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Thread: Aircraft Carrier restoration

  1. #1
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    Default Aircraft Carrier restoration

    I have been working on the USS Hornet since 1998 and have put in 800 days during that time which is just over two solid 7 day a week years. Both the TBM Avenger, which thread has vanished, and the ship mainly the Island structure. During that time I have shot many pictures of the ship for my records. Now I have finally put up a web site after all these years. Only 500 pictures are up while another 500 are waiting to be set in place. The site covers the ship, aircraft, the past and the Suisun Reserve Fleet. Many aircraft need to be added as with ships in the Suisun page. Will add more photos and descriptions as time permits and photos are submitted by the plane captains responsible for their aircrafts restoration.

    www.usshornet-cv12.com

  2. #2
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    Thanks for posting that. It brought back a lot of memories. I served aboard the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) from 1967 to 1969. One Westpac cruise (Vietnam) and one Mediterranean cruise. The Forrestal blew up off the coast of Vietnam in July of 1967 and killed 135 of my shipmates. The worst naval disaster to this date since WWII. Static electricity fired off a sidewinder (later we found out it was a Zuni) missile on an aircraft on the flight deck and that missile went into the belly tank (fuel) of another aircraft causing an explosion and fire. Which created a domino effect of more fuel being released and rapidly spreading fire causing 250, 500 and 1000 pound bombs still on other aircraft to "cook off" blowing massive holes in the two inch steel flight deck and crew sleeping quarters just under the flight deck. Several bombs rolled into those massive holes in the flight deck and "cooked off" one or more decks below the flight deck. Burning fuel rapidly flowed into those holes causing catastrophic damage several to many decks down. People were trapped and burned to death in several areas. One spot the fire was very close on two sides of a magazine (more explosives) but miraculously the fire was put out before that magazine detonated. I was on the hangar deck when the fire and explosions started and my job at the time was a fire fighter which I did to the best of my abililty. I received a letter of commendation (as did several people) from Captain/Admiral Beling (capt. of the ship) which is a permanent part of my military service record for actions above and beyond the call of duty that helped minimize casualties of my shipmates. I still have the original commendation, getting a little yellowed with age but I read it every once in a while just to remind me how chaotic life can get at times.
    Last edited by Phil V; 07-26-2009 at 11:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Static electricity fired off a sidewinder missile on an A4 Skyhawk aircraft on the flight deck and that missile went into the belly tank (fuel) of another aircraft.....
    I's hard (for me) to believe static electricity fired off the missile. I'm surprised they didn't blame the pilot in the plane that shot the missile.
    Was is McCain's A4 Skyhawk that was hit with the missile?

  4. #4
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    The word I got at the time (right after the fire) was that some dummy on the flight deck went around and pulled the pins on all the aircraft that were being readied for launch. Whats supposed to happen is there is a pin accessible from the outside of each aircraft that arms/disarms all the armaments on that aircraft. When the aircraft is hooked up to the catapult and only seconds before its launched is when the pins are supposed to be pulled. Those pins are obviously supposed to remove any possibility of accidental discharge. All the aircraft being readied for launch were positioned in a horseshoe pattern on the fan tail of the ship, each waiting its turn to be towed to one of the catapults. One of the flight deck tractors hooked on to an aircraft to tow the aircraft to the catapult and as they started moving the missile fired off. The word was when it fired off it went through a guy into the belly tank of another aircraft, touching off the sequence of events. I don't remember if it was actually McCains A4 Skyhawk that was first to get hit or not but his plane was right in the thick of it. It most definately was not pilot error in the missile firing off. I read later where they blamed the missile firing off on a faulty switch ??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default Forrestal

    Phil. I have a friend in NC, whom was aboard the Forrestal that fateful day. You might even know him ? Email me direct and I'll give you his email address as yours came back bad.

    Small world

  6. #6
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    What a great collection of photos of the Hornet on your site!

    I was able to find what I slept on (top bunk) there that one night on a Cub Scout "Scout-o-Rama". Like I have said I sure respect all who have worked on those ships, during war, peace time AND restoration! Thank you all!

    Brian


  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Moochville
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    The speed of 33 knots is amazing to me . I would love to see that ship come by me at 33 knots .

    The power it takes to do that is just hard to believe.


    Mooch

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for posting!

    I liked it better when the carriers were not named after people:
    Wasp, Hornet, Coral See, Enterprise, Intrepid, Ranger etc, sound so much better to me than the names of presidents, whether I thought they were good presidents or not...

  9. #9
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    Feb 2012
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    North central Maine
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    Default

    Thats great. So glad to see the old girl saved.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT1 View Post
    Thanks for posting!

    I liked it better when the carriers were not named after people:
    Wasp, Hornet, Coral See, Enterprise, Intrepid, Ranger etc, sound so much better to me than the names of presidents, whether I thought they were good presidents or not...
    Then as you well may be aware that the Big E is on her last deployment right now. She is due to be de-commissioned in 2013. She will not become a museum as some think she could be. She has 8 nuclear reactors that will need to be de-commed by cutting them out through the hull. At that point she will be swiss cheese. There is a petition online to name CVN-80, the third Ford carrier (gasp), the USS Enterprise.

    http://www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.Petition

    http://www.petitiononline.com/CVN80ENT/petition.html

  11. #11
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    Every now and then we have a really special event. Well, last Saturday the 5th, we had a 70th Anniversary of Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo. Three of the five surviving Raiders were present, a few crew members of the original CV-8 Hornet, and a retired Taiwanese Air Force officer who was 14 at the time and helped rescue some. At 5:00 pm there was a flyover by two restored B-25's followed by a $100 head dinner for 600. One of our Docent's made this video as he makes many dealing with old aircraft.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aedmRNlde1c

    The reunion in Urbana, OH this year. Apparently 22 B-25 aircraft.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLuaM...feature=fvwrel

    and more to the right.

    I was present for the 59th reunion where there were 15 planes up against the fence line. Spectators were behind the fence and within 100 yards of the planes were they all started up. The entire crowd was washed in air and smoke from the engines drinking it in.
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 05-12-2012 at 01:52 AM.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2007
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    North Queensland, Australia
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    Thanks for posting this, we surely owe those boys, a great generation of men and boys.

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