Talk:USS Forrestal (CV-59)

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Various comments[edit]

Forrestal recorded her 227,000th arrested landing on 22 April 1978 while in the Mediterranean. Pilot Lt. j.g. Erick Hitchcock and Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) Lt. j.g. Al Barnet of VF-74 were the crew of the F-4 Phantom that marked the milestone trap.

What made the 227,000th trap special? I mean, it's not exactly a nice round number or something. Was it the next multiple of 1,000 after breaking some record, or what? -- John Owens 06:02 Apr 24, 2003 (UTC)

Dunno - I edited out some similarly boring minutiae, I'll see if there was anything other than the desire for filler that prompted this. Stan 12:39 Apr 24, 2003 (UTC)

Is there any way to link the info and picture at the end of this article:

to this one? The image shows both the USS Saratoga and the USS Forrestal side by side. As of Oct 8th, 2006 they are still side by side in that port. Additionally, they can both be seen using Google Earth at:

41 31' 38.84" N 71 19' 00.17"W

I've added the picture. --Scott Davis Talk 12:42, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

That number of landings weren't anything significant. The Oriskiny, Intrepid, and Lexington had her easily beat in number of landings.

The US Navy has Forrestal as "To be sunk as an artifical reef" on their site. She will be sunk by explosive charges, not weapons testing, if I read them correctly. She was announced as a Target ship to keep the EPA and other enviromentalists of their backs. if they sink her as a reef they will need to have her thoroughly cleaned and examined by the EPA before she can be sunk. Whether in the end she will be sunk as an artifical reef or as a target remains to be seen. AJB93 19:46, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Corrected the paragraph about the post 1967 fire refit. The USS Forrestal did not initally recieve either the Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS system or the Mk 29 Sea Sparrow BPDMS. As seen in this picture of the USS Forrestal post 1967 fire refit rl= . The Phalanx CIWS system did not start to appear onboard US Carriers until the 1980. The Mk29 Sea Sparrow BPDMS did not start to show up onboard US carriers until the late 1970s and most of the Forrestal carriers did not completely recieve the system until they went through SLEP according to the 16th Edition of "Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet" by Norman Polmar

CV vs. CVA/Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was PAGE MOVED per discussion below. -GTBacchus(talk) 02:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Why do we have this listed as CVA-59? It should be CV-59. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 08:00, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

USS Forrestal (CVA-59)USS Forrestal (CV-59) — It was redesignated from "CVA" to "CV" long ago, and "CV" is the most common usage in any case. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 16:51, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~.

Survey - Support votes[edit]

  • Support for the reason stated above. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 16:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Per nominator and discussion. / Peter Isotalo 17:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Survey - Oppose votes[edit]


Add any additional comments:

Seems like a rather uncontroversial move to me. The article Hull classification symbol states that CVA was merged into CV as early as June 1975.

Peter Isotalo 17:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I just added a link to a film on Youtube. I have no idea what the policy is on WP:en about Youtube, but I figure out that if the copyright situation of that film is not clear (is it as US Gov work? Is it a derived work?), that is an issue for YouTube, not for us, and we can link to it assuming YouTube is doing his job. But I thought it was worth leaving a little note here. Bradipus 11:54, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Fire suppression training[edit]

I was under the impression that the saying "When the ship is on fire, every sailor is a fireman" dates to WWII, not to the Forrestal fire.  Randall Bart   Talk  21:05, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


The dates are wrong. I was on one of those MH-53J Pave Low Helicopters on this mission. It was summer of 1989. That is why there are some many disputes. The USAF Special Ops documents this quite well on the Air Commando Website link: Look at pgs 30-32 of that pdf for some good clarity on our part of the mission. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

To the anon who claims to be a Forrestal crew member in 1990, you must provide a source that contradicts the statement in the article for it to be removed. The involvement of Forrestal in Operation Pokeweed is documented at that article, with Global Security providing a source for the fact. You need to provide essentially iron-clad proof that Forrestal was in for repairs/otherwise unavailable for the entirety of 1990, in order to disprove the source already provided. Thanks. Parsecboy (talk) 23:02, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

