Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    Pullman WA
    Tank commanderA24
    Posts: 45
    (8/22/02 2:00:26 pm)
    Reply Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Well I have a few but I'll start with this one. It was on a tank range at Ft Dix, during a live fire excersise. The tank on the firing line was having difficulties and was ordered to clear and elevate its weapons. It was an M1 tank. So the gunner elevates the main gun to clear the coax MG and the TC lowers the 50cal to open the feed cover. The TC's cupola was slightly off center aimed right at the gun tube. Well in the process of clearing the 50 it goes off,"bang" putting a hole in the bore evacuator. Well the S*** hit the fan, and the cover up began. How do you turn in a tank with new hole in it.

    Well we pulled the evacuator and found that the bullet had broken up after penetrating and did not hit the barrel. Luckily there were still some old M60s awaiting turn in near by so a swap was made. The evacuator sits in our company orderly room as a door stop.

    Moral always watch were your weapons are pointing.

    Armor Rules
    "Perhaps today is a good day to die!" Mr Worf.

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2604
    (8/22/02 4:56:46 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    This happened in '57 when I was aboard the U.S.S. Mississinewa (AO-144) a fast Fleet Oiler with the 6th Fleet in the Med.

    Since we were the largest and fastest oiler in the fleet, we usually handled the bigger, faster ships.

    One day the Forrestal (CVA-59) came along our portside for refueling. We were pumping NSFO (Navy Standard Fuel Oil) from our after 3 stations and JP5 (Jet Fuel) and AvGas (Hi-octane aviation fuel) from our forward ones.

    During fueling, the Forrestal called a 5 degree turn to starboard. Normal proceedure is to call a turn, and at the signal "Execute", both ships turn at the same time. The ship on the inside of the turn merely cuts back speed for a few seconds.....and both ships end up on the same course, same speed, the same distance apart. When done properly, it works strain on the hoses or anything.

    This particular time, that stupid sonuvabitch forgot to give the "Execute".....and that oversize MF started coming in on us. The distance between ships, which started out at about 80-90 feet, closed to less than 5!

    If the two ships touched, any resultant spark (and there would have been PLENTY) would have touched off the AvGas, which would have set off the JP5, which would started the NSFO, which would have turned both ships into the largest weenie roast in naval history.

    Luckily, we had a very experienced Quartermaster at the helm. He couldn't just turn to starboard, it would have swung our stern into the Forrestal......but this guy was GOOD! With an extremely deft touch, he managed to take our 38,000 ton time bomb, traveling at 18 knots, and INCH it away from the carrier.

    I was the Captain's talker on the port wing of the bridge, and when the two ships were a safe distance apart, he got on the phones, and, without once resorting to profanity, chewed the Forrestal's Skipper, a new asshole. When he got done, that poor bastard could've sat down over a 55 gallon drum, and never touched the sides!

    Was I scared? Only the ship's laundry will ever know how much!

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 951
    (8/22/02 5:22:54 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    HA!, "X" -

    I'll bet the ol' pucker factor was felt by everyone in the know on both sides of the hoses!

    The funniest I can recall (it has been MANY years ago!) was when in the 11th Armored Cav, stationed at Ft. Knox and on manouvers against the 3rd Inf Div down in Alabama in the early '50's. We were convoying thru a small town down there when a M41 light tank cut the corner too sharp and rode up over the rear end of a civilian car angle parked in front of the local supermarket. Flattened the car like a metal pancake! Our machine gun scout jeep made the scene as the tank crew was crawling out to investigate and the car's female owner was coming out of the store with two paper bags of groceries in her arms. Still remember her mouth turning into a big "0" and the groceries hitting the sidewalk as she stared at the sight! We skeddled so's not to be witnesses and let the MP's and the company commander straighten the mess out.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    Edited by: kdub01 at: 8/22/02 6:31:22 pm

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 353
    (8/26/02 6:34:09 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    1988, Arty ranges at Ft Sill, OK - Old M110A2 203mm/8" SP Howitzers.
    Uses a hydraulic feeding mechanism.
    10-day Battalion-level live-fire exercise.

