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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Those poor people on the cruise!

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02-16-2013 08:07:25

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Were you on the Forrestal, Goose?


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02-16-2013 10:16:29

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 Re: Those poor people on the cruise! in reply to Dean, 02-16-2013 08:07:25  
I was on the Saratoga, FDR, and Lake Champlain. The Lake Champlain was the one that got on fire.

We were in port at Marsielle, France and apparently someone vented the av-gas system in port, which is an ABSOLUTE no-no. An oil slick formed around the aft of the ship and all it took was for someone to pitch a cigarette butt overboard. We lost five sailors and two French civilians who were on a barge alongside.

When a Bos'n's mate got on the squawk box and yelled, "General quarters, this is no drill!" we knew he meant it. About a quarter of the ship burnt before it was over. Fortunately the fire never got to the flight deck where there were rows of fueled up airplanes.

The Randolph was due to relieve us within a couple of weeks, so the Randolph arrived early and we limped home.

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Herald P Ia

02-16-2013 21:13:46

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 Re: Those poor people on the cruise! in reply to Goose, 02-16-2013 10:16:29  
My brother served on the Lake Champlain during WWII, and then after the war was over, made 4 or 5 trips across the Atlantic, bringing troops home.They converted it from a aircraft carrier to a troop carrier. At one trip, they set a speed record, that was kept for many years, for the time to cross one way. I have some name plates that were takin off the ship before it was dismantled. My brother went thru the war, came home and was killed in a accident. Still miss him...

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02-16-2013 11:42:35

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 Re: Those poor people on the cruise! in reply to Goose, 02-16-2013 10:16:29  
Thanks, Goose.

A high school classmate of mine perished in the fire on the Forrestal in 1967.

Though never in the military myself, my Mother was a WWII veteran. She spent 3 years as a nurse in McArthur's Army in New Guinea and the Philippines.

I have great respect for all of our veterans.

Thank you for your service.


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02-16-2013 14:19:16

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 Re: Those poor people on the cruise! in reply to Dean, 02-16-2013 11:42:35  
Sorry about your classmate.

And I appreciate the thanks. It's always nice to know what we did didn't go unnoticed.

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