July 29, 1967. On that day, John McCain, future senator from Arizona, was waiting to take off in his A-4 Skyhawk jet when a rocket from a neighboring F-4 Phantom shot across the deck and slammed into McCain’s plane. Fuel from the A-4 spilled out and caught fire, detonating a 1,000-pound bomb. The disaster caused the largest loss of life aboard a US ship since WWII, and it inspired a whole new approach firefighting and damage control at sea. Its lessons are still taught today. We’re hearing from a historian and veterans of the disaster.