    Best we could figure out after the fact -
    One enthusiastic Battery CO decided that rather than downcheck a tube with a hydraulic-line failure, he'd have his crew hand-ram. Can be done. But 6 days into a 10day / 24hr FIREX in July 100F / 90%humidity, with tired crews...

    The 200lb fused shell was dropped to the gundeck, bounced, dropped to the rear of the piece, falling between the tracks and the dozer blade, SHEARING the brass fuse off.

    Everybody got the hell out of there. Guncrew lived off loaned gear for ~24hrs while the Base's EOD unit safed the round.

    Where was I? Bn HQ Btry FDC Ops NCO, and Col's command hummer driver - <50yds away, huddled behind the wall of my kevlar helmet and doubled flak and a vinyl humvee door, while the Col. insisted on 'inspecting the situation in person'.

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 4503
    (8/27/02 9:14:02 am)
    Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    rayra, I was at Ft. Sill in 88. I did not mind OK. except they do not have a winter.

    Posts: 37
    (8/27/02 11:17:54 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Ok, I have to throw one in here. I'll leave out specific details to protect the innocent (it wasn't me).

    1971, "somewhere" in Vietnam. F-100 Super Sabre returning from a napalm run. Pilot is tired and looking forward to some rest. On final approach, he gets bumped due to another flight coming in with an injury & mechanical problems. No problem, gear up and go around. Second time on final approach, the pilot quickly scans the checklist (after all, he already did it once). Big mistake! Belly landing with one dinged-up plane. He still knows today exactly how much an F-100 costs.

    Good thing he had dropped his ordnance....

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 522
    (8/28/02 11:14:01 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    I got one too. I was crew chief on an F-4 loading 20MM rounds into the GAU-60 cannon hanging off the centerline rack. I check the count and we are one round off. We cant find it...figuring a potential FOD...we start tearing the place apart looking for the round...No can do.
    After about 45 minutes the pilot walks up with a sheepish look on his face and hands me the round, asking if thats what I was looking for. Keep in mind that these are elictrically primed rounds and you can set it off if you get stupid. I asked what in hell he wanted it for...he was gonna drill out the bottom and fill it full of lead to use for a paperweight. I gave him a dummy round for that purpose. Makes me wonder how in hell he ever hit full bird rank. I couldnt say a whole lot else I was at such a loss over such stupidity. I saved the dumbass's life and he was too stupid to know it. Hell with his qualifications he probably made major general. swede
    Wyoming Swede

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2628
    (8/29/02 8:14:26 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Well, since we're talking's another one. Same year, summer of '57, same ships....the Mississinewa and the Forrestal.

    We were in Naples harbor. It was on a Sunday and I had the duty.....most of the crew (including the skipper) were ashore on liberty. After breakfast, three of us went up on the 01 deck for a smoke.

    The Forrestal had beat us into the harbor and got to dock at pier 55, while we had to anchor out in the bay. We were looking at it when it launched an F9F, with wings still folded, off the angled flightdeck.....damn thing flew about 100 feet and went straight into the drink! We stood there with our mouths open. We couldn't believe what we'd just seen!

    We ran and finally found the OOD in the wardroom and told him what we'd seen. He didn't believe us.....after all, a carrier in port wouldn't have had "steam up" on the catapault, and even it they did, they wouldn't have had a plane on the catapault.......but then, this was the USS Forrestal (also widely referred to, throughout the 6th Fleet, as the USS F**kUp).

    Anyway, we accompanied him to the bridge, got out the binoculars and looked at the Forrestal.....we saw about 300 people standing on the deck looking into the water. The OOD got on the TBS (Talk Between Ships) , called the Forrestal and reported what we'd seen. Their reply......"Yeah, we know."

    The next day, there were several Italian Navy tugs with divers on the spot.

    We tried to find out what the hell had happened, but never heard another word about it.

    Edited by: Xracer at: 8/29/02 9:17:22 am

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3643
    (8/29/02 11:56:44 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Somehow "I didn't know it was loaded" doesn't quite cut it, does it?

    At least they had it pointed in a safe direction.

