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August 24, 2004
McQ Figures Out The 13 March Engagement

McQ at QandO has figured out what the COSDIV 11 chronology for John Kerry's Bronze Star engagement means, and it casts a lot of doubt on Jim Rassmann's version of events -- and by definition, Kerry's as well. I must admit that I missed this, and hopefully McQ will be more forgiving to me than he is to the New York Times:

Anyway to the point at hand which will demonstrate two things:

A) The NYT deliberately left out some of the report.
B) The NYT writers who used the report had no idea about the meaning of what they were reading.

First the report (you'll find it on page 8 of the pdf):

"March 13, 1969: PCF's 3, 51, 43, 93 and 94 with MSF RF/PF troops conducted SEA LORDS operations in Bay Hop river and Dong Cong canal. A mine detonated under PCF 3 and units were taken under small arms fire several times during the operation. Friendly casualties were 8 USN WIA and 1 MSF KIA. Units destroyed 30 sampans and 5 structures and captured 16 booby trap grenades. Later intelligence reports indicated 1 VC KIA and 5 VC WIA."

Once I read this, I understood why the NYT had screwed up this part of the story so badly.

McQ analyzes this as two halves of an operation ... and guess which half the mine explosion occurred in? This explains why the only bullet holes for any of the boats were the three in Thurlow's, even though the PCFs sat fairly immobile in the water for a significant period of time while conducting rescue and salvage operations. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than doing all of that in a hail of enemy gunfire.

Read the whole thing.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 24, 2004 9:19 PM

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