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(Navy Times)   I wonder what ever happened to the investigation of the USS Bonhomme Richard fire. Oh, my   (navytimes.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, United States Navy, Grand jury, Royal Navy, Jury, Amphibious assault ship, Military, San Diego, junior sailor  
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6636 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jul 2021 at 11:04 PM (12 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

 
2021-07-29 8:31:18 PM  
45 votes:
This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.
 
2021-07-29 6:50:41 PM  
35 votes:
That could hurt his career prospects. The navy tens to be a bit funny about totally destroying one of their huge ships.
 
2021-07-29 11:29:29 PM  
32 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


The Hornet was at general quarters in battle, every hatch shut, every compartment isolated. The BHR was undergoing an overhaul and was wide open to allow access for equipment, workers, cables, etc. so the fire spread in ways not possible if the ship were underway.
 
2021-07-29 6:35:33 PM  
31 votes:
Oh my. Someone's in deep shiat.
 
2021-07-29 7:40:22 PM  
26 votes:

Carter Pewterschmidt: That could hurt his career prospects. The navy tens to be a bit funny about totally destroying one of their huge ships.


The last time someone burned navy ships, we dropped nuclear weapons on them..just sayin.
 
2021-07-29 6:50:16 PM  
26 votes:

AirForceVet: Oh my. Someone's in deep shiat.


Someone's about to Find Out, I'd say.
 
2021-07-29 11:11:59 PM  
24 votes:

Redh8t: This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-29 11:28:57 PM  
21 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


In active service, you have an entire crew who's basic training is in fire and damage control.  BHR and Miami were both in dock with no one aboard but a handful of crew and cleaning contractors.  The best way to stop a ship-board fire is to get people actively controlling it as soon as it starts.

And I should add, I'm coming strictly from a historian's perspective, I'm more familiar with damage control on Akagiand Yorktown than modern vessels.  But the same basic principals apply.  I'm sure our Navy vets can speak to modern specifics.
 
2021-07-29 11:28:08 PM  
21 votes:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


Paint, anything flammable. The on board The onboard fire suppression system was shut off for the refit because of welding and such. The ship also had a lot of aluminum construction like the super structure was mostly aluminum hence the masts sagged. they also dumped a lot of seawater on it to the point that she started to list pretty good and seawater doesn't do anything any good.
 
2021-07-29 11:39:14 PM  
20 votes:
I would be interested in whether it was arson.

If it wasn'tarson and was just negligence, I would say his superiors are also in deep shiat.  Nobody that junior should ever be in a position to make a mistake that destroys a whole ship.

There's a story told in nautical circles (possibly apocryphal) of a marine board that found that a ship went aground due to the gross incompetence of the helmsman, who made an absolutely unforgivable blunder.  But the marine board refused to punish him on grounds that:

"Under no circumstances should the cabin boy have been at the wheel and the only person on the bridge"
 
2021-07-29 11:31:51 PM  
20 votes:

auntedrie: Daddy's Big Pink Man-Squirrel: "Bonhomme"?

Isn't that French for pretty boy"?

I am to lazy to google "Bonhomme" but the ships nickname is (was) The Boney Dick.


It translates to "Good Man Richard".  Ben Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" was published in France as "Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard". When King Louis gifted John Paul Jones a ship, it was given the name as an homage to Franklin.
 
2021-07-29 11:24:59 PM  
20 votes:
How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.
 
2021-07-29 11:31:10 PM  
18 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


At dock they shut down everything. No fire control, fire doors open wide, and lots of flammable stuff lying around on pallets as they refurbish the ship. And almost nobody on board to fight a fire if it breaks out. Going through maintenance is the most dangerous time for a ship
 
2021-07-29 11:23:44 PM  
18 votes:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


All sorts of wiring and pipes.  Plus you get enough heat and the steel can take serious damage.

armytimes.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-29 11:21:59 PM  
18 votes:

maddan: Carter Pewterschmidt: That could hurt his career prospects. The navy tens to be a bit funny about totally destroying one of their huge ships.

The last time someone burned navy ships, we dropped nuclear weapons on them..just sayin.


Umm. I think you skipped a burning or 2.
 
2021-07-29 11:24:15 PM  
16 votes:
*ouch*

a Seaman Apprentice?  That is, E-2.  the second lowest (E-1 being the lowest) paygrade.  He's probably under two years of service.  And even if he isn't, the *entire* Armed Forces tops out E-2 pay at $2,001 per month.  There aren't any (hopefully) 11yr, 15yr, 19yr E-2s in the service (but one never knows).

https://militarybenefits.info/2021-mi​l​itary-pay-charts/

gonna take a long, long, lllllllllongggggggg farking time to pay that off.
 
2021-07-29 11:38:25 PM  
15 votes:

WyDave: Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.

The Hornet was at general quarters in battle, every hatch shut, every compartment isolated. The BHR was undergoing an overhaul and was wide open to allow access for equipment, workers, cables, etc. so the fire spread in ways not possible if the ship were underway.


