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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Ducks Off Destroyer

Heading out of the harbor on May 26 the U.S. Navy destroyer, Richard B. Anderson was destined for Vietnam. It never made it to Vietnam or out of San Diego Harbor.

The Richard B Anderson now sits in Long Beach Naval Shipyard under repair. One of her main engines failed to function or in Navyese "it suffered an engineering casualty." The case of the Richard E. Anderson marks the first time the Navy has admitted to sabotage by its own men. It is common knowledge on board ships and bases that some of the most spectacular "engineering casualties" were the result of spontaneous action on the part of the sailors themselves.

The reason that the Richard B. Anderson never left the harbor was simple. Someone had gotten to the "reduction gear" in the Engine Room. There was at least $200,000 in initial damage on top of the two month delay in the ships passage to 'Nam.

As we go to press a "pre-trial board of inquiry" is meeting on the U.S.S Hoel in San Diego Harbor. The Navy claimed that the results would be in by Monday, now they are saying Thursday. They are also holding at least three men on board the Hoel. Security around the names of the three or more sailors is tighter than a drum. No information will be released on whether they will be charged until a press conference tentatively scheduled for Friday or Monday by Rear Admiral Arthur Esch, flotilla commander.

Anti-war action by sailors including sabotage has been going on for some time. Three years ago another destroyer in San Diego failed to make it out. Some one threw nuts and bolts into the engine and cut the oil lines.

More recent action against the Navy and its property has centered around the Naval Air Station at Imperial Beach. During a Friday lunch hour an office was bombed;,someone with obvious technical skills in helicopter maintenance knocked out a few on the airfield; an attempted burning of an abandoned control tower and the, breaking of the windows in the dining hall with rocks.

The significance of this action at Imperial Beach revolves around one of that base's major functions,: training helicopter gunners and aircrewmen for Vietnam.

What one must remember is that the Navy rarely divulges such stories as the one about the Richard B. Anderson. Such spontaneous actions occur everyday. The damage is not as extensive but it does slow the war machine. For every Richard B. Anderson there will he a thousand downed aircraft and hundreds of minor accidents.

And it will continue to happen as long as there is reason for it

Duck Power, vol. 2, no. 7


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