New York Times reporter, R. W. Apple. Jr., reported on July 31, 1967, that Captain John K. Beling, the Forrestal's commanding officer, stated:
"for some unknown reason, a plane parked near the carrier's island, midway up the 1,045 foot flight deck, experienced an 'extreme wet start.'
"This malfunction, comparable to what happens when a cigarette lighter is ignited after having been filled to full, occurs about once a week on attack carriers, but almost never so severely as it did yesterday."
"A thick tongue of flame lashed backward from the parked jet, igniting a missile on one of the dozen or so planes parked near the fantail, their engines turning over in readiness for a strike launching scheduled for 11 a.m.The rocket ‘shot across the deck,’ Captain Beling said, 'and by a quirk of fate smashed into a fuel tank under a plane on the port side.'”
The plane struck by the missile was McCain’s A-4 Skyhawk, a fitting “quirk of fate” since it was McCain’s “wet start” that triggered the firing of the missile that hit his jet in the first place.
From the point of ignition of the missile in the conflagration on the Forrestal, McCain leapt from his jet and rolled out of the flames. No mention was ever made of McCain experiencing “wounds” from the incident in any of the accounts of those onboard the Forrestal in July, 1967 -- all lower in rank than McCain’s father who had rank over all officers in the Forrestal’s theater of operations.
According to established reports, McCain was the first person to be reassigned to the USS Oriskany, probably to protect him from the friends of the 134 killed and 161 injured on the USS Forrestal.What this all means is that John McCain and his campaign are “revising history,” using McCain’s father’s position within the Navy to hide and distort matters of historical fact.
All this fact-bending in order to spare the privileged son of a distinguished Naval officer the embarrassment of having to explain how he was responsible for the worst disaster on a naval aircraft carrier since World War II, and yet was honorably discharged and continues to receive a veteran’s pension.
John McCain, the American people would like your pension paid back to the Treasury, adjusted for inflation.