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Sailors to the End


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The tragic events that occurred on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal in July 1967, while the ship's crew was preparing for an air strike against North Vietnam, ranks high with other naval disasters at sea. Told through personal narratives of 12 eyewitness sailors, the book shows how through a series of accidents misfire from a Phantom aircraft's Zuni rocket struck another aircraft on the flight deck, piloted by (later Senator) John McCain. The misfired rocket set off a series of explosions, some from 1000-pound vintage World War II bombs already loaded on jets on the flight deck. The ensuing series of cataclysmic events caused a bloody carnage and loss of 134 men. Freeman (Lay This Body Down) doesn't spare the gruesome details. McCain, a combat pilot and POW during the Vietnam War, was caught in the middle of exploding aircraft and walls of jet fuel fireballs. Sailors were trapped below decks or thrown overboard by each succeeding explosion as deadly shrapnel hissed across the deck. Despite the damage and loss of life, the aircraft carrier did not sink. This thorough, absorbing account is recommended for large public libraries and Vietnam War collections. Gerald Costa, Brooklyn P.L., NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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