Yeah, when an American carrier spotted incoming aircraft, step 1 was to dump whatever was in the aviation fuel lines and flood it with CO2.

The Japanese procedure was to just shut off the pumps.  Having av-gas in the lines was one of about a dozen things that made the explosions on Kaga/Akagi/etc. that much worse, whereas Yorktownmaintained operations after being hit both at Coral Sea and the first time at Midway.

Lexington at Coral Sea, being an older design, had a problem venting heat/smoke/fumes, which led to a fire in torpedo storage getting out of control and it cooked off the warheads all at once.
 
2021-07-29 11:33:30 PM  
15 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


It's tied to the dock with minimal crew, all the bulkhead doors fully open for work access and construction materials all about. They're not at all comparable situations.
 
2021-07-29 11:52:34 PM  
14 votes:

princhester: johnny_vegas:

The primary charge is aggravated arson

I appreciate that but often the primary charge is trumped up nonsense designed just to pressure the defendant to plead to the secondary charges.


You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.
 
2021-07-29 11:38:35 PM  
14 votes:

rickythepenguin: *ouch*

a Seaman Apprentice?  That is, E-2.  the second lowest (E-1 being the lowest) paygrade.  He's probably under two years of service.  And even if he isn't, the *entire* Armed Forces tops out E-2 pay at $2,001 per month.  There aren't any (hopefully) 11yr, 15yr, 19yr E-2s in the service (but one never knows).

https://militarybenefits.info/2021-mil​itary-pay-charts/

gonna take a long, long, lllllllllongggggggg farking time to pay that off.


That's still about $2,001 per month more than he'll be earning during his impending 20-year assignment to Naval Station Forfeiture Of All Pay And Allowances.
 
2021-07-29 11:38:12 PM  
13 votes:

UNC_Samurai: erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?

All sorts of wiring and pipes.  Plus you get enough heat and the steel can take serious damage.

[armytimes.com image 800x667]


Oh, certainly if you get it hot enough long enough steel gets weak as butter and stays about as soft as butter once it cools... so the piping was all/mostly plastic? Yikes.

rickythepenguin: *ouch*

a Seaman Apprentice?  That is, E-2.  the second lowest (E-1 being the lowest) paygrade.  He's probably under two years of service.  And even if he isn't, the *entire* Armed Forces tops out E-2 pay at $2,001 per month.  There aren't any (hopefully) 11yr, 15yr, 19yr E-2s in the service (but one never knows).

https://militarybenefits.info/2021-mil​itary-pay-charts/

gonna take a long, long, lllllllllongggggggg farking time to pay that off.


The monetary damages are a ceremony for show, just like California suing the dipshiat who started the huge Yosemite fire in 2019 for $150M (iirc) of firefighting costs. "We can't put you in jail but we can bankrupt you for your massively destructive stupidity." They know that obviously an enlisted rando does not have four hundred million dollars lying round.
 
2021-07-30 12:37:46 AM  
11 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


Armored outside of a ship vs the bowels of the ship.

If you can spot the difference you win.

Throw a molotov at an M1A1.  Not much will happen.

Throw a Molotov cocktail INSIDE and Abrams, you got a major problem.
 
2021-07-29 11:14:37 PM  
11 votes:

kozlo: Before I clicked, I thought "was that the one McCain blew up?"

Wrong ship.


And only a 53 year difference.
 
2021-07-30 12:08:04 AM  
10 votes:
johnny_vegas:Military lawyers will also seek to pile on charges to facilitate a plea deal but from the cheap seats here I don't see why they would for this case.

Seriously?  I can think of two, straight off.

Firstly, for exactly the reason you state - to facilitate a plea deal in circumstances where the negligence of the seaman involved might not be as clear-cut as the military brass are trying to suggest.

Secondly, for the reason stated in my Boobies - it would be damn embarrassing for the navy that their billion dollar vessel could get burnt to a crisp by the negligence of a junior seaman.  If they can get a headline saying "seaman charged with arson" that allows them to deflect some of the blame.

This isn't my first rodeo.  I'm a lawyer specializing in this sort of thing.  I've seen some shiat.  I was once involved in a case where the authorities charged a ship's master with failing to report an incident, and issued a press release accordingly, to take the heat off themselves for failing to respond to the incident appropriately.  It puzzled the hell out of us because we all knew that the incident had been reported in writing immediately.  When we pressed for details it turns out that the charge was based on the fact that the report contained a completely irrelevant typo and therefore was not strictly in the form required by relevant legislation.  People under political pressure behave like assholes.  Don't trust them for a minute.
 
2021-07-29 11:23:33 PM  
10 votes:
Dude's farked.
 
2021-07-29 11:19:56 PM  
10 votes:
Article doesn't say what the cause of the fire was. Was it deliberately set? Or was it some dumbass 19 year old kid flicking a butt into a bad corner?
 
2021-07-29 11:16:57 PM  
10 votes:
One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?
 
