The Truth About Kerry, #989 in a series of a 1,000!
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In Vietnam, the job of Swift boat patrol was essentially to draw enemy fire. Few people wanted a Swift boat assignment because the fatality rate was extraordinarily high. John Kerry, however, volunteered for the assignment.
One day, Kerry was in tactical command of three Swift boats on the Dong Cung River. When all three boats came under “intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from an entrenched enemy force less than fifty feet away,” according to the citation, Kerry “unhesitatingly” ordered the boats to charge the enemy and fired back.
“This daring and courageous tactic surprised the enemy and succeeded in routing a score of enemy soldiers,” the citation says. It then notes that Kerry’s Swift boat and the Swift boat piloted by Lt. William Rood Jr. went up river to suppress enemy fire and again encountered enemy fire, with a B-40 rocket-launched grenade hitting Kerry’s boat.
Kerry again ordered a charge and beached his boat. Kerry then went ashore “in pursuit of the enemy,” and the landing party he led uncovered an “enemy rest and supply area” that they destroyed. While ashore, Kerry chased down a Viet Cong who was armed with a rocket launcher, and he killed the man. The citation does not mention that part of the counterattack, but it refers to the “extraordinary daring and personal courage” displayed by Kerry “in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire.”
This account caused conservative television pundit Joe Scarborough to comment, ?You know, I?d sleep perfectly well at night knowing that we [the country] had someone like that at the helm.?
Recently, the Navy records detailing this account were verified by the television show, ?Nightline.? Their reporters went to Vietnam and found eyewitnesses that remembered Kerry chasing down a black ?pajama? clad member of the Viet Cong (who was carrying a rocket launcher) and shooting him dead.