East Texan seeking Forrestal memorial - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

LONGVIEW (KLTV)

East Texan seeking Forrestal memorial

An East Texas man with deep roots in his community is working to create a unique memorial for an almost forgotten chapter in U.S. Naval history.  It was July 29th, 1967 missiles accidentally exploded on the carrier U.S.S Forrestal, setting off a massive blaze in which 134 sailors were killed.  It's an event Zach Methvin of White Oak wants people to remember.

"These were brave souls that volunteered to protect the freedom of this great nation," said Methvin.  Methvin is a direct descendant of O.H. Methvin, the founder of the city of Longview. His father, Lonnie Methvin, served on board the Forrestal in the 60's.

"They're not the only ones in the military service, but they were a great part of it, and they all lost their lives fighting that fire," said the senior Methvin.  Methvin's mission now is to create a memorial to the men of the Forrestal, an F-4 Phantom above a wall containing the names of the men lost.

"I'd like to make a memorial, create a memorial that everybody will be aware, their sacrifice gives me the freedom I have today," said Methvin.  He's gotten support from former sailors on the Forrestal, and has met with congressman and airport directors about the project.

"I'm not going to stop until I see this to completion," said Methvin.  His hope is that history will not forget the brave men of the Forrestal.

"I want everybody to stop and think why we're free today," said Methvin.  Methvin is hoping to meet with Gregg County Commissioners soon for final approval of the project.  He hopes to see the memorial complete within a year.   

If you'd like to help, you can contact Methvin at cva59@hotmail.com .

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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