2021-07-30 12:05:40 AM  
8 votes:

Chromium_One: Have met a couple of 15+ year E-1 types before. It's possible to fark up hard enough to lose all rank and be thankful you've been given opportunity to avoid visiting Leavenworth.


dayum.  i knew a 18ish, 19ish year E-5.  He had skipped about the last 12ish or so years of advancement exams.  meaning, he was perfectly content to stay a PO2.  "I got no responsibility, I just show up and do my job, i don't need no management headaches.....My plan is to hit my 20 and retire.  I can live pretty dang good on $1700 a month."  (this was over 20 years ago, as post-9/11 they rightfully jacked the shiat out of armed forces pay.  I got out as an E-5 and making I think about, pre-tax, about $1600 a month).

he said he'd get written up every time he missed the test but it wasn't a dischargeable offense.  a finger wag, basically.  "hell, my last command, they made me take the test, so i just showed up and filled in the bubbles on the quiz sheet as quick as i could and left.  of course i didn't pass.  but they couldn't say i didn't take the damn thing!"

(he might have been an E-4, now that I think about it - I think I breifly outranked him.)
 
2021-07-29 11:13:37 PM  
8 votes:

Redh8t: This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.


One of the NAVCONBRIGs is getting a new long term roommate.
 
2021-07-29 11:48:20 PM  
7 votes:

rickythepenguin: *ouch*

a Seaman Apprentice?  That is, E-2.  the second lowest (E-1 being the lowest) paygrade.  He's probably under two years of service.  And even if he isn't, the *entire* Armed Forces tops out E-2 pay at $2,001 per month.  There aren't any (hopefully) 11yr, 15yr, 19yr E-2s in the service (but one never knows).

https://militarybenefits.info/2021-mil​itary-pay-charts/

gonna take a long, long, lllllllllongggggggg farking time to pay that off.


Have met a couple of 15+ year E-1 types before.  It's possible to fark up hard enough to lose all rank and be thankful you've been given opportunity to avoid visiting Leavenworth.
 
2021-07-29 11:11:11 PM  
7 votes:
For some reason I thought we've known this for a while. Maybe we just knew it was arson and not who did it.
 
2021-07-30 12:15:40 AM  
6 votes:

Sergeant Angle: They are lucky this firebug didn't start it while at sea.


Its been mentioned a few times up thread. But here's the gist.
Most the water tight hatches were open to facilitate welding cables, air and electrical lines, etc. When the fire broke out, there was no way to contain it.
On top of that, the ships internal fire suppression system was locked out during the maintenance.

This sailor is certainly going to experience a few sh*tty decades if convicted.
 
2021-07-30 12:08:15 AM  
6 votes:

Loucifer: Deathfrogg: ... Or was it some dumbass 19 year old kid flicking a butt into a bad corner?


My eyesight is diminishing. I had to read that a few times before I saw the word "flicking" correctly.


Well, it is the Navy.
 
2021-07-29 11:55:04 PM  
6 votes:

erik-k: They know that obviously an enlisted rando does not have four hundred million dollars lying round.


Just want to interject that I love the word "rando" has entered the English language. I forget when I heard it first, but it is a great word.
 
2021-07-29 11:51:25 PM  
6 votes:

princhester: johnny_vegas:

The primary charge is aggravated arson

I appreciate that but often the primary charge is trumped up nonsense designed just to pressure the defendant to plead to the secondary charges.


Yep, true they will charge him(?) with anything they think they can make stick but I seriously doubt they would go down this path for negligence, particularly with the "aggravated" qualifier to the arson charge
 
2021-07-29 11:45:18 PM  
6 votes:

princhester: I would be interested in whether it was arson.

If it wasn'tarson and was just negligence, I would say his superiors are also in deep shiat.  Nobody that junior should ever be in a position to make a mistake that destroys a whole ship.

There's a story told in nautical circles (possibly apocryphal) of a marine board that found that a ship went aground due to the gross incompetence of the helmsman, who made an absolutely unforgivable blunder.  But the marine board refused to punish him on grounds that:

"Under no circumstances should the cabin boy have been at the wheel and the only person on the bridge"


The primary charge is aggravated arson
 
2021-07-29 11:23:39 PM  
6 votes:

Deathfrogg: Article doesn't say what the cause of the fire was. Was it deliberately set? Or was it some dumbass 19 year old kid flicking a butt into a bad corner?


Last I heard it was arson.
 
2021-07-30 6:29:05 AM  
5 votes:
Gee, I'm glad that the Navy doesn't have a history of blaming random sailors for catastrophic things.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_I​o​wa_turret_explosion

Oh, wait...
 
2021-07-30 5:21:39 AM  
5 votes:

princhester: johnny_vegas:Military lawyers will also seek to pile on charges to facilitate a plea deal but from the cheap seats here I don't see why they would for this case.

Seriously?  I can think of two, straight off.

