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Thread: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

  1. #1
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    Default Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    The Navy will always place blame.


    My first thought?
    Clayton Hartwig.
    Don’t recognize the name?


    A link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...rret_explosion
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    How did I know that was inevitable?

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    What should they do just look the other way? And you posted a article about something many years ago, so what are the charges they places on this E-3? And why are you saying they shouldn’t “place blame”?

    More summer of love idiocy??

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Capt Pete Bucher

    Capt Charles McVay
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Capt Pete Bucher

    Capt Charles McVay
    They did try to screw Pueblo’s Capt.
    Nimitz ran his ship aground as a Ensign , got court marshaled , found guilty and became a Fleet Admiral.

    Then we have Lt. Osborn who landed his top secret aircraft in China and he gets a air metal!

    There’s very little justice in the UCMJ!

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    The Royal Navy have a saying that the high road to promotion is to be brought before a Court Martial as a junior officer.

    Twenty years later, everyone knows your name, but they have forgotten why ​they know your name…
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Is "place blame" journalese for identifying the case so that lessons can be learned?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Sailor Who ‘Hated’ Navy Torched $1.2B Assault Ship: Warrant


    Justin Rohrlich, Allison Quinn
    Tue, August 3, 2021, 7:56



    Investigators reviewed Mays’ now-private Instagram account, and found a post that stated, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” the affidavit explains. Mays’ service record showed that he joined the Navy in 2019 “with the intent on becoming trained in the Advanced Electronics Computer Fields,” then “changed his career goals to becoming a Navy SEAL.” But five days after beginning SEAL training, Mays dropped out and was reassigned to the Bonhomme Richard as an “undesignated Seaman.”



    Ya nothing to see here, purely a accident.










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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    The statement in the first line of text in post #8 is a quotation from the 1979 movie "Apocalypse Now"

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    The statement in the first line of text in post #8 is a quotation from the 1979 movie "Apocalypse Now"
    Really ? Check your fire , check your fire!

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    $4 Billion.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post

    Investigators reviewed Mays’ now-private Instagram account, and found a post that stated, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” the affidavit explains.
    funny, i'm sitting here reading this drinking coffee out of my favourite mug which reads on its side, "i love the smell of napalm in the morning"
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Is "place blame" journalese for identifying the case so that lessons can be learned?
    lol.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post
    Sailor Who ‘Hated’ Navy Torched $1.2B Assault Ship: Warrant


    Justin Rohrlich, Allison Quinn
    Tue, August 3, 2021, 7:56

    Investigators reviewed Mays’ now-private Instagram account, and found a post that stated, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” the affidavit explains. Mays’ service record showed that he joined the Navy in 2019 “with the intent on becoming trained in the Advanced Electronics Computer Fields,” then “changed his career goals to becoming a Navy SEAL.” But five days after beginning SEAL training, Mays dropped out and was reassigned to the Bonhomme Richard as an “undesignated Seaman.”



    Ya nothing to see here, purely a accident.



    20 years old. a kid really. Will spend some, most or all of his life in Leavenworth. He gets little compassion from this forum. ship is gone and a young man wasted.

    If anyone here knows about being a undesignated seaman, they will know how little regard they are held. They are low, treated lowly compared to other sailors, they mop, clean crappers, sweep, paint and go untaught for much of the time while others are doing the more vital duties. These sailors go unvaladated and are usually drummed out due to mental health and drug problems.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-04-2021 at 10:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa
    Is "place blame" journalese for identifying the case so that lessons can be learned?

    No. “Place blame” is find a scapegoat, hierarchy and procedures must be protected at all costs.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    No. “Place blame” is find a scapegoat, hierarchy and procedures must be protected at all costs.
    Are you implying the evidence of arson and evidence tampering is manufactured?

