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In a "Faith Matters - Sermons" website entitled "How Can I Forgive" the author says:

"[SPECIAL NOTE: This "revised" version has resulted from information provided by Ron Timberlake. The original sermon included a story about John Plummer that had been documented in newspaper accounts from the Associated Press. It was later proved that Mr. Plummer significantly embellished and/or misstated his involvement in the events described in the story. Cf."Vets Challenge Minister's Account of Napalm Attack," Washington Post (Dec.19, 1997), p. C-5. Mr. Timberlake provided updated information to me by e-mail on 12/29/97, and this version of the sermon was posted on 12/30/97.

I am indebted for the supplemental and corrected information. Consistent with the thesis of this sermon, I pray that those hurt most by Plummer's misrepresentations can find it in their hearts to forgive him.]"
You done good, Ron.

2. You've seen the draft. I have a hard copy of the actual article put out by Accuracy In Media. I had requested several changes to their draft, which I obviously did not write, and they made some changes in the actual release.

They still have two errors, the year Kim defected to Canada, and the facts about Linh Vo. They were given bad information about Linh, rechecked after I told them about it, and went with what they were told by someone else.

I was offended by their reference to John as "oft-divorced", and told them rather strongly that John has no more divorces than I have. They changed the release to "A divorced recovering alcoholic...." I think they softened another phrase or two from their original draft.

So as I said, I did not write the article, or contribute to what was in it. I did contribute to some of what was removed from it. I was impressed that they researched what John had said in various interviews, and compared his claims against themselves. Anyone who is interested in the truth about this, would be well advised to do the same. That's how I started.

For those who will try to attack it, especially about the parts about the involvement of the Vietnam Veterans Against The War, it was confirmed from Ron Gibbs during "The Wall That Heals" video, that the VVAW was involved in Kim's visit to The Wall. Some of the myth's most ardent support is from VVAW related sources, but they no longer bother posting me about what a wonderful story John is telling.
Ronald N. Timberlake

3. What is significant about this is that these are generally not sites that have had John's myth posted a long time, and just didn't find out the truth. Note the dates, March and April of 1998. Fresh. Other sites with earlier dates have been contacted, but are generally not concerned with the truth, because the myth is more useful to advances their agenda.

Here are just a few, but you can read them,if you'd care to, and tell me if it's over, if we're beating a dead horse, if the lies have been corrected. Or if we still have a job to do....
This site is posted by a Buddhist, who is against war, and uses John to make his point. He appears unaware that Kim was a Cao Dai, and her pagoda was Cao Dai.
This is one of the original stories. Note the interaction with the advisor by radio.

Although this is dated Jan/Feb 1998, it is a rehash of the original AP article. They ignore the two AP articles that corrected the story, to post the myth that supports their agenda. Do you see a trend here?
This is an April 98 article. The "Old Sarge" is a supporter of the myth.
March 10,1998
This is still posted with Anne Gearan's original AP article, before she corrected it with the two in Dec 97.

There are a lot more, but this should give you the idea. Do you think John Plummer is trying to correct these errors, or is he trying to continue his celebrity? Do you think his supporters on these nets want these errors corrected, or do they like the celebrity? It should be obvious.
Ronald N. Timberlake 187th AHC Crusader 18 Tay Ninh 68-69 F Trp, 9th Cav, 1st Cav Div Sabre 20 Bear Cat & Bien Hoa 71-72

4. Flights,

Since the term, "oft-divorced recovering alcoholic", in the draft of Accuracy In Media's press release, was the basis of the supporters' attack on the very accuracy of the entire article, this morning, I've been searching to find out where AIM came up with that kind of thing. And I found it.

John Plummer's own stories are very specific about his drinking and divorces, and it's actually an integral part of his story of the miracle. It seems that every interview he gave at the start of his notoriety included those facts, as the basis for the miracle he claims from Kim's forgiveness. AIM just took the statements from his own articles and interviews.

I'm still glad that they honored my request to take "oft-divorced" out of the actual release, but once again, the supporters complain about a fact that was trumpeted by John himself. I'm posting something below that is very graphic about that photo. It's something that damns you, me, and our dead brothers. Read the words describing that photo, and know that Americans did not do it, but John's claims indicate we did. Read how a woman who was not there, adds her damnation to all these words, as she tells, from what seems to be a first hand account, of the event, and of "American soldiers" pouring water on the burns.

Read these words carefully, and let these words burn you, as men who call themselves Christians, and our brothers, support these lies: " In fact, the image tells little of this story. It is not a picture of a military attack and its aftermath; it is a picture of terror. We know this is war: The presence of soldiers tells us that. And we know something has just happened, because we see black smoke obliterating the horizon. But what? Terrified children are running down a hellish highway that disappears behind them into a smoky vanishing point, a highway that seems to run through a barren and burning plain.

What can they be running toward? Perhaps they see something down the highway, behind us. But there is no anticipation of sanctuary to be found in their faces. If it is succor toward which they run, they will have to run forever.

Especially disconcerting is the naked girl in the middle of the highway. It isn't clear to us why she is naked; perhaps the force of an explosion has blown away her clothes. Is she injured? We can't quite tell. Oddly, she is the only one in the image looking back at us. And we are the only ones looking at her. Indeed, the very act of staring at her nakedness seems to only intensify her humiliation. There is a dimension to her unending scream that seems to be in reaction to our very act of witness. The effect is deeply disturbing.

