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Aft Fire Room Explosion, May 23, 1969

Official Deck Log Entries and Course Track from May 23, 1969 to May 27, 1969

Course Track May 23, 1969 to May 27, 1969

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May 23, 1969
00 - 04
Underway steaming in company with TU 77.0.1 composed of USS KING (DLG-10) and USS SAMPLE (DE-1048) conducting special operations in accordance with COMSEVENTHFLT Quarterly Employment Schedule. Steaming in a 10 mile circle centered on 18 degrees 30 minutes North, 106 degrees 45 minutes East on a 320 / 140 base course at base speed 10 knots. USS KING is the guide with USS SAMPLE in a sector 250 to 280, 3 to 5 miles from the guide. The ship is darkened with material condition YOKE set. Condition of readiness III is in effect. SOPA is CTU 77.0.0 COMDESDIV 142 embarked USS KING as SSSC Commander. OTC is CTU 77.0.1, CO KING. (LT C. P. Bormann)
0025
c/c to 330
0130
c/c to 155
0230
c/c to 310
0257
c/c to 335
0343
c/c to 140
04 - 08
Underway as before. (LT A. J. Turner)
0450
c/c to 310
0601
c/c to 125
0710
c/c to 315
0750
Mustered the crew at quarters, Absentees - none
08 - 12
Underway as before. (LTJG R. T. Sallenberger)
0818
c/c to 125
0914
c/c to 320
0920
c/s to 5 kts
0921
All engines stop. Manuevering with engines to maintain heading.
0949
Experienced engineering casualty, maximum speed available 12 kts.
0954
Received morning muster report. Absentees: none.
1026
c/c to 250, c/s to 12 kts
1030
c/c to 230
1035
c/s to 10 kts
1036
c/c to 320
1115
Set Flight Quarters, c/c to 230, c/s to 12 kts
1121
c/c to 240
1123
Launched helicopter
1125
c/c to 235
1131
Recovered helicopter main deck aft
1132
Secured from Flight Quarters, c/c to 090, c/s to 10 kts
12 - 16
Underway as before. (LT C. P. Bormann)
1150
Set Flight Quarters, c/c to 230, c/s to 12 kts
1202
Secured from Flight Quarters
1203
c/c to 045
1223
Set Flight Quarters, c/c to 265, c/s to 20 kts
1243
Secured from Flight Quarters, c/c to 045, c/s to 15 kts
1302
Set Flight Quarters, c/c to 265, c/s to 20 kts
1324
The Honorable John H. Chafee, Secretary of the Navy, VADM W. F. Bringle, COMSEVENTHFLT and party came aboard. Broke the flag of the Secretary of the Navy.
1407
The Secretary of the Navy departed by helo, hauled down the flag of SECNAV
1408
Secured from Flight Quarters
1408
c/c to 100
1410
c/c to 280
1411
Set Flight Quarters
1416
c/c to 095, c/s to 15 kts
1417
Secured from Flight Quarters
1536
c/c to 140, c/s to 10 kts
16 - 20
Underway as before. (LTJG J. E. Lyons)
1643
c/c to 320
1721
c/c to 150
1840
c/c to 315
1923
Executed Darken Ship
1942
c/c to 145
20 - 24
Underway as before. (LTJG R. T. Sollenberger)
2050
c/c to 340
2152
Received report of fire in aft fireroom. Went to General Quarters. Set Material Condition ZEBRA. Captain on the Bridge.
2156
Secured ventillation throughout the ship
2202
Fire localized to after fireroom
2208
Launched helicopter, went DIW
2224
USS SAMPLE (DE-1048) standing by 600 yards off port quarter
2230
Received word of four fatalities in after fireroom - FISHER, Joseph Dennis, BT3, 862-64-77, USN; WARE, Gene James, BT2, 695-21-050, USN; BROWN, Martin (NMN), BT3, 917-65-00, USN, GRUBB, Kenneth William, BT2, 788-27-76, USN died onboard at approximately 2150 as a result of blast concussion and / or asphyxiation. Final determination of cause of death to await autopsy.
2237
On emergency diesel power
2312
Commenced laying Foam in after fireroom
2324
Received word that there were no serious casualties other than the four fatalities. WOOLRIDGE, Steven Lee, BT3, 395-14-21, USN received first and second degree burns on both hands as a result of the fire. EVASCO, Jesus Calipe, SK1, 476-26-74, USN received first and second degree burns on the right hand and first degree burns on both ears as a result of the fire.
2335
Spaces surrounding after fireroom in no immediate danger.

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