Scientology Crime Syndicate

Subject: NAVY: Official - Hubbard's "record" *is* forged
From: Chris Owen
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 19:42:30 +0100

A few months ago, Karin Spaink put on her website a scan of what Scientology claims to be L. Ron Hubbard's Notice of Separation (US Navy form DD214). This document has been used as the basis of Scientology's claims that Hubbard "won 21 medals and palms" for his service in the US Navy during World War II. It can be found on Karin's website at http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/pix/lrhmedals.gif, with a covering note by Scientology at http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/pix/lrhmedexp.gif

This morning I received confirmation from the US Navy itself that the DD214 distributed by Scientology is not authentic:

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard commanded the USS Mist. The USS Mist was a motor launch converted during World War I into a guard boat. She was returned to her owner in February 1919, when Hubbard was only eight years old. She did not serve in World War II.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard won two stars to his Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. One of Hubbard's ships, the USS Algol, won two stars in the APAC theatre for 1 April-10 April 1945 and 10 July-3 August 1945. Only one star was awarded for each engagement; Hubbard would have had to have been in both battles to have been awarded both stars. However, Hubbard had left the ship on 28 September 1944 and was ineligible for the stars. The US Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual and the relevant Ship's Movement Card shows that his other Pacific vessel, the USS PC-815, took part in no engagements and was awarded no battle stars.

* The DD214 is purportedly signed by Lieutenant Commander Howard D. Thompson, US Navy Reserve. No officer of this name is listed in the 1944 Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve.

As the Naval Historical Center comment dryly in their letter, "several inconsistencies exist between Mr. Hubbard's DD214 and the available facts".

Other "inconsistencies" which I have independently confirmed:

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard commanded the USS Howland. No such vessel exists in the US Naval Vessel Register.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the "British Victory Medal". No such medal exists, and the British Ministry of Defence has no record of having awarded a medal to Hubbard.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the "Dutch Victory Medal". No such medal exists.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded the "European Theater" medal (probably the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal). Hubbard never served in the EAME theatre of operations.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was at college for four years and held a degree in Civil Engineering. In fact, he dropped out after two years and held no academic qualifications.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded a Purple Heart with palm. This is awarded only for combat injuries. No such injury is recorded in his medical reports, nor is he recorded as having being in combat with the enemy at any time.

* The DD214 claims that Hubbard was awarded a "Marine Medal" (there is no medal of this name). His only service with the US Marine Corps was as a reservist in 1930-31, during which time his total period of active service was five weeks (all training); he was discharged with the instruction that he was not to be re-enlisted. He would not have been eligible for any USMC medals in World War II.

* Despite what the DD214 claims there is no record of Hubbard having been awarded any commendations, stars (not palms) to the American Campaign Medal, Rifle and Pistol Expert ribbons or the Distinguished Marksman ribbon.

A final damning fact is that the DD214 distributed by Scientology is very different to that in Hubbard's US Navy file - that one does fit the records of Hubbard's naval service.

The only possible conclusion is that Scientology's copy of the document is in fact an incompetently executed forgery. The only question remaining is whodunnit. Does anyone know a graphologist? It would be interesting to see if there were any similarities between L. Ron Hubbard's signature and that of the fictitious Lt Cdr Thompson, which I suspect there are.

One other interesting thing which the Navy sent to me was a copy of the USS PC-815's Movements Card (a form recording the movements of a Navy vessel), which provides a complete history of the PC-815. It seems to have had a very quiet career before its unfortunate sinking in 1945:

Depart: 19 May 1943 from Portland, OR (26 May 1943 directed to Seattle)

Arrive: (28?) May 1943 at Seattle, WA (directed to San Diego) Depart 29 May 1943

Arrive: 30 May 1943 at Almeda, CA (ordered to escort MV CROATAN to San Diego) Depart: 1 June 1943

Arrive: 1 June 1943 at San Diego, CA (shakedown and training) (Hubbard relieved of command on 7 July) (ordered to escort MV TINOSA until 2nd darkness) Depart: 7 November 1943

Arrive: 9 November 1943 at San Diego, CA

(There is now a jump forward to 1945; the PC-815 appears to have been inactive through 1944 and no movements are recorded for that year)

(ordered to escort MV COD until 2nd darkness) Depart: 28 February 1945 from San Diego, CA

Arrive: 2 March 1945 at San Diego, CA

On 2 November 1945, the PC-815 was assigned active duty with the Pacific Fleet. On 11 November, however, the ship collided with the destroyer USS Laffey off San Diego and sank within two minutes. One man (presumably from the PC-815) was recorded as missing and probably drowned. Navy divers demolished the wreck in early November 1945.

Here's what the Navy said in their letter:


Dear Mr. Owen:

This is in reply to your Freedom of Information Act request for information on the veracity of the DD214 submitted by LaFayette Ronald Hubbard which was forwarded to our office by the Navy Personnel Command, for separate reply.

I am enclosing brief histories of USS ALGOL and USS MIST from this Center's Dictionary of American Navy Fighting Ships, as well as extracts from the Navy and Marine Corps Medals and Awards Manual, which list ALGOL as receiving two engagement stars for 1 April-10 April 1945 and 10 July-3 August 1945 to be worn on the Asiatic/Pacific campaign medal. However, USS MIST did not participate in World War II. The Ships' Movement Card for USS PC-815 stated that it was on the west coast of the U.S. until it was sunk in September 1945 by a collision with USS LAFFEY. Neither MIST or PC-815 received engagement stars for World War II. Thus Lieutenant Hubbard could not have received all the engagement stars claimed on the DD214. His official service records is held by the Military Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100. Because of Privacy Act concerns the information from these records is available to the veteran, or if deceased, to the next of kin. I enclose this Center's information packet on the service records which includes an order form.

I am also sending extracts from the 1944 Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve which does not have a listing for a Howard D. Thompson. In July 1944, Lieutenant Lafayette R. Hubbard is listed D-VS (Deck Officers, commissioned and warrant, including boatswains and ships clerks, qualified for specialist duties). The schools he attended by July 1944 were Sound for Sonar, and Subchaser Training Center.

Several inconsistencies exist between Mr. Hubbard's DD214 and the available facts. Your interest in naval history is appreciated and I hope that this information will prove helpful.


Kathleen M. Lloyd
Head, Operational Archives Branch

-- | Chris Owen - chriso@lutefisk.demon.co.uk |
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