As an addition, it is now cited by two reliable sources. To refute this claim, you need to provide an accurate and verifiable source as well. We cannot accept original research I'm afraid. We also don't allow revert wars either. Reverting more than 3 times would mean you are breaking the WP:3RR rule and blocks would ensue. Regards. Woody (talk) 23:14, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm having serious doubts about the trip to Panama for Pokeweed. Forrestal was on a Med cruise until mid April 1990. Ships returning from such a deployment would almost never leave port for at least a month, unless there was a Hurricane threat that forced a ships movement. Counter drug operations were normally conducted by the coast guard and USN frigates, destroyers and cruisers. There is really no need for a carrier and airwing to get involved in counter narcotics ops. Plus, Panama had a airfield that the special ops personnel could have used. Forrestal was definitely in a Norfolk Shipyard for at least 2 months starting in September 1990. And off the east coast in December conducting aircraft operations, losing an F-14 and returning to Mayport by Christmas. I feel it is very unlikely that Forrestal participated in this operation, assuming the operation even happened. We need to find some better sources for this. I hate to side with an aggressive anon on this, but they may have a valid point. --Dual Freq (talk) 23:00, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

DANFS had the answer all along. There is no mention of Panama and no gaps that would have allowed the incident to occur. What do we do now? --Dual Freq (talk) 02:47, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

  • 12 Apr 1990:Forrestal returned to Mayport, followed by ~1 month standdown
  • 14 May–27 Aug 1990: The ship completed a drydocking selected restricted availability at Mayport.
  • 28–31 Aug 1990: The ship completed sea trials and flight deck certification in the Jacksonville Operating Area.
  • 7–11 Sep 1990: Forrestal transited to Norfolk Naval Shipyard.
  • 16–21 Nov 1990: The ship returned to Mayport.
I was also wondering about the dates when I created the article. The article for Pablo Escobar mentions that Seal Team Six took part in an operation involving Search Bloc, but in 1992, not 1990, and not in Panama, but in Columbia. Plus, GlobalSecurity says that Operation Pokeweed was unsuccessful and Search Bloc resulted in Escobar's death in 1993. If Pokeweed did exist, could it have taken place during the five month starting in January 1991 when she fulfilled a role as a ‘east coast ready carrier’? Could they have the wrong ship? I'm wondering where GlobalSecurity gets its facts.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 03:33, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Another possibility is that Forestal delivered the Team to Panama between the time it left Europe on 28 March 1990 and arrived in Mayport on 12 Apr 1990. Although AN Tony C. Smith supposedly fell overboard from No. 4 Aircraft Elevator near 32°18’N, 70°59’(W) on 10 Apr 1990, I believe that location is actually pretty near the Federally Administered Trbal Areas in Pakistan, or at least that's what Google Earth is telling me. Someone's wrong somewhere.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 03:53, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Change longitude to 70°59’W (typo) and posit (Google Earth) is consistant with Med to US CV transit to pick up "Tigers" in Bermuda, Norfolk based fixed wing aircraft flyoff (except HS helos), and return to homeport, Mayport, FL. sends. I was there.

I contacted the people at They never got back to me but they did adjust what their page on Seal Team Six says. It now says:
"1990 - They again operated in Panama as part of a secret operation code-named "Pokeweed" which had as its goal the apprehension of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The mission was unsuccessful due to poor pre-assault intelligence. By some accounts, Six was deployed from the US aircraft carrier USS Forrestal offshore, although other sources dispute this claim (the ship's summary history discloses no operations in Panamanian waters during 1990)."--Cdogsimmons (talk) 02:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Good work, that's interesting. I never figured they would respond to any input. Too bad they aren't more transparent about their sources like we have to be. If the Forrestal part is not true how can the rest of it be believable. There should be something somewhere about this Pokeweed op, assuming it happened. Maybe they pulled it out of some biography of Escobar. --Dual Freq (talk) 02:33, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Someone named Cauly2 changed the date of operation on the Operation Pokeweed page to October 1989 without giving a referrence. I noticed that it's his only edit. Pretty unreliable if you ask me. But I don't know if I should change it back since the date was already in question.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 21:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

This is cauly2: Sorry I can not give a reference and that it has been so long since I've replied, however the Forrestal was not "Tied to a pier" for all of October 1989. she was doing start ups for her upcoming Med Cruz. The ships history should show her in the Med in December, in France, port side. A carrier doesn't just pick up anchor and do a six month cruise. there are many work-ups before hand. So in Oct 1989 she was off the coast of Porto Rico on normal work up duty. As for Poke weed I am not sure if that is what it was called but it did involve many DEA agents and Navy Seals from some team. Obviously they do not tell the crew anything but I was on the Flight Deck and in the Mess deck with the Air force Helo crew who brought them. Apparently nothing happened and the Intel was no Good, otherwise the history of Pablo Escobar and the war in Panama would be quite different. I don't know how 1990 got mentioned as I don't believe the ship was out to sea at all that year. When the Gulf War broke out it was the USS John F Kennedy that was the primary alert carrier and it deployed the the Red Sea with many of us from the Forrestal”s Squadrons. BTY: I was a member of VA-37 during that time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cauly2 (talkcontribs) 23:54, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

