Evidence Shows The Rev. David Alston Could Not Have Served Under Sen. Kerry
by The Bandit
This document is hereby placed in the Public Domain by its author.
Last updated August 16, 2004.
For years now we have been lead to believe that both Sen. Kerry and the Rev. David Alston had served together on the PCF-94 in Vietnam, and therefore, making David Alston an eyewitness to Kerry's actions and heroism. The fact that Sen. Kerry has used a now famous photo of himself together with David Alston and other crewmates while serving on swift boats in Vietnam, left little reason to believe otherwise. As with most anything having to do with Sen. Kerry -- nothing is ever as it first appears to be.
There can be little doubt that Sen. Kerry and David Alston wanted people to believe the two served together on the PCF-94 swift boat by some of their recent comments:
"We were in a lot of firefights," Alston said. "You learn a lot about people. After a firefight, John would come up to me and he would put his hand on me and he'd say, 'David, are you all right?'" And Kerry added: "I didn't know then that I had a man of God on my boat. That's probably why I'm here today." (Orlando Sentinel, 1/31/04)
"I stand here before you only because almighty God saw our boat safely through those rivers of death and destruction, by giving us a brave, wise, and decisive leader named John Kerry." (David Alston in a speech before the Democratic Convention)
"I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos_. Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool." (David Alston in a speech before the Democratic Convention)
Rev. David Alston says, "When the bullets started to hit the side of the ship, we found out that John Kerry [could] lead. (Kerry for President Campaign Ad that aired early February '04)
"I saw John Kerry's blood on the deck of that boat [PCF-94]." (The Providence Journal, August 1, 2004)
The only problem with the above statements is they are deceiving and can be shown to be false. Evidence shows David Alston could not have been a crew member under Sen. Kerry, nor could he have participated in combat operations with Sen. Kerry because they were assigned to two different boats. From December 14, 1968 to January 29, 1969 Sen. Kerry commanded the PCF-44 while David Alston was the Gunner onboard the PCF-94 under Lt.(jg) Peck. On January 29, 1969 both Peck and Alston were wounded and hospitalized. We know Alston was wounded on this date because his casualty report was made available briefly by the Kerry Campaign before it was curiously removed. (Offical Navy Casualty Report for David Alston)
This offical casualty report confirms the date of David Aston's wounds, but it does not tell how seriously wounded David Alston was. There are no military medical records publicly available for David Alston, and you cannot go by this casualty reports description of "condition good" because they will always be worded that way even if you had both legs shattered -- and then there is the fact no medical doctor had yet evaluated him. In an August 8, 2004 interview, former crewmate, Del Sandusky, who was serving on the PCF-94 at the time Alston was wounded, gives us an additional clue to the seriousness of Aston's wound:
"In January 1969, Sandusky's boat, PCF-94, came under attack during one such ambush. Lt. Ted Peck, the officer in charge, and another crewman were seriously wounded. Sandusky had to take command." And, "With their officer headed home, the crew of PCF-94 needed a leader. And Lt. j.g. John Kerry, whose crew on PCF-44 had rotated back home, needed men to lead." (St. Petersburg Times, August 8, 2004)
The "seriously wounded" crewman would have been David Alston. This confirms the casualty reports statement that Alston was medevaced to the 29th Evac. Hospital at Bin Thuy, which would only had taken place if a wounded man was in immediate need of some serious medical assistance. Sen. Kerry also weighs in on David Alston's wounds when he was the guest speaker at the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fund-raiser dinner on May 3, 2002 in Columbia, S.C.:
"Every time we got ambushed, which was often, we relied more on this fellow to get us out than anybody else," Kerry said of Alston. In one
brush, Alston's turret ended up riddled with 100 holes. Alston suffered wounds to the head and arm but continued to fire, Kerry said. "How he survived, I don't know." Of course this story is totally fictional, but clearly shows how easy it is for Sen. Kerry to disregard the truth and replace it with his own self-serving revisions.
Anyway, we can get a sense of the severity from the missing time Alston was away from the PCF-94, at least 28 days (Feb. 1-28.) If it was a minor wound he would not had to have been replaced all through February. We can also see today see the severity of the wound Alston suffered as shown below from Rev. Alston addressing Democratic Convention delegates.
As one can see, it was a sever wound indeed, and Alston most likely lost tissue and scalp from this injury. We know this wound is from Jan. 29th and not by a later condition/injury because Alston's mother has refered to it as his "war wound." This is important evidence for dating another picture of him with Sen. Kerry below.
