Not Guilty!

| September 30, 2022

USS Bonhomme Richard Blaze

The fire that destroyed USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) at pier side in July of 2020 was found to be clearly preventable and was the result of a series of systematic failures.

The cascading errors and breakdowns in damage control involved 36 personnel, a Naval investigation found. These included the commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard and five admirals. They were found to have failed to maintain the ship, ensure adequate training, provide shore support, or carry out proper oversight.

The ship had been docked at Naval Base San Diego for scheduled maintenance when the fire broke out. It burned for over four days and resulted in the Navy scrapping the ship.

One sailor from Bonhomme Richard had been charged with starting the fire.

Jeff LPH 3 sends.

Sailor found not guilty of Bonhomme Richard arson

By Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Navy judge has ruled a sailor was not guilty of setting a fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego in 2020.

The ruling Friday came after a nine-day trial at Naval Base San Diego.

“Seaman Recruit Mays was found not guilty on the charges of willful hazarding of a vessel and aggravated arson. The Navy is committed to upholding the principles of due process and a fair trial,” said Lt. Samuel R. Boyle, spokesman for U.S 3rd Fleet.

Prosecutors charged then-19-year-old Ryan Sawyer Mays with arson and the willful hazarding of a ship and accused him of igniting cardboard boxes in a lower vehicle storage area.

Navy Times

Well well. We’ve seen this movie before. These prosecutors should clearly state, “I Owe the World an Apology.” Thanks, Jeff.

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Crime, Dick Stepping, Guest Link, Legal, Navy, Schadenfreude, YGBSM!!

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WTF? Somehow that infamous “Nobody” did it?


Watch the rats jump overboard to save themselves now that, that didn’t work.

Son of CPO

A Seaman Recruit by the name of Elijah McGovern was seen in the area, gave conflicting stories of his whereabouts, and his handwriting was tied to graffiti claiming credit for the fire.

He was subsequently kicked out of the Navy for misconduct the week of his last interview with investigators and never charged as the possible perp.

pookysgirl, WC wife

Wow. Did NOT know that.


NCIS f*cks-up again like the USS Iowa investigation.


Don’t forget Tailhook ’91.

A Landmesser

I believe ATF was involved in this. What other explanation is required in light of this.


Big Navy will now contract with OJ to find the real arsonist. “If the match wasn’t lit, then you can’t convict.”

Now the question is, will SR Mays be allowed to have a Navy Career? Or, are his hopes for such as dim as Navy’s are during an upcoming gridiron competition? Asking for a Friend.

gabn/gabaf/rtr/hbtd 😇


I believe he was next in line for naval flight school. He will soon be the “taken from real life” subject of a film; “Top Gun III, Down in Flames”

AW1 Rod

SR Mays’ prospects for a successful Naval career are non-existent.


His chances of a successful Navy career as about the same as Clayton Hartwig and Kendall Truitt.

Hack Stone

$1.4 Billion of Navy hardware up in smoke because Damage Control training was not up to the challenge, but you could bet your title of First Post on TAH Weekend Open Thread that they all had their Recognizing White Rage and Contributions of The Transgender Community To Our Defense training completed.


What a tragedy! Just one more Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion course, and the ship would have been saved!

A Landmesser

Wrong they lacked pronoun tags and tranny facilities.


I think it was probably a bit more than just damage control training; basic housekeeping probably played a part, too. Why were all those cardboard boxes doing lying about? Was any cleanup done at all while work was being done? What did that fire use for fuel?


“It burned for over four days”

I thought ships were made of steel.
Must have been the wall to wall carpeting and
teak panneled officers quarters.


Hey! My officer’s quarters wasn’t teak panneled. I obviously should have gotten a better room.


“I thought ships were made of steel.”

Sure, but with carpeting and linoleum(?) covering the steel floors, layers of paint buildup covering steel walls, etc., wooden furniture, and evidently lots of cardboard packaging material from items used in the overhaul.

Hack Stone

The same steel as The World Trade Center, and we know from Charlie Sheen and the Yentas on The View that steel does not melt, they just pull those 50 foot steel I-Beams straight from the ground.


Military investigators bungling a case, failing to actually get to the bottom of who, if anyone, did it, and just throwing their hands up and deciding the one guy everyone thinks is a asshole is good for it, and not getting a conviction? Color me shocked. So will the Navy go for a second bite at the rotten apple, and appeal, recharge him? Or will they just close the case and hope people will just forget?


Can the Navy appeal a finding of not guilty?




Thank you. That’s what I thought.


Whoever started the fire, Mays or another person, they are NOT the reason for the loss of the BHR. I ran my ship’s DC Shop, was a repair locker leader, and duty section on-scene leader, so I know there was a laundry list of other reasons why the fire consumed the ship. It surprising that Mays wasn’t torpedoed by Big navy to save face. 


“failing to actually get to the bottom of who,…”

Actually the problem was probably that they only tried to get to the “bottom”; some poor junior enlisted schmuck who allegedly actually set a fire as opposed to the “top” layer of folks responsible for the conditions which led to the loss of the ship, probably due to poor housekeeping and storage/use of flammable materials used in the overhaul.


Blaming the leaders for no/inadequate training? Maybe the leaders didn’t have enough time for the training due to the mandatory transgender training, the personal pronoun training, the guaranteed mandatory personal time off, the sexual harassment training, etc. etc. etc.

AT1 ret

So it was the Pontiac Tempest not the Skylark.
My Cousin Vinny II- NICS

Hack Stone

Dat’s a good one.

The Stranger

Looks like the Navy’s investigators and prosecutors are inept. On the plus side, nobody on the prosecution was put in for a Navy Achievement Medal like what happened with Eddie Gallagher!

Prior Service

Wow. Very surprised. I wonder what will happen to the senior leadership???


In the real world a trial that wraps and decides that fast is a clear ‘eff you’ to the prosecutors.

Skivvy Stacker

Hmmmmm…..where have I seen this before? Seemed to have happened in a place called the USS Iowa…
The Navy tried to blame some sailors for being in love, and plotting some kind of secret, gay love plot to blow up the ship, or something….I don’t quite know the details, but it was all so sordid and full of bullshit that it just couldn’t have passed the test of a standard romance novel.
I love the Navy, and the Naval services of the United States, but I don’t like the JAG corps of the USN and the fact that they want everyone to take their turn in the barrel.

The Stranger

A lawer is a lawer, civilian or military.

A Landmesser

Course he didn’t do it. No one did. Our military is just as corrupt as the FBI.