21 JUNE 1968
BRIGHT HOT FLASH IN THE CHOW LINE
USS Bennington info
"John & Dalila" [email@example.com]
Mon, 27 Dec 2004 21:24:59 -0800
My name is John F. Dowd, Jr.
I served on the USS Bennington in 1968.
This Christmas my wife and parents gifted me with the "USS Bennington (CV/CVA/CVS-20) book.
It is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Thanks.
I have attached a letter with some info I recalled during my time served.
(in case you can't access the attachment, I have also mailed the original to you at the Osterville, MA address)
26 December 2004
Dear Mr. Pires:
As an Airman in VAW III, Detachment 20, aboard the U.S.S. Bennington CVS 20 on 21 June 1968, I was standing in the chow line when a bright hot flash hit me in the right side of my face. I turned, heard an explosion and saw EM2 Donald J. Prince with his face smoking while he screamed in pain. I never heard about the outcome of his recovery after his transfer to Yokosuka Naval Hospital.
If you have any information about that, I would appreciate an update.
Lt. Billy W. Ray, of our squadron, who made the 106,000th landing on 12 March 1968, was killed in the summer of 1969 after completing exercises on the U.S.S. Hornet CVS 12. His E-1B "Willy-Fudd" was launched at night and minutes later crashed in to a mountain on the West End of Santa Catalina Island killing all five aboard.
I would like to thank you for all of the hard work you did on the book about our ship.
It has rekindled many memories and will be a valued family heirloom.
John F. Dowd, Jr.
Commander, VFW Post 10706
P. O. Box 142
Brinnon, WA 98320