    Oh well, it was just a Panther, it could have been a REAL fighter, like a Cutlass...
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2637
    (8/30/02 8:27:20 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Actually, it was a Cougar......and don't get me started on the F7U! We spent too damn much time at sea refuling those DD's sent out to find all those damned "Cuttle-asses" that augered into the drink.

    "Well Captain, we sent out four and got back three.....that's not too bad."

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2684
    (9/9/02 7:07:22 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    C'mon youse guys.....let's keep it up. Here's a chance to tell some of your "war stories" and "sea stories".

    Sort of reminds me of one of the great characters I knew in the Navy.....Bos'n Billy Little. He was a career 3rd class bosun's mate. He probably held the world's record for being promoted and getting busted down. He had the one stripe on his sleeve and about 8 service hashmarks.

    He was a great story teller, and he prefaced every story with: "This story is absolutely true.....and if it ain't, it oughta be!"

    So c'mon......let's hear 'em!

    Posts: 2
    (1/12/03 12:00:51 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Night in New Guinea 1942. Settled into our positions and was told no rations or reinforcements coming up so any noises would be Japs. Hear rustling in the bushes and my mate got a Mills No.36 grenade out ready to throw. Rustling came closer so the grenade was thrown. Heard a clunk and some choice Aussie swear words and then a bang as the grenade went off.
    Seems the grenade hit the Aussie's helmet, rolled onto his pack, bounced off and rolled down a bit of a rise and went off 10 yards behind him.

    Posts: 6
    (1/21/03 11:24:21 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Two that I can remember.

    First, on the Sumner Class DD I was on in the mid sixties, the #3 5" turret shell lift jammed down in the ready ammo room. The shell handler put his foot in the lift (has a 5" shell sized cutout in it) reached up and smacked the mechanism above his head. It worked, unjamming the lift, which proceeded to lift his foot right up. Cut it off at midpoint, and delivered the front up into our turret. Interesting bunch of reactions there.

    Second, one of the guys I went to FTM (Fire Control Technician, Missile) school with, after I left the Tin Can, loaded a live bird on the rail in an AA exercise off New England instead of a blue telemetry test bird. They were tracking a 707 out of New York as part of the drill. I understand the weps officer was VERY fast on the "destruct" button when they realized they had REALLY launched! I never found out how much time he got, but I know my friend went to Portsmouth Naval Prison.
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, 68-70

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3587
    (1/22/03 10:37:16 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Sorta gives new life to the TWA Flight 800 story, doesn't it?

    Posts: 4
    (1/24/03 5:25:50 pm)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    Was at Basic Heavy Equipment Operators School in Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri in 2001. We had one of those "0% that make it through boot camp" F*** Ups. While in my class, we (as a class) managed to break a piece of equipment at every stage in the course. Blown Hydrolic hoses from lifting something too heavy, blew tires from not checking servicability, got 2...yes 2 D7 Dozers stuck in three feet of mud-but after getting a scraper stuck in 5 ft of mud, Even managed to get a S.E.E Tractor flip over and spill 100 gallons of hydryolic oil into a nearby stream.
    But the grand daddy of them all was when Private Poland,while maneuvering to the best of his stupid abilities, was watching his bowl on the scraper and not looking wear he was going. Ran over a power line and we all watched in aww was we saw a telephone pole snap in two like a toothpick and land on top of the Scraper.
    Ive never seen an instructor in anything just drop his head in shame and almost start crying while saying to himself " Im cursed with this class....can they possibly break anything else?"
    Well, after that is when we managed to flip the S.E.E Tractor.

    Posts: 3
    (2/6/03 11:19:02 am)
    Reply Re: Stupid mistakes we have seen that didnt kill anyone
    ok I had to ad my now dead grandad's story from ww2 fighting the japs.

    The japs thinking putting more explosives on the outside of the grenade would do more damage before launching an assualt on my Grandad's camp. During the fight 1 jap through a grenade into his buddys tent which exploaded but the outer blast practicly stopped the shrapnel making the grenade useless as an anti personel grenade and just through alot of people and equiptment around.

    He still has some shrapnel from a working grenade in his leg today but sadly he past away 5 days ago.
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