Jerry Hendrix, National Review: Burning USS Bonhomme Richard Signals More Trouble for Navy
The latest incident in a long line of recent trouble suggests continued internal weakness
The Navy suffered yet another cruel blow this past weekend when a fire broke out onboard the light amphibious carrier USS Bonhomme Richard, one of the oldest and most revered names in U.S. naval history, and then grew to massive proportions and spread throughout the ship. At one point the ship was entirely evacuated, firefighting tugboats pulled back, and the two destroyers that were tied up across the pier from the burning ship got under way as quickly as possible to escape the soaring temperatures and thick smoke. Local fire officials momentarily speculated that the ship might have to be left to burn “to the water line,” an outcome difficult to imagine for a steel-hulled vessel but not so difficult for those firefighters attempting to work in close proximity to the ship’s internal 1,000-degree Fahrenheit temperatures. The flames have raged for days, and firefighting efforts finally appear to be gaining control of the situation. The ship’s aluminum island has melted and her radar masts have collapsed, while Navy and local San Diego officials worried what would happen if the flames reached the ship’s fuel tanks, located just above her keel, well below the waterline, but containing 1 million gallons of the Navy’s special blend of diesel fuel.
Read more ….
WNU Editor:A sobering read on what the loss of the USS Bonhomme Richard would mean for the US navy.