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1966 Tony Bradley’s “Losing Screw” Story

My name is  Tony Bradley.  I was attached to VA-72 in 1966 when we headed to Viet Nam.

Attached is a letter written by Captain Burbage, July 31, 1966.

If I might add a correction on the web site.   When the ship lost the screw’s and shafts we were off the coast of Viet Nam.

We didn’t loose them in the typhoon.

If my memory is correct we had just gotten back from Japan.

We had a launch,  then a second launch, then we recovered the first launch.

Myself and two others, Gary Musselman and Irwin Katz were on the bow checking the Shrike Missile Systems in our A-4’s.   We checked the systems before / after every launch.

I was in the cockpit and all of a sudden the plane started swaying violently.  I looked down the flight deck and saw an unbelievable sight.  The flight deck was moving.  bow and stern moving in the same direction while the center moved the opposite way.   For a moment it looked the Rosie was doing the twist.

I remember the expansion seams on her were pretty big, and I was hoping the twisting would stop soon before she twisted in half.

Luckily she was shut down and divers were sent over the side to see what had happened.   I understand we lost the use of 3 propellers so we had to hobble back to Japan,  through that typhoon,  and put her in dry dock.

I was all packed up and ready to head for home when we docked in Japan.  When I left the ship they were already emptying the dry dock.

That is my memory of the” ROSIE doing the TWIST”

 Click on image to enlarge.