Manual Swift Boat Down: The Real Story of the Sinking of PCF-19

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The explosion and rapid sinking of of the Swift boat was also reported by the naval gunfire liaison officer at Alpha One, an observation post at the DMZ. PCF , under the command of Lieutenant Junior Grade Pete Snyder, responded to the attack on PCF , and the eye-witness accounts of the crew of PCF are remarkably clear that they were fired on by a helicopter which was subsequently identified as matching the characteristics of an MI-4 Hound.

PCF also reported returning fire, and hitting and possibly downing the helicopter although no wreckage or parts of the helicopter were found during searches the next day. While searching for survivors of PCF , PCF was lit up by four amber-colored illumination rounds directly overhead that did not come from Point Dume , which had already departed with the two survivors. At this point, PCF sighted two aircraft hovering off both port and starboard beams.

Radio requests from PCF to U. PCF turned to put the two helicopters on the bow and stern, at which point one of the helicopters opened fire with machine guns with tracer rounds.


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In the running gun battle that followed, PCF returned fire with. Gunners on PCF reported hitting one helicopter and hearing it splash in the water, at which point the other helicopter broke contact. Later, as Point Dume returned to the scene, PCF observed her firing tracers at blinking lights in her vicinity. With daylight on 16 June, and continuing to 18 June, U.

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Years later, in , a third U. PCF was resting right side up on the bottom, with damage consistent with being hit by two rockets, with two entry holes in the forward berthing compartment and no exit holes. Three U. The skipper and two other sailors topside were blown off the boat into the water. The skipper was blinded and all were severely wounded. One was Bowman, who apparently died in the water; his body was never found.

GMG2 John R. Anderegg would be awarded a Silver Star for his actions in saving his skipper and trying to save Bowman. Hobart was on her second of three Vietnam deployments in support of U. Adams —class guided missile destroyer. The ships had been conducting shore bombardments of the North Vietnamese coast as part of Operation Sea Dragon and had been fired upon unsuccessfully by enemy shore batteries in the previous days.

They were operating near Tiger Island to investigate the reports of North Vietnamese helicopter activity the night before. At on 17 June, Hobart tracked an incoming aircraft that had no IFF transponder active, but did not open fire. Two minutes later, the same aircraft attacked again and fired two missiles, which hit simultaneously. Although one missile did not detonate, it penetrated the superstructure and caused damage. The other missile hit in the same area as the first, causing considerable damage in the vicinity of the Ikara missile magazine, and killing another sailor and wounding six more.

As Hobart was not carrying any Ikaras an anti-submarine weapon , there was no risk of the resulting fire detonating the magazine. A total of two Australian sailors were killed and 11 were wounded. Accounts of the Hobart incident also confuse the timing of the PCF attack. For the purists, Boston was converted to a missile cruiser in and reclassified from CA to CAG-1, but in May was reclassified back to CA—although she was still a missile cruiser….

I am sure this is perfectly clear!

HMAS HOBART Attacked Vietnam 1968

Following the attacks on the Hobart and Boston , the commander of the U. Bringle, initiated an investigation. Aided by missile components that were definitely from U. Air Force F-4 Phantoms. This was correct, but based on the confusing timelines, and since there was no other evidence of enemy helicopter activity except for the eyewitness accounts , the inquiry also concluded that PCF had been hit by friendly fire from U. The upside was that both the U.

U.S. NAVY OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF COMBAT SWIFT BOATS VIETNAM RIVERINE OPERATIONS PCF 43454

Navy and U. Air Force took immediate corrective steps to resolve command, control, and coordination issues identified in the inquiry, and no other similar attacks occurred. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr.

Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S.

Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the presidential election. John E. There have, of course, been dirty politics and outrageous infamies since the beginning of the Republic. Swift-boating is not about that. Nor is it merely negative campaigning.

There's nothing wrong with criticizing your opponent if the criticism is accurate and important. Swift-boating's essence is a particular kind of dishonesty, or rather a particular combination of shadowy dishonesties. It usually involves a complex web of facts, many of which may even be true. It exploits its own complexity and the reluctance of the media to adjudicate factual disputes. No matter how thoroughly a charge may be discredited, enough taint remains to support an argument. The fundamental dishonesty is the suggestion that the issue, whatever it is, really matters.

This is how swift-boating differs from its cousin McCarthyism, which deals in totally baseless charges that would be deeply serious if true.


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Swift-boating is McCarthyism lite. Bush for the White House in KERRY: Your education - if you make the most of it and you study hard, and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq. An Associated Press article that reported Kerry's remarks in October provided their full context, noting that his comments on education were prefaced with criticism of President Bush:. Kerry opened his speech at Pasadena City College with several one-liners, saying at one point that Bush had lived in Texas but now ''lives in a state of denial.

He then said: ''You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how: I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy. If anyone owes our troops in the fields an apology, it is the President and his failed team and a Republican majority in the Congress that has been willing to stamp -- rubber-stamp policies that have done injury to our troops and to their families.

My statement yesterday -- and the White House knows this full well -- was a botched joke about the president and the president's people, not about the troops. You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush. As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop. I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.

It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy.

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I don't want my verbal slip to be a diversion from the real issues. I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops. Kerry said many of those statements were taken out of context, but in later years also stood by many of them but acknowledged the language was a little, quote, hot here and there.