Skip to comments.Vet: Officers told Kerry to leave Vietnam
Posted on 05/13/2004 11:42:28 PM PDT by Stoat
Sen. John Kerry was told to leave Vietnam by three colleagues upset with his behavior and attitudes, according to a fellow swift-boat officer during the war.
Thomas Wright says the misbehavior of the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate got to the point where his divisional commander no longer wanted Kerry in his boat group and re-assigned him.
Then Wright and like-minded boat officers took matters into their own hands, according to John B. Dwyer, a Vietnam veteran and military historian writing in the online magazine American Thinker.
"When he got his third Purple Heart, three of us told him to leave," Wright said, according to Dwyer. "We knew how the system worked and we didn't want him in Coastal Division 11.
"Kerry didn't manipulate the system," he continued, "we did."
Wright, who at times was officer-in-charge over Kerry, said he had occasion to observe Kerry's behavior and attitudes, and the circumstances surrounding his early departure from the war zone.
Wright noted Kerry's chosen moniker for radio communications between the boats was "Boston Strangler."
The officer said he and most other swift-boat officers had two commandments: 1. Protect the crews. 2. Win.
But working with "Boston Strangler" became problematical, he said, according to Dwyer.
"I had a lot of trouble getting him to follow orders," Wright recalled. "He had a different view of leadership and operations. Those of us with direct experience working with Kerry found him difficult and oriented toward his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives."
Wright said he "believed that overall responsibility rested squarely on the shoulders of the OIC or OTC in a free-fire zone. You had to be right [before opening fire]."
However, he continued, "Kerry seemed to believe there were no rules in a free-fire zone, and you were supposed to kill anyone. I didn't see it that way."
The rules were vital, Wright emphasized, because it was important the enemy "understood that swift boats were a competent, effective force that could dominate his location."
"You couldn't achieve that by indiscriminate use of weapons in free-fire zones," he said.
Wright referred to the three Purple Hearts awarded to Kerry, which allowed him to leave Vietnam for the U.S.
"No one wanted a Purple Heart because it meant we had made a mistake," he said. "We made sure our crews were recognized, but no one took pride in a Purple Heart."
More than a dozen of Kerry's superior officers and colleagues during the war held a press conference May 4 in Washington to tell Americans the senator is unfit to be commander-in-chief of the United States.
Retired Rear Adm. Roy Hoffman, who headed Coastal Division 11, said Kerry was seen by colleagues as a self-serving, "loose cannon" who came only to launch a political career.
Hoffman said Kerry "arrived in country with a strong anti-Vietnam War bias and a self-serving determination to build a foundation for his political future."
"He was aggressive, but vain and prone to impulsive judgment, often with disregard to specific tactical assignments," Hoffman said. "He was a loose cannon."
Hoffman and his colleagues with the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are among more than 200 veterans who have signed a letter asking Kerry to authorize the Department of the Navy to release all of his military records, including health documents.
Kerry must never get the "football".
Boston Strangler, huh?
Thanks for the post, but if the gruesome murder of Nick Berg barely made the news (except for the parts where the father blamed the President and SecDef's sins for his son's death), then this won't get a flea's scratch notice.
Now, if this were about the President, true or not, it would lead every news story of every member of the Fraudcast Lamescream Media.
Unfortunately you're completely correct of course.
Maybe if Drudge takes an interest in it, then it might get a footnote in the Washington Post a month from now?
Thank God for Free Republic and the internet, or we would never have an opportunity to hear all sides of a story.
If he were to do the impossible, 4 years of "The Touch back Kid" would be as detrimental to our country as 8 years of "The "Cum" back Kid".
Hasn't changed much, has he?
Boston Strangler ping.
Kerry, in Vietnam, is what we would have called, "A Goofball."
I was certain the "Three Purple Hearts and your out" policy did not exist. I have never talked to anyone who has even heard a rumor of it before f'n Kerry came on the scene.
Now those crushing efficincy reports make perfect sense. As does the late award of the 1st PH. 3 and out allowed the Navy to kick Kerry out of VN.
This also explains his hasty and unheralded departure. And his final assignment as an aide.
