From “Unfit For Command”, via the Washington Times:
None of these Swiftees recognized the incident as described by Kerry in his report, by Brinkley in “Tour of Duty” [in which, after the mine exploded under PCF 3 on his port side, Kerry recalls his right arm being “smashed” against a bulkhead when “another explosion went off right beside us”] or on Kerry’s Web site. They were furious when they realized Kerry’s fraudulent account.
In reality, Kerry’s boat, PCF 94, was on the right side of the river when a mine went off on the opposite side under PCF 3. The boat’s crewmen were thrown into the water. The officers suffered concussions. A Viet Cong sympathizer in an adjoining bunker had touched off the mine. There was no other hostile fire and no other mines, according to Chenoweth, Odell, Pease and Thurlow. The boats had begun firing after the mine exploded, but ceased after a short time because of the lack of hostile fire.
Kerry’s PCF 94 fled the scene. The remaining three PCFs, in accord with standard doctrine, stood to defend the disabled PCF 3 and its crewmen in the water. Kerry and PCF 94 disappeared several hundred yards away, returning only when it was clear there was no return fire. Chenoweth (who received no medal) picked up the PCF 3 crewmen from the water. PCF 3’s engines were knocked out on one side and frozen on 500 rpm on the other side. The boat weaved dangerously, hitting sandbars, dazed or unconscious crew members aboard.
Thurlow, commanding his own boat, sought a secure hold so he could jump across and board PCF 3. However, he was thrown into the water in his first attempt to board, and the boat hit the sandbars. Later, Thurlow brought PCF 3 to a stop, and the boat slowly began to sink. Rassmann had fallen or been knocked off either Kerry’s boat or the fifth boat, PCF 35. When Rassmann was spotted in the water, Chenoweth’s PCF 23, with the PCF 3 crew aboard, went to pick him up.
Kerry’s PCF 94, returning to the scene after its flight, reached Rassmann about 20 yards ahead of Chenoweth’s boat. Kerry did the decent thing by going to pick up Rassmann, justifiably earning his gratitude. However, the claim that Kerry returned to a hostile fire zone is a lie, according to Chenoweth, Thurlow and others. Meanwhile, the serious work of saving PCF 3 continued.
Kerry’s false after-action report, prepared to justify his Purple Heart and Bronze Star, reports “5,000 meters” of heavy fire — about 2½ miles, the same distance as a large Civil War battlefield. Not a shot of this fire was heard by Chenoweth, Thurlow, Odell or Pease. Kerry’s after-action report ignores Chenoweth’s heroic action in rescuing PCF 3 survivors and Thurlow’s action in saving PCF 3, while highlighting his own routine pickup of Rassmann and PCF 94’s minor role in saving PCF 3.
Make that Swift vets 4, Kerry 0. The Swift vets say that he wasn’t wounded on the river, and it turns out that one of the sources reporting that Kerry wounded himself earlier that day… is John Kerry. “On page 313 of “Tour of Duty,” and evidently in Kerry’s secret journal written on or about March 13, 1969, quoted in that book, Kerry relates his injury from the rice stock explosion.” So, if John Kerry is to be believed, he received two wounds in exactly the same place on the same day, one self-inflicted, one not.
Regardless of what the veterans motivations are – and the fact that so many of them think so little of John Kerry after all these years tends to support the truth of what they are saying, in my opinion – it is becoming more and more clear that John Kerry is a borderline whack job who is totally unfit for any sort of command.