One thing led to another and Yarom soon found himself running out of gas. Not wanting to lose the new helicopter with a sea landing, he scanned the horizons for someplace to set down. Suddenly he saw it, the flight deck of the USS Wasp CVS-18.
Down below was the huge American aircraft carrier, known among its crew as the "Mighty Stinger." President Dwight D. Eisenhower had dispatched the World War II-era vessel to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean as Marines landed in Beirut to prop up that country's independence during a civil war.
But all this didn't matter to Yarom. He needed a place to land, quickly. And with pure Israeli hutzpa he did so, setting down on the USS Wasp's flight deck. He jumped out as startled, angry and curious naval officers and crew surrounded him.
The captain demanded to know just what he was thinking landing on an American aircraft carrier?!
"Oh, I am sorry," Yarom told him. "I thought it was one of ours."
Yarom, 73 and recovering from a recent stroke, still chuckles when he recalls the true story that has become lore, too unbelievable to have really happened.
"But it did happen and the captain later sent the bill for the gas to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv so they could charge the air force," he says from his bed at his home in Naveh Magen.
"The navy may want to buy larger ships, I hope we never get an aircraft carrier," Yarom says. "That would take the whole sting out of my story."
Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence, Volume 1 By Norman Polmar