With Kerry's known political connections to the K-clan the Navy couldn't do anything too harsh, so they found a political solution.
Great, now he's billed as a frikken hero.
Can't wait for the POW situation to be spun to his credit.
Well isn't that special? He chose the name of a man that brutally assaulted and murdered 13 women during the early 1960's. Did he think that was humorous? I guess it fits with the description of him as a "loose canon" who fired at everything that moved and who has confessed to committing atrocities.
actually, the only part of this that doesn't make sense is the assignment as a flag officer's aide: those billets are usually given to really STRAC officers from the academies who are on the way up, if things work out the 0-7+ serves as a mentor to the 0-3 and helps guide his further career.
"Kerry must never get the "football".
Right! He would only use it against Texas though. Just Waco on a larger scale. Aggression, left wing style.
Hmm, the football. Kinda makes one think of The Dead Zone.
He made a call to the Kennedys. End of story.
Actually, if you check most flag officers career history, the position of aid as a JO is not the norm. Move it up to ops on a staff and you will have a future Flag. As a jo, combat or a meaningful operational billet carries much more weight than sword carrier.
This is just to funny.
This is just another example of the fact that the ratmedia has lost control of the flow of news. In years gone by we would NEVER EVER hear about this story. I predict that lurch will go down as the first major victim of the three legged stool of The Net Talk Radio and Foxtv. In the future the dead horse faced leftist from Massachusetts will find his picture in poli-sci text books next to first "victim of modern technology."
kerry can't blame anyone but himself for bringing vietnam into this campaign.
Looks like Kerry had some pretty twisted preconceived notions about the military (no surprise considering the DemonRat scum politicians he was hanging out with) and fashioned himself an actor who was just fitting into the role as he saw it. What a freak. And after he was told that his ideas of what the military was about out there were wrong, he wouldn't listen and just kept going. Sounds like Kerry had some real mental problems. And this nutjob wants to be Commander-in-Chief?
Nothing to see here. Moveon.org, move on.
Boston strangler, thats too funny. What an idiot.
Hey Chad .. didn't you find this info a few weeks back?
Yep, sounds EXACTLY like Kerry. To hell with everyone else as long as HE gets what HE wants. He would be such a bad president that we would long for clintoon.
Exactly as I have said. He joined the Navy because JFK did. He volunteered for the Swift Boats because they were similar to PT-109 but he nver dreamed that the swift boats would ever get withing a half mile of shore.
Thanks for the ping!
At least a month ago, if I remember correctly...
"Maybe if Drudge takes an interest in it, then it might get a footnote in the Washington Post a month from now? "
Yeah, actually I was thinking a month after the election...
"Thank God for Free Republic and the internet, or we would never have an opportunity to hear all sides of a story."
Thank God is right PING!!!
Great news. Where was it reported?
I was getting ready to put this report into some other sites, but I checked and could not find the referenced article in American Thinker.
Has anyone found it?
I want this information out, but the WND article appears to be totally based on a non-existent (or no longer visible) American Thinker article.
Hello, I found the article here:
and here's the entire article:
Call sign: Boston strangler
May 13th, 2004
Thomas Wright was one of John F. Kerry's fellow Swift boat officers in Vietnam. Since Wright outranked Kerry, he was Kerry's sometime boat group Officer-in-Charge, so Wright had occasion to observe Kerrys behavior and attitudes, and the circumstances surrounding his early departure from the war zone. The intervening years have not dimmed his memories.
When the Swift boats of Coastal Division 11 sailed into harms way from their Phu Quoc Island base of An Thoi, for missions along the rivers of Vietnams southwesternmost Kien Giang and An Xuyen provinces, they communicated by radio. When they did, boat captains adopted distinctive, often humorous call signs for identification purposes. Eldon Thompson was Mary Poppins, William Schachte was Baccardi Charlie, James T. Grace was Twiggy, and Tom Wright was Dudley Do-Right. When John Kerry radioed another Swift boat, he used the call sign, Boston Strangler.
