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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Stop Our Ship
In mid-February, the attack carrier USS Kittyhawk left San Diego bound for Indochina. When it left, 9 of its crew members stayed behind, taking sanctuary in San Diego churches.
Their refusal to sail for Vietnam demonstrates the strong anti-war sentiment among the sailors who are assined to carry out the air war.
On each of the four carriers to leave for Vietnam in the past six months crew members have stayed behind to protest their involveement in the war.
On the Constellation, after a tremendous civilian vote against the ship sailing, 9 crew members took sanctuary in churches. On the Hancock, one crew member publicly announced his refusal in the San Diego GI paper, Up From The Bottom. On the Coral Sea, an unknown number of sailors missed ship's movement in San Francisco (estimates range from 35 to 50). 53 more jumped ship in Hawaii.
In the war zone, meetings and activities continue on all the ships. The most complete news comes from the Coral Sea.
Last month, SOS News printed a letter from a Coral Sea sailor, desc ribing a meeting on the ship between radical crew members and New York Times reporters. We just learned that about 10 of the participants were shipped back to California, and will probably be disscharged.
On January 15, Coral Sea crew members held a demonstration to present a petition to Secretary of the Navy John Chafee, who was visiting the ship. The petition signed by 36 sailors, called for complete US withdrawal from Southeast Asia, as well as amnesty for deserters and draft resisters.
The men who signed the petition, did so at great risk. They face posssible courtmartial and imprisonment for their actions. They could use your support -- a few letters to the Sceretary of the Navy, expressing support for the petition, might help.
The importance of this actrivity is closely tied to the success or failure of the air war, cannot be over emphasized. As sailors continue to protest their use in the air war, we will try to keep our supporters informed of their actions.
SOS News, March 1972