Home           The Founder           The Subject         The Movement             



Source: http://www.ronthepoet.org/poet/p77_0.jpg

L. Ron Hubbard, the Navy & World War II:  Revisited

by Margaret Lake

Perhaps the most oft-disputed period of L. Ron Hubbard's life is his military career in the US Navy during World War II. Over the years, several authors and researchers have attempted to outline and describe it, invariably coming face-to-face with discrepancies which have proven difficult to explain or ignore.

In the 1980s, Hubbard's World War II service record became public for the first time largely as a result of court cases during this period.  The Church of Scientology and their military researcher, Army Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, pointed out gaps and missing records in Hubbard's service file, and also claimed that because Hubbard was in Naval Intelligence during the war, his service records may have been altered, possibly explaining some discrepancies. For other researchers, such as Hubbard biographers Russell Miller ("Barefaced Messiah", 1987) [1] and Jon Atack ("A Piece of Blue Sky", 1990) [2] , the gaps and missing and conflicting records were largely ignored (or unnoticed), and all discrepancies, to them, must have been due to exaggerations or dishonesty.

In the late 1990s, web author Chris Owen researched Hubbard's military years and published his own findings at his website "Ron the 'War Hero'". [3] Ostensibly taking into account arguments from all sides, and using a version of Hubbard's service file that was available to him at the time, Owen largely positioned his arguments in line with Miller and Atack, which overall had an anti-Hubbard slant. Owen briefly acknowledged gaps in Hubbard's service record, but generally ignored the significance of missing and conflicting records in Hubbard's service file. Owen also made some important errors of fact.

In 2011, author Lawrence Wright attempted to address the issues. Writing for "New Yorker" magazine, [4] Wright and his fact-checkers focused primarily on the dueling "Notice of Separation" documents:  one from the Navy, and the other from the Church.  They both differed in important ways, per Wright, yet both purported to be an accurate summary of Hubbard's Navy service record. Wright examined the Church version critically (which implied Hubbard may have been injured in combat), but examined the Navy version less so (which made no reference to injury or combat). Wright then expanded on his research in his 2013 Scientology book "Going Clear". [5]  

In preparation for putting these pages together, a critical examination was made of the evidence provided by all of the above sources. Further, Hubbard's service records were obtained and examined (provided by the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO), and extensive research was made into the relevant travel and military records publicly available in the US National Archives.  Based on this research, it is now possible to more accurately answer the following questions:

As one inspects Hubbard's service file, and various responses (in the file) by the Navy regarding Hubbard's service record, the amount of inaccurate information and number of faulty responses is surprising.  Aside from the inaccurate information provided in the Navy's version of Hubbard's "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document (covered later in these pages), the Navy has gone as far as officially stating that Hubbard was not an officer in the Navy at all, to leaving out his promotion to Lt. Commander in ALL official summaries of service, to leaving out whole portions of overseas assignments and awards won in other summaries.  This section delves into the details and implications of some of these errors. 

One theory which has been forwarded by some over the years is that gaps and perhaps "intelligence cover" have been at the root of discrepancies surrounding Hubbard's service record.  This section critically examines this observation and theory.

Hubbard was in fact flown home on one of the planes used by the Navy Department and the Secretary of the Navy's office during World War II.  Yet his service record implies that he was sent home on a ship.  This section delves into the documentation and minutiae behind this discovery.  It also examines the ramifications of this finding.

New documentation has been discovered which shows that Hubbard was in fact sent into a combat zone while in the South Pacific.  This section discusses the new documentation and related findings.

This section examines the evidence behind the question of whether Hubbard was injured during World War II.  Earlier researchers have apparently been confused by the term "actinic conjunctivitis".  Hint:  It refers to an eye injury and doesn't mean "pink eye".

The Church's version of Hubbard's "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document has been critically examined over the years.  Yet the Navy's version has been examined less critically.  This section provides a critical examination of both, and points out how both have inaccuracies. 

In light of new findings, a fresh look is taken at the question:  what (if anything) happened to the rest of Hubbard's service records covering the period that he was in the South Pacific?

An examination is made of the history of the Purple Heart award, and whether Hubbard may have been awarded it by the U.S. Army (to which he was attached in the early part of World War II).

The research in these pages is being conducted independently and is not being supported by anyone (or any organization) other than the author.  Though additional research is still underway, it has been requested by several people that the existing research and documentation be published for others to examine.  Thus, these pages are being provided for that purpose.  As time allows, and as research continues, these pages will be updated and augmented. [6]

 (Last updated:  6-Sep-2013)



Has the Navy, or Hubbard's service file, always given accurate information with regard to Hubbard's World War II service?

Over the years, the Navy has in fact had a difficult time giving a clear and accurate picture of Hubbard's Navy service.  Many  examples exist, but the following few should illustrate the point.

In March 1978, an informal hand-written letter[7] was sent to the Navy by a Mr. Hess of Portland, Oregon, requesting verification that Hubbard had been a "Lieutenant Commander" in the US Navy.  In all likelihood, Mr. Hess had seen some Scientology literature which described Hubbard as a former "Lt. Commander" in the Navy, and he was trying to verify this.  In response to the letter, the Navy provided a brief one-page summary of Hubbard's Navy service record which indicated that Hubbard had only reached the rank of "Lieutenant" (not the higher rank of "Lieutenant Commander"): [8] 

(Please Note: Most document images on this website, including this one, are clickable and open up the full copy of the document.)

Over the ensuing year, Mr. Hess must have apparently been persistent and requested additional details of Hubbard's Navy service during World War II.  And though Hess' followup communication is not preserved in Hubbard's Navy file, the Navy did finally, a year later, send a 3-page letter to Hess which provided a fairly detailed summary of Hubbard's service record.  This time, it even provided the full Promotion History, giving the exact ranks and dates that Hubbard had achieved.  This letter, too, clearly stated that Hubbard's highest rank was "Lieutenant", and not "Lieutenant Commander". [9]

No doubt, Mr. Hess probably concluded that Hubbard and/or the Scientologists were lying.  After all, Hess had in his possession two very formal letters from the US Navy, which clearly stated that Hubbard had only reached the rank of "Lieutenant".

The problem, however, is that the Navy responses in 1978 and 1979 contained a rather colossal mistake:  Hubbard had in fact been permanently appointed to Lieutenant Commander in 1948, effective 3-Oct-1945, based on the following Promotion History card now available in Hubbard's service record. [10]

This document shows that Hubbard was first permanently appointed to Lieutenant (junior grade) on 25-Jun-1941, was then temporarily promoted to full Lieutenant effective 15-Jun-1942, then temporarily promoted to Lt. Commander effective 3-Oct-1945, and then permanently appointed to Lt. Commander by authority of a Secretary of the Navy letter dated 3-Jun-1948. (The Secretary of the Navy letter, by the way, was not preserved in Hubbard's service file.)[10a]

Now, the inaccuracies in the above Navy letters may have just been an administrative oversight.  Perhaps the Navy personnel who wrote the above 1978 and 1979 summary letters simply overlooked the Promotion History card which established that Hubbard had been permanently promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1948.  Or perhaps the card wasn't located and added to the master file until years later.  But this was by far not the only blunder.  In one case in 1978, an Army Colonel wrote to the Secretary of the Navy and requested verification as to whether Hubbard was ever an officer in the Navy at all.  The Navy responded: "Mr. Hubbard cannot be identified as serving or having served as an officer of the naval service." [11]   The Colonel (and Hubbard) were fortunate in this case, as a month later, a second letter was sent (not mentioning the error in the first letter), which stated that Hubbard was in fact in the U.S. Navy during World War II and that when he resigned in 1950, that he had reached the rank of Lieutenant (not Lt. Commander). [12]

In addition to the missing "Lt. Commander" rank from the Navy's summary documents, even the "Medals and Awards" list has not been consistent.  Upon separation from Naval service after World War II, veterans were given a "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document.  The version that the Navy now distributes for Hubbard includes an "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award. [13]  

Yet, if one looks through Hubbard's service file, there are no records of where, how, or when Hubbard would have received this award, anywhere in Hubbard's service file.  And this  "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award also does not show up on the above summary of Hubbard's Naval service to Hess or the Army Colonel: [14]

As it turns out, these types of discrepancies were not just confined to individual inquiries from the late 1970s.  They went as far back as the 1960s, and even included formal requests from none other than the U.S. Department of Justice. When the DOJ, in 1966, wrote to the Navy requesting a summary of Hubbard's military service, the Navy responded as follows regarding Hubbard's promotion history: [15]

No mention of Hubbard's having achieved the rank of "Lieutenant Commander" was made in the letter.  Nor any mention of an "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award.

In other words, the US Department of Justice now had in their hands very formal "proof" (if they had needed it) that Hubbard was "lying" about any promotion to "Lt. Commander" or receiving of the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award.  But of course it would have been false proof.

In fact, there is not a single summary of Hubbard's Navy service which the Navy has provided over the years, which has ever mentioned the rather important fact that Hubbard had reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander while in the Navy.  This is in addition to the fact that no summary letters have mentioned that he had been awarded the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award (even though the latter was listed on the Navy's official "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document.)

Interestingly, in a 1976 letter from the Navy to the Church of Scientology, in response to the Church's request for details on Hubbard's military service, not only were Hubbard's promotion to Lieutenant Commander and the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award not mentioned, but all traces of Hubbard's Naval intelligence training and assignment to the South Pacific in 1941-1942 (while Hubbard was working in Naval Intelligence) were removed: [16]

This missing South Pacific period (between the above Camp Pollard, VA and New York, NY), of course, contradicts both the above summary letter to the Department of Justice from 1966 and the 1979 letter from the Navy to the above-mentioned Mr. Hess, which summarizes the same period of Hubbard's service as follows: [17]

Notice that in this latter case, Hubbard's assignment as an "Intelligence Officer" in the South Pacific (Australia) was mentioned, but in the letter to the Church of Scientology three years earlier, no mention was made of any overseas or "Intelligence Officer" assignment or training.  This was all in addition to the fact that Hubbard's promotion history and list of awards was incorrect and inconsistent.

