In Memory

Harvey Drew Scofield

Photos and Content Submitted by: Danny Perales

Harvey Drew Scofield

I remember our classmate, Harvey Scofield, as a very nice person. He was always smiling.

In the summer of 1967, I remember reading about Harvey’s death in a Miami newspaper. Harvey was an AN (Airman Navy) E3 (Enlisted grade 3) on America’s first super aircraft carrier, the USS Forrestal. His job was to help prepare the jets for their combat missions over Vietnam. Future POW and US Senator, John McCain, was one of the naval aviators on that ship. 

Last summer, I was shopping at one of my local grocery stores in Walnut Creek, California, when I saw a tall very fit man, in his late 60s, standing next to me at the deli counter. He was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with, USS Forrestal CV-59, stitched in gold letters on the front. I asked him if he had served on the Forrestal and he said “Yes”. I then asked him if he was there when the great fire occurred and he said, “Yes, I was there during the fire and explosions. I was a young ensign on the bridge (command center) helping with the launching of the jets when the bombs went off on the deck. It was caused by a missile from one of the planes launching inadvertently and hitting other planes. It caused a chain reaction of exploding bombs. It was a very bad situation.”  I asked if he recalled the name Harvey Scofield. I explained that Harvey had died on the ship from the explosions and that he had been a classmate of mine in high school. He said that he did not recall Harvey but that he must have been one of the AN (airman) sailors who were sleeping below the flight deck when the bombs went off (ANs need to sleep near the planes). He also said it took many weeks to ID some of the same sailors through dental records (there was no DNA testing in 1967). Then his wife walked up to us and he explained what we were talking about. She looked at me with a look of condolence and said, “We lost of lot of good men that day. I’m sorry for the loss of your classmate.” I thanked her, and then him, and went home contemplating what he said and decided to research the catastrophe in more detail.  I learned that Harvey and was one of 138 sailors who died in the fire and explosions. It was the largest loss of navy lives since the 800 lost on the USS Franklin after a Japanese bomber attacks in March 1945. The deaths on the Forrestal included firefighters on deck, pilots, and the sailors just below. The names of 18 were known through a process of elimination, but their remains could not be identified. They were buried, as a group, in eight coffins in Arlington Cemetery in late 1967. It was a big ceremony with a full honor guard. Harvey is resting in a Miami Cemetery. 

Harvey’s name is on the Vietnam Wall and here what is listed on The Wall website. I found the accompanying photo of Harvey at another site. Probably posted by one for his navy buddies. 


AN - E3 - Navy - Regular

Length of service 1 years

Casualty was on Jul 29, 1967

In NORTH VIETNAM (DP note: off the coast in the Gulf of Tonkin)

Non-Hostile, died missing, SEA CASUALTY


Body was recovered

I debated about posting this memorial, as it is hard to contemplate how Harvey died and for deaths related to war in general.  I shared my thoughts with Maria Gonzalez Richardson and she agreed that bumping into the USS Forrestal navy officer was more than just a coincidence. She urged me to write my memorial and post it.  I am not a stranger to military war casualties, because I was in the Army Medical Corp in Letterman Hospital in the Presidio of San Francisco in 1971. Even though the war was winding down by then (there were about 2,500 KIA and 5,000 wounded that required hospitalization in 1971), our west coast hospital was one of the primary Army hospitals for the care of the soldiers wounded and maimed in Vietnam.  So, I must say, when I found Harvey's picture on another website, it brought tears to my eyes. He was such a nice kid and died at the age of 19!

Post Script: The tragic death of Harvey and his shipmates did not go without having a positive effect on the U.S. Navy. About 15 years ago, our Master of Public Health program admitted a young man who had served on a Navy aircraft carrier for 4 years as Corpsman (equivalent to an Army medic).  I told him about Harvey’s death on the Forrestal. He then told me that, despite the tragedy, the deaths of the Forrestal’s sailors were not in vain.  Because of what happened on the Forrestal, the US Navy instituted significant flight deck safety measures, mandatory damage control training of all sailors, and increased escape hatches in berthing (sleeping) areas.  The young man said that he and his shipmates felt safer at sea because of the measures implemented.  I smiled and nodded my head.

Think of Harvey and his shipmates on Memorial Day.


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01/31/16 07:09 PM #1    

Daniel P. Perales

Harvey was one of the nicest guys I knew at CP. He served into the Navy and died for his country in the explosions and fire that occurred, from an errant missle, on the super carrier USS Forrestal off the coast of Vientam in 1967. 

