❤ Sharing Folkworthy Stuffs ❤
1 Comment | Vintage
The holes were made by high-explosive ordnance deployed on the aircraft that were lined-up at that place on the deck that exploded through ‘cooking-off’ in the fire. It can clearly be seen how thick the steel-plating of the deck is: I would say about 2″ (but that item of information is not classified (not _now_, anyway), and can be found-out); and it’s not just any steel, either – it’s gone through extreme processes like _nitriding_ &-or that sort of thing. Shows how powerful proper military bombs are.
The incident occured in the _Gulf of Tonkin_ off the coast of Vietnam. Various slips in procedure led to the accidental firing of a _Zuni_ rocket deployed at the underside of one of the parked aeroplanes, which then promptly struck another parked directly in it’s path.
There was a heated controversy stemming from this incident driven by concern over whether deployment of surplus & ageing WWII ordnance, delivered to the ship by reason of there being somewhat of a shortfall in ordnance production at the time, was a significant contributory factor in the accident. There was much ‘word going round’, said to have originated in what certain of the crew were willing to say afterwards, that there was a feeling of dismay ‘in the air’ when the delivery arrived & was seen by those whose task it was to handle it – unpack it, install it, etc.
But it is by no means _necessarily_ so that the condition of the ordnance was a significant contributory factor: the official account of the sequence of errors leading-up to it at no point rests upon the condition of the ordnance … ___but___ – some do maintain that the ‘cooking-off’ time may well have been less, and therefore that the firefighters, one of whom – the commander of the firefighters infact – was killed outright by the first explosion trying without hesitation to quench the fire by going right-up-close to it in person armed only with what firefighting equipment he could instantly grab, _might well_ have been significantly better-able to fight the fire had the ordnance been freshly manufactured.