If these types of inaccuracies/inconsistencies had been limited to only later "summary letters" as mentioned above, then this might not be much of a concern.  But in fact, it is the missing elements in and around the official "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document that are the most alarming. This is a central and critical document, used throughout a veteran's life, which is supposed to summarize a veteran's military service. Yet the official document for Hubbard, issued in 1946, which the Navy distributes today and claims is a complete and accurate summary of Hubbard's Naval service record, is filled with anomalous, missing and inaccurate information. In addition to the above-mentioned inexplicable "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award, the Navy's Separation Document for Hubbard also has an inaccurate "Entry Date into Active Service", several missing Navy schools which Hubbard attended, and other anomolies (taken up in some detail in the "Separation Document" section below).

The above-mentioned mistakes do seem to have caused some journalists and Hubbard biographers trouble over the years.  For example, let's examine the promotion-related mistake.  In Russell Miller's 1987 biography of Hubbard, no indication was given that Hubbard was promoted to Lt. Commander.[18]   In fact, no promotions were mentioned at all by Miller (though this should not be too surprising, as Miller's goal does not seem to be as much to provide an accurate and balanced account of Hubbard's life, as it was a response to the hagiography surrounding Hubbard). 

In a 1990 Los Angeles Times article, journalists Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos described Hubbard as a "former Navy lieutenant"[18a], and in Jon Atack's 1990 biography of Hubbard, Atack mentioned Hubbard's promotion to full Lieutenant, but specifically claimed that this was the highest rank that Hubbard had achieved.  No mention of Hubbard's promotion to the next higher rank of Lt. Commander was made.[19]

In Lawrence Wright's 2013 book "Going Clear", Wright seemed somewhat confused by Hubbard's promotion history, apparently not aware that Hubbard had even been promoted to full Lieutenant in mid-1942.  As a result, Wright inaccurately stated that in 1943 Hubbard was "actually not yet a full lieutenant".[20] Wright made no mention of Hubbard's later promotion to Lieutenant Commander.

Of all the non-Scientology accounts of Hubbard's World War II service over the years, only Chris Owen seems to have gotten the promotion detail right.  In his 1999 "Ron the 'War Hero'" website, Owen accurately pointed out that Hubbard had been promoted to Lt. Commander.  While Owen did make several other important errors (which are detailed elsewhere in these pages) about Hubbard's World War II years, this was not one of them. 

In the larger picture, of course, the "Lt. Commander" issue doesn't matter a great deal at this point.  The records have been found which confirm that Hubbard was promoted to Lt. Commander, and though "official statements" by the Navy of the past have now been found to be inaccurate, we can take solace in the fact that the record has been set straight by other documents.

The records for the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award, however, are still missing from Hubbard's service file.  And the Navy's official "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document for Hubbard can also be shown to be surprisingly incomplete.

As a result, a fair question can be raised:  were these the only inaccurate or now-missing records in Hubbard's Navy service file?  In the case of the Promotion History, we got lucky.  A confirmatory document (the Promotion History card) was apparently eventually found which cleared up the discrepancy.  But what would have been the result if the Promotion History card had not been preserved in Hubbard's service record (as was the case with the Secretary of the Navy letter mentioned above or records indicating an "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award)?  Wouldn't Hubbard have been branded a liar regarding his ultimate rank in the Navy?  

And there still are of course more central outstanding discrepancies surrounding Hubbard's service record.  The most glaring of these discrepancies center around Hubbard's service in the South Pacific (and Australia) at the beginning of the war.  These discrepancies involve the issues of whether Hubbard ever saw combat or was injured there. Or how he returned to the US: by ship or by plane?  There is also the matter of the dueling "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" documents, and which awards were given to Hubbard, including the Purple Heart .  All of these issues are taken up in other sections of this website.

The above discrepancy regarding Hubbard's final promotion to Lieutenant Commander is not likely a result of any intelligence activity or related issue.  It probably has much more to do with simple clerical errors and oversights.  But the issues of large gaps and missing and conflicting records in Hubbard's service file -- specifically the records surrounding his time in the South Pacific/Australia at the outset of the war when he was in intelligence -- are not so easily explained by simple clerical errors.




Are there gaps and/or "intelligence cover" in Hubbard's service record?

As one examines Hubbard's service file closely, it becomes very apparent that at least one very relevant gap exists in the record for the time that Hubbard was an intelligence officer, especially after he was sent to the Philippines (and ended up in Australia) for the period from December 1941 - March 1942.  And as it turns out, this period also sits at the center of the question of whether Hubbard saw combat, was injured and may have been awarded the Purple Heart during World War II.

Here are some examples of the missing records from this period:

  • Officer Fitness Report.  There is no Officer Fitness Report for this period in Hubbard's service record.  This is unusual, as there are Officer Fitness Reports for nearly all other periods.  As a result, we don't know (from the service records alone):
    • Who Hubbard's commanding officer was.
    • How/why Hubbard ended up getting attached to the US Army while in Australia.
    • What Hubbard's activities were while there.
    • Where he might have gone.
    • What Hubbard's official "performance" was.
  • Travel Receipts.  There are no travel receipts for this period (and related documents are contradictory).
  • Modified Orders.   There are no copies of Hubbard's modified orders from senior Navy commanders while in Australia (though there is evidence that he received them).
  • Machine Gun.  There is no record of where or how Hubbard was issued a machine gun (though later evidence suggests that he was issued one).
  • "Expert Rifle & Pistol" Award.   There is no record of how, when or where Hubbard was awarded the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award (though evidence suggests that he was awarded it while in the South Pacific).
  • "Vickers" (weapon).   There is no record of how he became proficient in the use of a Vickers in the South Pacific  (though later records suggest he did). (Note: The .50 Vickers were used extensively as ship-mounted anti-aircraft machine guns in this region during the early war).[114]
  • Medical Record. There is no medical record/log of this period. Nevertheless, later notations in Hubbard's medical file and elsewhere suggest that while in the South Pacific, Hubbard:
    • Damaged his eyes.
    • Got malaria.
    • Injured his feet and possibly other parts of his body.
  • Return by Ship vs. Plane. There is no definitive record of how Hubbard returned to the US from the South Pacific, in Hubbard's service file. The few records in his file which seem to imply that Hubbard returned by ship are contradictory: some imply that he returned on the US Navy ship the USS CHAUMONT, while others imply that Hubbard returned on the ship the M/S PENNANT.  Hubbard himself claimed to have been flown home, which it turns out, is supported by travel records in the National Archives.[21]
  • Swearing-in Document.  When Hubbard was promoted to full Lieutenant three months after his return from the South Pacific, he was sworn-in.  This rather important document is missing from Hubbard's service records (yet it is referenced elsewhere in later records in his service file).

Responses by other researchers who have encountered this gap and these discrepancies over the years, have been varied.  Gerry Armstrong and his lawyer were of course trying to win a court case in 1984 against Hubbard and the Church of Scientology,[22] and so when they came across these discrepancies, this worked in their favor:  it implied that Hubbard had made things up.  And so they didn't bother to research too deeply, especially if it might have hurt their case. 

This too worked in Russell Miller's favor, in his effort to over-compensate for the hagiography.  When Hubbard's service record implied that he lied about how he returned from the South Pacific in the Spring of 1942, Miller failed to research this fully, and worked this into his headline for the chapter titled "The Hero That Never Was".  For Jon Atack, he appears to have noticed some of the discrepancies but didn't quite know what to make of them, and by and large ignored them.  Chris Owen attempted to address some of the discrepancies, but overall didn't dig very deeply into them. Other errors in his research gave him enough confidence, apparently, to conclude that all discrepancies must be due to lies.  Lawrence Wright seemed fairly flippant when it came to this period, and though he seems to have spent a good deal of time doing his own independent research into the dueling "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" documents, he doesn't seem to have spent much time independently researching much else regarding Hubbard's World War II years.

The late Army Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, the Church's one-time military expert, made some interesting observations.  In his 1985 Affidavit, Prouty noticed that most records for Hubbard's Australia/South Pacific period were missing from Hubbard's service file.[23]   Prouty also noticed that Hubbard had made reference to being a "combat intelligence officer for the Asiatic fleet" while in the South Pacific, as in this medical record a month and a half after his return:[24]

Prouty would also develop a theory that Hubbard's service records were "sheep dipped" -- meaning purposely falsified for "intelligence cover" reasons.[25]  But frankly, Prouty's evidence for this theory was weak -- at least as it applied to more than the first year of Hubbard's service during which Hubbard was in Naval Intelligence.  Prouty's implication was that markings for "intelligence" (i.e. the series "16xx") could be seen "throughout Hubbard's service file".  It is true that the typed "16xx" is used to designate Naval Intelligence departments[26] and they can be found in the early part of Hubbard's service file (when he was an intelligence officer).[27]   

But these same typed 16xx's could not be found in document routings in later periods.

Interestingly, though, the above medical record wasn't the only place in Hubbard's service file where "combat intelligence officer" was mentioned, in reference to Hubbard's time in the South Pacific.  It can also be found as the erased text behind the typed "Investigation Department" on the following "Report on the Fitness of Officers":[28]

As can be seen, this Fitness Report was ultimately for the period "May 11, 1942 to June 24, 1942", after Hubbard had returned from the South Pacific and apparently began working in the Cable Censor's office in New York.  But if one looks very carefully, the erased text behind "May 11, 1942" was originally:   Nov. 24, 1941    (the date that Hubbard was ordered to the Philippines.)

And the text behind "Investigation Department " originally read:

NY, 3ND, instruction (1/2 mo.); Asiatic Fleet, combat intel. (2 1/2);

12 ND unassigned (3/4 mo); Censor, New York (1 mo.).

("ND" stands for "Naval District".)

In other words, this "Report on the Fitness of Officers" was originally going to cover the full period from Hubbard's assignment to the Asiatic Fleet in the South Pacific in November 1941 to the period including New York in June 1942, and then was changed (inexplicably) so that it only covered the period May-June 1942 -- the Cable Censor period in New York.