Firstly, for exactly the reason you state - to facilitate a plea deal in circumstances where the negligence of the seaman involved might not be as clear-cut as the military brass are trying to suggest.

Secondly, for the reason stated in my Boobies - it would be damn embarrassing for the navy that their billion dollar vessel could get burnt to a crisp by the negligence of a junior seaman.  If they can get a headline saying "seaman charged with arson" that allows them to deflect some of the blame.

This isn't my first rodeo.  I'm a lawyer specializing in this sort of thing.  I've seen some shiat.  I was once involved in a case where the authorities charged a ship's master with failing to report an incident, and issued a press release accordingly, to take the heat off themselves for failing to respond to the incident appropriately.  It puzzled the hell out of us because we all knew that the incident had been reported in writing immediately.  When we pressed for details it turns out that the charge was based on the fact that the report contained a completely irrelevant typo and therefore was not strictly in the form required by relevant legislation.  People under political pressure behave like assholes.  Don't trust them for a minute.


Well put.  Some USN friends have also pointed out a couple of things:

*The USN disposed of the BHR with what could be considered unseemly haste (likely because they didn't like the idea of a half-billion dollar oh-shiat just lying about the San Diego waterfront for an indefinite amount of time), which means that the scene of the alleged crime has been out of USN control for months.  Any decent defense counsel should be able to do something with that.

*There had to have been positively Biblical amounts of pressure coming from the USN leadership to find an answer and hold SOMEONE responsible, and PDQ at that.  The last time something like that happened was the investigation into the explosion aboard USS Iowa in 1989 - they were going to find someone responsible, and by God and John Paul Jones, they did.  SPOILER ALERT:  it wasn't the CPO who was conducting sketchy experiments with the goddamn 16 in guns.
 
2021-07-30 1:07:52 AM  
5 votes:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


Rum and lashes
 
2021-07-30 12:04:34 AM  
5 votes:

princhester: King Something: princhester: johnny_vegas:

You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.

How specifically does that make a difference?  I'm not being rhetorical, I'd be genuinely interested.

I guess I've seen too much of this shiat to ever have confidence that headline charges have anything solid behind them.


For military justice anyway, at this stage the prosecutor needs to be able to demonstrate probable cause to a military judge...so much lower than reasonable doubt required to convict later
 
2021-07-29 11:41:07 PM  
5 votes:

UNC_Samurai: erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?

All sorts of wiring and pipes.  Plus you get enough heat and the steel can take serious damage.

[armytimes.com image 800x667]


Paint and plastic.
 
2021-07-29 11:32:52 PM  
5 votes:

jim32rr: Redh8t: This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.

[Fark user image image 425x239]


Meanwhile Northrop oopsie poopsies an extra 10 billion a year on their contracts.
 
2021-07-30 1:17:58 AM  
4 votes:

maddan: Carter Pewterschmidt: That could hurt his career prospects. The navy tens to be a bit funny about totally destroying one of their huge ships.

The last time someone burned navy ships, we dropped nuclear weapons on them..just sayin.


No we didn't:
https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-ca​s​es/uss-cole-bombing
 
2021-07-30 12:46:06 AM  
4 votes:

The Reverend Sam Hill: stray_capts: King Something: johnny_vegas: princhester: King Something: princhester: johnny_vegas:

You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.

How specifically does that make a difference?  I'm not being rhetorical, I'd be genuinely interested.

I guess I've seen too much of this shiat to ever have confidence that headline charges have anything solid behind them.

For military justice anyway, at this stage the prosecutor needs to be able to demonstrate probable cause to a military judge...so much lower than reasonable doubt required to convict later

Also the jurors are O-6 and above, with some E-9 (and maybe also E-8? I dunno what the floor is) jurors for cases with enlisted defendants.

Not necessarily.  I served as a court member while an O-3 for an E-6 who was being tried.  He deferred the right to have at least half the court enlisted, as was his right.  Nobody lower in rank can try you, so if it is an E-3, then he has the right to have half enlisted.  Of course, all officers will outrank him, so it will likely be whoever is due on the base where he is being tried.  If you were a two-star being tried, all the panel members would have to be 3 or 4 stars, or 2 stars with a more senior date of rank.  (Note, this has happened recently or is happening right now.)

So what happens if a four-star is on trial? Does the President have to name some five-stars?


No idea, but out of the 43 of them, it would only be a problem for 9 of them.  I'm not a JAG, but I don't think the officers must come from the same service.  Perhaps they do, but you only need 9 for a court.
 
2021-07-29 11:07:42 PM  
4 votes:
Before I clicked, I thought "was that the one McCain blew up?"

Wrong ship.
 
2021-07-30 10:03:42 AM  
3 votes:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


Actually the fuel tanks are one of the *least* flammable areas. Bunker oil is essentially asphalt. They have to heat it to make it flow or evaporate for the turbines.

Everywhere else on the ship is furniture, paperwork, food, cargo, lubricants, and electrical wiring. Wire trunks being one of the nastiest fires to try to put out.