October 1989 is even less likely since Forrestal was tied to the pier in Mayport all of October. 9 Oct 1989 she was seriously damaged by a fire prior to the Med cruise.[1] It's uncited and changed by an editor whose reliability is unknown, so it seems unlikely. --Dual Freq (talk) 22:15, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I am afraid for all you Pokeweed contrarians are incorrect. USS Forrestal was involved in Operation Pokeweed. It is on the Naval Special Forces Warfare Center website, which might be as good as you get as a direct reference to a secret op. You can't tell me that it didn't happen. I was there. I was on flight deck watch when the special forces helicopters landed. Though I didn't know who they were or what their mission was at the time, I sat across from many SEAL Team 6 members on the mess decks during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ship itself was doing some kind of flight qualifications off the Florida coast when it suddenly turned southwest at a speed that we were unaccustomed to. They closed up the hanger bay doors so that the wake off the bow would not flood the hanger deck. They also turned off the platt camera channel on shipboard TV because we were likely entering the classified flank speed of which the ship was capable. I don't know what to say regarding a second reference on a secret op of the Navy SEALs. You get what you get. I do know that it went down the way it says on the NSFWC website. It did happen. Keep this section up and keep sharpening it. The references are out there someplace. --darksnow1 (talk) 13:36, 2 December 2011

1990 refs[edit]

"A protest spokesman claimed that the target of the demonstration, the aircraft carrier Forrestal, carries 150 nuclear weapons." "Nuclear Foes in Spain Protest U.S. Ship Visit". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Jan 29, 1990. pg. 11

Forrestal was on a Med cruise and returned 12 April 1990 to Mayport, FL.[2] Another article noted an arson that occurred on Forrestal in October 1989 that delayed the deployment a bit. October 9, 1989 fire "injured 11 sailors and caused an estimated $2.5.million in damage" the deployment to the Med was delayed until November 3, 1989. ("Navy points to arson in carrier fire". Pacific Stars And Stripes. Tokyo, Japan. Sunday, January 21, 1990. Page 1.) --Dual Freq (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Med cruises never include Panama, and there is normally a standdown period after a deployment. That would mean the rest of the year from sometime in May onward is up for grabs. Most of the articles talk about moving the carrier to Pensacola to replace Lexington. Virginian-Pilot mentions Forrestal in Norfolk Naval Shipyard instead of Philadelphia. (FORRESTAL WORK TO HELP KEEP SHIPYARD BUSY FACILITY FACES LEAN SEASON Virginian-Pilot - NewsBank - Sep 5, 1990.) Another in October mentions some Forrestal sailors in a crime report "A 19-year-old sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier Forrestal, undergoing repairs at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, was returning ... " (Virginian-Pilot - NewsBank - Oct 14, 1990)--Dual Freq (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Forrestal was operating off Norfolk when two ejected from an F-14 that failed to gain enough speed to fly after launching. ("2 eject safely from F-14 during takeoff on carrier" European Stars And Stripes | Darmstadt, Hesse | Friday, December 21, 1990 | Page 4) --Dual Freq (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

(Gettysburg Times, The | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania | Monday, December 31, 1990 | Page 12) mentions people touring the Forrestal while their football team was as the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. --Dual Freq (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

No mention about a trip to Panama, but there are enough gaps where I suppose its possible. Normally I trust global security, but the Navy is pretty tight about its special ops teams. This page seems to be the sole source of the two combined words "Operation Pokeweed". A google news search for Pokeweed and escobar results in zero. There is a handful of hits for forrestal escobar but none refer to the Escobar in question. I think it needs better sourcing. --Dual Freq (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I added the references here that I found at Operation Pokeweed and SEAL team Six, but they appear to be copied one from the other, so actually just one real source. I also tried searching via Google and found the information that "Forrestal returned to her homeport of Mayport, Florida on April 12, 1990. From August 1990 through March 1991, Forrestal constantly maintained a high state of readiness in anticipation of deployment in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The call never came." at [3] - depending on the exercises done to maintain combat readiness, a trip that came close to Panama is conceivable; but I agree that additional source references are needed. Note, the dates given in the above slightly varies in range of dates from [4] which states "The year 1991 was a year of anticipation and change for Forrestal and its crew, as she spent the first five months maintaining combat readiness as the east coast ready carrier." - from the second source, no mention of any activities in 1990 - but confidentiality may make it impossible to find a trully well sourced citation for the operation. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 00:55, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Separate article about the 1967 fire[edit]

