Sunday, November 22, 2015

40 Years Ago

USS Belknap (CG-26) collided with USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). Belknap burned down to her steel decks (her superstructure was made of aluminum). Eight men were killed, one of them was on the JFK. Belknap was towed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, decommissioned, and moored there until plans and funds were arranged to rebuild her.

I knew a chief petty officer who had been on Belknap. Whenever our ship operated near an aircraft carrier, he damn near had to be sedated. It was far worse if the carrier was the JFK.

In a bit of a twist, one of the ships that came to Belknap's rescue after the collision was USS Bordelon (DD-881). Bordelon herself later collided with JFK. Bordelon's damage was deemed to be beyond economical repair, given that she was over 30 years old, and she was sold to the Iranians as a spare-parts hulk.

1 comment:

Frank Van Haste said...

And USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) earned a Unit Commendation that night for evacuating the injured and supporting the firefighting as Belknap's ammo cooked off.