Donald Trump may be a clown, but I am inclined to think he has a point about John McCain. McCain has campaigned on his “war hero” military record for his entire political career, but the facts about his time in the Navy suggest he has more in common with Ted Kennedy than he ever did with any genuine war hero.
When he was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, McCain’s class rank was 894 … out of 899. Five from the BOTTOM. In less than three years, he was written up more than two dozen times on charges of drunk-and-disorderly, fraternization, disobeying orders, and insubordination. Yet, somehow … let me think why … he was stationed at a Navy champagne unit and promoted ahead of all but two of his 898 other classmates.
During his training years, he managed to crash three U.S. Navy jets out of sheer incompetence. In today’s military, one such lapse would end a pilot’s career. Standards may have been a bit looser in the 1960s, but it beggars belief that McCain kept flying after THREE crashes for any reason other than family connections.
McCain claimed in his autobiography that the first crash was due to engine failure. But the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure. Their conclusion was that he had used “a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn.” In other words, the plane crashed because of pilot error. Yet they let him continue flying.
His second crash happened while he was clowning around, flew too low and took out some power lines, causing a blackout. Again, his own fault … yet he was not grounded. In fact, he was allowed to fly solo in a Navy training jet to see the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia; on the way home, he crashed for the third time.
Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to squadron commander of the air field named after his own grandfather!
In 1967, he was shot down during his 23rd mission over North Vietnam and spent the rest of the war as a POW. For his approximately 20 hours worth of missions over enemy territory, he was awarded 28 medals. Twenty-eight!
Methinks The Donald is right. John McCain is about as much of a military hero as Ted Kennedy was a champion of women.
McCain’s mishaps in the cockpit – LA Times – Oct 6, 2008
“9/03/08 McCain has never really earned anything.” If you google that phrase, you’ll see multiple hits for an article that was allegedly written in 2008 by an active, but unnamed Marine.