Letter to the editor: Recalling McCain's service
John McCain was shot down over Vietnam in October 1967 after completing over 20 missions. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. While McCain fought in Vietnam our fearless president got four college draft deferments. After graduating in 1968 Trump visited a doctor who provided him with a letter stating he had bone spurs in a heel, and this enabled him to get a medical deferment from the draft. He later said the bone spurs were “minor.”
McCain’s passing brings back memories of my Navy service, which culminated in June 1967, and I recall McCain was almost killed in July 1967.
On July 29, 1967 an electrical power surge occurred in a Phantom F-4B parked on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal operating off Vietnam. A Zuni rocket shot across the flight deck and struck an external fuel tank of a A-4 Skyhawk piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Fred White or McCain. McCain and the other pilots were able to escape from their planes as jet fuel spilled across the flight deck, ignited, and triggered a chain-reaction of bomb explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161.
It was one of the worst naval accidents since World War II.
The writer is a 1963 Penn State graduate.