Monday, April 21, 2008

Mediocre Ground Attack Pilot: Part Two

Oy! Does it twist my tits when dramatically non-heroic people are elevated to the status of a Manilla Joe Basilone or something. Look up Joe's two Medals of Honor if you want to know what hero's do.

John McCain? What did he do? Besides getting shot down, or almost sinking the Forrestal single handed?

On October 27, 1967, four days after being shot down, McCain called for a North Vietnamese guard. He told the officer, "O.K., I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital." -U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

McCain was taken to Gai Lam military hospital. (U.S. government documents) "Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant." Page 193-194, Faith of My Fathers by John McCain

On Nov. 9, 1967, Hanoi press began quoting the seriously injured McCain giving specific military information.

One report dated read, "To a question of the correspondent, McCain answered: 'My assignment to the Oriskany, I told myself, was due to serious losses in pilots, which were sustained by this aircraft carrier (due to its raids on the North Vietnam territory - VNA) and which necessitated replacements.

"'From 10 to 12 pilots were transferred like me from the Forrestal to the Oriskany.

"'Before I was shot down, we had made several sorties. Altogether, I made about 23 flights over North Vietnam.'"

In that report, McCain was quoted describing the number of aircraft in his flight, information about rescue ships, and the order of which his attack was supposed to take place.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Veteran Dispatch acquired a declassified Department of Defense (DOD) transcript of an interview prominent French television reporter Francois Chalais had with McCain.

Chalais told of his private interview with POW McCain in a series titled Life in Hanoi, which was aired in Europe. In the series, Chalais said his meeting with McCain was "a meeting which will leave its mark on my life."

"My meeting with John Sidney McCain was certainly one of those meetings which will affect me most profoundly for the rest of my life. I had asked the North Vietnamese authorities to allow me to personally interrogate an American prisoner. They authorized me to do so.

"When night fell, they took me---without any precautions or mystery--to a hospital near the Gia Lam airport reserved for the military. (passage omitted) The officer who receives me begins: I ask you not to ask any questions of political nature. If this man replies in a way unfavorable to us, they will not hesitate to speak of 'brainwashing' and conclude that we threatened him.

"'This John Sidney McCain is not an ordinary prisoner. His father is none other than Admiral Edmond John McCain, commander in chief of U.S. naval forces in Europe. (passage omitted)'"

". . . Many visitors came to talk to me [John McCain]. Not all of it was for interrogation. Once a famous North Vietnamese writer-an old man with a Ho Chi Minh beard-came to my room, wanting to know all about Ernest Hemingway . . . Others came to find out about life in the United States.

"They figured because my father had such high military rank that I was of the royalty or governing circle . . . One of the men who came to see me, whose picture I recognized later, was Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, the hero of Dienbienphu." U.S. News and World Report, May 14, 1973 article written by former POW John McCain

You can look over here to see how the Vietnamese themselves remember his time with them, "like military royalty" because of his father.

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