It is unknown why a "Report on the Fitness of Officers" was not written on Hubbard for the period when he may have been a "combat intelligence officer" in the South Pacific.  A link to "intelligence cover" may exist, as will be explained at the end of the next section.

Another possibility may have less to do with "intelligence cover" and more to due with the following reason:  Hubbard was reporting to the "US Army Forces in Australia" during (nearly) the entire time that he was there.  The first clue that this was the case can be found in the "Compliance Report" for this period:[29]

The fact that Hubbard was reporting to the Army, and not (just) the Navy, during his time in the South Pacific, was the first clue which opened the door to helping fill in the gaps caused by the missing records for this period.  And it also helped to begin to answer the questions of whether Hubbard saw combat, was injured, and several other discrepancies that have surfaced as a result of these missing records.  One of those discrepancies revolves around the following question:  did Hubbard return by ship from the South Pacific, or by plane (as he claimed)?




Did Hubbard Return from the South Pacific on a Ship or a Plane?

Hubbard did in fact return to the United States in March 1942 on one of the planes that was being used by the Navy Department and Secretary of the Navy's office, as Hubbard claimed several times.  Because Hubbard's service records imply that he took a ship, Hubbard's critics have claimed, since the mid-1980s, that this was a blatant fabrication by Hubbard.  Records in the National Archives, however, provide evidence that he was telling the truth.  Let's examine the background and the specifics.

All sides to the debate seemed to agree that Hubbard was sent to the South Pacific in late 1941, and that he returned to the United States in the Spring of 1942. Everyone also seemed to agree that Hubbard was a Naval Intelligence Officer during this period. But that's about where the agreements ended with regard to Hubbard's time in the South Pacific.

Hubbard's supporters sometimes contended that he saw combat and was injured while in the South Pacific. Hubbard's detractors on the other hand contended that he merely got into a quarrel with the American Naval Attache in Australia, and was immediately sent home by ship. Hubbard himself claimed to have been flown home on the Secretary of the Navy's plane -- a claim that Hubbard's critics long held onto as a prime example of Hubbard's lying about his military record, going all the way back to the Gerry Armstrong vs. Church of Scientology trial in 1984.[30]  Mentioned in Miller's and Atack's books, this supposed "directly disprovable" lie was also offered as the centerpiece of the concluding remarks of Chris Owen's web pages ("Ron the 'War Hero'") since 1999.[31]

So what is the truth of the matter?

As it turned out, this was likely a difficult period to come to an agreement on for the above-mentioned reason: nearly all the records in Hubbard's service file for this period are missing. The few scraps of documentation that remain in Hubbard's service file for this period do indeed imply that Hubbard was sent home by ship. And though no travel receipts are present, and there is contradictory information in his service record as to which ship he supposedly returned on, there is a clear implication from his service record that Hubbard returned to the US on either the USS CHAUMONT or the M/S PENNANT in the Spring of 1942.  For example, there is this 14-Feb-1942 memo from the Naval Attache in Melbourne, Australia to the Commandant of the Naval District in San Francisco, which states (regarding Hubbard):[32]

And there is this 9-Apr-1942 memo from the Naval Observer in Brisbane, Australia to the Bureau of Navigation in Washington:[33]

There is a fundamental problem, however, with the implication from these memos. Not only is Hubbard not on the passenger lists for either the CHAUMONT or the PENNANT upon their arrival into San Francisco in the Spring of 1942, but given what we know of the arrival and departure dates of those ships and the known time frame in which Hubbard returned to the US, it would have been physically impossible for Hubbard to have been on either of those ships on his return to the US.  Further, the short time frame in which Hubbard must have returned (within a 16 day period) makes his return by any ship nearly impossible in early 1942 (even the fast ships, not in convoy and not making any stops, were taking 19-21+ days to travel from Australia to the US)[34] . Nevertheless, thorough research was done of all other passenger lists for the ships which arrived into the US in early 1942, and Hubbard could not be found aboard any of them.

When plane records were consulted in the National Archives, however, a plane arrival record matching Hubbard's known route, arrival date and arrival location was found. And it turned out that it was a plane which was among those used by the Secretary of the Navy's office and the Navy Department during the early part of World War II in which senior officers - and the occasional intelligence officer - were sent on trans-oceanic trips.  

Let's examine the documentation behind these findings.

Here's what we know with some certainty, about Hubbard's departure from Australia/South Pacific and his arrival into the US.

We know that he left Australia AFTER 8-Mar-1942. We know this because he is recorded as being personally present in a ship captain's War Diary/daily log, specifically the USS NEW ORLEANS, as it was moored in Brisbane, Australia in early March 1942. The following is from the war diary:[35]

In addition to showing that Hubbard held the relatively senior position of Naval Observer and was involved to one degree or another with counter-espionage for the US Navy (a fact previously disputed by Miller,[36] Atack[37] and Owen[38]), it also shows that Hubbard was present in Australia as late as 8-Mar-1942. One can find this ship's log in the National Archives in "Record Group 38: Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1875-2006", in the "World War II War Diaries" section. It can also be found online at the National Archives' partner site, fold3.com, at http://www.fold3.com/image/#267903716.

We know with certainty that Hubbard was back in San Francisco on 23-Mar-1942 -- this is confirmed in several places in his Navy service record, including his Report of Compliance:[39]

The 12th Endorsement of the same Report of Compliance:[40]

And in Hubbard's Medical History log on his return to the US:[41]

That leaves a period of 16 days -- at the very high end -- for Hubbard to have made his way from Australia to the US. As mentioned, even the fast ships in early 1942, when they were not in convoy and were rushing, were taking just under three weeks to cross the Pacific. And that's with no stops.[42] It is noted in Hubbard's service/medical record that he arrived via Honolulu.[43]

Using just these dates alone, it is nearly impossible that Hubbard could have crossed the Pacific on a ship in the Spring of 1942.

Nevertheless, Hubbard's service file implies that he took one of two ships (the CHAUMONT or the PENNANT), so research into these ships was conducted.

We know from National Archives records that the USS CHAUMONT left Australia in mid-February 1942[44] ... 

... and arrived in San Francisco in late March 1942.[45]

We know from the previously mentioned "USS NEW ORLEANS War Diary" that Hubbard was still in Australia as late as 8-Mar-1942.  Further, the passenger list of the CHAUMONT, on its arrival into San Francisco, shows that he was not aboard.[46]  Therefore, we can safely conclude that Hubbard did not depart or arrive on the CHAUMONT.

With regard to the M/S PENNANT (not to be confused with the M/S ALCOA PENNANT), we know from National Archives records that the M/S PENNANT left Brisbane, Australia on or around 7-Mar-1942.  It then had a few stops in and around Australia[47] ... 

... then went to Chile, South America and arrived in San Francisco at the end of April 1942.[48]

By the end of April, Hubbard had been back in the US for over a month; further, he was not onboard, according to the passenger lists.[49] We can conclude that Hubbard did not use the M/S PENNANT on his trip across the Pacific. (The ALCOA PENNANT never went to Australia in early 1942; further, Hubbard does not show up on any passenger lists.[50])

The above ship arrival records can all be found in the National Archives on microfilm roll "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, 1893-1953", Publication number M1410. They can also be found online at another National Archives partner site, ancestry.com, in the "Immigration and Travel" section.  They were microfilmed in the early 1980s and apparently have been publicly available since then at various National Archives research locations, or for purchase by mail.  (It is unknown whether Armstrong, Miller, Atack and/or Owen discovered these facts, and purposely chose not to disclose them; minimally, they did not mention any efforts to solve the clear contradiction in Hubbard's service record.)

To be thorough, a careful search was made of all available ship passenger lists of ships which arrived into the United States in February, March and April 1942, in the various ports of the United States (including Honolulu, San Francisco, and all other ports on the West and East coasts).

Hubbard could not be found aboard any ship.

Research was then conducted into the plane arrival records for early 1942 at the National Archives. On an "Index" (a list) of all the planes and ships that arrived into San Francisco during World War II, a specific plane was located which matched Hubbard's known route (via Honolulu), exact arrival date (23-Mar-1942) and exact arrival location (San Francisco). Though the passenger list for this flight was not preserved, no other vessel - plane or ship - was found which matched the known facts of Hubbard's return to the US on 23-Mar-1942.

The plane located was PanAm's "Philippine Clipper 41759", and it can be found on microfilm roll "Index to Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, 1882-1957", Publication Number M1437.  The following is a scanned version of the record.[51]

Additional research confirmed that this plane was part of the PanAm Clipper fleet that the Secretary of the Navy's office was using in early 1942 to fly senior officers[52][53] and the occasional intelligence officer[54][55] on trans-oceanic trips and missions.

Additionally, a record of personal correspondence between Hubbard and the Secretary of the Navy (Frank Knox) was located in the declassified office correspondence files of Knox in the National Archives.[56]

There is no specific date on the correspondence, other than that it took place between 1940-1944 (based on the archival records box title).[57] Only a record of the correspondence appears to exist (not the correspondence itself) but it was noted to be in relation to the Explorer's Club, and so probably took place in either 1940 or 1941.

Additionally, Hubbard had used John F. "Jack" O'Keefe as a personal reference when he applied to the Navy in 1941 (this is in Hubbard's Navy service records).[58]

O'Keefe was a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy from 1938-1941.[59]

Combined with Hubbard's known friendships with Congressmen Magnuson and Ford in 1941 (a widely acknowledged fact and evidenced in Hubbard's service records),[60][61][62] it's within the realm of documentable possibility that Hubbard had the connections to "make a call" to the Secretary of the Navy's office (if not the Secretary himself), to be flown home from Australia, as Hubbard claimed.[63]

Why was Hubbard flown home?

Once the above was discovered -- that Hubbard was flown home on one of the planes used by the Secretary of the Navy's office on Hubbard's return from the South Pacific (as he had claimed on numerous occasions) -- the next question became:  why?  Source: http://www.sfmuseum.net/photos11/clipper3.jpg

Why was Hubbard sent home on a plane?

