Save The Belknap

Save the Belknap

Authored by Robert C. Powers

Commanding officer USS Claude V. Ricketts

Save the Belknap

Save the Belknap is the fast-paced story of the collision at sea of a cruiser and an aircraft carrier by the commanding officer of the primary rescue ship, with pictures taken during rescue operations. In November 1975, the cruiser USS Belknap collided with the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy resulting in a situation where fires on the Belknap threatened a magazine containing nuclear weapons. The guided missile destroyer USS Claude V. Ricketts was designated the primary rescue ship by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 22. The Claude V. Ricketts went along the side of the burning and exploding cruiser in rough seas, fought the fires with Belknap’s crew, and rescued burned sailors. This is the first-person account of that rescue by the former commanding officer, USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5). It contains a complete analysis of the collision and its causes.

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