Ut's was not the only camera present; the sequence exists on film as well. Because it is more dreadful physically, the film is less potent emotionally. (The same is true for another of Vietnam's most famous images:Eddie Adams' photo of the gun-to-temple execution of a Viet Cong.)

Vicki Goldberg, in her book The Power of Photography, describes the full, filmed sequence:

[T]he naked girl and the others ... ran toward us rather slowly, like people finishing their run. They passed the camera, it followed from behind. The girl's back and arm were seen to be completely covered with black patches of burned skin, no longer resembling flesh. American soldiers gave her a drink and poured water over her.

That is a level of atrocity from which most viewers must recoil. Furthermore, the filmed sequence closes out the event, and gives viewers an opportunity to shrug it off. Ut's photo is of a crowded highway winding eternally through hell, and it won't let you go.

Goldberg reports that the picture ran on front pages throughout America. Benjamin Spock, who chose the photo to speak for him in the 1994 exhibition "Talking Pictures," certainly echoed many of its viewers when he wrote simply, "[I]t horrified me," and credited it with confirming his opposition to the war.
Ronald N. Timberlake 5. Flights,

In keeping with my policy of passing you new information when I find it and have permission to, I have located LTG (Ret) Hollingsworth's aide, from the time in question at TRAC. The aide remembers John Plummer.

Most of you are probably aware, regardless of how you may feel about officers and general officers, that aides are selected because of the potential they demonstrate, and are normally guys identified for the fast track. (This is my comment, not the aide's. He did not blow his own trumpet at all.) The aide was a captain at the time, selected by Gen. Hollingsworth from the TRAC staff.

As for a captain and a SP4 at the headquarters controlling TAC and Strategic air strikes, and running the war, he related an incident that occurred during that time:

He was sitting beside the general in the C&C helicopter, and participated with the General in the discussion of an air strike that was needed. When the air strike came available, the General was busy with a conversation on another frequency. The aide, sitting beside him and having minutes before discussed the need and details of the strike with him, cleared the strike. When the General finished on the other frequency, and found that the officer sitting beside him had cleared the strike in without his specific permission to do so, he gave his aide an ass-chewing that he rather vividly remembers 26 years later.

I would encourage you to compare that kind of control, the control I remember from Gen. Hollingsworth when I flew in his vicinity at An Loc, with the claims you have read.

The aide does not recall that TRAC participated in any fighting around Trang Bang, and says that if there were advisors there, it should be on the logs.

Probably within the next two or three weeks, we will have information on how the G-3 Air shop actually worked, as the G-3 Air, John Plummer's direct boss, continues to check his documentation to ensure an accurate relating of the details. So far, every person in a position of responsibility has related the same general thoughts and recollections.

The aide will receive a copy of this, to ensure that I have related it accurately, as Garry Smith received copies of those posts pertaining to him.

There has been an interesting development in Garry Smith's participation, and he has complained of being dragged into the controversy. Remember who dragged him. I found him, certainly. But not only did I not write his claims for him, and did not send his claims to an investigative reporter, I did not even post his claims. Nor would I have even posted about him at all at that point, if the myth's supporters had not accused me of sitting on the information, and threatened to post his original letter, that they received from John Plummer.
Ronald N. Timberlake

6. Flight,

Reading the responses to Tweedie the poopystirrer's letter would have absolutely amazed me, if I had not already read the same responses and worse for months. I guess I'm just a bit naive. While it's amusing how often they try to speak in "scripturese", what bothers me most is the fact that the main characters are either bald faced liars, or make declarations when they have no idea what they're saying.

Regardless of anything else, there are two sets of facts that cannot be argued:

1) In the absolute best and most favorable light to John Plummer, with the actual facts already established, he embellished, highly dramatized, and greatly overstated his role, whatever his role may or may not have been, in the attack that hurt Kim Phuc.

2) His alleged participation, based on 1) above, has been used to link the US to involvement in that incident, and that "proof of involvement" has been used to exaggerate the details and the nature of the tragedy.

If that was all there was to it, it would still seem simple: It is not the truth, and that is a fact. It appears that it may go much farther than that, yet he is still supported in his quest for fame. I don't mind the support for him so much, as I mind the lies that are told to try to justify what he said, and is saying.

You've read his supporter's assurance, "Its not a matter of trust... Plummer is trying to let this thing die."

Please.... The latest round of John Plummer "trying to let this thing die" is mailing attacks to the Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun, and others. That's this month, so "letting it die" is a lie. He is still trying, desperately, to resurrect his notoriety. Do the supporters who make statements like the one above know that he is doing this? They've been told. Do they care that what they are saying is not true?

The constant theme of "let it die", "put it behind us", "it doesn't matter" and "no one wants to hear this", reflect the contention that "none of this is news, and nothing new has been brought out." Which is the supporters' way of saying, "We can't prove any of this, and even though we KNOW that at least some very significant portions of it are not true, we don't want to be reminded that we are selling out our brothers and our country to the anti-war crowd."

Actually, more and more is being uncovered. At best, as far as the myth's supporters are concerned, it can only show what has already been proven, that the events were embellished and overstated. At worst, it may show that the events were completely manufactured, and the supporters know they were.

