…two Iraqi missiles tore a fifteen-foot hole in the side of the USS Stark…
The missile attack caused a rapidly spreading fire that threatened to blow the ship and the 200 men to pieces. Twenty-seven-year-old Lieutenant Conklin (real person, true story) was severly burned and wounded in both feet, both hands and both arms. Yet he knew that crawling through the burning, mangled wreckage to the crew cabin to shut off the firemain valves might possibly save the ship from exploding.
The path to the crew cabin was pitch black and about 400 degrees [204°C] (paper burst into flame at about 451 degrees, hence Fahrenheit 451). Yet he entered, protecting himself only with a T-shirt doused in salt water, keeping his eyes closed so that his eyelids would burn away rather than his eyes. Feeling his way through the piping system, each time he touched a searing pipe the skin was stripped off his fingers and hands – he described it as like walking into a blasting pizza oven and putting his hands on the hot griddles. He persisted until he closed off the firemain valves, worked his way back out, and then, discovering the ship was now in danger of sinking and still in danger of exploding, he continued his acts of protection.
While Conklin was doing this, Seaman Mark Caouette, whose leg had been blasted off and was bleeding profusely, refused his shipmates’ efforts to drag him to safety. He chose instead to shut off other firemain valves. His charred, dead body was later found over one of those valves. Simultaneously Electronics Technician Wayne Weaver pullsed between six and twelve men to safety before his own body was found clutching the body of another man he was trying to rescue.
These men, aged 19 to 36, saved the lives of 163 men as 37 died.
— Warren Farrell, The Myth of Male Power