That PT boat Captain

| June 15, 2009

Oh, yeah, on that PT boat “Captain” that shot the security guard at the Holocaust Museum, the one about whom ran this headline; headline
Yeah, well, Terry D dropped off a link yesterday that goes to PT 159’s log. That stuff about him being a captain comes from this entry;
Notice the date – July 13, 1945. The US dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima on August 6th and on Nagasaki August 9th, President Truman announced Japan’s surrender on August 14th and VJ Day was September 2d. And notice his rank – an O-1 O-2. Yet, for those six weeks, he’s forever known as a “World War II PT Boat Captain”. I’ve had the hiccups longer. It’s about the same amount of time that Jesse MacBeth spent in the Army.

Von Brunn enlisted on April 29, 1942 and was immediately placed in the inactive reserves. March 16, 1943 he was recalled to active duty and was appointed a midshipman and was ordered to report for “Midshipmen’s School” in New York City ordered on April, 20, 1943. I don’t see what he did after that until he took over PT 159. Wikipedia says he was “awarded three battle stars” but I can’t find the record of them.

It looks like PT 159’s log ends October 1, 1945. I don’t see any proof that von Brunn retired from the Navy, either, even though the media has interchanged the word “retired” with folks who just ended their service. I’m pretty sure the media doesn’t know the difference. should, though.

Category: Media, Politics

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. dutch508 says:

    This guy has as much experience as most of the IVAW types, so I don’t get what you are trying to say…

  2. TSO says:

    Didn’t his awards show European service medals? Which would make it worse, since Hitler achieved room temperature on April 30th.

    Jonn wrote: I don’t see any. But check it out for yourself. Maybe my eyes are bad.

  3. brown neck gaitor says:

    The log book ends most likely in October because 159 was destroyed on 24 Nov 1945.

  4. OldTrooper says:

    BNG, TSO, Jonn; anybody got some 100 mph tape? I need to wrap my melon before it explodes from the massive bleeding heart, whining maggot, liberal spin induced brain drain that I’m experiencing.

    If anyone believes the amount of total bullshit being shovelled by the commies in an attempt to give credence to some commie political hack’s made up bullshit DHS report about Vets; they are dumber than a fence post and twice as ugly.

    I have yet to hear a peep out of any of these morons about a muslim convert that intentionally goes after un-armed troops with the express purpose of killing them. Why don’t they mention that? Hypocrits.

  5. HM2(FMF/SW)Ret. says:

    From the Piece:

    The attack was the third in a recent wave of unsettling shootings that appeared to have political underpinnings.

    A 23-year-old Army private, William Andrew Long, was shot and killed outside a recruiting office this month in Arkansas and a fellow soldier was wounded. The suspect, a Muslim convert, has said he considers the killing justified because of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East.

    MSNBC and CNN both linked the Recruiting Office shooting to the Museum shooting as well as the Dr. Tiller murder (though the three hardly seem related except they were public shootings.)

    My issue is that the museum shooting was committed by an Anti-Semite who happened to be a veteran. From what I can tell about Von Brunn, he had a history of this kind of behavior and based his life around anti-semetism, not around his identity as a veteran. Thus, it was not the act of a veteran who happened to be a Neo-Nazi.

  6. AW1 Tim says:


    The MSM hasn’t a clue about the Navy. In your earlier piece, I remarked that this guy was technically a captain, because he was the officer in charge of a vessel, and so he “captains” it around. But he could’ve been any officer rank, and as your piece shows, he was an O-1, an Ensign.

    There’s a BIG dofference between captain with a small “c”, and an honest-to-God Captain, O-6 Demi-God status.

    The one thing for sure, though, is he certainly isn’t a conservative, or anywhere near anyone I know on the right of the aisle. His rant about killing Jews and neo-cons shows where his head is at.

    And seriously, though, just how hard could it be for a reporter to actually call up the local military PAO and run some points by him to get the rank/title/whatever bit straight? Heck, the recruiting station will GIVE them a wall poster with ranks and medals/awards for all branches for free. All they have to do is ask.


  7. HM2(FMF/SW)Ret. says:


    When this story first broke I made a comment (allbeit, a snide comment) about needing protection from the 24 hour newscycle. The type of factchecking you suggest is ideal but unlikely to happen because of the pressure to get information out. Especially at the larger MSM outlets reporters have very tight deadlines even for breaking news. (MSNBC updates every 15 minutes if memory serves. Which is why the deeper into a story you read the more gramatical/factual errors you find.) The reporter could have fact checked it better but would have most likely missed the deadline or not turned in “appropriate” copy. One could blame the editor, but management would have been seriously honked off if all of the paper’s competitors were running updated stories and theirs was waiting for confirmation of “minute details.” So the cycle continues. Such is the digital age.

  8. NHSparky says:

    Nice attitude, Doc. Get it out wrong, and maybe we’ll fix it later, maybe we won’t? Wish I could pull that crap and keep my job. Then again, the only places were you CAN pull that shit and get away with it are the MSM, government, and Microsoft.

    Jonn wrote: Yeah, I wonder how unforgiving he’d be if I got something wrong in a rush to beat the “cycle”.

  9. HM2(FMF/SW)Ret. says:

    John and Sparky:

    Explaining why it happened is not the same thing as justifying or defending it. Let me be clear: I am not defending the practice. It’s one of the many things wrong with journalism today. Yet, why blame the reporter for doing what they were told? They have a deadline and they go with it or they get replaced and staff writer positions are few and far between these days. If that reporter didn’t meet deadline they would simply be replaced by someone who did. My point is that the system itself is broken not a few “lazy” reporters.

    The demand for up to the minute information, even when none is available creates the problem. Investigative reporting is going the way of the Dodo. It’s a self defeating cycle because those who pay for the product go elsewhere which then means that the outlet has to cut staff making such reporting impossible.

  10. NHSparky says:

    Doc, you said:

    Yet, why blame the reporter for doing what they were told? They have a deadline and they go with it or they get replaced and staff writer positions are few and far between these days.

    Yeah, you’re right–integrity is an outdated and overrated concept with no place in journalism. At least they haven’t demonstrated it for several decades now. Ever wonder WHY those jobs are getting fewer and farther between? Ever think it might be precisely because it’s rapidly getting to the point we’d still have to check if the New York Times, et al, told us water was wet?

  11. HM2(FMF/SW)Ret. says:


    You are missing my point. We agree that journalism is in a sad state and that this type of poor reporting/fact checking does a dis-service to the industry as a whole. But your problem is not with the reporter. Your problem is with the industry standard and with management. Further, the decline in circulation may in some ways be related to accuracy but is mainly affected by the availablility of free content via the internet.

    Accuracy is not necesarily the saving grace anyway. Knight Ridder was the MSM source to get the Iraq Intel story right before the invasion. Not only did few people notice, but the organization was bought out in 2006. It’s style of research and reporting no longer exists in the industry.

    The problem is a model of distribution that demands instant information while insisting on complete accuracy. It can’t happen. We as consumers need to be willing to wait for the information and to pay for the completed product. Otherwise we get this kind of drivel.

  12. malclave says:

    Well, we don’t really expect the media to report that von Brunn was an anti-Bush journalist and New York producer, do we?

  13. HM2(FMF/SW)Ret. says:

    Malclave, was he?