Skip to comments.USS Peleliu commander fired under suspicion for improper relationships with crew
Posted on 08/16/2010 7:01:26 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan The captain of the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu was relieved of command Sunday during an investigation into improper relationships with his crewmembers.
Navy investigators are probing allegations that Capt. David A. Schnell acted in an unprofessional manner toward several crew members that was inappropriate, improper and unduly familiar, according to a Navy news release.
Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet, officially relieved Schnell on Sunday due to loss of confidence in his ability to command, according to the release.
Capt. Mark E. Cedrun, chief of staff for Expeditionary Strike Group 3, will temporarily command the USS Peleliu until a permanent replacement is named, according to the news release.
Peleliu is currently aiding in relief efforts to flood-ravaged Pakistan, according to Navy reports. Marine Corps helicopters aboard the ship have the strength to lift 16 tons of food and equipment to the millions of people displaced by the disaster, the Navy said.
Schnell is the 12th commanding officer to be relieved in 2010. The Navy removed seven commanding officers between Jan. 1 and March 15 alone. Seventeen commanders were relieved in 2009.
Reasons for the firings this year have ranged from public alcohol abuse and prostitute solicitation to running a ship into a pier.
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
Zipper malfunction again?
Was Massa present and was there a tickle fight......?
“running a ship into a pier”
Don’t ask, don’t tell.
John F. Kennedy ran a PT boat into a pier and he didn’t get fired.
What is he alledged to have done which caused his releif?
It never ceased to amaze me that Kennedy could get his PT Boat sliced in two by a Japanese destroyer — a ship that is much bigger, slower and less maneuverable than a PT boat — and somehow come out a hero for it.
I met a man in Tulsa who was a Captain in the same squadron as Kennedy. He said Kennedy was well liked but getting rammed was the worst thing that could happen to a PT boat. They were the fastest thing on the sea.
I think Kennedy did act heroically after the boat was rammed but he probably should have been at least court marshalled for that.
Hey feed some Americans First!!!!
Male or female crew members?
Because of daddy?
It’s hard to imagine how it even happened.
Either they were not standing watch very good or they were dead in the water and the destroyer rammed them intentionally.
But, if they were DIW, ramming would not be necessary. A single shell from a five-incher would blow a PT boat to hell and gone.
JFK ran his PT boat in to a destoryer, too.
"..While Nimitz was a 22-year-old ensign in the Philippines and conning the destroyer Decatur, his ship ran aground on a mudbank. However, he successfully rescued a man overboard when the ship ran into the mudbank. Nimitz was court-martialed and convicted of hazarding a Navy ship and received a letter of reprimand..."
We always knew he was whoopsie.
JFK was a Kennedy. The rules don’t apply.
I read a transcript of an interview of the Japanese Captain of the destroyer. It was made some time ago. He definitely rammed the PT boat on purpose. Their lookout spotted it but Kennedy’s did not spot the far larger destroyer.
The Kennedy PT boat was running with several others specifically for the purpose to spot Japanese ships. That is what looks so bad in that trying to see Japanese ships was what they were supposed to be doing yet let one ram them.
IIRC, his father hired people to research this incident and figure out a way to whitewash it. There may have been involvement in the War Department. Joe Kennedy was very influential back then, and was showered with sympathy after the death of his eldest son Joe, who ironically was the victim of another equipment-related failure, and is also remembered as a hero.
I’m retired Navy. During my duty time I observed several lousy COs. Most COs I served under were good officers, but some were incompetent; others totally self-centered. The problem has always been flag meddling. Admirals would pick a favorite junior and then mentor him/her up the ranks until they got command. Bad behavior or incompetence were swept under the rug. Once they got command, their bad behavior or stupidity would become public. The reverse was also true. One of my Navy buddies was a real “water walker;” just superb in every way. However, he married a woman he met in the Philippines, to which an admiral objected based upon the admiral’s prejudices. My friend was never given the command he so richly deserved because of several bad marks in “leadership” due to his marriage. That the pace of reliefs of command has accelerated shows both that this has not stopped and that the Navy now reacts like a frightened dog to any negative news. It’s a true mess. Obama’s hatred of the military just makes it worse; his guys look for examples of bad behavior in the military som the Left can demand action be taken. The fact that Obama is unfit to sweep a deck just adds a layer of hypocracy.
