Senator’s resolution honors servicemembers lost in the USS Forrestal Fire – one of the worst losses of life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II
The late Arizona Senator John McCain was aboard the carrier, surviving the naval disaster 3 months before becoming a prisoner of war
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution backed by Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema honoring the 134 servicemembers, including two from Arizona, lost in the USS Forrestal Fire on July 29, 1967. The late Arizona Senator John McCain survived the fire 3 months prior to becoming a prisoner of war.
“Our bipartisan resolution acknowledges the 55th anniversary of the tragic USS Forrestal Fire, and honors the brave servicemembers who gave their lives for their shipmates. I’m glad the Senate came together to recognize their courage,” said Sinema.
The accidental launch of a rocket caused a fire on the USS Forrestal, a U.S. Navy carrier off the coast of Vietnam, on July 29, 1967. For 18 hours, sailors and marines on the USS Forrestal, assisted by helicopters and crews from other ships, fought to control the fire. Tragically, the accidental fire killed 134 American servicemembers, including Airman Joseph Kosik III of Tucson and Lieutenant Commander Fred White of Phoenix, and injured an additional 161. At the time, it was the worst loss of life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II.
The resolution — which passed the Senate with bipartisan support — maintains that the loss of life could have been much worse had it not been for the selflessness of the servicemembers onboard who fought to control the disaster.
Senator John McCain was aboard the carrier at the time and survived the naval disaster before becoming a prisoner of war 3 months later. Sinema’s resolution remembers and honors Senator McCain’s legacy – a personal hero to Sinema and countless Arizonans and Americans.