James Blaskis was one of the 134 men killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. It was a devastating fire and series of chain-reaction explosions on 29 July 1967, that not only killed 134 sailors, but injured 161 on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59), after an electrical anomaly discharged a Zuni rocket on the flight deck. Forrestal was engaged in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War at the time.
Blaskis was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) for his heroism that day. Seaman Blaskis was manning the port steering area in the extreme port quarter of the ship when fire broke out on the flight deck causing several explosions. One of the initial explosions hurled shrapnel into the port compartment, killing one man and seriously wounding Seaman Blaskis and his other shipmate. Despite his wounds, he administered first aid to his companion until he succumbed to his own wounds.
We honor you James Blaskis.