Now let's take a closer look at Alston.
No signs of a serious head wound, or the treatment of such a wound, which would had required visible head shaving that would still had been visible weeks later if this picture had been taken in early March 1969 as sometimes suggested by writers. Thus, we can be confident that the picture in question was taken prior to January 29, a time when Sen. Kerry was still skipper of the PCF-44 and Alston was the gunner on the PCF-94. How did Sen. Kerry get in this picture then? We know Coastal Division 11 and 13 were participating in joint operations in January of 1969 from the Command History of Division 11 released by the Navy, and no doubt that the crews from each division shared the same faculties.
Now that we know when and how Alston was wounded, we can began to see how Alston could not have been part of Sen. Kerry's crew on the PCF-94 because he had been replaced, just as the wounded Lt. Peck had been replaced by Kerry after the January 29th incident that lead to both Alston and Peck being hospitalized. Was David Alston able to return to the PCF-94 during anytime between February 1 and March 13, Kerry's last combat mission? No evidence that he did or even the suggestion he physically could have with the injury he had suffered, because we know that on February 28, 1969, Fred Short was onboard, whom had replaced Michael J. Givens, who had been shot in the upper right arm the day before while serving on the PCF-94 and by all apperance was a trainee filling in as David Alston's replacement.
We also know that David Alston was not onboard for Kerry's last combat mission on March 13, either. Therefore, we can confidently say David Alston was never part of Kerry's PCF-94 crew from February 1 through March 13, 1969 because he was still recovering from his head wounds. David Alston's mother also implies in an July 28, 2004 interview with The Herald that after David was wounded on January 29, 1969, and survived, he came home.
Could the Rev. David Alston have served on another boat with Sen. Kerry? The Rev. Alston has discounted this theory before the world when spoke from the podium during the Democratic National Convention:
"I know him from a small boat in Vietnam, where we fought and bled together, serving our country. There were six of us aboard PCF-94, a 50-foot, twin-engine craft known as a "Swift Boat." We all came from different walks of life, but all of us-including our skipper, John Kerry-volunteered for combat duty. And combat is what we got."
Other sources reveal the unlikely possibility of David Alston being able to participate in combat missions with Kerry from a different swift boat. Looking at the daily combat missions for Coastal Division 11 for January 1969 we do not find both the PCF-44 (Kerry's boat) and the PCF-94 (Alston's boat) involved in any joint missions together. December offers no window of opportunity either since according to Kerry's fitrep (Fitness Report) he could only had taken over command of the PCF-44 until after December 14, 1969, and again, logs do not place the PCF-44 and 94 on any joint missions together during middle of December to January 1.
Further supporting evidence, or the lack of, is the the fact, David Alston, or any other Kerry crewmember, has ever ventured to describe specific missions that Alston and Kerry could have participated in. All discussion of Alston and Kerry together is vague, generalized and non-specific. On the other hand, his other crewmates can talk about specific missions and acts such as the day Sen. Kerry killed a fleeing enemy soldier.
Another troubling question arises from this disclosure -- why hasn't any of Sen. Kerry's supporting "Band of Brothers" stepped forward and correct the record of the Kerry/Alston relationship, something they would know firsthand cannot be possible? Perhaps for the same reason none of them have volunteered to correct other known discrepancies in Sen. Kerry's stated record, such as Sen. Kerry being the officer in charge of the PCF-94 during January of 1969 when in fact he was not. Of course, if Kerry could have placed himself on the PCF-94 during January, he and Alston could than say, with a straight honest face that they both had served together on the PCF-94.
Finally, Sen. Kerry has shown a willingness to fabricate and project false misrepresentations he and his campaign know to be false for the sole purpose of misleading the public in believing a falsehood. Furthermore, he clearly shows a willingness to have others to do the same on his behalf.
"I was there when Sen. Kerry got shot, and I've seen his blood on the deck of a swift boat." (Former Crewmate Fred Short, Scripps Howard News Service, July 29, 2004)
"John, shot and bleeding, laid down and pulled up Rassmann by his belt." (Former crewmember Del Sandusky, CNN NEWSNIGHT, Aired May 31, 2004)
In this writers opinion, Sen. Kerry pulled off a calculated and dangerous game of public deception during the recent Democratic Convention for the sole purpose of building a false record, a action that exhibits all the signs of someone truly unfit to command or trusted to tell the truth.
Additional Information and comments can made in the Issues Forum