Geller, Robert Earl, LT

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
68 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Aviation Ordnance Technician
Last Primary NEC
636X-Limited Duty Officer - Aviation Ordnance
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1967-1967, COMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17)
Service Years
1945 - 1967
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Golden Dragon
Panama Canal
Aviation Ordnance Technician
Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

219 kb

Home State
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1924
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Bersley H. Thomas, Jr. (Tom), SMCS to remember Geller, Robert Earl, LT.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Washington DC
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Jul 29, 1967
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Reason
Other Accident
Location
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
24E 024

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club Order of the Golden Dragon LDO/CWO


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

 
 Duty Stations
USS Lexington (CVA-16)USS Forrestal (CV-59)VA-65 TigersCOMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17)
  1959-1960, USS Lexington (CVA-16)
  1967-1967, USS Forrestal (CV-59)
  1967-1967, VA-65 Tigers
  1967-1967, COMNAVAIRLANT/Commander Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW-17)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
   
Comments/Citation
FORRESTAL arrived on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on 25 July and immediately began combat operations. The first four days were routine; the fifth day, 29 July, was not.

The ship was preparing to launch a major strike and many fully fueled and armed aircraft were parked about the deck. At 10:52 AM a 5" ZUNI rocket accidentally fired from an F-4 Phantom parked on the starboard side of the ship and pointed inboard. The rocket impacted an armed A-4 Skyhawk (piloted by then-LCDR, now Senator, John McCain) parked on the port side.

The rocket's impact dislodged and ruptured the Skyhawk's 400-gallon external fuel tank and ignited the jet fuel which poured out. A 1000-pound bomb also fell to the deck, into the spreading pool of flaming jet fuel. Within 90 seconds the bomb "cooked off" and detonated. That explosion resulted in a chain reaction as the closely-packed aircraft were first engulfed in and then contributed to a massive fire with repeated high-order bomb detonations. The ship's "plat" cameras, mounted on the island and embedded in the deck itself, provided ample video coverage of the initial accident and the subsequent catastrophe.

The first responders were Repair Party 8, led by Chief Petty Officer Gerald Farrier, who can be seen in the plat tapes running toward McCain's Skyhawk immediately after the rocket strike. The fuel tank had already ruptured and burning fuel was spreading around the aircraft. Chief Farrier had, as his weapon against this blaze, a hand-held fire extinguisher. He had not yet reached the Skyhawk when the first detonation occurred . . . he simply disappeared in the blast. A number of air- and deck crew were trapped in the inferno; many died there, while others were able to escape to the deck-edge catwalks.

Outside the rapidly spreading fire, the flight deck crew immediately began an effort to contain the blaze. The on-deck firefighting crews rallied after the first explosion and attacked the fire, only to disappear in the second, and larger, round of explosions. The plat tapes show the decimated firefighters recruiting help from anyone in the vicinity, and these make-shift crews once again pressed into the growing inferno. The third round of detonations cleared the deck of men and fire-fighting gear, but within a minute more crewmen from the forward deck and below-deck areas had reconstituted fire-fighting teams and were working their way aft.



  

   
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011