Skip to comments.KERRY, SWIFT BOATS, VIET NAM, THE TRUTH, AND NAVY LOGS
Posted on 08/11/2004 6:52:45 AM PDT by 7thson
I have read a lot on FR concerning Kerry and the Swift Boats, and have listen and seen a lot of it on the tube and listened to the story on the radio. I believe the Swift Boat vets. However, here is my question. Since Kerry was in the Navy - and all navy personnel on FR know this - then he was required to keep a log on the boat. All the boats kept logs. All the logs are saved. Why doesn't someone go back and check the log records of Kerry's boat and the other boats? Has this been asked or done?
The Swift Boaters have been asking Kerry to sign form 180 and release all his military records, which Kerry has refused. I doubt if the records you are talking about would be covered by that though.
These are navy logs. All ships, boats, watches have them. They are saved somewhere for a number of years. Find them and find out what the other commanders wrote during these times.
In reality it would be a miricle if those records were locatable.
The logs are kept at the miltary records archive in St. Louis Mo. Unfourtnely for us there was a fire several years ago when they were expanding the facilty underground. a lot of records were damaged or destroyed on during this event.
There you go asking for facts when feelings are so much more important.
Hannity had these guys on his radio show for the last couple of days. Kerry has acess to the boat log and to his fitness reports but only he can access them, since it is his record. He choses not to do so. The rest of these vets have opened all they have to write their book..and in my book are truthful because Kerry slandered them and hundreds of others when he came home and blabbed untruths according to him.
The logs would contain some information but probably not enough specifics, to counter any spinning, in most cases.
There was a thread posted here yesterday which asked for help in locating a "Spot Report" .pdf file from Kerry's military records dated January 1969. Evidently, it was released and now, has been pulled because it contained some evidence that a bright bulb in Kerry's campaign realized would directly contradict what his claims are, regarding his military service.
Kerry may have access to his own military records and controls the permission to release them. However, fitreps and evals go up the chain and are part of the navy record. He does not have control of logs, which are part of the navy archives. He cannot control the log of his own boat much less the logs of the other boats. Find these logs and records. A reporter with a desire for truth would find this information but then again, I just stopped myself there, didn't I?
U.S. Navy Deck Logs are part of Record Group 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, are held in the National Archives at College Park [Maryland]'s Modern Military Branch. They are open to the public. I'm not sure of the date range of the logs held at College Park, though, so a google search should be able to yield an archivist's name and/or phone number.
Interesting. Then I guess it's up to Kerry to stand up and speak for himself by releasing his military records. (Note to self: do not hold breath.)
Log book is not Kerry's record it is a record of the boat he commanded...It does not need this release...someone could do a FOIA request to get any logbooks.
I have a question too. If the Swift Boat Vets keep getting told they can not "testify" about Kerry beause they were not on the same boat, then how can Kerry testify about others supposed war crimes if theyb were not on his boat? If they were on his boat and committed war crimes then he was their commanding officer and he should be held accountable. They can't have it both ways!
On the same show, Lawrence O'Donnel of MSNBC asked one of the Viet Vet Against Kerry about his one time spat with Sen McCain...does anyone know anything about that?
see post 17, I agree.
A Google search on "Washington Navy Yard" and deck logs turns up this info for the location where current deck logs are stored:
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER 805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060
If sKerry retains dominion over any archived logs, these swift boats patrolled in three's. Surely the other two boats' logs would be in agreement with sKerry's accounting if his recollection of the incident is correct. If not, the other logs should serve to bolster the arguments of SBV with respect to their current contentions.
Log books such as these are public record. The only question would be if they were perhaps in some way classified. However, most classified stuff is declassified after 30 years, depending upon the level of original classification.
Got the following from: http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq73-1.htm
The logs in question are not the same as the personnel files in St. Louis and as such would not have been subject to the fire damage in the 90s. Note he served on a BOAT not a commissioned SHIP. As such his BOAT would likely fall under the service craft definition below. That being said his parent commands records should still be available. Worth a look.