I got confirmation last week that the lies that are being told, matter very much to some of our brothers, who mean very much to me.
Ronald N. Timberlake

7. The most important thing about David Freeman's post is the last line, the first part of which I know is true:

Ron Timberlake and John Plummer could both count on me for any personal assistance they might need, as long as it is in my power to do it and it doesn't hurt somebody else.

But the main issue is that what John is doing IS hurting others. Part of a note I got from a man very seriously considering suicide was that there are too many Plummers, and too few who stand up for the truth. That affected me very much. What John has marketed, and what his friends on this net have helped the Veterans Against the War spread, is something that the anti-war people use and amplify, to rub veterans' faces in the dirt of what liars say we did.

Defending the truth is not against the teachings of our Lord. Lying is.
Ronald N. Timberlake

8. Dear honorable Viet vets and Friends,
I have just gotten home and read this forwarded e-mail--below my letter.
My heart felt stabbed cruelly by the words of a man whom I have never met, Mr.Terry McCollum: "If Linh Vo sends me a copy of his book [Dear Daddy] that I haven't ordered, it will get shit canned and won't pay for it either."

Dear ones,"Dear Daddy" is NOT a commercial book that was written for a lowly gain for a buck, as its foreword was written by the chairman of the History Department of The University of California at Riverside.I followed my heart and the voice from The Wall to have Dear Daddy realized with blood, tears, sweat and all my soul. I borrowed money to publish my book. One doctor friend at a Los Angeles County Hospital (Rancho Los Amigos Rehab Medical Center) honored me with $500 seed money. I had no publisher, no editor, no artist, no photographer. I did it all by myself. I make payments to the printer. I got a loan to pay for the binding company. My family and I collated the book late into the night. That's my American Dream.

I have presented Dear Daddy to President Ford to General Colin Powell to Bob Hope to the Viet vets and their families. From The Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to the high schools, colleges across the land. From a school in Japan to Switzerland to Netherlands. From General Homer D. Smith to Gen. Ben Register, who honored me to lead The Pledge of Allegiance at the Saigon Mission's banquet on May 2, in San Diego. The copies sold never made it break even. But it's my Mission of Gratitude.

The Long Beach (my neighbor city) VVA Chapter 756 and its members can educate you more about my mission for they have witnessed my sincerity and devotion to the sacrifice of our American Vietnam veterans. Write to its president Max Stewart, whose e-mail address is included in this list. And he will tell you.

I would ask my dear ones in this list, who all have my "Dear Daddy," write and tell you, Mr. Terry McCollum and all, that Dear Daddy is no common book that deserves your degradation. You have sinned against my dead Viet Vet daddy on The Wall.

I have for all my new life given all I have back to America. The dead Viet vets have been watching over me. They have blessed my altruistic contribution to my hometown with my artwork, from the monument under the City Hall's flagpole to the schools in town to a hospital courtyard,( a life-sized monument which has inspired countless patients.) I could not have done these without God's will.

I would respectfully ask you, Mr. McCollum, to RETRACT your words before it's too late. I would let you degrade me, humiliate me and take my life, but please do not degrade The Wall.

DON'T YOU DARE GET THE WALL SHIT CANNED. Because my small book of poetry is THE WALL in words and poems. Dear Daddy was buried with COW Bob Caldwell in October 1997. We met at the VHPA Reunion at Orlando, July 1997. Dear Daddy brought tears to many Viet vets at the VHPA. Dear Daddy brought tears to the Mother of Helicopter Pilot Capt. John G. Gardner of Hot Springs, NC, KIA, 3 June 1967. I call up this Viet Vet Mother, Mamie Gardner, more than twice a month, for she sees me a as reminder of what her only child had died for: GIVING OTHERS AND ME A NEW LIFE IN FREEDOM IN AMERICA. She had her friend come to pay my family a visit, while she is waiting for her broken leg to heal in order to visit us in California--though we have never met. Only the spirit of my book Dear Daddy brought us together.

Rev. John Plummer, for the honor of God, please do not be INDIFFERENT any longer. Please tell the TRUTH, and the whole truth.

Dear Nick Ut, please tell Rev. Plummer that I defended him before you,asking you to give him the benefit of the doubt. That you and your fellow journalists called his claim "I am that Man" as B.S. That you were in countless battles as a combat photographer, you knew Rev. Plummer LIED. And the Baltimore Sun and AP finally confirmed. It was so unfortunate that the lie was committed at the expense of the HONOR and PRIDE of American Viet vets.

Please, papa son Jay Riseden, you were going between me and Rev. Plummer to make sure Kim would not miss Rev. Plummer that day at The Wall. Please tell the truth, that I did not send the books before I shared with you about the noble gesture of of my 20 gift copies "Dear Daddy". That you called Rev. Plummer to alert him the package was coming to his home by FedEx. That Rev.Plummer left a note on his porch to ask the FedEx to leave the package at the door, because he had to go somewhere. You called me later to tell me that Rev. Plummer had received the package.

Why in the world did Mr. Terry McCollum suggest that the package could be a bomb? Why did you, Rev.Plummer, lead others to think such a dark thought? Why did you keep sitting silently to benefit from the "Myth of Trang Bang" for your dark motive, which absolutely contrasts to the religious duty of being an ordained minister?