In general, the Navy was only sending officers with very senior rank (Admirals, etc. and their staffs) or on very urgent missions (such as intelligence officers) on trans-oceanic airplanes in early 1942.  Sometimes they would send lower-ranked officers on a plane, as a reward for extremely heroic action.[64]  These facts can be confirmed in military records of the time,[65] and by looking at the existing passenger lists of planes and ships of this period. 

Sending a relatively entry-level Lieutenant (jg) -- Hubbard's rank at the time -- on a trans-Pacific flight would have been unusual.  So why was he sent?

Because Hubbard's service record for this period is so sparse, we need to look at other clues both outside and inside his service record to better determine the reasons.

Hubbard biographers have pointed to the fact that he got into a quarrel with the US Naval Attache in Australia shortly after he arrived, and the records in Hubbard's service file do indeed show that the US Naval Attache tried to send Hubbard home on a ship.  But other records (both inside and outside of Hubbard's service record) suggest that there's more to the story than had previously been realized:

  • After arriving in Australia, Hubbard was awaiting orders from the CinC Asiatic fleet (Commander-in-Chief Asiatic fleet, based in Java) and later COMANZAC (the senior Navy Commander based in Australia):  these were the two most senior Navy positions in the region at the time; no copies of modified orders exist in Hubbard's service file, but records do exist in the National Archives which show that Hubbard requested them,[65a] and records exist in his file which show that Hubbard received them; Hubbard remained in the region for more than two months, implying that the earlier orders from the Naval Attache were overruled (more details in "Combat" section).
  • Hubbard was formally attached to the Army after arriving in Australia (see "Combat" section).
  • Hubbard was held in high regard by his Army commanding officer in Australia (see "Combat" section).
  • Hubbard was in an area which may have involved him in combat in and/or taken him north of Australia (see "Combat" section).
  • Hubbard was injured while in Australia or somewhere in the South Pacific region (see "Injured" section).
  • Hubbard was involved with counter-espionage work for the Navy towards the end of his time in Australia (see next section).
  • By the time of Hubbard's departure from Australia, he had been given the more senior position of Naval Observer -- a position he turned over to a Navy Commander (see "Combat" section) and several others.
  • From current records, it appears likely that Hubbard boarded the Philippine Clipper plane in New Caledonia off the east coast of Australia, and took the PENNANT for the short trip between Brisbane and the island. 

When Hubbard was flown home from the South Pacific, his Navy service file shows that he was promoted to full Lieutenant about three months later.[66]  His first commanding officer in the Cable Censor's office (upon his return) did seem to be negatively pursuaded by the less-than-flattering description of Hubbard from the Naval Attache, but immediately after the Cable Censor assignment, in the subsequent months, Hubbard was given command of two ships, with the second being larger and carrying more responsibility than the first.  

If the Navy higher command had a low opinion of Hubbard as a result of the Naval Attache's criticisms of him, why would they give him two subsequent independent commands over the following year after his return?  It appears that the Naval Attache's opinions and order must have been largely disregarded -- at least at the higher echelons of the Navy in Washington.

Based on the above, it seems that Hubbard was held in high regard by the senior Navy command on his return from the South Pacific.  While "heroism" can't be ruled out completely as a reason for his being flown home, other records seem to indicate that Hubbard was being sent home on a plane due to "urgency" related reasons having to do with intelligence activities.

Is there an "intelligence link" to Hubbard's flight home?

Based on what we know of historical events in this period and Hubbard's known (and possible) activities in the region, the following scenario seems to make the most sense as to why he was flown home. As mentioned in an earlier section, Hubbard described himself as a "combat intelligence officer" shortly after his return from the South Pacific on at least two occasions as recorded in his service record (see "Gaps" section above).  To understand how this might have related to historical events, let's look at a bit of history.

At this early stage of America's involvement in the war (and prior), Washington was extremely interested in gathering as much intelligence on the Japanese as possible -- especially their military strengths in various quarters.[67]  The War Department (Army) and Navy Department recognized that this was a weakness on their own part, i.e. not having enough intelligence (information) on the Japanese.  Though we don't know what Hubbard's specific role was going to be in the Philippines as an intelligence officer (where he had been ordered prior to Pearl Harbor), it seems possible that his role might have been in relation to this overall effort of gathering intelligence on the Japanese.  There is evidence in his service record (and elsewhere) that he was being trained in various intelligence courses in the weeks prior to Pearl Harbor.

In Hubbard's service record, it indicates that in preparation for his assignment to the Philippines, he was being trained in intelligence in New York:[68]

This training is also mentioned elsewhere in various summaries in Hubbard's service record.

Though his service record implies that he was on "inactive duty" from 7-Oct to 23-Nov-1941[69] (and also apparently taking a correspondence [home study] course in Naval Regulations and Customs in late October 1941)[70], a declassified record from the offices of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) was recently discovered which shows that Hubbard had been nominated for an "Intelligence Course" from 21-Oct to 11-Nov-1941, i.e. overlapping with the above "inactive duty" dates.  Oddly, all other training periods are considered "active duty" in Hubbard's service file.  Further, no mention of this particular course shows up in Hubbard's service record.  Here is the record from the SECNAV/CNO office files:[71]

We don't know the nature of the intelligence material taught in this particular course, but the fact that it was not mentioned in his service record (and somewhat hidden behind an "inactive duty" period, and required nomination to attend), suggests that there may have been a higher level of confidentiality surrounding it.

When Hubbard was in Australia, he also received "secret orders" from the senior Navy command (COMANZAC) in the region:[72]

(These are discussed in more detail in the "Combat" section below.)

As mentioned earlier, we also now know that Hubbard was recorded as having been involved in counter-espionage work towards the end of his time in the Australian/South Pacific region, based on this entry in a March 1942 War Diary of the USS NEW ORLEANS moored in Brisbane, Australia at the time:[73]

Hubbard also referred to himself as an "Intelligence Officer" in a 3-Feb-1942 report (a report which does not exist in Hubbard's service record) to his Army Commanding Officer in Brisbane, Australia.[89]

Given all of the above, Hubbard's public statement (albeit made somewhat jokingly) from 1956 is worth reviewing:

"I picked up a telephone, called the Secretary of [the] Navy. See, and I said, 'I'm tired of this place. I'd like to leave.' And he said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'Yeah, I've got some important despatches. As a matter of fact, we've got enough despatches here to practically sink the Japanese Navy if they had to carry them. There's a lot of traffic and stuff like that, and so forth.' So he sent his plane down and picked me up and flew me home."[74]

In retrospect, Hubbard would not have likely felt at too much liberty, in 1956 and in front of an audience, to openly start describing the details of a 1942 Naval intelligence activity.  Nevertheless, the component of being flown home on one of the planes that the Secretary of the Navy's office was using, we now know is true.  And the component of Hubbard's having had enough personal connections at that level of government to be able to call into the Secretary of the Navy's office (if not the Secretary himself), also is true.

With regard to Hubbard's having "some important despatches", that's the interesting one.  And that's the clue which may link Hubbard's flight home to an intelligence matter.  If Hubbard had in fact managed to get "some important despatches" while in the region that were of interest to Washington in their desire to gather more intelligence on the Japanese, this would have likely been seen as a high-priority matter to Washington.  And that may have been the reason that Hubbard was flown home. 

In an earlier 1956 lecture, Hubbard had described the situation like this:

"I was flown in from the South Pacific as the first casualty to be
shipped out of the South Pacific war back to the States. The war had
been started in Pearl Harbor, and I'd been down in the South Pacific and
- a lot of things happened down there. And the outfits down there were
pretty well wiped out, as you can remember before the US and Great
Britain started to fight and go back in. All right.

"Most of the guys that were shipped out of there who had been wounded,
were shipped out by slow boat. And I didn't, I wasn't that seriously
done in. I hooked a ride on the Secretary of Navy's plane; produced the
right set of orders (I hope nobody ever kept them on file) and got flown
home. And when I got home, they turned me in to the hospital."[75]

It seems that an integration of both of these accounts provides the most accurate picture.  Let's look at what Hubbard might have meant by "the first casualty" and "a lot of things happened down there" and "I wasn't that seriously done in".




Did Hubbard see combat at any time while in the South Pacific?

Documentary evidence has recently been found in the military records of the National Archives (records which do not exist in Hubbard's service file), which confirms that Hubbard was sent in to a combat area in northern Australia in early March 1942 on a day that the Japanese attacked the area.  There is also circumstantial evidence which suggests that Hubbard may have been sent in to the combat heavy islands north of Australia during the month of February 1942.  Before we get into the specifics, let's look at a bit of background.

By 1984, Gerry Armstrong (a former Church of Scientology "Hubbard archivist") and his lawyer were convinced that Hubbard was lying about being flown home from the South Pacific in the Spring of 1942.  They had in their hands, from Hubbard's official Naval service record, a clear implication that Hubbard was sent home on a ship -- and this contradicted Hubbard's multiple statements in later years about being flown home.  As such, Armstrong's lawyer, Michael Flynn, used this evidence as part of his argument to prove that Hubbard had lied about his military record.[76]  It was fairly convincing at the time, as apparently no one had yet gone into the passenger list records to discover that Hubbard had not taken a ship, but in fact returned on a plane.  (The judge in this case would ultimately brand Hubbard "virtually a pathological liar" with regard to his past, relying in part on this faulty evidence that Hubbard "lied" about being flown home instead of taking a ship.)

In this court case, in an effort to bolster Hubbard's defense, retired Navy Lt. Commander Thomas S. Moulton was called to the stand by the Church's defense team. Moulton had been Hubbard's first officer, in early 1943, on a ship that Hubbard was commanding for a few months during World War II.  Under oath, in 1984, Moulton recounted Hubbard telling him that he (Hubbard; paraphrased):[77]

(a) was landed on the island of Java from a Navy destroyer, possibly the USS EDSALL;

(b) had been involved in machine gun combat with the Japanese in the jungles of Java;

(c) was injured in various ways, including injuring his eyes;

(d) had escaped the island on a life raft (with another man) for multiple days, before being picked up by an Allied ship out at sea.