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    If anyone here knows about being a undesignated seaman, they will know how little regard they are held. They are low, treated lowly compared to other sailors, they mop, clean crappers, sweep, paint and go untaught for much of the time while others are doing the more vital duties. These sailors go unvaladated and are usually drummed out due to mental health and drug problems.
    A recipe for total disaster Sounds as though the USN could not organize the proverbial in a brewery.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A recipe for total disaster Sounds as though the USN could not organize the proverbial in a brewery.
    All navys treat their undesignated seaman rougher. A squid with no rate is a lost soul whether in the US, UK or Austrialian navys. when you are 20, broken over the fact one did not cut it for schooling or training and then set adrift among others set adrift to do manual labor and heavy cleaning for 3 or 4 years to come, it is a hardship. On the flip side, all navies and many merchant ships know this. They need people to clean, paint and use their backs as a tool - it is a tradition of service.

    The armed services are finding hard to get quality young men and women. I note that fewer young folks even know what the commitment is or the meaning of hard manual labor. I look here on the forum, few would ever send their children into service knowing what is really expected and how much sacifice it is to our young folks now.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-04-2021 at 04:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    All navys treat their undesignated seaman rougher. A squid with no rate is a lost soul whether in the US, UK or Austrialian navys. when you are 20, broken over the fact one did not cut it for schooling or training and then set adrift among others set adrift to do manual labor and heavy cleaning for 3 or 4 years to come, it is a hardship. On the flip side, all navies and many merchant ships know this. They need people to clean, paint and use their backs as a tool - it is a tradition of service.

    The armed services are finding hard to get quality young men and women. I note that fewer young folks even know what the commitment is or the meaning of hard manual labor. I look here on the forum, few would ever send their children into service knowing what is really expected and how much sacifice it is to our young folks now.

    I’m not sure the treatment of non-designated E-3 and below is as bad as it once was.
    But yes a kid who gets dropped from a A school
    or like his kid BUDD’s might check in on a weekend and get sent to berthing where his first “buddies” are people on restriction for a variety of reasons.


    BUT In NAVAIR we tried to contact people checking in on weekends to prevent that sort of issue.
    Now granted a squadron might be 300 people a ship like the Bonnie Dick would be in the thousands.
    I wonder did he self drop from BUDS, or was he dropped by the instructors?
    Which I don’t think the instructors drop many , if any , they just ride the dude INTO self dropping, but I’ve never been to BUDS but did have a roommate in the late seventies who was dropped twice , he claimed medically for his knees.

    But I don’t think or it wasn’t as bad as you’re describing, at least in the squadrons I was in for non-designated E-3 and below.
    But I can’t speak to the surface fleet and how they treat non-des E-3 and below. Every sailor counts , every sailor is Haze Gray.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    I know what I saw when I was in. I was in the surface fleets. It was screwed. Egos at that age are fragile and now with folks that have hidden antisocial behaviors and criminal leanings.

    My son graduated from Great Lakes RTC over this past winter. he has friends who were dropped from his school. He stays in contact with them. They are truly miserable. For the first time they are held to things they didn’t count on and with others who are equally rudderless. With the added covid complications, fewer social interactions, no USO, no organized entertainment, recreational activities and sports cancelled. limited liberty due to it and masking protocols serving haze grey in deck division isn’t really in any go navy commercials or can be visualized by those outside the ships crew.
    https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/u...lth-treatment/

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/...d-of-2020.html
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-04-2021 at 09:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    I know what I saw when I was in. I was in the surface fleets. It was screwed. Egos at that age are fragile and now with folks that have hidden antisocial behaviors and criminal leanings.

    My son graduated from Great Lakes RTC over this past winter. he has friends who were dropped from his school. He stays in contact with them. They are truly miserable. For the first time they are held to things they didn’t count on and with others who are equally rudderless. With the added covid complications, fewer social interactions, no USO, no organized entertainment, recreational activities and sports cancelled. limited liberty due to it and masking protocols serving haze grey in deck division isn’t really in any go navy commercials or can be visualized by those outside the ships crew.
    https://www.seattleweekly.com/news/u...lth-treatment/

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/...d-of-2020.html
    Ya I’m sure it sucks. Air Department on a carrier being a blue shirt hauling chocks around, tying jets down with chains , or being on the Cat crew, greasy / hot , but there’s ALWAYS a way to advance to the next level driving a tow tractor / deck edge operator.
    Just like the surface fleet guys , do your job, show up on time or even early, don’t bitch , pitch in, and you move UP quickly.
    Be late , piss and moan , do drugs ( easy way out really) you pop positive for drugs these days your processed out in 30 to 45 days I bet.

