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Frequent CQ contributor Bandit has uncovered a box of papers at the Naval Archives regarding John Kerry's service during Viet Nam and has started the painstaking task of scanning and analyzing each new document. One new document answers one of the questions that arose during our Alston investigation, which was where Kerry came up with his story about the 29 January engagement in which Alston was seriously wounded. Kerry and Alston had passed himself off as the commander during that battle even though Tedd Peck had commanded PCF-94 on that day and had also been seriously wounded in that battle, one in which Kerry never took part.
Here's what Kerry told a South Carolina veteran's group in May 2002 about his purported service with Alston (who was present and had spoken earlier on the same topic) according to The New Republic:
"He [Alston] sat up in a turret above my head in the pilot house _ firing twin fifty-calibers to suppress enemy fire from ambushes. We were extremely exposed _ always shot at first.... On one occasion in an ambush his turret was riddled with almost one hundred bullets penetrating the aluminum skin. This gunman kept firing even though he was wounded _ one bullet going through his helmet, grazing his head and another hitting his arm...."
Now read the after-action report from the 29 January action, written and transmitted on 30 January:
"...AND TO GMG2 ALSTON WHO STUCK TO HIS .50 CAL HMG UNTIL ALL ENEMY FIRE WAS SUPPRESSED, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE WAS WOUNDED AND HIS "GU" TUB WAS RIDDLED BY 28 ROUNDS OF SMALL ARMS FIRE." COSDIV 11 TRAFFIC MESSAGE 30JAN69
Apart from a typical Kerry exaggeration of 28 bullets into "almost one hundred", the phrasing sounds quite similar. It looks like Kerry researched Alston's record in order to familiarize himself with the 29 January engagement, which also means that Kerry has his hands on more records than he's released to the public. His conflation of his record with Peck's was no accident; both he and Alston need to answer for their deception.Sphere It View blog reactions
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