In 1984, Moulton was in his sixties and was recalling events that he was told forty years earlier. He said in the testimony that he was bad with dates. He originally put the above events at around the time of Pearl Harbor (7-Dec-1941), but he then clarified himself, and said that the events took place during "the time they occupied Surabaya" in "the Dutch East Indies". This would have been late February to early March 1942. Here are some relevant portions of the testimony where he clarifies the timeframe (the "Q" is Armstrong's attorney, and the "A" is Moulton):[78]

The date that the Japanese landed on the northern shores of Java in the Dutch East Indies (including Surabaya) was 1-Mar- 1942.  They had been conducting air raids on the island all through February, and by March 9 the Dutch surrendered the island to the Japanese.

In order to understand the above in better context, let's review the geography and some known historical events of this period.  Note that "Surabaya" is spelled as "Soerabaja" in the map below (on the island of Java):

Southwest Pacific Region, 1942 (Source: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/BBBO/BBBO-3.html)

Southwest Pacific Region, 1942.[78a]

Brief Timeline of the Southwest Pacific and Fall of Java after Pearl Harbor[79]

  • The Southwest Pacific (also sometimes called the "South Pacific") during the first few months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (7-Dec-1941 - Mar-1942) was the center of heavy air, land and sea combat between the Japanese and the Allies (the Americans, British, Dutch and Australians).   The area currently known as Indonesia (roughly making up Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Timor, parts of New Guinea, and the islands in and around Celebes, in the above map) were collectively called the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) or Dutch East Indies during World War II.
  • The Japanese had attacked the Philippines on the same day that they bombed Pearl Harbor on 7-Dec-1941. 
  • The US Navy moved their base from the Philippines to Java in December 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor.
  • Over the ensuing three months, the Japanese methodically fought their way south from the Philippines, occupying island after island, before finally occupying Java in early March 1942.
  • Northern Australia, too, had been under Japanese air attacks with one port town in particular, Darwin, experiencing its own "Pearl Harbor of Australia" on 19-Feb-1942 with hundreds of men killed and several ships and planes destroyed.  Several lesser air attacks followed on Darwin and other northern Australian areas in the subsequent weeks and months.
  • On 1-Mar-1942, weeks after the US and Allies had sent in thousands of soldiers from Australia to Java using Darwin as a jumping off point via both air and sea, the Japanese landed on the northern shores of Java for their final assault. 
  • Many thousands of lives were lost, planes destroyed, ships sunk (including the USS EDSALL on 1-Mar-1942 off the south coast of Java).
  • Within a few days (9-Mar-1942), Java fell.  The Dutch had surrendered the island to the Japanese.
  • Nearly all of the Dutch, many of the British and some of the Americans had stayed behind on Java to fight; many became prisoners of war.
  • On the orders of senior military officials, however, most of the Americans, Australians and British had evacuated Java and returned to Australia during the final week of February and first few days of March 1942, largely on planes, ships and submarines.  
  • Some had just arrived a week or two earlier from Australia to help in the defense of Java.

In other words, Moulton was telling the court that Hubbard had told him that he (Hubbard) had been involved in the latter stage of these events to one degree or another, in late February or early March 1942. 

Because very few documents existed (or exist) in Hubbard's service records for this period, and because Moulton got his dates wrong (before correcting them), in 1984 it was fairly easy for Armstrong's attorney to discredit Moulton's testimony by focusing on the "Pearl Harbor" date instead of the "fall of Java" date.  And make it look like Hubbard had simply lied to Moulton.

What's surprising however, is that Moulton's corrected dates of the events got past Miller and Atack.  Clearly, Moulton had been referring to February or March 1942, but in their biographies of Hubbard, Miller and Atack made it appear that Moulton was referring to 7-Dec-1942 ("Pearl Harbor").  And thus they handily avoided discussing this aspect of the testimony in any detail in their books.

For Chris Owen, on the other hand, he seemed to use whichever date suited his argument at the time.  When Owen wanted to make it look like Moulton was saying that the events took place on the day of Pearl Harbor, he said the following:[80]

Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/navalint.htm

Or this...[81]

Source:  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/crippled.htm

But when he felt forced to admit that Moulton was talking about the Spring of 1942, Owen would contradict himself by saying:[82]

Source:  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/connection.htm

or this:[83]

Source:  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/crippled.htm

In other words, Owen talked out of both sides of his mouth.  By and large, Owen ignored the missing, conflicting or inexplicable records in Hubbard's service file from the South Pacific period, and thereby avoided discussing the possibility of Hubbard's seeing combat or being injured there.  When it came to the USS EDSALL, Owen stated the following in a footnote:[84]

Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/navalint.htm

In fact, the EDSALL was not only operating out of Darwin, but it was also transporting officers, men and supplies between Darwin and Java during January and February 1942.[85]  Owen then closed the footnote by claiming the following:

Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/navalint.htm

It's an odd claim, considering on the very same page, Owen had stated:[86]

Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/navalint.htm

Owen was unwilling to recognize that this document from Johnson to Darwin may have in fact been in relation to Hubbard's getting passage from Darwin to Java.  In fact, as we will discuss in more detail below, US Army Colonel Alexander L. P. Johnson was Hubbard's Army commanding officer for several weeks while in Australia (Hubbard was formally attached to the Army while there).  We will also discover that Hubbard was in fact sent to Darwin on a day that the Japanese were bombing the airfield there.  He may have also been sent there earlier on his way to Java, which is where this Johnson document may apply.  But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

With regard to Moulton's testimony and his correction of the dates, Lawrence Wright went the Miller and Atack route.  He claimed that Moulton was talking about events which took place on 7-Dec-1941 (Pearl Harbor), and not late February/early March 1942 (fall of Java).[87]  This was especially disappointing, since Wright was purported to be a careful researcher.

In any event, as mentioned earlier in several places, much of the documentation for Hubbard's time in the South Pacific is missing from his service records.  If we just rely on Hubbard's service records alone, as mentioned, there is no Officer Fitness Report (as there is with nearly all other periods in his service record), and thus no indication of his duties, his commanding officer or his performance.  There are no medical records.   There are no travel receipts. There are no records of weapons training or experience, and no records of awards bestowed.  And the few documents and notations which do exist in his service record, if not looked at carefully and if not augmented by additional documentation, paint a much more simplistic scenario where Hubbard arrived in Australia, got into a quarrel with the US Naval Attache, and who then tried to send Hubbard home on a ship.[88]

That was the "simplistic scenario", at least, until recently. 

As shown above in the "Return by ship vs. plane" section, it can now be documented that Hubbard didn't in fact return to the US on a ship (as his service record implies), but returned on a plane in mid-March 1942, as he had claimed.

Further, Hubbard was documented as being the "Naval Observer", providing counter-espionage information on 8-Mar-1942 to the captain of the Source: http://www.historyforsale.com/productimages/jpeg/24181.jpgUSS NEW ORLEANS (Capt. H. H. Good [right]), while the ship was moored in Brisbane, Australia.  If Hubbard were simply being sent back to the US on a ship after a quarrel with the Naval Attache, it seems unlikely that he would have been trusted with counter-espionage details and disseminating them to seasoned Navy captains.  In other words, the evidence seems to suggest that someone more senior in the Navy intervened.

As it turns out, however, the US Naval Attache's (L. D. Causey's) quarrel with Hubbard seems to have been based more on a brief meeting and office politics, than anything with too much substance.  When Hubbard had arrived in Brisbane in mid-January 1942, he contacted the US Naval Attache (who was based in Melbourne) and told him that his orders were to go to the Philippines.  By that time however, the passage from Australia to the Philippines had become quite treacherous due to Japanese advancement, so it was unclear if Hubbard would be able to get as far north as the Philippines.  As a result, Hubbard needed to request updated orders from the Navy command of the region (the Commander of the Asiatic Fleet), which had recently moved its headquarters from the Philippines to Java.  With Causey's blessing,[89] Hubbard formally attached himself to the Army in Brisbane while awaiting orders from Admiral Thomas Hart, the Navy's regional Commander-in-Chief (CinC) of the Asiatic fleet, based in Java.[90]  (Hart was the most senior Navy commander in the entire region, the Navy equivalent of the Army's Source: http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/011558A/General MacArthur, who was the regional senior Army commander still stuck in the Philippines after the Japanese incursion.)[91]

Once attached to the Army, Hubbard's senior Army officer became US Army Colonel Alexander L. P. Johnson (left), the Commanding Officer of Base Section #3 (Brisbane; see map below).[92]  Hubbard and Johnson appear to have worked closely together for several weeks,[93] and Johnson would later describe Hubbard as "an intelligent, resourceful and dependable officer" in the above-mentioned 13-Feb-1942 letter to the Army Commander of Base Section #1 (Darwin) who at that time was Col. Frank LaRue.[94]

During January and February, the top military commanders in Washington were receiving pleas from MacArthur to send needed supplies, medicine, ammunition, etc. to the Philippines by whatever means possible for the desperate troops there.[95]   As a result, one of the missions given to the Army and Navy in Melbourne and Brisbane, was to load up several ships with supplies, etc., and surrepticiously send them from Australia to the Philippines as fast as possible.[96]  This was a high priority project that Hubbard and Johnson became involved in.[97]

As part of this project, some important documents that had been sent to Melbourne from Brisbane went missing in late January 1942 enroute to Melbourne.  As a result, Hubbard was ordered to fly to Melbourne from Brisbane and bring copies of the documents with him. Based on image found at: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/engineers_v1_1947/australia_base_section_1947.jpgIt was a weekend, and while there, he also had meetings with some senior Army officials and apparently met Causey for the first time.  In these meetings, Causey apparently didn't like the fact that Hubbard had been attached to the Army, and that Hubbard was assisting Johnson with various functions (though apparently, Causey had verbally approved Hubbard's Army attachment when Hubbard first arrived two weeks earlier).  Additionally, Causey openly insulted the work that the Army was doing in Brisbane, and didn't seem to like the fact that Hubbard was taking initiative in various ways.

