posted on Mar, 6 2004 @ 11:48 AM
Interesting that Kerry's "glorious" time in Vietnam, less than 1/2 year, would be mentioned:
I sure as hell hope that you don't end up with this guy as YOUR commander in chief?
I know nothing about "Swift Boat" tactics so I can't judge the veracity of this letter. Maybe a more knowledgeable classmate can shine some
light on this. It was forwarded to me by a high school classmate, USNA grad ('59) and Rear Admiral (Ret.) Walt Plaue.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2004 6:17 PM
Subject: John Kerry...You decide
Sent to me by an old shipmate....
I was in the Delta shortly after he left. I know that area well. I know the operations he was involved in well. I know the tactics and the doctrine
used. I know the equipment. Although I was attached to CTF-116 (PBRs) I spent a fair amount of time with CTF-115 (swift boats), Kerry's command.
Here are my problems and suspicions:
(1) Kerry was in-country less than four months and collected, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three purple hearts. I never heard of anybody with
any outfit I worked with (including SEAL One, the Sea Wolves, Riverines and the River Patrol Force) collecting that much hardware so fast, and for
such pedestrian actions. The Swifts did a commendable job. But that duty wasn't the worst you could draw. They operated only along the coast and in
the major rivers (Bassac and Mekong). The rough stuff in the hot areas was mainly handled by the smaller, faster PBRs.
(2) Three Purple Hearts but no limp. All injuries so minor that no time lost from duty. Amazing luck. Or he was putting himself in for medals every
time he bumped his head on the wheel house hatch? Combat on the boats was almost always at close range. You didn't have minor wounds. At least not
often. Not three times in a row. Then he used the three purple hearts to request a trip home eight months before the end of his tour. Fishy.
(3) The details of the event for which he was given the Silver Star make no sense at all. Supposedly, a B-40 was fired at the boat and missed.
Charlie jumps up with the launcher in his hand, the bow gunner knocks him down with the twin .50, Kerry beaches the boat, jumps off, shoots Charlie,
and retreives the launcher. If true, he did everything wrong.
(a) Standard procedure when you took rocket fire was to put your stern to the action and go balls to the wall. A B-40 has the ballistic integrity of
a frisbie after about 25 yards, so you put 50 yards or so between you and the beach and begin raking it with your .50's.
(b) Did you ever see anybody get knocked down with a .50 caliber round and get up? The guy was dead or dying. The rocket launcher was empty. There
was no reason to go after him (except if you knew he was no danger to you just flopping around in the dust during his last few seconds on earth, and
you wanted some derring do in your after-action report). And we didn't shoot wounded people. We had rules against that, too.
(c) Kerry got off the boat. This was a major breach of standing procedures. Nobody on a boat crew ever got off a boat in a hot area. EVER! The reason
was simple. If you had somebody on the beach your boat was defenseless. It coudn't run and it couldn' t return fire. It was stupid and it put his
crew in danger. He should have been relieved and reprimanded. I never heard of any boat crewman ever leaving a boat during or after a firefight.
Something is fishy.
Here we have a JFK wannabe (the guy Halsey wanted to court martial for carelessly losing his boat and getting a couple people killed by running
across the bow of a Jap destroyer) who is hardly in Vietnam long enough to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where
lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early, requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can run for
Congress, finds out war heros don't sell well in Massachsetts in 1970 so reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt with the
cameras running to jump start his political career, gets
Stillborn Pell to invite him to address Congress and Bobby Kennedy's speechwriter to do the heavy lifting, winds up in the Senate himself a few
years later, votes against every major defense bill, says the CIA is irrelevant after the Wall came down, votes against the Gulf War, a big mistake
since that turned out well, decides not to make the same mistake twice so votes for invading Iraq, but oops, that didn't turn out so well so he now
says he really didn't mean for Bush to go to war when he voted to allow him to go to war.
I'm real glad you or I never had this guy covering out flanks in Vietnam. I sure don't want him as Commander in Chief. I hope that somebody from
CTF-115 shows up with some facts challenging Kerry's Vietnam record. I know in my gut it's wildy inflated. And fishy.