"Only deck logs from commissioned Navy ships are permanently retained by the Naval Historical Center and the National Archives. A ship "in commission" is a Navy command in her own right; she has her own administrative identity, and originates records in her own name. Annual command histories, written under a program initiated by the Chief of Naval Operations in 1952, are included in the active records of the Naval Historical Center. Deck logs are also held by the Ships History Branch of the Naval Historical Center. After 30 years, Ships History Branch transfers the deck logs to the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 [telephone (301) 837-3510].
Nearly all service craft are classified as "in service," rather than "in commission." They do not have their own administrative identity but are, in effect, floating vehicles operated by a parent command. Self-propelled service craft apparently keep a log of their movements for their parent command's administrative and legal purposes, but these are not sent to the Naval Historical Center and do not go into any permanent file."
I agree..get the logs and lets put them out there and let the people decide. The fitness reports would tell all, consequently KErry will never release these.
Good question. I was wondering about that last night when the libs were all over the place telling the vets they were in big trouble....law suits and all.
If they are at the Archives, an archivist should be able to guide you through them. They're probably on microfiche.
The After Action Reports should be there also.
Attention: Textual Reference (Vietnam)
8601 Adepphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Please verify the following records are available for research.
Date of Action, _______________________________________
OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Battalion
OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Brigade
OPERATIONAL REPORTS, Division
DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Battalion
DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Brigade
DAILY STAFF JOURNALS, Division
DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Battalion
DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Brigade
DUTY OFFICER S LOGS, Division
Last, First MI
City, State Zip
I've sent an email to Collge Park asking them where I could specifically find the journals/logs for the U.S. Navy Swiftboats during the Vietnam War. Lord knows when I'll get a reply.
I have seen copies of the FITREPs as well (when they were released earlier).
His FITREPs are nothing special. IMHO they are pretty close to standard 'boilerplate' FITREPs written to provide continuity. Outstanding performance in Naval Officers FITREPs is documented much more clearly.
From my experience with the hundreds if not thousands of FITREPs that I have prepared for senior officers, the FITREPs I read of Kerry's were "damming with faint praise" at best.
If you used the email@example.com address, you should actually get a reply sooner than you think (two or three days).
Good point - the PCFs may not have deck logs, due to their small crew size. I know NARA has deck logs through WWII and possibly into Korea; after that I'm not sure. But, there are only a handful of places that can have them, with the two most likely being NARA and the Naval Hist. Center. There are enough Freepers in the D.C. area, I'm sure they'll be tracked down. The power of Freepers cannot be denied! [kristinn - aren't you a D.C.-area Freeper? Do you know of anyone that could track them down for us, God, and country?]
Actually, NARA maintains a list of professional researchers who do this thing for a living. NARA doesn't usually assign staff members for this kind of thing, unless you are requesting copies of specific records (its like FOIA where you have to know the specific document you're requesting, instead of a scatter-shot "give me anything on such-and-such."). But, the professional researchers will find it for you, copy it, and send it to you quickly for a reasonable fee.
Anything else is pulled, I have a copy of his military record page and all the PDF files, so ping me if necessary and I will post the contents of any more missing files.
I did not save it in time to have the Jan spot report.
They'll contain a lot of info since they are to record all speed and course changes; firefights, and other important incidents. The logs for the period over that Christmas would show where to boat was. If it's tied to a pier that would have been entered including the exact time the first line was over. If underway it would show the time and date when the last line was cast off along with all speed and course changes and that could be mapped out. It should also show the time and date that some CIA agent (per his website) was inserted by Kerry and his boat into Cambodia.
That's the one I used, so hopefully I'll get a respond sooner than I thought. I've done alot of research at the National Archives, and they have always been slow in getting back to me on things. That's why I figured it would take a while with this.
Okay. Your FR ID name just rang a bell with me. Are you related to Henry Lee, who was President of the Friends of the Public Garden in Boston? I was briefly in touch with him several years ago regarding the Shaw monument. Although I live in central New York, my Civil War research took me to Boston on numerous occasions.
From an official Email from the Kerry campaign ..
"The swift boat ad is full of lies. Thirteen men who never served with John Kerry lie about knowing him and viciously attack his record. It is a new low for the Republicans."