The 1967 fire seems like its something that should have its own article. I'm not sure I have time to implement this right now, but I thought I'd put it out there and see if there are any strong feelings on it one way or the other. There is already a PD-USN source here to start from as well as other USN sources. Any thoughts one way or the other? --Dual Freq (talk) 01:13, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

:Here's a starting point in my sandbox based on what little we have in this article right now. --Dual Freq (talk) 02:18, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The fire of 1967 has been split to 1967 USS Forrestal fire. It needs a bit of work, but its a start. --Dual Freq (talk) 01:56, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

John McCain[edit]

Deck plan with aircraft involved circled. The Zuni is said to have come from F-4 #110. McCain's A-4 (416) is shown with the engine facing outboard. No F-4 was positioned behind his aircraft despite conspiracy theories to the contrary.

I made an edit earlier that stated that it was LCDR John McCain's aircraft that was hit by the Zuni rocket, causing the 1967 incident. My edit was reverted, and I learned that sources were unclear as to whether it really was his aircraft, or another. According to the John McCain article, it was his that was hit, but according to 1967 USS Forrestal fire it was either McCain or LCDR Fred D. White. Just want to check about maybe an edit that goes along the lines of indicating that the aircraft hit might have been McCain's. I believe the possibility is definately notable enough for inclusion. scetoaux (talk) 04:52, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Do you have the sources from the articles you mentioned that report the conflicting items? I haven't had time to check for myself, but if either or both are unsourced, we certainly can't base anything on those articles. If each claim is sourced from reliable, published material, then we report what both sources say, even if they contradict. - BillCJ (talk) 06:19, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I understand. I can't give you the source at the moment. I'm on my iPod Touch :P scetoaux (talk) 06:31, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The Impact of the USS Forrestal's 1967 Fire on United States Navy Shipboard Damage Control. Henry P. Stewart; Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS and DANFS both state that investigators could not officially determine which aircraft was hit. The flight deck video was unclear as well. I'm not sure why McCain needs to be mentioned here. Having your plane blow up is not exactly what I would consider notable, certainly worth mentioning in the main article as well as McCain's bio. But this article needs only to say that an A-4 was hit, since it could have been either aircraft. However, there were 134 deaths related to the fire, many of which died in the act of extreme heroism I would think their sacrifice is notable. For example, Chief Gerald W. Farrier, who rushed to the scene less than a minute after the fire started, armed only with a handheld PKP extinguisher, trying to save the life of a pilot in one of the stricken aircraft. He and most of the fire team died in that effort 94 seconds after the fire started. I would think that is more notable than adding McCain's name here, he didn't cause the incident and no one else's name is mentioned here. --Dual Freq (talk) 12:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

"I'm not sure why McCain needs to be mentioned here." -- perhaps because that's when he ejected and ended up losing the use of his arms? -- (talk) 04:03, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think he ejected, but climbed out over the nose of his daddy's A-4. Not really notable. - BillCJ (talk) 04:31, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I keep reading your comments Bill, trying to understand why you added "daddy's" and striked it out at the same time.Asher196 (talk) 12:53, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Lt. Commander John McCain narrowly escaped the burning jet fuel spreading beneath his aircraft (awaiting take-off) by climbing out of the cockpit onto the nose and then forward more along an antenna or similar forward projection from his aircraft--and jumping to the deck. I think it is noteworthy how close a United States (current) US Senator came to death while serving his country in this famous accident. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bugatti35racer (talkcontribs) 19:29, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
It is noteworthy for inclusion in his own article and the main article about the fire. I stand by what I said on this topic in 2008. --Dual Freq (talk) 20:17, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Contradiction to John McCain article[edit]

The fact that it is not mentioned that the plane that was hit was apparently John McCain's has already been addressed, but the articles significantly contradict each other when it comes to the details of the fire. I tried to tag the McCain article as well, which is apparently locked. Please correct me if I am doing this incorrectly, as I am new, but this is the contradiction:

In the USS Forrestal [5] article it says the fire, "that burned for hours, killing 134, injuring 161 and costing the Navy $72 million." It references [6] which clearly backs up this claim.

On the John McCain [[7]] article it states, "The ensuing fire killed 132 sailors, injured 62 others, destroyed at least 20 aircraft, and took 24 hours to control."