An amphib like the Richard, and nuclear carriers, also have thousands of tons of aviation kerosene for the aircraft and landing vehicles. It's a special blend with a higher flashpoint than standard aviation fuel. But once it stars burning, whoa nelly.

/I model fire fighting on navy ships for a living, fwiw
 
2021-07-30 9:05:20 AM  
3 votes:

Redh8t: This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.


It makes me immediately think whether the Navy has found a scapegoat:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Iow​a​_turret_explosion
 
2021-07-30 12:42:21 AM  
3 votes:

rickythepenguin: Chromium_One: Have met a couple of 15+ year E-1 types before. It's possible to fark up hard enough to lose all rank and be thankful you've been given opportunity to avoid visiting Leavenworth.

dayum.  i knew a 18ish, 19ish year E-5.  He had skipped about the last 12ish or so years of advancement exams.  meaning, he was perfectly content to stay a PO2.  "I got no responsibility, I just show up and do my job, i don't need no management headaches.....My plan is to hit my 20 and retire.  I can live pretty dang good on $1700 a month."  (this was over 20 years ago, as post-9/11 they rightfully jacked the shiat out of armed forces pay.  I got out as an E-5 and making I think about, pre-tax, about $1600 a month).

he said he'd get written up every time he missed the test but it wasn't a dischargeable offense.  a finger wag, basically.  "hell, my last command, they made me take the test, so i just showed up and filled in the bubbles on the quiz sheet as quick as i could and left.  of course i didn't pass.  but they couldn't say i didn't take the damn thing!"

(he might have been an E-4, now that I think about it - I think I breifly outranked him.)


They cut that shiat off in 2007ish.

If you didn't promote in x amount of time (depending on rank and MOS.  For example there aren't many slots for a 19k E8 so you could sit a E7 longer than a E1) you were kicked.
 
2021-07-30 12:29:07 AM  
3 votes:

King Something: johnny_vegas: princhester: King Something: princhester: johnny_vegas:

You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.

How specifically does that make a difference?  I'm not being rhetorical, I'd be genuinely interested.

I guess I've seen too much of this shiat to ever have confidence that headline charges have anything solid behind them.

For military justice anyway, at this stage the prosecutor needs to be able to demonstrate probable cause to a military judge...so much lower than reasonable doubt required to convict later

Also the jurors are O-6 and above, with some E-9 (and maybe also E-8? I dunno what the floor is) jurors for cases with enlisted defendants.


Not necessarily.  I served as a court member while an O-3 for an E-6 who was being tried.  He deferred the right to have at least half the court enlisted, as was his right.  Nobody lower in rank can try you, so if it is an E-3, then he has the right to have half enlisted.  Of course, all officers will outrank him, so it will likely be whoever is due on the base where he is being tried.  If you were a two-star being tried, all the panel members would have to be 3 or 4 stars, or 2 stars with a more senior date of rank.  (Note, this has happened recently or is happening right now.)
 
2021-07-30 12:12:12 AM  
3 votes:

johnny_vegas: princhester: King Something: princhester: johnny_vegas:

You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.

How specifically does that make a difference?  I'm not being rhetorical, I'd be genuinely interested.

I guess I've seen too much of this shiat to ever have confidence that headline charges have anything solid behind them.

For military justice anyway, at this stage the prosecutor needs to be able to demonstrate probable cause to a military judge...so much lower than reasonable doubt required to convict later


Also the jurors are O-6 and above, with some E-9 (and maybe also E-8? I dunno what the floor is) jurors for cases with enlisted defendants.
 
2021-07-29 11:13:03 PM  
3 votes:

kozlo: I thought "was that the one McCain blew up?"


McCain blew up?
 
2021-07-30 11:03:30 AM  
2 votes:

kozlo: Before I clicked, I thought "was that the one McCain blew up?"

Wrong ship.


McCain's aircraft was one of the first damaged by the missile that started the whole thing on Forrestal.  He played no part in the incident.  Get your facts straight.
 
2021-07-30 10:54:20 AM  
2 votes:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


My brother has often joked that Navy boot camp existed to teach you haw to make a bed and fight fires. He then went to sub school, where they taught him that everything he learned in boot was wrong, and then taught him a whole new way to fight fires. The Navy is big on fighting fires because shipboard fires are terrifying, there are many many flammable substances on a ship, and even if people aren't actively shooting at your ship there is a non-zero chance it will catch on fire.

/fires on a sub are worse: a sealed tube, and the fire is also eating your air, while putting ridiculously toxic fumes into that same air.
 
2021-07-30 10:23:04 AM  
2 votes:

princhester: I would be interested in whether it was arson.

If it wasn'tarson and was just negligence, I would say his superiors are also in deep shiat.  Nobody that junior should ever be in a position to make a mistake that destroys a whole ship.



Yeah, my first thought was the $70 million fire on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON back in 2008.  It was caused by a combination of smoking in an unauthorized space that also happened to have 100+ gallons of flammable liquid improperly stored in it.  The CO and XO were both fired as a result.
 
