Skip to comments.At least 17 sailors and four civilians are injured after explosion and 'very serious' fire breaks out during routine maintenance aboard USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego
Posted on 07/12/2020 4:45:25 PM PDT by libstripper
At least 21 people including 17 sailors and four civilians were hospitalized with minor injuries on Sunday following a massive fire and explosion on board a Navy ship at Naval Base San Diego that sent billowing plumes of smoke and ash into the sky. 'Seventeen Sailors and four civilians are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital,' the US Navy told CNN in a statement. Fire and rescue crews are on the scene responding to the three-alarm fire on the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (snip). About 200 sailors and officers were on board the 840-foot ship Sunday morning.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
The ships namesake was Captained by John Paul Jones, like him we have not begun to fight.
Given that the pierside tires holding the Bonhomme Richard away from the piers are igniting, I’d say that the ship is a constructive total loss. When the exterior of the hull at the waterline is so hot it ignites tires, the temperature inside the hull is ruining whatever equipment is inside as well as weakening the hull and frame.
Good thing everyone got out.
More pix here ;
The article said the ship could burn for days and burn to the waterline.
That will weaken the hull.
IMO the Navy will end up scrapping the ship in place, probably by first building a cofferdam around it and pumping all the water inside out.
LHD 6, Bonhomme Richard, is the third US Navy ship to bear that name.
The second Bonhomme Richard, CV/CVA 31, was an Essex class carrier built during WWII. Served in 3 wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) during its service life (1944-1980)
Scroll down to see the entry.
Thanks, mine was Benjamin Franklin (SSBN 640). 1973 to 1976. MM1SS.
A distinct possibility.
Even if Bonhomme Richard is repairable and the decision is made to repair the ship (two separate decisions), the ship will still be out of service for a year or two. That is going to impact the ARG/MEU deployment schedule for WestPac. If the ship is a write off, it may be necessary to activate a lesser capable ship from the reserve fleet. That will also take time, but not nearly as long as building a new ship and it will restore most of the lost capability for the 4 to 5 years (being very optimistic here) it would take to get a new LHA funded and built.
There are three of the predecessor LHA class still in the inactive reserve fleets. (The rest have either been scrapped or expended as targets.) USS Nassau, LHA-4, is in the inactive reserve fleet at Beaumont, TX, but it is currently (2019) slated for sale/grant to Japan. USS Tarawa, LHA-1, and USS Pelileu, LHA-5, are at the inactive reserve fleet at Pearl Harbor. A non-profit group is trying to acquire USS Tarawa for use as the first amphibious warfare museum ship.
All three ships have had thirty year active service careers, two were laid up in 2011 and the Peleliu in 2015. If reactivation is necessary, USS Peleliu seems the logical choice as the gap filler. However, since the LHAs are technically less capable ships, it may be necessary to transfer an East Coast LHD to the West Coast to ensure WestPac ARGs maintain full operational capabilities.
Wonder if Sailors are fighting the fire or just civilians?
Sailors are trained to fight for their ship and they know it. Hopefully the Captain isn’t being required to stand down while his ship burns.
Some of the comments at the link are appalling stupid.
I was aboard USS Bonhomme Richard, CVA-31, for a short period in 1969 as part of a Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) afloat off of the coast of I Corps/II Corps South Vietnam. It was a memorable experience.
Earlier during that time afloat, I had been aboard the USS Guadalcanal, one of the first generation of purpose built helicopter carriers (LPH - no well deck). So I had something to compare to the Bonhomme Richard.
There was no comparison. Bonhomme Richard was a full sized WWII fleet aircraft carrier repurposed for service as a helicopter carrier. Needless to say, it had a lot of unused capacity. Still, during my short time aboard - it was just a couple of days going between the shore and the other ship in the ARG my unit was assigned to - I got a chance to walk around the ship. My mind kept recalling all the carrier operations scenes from the Victory at Sea television series. Here I was actually walking the decks of one of those ships still in active service after all those years.
Lucky they were not hit by a missile..... Was someone smoking and all the fire suppression systems turned off?
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