We don't have the minutes or transcripts of these meetings, and so most of this information is based on a five-page report that Hubbard wrote immediately afterward,[98] followed by a memo from Causey.[99]   As a result of these meetings, Causey threatened to order Hubbard back to the US.  Causey's threat to send Hubbard back to the US no doubt didn't go over very well with Hubbard.  He had only been in Australia for two weeks (and Melbourne for 2-3 days), and flew back to Brisbane immediately.  Likely at the request of Johnson (whose own trip to Melbourne apparently overlapped with Hubbard's trip),[100] Hubbard wrote a report to him (Johnson) dated 3-Feb-1942 detailing the events that transpired in Melbourne.  Hubbard also pointed out that it was discovered that Causey had had the missing documents in his office.

In all likelihood, the report was sent to various parties.  Causey likely either saw it, or at least got wind of it.   A few days later, Causey wrote a memo describing Hubbard as "garrulous" (i.e. talking too much) and attempted to follow through on his earlier threat to send Hubbard back to the US on a ship (the CHAUMONT), which was departing Brisbane on 13-Feb-1942.  Based on what we now know, senior Navy commanders in the region appear to have intervened.  According to Hubbard's service record, he received "secret orders" from a Vice Admiral, the COMANZAC (the Commander of the Australia-New Zealand Area Command) some time in February.  These would have taken precedence over Commander Causey's orders.  By 8-Mar-1942, Hubbard was holding the senior position of "Naval Observer", a position later replaced by a Navy Commander,[101] a Lieutenant and several other men, after Hubbard's departure to the US by air in mid-March.

Source: http://www.brooklynvisualheritage.org/welcome-brooklynTo provide additional background, during the month of February 1942, the Navy commands in the region were undergoing some changes and re-organization.   As mentioned above, when Hubbard first arrived in Australia in mid-January, the CinC Asiatic Fleet (Admiral Thomas Hart) was the senior commander of the entire Southwest Pacific.[102]  He was based in Java.  By early February, a new regional Navy command was being established first out of New Zealand and then out of Melbourne, Australia, called ANZAC (Australia-New Zealand Area Command).  Its first commander (the COMANZAC) was Vice Admiral H. F. Leary (left).[103]  Though both the Asiatic Fleet and ANZAC existed simultaneously for a while (at least operationally, while Java was still being defended by the Allies through February and early March), the Asiatic Fleet's command would eventually be handed off to others (also based in Java) in mid-February, after Hart was relieved of command.[104]  Then, after the fall of Java in early March, it would be absorbed into ANZAC.[105]  For all practical purposes, however, the senior Navy command for Australia and New Zealand, at least, fell under COMANZAC after the first week of February 1942, as shown in the following COMANZAC War Diary for the period:[106]

In mid-January 1942, shortly after Hubbard arrived in Australia, he reported in to the CinC Asiatic Fleet, awaiting orders.[65a]  Then, while attached to the Army's Base Section #3 in Brisbane (under Johnson), sometime in early- or mid-February Hubbard received "secret orders" from the COMANZAC, as shown under the "11th Endorsement" in this document attached to Hubbard's Compliance Report for this period, in Hubbard's service record:[107]

Though the above record for these orders exists in Hubbard's service file, the orders themselves do not.  Nor have they been located in the military records of the National Archives.  So their contents are still unknown.  Nevertheless, we know that Hubbard was later doing counter-espionage work as a more senior "Naval Observer" (later replaced by a Navy Commander, a Lieutenant and several men)[107a] and was then flown home -- and so it seems likely that the Vice Admiral's (COMANZAC's) orders to Hubbard may have been in relation to assigning Hubbard additional duties of a broader and more senior nature.[108]

The question is:   was Hubbard ordered to a combat zone at any time while in the region?  The answer is:  yes.  For the more specific question of whether he was ordered to Java, and engaged in combat and the other exploits that he apparently described to Thomas Moulton a year later, the answer at this time is:  possibly.  Let's first examine the  latter Java question. 

Source: http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/images/129/0612904.jpgThe USS EDSALL, a destroyer in the Asiatic Fleet during World War II, was in fact ferrying officers, men and supplies between various ports of the Netherlands East Indies (including ports in Java) and northern Australia, during the months of January and February 1942[109] (as were several other ships and destroyers).  If Hubbard had been landed in Java from the EDSALL during this period (as Moulton recalled Hubbard telling him), then this does fit with Hubbard's known timeline while in the region.  Unfortunately, some of the EDSALL's final logs are missing,[110] so at this time at least, we do not know if Hubbard took passage on her during February 1942.

Based on what is known about Hubbard's timeline while in Australia and the known timeline of the EDSALL, however, Hubbard would likely have been first flown to Darwin in mid-February, and then flown (or took passage on a ship) to western Timor.  From there, he could have picked up the EDSALL (or possibly another ship or destroyer, such as the USS ALDEN or the USS PAUL JONES) for transport to Java, which were known to be providing escort service and making deliveries between Timor and Java in mid-February 1942.[111]

In the above-mentioned letter from Johnson to the Commander of the Base Force, Darwin (Col. Frank LaRue), some relevant facts are worth noting.  Let's review:

Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/navalint.htm

Johnson is said to be "recommending that an earlier request be granted" with regard to Hubbard.  This letter and the "earlier request" may have been in relation to providing Hubbard transport to Timor and/or Java.  And these may have all been in relation to Hubbard carrying out senior Navy orders to go to Java, for an as-yet undetermined reason.  Here specifically is what Moulton recalled Hubbard telling him:[112]

Some additional circumstantial evidence that suggests that Hubbard may have gone to Java, includes the fact that he was issued a machine gun at some point while in Australia/South Pacific[113] and claimed in mid-1942 to have gotten "recent experience with ... .30 and .50 machineguns, also Thompsons and Vickers" (the .50 Vickers were used extensively as ship-mounted anti-aircraft guns in early 1942 off Australia)[114] while in the South Pacific.[115]

Hubbard also apparently caught malaria while in the region.  He also damaged his eyes somehow, and sprained or broke an ankle, and may have also taken some small bits of shrapnel -- all of which we will get into in the "Injured" section.  As mentioned above, it's noted that Hubbard referred to himself as a "combat intelligence officer" on at least two occasions in his service record (shortly after returning from the South Pacific), and then a year later (1943), a notation was made in his Navy medical log that he had been "in combat area" in the early Spring of 1942:[116]

If he did in fact go to Java, he would have likely had to have returned by late February, where he appears to be recorded as having gotten a new or repaired uniform[117] (which in itself invites the question:  why would Hubbard have needed a new or repaired uniform?  Had he damaged his existing one somehow during a mission to Java, as described in Moulton's testimony?)

Overall, not only would a trip by Hubbard to and from Java during the last two weeks of February 1942 fit the known historical timeline, but it would also fit his own known timeline while in that region.  In fact, there are records in the National Archives which show that Navy officers were being sent to Java at this late date (mid-February 1942), as this letter from an Army General making flight arrangements for a US Navy officer on 16-Feb-1942 shows:[118]

Note that this letter was being sent to the same individual (in Darwin) that the above Johnson letter had been  sent to, recommending that an earlier request regarding Hubbard be granted.

There were also quite a few verbal travel orders sending officers and men to the Combat Zone during this period, as this memo from the period confirms:[119]

As a result, if there was a verbal component in any orders sending Hubbard to Java, tracking down evidence for this may be difficult.   Related documentation may yet be found, but for now, definitive documentation which confirms (or disproves) that Hubbard was sent to Java during the month of February 1942 has not yet been located.  The circumstantial evidence certainly suggests that he may have, especially during the last two weeks of February.

On the other hand, definitive records have been located in the National Archives (and are currently being studied), which do place Hubbard directly in a combat area on a day when the Japanese attacked the area.  Specifically, on 4-Mar-1942, the Japanese conducted an air raid on an airfield in northern Australia, in the town of Darwin.[120]  Per Army movement records, Hubbard left Brisbane for Darwin on that day,[121] possibly in the early morning hours.  The attack is known to have killed at least one serviceman, caused unknown numbers of injuries, destroyed several planes and lasted about one hour beginning at around 1:30 PM.[122]  A review of these and related Army movement records is currently underway, and they will eventually be posted here, once they have been thoroughly studied.  For those with a serious interest, the records of Hubbard's going to Darwin on 4-Mar-1942 can be found in Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)" in National Archives II in College Park, MD.   Hubbard's trip to Darwin would have been a short one, as he is known to have been back in Brisbane by 8-Mar-1942 disseminating counter-intelligence details to Navy officials as noted in the War Diary of the USS NEW ORLEANS of that date (here).   Since all medical records for this period are missing, it is unknown whether Hubbard was injured in this attack.  However, later medical records do show that Hubbard was injured while in the South Pacific at some point.




Was Hubbard ever injured during World War II?

At the end of the war, Hubbard received 40% disability from the Veteran's Administration (VA).  Was any of it related to war or combat injuries?

There is little doubt based on Hubbard's service record that he injured his eyes at some point while in the South Pacific.  Earlier researchers, such as Miller, Atack, Owen and Lawrence Wright, do not seem to have been aware of the difference between "conjunctivitis" and "actinic conjunctivitis".[123] [124] [125] [126]  For that reason, it's useful to review the difference between the two:

  • "Conjunctivitis" - a bacterial/viral based infection of the eye, also known as "pink eye",[127] and;
  • "Actinic conjunctivitis" - physical damage to the eye caused by intense UV (ultraviolet) radiation, such as that caused by an explosion, unprotected staring at welder's sparks, sun reflection on snow/water, etc.; sometimes called "eye burn" or "photokeratitis".[128]

In Hubbard's case, he was diagnosed with chronic "actinic conjunctivitis"[129] which indicates that the source of the UV was highly prolonged or severe, such as being on a raft at sea (a highly reflective surface) for several days or from an explosion, gun flash, etc.[130]  From the records, the injury took place while Hubbard was in the South Pacific.[131]  In other words, something must have "blinded" Hubbard while in the region.  In most cases, actinic conjunctivitis fades Source:  From the Oregon Journal, April 22, 1943: away quickly, within a day or two, if the source of the UV did not cause lasting damage.  If the source(s) were especially prolonged, highly reflective or made worse by multiple occurrences, then it could become long-term or chronic,[132]  indicating that the underlying injury did not heal after several weeks, months or years, as in Hubbard's case.