Rev. Plummer, please use the last drop of your human courage to tell your fellow Viet vets the TRUTH, that you had no courage to tell your audience at your 30 speaking engagements about the poem, "The Girl in the Photograph" -- which you had read with tears on your face at the Sunday Morning Service at the 1996 VHPA Reunion at Santa Clara -- because you wanted to USE Kim and me only for your personal agenda / your ministry of forgiveness. It is because the poems in the book only tell the TRUTH of the Viet Cong atrocities towards the Vietnamese, Kim Phuc and me. You realized the book is a conflict of your message of "forgiveness," as you preached about your hugging a former Viet Cong at a church in Canada. My family and I can do just that. When a VC defected ("chieu hoi"), the GIs and South Vietnamese soldiers opened their arms, while still in the heat of war.

The bottom line is that you do not care for Kim at all, sir, as the producer of Kim's documentary film, Shelly Saywell, wrote in a fax that Nick Ut shared with me, that she asked Nick Ut "not to worry about Plummer,it's only John Plummer's 15-minutes of fame." If you cared for Kim, sir, why did you not give ,ASAP, Kim's son, Thomas, the $500 saving bonds from the 20 copies--all of it, not the proceeds, as you and I confirmed on the phone and in my signed letter. It's not much,but it symbolizes the thought from DEAR DADDY.

Please, Rev. Plummer, tell all that you told me on the nice Friday afternoon, 12 September 1997, when I was driving you to my home to have dinner with my family and Nick Ut, that you had put the books out at your church, but nobody asked for it, and you put them away.

Then, more than a year has passed since I sent 20 (represented 20 years after the fall of Saigon) copies of Dear Daddy to you on Good Friday 1997,you must now return my Dear Daddy if you have not done anything with that.

It's UN-AMERICAN that one keeps the property that does not belong to him. Each copy of Dear Daddy is a piece of my spirit. You KNOW I wanted to have "Dear Daddy" honor our Viet Vets in letting you be the ONE who does this gracious gesture for Kim. (I informed you that Kim had accepted my gesture in letting you do this.)

The thoughts are long, and the letter is short.I hope that God will bless us all by seeing Rev. Plummer come to terms with the TRUTH: Repent, Rev. Plummer, for what you have wronged others and so admitted. The true forgiveness, here, must be asked from the Viet vets and their families across America. They have long endured the harmfull treatment.
May God Bless America.
Linh D. Vo

9. Ron,
I thought this s--- was removed by UNESCO.


Paris, November 10 {N97-210}- Spreading her message that forgiveness and love lie at the heart of reconciliation and understanding, Kim Phuc - whose photo as a young girl screaming from her burns as she fled naked from the napalm attack on her Vietnamese village shocked the world to the horrors of war - today was named a Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO for a Culture of Peace by Director-General Federico Mayor.

The event took place during the plenary session of the General Conference and in the presence of the representatives of UNESCO's Member States.
The 1972 photo by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut won a Pulitzer Prize, the highest journalism award in the U.S.

Now 34, Kim Phuc (her name means "Golden Happiness") spent 14 months recovering from her wounds in a Saigon hospital, where she underwent 17 transplants and other operations. Though she still has pain from her wounds, she recently gave birth to her second child and lives with her husband and children in Toronto, Canada.

"I thank God for saving my life and giving me strong faith and hope so that I can be strong enough to overcome physical and emotional pain," Kim Phuc said. "Peace must be based on love, emotional understanding and forgiveness. If we don't love others as ourselves, if we don't understand enough and if we don't forgive, we can't come together."

Earlier this month Ms. Phuc established Kim's Foundation in Chicago which will be dedicated to helping children in distress and child victims of wars and conflicts. "I want to give back in the same way that so many gave to my healing," she said at the ceremony. "Yes, I forgive,but I don't forget in order to prevent the same thing from happening again."

"The photo of Kim Phuc revealed in all its horror the madness of war and the suffering of innocent victims," said Director-General Mayor."Through this picture, Kim Phuc became a symbol of the struggle against violence, conflict and destruction, a symbol conveying the simple but strong message: No more War."

Remarking that in this last decade of the twentieth century more than 90 armed conflicts have taken or are taking place around the world, Mr.Mayor stressed that violence in other forms also must be stopped -"domestic violence, street violence, violence on the screen, violence in schools, not to mention structural violence such as poverty, exclusion and the denial of human rights."

Mr. Mayor also paid tribute to Mr. Ut and UK television journalist Chris Wayne for not remaining passive observers and providing whatever assistance they could to the wounded. It was they who tried to ease Kim's pain and later brought her to the hospital.

"We believe in the possibility of rallying people to the cause of justice and peace," Mr. Mayor said. "UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, through their public prominence, can bring home to people world-wide the role that each of us can play in helping to bring about the transition from the logic of force and fear to the force of reason and love."

The ceremony designating her a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador featured a 10-minute segment of "Kim's Story," a film on her life by Shelly Saywell. The film features grim footage of Kim and other survivors, many mortally wounded from their napalm burns, as they fled their flaming village.

>>>>>>>>> In the film, Ms. Phuc is shown in a moment of reconciliation with John Plummer, now a Methodist minister but who as a 24-year-old officer, ordered the bombing of her village.<<<<<<<<<<

As a Goodwill Ambassador for a Culture of Peace, Ms. Phuc will spread a message on the need for reconciliation, mutual nderstanding, dialogue and negotiation to replace confrontation and violence as a means of settling conflicts. The culture of peace, as envisioned by UNESCO, seeks to eliminate the root causes of violence by promoting a set of attitudes, values and behaviours that reflect and inspire social inter-action and sharing, based on principles of freedom, justice, democracy, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.

