Shock Trials CVN-71

For those who might not know, the Navy tried to blow up (or at least break the keel of) our ship.

Yes, you can feel the deck drop out from under you, and yes, this is not a pleasant experience. On the positive side, this is one tough son-of-a-bitch ship. Incoming missiles? No problem. 6500 men, all working towards the same goal.  BTW, can you imagine the feeling as bulkheads are blown out of place, as rivets are snapped when several hundred tons of TNT are exploded 500 ft from your ship?

This is the ship that I was stationed on for 4 years, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, CNV-71. This is not a mock-up image or an artist’s concept, but the real thing. Unlike President Wilson from so many years ago, we weren’t “too proud to fight.”

Not sure if other carriers went through this… it’s one hell of an experience.

3 thoughts on “Shock Trials CVN-71

  1. I was one of the Fresnel lens operators at this moment and was standing in the crowd on the flight deck. The blast far out towers the ship, and I was told the entire ship raised six inches and dropped six inches from level in that single instant. What a ride!

  2. I was mess-crankin in the aft galley on the last of the four. Went through them all. On the last one, Warrant Officer Cole (the top dog of all galleys onboard) had everyone making preparations for a huge lasagna dinner to honor the civilians on board. Needless to say there were huge baking pans of lasagna in every oven on the boat. Lasagna ended up all over the place! Welding rods and absbestos dust dropped from the overhead – presumably remnants of our 33rd Street drydock days at Newport News. The civilian crew stripped all the coax cable they had used during the shock trials and made a massive pile in Hangar Bay 3. I still have a short piece with a official hang tag attached labled “SHOCK TRIALS CVN-71.”

    Will never forget the day the blast of an F-18 on cat 2, picked me, a ladder and tool box off my feet – sending me flying about five feet above the flight deck for what seemed an eternity. FOD walkdown ensued.

    I also constantly think of the young airman who lost his life to the stbd prop of that C-2 COD. I watched it live on the CCTV as I stepped out of the shower and into the lounge of the berthing compartment to dry off. Only 20 or so myself, I just couldn’t believe what I had seen. Then the medical emergency call came over the 1MC.

    But there were great times too. Like helping Master Chief Bushey move his office from one place to another while in port. We both, had our arms full as we walked across the Hangar deck. A boot ensign stopped and asked if the Master Chief had forgotten something. Master Chief Bushey looked at me, “you got everything? I replied, “I believe so.” The ensign informed the Master Chief that the Master Chief had failed to render a salute to the ensign. Master Chief Bushey put his boxes down on the deck, reached in his pocket and tossed the ensign a quarter, saying: “call someone who gives a shit.”

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