Admiral speaks out, disputes Kerry's account of 1st wound
August 27, 2004
BY ROBERT NOVAK
NEW YORK -- Retired Rear Adm. William L. Schachte Jr. said Thursday in his first on-the-record interview about the swift boat veterans dispute that "I was absolutely in the skimmer" in the early morning on Dec. 2, 1968, when Lt. (j.g.) John Kerry was involved in an incident that led to his first Purple Heart.
"Kerry nicked himself with a M-79 [grenade launcher]," Schachte said in a telephone interview from his home in Charleston, S.C. He said, "Kerry requested a Purple Heart."
Schachte, a lieutenant, said he was in command of the small boat called a Boston whaler or skimmer, with Kerry aboard in his first combat mission in the Vietnam War. The third crew member was an enlisted man, whose name Schachte did not remember.
Two enlisted men who appeared at the podium with Kerry at the Democratic National Convention in Boston have asserted that they were alone in the small boat with Kerry, with no other officer present. Schachte said it "was not possible" for Kerry to have gone out alone so soon after joining the swift boat command in late November 1968.
Kerry supporters said no critics of the Democratic presidential nominee ever were aboard a boat with him in combat. Washington lawyer Lanny Davis has contended that Schachte was not aboard the Boston whaler and says the statement that Schachte was aboard in Unfit for Command undermines that critical book's credibility.
Schachte until now has refused to speak out publicly on this question and agreed to give only two interviews. One was a television interview with Lisa Meyers of NBC News, for broadcast Thursday night. The second was a print interview with me....
<more in the full article.>
Bump 4 night-crew
<ETA - Darn, I scoop HiramRanger 1 time (only once too) and now it's a dupe. Oh well, I'll browse responses to his. It's a good read.>