    I didn’t read the links but my guess is suicide it popular, the permanent solution to the temporary problem seems all the rage today.
    Maybe weakness or up bringing ?? You can be anything you WANT to be , ya well that’s not really true ! But we tell kids that all the time.
    So they get disappointed way to easily .

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone join any military service these days. For a variety of reasons , one being IF the kid off themselves because it “to hard”, I wouldn’t want a pissed off parent yammering at me, because it’s really , or was my experience, not hard at all.
    But everyone has a different experience.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Are you implying the evidence of arson and evidence tampering is manufactured?
    Read up on the Iowa turret explosion. They found a sailor and put full blame on him, claimed it was suicidal. His sister, of all people, fought and fought. Contacted the Pentagon for years, the press, her congress people. And investigation found that the powderbags had been improperly stored for years and should never have been used.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...sion#Explosion
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Read up on the Iowa turret explosion. They found a sailor and put full blame on him, claimed it was suicidal. His sister, of all people, fought and fought. Contacted the Pentagon for years, the press, her congress people. And investigation found that the powderbags had been improperly stored for years and should never have been used.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...sion#Explosion


    The USN undoubtedly screwed people over the the past, the Iowa guy, Pueblo Skipper . I think it will be hard to convict this kid, ya he MIGHT have set the fire, BUT The CO / XO should have controlled the amount of trash building up in the area the fire was / or started in. It could have been spontaneous combustion .

    A ship in port is in a extremely vulnerable situation, lines running thru water and fire tight hatches , stuff , combustible stuff being stored for use. Lots of authorized to be there , BUT NOT ships company people SAND CRABS , civilian contracted or contractors working on the retro fitting.


    The prosecutions going to have a hard time proving this kids started the fire, unless he confesses to lighting it!

    He’s lucky he’ll be tried ashore , if the CO tried him at Captains Mast he’d be found guilty.

    He’s lucky it’s court marital actually!

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Read up on the Iowa turret explosion. They found a sailor and put full blame on him, claimed it was suicidal. His sister, of all people, fought and fought. Contacted the Pentagon for years, the press, her congress people. And investigation found that the powderbags had been improperly stored for years and should never have been used.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...sion#Explosion
    Yes that did occur and poor storage of old powder was the cause. So you’re implying they are doing the same based on that. Ya know, you might have an unsupported argument there.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Military justice has always been to find the guy of the lowest rank who could have been responsible and can him. Don't know the facts or the truth in this case but the urge to save face is always the same.

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    Last edited by Sandlapper; 08-05-2021 at 08:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    This just in from the Gray Lady — the sailor charged with arson in the burning of BON HOMME RICHARD has just been acquitted on all charges by the court-martial.

    Pretty sure his Navy career is toast, though, but at least he's not going to the brig.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/30/u...ryan-mays.html

    Sailor Acquitted of Setting Fire That Destroyed $1.2 Billion Navy Ship
    A Navy judge cleared Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays of all charges over the fire that engulfed the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard in 2020.

    NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A sailor charged with intentionally setting one of the worst noncombat fires in U.S. Navy history, which destroyed the $1.2 billion U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard in San Diego Bay, was found not guilty on all counts Friday by a Navy judge.

    Seaman Recruit Ryan Sawyer Mays, 21, who had been facing life in prison if convicted on charges of aggravated arson and willful hazarding of a vessel, wept with his head on the defense team’s table after hearing the verdict. Then, dressed in a crisp white uniform, he pushed through the crowded courtroom to embrace his wife and his parents.

