We were in the Med, at the 6th. fleet transfer point. Anchored off Palermo, Sicily. Must have been the summer on 1961. The Forrestal was anchored near us. Detail was to take movies over in the Captains " yacht " to be traded accompanied by the Captain and some officers. Once we reach the Forrestal; I was told to stand by for about three hours. My business ( trading movies ) was over in about one hour so I went up to the flight deck admiring all the planes. I was in awe, never been on a carrier before. I was on the flight deck forward of the bridge; about half way to the bow in between some fighters when a loud announcement came over CLEAR THE FLIGHT DECK! ---- CLEAR THE FLIGHT DECK! Well; what do you do? NO IDEA. No hatch near by. So I knelt downed next to a tire of one of the jets when one of these banana shape helicopters ( forget what you call them ) was coming in out of control close to the bridge. It was probably thirty feet up in the air, wobbling all over the place and WHAM!!!!!!!
Dropped right out the sky onto the flight deck. Loud crash noise! Wheels, blades and all kind of debris flew all over the flight deck; some of which actually hitting the plane I was hiding behind. All I could think of is make a run for the nearest hatch with movies in tow ' which I did. I got below, went to the Captains "GiG " And Stood by till they were ready to go back to the ship. Never said a word to anybody that I was on the flight deck. I probably was in some restricted area. Scared the hell out of me. The officers when they returned to the "gig " never said there was a problem on the flight deck, so they probably didn't even know about it
The movie thing was a pretty good deal, It paid $1.00 a showing. Sometimes you showed two to three movies a day like on weekends and officers ward room.. That was thirty - forty dollars a month extra. Good money back then.
Girard Kelly IC3