Fuel and bombs spilled into the holes in the flight deck igniting fires on decks further into the bowels of the ship. The crew heroically fought the fire and carried armed bombs to the side of the ship to throw them overboard for 13 hours. Once the fires were under control, the extent of the devistation was apparent. Most tragic was the loss to the crew, 134 had lost their lives, while an additional 64 were injured, this was and still remains the single worst loss of life on a navy vessel since the USS Franklin (CV-13) was bombed in WWII. Forrestal limped into Cubi Point in the Phillipines for temporary repairs.
In only eight days enough repairs were made that she could start the long trip back to her home port of Norfolk, Virginia for permanent repairs. On her way home she was capable of operating aircraft if needed. Forrestal would spend seven months in the yards being repaired, she was re-built from the hanger up and forward to elevator number four, this accounts for about 1/5 the ships length and 5 decks. On April 8, 1968 Forrestal was once again ready to take her place in the fleet, she was never to return to Vietnam.