James Edward Newkirk

Airman Apprentice
United States Navy
26 September 1948 - 29 July 1967
Pensacola, Florida
Panel 24E Line 037


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Edward Newkirk

13 Aug 2007

A school friend that I didn't know was on board until the cruise book came out. I wish that we could have found each other before the fire.

From a friend,
Charlie O'Bryan

A Note from The Virtual Wall

USS FORRESTAL arrived on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on 25 July 1967 and immediately began combat operations. The first four days were routine; the fifth day, 29 July, was not.

At 10:52 AM a 5-inch Zuni rocket accidentally fired across the crowded flight deck, impacting an armed A-4 Skyhawk. The resulting explosions and fires raged for 13 hours and more, killing 135 crewmen with hundreds more injured.

Some of Fighter Squadron 11's berthing spaces were located immediately below the area of the flight deck first involved, and many off-duty men from VF-11 died in those compartments. The squadron lost a total of 48 men.

More information and a list of the dead are on The Virtual Wall's

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Aug 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009