A Student of History

December 31, 2007

Disconnected

Filed under: Wars — John Maass @ 6:29 pm

I came across recently a 2005 obituary of Col. David Hackworth in the New York Times.  What struck me most was the lengthy “corrections” section down at the bottom of the page:

An obituary on Friday about Col. David H. Hackworth, a war hero and later a critic of the Vietnam War, misidentified two units he commanded and the helicopters used by American forces in Vietnam. The Wolfhound Raiders were a platoon he led in Korea, not a regiment. In Vietnam, he commanded a battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, not an air cavalry brigade; that battalion flew Huey helicopters, not Black Hawks. In some copies the obituary also misidentified the character in the film “Apocalypse Now” said to have been based on Colonel Hackworth. He was Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, played by Robert Duvall – not Col. Walter E. Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. In addition, the obituary misstated the year of Colonel Hackworth’s birth and referred incompletely to the end of his military career. He was born in 1930, not 1931. Besides being granted an honorable discharge, he was allowed to retire with full benefits.

Kinda makes you wonder what they got right in the column, doesn’t it.  Sure does illustrate the disconnect between soldiers and reporters, esp. at the NYT

For more on the colorful Col. Hackworth, see here.

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