William John ShieldsAviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class
VF-11, CVW-17, USS FORRESTAL
United States Navy
16 July 1945 - 29 July 1967
Panel 24E Line 043
The database page for William John Shields
My Mom's brother was killed on the USS Forrestal. I was only one year old when he died.
I am looking for anybody that served with my Uncle Bill so I can learn a little more about what he was like.
Please type in the word Billy Shields in the subject field for any replies.
The photos and following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, special supplement entitled 'SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY,' October 26, 1987.
From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
On 29 July 1967 the USS FORRESTAL was conducting combat operations off the coast of North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. The ship was preparing to launch an ALPHA strike when a major fire broke out among the crowded aircraft on her deck, resulting in a series of 500 and 1000 pound bomb explosions. Thirteen hours later, the fires were extinguished - and 135 men were dead or dying, with hundreds more injured.
Petty Officer William John Shields was one of the 135.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009