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ThoughtsOnline

Friday, August 27, 2004


Went out and bought Tour of Duty, figuring that no self-respecting Kerry critic should be without one...

Anyway, on pages 301-302, there is the account of Kerry's flying dog... which only raises more questions...

The explosion (that supposedly launches the dog into orbit) takes place while Thurlow's boat is close enough to Kerry's boat, as Kerry writes in his diary, that the explosion causes Thurlow's boat to "rock over on its side towards us and smashed against our gunwale with a thud". Kerry could "see the men on the stern of his (Thurlow) boat get thrown up in the air in a somersault as the engine doors sprang open from the concussion". This suggests to me that Thurlow's boat was between the explosion and Kerry's boat - if the explosion was between the two boats, the force would have caused the two boats to push away from each other. If I am right, then Thurlow's boat would have absorbed much of the force of the explosion. Yet, as Kerry recounts, the explosion also blew open the engine cover doors on Kerry's boat, where such dog must have been standing and launching said dog, also according to Kerry, into the air where it "landed confused, but unhurt, on the deck of another boat in our patrol." It's hard to imagine that an explosion that was strong enough to have such an effect on a boat riding downwind wouldn't have done more damage to Thurlow's boat and crew (remember Thurlow was out on patrol the very next day).

Second, whose boat would the dog have landed on? The book reports a total of 4 Swiftboats taking part in this mission, Kerry and three others (Rood, Thurlow and Droz). According to the book, Droz wasn't at the site of the explosion. That leaves only two boats, Thurlow's and Rood's. Thurlow's boat is unlikely to have been the landing pad since with Kerry's boat on the leeward side of the explosion, (I believe physics would have caused) the dog to have been propelled away from Thurlow's boat. That only leaves Rood's boat as a possibility. Maybe Rood, in his next column, will address this possibility...