One of my best friends from growing up went to the Navy after high school while I went to the Army. After Desert Storm we ended up back home at the same time and I remember him telling me about his flight deck job in the arresting crew. The area of the carrier where this book takes place. So, when I came across this book I knew I had to read it if to just a greater sense of what life was like on a carrier. The whole time I was reading it I could help but think of him. I also thought back to my own narrowly avoided demise when riding on the roof of a HMMWV that rolled over in a drainage ditch.
Freeman does not only an excellent job of creating a harrowing picture of that day but always connecting the reader to the sailors. This is book is not just a mechanical resotation of what occurred but brings life to the people involved building up the moment that things started going horribly wrong. Like a good suspense novel, I found myself reading on to the next page to find out what happens to everyone, who lived, who died making this all the more tragic to read because its not a suspence novel.
Early in my military career I had a first sergeant put it very simply, this equipment was meant to kill and it did not care who so you had to treat it accordingly. This book drives that lesson home so sucessfully. A couple of shortcuts in procedures brought together other elements that created this momentarily hell on this ship.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a better understanding of members of the military do especially for those who have never served. This should help people to understand that truly there is no amount of pay or benefits that can be given to people that when life-threatening danger roared to life they ran not to safety but into the inferno.
Provides a graphic and detailed description of the Forrestal fire. Since I had served briefly on another aircraft carrier at the time, I was intensely interested. I would recommend this book to anyone who has served in the U.S. Navy.