02/11/16 04:44 PM #2    

John M Beddow

I remember Harvey Scofield as a real nice guy with a ready smile.  I was not aware of how he died. Thanks to Danny for writing such a thoughtful and detailed memorial.  We should never forget those who lost their lives in the service to our country. Rest in peace Harvey!


03/01/16 09:11 PM #3    

William E "Bill" Burroughs Jr

Danny, posting that memorial for Harvey was a sweet gesture. I was on the USS Coral Sea during that same period and remember the sadness I felt when Harvey perished in that incident. He and I were friends in school and I too visited him at the Viet Nam wall. I cannot count the times I have thought of him since. I salute all our classmates and all who followed us in the militay in all branches of service in the years past and present. Viet Nam service was a difficult time when protests seemed to outweigh the service, commitment and sacrifice of all military personnel. While we all may have questioned our involvement in the war, no one can question the love of country and sacrifice of those who served.

I struggled for years with survivors guilt and questioned if I did enough or even if I did my share. I now know and understand those who serve all do their share and some pay the ultimite sacrifice.We were all kids, as are those who serve today. How sad it is, that it is kids who protect and preserve the future of our nation by sacrificing their lives and giving up their own future in far too many instances.

Rest well Harvey,.......we love you and and thank you for your service and sacrifice !

03/02/16 12:12 PM #4    

Fred Schall

Thank you Dan for posting. This now completely fills in the gaps for all of us.



04/22/16 12:25 AM #5    

Eric Lennart Pearson

Tragic. All of us who met him valued Harvey.

05/18/16 10:37 PM #6    

Richard Alan Stern

My memory of Harvey always rotated about how positive he was and his contagious smile.

The last time I saw  Harvey was at the Loews Westchester Movie Theatre. I was the ticket taker that afternoon, because I didnt have a class at MDJC that day and Harvey came in to watch a movie. He was wearing a leather jacket and I had told him after the movie to come by so we could chat.

After the movie, I had a 30 minute break for dinner and we had the opportunity to talk. He asked what I was up to and told him that I was getting my degree at MDJC and tranferring to FSU later the next year. He had told me he joined the service and was going on the Aircraft Carrier Forrestal heading to Vietnam . I had asked how long he would be gone and he estimated about 6 months and we made arrangements to get together when he got back. I had given him my number, and I then had to go back to work., I wished him well and watched him leave the theatre.

Many months later I was reading the paper and read about explosions on the Forrestal and as I read more and more, it started to list the names of the men lost, and I came across Harvey's name. I remember, I got this sinking feeling in my stomach and all I could remember, was watching Harvey leave the theatre with his hands in his leather jacket. That was the very last time I saw him.

Many , many years later when I went to Washington, DC, I decided to go to the Viet Nam Memorial and walked the length of the Momolith and wondered if Harvey's name was there. A short time after I was looking for harvey's name, a gentleman came up to me carrying a very large book and asked if I was looking for someone specific. I said yes and he used his book to find where Harvey's name was engraved in the granite. He got on a short ladder, took a rectangular piece of paper and used a pencil to copy my friends name on the paper. To this day, I still have this rubbing of harvey's name and when I look at it, i have just great memories of a guy who enjoyed life to its fullest.

Thank you Harvey for your friendship and your service, Rest in peace.


03/26/18 09:25 AM #7    

Ronald Koger

Yes, I have to echo what everyone else has said about Harvey. I knew him well too. I remember first hearing about what happened on that ship and was saddened deeply. He was such a super nice guy. That was a tough time in general for a lot of us who entered the military service after CP. We are all Brothers & Sisters in arms and every life lost is a loss of a family member. When I got out of the Marines in August 1970, like a lot of you, went to MDCC-S for two years. While at MDCC I met Harvey's younger Brother, David Scofield, who I had not previouly known about. Being older, a military veteran, and friend of Harvey's, David...immediately, sort of adopted me as a surrogate older Brother and I reciprocated. He and I became very good friends over the following 10+ years. I visited his Father & Mother on occasion who were understandably still having a hard time dealing with the loss of their son. In 1978, I moved to the Atlanta area where I lived for 8 years. Shortly after I moved up there, David moved up there as well, got married, and he and his wife became Marietta Police Officers. We stayed in touch until shortly after I moved back to Miami, due to my parents health problems. I have since lost touch with him and don't know how to reach him. The last I heard is that he got divorced and went into the insurance business. If anyone knows David or knows how to reach him please let me know ( God bless all our lost Classmates.


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