2021-07-30 9:47:59 AM  
2 votes:

AtlanticCoast63: Because the United States Navy, in its infinite power and majesty, isn't very bright.

Plus, their institutional memory only goes back about 25 years; it's been 32 since the IOWA.   I'm pretty sure that there isn't a single soul in the upper echelons of the USN who remembers- or for that matter, understands - how badly they screwed that up.


I mean, the CNO was in the Navy when Iowa happened, I'm pretty sure he remembers it.  I am also pretty sure he is not the type of person to allow scapegoating.  He is also a really smart motherfarker.
As I'm sure you know a whole lot of investigation and NIS (now NCIS) procedures were changed because of the fark up that was Iowa, which makes your assertion even more doubtful.
 
2021-07-30 9:43:47 AM  
2 votes:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


Fire suppression was locked out, and all the hatches were open since it was going through overhaul.

Nothing to stop the fire once it got going.
 
2021-07-30 8:33:28 AM  
2 votes:
Fark user imageView Full Size

RIP
 
2021-07-30 7:40:50 AM  
2 votes:

Chromium_One: rickythepenguin: *ouch*

a Seaman Apprentice?  That is, E-2.  the second lowest (E-1 being the lowest) paygrade.  He's probably under two years of service.  And even if he isn't, the *entire* Armed Forces tops out E-2 pay at $2,001 per month.  There aren't any (hopefully) 11yr, 15yr, 19yr E-2s in the service (but one never knows).

https://militarybenefits.info/2021-mil​itary-pay-charts/

gonna take a long, long, lllllllllongggggggg farking time to pay that off.

Have met a couple of 15+ year E-1 types before.  It's possible to fark up hard enough to lose all rank and be thankful you've been given opportunity to avoid visiting Leavenworth.


I never saw that, but I did meet a guy that was busted down to E-9.

I thought it was some BS story till I met him.  He was E-9, got his commission and farked that up so royally, they busted him back down to E-9.

He was also an idiot.
 
2021-07-30 4:25:45 AM  
2 votes:
I'm a little more interested in the charge of "hazarding a vessel."

10 U.S. Code § 910 - Art. 110. Improper hazarding of vessel or aircraft

(a)Willful and Wrongful Hazarding.-
Any person subject to this chapter who, willfully and wrongfully, hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel or aircraft of the armed forces shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

(b)Negligent Hazarding.-
Any person subject to this chapter who negligently hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel or aircraft of the armed forces shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
 
2021-07-30 3:31:16 AM  
2 votes:
An attempt by the Americans to board Serapis was repulsed, as was an attempt by the British to board Bonhomme Richard. Finally, after another of Jones's ships joined the fight, the British captain was forced to surrender at about 10:30 p.m. Bonhomme Richard - shattered, on fire, leaking badly - defied all efforts to save her and sank about 36 hours later at 11:00 a.m. on 25 September 1779.

///there you go
 
2021-07-30 3:08:57 AM  
2 votes:

Redh8t: This is reminiscent of the USS Miami fire, when a civilian sandblaster/painter set a bunch of rags on fire because he wanted to go home.
He received a 17 year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution.
If that's what a civilian gets as punishment, can't imagine what the navy is going to do with an enlisted person.


Twenty years hard labor, and that's if they're feeling generous.
 
2021-07-30 12:35:25 AM  
2 votes:
I was today years old that someone set the fire, I thought it was construction.  Holy farking shiat balls.  I mean I'm mad as hell, but I'm really questioning it.
 
2021-07-30 12:13:04 AM  
2 votes:

princhester: johnny_vegas:Military lawyers will also seek to pile on charges to facilitate a plea deal but from the cheap seats here I don't see why they would for this case.

Seriously?  I can think of two, straight off.

Firstly, for exactly the reason you state - to facilitate a plea deal in circumstances where the negligence of the seaman involved might not be as clear-cut as the military brass are trying to suggest.

Secondly, for the reason stated in my Boobies - it would be damn embarrassing for the navy that their billion dollar vessel could get burnt to a crisp by the negligence of a junior seaman.  If they can get a headline saying "seaman charged with arson" that allows them to deflect some of the blame.

This isn't my first rodeo.  I'm a lawyer specializing in this sort of thing.  I've seen some shiat.  I was once involved in a case where the authorities charged a ship's master with failing to report an incident, and issued a press release accordingly, to take the heat off themselves for failing to respond to the incident appropriately.  It puzzled the hell out of us because we all knew that the incident had been reported in writing immediately.  When we pressed for details it turns out that the charge was based on the fact that the report contained a completely irrelevant typo and therefore was not strictly in the form required by relevant legislation.  People under political pressure behave like assholes.  Don't trust them for a minute.


*shrug* not my first rodeo either and while you may be right, I think there is more to it than negligence being blown up to arson.
Speaking of embarrassing, this issue was put to bed and (mostly) forgotten so why bring it back up into the national consciousness again just to railroad an E-2?
 