Lieutenant Thomas W. Wright heard that call sign frequently. As OIC (Officer-in-Charge) of PCF-44, he operated with LT (j.g.) Kerrys 94 Boat on a fairly regular basis. A 1966 graduate of the University of North Carolinas NROTC program, Wright had served as communications officer aboard the destroyer USS Robert A. Owens before beginning Swift boat training in November 1967. He had already served for eight months with Qui Nhons Coastal Division 15 when the monsoon season forced its boats to be shifted to the more protected, and more challenging waters off An Thoi. He decided to extend his tour and follow his disciplined, veteran crew to the new base. As the relatively senior lieutenant there, he was the OTC, or Officer-in-Tactical Command for the majority of the 3-to-6-boat missions. On most of them he commanded 44 Boat.
The rivers and canals of Kien Giang and An Xuyen provinces were the targets of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, Rear Adm. Elmo Zumwalts aggressive SEALORDS operations. Looking back after all these years, Tom Wright, now a retired Commander, recalls: We planned missions locally to try to dominate the area and disrupt the enemys movements. We faced significant challenges every day, every night. We would respond to intelligence reports as appropriate. It took great imagination and determination to work effectively in the rivers, and we remained deployed until material damage and casualties reduced our effectiveness. We would then rotate back to An Thoi for repair and re-arming.
For Tom Wright and most other Swift boat officers, there were two commandments: 1. Protect the crews. 2. Win. As for Tom Wrights 44 Boat; we won every engagement, start to finish. I got the crew home; a few nicks, but we made it.
Working with call sign Boston Strangler became problematical. I had a lot of trouble getting him to follow orders, recalls Wright. He had a different view of leadership and operations. Those of us with direct experience working with Kerry found him difficult and oriented towards his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives. I believed that overall responsibility rested squarely on the shoulders of the OIC or OTC in a free-fire zone. You had to be right (before opening fire). Kerry seemed to believe there were no rules in a free-fire zone and you were supposed to kill anyone. I didnt see it that way.
In Wrights view, it was important that the enemy understood that Swift boats were a competent, effective force that could dominate his location. To do that, you also had to control the people and their actions; to have them accept Swift boat crews and their authority. You couldnt achieve that by indiscriminate use of weapons in free fire zones.
It got to a point where Wright told his divisional commander he no longer wanted Kerry in his boat group, so he was re-assigned to another one. I had an idea of his actions but didnt have to be responsible for him. Then Wright and like-minded boat officers took matters into their own hands. When he got his third Purple Heart, three of us told him to leave. We knew how the system worked and we didnt want him in Coastal Division 11. Kerry didnt manipulate the system, we did.
As for medals, Commander Wright holds strong views: No one was recognized for completely overwhelming the enemy with skill, courage and bravery. No one wanted a Purple Heart because it meant we had made a mistake. We made sure our crews were recognized, but no one took pride in a Purple Heart. Everyone who served is equally important, regardless of rank or awards.
John B. Dwyer is a military historian, and Vietnam veteran, who served in the Fourth Infantry Division
Hello, re your question "Great news. Where was it reported?"
After a cursory Googling, I am seeing it at NewsMax
and CNS News
A more intensive Googling or a Lexis-Nexus search may provide additional examples.
Apparently even news of a pic of Kerry holding up a head on a pike wouldn't be enough to stir the media to pick up the story...
John Kerry IS guilty of WAR CRIMES.
Readers interested in learning more about the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth press conference on May 4 can find audio, video and text of the conference at this site:
IMHO, he is, and was a self-serving, "loose cannon" all of his life........
I'm sure there was a time when Kerry and his commander had a heart to heart. I'd loved to have been a fly on the wall when his boss said something like, "You're f'd up! Either un-f yourself or you're not going to be in my Navy!"
Kerry must never get the "football".
Boston Strangler ping
Those of us with direct experience working with Kerry found him difficult and oriented toward his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives
This rings true.
"Boston Strangler"? That's not a good sign either, to say the least.
Bump. Time for the Country to tell Kerry to leave
This is exactly why F'n Kerry is having a difficult time finding a running mate. Evidently he thinks only he is good enough and wants to be both president and vice president.