Just using a search on the San Hosiery news and find this article. Note the URL is Napalm30.htm. It is important to read the last statement in the article because that is what Kim said at the Wall. Plummer gave her the note that says "I am the one." He has gone from flying to ordering to coordinating the entire mission.

11. Flight, The UNESCO PIO has already responded favorably, and I sent this post to an American on the UNESCO staff.
Ron Timberlake

Dear Mr. Forstenzer:
I understand you are a person of influence within UNESCO, and as such, I would like to discuss an issue that has continued for some months.

The UNESCO press releases about Ms. Kim Phuc's appointment as ambassador, originally included statements about the Methodist minister who had recently claimed to have ordered the bombing of Ms. Kim's village. The minister's claims have been used as a basis for attributing American participation in that incident, and were embellished from there. One newspaper, using the UNESCO release as the base of its story, even said that the Americans used nerve gas against the village, and phrases such as "came under intense aerial bombardment" and "rained fire down upon the village" are commonly used. Few articles mention even that the aircraft dropping the bombs were South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF).

In most of the versions, the minister has gone from a minor staff officer to the commander, and his rank has increased from captain to colonel. That embellishment is not something UNESCO did on its own, but inclusion of the false claims of the minister certainly gave basis and credibility to the absurd allegations.

UNESCO was contacted at the time, and agreed to remove statements about the minister from the press release. As you will see from the URL below, that does not appear to have been accomplished.

I recommend that you read the 14 December 1997 story that appeared on the front page of The Baltimore Sun. Tom Bowman was the first reporter to actually investigate the minister's claims, instead of just printing them.

His investigation led to the front page headline, "Veteran's claim to napalm victim a lie." Strong for a headline.

After his story appeared, the Associated Press and Washington Post, both having written previous stories about the miracle of the minister and his "victim", actually had to investigate. The stories after their investigations were much like The Sun's story. The claims are not true.

I personally began to research the incident at Trang Bang earlier last year,after I read the minister's stories, and noted the discrepancies within the various versions of his story. What I initially thought was embellishment, over-dramatization, and overstatement, proved to certainly be at least that,and appears more and more to include complete fabrication.

No Americans participated in the bombing that injured Kim and killed others,to include several South Vietnamese soldiers. It was an all-Vietnamese fight, as "Vietnamization" was almost fully implemented, and American advisors were leaving Vietnam without replacement.

As I continue my research, I have located the following people, who are consistent in their statements:

The minister's Commanding General at the time, LTG (Ret) James Hollingsworth. He says that even he did not have the authority to do what the minister (Then a captain.) claimed to do.

The Operations Officer (G-3) of the unit, a colonel at the time, who later retired as a Major General, who says Americans were not involved, and no assistant in his office ordered that strike.

The G-3 Air, the minister's direct supervisor, with a totally hands-on role in the shop in which the minister worked. He is preparing a detailed account of their procedures and other information, and says the minister has, at least, greatly overstated his claims.

The Commanding General's aide, who accompanied him constantly, sat beside him in the helicopter over the battle areas, and says that even he could not have done what the minister claims.

The Vietnamese Skyraider pilot who dropped the bombs that injured Kim and killed several South Vietnamese soldiers. He says no Americans were involved in the process, which was a very painful accident on his part.

Nick Ut, the photographer who took the photo. He says there were no American military personnel at Trang Bang during the fighting. He appears to intensely dislike the minister, because of the false claims.

Mr. Pyle, the Associated Press Bureau Chief for Vietnam, who says there were no American military personnel at Trang Bang during the fighting.

To be perfectly candid, I have also located one man, who was a low-ranking enlisted man in a different staff section of the same unit, who says he "believes John probably did what he claims", but clarified that to be that he may have received the call, and passed the request to US Air Force personnel, who would have then passed it to South Vietnamese Air Force personnel, for them to pass to the unit tasked with flying the mission.

However, several factors have diminished this man's credibility. 1) His claims for his own participation, as "Certainly the most powerful SP5 in the Army.", are greatly served by what he attributes to the minister. He has written a book that said nothing about the incident at Trang Bang, but I suspect another will follow. 2) He was not in the minister's staff section, and his statements are in stark contrast with the officers who were. 3) He has cited information about incidents and procedures that the others say is inaccurate. 4) The rank and position he held at the time,does not support the immense power and authority he claims to have wielded.

Additionally, he originally made some statements that after seeking legal representation, he said he should no longer acknowledge. The fact that he is the only one of all the personnel to perceive the need for legal counsel regarding his memories of events, and after receiving it retracted part of his statement, appears to be significant.

Since even his most optimistic support of the minister does not actually support what the minister has claimed, I do not see his "support" as significant, or as detracting from the statements of all those who were in responsible positions.


From: Garry and Betty Smith Date: Saturday, May 02, 1998 11:32 AM Subject: TRAC G3 Air and Arclight campaigns
Memories that I had not thought about in a long time came flooding back when I read your letter to Ed Hall, the publisher of "The Search for MIAs."