The condition in contemporary usage is often called "photokeratoconjunctivitis (PKC)" or "photokeratitis" or "ultraviolet keratitis" and the symptoms include high sensitivity to normal light, inflammation of the eyes, watering, reddening, burning of the eyes, and as a result, often headaches.  In the 1940s, the degree to which UV could damage the eye was not well understood; in later decades, animal and human research helped to better explain it.[133]  Source: http://www.ronthepoet.org/poet/p77_0.jpg

During the war, Hubbard resorted to wearing tinted glasses (at the doctor's suggestion),[134] because often even in dim light, Hubbard's eyes would redden, burn, water and he would get headaches as a result.  These facts are documented in Hubbard's medical records,[135] and witnesses at the time describe seeing Hubbard having this condition.  Pictures of the period also show Hubbard wearing tinted glasses (this page), and witnesses after the war mention seeing Hubbard with the tinted glasses.[136]

When Thomas Moulton (Hubbard's first officer during World War II) was asked about it under oath, in 1984, he recalled the following details which he witnessed in 1942/1943 (about a year after Hubbard's return from the South  Pacific):[137]

In the same 1984 testimony, Moulton also recalled Hubbard telling him that he, and another man, were in a raft at sea for multiple days escaping from Java, around the time of the fall of Java.  In the early 1970s, Paulette Cooper had also heard this story about Hubbard having been in a raft and having damaged his eyes at sea.  Cooper today doesn't recall from where she heard the story[137a] and didn't provide a reference in her 1971 "The Scandal of Scientology" book, but in the book she wrote:  "[Hubbard] was severely injured in the war (and in fact was in a lifeboat for many days, badly injuring his body and his eyes in the hot Pacific sun)."[137b]

It may have been this eye injury that was being referred to when, in the Spring of 1942, the sci-fi fanzine "SUNSPOTS", published the following newsflash in their April/May issue:[138]

The SUNSPOTS editors had likely gotten this information from John W. Campbell, Jr., the well-known science-fiction editor.   Campbell and Hubbard had become friends in the late 1930s,[139] and on 13-May-1942, Campbell wrote a letter to Robert Heinlein mentioning that Hubbard had returned to New York (where Campbell was based). Campbell described Hubbard as "wounded" in the letter to Heinlein.[140]  It seems likely that Hubbard and Campbell might have met up at some point, when Hubbard went to New York in early May 1942,[141] a few weeks after his return from the South Pacific. 

In Hubbard's Navy medical records around this time (about a month and a half after he returned from the South Pacific), it mentions the symptoms that Hubbard was experiencing with his eyes, as well as some kind of injury to his foot/ankle:[142]

We don't have any medical records for Hubbard for his time in the South Pacific, and so we don't know exactly what caused the eye damage or how severe the original injury was to the ankle/foot.  If he had been on a raft in the Timor Sea for multiple days (as Moulton's testimony suggests),[143] then the eye injury may have indeed been a result of extended "strong sunlight" (which would be in alignment with Hubbard's statement to the doctor above).  Another possibility is that the damage caused by strong sunlight may have been complicated or worsened by another eye injury.  This would certainly explain the severity and length of time that Hubbard had the eye condition (through the whole war and afterwards).  A year after the above medical log, Moulton seemed to remember (in court, 40 years later) that Hubbard had told him in 1942/1943 that the eye injury was a result of a gun flash:[144]

Aside from the possibility that Moulton may have been mis-remembering the details, it may be that Hubbard simply started piecing together the event(s) which may have caused the condition, a year after returning from the South Pacific.  The EDSALL (and other destroyers and ships) were indeed fighting off Japanese air attacks in the waters around Java during the period that Hubbard may have been there,[145] and if he was aboard, this would have been an opportunity for Hubbard to have been near a gun flash.  Or, if on 4-Mar-1942, when Hubbard is known to have been in Darwin on the day that the Japanese attacked, his eyes may have been damaged in an explosion or gun-related incident there (see "Combat" section above).

Since the eye condition did ultimately become chronic,[146] it seems possible that either (or both) the extended sunlight and/or a gun-flash or other explosion of some kind may have been the cause of what ultimately became a long-term and chronic condition.

The medical log in Hubbard's service file, a year after his return from the South Pacific, while mentioning the eye condition again, also states that Hubbard had gotten malaria while in the region in early 1942:[147]

It would have been highly unusual (and very unlikely) for Hubbard to have gotten malaria if he remained only in Brisbane or southern Australia during his entire stay in the region, as Owen and others have claimed.   Malaria is a disease carried and spread by mosquitos -- and the mosquitos like to stay in warm, humid, tropical climates.[148]  The disease was a very serious problem for the Army in the tropical islands of the Southwest Pacific during the early period of World War II, especially in areas such as the Philippines, New Guinea and Java.[149]  But it largely stayed within the tropical regions.[150]

While it is possible that Hubbard may have picked up malaria while in Darwin (a tropical area in northern Australia) for the 1-3 days that he was there in early March 1942, a much more likely setting for Hubbard to have picked up malaria would have been spending several days and nights in the jungles of Java, as Moulton recalled Hubbard describing (see "Combat" section above and Moulton testimony).

To treat malaria, the Army was using experimental dosages of quinine and atabrine in early 1942, and they still had not fully understood how and where the malaria virus remained in the body after treatment, with the malarial symptoms (of catarrhal fever, chills, fatigue, headaches) often recurring weeks, months or years later.  With the form of the malaria virus (P. vivax) that was prevalent in the Asian jungles, it would sometimes become very difficult -- if not impossible -- to detect the virus with the tests available at the time (early 1940s).[151]  The virus would appear in the blood slides, then be treated, then disappear in subsequent tests.  Only to show up again with the exact same tests many weeks or months later, despite no opportunities for re-infection.

Hubbard himself stated in 1954 that he had had malaria, probably referring to  this period during the war:

"They speak very  widely and rather wildly that cinchona bark, known to us better as quinine, is a specific [treatment] for malaria, and is a specific [treatment] in the prevention of malaria; that atabrine is a - is a specific [treatment] in the prevention of malaria. And I've had malaria while full of both of those."[152]

While there are several notations in Hubbard's later medical record that he had had malaria while in the South Pacific (as mentioned above), there are no medical records from the South Pacific period to confirm it.   Based on the running nature of medical logs in most Navy service records, this appears to be an indication that there are missing medical records in Hubbard's Navy service records.  This seems especially noticable between the 24-Nov-1941 and 23-Mar-1942 entries while Hubbard was in the South Pacific.  For example, there are records of a physical exam made on 8-Dec-1941 (just prior to Hubbard's departure to the South Pacific), but the corresponding entries in the running medical log (history) for the physical exam are missing.  Then, on Hubbard's return to the US on 23-Mar-1942, the medical log was inexplicably restarted on "Page 1".  There are several other examples of missing medical records as well.[153]

When Hubbard first returned to the US from the South Pacific, he was hospitalized.  In the medical log, there are notations that he had the primary symptoms of malaria ("CATARRHAL FEVER, ACUTE") but there are no notations that he was actually diagnosed with (or even tested for) malaria by the doctor:[154]

So if he had been diagnosed with malaria, and treated with quinine and atabrine, it would likely have taken place in Australia (though it is also possible that the US doctor simply didn't notate it in the log).   To support this, years later, Hubbard made the following observation about this period:

"they simply reported to Washington, DC that I was in good condition - I was, by the way, walking with a cane. 'I was in good condition.' I couldn't see. I had dark glasses on, but I, you know, I was doing all right in a kind of a dumb sort of way..."[155]

So it seems possible that the above medical log may not have been very complete.  The above 23-Mar-1942 log did mention the "conjunctivae injected" and "head aches" (likely in relation to Hubbard's actinic conjunctivitis), but perhaps when Hubbard tried to complain about other conditions/injuries ("general body pains and aches"), the doctor saw this as "somewhat preoccupied with himself" and may have simply disregarded them, thinking that all the symptoms were related to the catarrhal fever.

In any event, one of the side-effects of quinine and atabrine -- especially in "experimental" doses as were being provided in early 1942[156] -- is gastro-intestinal difficulties.[157]  And in rare cases, some people develop ulcers -- especially from quinine.[158]  Whether as a coincidence, or as a direct result, about a year after returning from the South Pacific, Hubbard had developed a duodenal ulcer, and was hospitalized.[159]

The above conditions -- eye damage, catarrhal fevers, general body aches, pain in feet, ulcer -- continued to plague Hubbard throughout the war.  In 1944, Heinlein noticed that Hubbard was having a hard time walking, when they (and a group of other science fiction luminaries, including Campbell) were working on a special "Japanese kamakazi problem" project for the Chief of Naval Operations on the east coast.[160]  Hubbard would spend weekends at the Heinleins' apartment in Philadelphia with the group (Hubbard was attending the Navy's "School of Military Government" at Princeton University in New Jersey during the weekdays, and would take the train to Philadelphia on weekends), and Heinlein's biographer says Heinlein "was fascinated by Hubbard's larger-than-life quality -- and by the number of wounds he had already taken in his country's service".[161]

In addition to the eye injury (tinted glasses), it must have been apparent that Hubbard damaged his feet, because Heinlein felt guilty making him walk to a friend's nearby apartment to sleep, instead of offering him something closer by.[162]  Medical records also show that an infected bone in Hubbard's hip (possibly shrapnel related) was apparently flaring up around this time, due to the cold climate of the northeast.[163]  At the end of the war, Hubbard also stayed at Heinlein's house for a month in Hollywood, and Heinlein would later refer to Hubbard as a "wounded veteran" in notes/letters of the time.[164]  These were of course all firsthand descriptions, having spent several weeks living with Hubbard.