    His father held him tight and said, “I never had a doubt.”

    The nine-day trial took place just a short walk from the pier where the immense amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days in 2020. Navy prosecutors portrayed Seaman Mays as a disgruntled young failure who had hoped to become a Navy SEAL, but dropped out of the notoriously punishing selection course and was reassigned to mop floors and scrape paint below decks on the Bonhomme Richard. He was so embittered, they argued, that he set his ship on fire.

    Navy defense lawyers countered that the fire was a result of carelessness and complacency on the part of Navy commanders, and that there was no evidence that the fire was arson or that Seaman Mays had lit it.

    Going into the trial, it was clear the prosecution faced challenges. At a preliminary hearing in December, a Navy judge recommended against taking the case forward, saying the lack of evidence made a conviction unlikely. Even so, the commander with convening authority over the case, Vice Adm. Stephen T. Koehler, decided to proceed.

    The Bonhomme Richard, commissioned in 1998, had 14 cavernous decks designed to carry aircraft, armored vehicles and nearly 2,000 Marines into combat. It was in the midst of a two-year, $250 million renovation when a young sailor standing watch on July 12, 2020, spotted smoke coming from the lower vehicle deck.

    The fire spread quickly, devouring a clutter of cardboard, batteries, hand sanitizer and construction equipment packed into the vehicle deck. With the ship not fully functional, the crew failed to put out the flames. Nearly all of the 807 fire extinguishers onboard were out of order, and the sprinkler system did not work. Two hours passed before civilian firefighters could put any water on the fire, and by then it was too late. The fire burned the ship to a blackened hulk of scrap.

    Late last year, the Navy issued a scathing report detailing a cascade of mistakes and neglect that set the stage for the catastrophe, and formally punished 28 people, including the top commanders of the ship and the admiral who was in charge of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

    In the weeks after the fire, Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents zeroed in on Seaman Mays after one young sailor who had been on watch said he saw a person wearing a mask and coveralls carrying a bucket to the deck where the fire started.

    On the stand, though, the sailor admitted that his account had evolved under pressure from law enforcement. Initially he said he was unable to recognize the person who walked past. Later he agreed that the person “might be” Seaman Mays, and eventually, after seven interviews, he said that he was “90 percent sure.”

    For six months, Navy investigators pursued a sailor other than Seaman Mays, whom a witness said she saw sprinting from the vehicle bay at the time of the fire. A military expert said that sailor’s handwriting was a probable match with a message scrawled in a portable toilet at the base saying: “I did it. I set fire to the ship.” Other evidence from that sailor’s internet searches and personal writings also seemed to suggest possible involvement.

    The lead investigator in the case, Special Agent Maya Kamat, testified in Seaman Mays’s trial that she interviewed that sailor four times, and shortly after the fourth interview, the sailor attempted suicide. He was administratively separated from the Navy a few days later. The Navy no longer had jurisdiction over him and stopped pursuing him, focusing instead on Seaman Mays.

    Seaman Mays made it no secret that he had come to hate the Navy. Prosecutors played video footage of him telling investigators in crude language that he saw the “fleet Navy” as worthless, and that the only sailors “doing real stuff” were the SEALs and other special operators. But investigators turned up no physical evidence linking him to the fire, and he repeatedly denied setting it.

    Prosecutors did not make a public statement after the verdict was delivered on Friday.

    Seaman Mays spoke briefly on the courthouse steps after his acquittal, thanking the judge and his lawyers.

    “I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost time with family, and my entire Navy career was ruined,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting over.”
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    After the fire burned for 4 days, one has to wonder whether any forensic evidence survived to establish exactly where the fire started, or what caused it? A spark, spontaneous combustion as can happen with damp natural fibers, or oily rags, a short circuit in a temporary dockyard electrical system.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    I have never dry docked a ship without being worried about fire. And nor has anyone else, I’m quite sure.