As fond as the memories are that I have of "Holly" (Major General James F.Hollingsworth) and the respect I have for him, I believe Reverend (formerly Captain) John Plummer's account is likely correct one. He was/we were very much involved in the Trang Bang incident, plus I know for a fact that John Plummer briefed MG Hollingsworth about bomb strikes on many occasions, just like you have related in your letter. I have not heard of John Plummer's comments about the Trang Bang incident before I read your letter a few minutes ago, but the brief summary of his job duties in 1972, as related in your letter, are, I know for a fact, at least partially true, and may be completely true.

CTAP, Combined Targets and Planning, was a corp-level, strategic target section that coordinated B-52 strikes and limited tactical air strikes. It was under the staff supervion of TRAC G3 Air. In that job were a succession of officers, to include Major Benson (killed by an NVA artillery round at An Loc), Major Mario Burdick, and eventually Cpt John Plummer. Cpt John Plummer also worked with us in CTAP for a brief period.

There were some other SNAFUs other than Trang Bang that occured during that time that have never been made public. Some of them were humorous. Once John Plummer put the wrong grid identifier, "XU" as opposed to "XT" on an B-52 strike (archlight), and the bombs hit the jungle 100 kilometers off target. (That sounds terrible, but extremely east to do.) I can remember that the Mad Bomber, Major Robert Munch, whom I worked for in CTAP for a while, prior to his leaving in early 1972, almost had a stroke when he heard about the misplaced strike. We didn't have a clue what got hit, if anything. All we knew was that the bombs were scheduled to land in one place, and never did.

Another time, CTAP killed 88 Cambodian civilians in a screwed-up B52 strike. I was largely responsbile for that one. It took me years to get over that. The Mad Bomber at the time, my boss, Captain Hank Robertson, said, after reading about the ill-fated strike in the Stars and Stripes, "Those guys at MACV really screwed that one up!" Then when I told him, "That one was ours," I remember he turned white as a sheet. He said, "I don't ever want to talk about this again." Years later when I brought the subject up, after he had retired from the Army as a much-decorated lieutenant colonel, he said, "I vaguely remember something about that, but I just don't recall what it was all about." He had clearly repressed the memory.

One time Hank and I targeted a B52 strike on a coordinate that I got out of a library book called "Battles in the Michelin," by S.L.A. Marshal. Yep, it really happend. Marshal related an incident that Hollingsworth was involved in as a one-star with the Big Red One, and provided coordinates of NVA concrete bunkers. I reasoned that concrete bunkers would still have to be in existence, and we bombed them. I had to twist Hank's arm for weeks to get him to go along, and he finally did, but only when we had some additional intelligence information in the area. Don't know what we got,but super-secret U.S. intelligence indicated that NVA units promptly moved into that area after the strike.

Once we bombed a South Vietnamese rubber operation in the Michelin Rubber Plantation. I never saw that appear in print. An American advisor, the last American killed in the Vietnam War, personally came to CTAP to let us know back-channel about it. Nothing was ever done about it because the Michelin was owned off and on by the NVA and Viet Cong. We could have bombed the Michelin a day later and likely would have gotten some NVA or Viet Cong.

It was almost surrealistic the power that a few folks had at TRAC in 1972,to include John Plummer. We, to include John, essentially ran the TRAC portion of the air war in III Corps in 1972. Although Hollingworth and his one-star deputy (BG McGiffert), and several of Hollingsworth's successors,to include BG Tallman (who was killed at An Loc a couple of hours after the bronze stars were awarded to Plummer and me), received detailed briefings on what we were doing, the authority and responsiblity we had was imcredible. Believe it or not, at that time I was unquestionably the most powerful SP5 in the entire Army. With a simple movement of plastic target templates, I could and did rain fire down almost at will. Plummer did too. We all did. I doubt very seriously that at any other time in American history has such a small group of folks had such tremendous authority and responsibility. We stopped the 1972 offensive into III Corps cold, which allowed for Nixon's eventual withdrawal. Few people know that. We were one heck of a team.

Now of course the Air Force was very much involved, and I don't want to minimize their contribution at all. I don't want to make it sound like they were standing around with their hands in the pockets doing everything we told them to do. It wasn't like that at all. Their staff operation was called III DASC. It had elements that were co-located with us. A typical TRAC operation would be: "We need some air support down here yesterday!",and the Air Force -- and later Marine aviators, would provide it. Frequently dozens of intense staff actions like these would happen within a short peorid of time, but the only people who really knew exactly how they came about were those immediately involved. Although I wasn't there when the Trang Bang incident went down -- I was probably 100 feet away in the B-52 targeting cell -- I suspect it lkely happened just like John Plummer said it did. Hollingworth and his G3 were likely miles away, either at TRAC headquarters at Plantation or fying around the battlefield.

We in fact debated archlighting with B-52s around Trang Bang, but deferred to tactical strikes, because of the danger of hitting friendlies. I know Plummer and others were directly or indirectly involved in coordinating stikes in that area. Again, I don't know for sure whether he was or was not responsible for the actual strike, but in his position, he clearly could have been. It could have definitely happened just like he said it did and I would not have known about it. And I was involved in things -- 100 feet away -- that he never knew anything about either.

Also there were South Vietnamese air and ground elements that provided suppoort. We had a number South Vietnamese officers with us. All of our air strikes were appoved by them. Since there were government-controlled villages in the areas we were attacking, they had to be involved.Amazingly, in some places there were Viet Cong and government-held villages within just a few kilometers of each other. I'm not for sure who all of the air elements involved in the Trang Bang incident belonged to, U.S. or Vietnamese, but if Vietnamese, they could have been coordinated by Plummer too.

