The Navy: Second Look At the Iowa

Second Look At the Iowa

When the Navy claimed that the 1989 gun-turret explosion that killed 47 sailors on the battleship U.S.S. Iowa was "most probably" caused by sabotage, its investigation was widely criticized as sloppy and its conclusion as unjustified. Last week testimony by the General Accounting Office gave the critics strong support. The GAO found that the disaster may not have been triggered by a crewman, Gunner's Mate Clayton Hartwig, as the Navy hypothesized.

In tests conducted at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, the GAO discovered that the 94-lb. powder bags used in the Iowa's 16-in. guns could ignite if rammed into the breech...

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