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Chief Shot with Arrow, Water Walker: A True Story of Stolen Valor

This is a historical account of the first and youngest navigator of warships and boats in combat during Vietnam, also the first American Indian who did so much for so many for so little; a Sioux warrior who saved hundreds of American lives; was on occasion POW; made to load thousands of rounds of ammunition because he could navigate by the starts—a gift of his God—and served five tours in combat and promised the Silver Star, two Medals of Honor, and the Purple Heart. However, the records were lost or changed.Only American and 100 percent Sioux to be able to navigate any naval ship at seventeen years old with no naval training or striker training. OTJ. No training in his file.Only Navy sailor sentenced to the red-line brig (prison) for bread and water and then released back to duty to the gunline of Vietnam for two solid years. Shaved head—POW.Only American Indian promised and vetted for the Sliver Star, Bronze Star, two Medals of Honor, and Purple Heart for valor above and beyond the call of duty in combat with the enemy. Records lost and not in file.Only American Indian who graduated from SERE whose record was lost.Only E-1 to E-6 referred to as Chief for eight years on three warships and one LCU 1615 and several PBRs in Vietnam.Only American Indian to navigate safely through the USS DD6-7 Henry B. Wilson 38,800 miles safely, but the officers of the deck lost the ship three times off the coast of Vietnam in 1975. Record lost.Only American Indian ordered to shoot men who walked off their post on the bridge of the DD6-7—a short mutiny. Record lost.Only American Indian LPO who saved his boat and crew off Hoi An, Vietnam, and killed many nonregulars and Vietcong then saved the boat by swimming in the typhoon and retrieving a shot line then left for dead by his crew on the beach. Boat repaired but records lost.Only Indian who was ordered to assist all the navigators on the fleet going to South Vietnam who were all off coast; on file.Almost lost his life three times climbing the mast of the DD6-7 when they (officers) lost her position off the coast of Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. Records are lost or missing.Only sailor ordered each and every recording of the IFS-1 USS Carronade because he was able to do the job of an E-6 and above and not allowed field rank or time to take an exam.Only Indian who refused to bring back an American warship, the DD6-7 Henry B. Wilson, to the USA. A truce was typed up and signed by the CO XO and himself, but it was lost in his records.One of a few who were elected to return to service in 1975. He was denied every benefit earned from Agent Orange, Vietnam service, and being wounded by shrapnel. He had to wait twenty-two years for benefits, and he had to get them himself.

--Richard A. Hendren QM1, POW

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