"Smitty", as I was known to Plummer and others -- to include MAJ Robert Munch (the Mad Bomber) Cpt "Hank" Robertson (also later known as the Mad Bomber after Munch left), Maj Mario Burdick, and Maj Benson (deceased), and several other officers whose names I can't recall -- would have dearly loved to have consulted with John Plummer about my book, "The Search for MIAs." There is a chapter in my book that John could have added so much to. If I had known where he was I definitely would have consulted with him.

The TRAC portion of the 1972 Easter Offensive, or Nguyen Hue campaign, is an untold story. The US was in danger of an elaborate checkmate that could have thrown the US out of the war. Very few people know how serious it actually was. Hollingworth's and his staff officers' contribution, to include the contribution of CTAP and G3 Air is largely known only to a few. Also, there is a clandestine portion of the story that probably should be told but can't be, at least by me. Let's just there were other agencies of the U.S. government involved that had significant input to the arclight program in III Corps in 1972.

My opinion is that our actions in Trac CTAP and G3 Air were divinely inspired. There were things going on that were beyond our control, that we were very much actors in. I've felt that "chance" brought us all together for the purpose of blunting the NVA offensive so the U.S. could get out of the war honorably. I know that's difficult to swallow, but I can't be convinced otherwise. "Reverend" John Plummer (I didn't know he became a Methodist minister until I read your letter), was, in my humble opinion, used by the Lord in a mighty way.

I very seldom like to talk or write about 1972. I get too wound up and have a hard time sleeping for days. The memories that bombard me are difficult to describe. I did not suffer mentally or physically as others did, but the intensity of the things I was involved in tend to set off mental images in my mind that go on and on once they get started. Hard to xplain how or why. I can see that I am going to be up for a few more hours tonight. THE END

12. Flight, The reason you will probably see "the American commander" sneaking back into the press releases, is that without an American ordering that strike, muchof the public guilt is removed. Without the guilt, there is not the levelof gratitude for Kim's forgiveness of us. Without the gratitude, thecontributions do not flow like they do from a people trying to make up forthe error of one of its sobbing sons, one of those terrible, disturbedVietnam vets we have all read about.

Without the American ordering it, since more people now know Americans didnot drop the bombs, the event becomes just another of all those terribletragedies of war.

The preacher's latest campaign of sending Garry Smith's "proof" of his claims to the media, is probably going to result in more publicity fromorganizations that don't care if it is true, because the lie serves theirpurpose, and represents us as they want us represented. The AP and Sunwould not bite at his latest campaign, because they actually investigatedhis claims, and they know.
13. The SJ Merc is also on-line. The full story can be found at:
Despite the notice at the end of the story which reads:
I am posting the entire contents below for your consideration. Given the slant and misattributions of this story.
After reading, you may want to reply to the Merc. Here's a URL:
Note that this story was filed on a news service from a source in Cleveland.The Merc probably picked it up off a wire, so it may be appearing in other papers around the country today and tomorrow. Suggest you check local sources and reply appropriately.

Published Saturday, May 30, 1998, in the San Jose Mercury News
Message of peace from war photo Child scarred by napalm grows up to be ambassador of forgiveness

WITH one small, graceful gesture -- merely inching up the sleeve of her sweater -- Phan Thi Kim Phuc becomes a jolting reminder of the devastation of war.

The mottled, raised scars begin halfway up her forearm and claw their way around her shoulder and across her entire back. Twenty-six years after the napalm fell, the physical scars still rage. ``They are like a knife,'' she said, smiling. ``They feel like they are cutting me.''

The image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc, running naked and screaming from her village of Trang Bang after a U.S.-ordered strike by a South Vietnamese air unit, remains one of the most searing images of the Vietnam War.

The napalm, a jellied gasoline, scorched 75 percent of her body with third-degree burns. Associated Press photographer Nick Ut captured the little girl on film and then rushed her to a hospital, saving her life.His photo of her anguished, contorted face was published around the world, and is widely cited as having expedited the end of the war.

``I am proud about that,'' said Kim Phuc, now 35. ``God used me that day. Even though so much of my body was burned, my feet were not burned, and so I could run out and be there for that photo. It saved a lot of souls and brought an end to the war.''
Accepting God's will

Kim Phuc knows her words cause some to wince and others to question how she could possibly accept her fate that day as God's will. But she only smiles and then laughs.

Those five words -- ``God used me that day'' -- not only embody her spiritual beliefs, they are the driving force behind such activities as her recent appearance at a seminar on anger and rage reconciliation held at a Cleveland health center.
Hers is a message of forgiveness and the healing power of God's love.
``People ask me a lot, `How can you smile all the time?' '' Kim Phuc said. ``I tell them: `I was never angry. God created me this way. He created me laughing and smiling.'
``And he created that moment when I was burned and photographed so that I could help others. He gave me a life, and then he changed my life, and then he healed me.''
Kim Phuc said she was never bitter, even as she endured a long struggle with physical and emotional pain.
`Nobody knew me'
For 10 years after the napalm attack, she was forgotten by the same world public that had been been outraged by her photo image. ,BR> ``After the war ended, nobody knew me,'' she said.
Forget about it -- everybody left was a survivor, she was told. Many others died, she was reminded.

Among the dead were her two infant cousins -- not two of her brothers,as was widely reported. She, her parents and seven siblings all survived, but they lost everything else to the war.

