John Sidney McCain III
August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018
By Garland Davis
I didn’t know John McCain, I never served with him, although he was flying A-4 attack aircraft from NAS Lemoore while I was there in 1961-62. I may have saluted passing him on the street.
There are numerous stories about him on social media and at the scuttlebutt. Many of them are Fake News. The purveyors of these stories would have one believe that he started the USS Forrestal fire single handedly or that he ran away leaving hundreds of sailors to die. They also push the narrative that he somehow colluded with his captors in Vietnam and his voting record in Congress was responsible for hundreds of POW’s not being returned to the United States. They report that the only reason he was admitted to the Naval Academy, flight training, and his advancement to the rank of Captain was because his father and grandfather were Admirals.
I don’t know where the grains of truth in all the stories about the late Senator lie. I didn’t agree with many of his political positions, especially as they related to our current president’s policies. I detected a hint of acrimony and resentment in positions he took opposing the president. But Captain John McCain was a fellow sailor who served honorably under conditions that would break any man and for that I salute him.
Senator and Shipmate… I wish for you fair winds and following seas, deep green water under your bow, your main rifles trained in the posture of peace and a gentle breeze at your stern.