hit their targets.

VAH-10 the "Vikings," in four days of supplying in-flight refueling, have supplied nearly a quarter of a million gallons of JP-5, to other aircraft of Air Wing SEVENTEEN. VAH-10 was also called on short notice to help supply JP-5 to aircraft flying from the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31).


VAW-13 ["Zappers"] EA-1F Skyraider.

Captain Beling told his crew that there are now three more squadrons aboard Forrestal. He said VAW-13 is now aboard and they are flying the EA-1F Skyraider, Electronic Spads. Squadron VQ-1 is also aboard flying the EA-3B Skywarrior. He said they have been flying highly successful missions but, he can't tell us what they are doing, because their missions are highly classified.


HS-2 Detachment 59.

The newly arrived, big SH-3A Sea King helicopters aboard Forrestal belong to HELASRON TWO. HS-2 flies the SAR (Sea-Air-Rescue) missions in and around North Vietnam.

HS-2 has numerous helo detachments stationed aboard aircraft carriers operating in the Tonkin Gulf. They not only work full time on their SAR missions, but also carry mail, cargo, and spare parts to destroyers and are also used for medical evacuations.

They stay on the line for 30 days normally, but have spent as many as 110.

These SH-3A Sea King helicopters carry a crew of four. The Sea King helicopters have a crew that consists of a pilot, co-pilot, and two air crewmen in the rear. They are armed with four M-60 machine guns in the rear and two Thompson machine guns for the pilot and co-pilot.

They have a maximum speed of 140 knots and can stay aloft for four hours. A unique feature of these helicopters is that they can refuel from destroyers.


Ordnance On Loading.
In closing the Captain said, "tonight we will be going alongside the USS Diamond Head to rearm and then back at it again tomorrow."

During the early evening's light while the deck force and weapons department personnel prepare for replenishment of ammunition, Forrestal commences her approach on the ammunition ship USS Diamond Head [AE-19]. In peaceful travel, a school of porpoises swim across both ships bows, traveling from port to starboard.

Soon the replenishment task is complete at least for those of the deck divisions. All lines across to the USS Diamond Head are clear. "Secure from all replenishment Stations" sounds from the 1MC, but others who have been detailed to the ammunition working party will work late into the early morning storing the ammunition below in the magazines.


 Click to read the July 29, 1967 (Saturday) logs. 


July 30, 1967 (Sunday)

Steaming in the Gulf of Tonkin in company with the USS Repose (AH-16), HMAS Hobart (D 39), USS Bausell (DD-845), USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) and USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD-717) on course 080 degrees at 9 knots. Senior Officer Present Afloat COMCARDIV TWO RADM Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Tactical Officer in Command is Captain John K. Beling. Boilers 1A, 2A, 4A, 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. Condition of Readiness 1 and Material Condition Zebra (modified) are set. Lieutenant Reginald C. Corbeille has the OOD watch.

0007 USS Henry W. Tucker commences maneuvering to take station 2,000 yards astern of USS Bausell on base course 080, base speed 9 knots. USS Bausell is formation guide. USS Forrestal bears 080 at 3,000 yards from USS Bausell. USS Repose bears 080 at 6,000 yards from guide.
USS Forrestal (CVA-59) a day after the tragic flight deck fire, as seen from USS Bausell (DD-845). Photo submitted by Larry Backus. Photographer unknown.

Larry recalls: "My ship, USS
Bausell, was assigned to the USS Intrepid operating about 65 miles south of Forrestal and her escorts when the fire broke out. I remember arriving on scene near dusk and seeing Forrestal listing about 20 degrees to port and water cascading from her hangar bay. It was a chilling sight. Anyway, I had no color film in my camera, but as the official photographer for the ship's cruise book, I had another camera with b/w film in it. I haven't reviewed the negatives from that day but have this single color slide image that I got from a crewmate (can't remember who). [...] It was taken the day AFTER the fire when USS Repose was receiving wounded and dead from Forrestal."

"[...]"

