USS BENNINGTON CVA-20
27 APRIL 1953
The following information is provided directly from articles, which I've researched.
Joe Pires 8-2-1999
Names of 11 killed and seven hurt in carrier blast
The NAVY released the names of the 11 killed and seven injured in an explosion aboard the aircraft carrier BENNINGTON off Cuba. Of those injured, only one was admitted to the Naval Hospital at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All of the injured were listed as having 1st or 2nd degree burns.
The explosion was caused by a failure of the boiler tubing while the 27,000-ton carrier was on a shakedown cruise off the southeastern part of Cuba.
SHIP DAMAGED SLIGHTLY
Reports stated that there was slight damage to the ship in the accident. The explosion occurred at 10:03 AM Norfolk time. Apparently the BENNINGTON was helping another ship at the time of the explosion. A message intercepted by the Headquarters of the Navy's Atlantic Air Arm in Norfolk stated that the destroyer USS CONE indicated that the carrier BENNINGTON had taken an injured man from the destroyer and performed emergency surgery on him, then transferred him to a hospital by helicopter.
THEY THAT GO DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS,
THAT DO BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS;
THESE SEE THE WORKS OF THE LORD,
AND HIS WONDERS IN THE DEEP.
(Psalm 107: 23-24)
Injured in the blast
Seaman - Harold E. Latimer of LeClair, Iowa
Boilerman 3Rd Class - Jerry G. Caldwell of Seattle, Washington
Boilerman/Fireman - Donald A. Becker of Lesueue, Minn.
Seaman Apprentice - Arthur Van Teymbroeck of Milpon, Florida
Commissaryman 3RD Class - James L. Craig of Waukegan, Ill.
Aviation Storekeeper - Edward Leroy Miller of Syracuse, N.Y.
Seaman - Wallace MacGreer of East Gadsden, Ala.
It should be noted here that because of the actions of JOSEPH PUGH, a Boilerman 1st Class, B-Division, from #2 Fireroom, this event didn't have the chance to become a greater Tragedy. In response to his actions he received the following:
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY TAKES PLEASURE IN COMMENDING:
BOILERMAN 1ST CLASS
UNITED STATES NAVY
FOR SERVICE AS SET FORTH IN THE FOLLOWING CITATION:
FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AS PETTY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF NUMBER TWO FIREROOM, ONBOARD THE USS BENNINGTON, WHILE THE VESSEL WAS OPERATING OFF THE COAST OF CUBA ON 27 APRIL 1953, WHEN A MAJOR BOILER CASUALTY OCCURRED IN THE NUMBER ONE FIREROOM, COMPLETELY FILLING THE NUMBER TWO FIREROOM WITH STEAM, PUGH SKILLFULLY DIRECTED HIS CREW IN THE SECURING OF THE NUMBER TWO FIREROOM, DESPITE EXTREME CONDITIONS OF PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT. BY HIS LEADERSHIP, INITIATIVE AND PROMPT ACTIONS, PUGH WAS GREATLY INSTRUMENTAL IN REDUCING THE POSSIBILITY OF ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL CASUALTIES AND IN PREVENTING SERIOUS MATERIAL DAMAGE TO THE ENGINEERING PLANT OF THE BENNINGTON, THEREBY UPHOLDING THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL SERVICE.
THE NAVY COMMENDATION RIBBON IS HEREBY AUTHORIZIED.
THIS STATEMENT WAS RELEASED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR THE PRESIDENT......
From: "louis hodgson" [email@example.com]
Subject: 1 ARTICAL
Date: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 9:53 AM
Joe and Lonnie,
This is one article from two pages of Jet Blast 5-11-53. It may clarify some " mistakes"in the Bennington site.
It happened in #1 not #2 fire room,Iwas there!