Gray, James Kenneth, SN

Fallen
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Seaman
Last Primary NEC
SN-0000-Seaman
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman
Primary Unit
1965-1966, USS Oriskany (CV-34)
Service Years
1965 - 1966
SN-Seaman

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

81 kb

Home State
Texas
Texas
Year of Birth
1943
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Gray, James Kenneth, SN.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Happy, TX
Last Address
Happy, Texas, TX

Casualty Date
Oct 26, 1966
 
Cause
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Reason
Drowned, Suffocated
Location
Tonkin Gulf
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Aztec Cemetery - Aztec, New Mexico
Wall/Plot Coordinates
11E 110

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club


 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2012, The National Gold Star Family Registry


 Ribbon Bar

 
 Duty Stations
USS Oriskany (CV-34)
  1965-1966, USS Oriskany (CV-34)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam
  1965-1966 Dixie Station, South Vietnam
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The carrier was on station the morning of 27 October 1966 when a fire erupted on the starboard side of the ship's forward hangar bay and raced through five decks, killing 44 men. Many who lost their lives were veteran combat pilots who had flown raids over Vietnam a few hours earlier. Oriskany had been put in danger when a magnesium parachute flare exploded in the forward flare locker of Hangar Bay 1, beneath the carrier's flight deck. Subsequent investigation showed the flare functioned as designed and the cause of the fire was human error. A seaman accidently ignited the flare, and in a panic, threw it into the weapons locker where the flares were kept for storage, instead of throwing it over the side into the water; this allowed the entire storage locker to ignite and caused horrific damage. Some of her crewmen jettisoned heavy bombs which lay within reach of the flames, while others wheeled planes out of danger, rescued pilots, and helped quell the blaze throughout the next three hours. Medical assistance was rushed to the carrier from sister aircraft carriers Constellation (CV-64) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42). Later investigation by Captain Iarrobino of the Oriskany and analysis by the Naval Ammunition Depot in Crane, Indiana, showed that one in every thousand flares could ignite accidentally if jarred. Five crew members were court-martialed as a result of the incident but were acquitted.

 

   
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