2021-07-29 11:54:15 PM  
2 votes:

King Something: princhester: johnny_vegas:

The primary charge is aggravated arson

I appreciate that but often the primary charge is trumped up nonsense designed just to pressure the defendant to plead to the secondary charges.

You're thinking of civilian courts. Seaman Apprentice Flatiron is being tried in a military court.


Military lawyers will also seek to pile on charges to facilitate a plea deal but from the cheap seats here I don't see why they would for this case.
 
2021-07-30 3:16:57 PM  
1 vote:

johnny_vegas: AtlanticCoast63: Because the United States Navy, in its infinite power and majesty, isn't very bright.

Plus, their institutional memory only goes back about 25 years; it's been 32 since the IOWA.   I'm pretty sure that there isn't a single soul in the upper echelons of the USN who remembers- or for that matter, understands - how badly they screwed that up.

I mean, the CNO was in the Navy when Iowa happened, I'm pretty sure he remembers it.  I am also pretty sure he is not the type of person to allow scapegoating.  He is also a really smart motherfarker.
As I'm sure you know a whole lot of investigation and NIS (now NCIS) procedures were changed because of the fark up that was Iowa, which makes your assertion even more doubtful.


...I would hope that the CNO would in fact be determined to find out the truth, no matter where it might lay or who it might take down. But after 20 years in the Air Force, I'm not at all sanguine about some guy with stars at the top of the food chain doing the right thing.  We had two major legal farkups just before I got out that went a long way to convincing people that they would throw the most junior person in the chain to the wolves and not give a rat's behind about whether or not they were innocent.
 
2021-07-30 2:38:30 PM  
1 vote:

johnny_vegas: mrmopar5287: AtlanticCoast63: I'm pretty sure that there isn't a single soul in the upper echelons of the USN who remembers- or for that matter, understands - how badly they screwed that up.

I can't wait to hear how they probably threatened and harassed this guy for months in an investigation and then probably made him take polygraph exams that they used to bludgeon him over the head until he made some innocuous statement of regret that they used as a "confession."

You may be waiting a long time.  Im not sure his defense counsel would be too jazzed with that approach.


It happens all the time to people who don't have an attorney advising them before they are charged.

My cousin was offered a choice by police in his murder investigation: take a polygraph exam or go to jail. He took the exam... and they sent him to jail.
 
2021-07-30 10:12:40 AM  
1 vote:

UNC_Samurai: WyDave: Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.

The Hornet was at general quarters in battle, every hatch shut, every compartment isolated. The BHR was undergoing an overhaul and was wide open to allow access for equipment, workers, cables, etc. so the fire spread in ways not possible if the ship were underway.

Yeah, when an American carrier spotted incoming aircraft, step 1 was to dump whatever was in the aviation fuel lines and flood it with CO2.

The Japanese procedure was to just shut off the pumps.  Having av-gas in the lines was one of about a dozen things that made the explosions on Kaga/Akagi/etc. that much worse, whereas Yorktownmaintained operations after being hit both at Coral Sea and the first time at Midway.

Lexington at Coral Sea, being an older design, had a problem venting heat/smoke/fumes, which led to a fire in torpedo storage getting out of control and it cooked off the warheads all at once.


The loss of the Lexington is what instigated the design change you described. We use the in-theater refit of the fleet carriers as a case study in damage control implementation. The Yorktowns and essex carriers (as built) had the same issue. The procedure was cooked up by a sailor on board of (I believe it was) Enterprise who managed to talk the fixes up the chain of command.
 
2021-07-30 9:57:32 AM  
1 vote:

BolloxReader: Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.

At dock they shut down everything. No fire control, fire doors open wide, and lots of flammable stuff lying around on pallets as they refurbish the ship. And almost nobody on board to fight a fire if it breaks out. Going through maintenance is the most dangerous time for a ship


And even if you try to close a door/hatch to contain a fire, there's probably an inch-and-a-half thick temporary electrical cable strung through it, with both ends of the cable a couple hundred feet away from you.
 
2021-07-30 9:24:45 AM  
1 vote:

mrmopar5287: AtlanticCoast63: *There had to have been positively Biblical amounts of pressure coming from the USN leadership to find an answer and hold SOMEONE responsible, and PDQ at that.  The last time something like that happened was the investigation into the explosion aboard USS Iowa in 1989 - they were going to find someone responsible, and by God and John Paul Jones, they did.  SPOILER ALERT:  it wasn't the CPO who was conducting sketchy experiments with the goddamn 16 in guns.

You already nailed what I just posted. They're going to find the first person they can to hang for this and fit the case to them. It could be the person who first reported the fire, and they're going to take the blame.


Not a chance. This thing was already in the rear view mirror and hardly getting any press at all.  So why resurrect it just to charge a scapegoat, the risk of a very public courts martial and open the navy up to people pointing to 30 year old events like Iowa?
 