My question, too.
Kennedy's father -- the vile, Hitler-loving, professional gangster -- fixed JFK's mistakes. He was going to be court-martialed for shutting-down his boat's engines and being rammed by a Japanese destroyer. But The Old Bastard Joe Kennedy got that changed to a medal for heroism.
“I think Kennedy did act heroically after the boat was rammed but he probably should have been at least court marshalled for that.”
Actually, non other than Douglas McArthur wanted to court marshall Kennedy for disobeying orders and leaving the engine in his PT boat running while waiting for the Jap boats. (He was talked out of the court marshall for political reasons.) With the noise of the motor and the moonless night, Kennedy didn’t see or hear the destroyer approaching until it was too late.
>>> Dont ask, dont tell.
Reading between the lines, it doesn’t sound like it. Overly familiar and undignified captain perhaps playing favorites, but less then what you suggest.
>>> It never ceased to amaze me that Kennedy could get his PT Boat sliced in two by a Japanese destroyer a ship that is much bigger, slower and less maneuverable than a PT boat
The PT flotilla was on patrol looking for Japanese ships. To conserve fuel the squadron leader ordered the group to cut motors and drift.
There was an article analyzing the incident by the Naval Institute several years ago. They theorize when the radarless boat did spot the destroyer and attempted to throttle up, the engineer failed to open a ventilator feeding the motors and the oxygen starved motors failed to quickly engage. If I recall correctly this engineer they point at was the same burned man Kennedy dragged through the water.
Court martial was contemplated but Kennedy’s actions saving his injured and leading his shipwrecked crew, coupled with the political pull of the family, plus the need at the time for photogenic heroes put an end to that.
In any event the Navy retained confidence in Kennedy. He was given another boat and returned to action commanding a gunboat, as the PTs were being converted in the absence of suitable targets for their torpedoes.
The ramming and loss of PT=109 was officially investigated by a intel officer named Byron White. Fifteen years later JFK appointed him to the Supreme Court.
Small world, eh?
I’m not asking and I guess he’s not telling.
Click on pic for past Navair pings.
Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
The only requirement for inclusion in the Navair Pinglist is an interest in Naval Aviation.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.
NEVER get into any land, sea or air conveyance with a Kennedy.
Hey at least we know one stopped drinking....
Good summary, and I expect the Kennedy political pull, in combination with the former, prevented the latter.
IIRC, wasn’t the BB USS Missouri run aground off of VA in the 50’s...took several days for tugs to pull her off...
US Navy has 294 ships....17 commanders were relieved in 2009, looks to be about the same number this year...that more than 5% EACH YEAR...this is RELIEVED, yanked off the bridge..cashiered..what the heck does that say about the selection process...?
like that female admiral married to an enlisted man?
I don’t know.
We never should have brought females to the fleet. And now we’re putting them on subs.
According to several sources, Schnell was fired for sexually harassing male sailors. One former crewmember with continued ties to the Peleliu says Schnell had a reputation for preying on young enlisted men. Reportedly, the skipper regularly rewarded potential targets with chits entitling them to a day off from duty, along with a private lunch with Schnell himself in the Inport Cabin. Schnell described these tete-a-tetes as the highlight of my week. Each Sailor of the Week was offered niceties not otherwise enjoyed on board ship. The CO had a type, one observer reports. He liked them boyish and slim. In one glowing internal newsletter, Schnell wrote of one honoree, I could not be more pleased with [name deleted]s performance. The young sailor was allowed to bring a friend of his choosing. Schnell wrote: This is really for my benefit of course....
Don’t ask, don’t Schnell.
Lot's of solid players said “bye bye” after their payback (aviation) time and took their leadership and people skills to civy street. Major loss to the USN.
What worries me today is that PC and AA are really being pushed in the advancement game. I worry that in a few years a lot of blue jackets are going to get hurt because we have put into the CO’s spot a leader based on their gender or color not their qualification. JMHO
That’s pretty good! WIsh I’d thought of it! : )
Just an average weekend at my yacht club...
Had he not been a Kennedy, he would have been Court Marshalled. Hell, his little brother got away with murder.