It uses McCain's book, "Faith of My Fathers" as a reference, and the e-copy itself that is linked as the reference itself contradicts the article by specifying that, " Fires burned below deck for 24 hours. It was a total disaster. 134 men died, dozens were wounded and more than 20 planes were destroyed." I believe it can be agreed that there is a significant difference between "dozens" and 161. Also, the numbers are all different. This can be viewed here: [8]

One of these articles needs to be changed, but I think that the John McCain article is incorrect and it is locked. I believe the sourcing on the USS Forrestal article needs to be more trusted. Chexmix53 (talk) 23:24, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

The number of wounded differs between DANFS as well, which states " Some 132 officers and men died in the catastrophe, two disappeared (missing, presumed dead), and another 62 suffered injuries." However, DANFS is wrong about the two missing since all 134 bodies were recovered[9] and I can not find the names of anyone still "missing" from the incident. I have found some lists that have 135 names, but there was a seaman that died before the incident on the same day so 134 is the number of dead. As for injuries, I've seen 62 from DANFS and 161 from the DC museum article. At this point I don't know which is correct, but on a ship with thousands of crew members affected / involved, its safe to assume there were a large number of casualties, physically, mentally etc. How those casualties were counted and what the various numbers were is unknown to me at this time. As for dozens, I think its fair to say dozens since hundreds is too many, we know there were at least 62, maybe "scores" be better than dozens. 1967 USS Forrestal fire is the main article for the fire, we only need to summarize here. It looks to me that McCain's book only summarizes the incident so I don't think its numbers are going to differ from other sources that deal specifically with the incident. Why don't you complain to the people editing the McCain article? --Dual Freq (talk) 23:56, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

n-th landing[edit]

I removed the mention of the 227.000 landing, as this seem highly irregular (I'd half-understand the 200k-th landing, but if we include each obscure milestone, this article would be a mess...) Averell (talk) 21:54, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

It needed a cite, so I've reverted, and added tags. I assume it's from a Public domain source, and should be easy to track down. I'm also assuming it broke a previously-held record, in which case it wouldn't be obscure, so lets give it some time to be clarified. - BillCJ (talk) 22:26, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
If it broke a record it would be notable. However, in that case the article should mention it; otherwise I'd still think it's superfluous and should be removed. So, if somebody can clarify this... ? Averell (talk) 13:26, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I've finally removed it, since nobody has come forward with an explanation for months. The only justification seems to be that this is on the DANFS page, and it's completely unknown what it is about. If someone wants to re-add it, please come up with an explanation. Averell (talk) 12:04, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

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Re: Operation Pokeweed[edit]

I concur with the comment made by the Pave Low III guy who said he was there, and the guy on the flight deck when the helos landed. So was I. I was a member of a Naval Reserve Det (CARGRU 6 Staff) that drilled at NAS Atlanta. For the time in question, our unit was scheduled to do it's annual two weeks active duty. We flew into Mayport and boarded the Forrestal over the weekend and then got underway. We proceded to the Central Caribbean where we spent a few days conducting some other exercised and then on Wednesday night took off to the Southwest at high speed. While I don't recall the particular evening, we then brought aboard five Pave Low III helicopters under darkened deck conditions. (Pilots used NVGs to land on the flight deck.) The helos were from Hurlbert Field in Florida and had flown down the Yucitan under cover of darkness and very low to the water. (Note sure about any particulars as far as in flight refueing was concerned.

With regard to the SEAL contingent, never knew if it was Team 6 (DevGru) or not, but it stands to reason. However, there were other military (Army and Air Force) that made up the group. (Would guess that some of those in fatigues were also DEA, although no one wore name or service tapes on their uniforms.) Assisted one individual in setting up a satellite antenna on the railing of the flag bridge and he commented that 12 hours before he had been "running around the woods in South Carolina". This leads me to believe that there were also members of Delta Force involved as well. As far as equipment and other assets were concerned, it's as mentioned in the previous posting, with this exception. The focal point for the operation was an island where Noreaga and Pablo Escabar were suppose to have planned a meeting. Logisticaly, deployment of he helos was not practical owing to a loss of the element of surprise. My understanding was that the "team" was to have used the Zodiacs to land a security team to secure the island and the suspects, and then have the helos land to take everyone back to the Forrestal. This was going to be a "grab and go" type of op. Regardless of the island possibly being in Panamanian waters, once the suspects were transport back to the ship, they could have been arrested, charged, and placed under the jurisdiction of the DEA. (With the exception of the Coast Guard, which is a federal agency, the military has no law enforcement authority.)

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