    The “Bonhomme Richard” had, afaik, recently undocked and been taken over again by the USN. A merchant ship, under the beady eye of the DPA and the Tech Super, will have checked off all the fire points in the course of the handover, but warships are more complicated and have bigger crews.
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Many, many years ago (1969 [?] ) my former destroyer ( USS SOMERS DDG-34) was in a floating drydock when we noticed smoke coming from below the hull. Climbing down ladders, we discovered that a shipyard welder had left his machine powered on, and it had shorted out due to accumulated rain water. A shipyard availability is 'almost' as dangerous as some combat environments, if one is not hypervigilant.


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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    So, in review, my comment in the OP stands correct. The Navy will always “place blame”. Recent Smithsonian Mag had an article on the Port Chicago explosion in WW2. Full blame placed on the segregated Black sailors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    So, in review, my comment in the OP stands correct. The Navy will always “place blame”. Recent Smithsonian Mag had an article on the Port Chicago explosion in WW2. Full blame placed on the segregated Black sailors.

    Gotta find a fall guy.

    Easier than brass taking the responsibility for the loss of a USD $1.2 billion warship.

    From Wikipedia,

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...ichard_(LHD-6)

    Witnesses reported that an explosion occurred about 8:50 a.m. on 12 July 2020 aboard Bonhomme Richard while in her homeport at Naval Base San Diego undergoing maintenance. The resulting fire was fueled by paper, cloth, rags, or other materials, not fuel oil or other hazardous materials, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, told reporters that evening.[19] Since the ship was in maintenance, on-board fire-suppression systems had been disabled, delaying the onset of firefighting efforts, according to Admiral Sobeck.[20]

    [21] The fire was reported to have started in an area that is normally used to park military trucks while the ship is at sea, but where shipyard workers might have temporarily placed other items including combustible materials.[22]
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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    Rags are highly hazardous - oily rags are lethally dangerous.

    Ryan Mays gets his life back.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    In aviation, the tendency to find someone to blame is even more prevalent - usually because it’s the pilot, who is conveniently dead.

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    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    For six months, Navy investigators pursued a sailor other than Seaman Mays, whom a witness said she saw sprinting from the vehicle bay at the time of the fire. A military expert said that sailor’s handwriting was a probable match with a message scrawled in a portable toilet at the base saying: “I did it. I set fire to the ship.” Other evidence from that sailor’s internet searches and personal writings also seemed to suggest possible involvement.

    The lead investigator in the case, Special Agent Maya Kamat, testified in Seaman Mays’s trial that she interviewed that sailor four times, and shortly after the fourth interview, the sailor attempted suicide. He was administratively separated from the Navy a few days later. The Navy no longer had jurisdiction over him and stopped pursuing him, focusing instead on Seaman Mays.
    I'm having trouble with this one. 1) those 'in charge' who pursued Mays in prosecution should be hoist by their shorthairs, IMO. Accountability, and all that. And I'd expect Mays should be 're-imbursed' for their malign efforts at destroying his life . 2) why is it the likely perpetrator is magically immune to prosecution? Either military, or public?
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    35,417

    Default Re: Navy blames sailor for Bonhomme Richard fire.

    On July 16, 2022, the Navy issued a letter of censure to retired vice admiral Richard Brown, who was commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet at the time of the fire. The letter said that he had failed "to effectively ensure appropriate levels of training and readiness in units under your command". In response, Brown complained that the Navy "has abandoned me for political expediency". The Navy later issued letters of reprimand to other officers, including Captains Gregory Thoroman and Michael Ray, the former commander and executive officer and command master chief Jose Hernandez, the senior enlisted sailor aboard, for inadequate training, improper oversight and a failure to properly maintain equipment, all of which had led to the fire being as destructive as it was. The two officers also forfeited pay; they were among 20 sailors punished over the fire.[42][43]

    "there is "evidence that the fire was started because of negligence and the improper storage of lithium batteries close to crates of hand sanitizer."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_...ichard_(LHD-6)

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