2021-07-30 9:20:21 AM  
1 vote:

AtlanticCoast63: *There had to have been positively Biblical amounts of pressure coming from the USN leadership to find an answer and hold SOMEONE responsible, and PDQ at that.  The last time something like that happened was the investigation into the explosion aboard USS Iowa in 1989 - they were going to find someone responsible, and by God and John Paul Jones, they did.  SPOILER ALERT:  it wasn't the CPO who was conducting sketchy experiments with the goddamn 16 in guns.


You already nailed what I just posted. They're going to find the first person they can to hang for this and fit the case to them. It could be the person who first reported the fire, and they're going to take the blame.
 
2021-07-30 8:29:41 AM  
1 vote:

UNC_Samurai: auntedrie: Daddy's Big Pink Man-Squirrel: "Bonhomme"?

Isn't that French for pretty boy"?

I am to lazy to google "Bonhomme" but the ships nickname is (was) The Boney Dick.

It translates to "Good Man Richard".  Ben Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" was published in France as "Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard". When King Louis gifted John Paul Jones a ship, it was given the name as an homage to Franklin.


IIRC, bonhomme has the connotation of "good fellow", "buddy", "regular guy".  So Bonhomme Richard, very loosely translated, would be something like "my buddy Richard", and "Les Maximes du Bonhomme Richard" would be "Stuff my friend Richard says"

Of course, I could be all wrong about this. But that's my recollection.
 
2021-07-30 5:49:45 AM  
1 vote:

Pointy Tail of Satan: How the hell could this happen? If the ship was this fragile to be destroyed at dock, what would happen in a battle? An older ship like the Hornet took multiple bombs, torpedoes, and kamikaze attacks before going down.


Hornet was in battle condition when she was hit, with all hatches closed, fuel lines not immediately in use purged with nitrogen, and crew at battle stations with damage control parties fully manned and equipped.

In this case, the ship was undergoing maintenance dockside with a skeleton crew. Hatches open, piles of construction material and debris about and no damage control parties.

See the difference?
 
2021-07-30 5:05:51 AM  
1 vote:

rosekolodny: I'm a little more interested in the charge of "hazarding a vessel."

10 U.S. Code § 910 - Art. 110. Improper hazarding of vessel or aircraft

(a)Willful and Wrongful Hazarding.-
Any person subject to this chapter who, willfully and wrongfully, hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel or aircraft of the armed forces shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

(b)Negligent Hazarding.-
Any person subject to this chapter who negligently hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel or aircraft of the armed forces shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.


I'm a former squid but not real familiar with the military justice side. Gonna go out on a limb and guess the death penalty option is applied more to wartime operations and especially so if results in loss of life.

"Hazarding a vessel" in maintenance, as postulated by someone above, is probably going to send the poor E2 to Leavenworth for 20 years of making big rocks into smaller rocks.
 
2021-07-30 2:20:50 AM  
1 vote:

auntedrie: Daddy's Big Pink Man-Squirrel: "Bonhomme"?

Isn't that French for pretty boy"?

I am to lazy to google "Bonhomme" but the ships nickname is (was) The Boney Dick.


According to the googles... it means "good-natured man" I looked it up bc it woulda driven me nuts to not know. So now we all know!

Shootingstar.gif
 
2021-07-30 2:08:09 AM  
1 vote:
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-30 1:16:44 AM  
1 vote:
What kind of sentence is this young seaman looking at if convicted?
Destroying what I guess is a multi-billion dollar ship...
 
2021-07-30 1:04:09 AM  
1 vote:

erik-k: One of the things I never quite got my head around regarding the destruction of the Bomhomme...

One generally views navy ships as being, well, pretty much gigantic ass hunks of mostly steel.

Other than the fuel tanks, what was burning?


god damn did i just go into a bigass meme rabbithole
 
2021-07-30 12:38:11 AM  
1 vote:
No GMs around to blame this on?

/Kind of a bad track record for placing catastrophic blame.
//Remember the Maine?
 
2021-07-30 12:37:13 AM  
1 vote:
Maybe he did it to Stop the Steal.
Then it would be OK.
 
2021-07-30 12:02:23 AM  
1 vote:
They are lucky this firebug didn't start it while at sea.
 
2021-07-29 11:47:54 PM  
1 vote:
johnny_vegas:

The primary charge is aggravated arson

I appreciate that but often the primary charge is trumped up nonsense designed just to pressure the defendant to plead to the secondary charges.
 
2021-07-29 11:42:16 PM  
1 vote:
"Congratulations, Ensign Johnson! You're now the sole, unarmed diplomat to Somalia..."
 
2021-07-29 11:28:18 PM  
1 vote:
Seamen apprentice was the worst TV spin-off ever.
 
2021-07-29 11:22:37 PM  
1 vote:
The only non-spam comment is "Is his name is [sic] Muhammad?" SMH.
 
2021-07-29 11:17:04 PM  
1 vote:
"Bonhomme"?

Isn't that French for pretty boy"?
 
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