In 1982, a German journalist asked the Vietnamese government what had become of ``the girl in the picture.'' His inquiry led to a two-year search for Kim Phuc.

When government officials found her, they ordered her to leave medical school and return to her village so they could use her for propaganda. For several years, she was forced to do interview after interview with foreign journalists.

At the time, she was emotionally devastated. But her anguish led her to God, Kim Phuc said. ``Deep in my heart now I thank them (the Hanoi government) because I turned to God. I realized I was so unhappy, and even though I tried so hard in my own religion, Cao Dai (a syncretic Vietnamese faith featuring elements of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity), I felt no peace.

``My body was weak, I just cried and cried, and finally I went to the library to read every book I could find on other religions.''

Kim Phuc converted to Christianity and now regularly shares with audiences how she accepted Jesus into her life and has been healed. ``He removed my burden,'' she said, touching her heart. ``I was free.''

In 1986, Kim Phuc was allowed to study in Cuba, where she met and married fellow Vietnamese student Toan Huy Bui in September 1992. Later that year, they flew to Moscow for their honeymoon; when their plane landed in Newfoundland to refuel, they suddenly decided to defect to Canada.

Last year they became Canadian citizens. They now have two young sons, Thomas, 4, and Stephen, 8 months. The family's life revolves around the Baptist church to which they belong.

Last fall, Kim Phuc was named an unpaid goodwill ambassador by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the same time, she founded the Kim Foundation in Chicago, a non-profit organization for providing aid to child war victims.

Last November, she took her message of forgiveness to America's war veterans, addressing a Veterans Day crowd at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

``Even if I could talk face to face to the pilot who dropped the bombs, I could tell him we could not change history,'' she said. ``We should try to do good things for the present and the future to promote peace.'' ---------------------------------- end story ------------------------------------
The only real surprise is that the story ends at the moment of the ''miracle''. Wonder why?

14. Flights- I am mad at Plummer.I am mad at the San Jose Mercury News. And I am mad at those who don't give a shit that this stuff is still being put out to the public.

It started off as a great day, that is until I was sitting at the breakfast table leisurely reading through the Saturday edition of the San Jose Mercury News. On the front page of the Religion and Ethics section (which I was thumbing through only because it also contains the movie listings:-)) is a full page , color spread on Kim Phuc titled "Message of Peace from War Photo." OK, no problem I think, with all this bullshit of let's "put this behind us," "The inaccuracies have been corrected, " etc. ,etc. all I can say is BULLSHIT!!!!

Quoting directly from the lengthy article, this one under Nick Ut's photo "The image of Kim Phuc, running naked and screaming from her village, after a U.S. ORDERED AIRSTRIKE by a South Vietnamese air unit, remains one of the most searing images of the Vietnam War."
Other quotes; "God used me that day." (I will agree that she has been used, but not by God). "It (the photo) saved lots of souls and brought an end (read Communist Victory) to the war." "Last November, she took her message of forgiveness to America's War Veterans, addressing a Veterans Day crowd at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C."
I need her forgiveness like I need a load of PILES.
And then the topper. A Photo and Kim and Plummer, looking like on of those photos you see in a wedding engagement announcement. The caption on this winner is:
"She smiles with John Plummer, who ordered the 1972 napalm attack."
After I cool off, I'll write a letter to the editor of the Mercury.
What REALLY steams me is that millions of people are exposed to this horse shit, especially the younger generation, and gobble it up as the truth. What a pisser!! This is OUR LEGACY that is being F***ed with guys.

15. I'm very sorry that you appear to have made such a grievous error in your reading and interpretation of what you seem to think you have seen and told us about, below, but you must surely be mistaken.
Honorable men right here on these nets have told us that their friend is not continuing this, and he has done everything possible to correct it. They say that we should let this die, and put it behind us, because it is over, it is a dead horse.
Surely these friends of John Plummer's would not lie to their fellow veterans, to their fellow flight crewmen?
Ron Timberlake

Subject: Our Daily Bread "The Cycle Of Forgiveness" From: George Mooth Date: 1998/05/30 Message-ID: <> Newsgroups:,alt.religion.christian,alt.religion.christian.20-something [More Headers] May 30 Saturday THE CYCLE OF FORGIVENESS Read: Matthew 18:21-35 Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. -Colossians 3:13 He's an American who, in the heat of wartime, almost killed her. She's a Vietnamese, and when the napalm started to fall from his plane, she ran for her life. Perhaps you've seen the Vietnam War picture of Kim Phuc, running in terror from her village, hoping to escape the horror of napalm that was burning her skin. The man in the plane was John Plummer. Assured that no civilians lived in the village, he had ordered the attack. According to a story in the Minnesota Christian Chronicle, Kim Phuc was invited to Washington in 1996 to speak at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As she spoke, she said she would forgive the pilot if they were to meet. Incredibly, John Plummer was in the audience. He had heard that Kim would be there, so he came to hear her speak. After the ceremony, the two met. Plummer repeated, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Kim replied, "It's all right, I forgive." How could she forgive the one responsible for scarring her for life? Kim had become a Christian since the Vietnam War, and so had John. They understood forgiveness - how to give it and how to receive it (Col. 3:15). They had been forgiven by Jesus, and they were allowing the cycle of forgiveness to continue. How about us? -J. David Branon