The crew of the USS Carl Vinson reportedly marked the spot on the ship’s deck where Osama bin Laden’s body was delivered on May 1, 2011.
A padeye on the aircraft carrier was painted red in order to show the exact spot where bin Laden’s body arrived.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, a padeye is “an attachment point to where fighter jets or helicopters are tethered.”
“That’s where bin Laden arrived, his body was bloodied and people who saw it won’t forget it in a hurry,” a crew member said.
“The padeye is painted red as a reminder of the Vinson’s role that night in what was a historic mission.”
USS Carl Vinson marks spot on deck where Osama bin Laden’s blood-soaked body was delivered during Operation Geronimo https://t.co/JT1m9x0B8G
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) November 17, 2017
Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a spokesman for the ship, could not confirm if the padeye actually had a link to bin Laden, but he did tell the Daily Mail it serves as a reminder of the ongoing fight against terrorism.
“It’s not uncommon for warships to symbolize their participation in a historic event. U.S. Navy vessels are on watch around the world every day, ready to answer the call,” Hawkins said.
Rob O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL responsible for killing bin Laden, said he’s heard of the red padeye.
O’Neill said he wasn’t shocked that bin Laden’s body was still bloody when it arrived on the carrier.
“I know what he looked like when we handed him off, so I’m not surprised,” the former SEAL said. “He took some pretty severe head shots, I did three of them, he was very badly damaged.”
“We were with him until we handed him to some Army special operators and they brought him out to the ship in the Gulf and that’s where they buried him at sea, but I wasn’t there for that,” O’Neill added.
Only a handful of people witnessed bin Laden’s body being secretly disposed of in the Arabian Sea.
The burial was carried out in accordance with traditional Islamic law.
It took years for U.S. intelligence agencies to locate bin Laden. He was finally found hiding in a compound location in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A stealthy assault was carried out, dubbed Operation Geronimo.
The raid had a few hiccups, notably the accidental crash landing of one of the two SEAL helicopters as they arrived at the compound. However, no American lives were lost and the entire operation lasted around 40 minutes.
President Barack Obama later briefed American citizens, informing them that bin Laden had been killed