Navy Awarded McCain Medals For Valor Without Required Eyewitnesses
Presidential candidate John McCain is being hailed by the press as a genuine "American war hero" and says he has the medals to prove it.
For 5 ½ years as a POW (three of which he says were spent in solitary confinement), the U.S. Navy awarded McCain a Silver Star, a Legion of Merit for Valor, a Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars, two Commendation medals plus two Purple Hearts and a dozen service medals.
Former POW McCain claims his experience as a prisoner of the communists better qualifies him to be President of the United States. He has forged that experience along with his military record deeply into his campaign.
But, Navy regulations say two eyewitnesses are required for any award of heroism and McCain has none for the valor awards he received.
Are McCain's Awards Heroism Valid?
The following narrative is what the Navy Said McCain did from October 27, 1967 to December 8, 1967 to earn a Silver Star.
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
Washington D.C. 20350
The president of the United States takes pleasure in
presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL to
COMMANDER JOHN S. MCCAIN III
UNITED STATES NAVY
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 27 October to 8 December 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
However, John McCain's actual behavior from October to December 1967 is quite different from the Navy's version of events.
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
December 1967, Vietnamese doctors operate (early December) on McCain's Leg. Later that month, six weeks after he was shot down, McCain was taken from the hospital and delivered to Room No. 11 of "The Plantation" into the hands of two other U.S. POWs, Air Force majors George "Bud" Day and Norris Overly. They helped further nurse him along until he was eventually able to walk by himself. --Faith of My Fathers by John McCainRead retired Army Col. David Hackworth's opinion of Sen. McCain's medals.
STAY TUNED, MORE OF MCCAIN'S CITATIONS WILL BE POSTED HERE SOON