"I remember the boiler casualty because I was on
Bausell's port 02 level looking back at Forrestal. Steam gushed from a pipe aft of the fwd stack (remember, I wasn't a snipe!) and we turned hard to avoid being run over by Forrestal."
0015 USS Forrestal reports all fires out.
0615 USS Repose increases speed to 15 knots. USS Repose calls away flight quarters.
0715 Forrestal commences helicopter transfer operations to USS Repose and USS Intrepid (CVS-11).
1119 Secured from General Quarters.
1155 Flash fire reported in compartment 2-231-0-L.
1231 Fire in compartment 2-232-0-L out.
1410 Forrestal detaches USS Repose. USS Repose secures from flight quarters and changes her course to 210. USS Repose commences proceeding to Da Nang harbor, Republic of South Vietnam.
1422 USS Forrestal speed 25 knots.
1426 USS Bausell is on station 2,000 yards ahead of USS Forrestal.
1655 USS Henry W. Tucker increases her speed to 27 knots.
1718 Forrestal assumes formation guide on base course 128 and increases her speed to 27 knots.
1800 LTJG William R. Hunt assumes the OOD watch.
1900 USS Bausell (DD-845) reports she is experiencing a boiler casualty. Forrestal reduces her speed to 25 knots.
1902 Forrestal reduces her speed to 20 knots. USS Henry W. Tucker reduces her speed to 20 knots. USS Bausell reports engineering breakdown.
1908 Forrestal reduces her speed to 15 knots. USS Henry W. Tucker is directed by OTC to remain with and assist USS Bausell. USS Henry W. Tucker remains on station 4,000 yards of USS Bausell.
1947 USS Repose commences maneuvering while standing into Da Nang Harbor, Republic of South Vietnam.
2004 USS Forrestal speed 27 knots.
2200 Taps. Lights out. Chaplain W. David Cooper read the following to the crew.

"Heavenly Father, our thoughts are turned toward our loved ones. They have given so much of themselves for us. They have shown faith in us and are now anxious in our behalf. May their faith in Thee be sufficient to quiet them in their anxiety. Bless those who have lost their sons, husbands, fathers, and friends. Grant that they may face this experience with confidence, accept reality, and begin to make those adjustments, which are a part of life."

"Please give us wisdom as we write our letters and messages to our loved ones. May we have a part in strengthening their faith, causing them to understand. AMEN."

July 31, 1967 (Monday)

Steaming in company with USS Bausell (DD-845) and USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) from Yankee Station, Gulf of Tonkin enroute to Subic Bay, Philippine Islands on course 128 at 10 knots. Senior Officer Present Afloat COMCARDIV TWO, Rear Admiral Harvey P. Lanham embarked in Forrestal. Tactical Officer in Command of Forrestal is Captain John K. Beling. USS Bausell and USS Henry W. Tucker are astern of Forrestal on a course of 128 degrees, at 10 knots. Boilers 1B, 2B, 3B, 4A, and generators 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are on the line. Material condition Yoke is set forward of frame 177 and Zebra condition is set aft of frame 177. Condition of Readiness 1 is set.

USS Bausellís starboard shaft lube oil pressure problem continues.

The Memorial Ceremony begins at 1300 in Hangar Bay One. Over 2,000 Forrestal and Air wing SEVENTEEN personnel attend. Chaplain David Cooper and Chaplain Geoffrey E. Gaughan the ship's Protestant and Catholic chaplains respectively prayed as the men paid a solemn tribute to their 134 lost shipmates.


Chaplain's Gaughan and Cooper Conduct Memorial Ceremony.

USS Forrestal returns to Leyte Pier, Subic Bay.
1430 Commander Task Group 77.4 embarked in USS Constellation (CVA-64) assumes operational control of USS Henry W. Tucker and USS Bausell.
1440 Forrestal commences helicopter operations with USS Constellation to transfer Yankee Station assets. USS Constellation soon will be proceeding to Yankee Station to replace Forrestal.
1515 Forrestal changes course to 092.
1534 Forrestal completes helicopter operations with USS Constellation.
1630 Forrestal set the Special Sea and anchor Detail. Preparations commenced aboard Forrestal for entering port at Subic Bay, Philippines.
1730 Forrestal reduces her speed to 12 knots. Forrestal commences maneuvering while standing into Cubi Point, Naval Air Station, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands.
1840 Forrestal moored starboard side to Leyte Pier, Cubi Point, Naval Air Station, Subic Bay, Philippines Islands.


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