USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), 14 January 1969

Enterprisewas operating off Hawaii (20º27’7”N, 158º27’5”W) at the time. The sequence of events was similar to the Forrestal fire, starting with a rocket overheating due to exhaust from a flight deck vehicle and "cooking off". The explosion ignited the fuel tanks on the aircraft and touched off a flight deck disaster. The fire was put out within 4 hours. Damage, although severe, was less extensive than that caused by Forrestal fire. The nuclear "frigate" USS Bainbridge was one of Enterprise's escorts, and according to one of her sailors she vastly surpassed her rated speed of "30+" knots while racing to the carrier's aid. The next day the frigate escorted the carrier into Pearl Harbor, and the atmosphere was said to be not unlike prevailing mood when the previous USS Enterprise (CV 6) returned to Pearl Harbor the day after the Japanese attack.

Flames envelop the ship's stern as the fire rages uncontrolled.

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

Aircraft burning furiously on deck before crews can attack the flames.

The ship's crew and an escorting destroyer attack the flight deck blaze. USS Rogers (DD 876) lies alongside the carrier to assist, while another escort arrives on scene.

USS Enterprise 1/14/69

Firefighting crews push aft past burnt-out aircraft, extinguishing the fire.

The aftermath of the disaster, seen soon after the fire was extinguished and before flight operations resumed.

A hole blasted through the filghtdeck by an exploding bomb.

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