From looking over Hubbard's Navy medical and service records, however, it appears likely that these early injuries in the South Pacific just festered for Hubbard, and never fully healed.  There is some firsthand evidence that Hubbard may have taken some small bits of shrapnel while in the South Pacific, in his torso and hip.  In addition to the above-mentioned "bone infection in his hip" in his medical records, witnesses also describe Hubbard taking off his shirt during a boisterous conversation around a kitchen table, to show off "scars on his chest", in late 1945 or early 1946.[165]  Another eye-witness account mentions seeing a small piece of shrapnel falling out from under Hubbard's shirt in 1954.[166]

With regard to Hubbard's eyes, it was not just the chronic actinic conjunctivitis that he was contending with -- it was also his overall eyesight.  This had deteriorated substantially over the course of the war.   Though Hubbard was hospitalized primarily for the duodenal ulcer for almost a year in 1945 -- it had flared up again in the Spring of that year -- his medical records at the end of the year (6-Dec-1945) when he was separating from the Navy also indicate the following:[167]

Just before Hubbard entered active service, the same medical summary (22-Sep-1941) looked like this:[168]

When Hubbard moved out of Heinlein's house in Hollywood, CA in late November 1945, and moved into Jack Parson's Pasadena, CA house in December 1945 (after separating from his wife), he was described as wearing dark glasses and using a cane to walk.[169]

Between the moves, Hubbard returned to San Francisco for separation from the Navy.  In the medical log of 28-Nov-1945, it indicates that the doctors (and likely Hubbard himself) were trying to understand his maladies:[170a]

Hubbard was also described by one Veteran's Administration (VA) doctor later in 1946 as walking "with a hobble like gait" among other descriptions:[170b]

Overall, Hubbard's physical condition at the end of the war appears to have been intermittent  -- good some days, bad others.  Some of Hubbard's critics -- despite the above evidence in the records -- concluded that Hubbard must have been lying about his post-war maladies.  To them, Hubbard's eye condition was just "pink eye" and he was faking the rest of his physical conditions -- and so, to them, he was trying to (unfairly) get more VA disability than he was due.   The problem of course is that there are medical logs, pictures and witnesses throughout Hubbard's war years, which show that he returned from the South Pacific with damaged eyes and what appear to be other physical injuries and disease, which never seemed to properly heal. 

In one case, Hubbard was remarking in a lecture in 1951[171] how he was surprised that a burst of adrenaline during a dangerous situation in mid-1945 allowed him to overcome his weakened physical condition, and engage (i.e. fight off) some drunk sailors outside a hotel in Los Angeles.  The critics -- ignoring the medical records, the eye-witnesses, the pictures and even the lecture's context -- saw it as evidence that he was faking it.[172][173]

In another case, some documents called "The Affirmations"[174] have been used by Hubbard's critics to show that, in Hubbard's own secret thoughts, he was faking his conditions.  The documents in fact show just the opposite.  What appear to be Hubbard's private notes during experimental self-hypnosis (undated, but likely from early or mid-1946), they actually show that Hubbard was trying to cure the problems with his eyes, his feet, his hip, and his stomach, using "will power" and positive suggestion.[175]   These documents (if one takes them at face value -- the originals have never been produced)[176] also show that Hubbard thought that he still had malaria after the war (which was called "recurrent malaria" at the time, and was a very common and serious problem among veterans, due to the formative understanding by scientists of the disease, tests and treatment during this period).[177]  Hubbard also refers to himself as a "cripple" in these private papers, which would be unlikely if he was faking it all.

Ultimately, Hubbard's Navy medical records and then the VA examinations were the deciding factors.  The  VA were the final authority as to whether Hubbard's physical conditions were real or not, and which of his injuries/conditions were service-connected and thus to be covered by VA disability.  After several examinations of Hubbard -- taking x-rays, medical tests, and using other measuring devices (calipers) -- they ultimately concluded that he was deserving of 40% disability, for service-connected injuries and conditions. A quarter of the disability was allocated for the eye injury/condition.  It specifically excluded his deteriorating eyesight.  A quarter was for the ulcer (recurrent malaria was not covered).  And the remaining half was for arthritis in the ankles, hip and spine, and bursitis in the shoulder.[178]  Today, doctors generally agree that arthritis and bursitis are often caused by earlier traumatic injury.[179]   As such, it seems likely that the early injuries that Hubbard appears to have gotten in the South Pacific are the causes for the later arthritis and bursitis conditions.

Descriptions in later years

Hubbard would later describe this post-war period as feeling like he "faced an almost nonexistent future".[180]  In addition to his physical condition, as mentioned earlier his marriage was also falling apart.[181]   In 1950, to the national media, Hubbard downplayed his war injuries and maladies, not mentioning the cane which he sometimes used to walk (nor the dark glasses for the eye injury) and simply described his post-war condition as:  "ulcers, conjunctivitis, deteriorating eyesight, bursitis and something wrong with my feet".[182]   In 1965, while reminiscing about his post-war life in his philosophical essay "My Philosophy", he would describe his condition as "blinded with injured optic nerves, and lameSource: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/crippled.htm with physical injuries to hip and back".[183]  The Church of Scientology would later publish this post-war biographical illustration (right) in their "What is Scientology?" book, which depicts Hubbard seated with his back to us, holding a cane.  A neighboring illustration in the same book shows Hubbard with a cane and also wearing tinted glasses.[184]   Based on the known medical records and other evidence, these illustrations are probably fairly accurate depictions of Hubbard's physical condition at the end of the war.

The Strawman Argument

Surprisingly, some critics have veered off the truth, and built up "strawmen arguments" in their take-down of Hubbard's war years.  One very notable case is in relation to the picture on the right.  In attempting to show that Scientology (and Hubbard) were exaggerating Hubbard's degree of being "crippled and blinded" after the war, Owen claims at his website that this illustration is depicting the following:[185]

Source:  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/crippled.htm




The problem of course is that's not what the illustration is depicting. 

As mentioned above, Hubbard is in fact being shown here as one of the "Navy colleagues", seated, with his back to us, holding a cane.  The soldier with the bandage over his eyes and hooked up to an intravenous drip is not Hubbard.  As mentioned, a neighboring illustration in the same book shows Hubbard in the same seated position, still using a cane but also wearing tinted glasses.  The neighboring text in the book provides the context and description.

Based on the medical records, these illustrations actually depict, fairly accurately, what Hubbard's physical condition was probably like at the end of World War II.










What does a fair analysis of the dueling "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" documents reveal?

In his 2011 New Yorker article, repeated again in "Going Clear", author Lawrence Wright describes his research into the two "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" documents of L. Ron Hubbard: one which came from the Church of Scientology and one which originally came from the Navy. In both cases, they were presented to him as the official Separation Documents of L. Ron Hubbard from the Navy after World War II.[186][187]

Per Wright, they both had important differences. Most notably, the church one indicated that Hubbard had been awarded a "Purple Heart (palm)" - which ostensibly implied that Hubbard was wounded in action twice, Wright said - and the other showed no Purple Heart of any kind. Wright said that he and his colleagues dug through Hubbard's Navy service records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), talked to various experts, and decided: the church document is fake. He provided a page on the New Yorker website,[188] which listed out and highlighted the claimed flaws of the Church document. And he provided a copy of the Navy version of the document on the same website, but didn't mention it having any flaws or questions of authenticity.

The truth of the matter is, when one holds the two Naval Separation documents side-by-side, and carefully goes through each of their respective boxes (with a decent understanding of Hubbard's service record in mind), one discovers the following fact: they both are inaccurate and have flaws. And they both have questions of authenticity. Wright didn't mention the following facts with regard to the Navy version of the Separation document in his article or book:

  1. Incorrect Entry Date. The Navy version inaccurately claims that Hubbard entered active service on 24-Nov-1941. The Church version accurately shows an entry date of 22-Sep-1941.
  2. Incomplete Training List.  The Navy version inaccurately only lists one of Hubbard's Navy schools attended (Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC), Miami, Florida). The Church version accurately lists four:
          - Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), New York City.
          - Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC), Miami, Florida.
          - Combat Information Center (CIC), Treasure Island, California.
          - Military Government, Princeton, New Jersey.
  3. No Discharge Payment Amount. The Navy version doesn't provide the amount of payment upon discharge. The Church version does.
  4. Mystery "Expert Rifle & Pistol" Award.  No records exist anywhere in Hubbard's service file which explain where, when or how Hubbard would have earned this (though it may have been among the now-missing documents of the South Pacific period).[189]
  5. No Fingerprint. The Navy version does not have a fingerprint (which even carbon copies were supposed to have). The Church version does.


Navy version                                                               Church version

      (Click HERE for version with comments; HERE for original copy)                                  (Click HERE for version with comments; HERE for original copy)




















It was almost as though the person who compiled the Navy version didn't have Hubbard's complete service records in front of them; and possibly not even Hubbard himself, as there is no fingerprint.

Wright then also provided several points in the New Yorker website which he proposed was further evidence that he felt made the Church version of the Notice of Separation document suspicious.[190] The following are Wright's specific statements. The followup responses in this color are the author's:

Wright: "On the church document, the type is larger and in a different font than is typically seen on Notices of Separation from the end of the Second World War [according to NPRC archivists]."

    • When a brief research was conducted of a small sampling of Navy Separation documents from the end of World War II, several were found which used the same type size and font as the one used by the Church's document. (click image to see samples)


Wright: "Official military documents typically did not have type spilling outside the space provided, as it does here [in the Church document] and in the list of medals below."

    • Again, several Separation documents from the end of World War II were easily found which show the type spilling over the sides of the space provided.  (click image to see samples)


Wright: "Job descriptions should not - and typically do not - appear on a Notice of Separation, according to the archivists. On the document in Hubbard's National Archives file, the information in this box is limited to the vessels and stations on which Hubbard served. The church document, however, includes Hubbard's job titles: 'C.O., (temp.)' and '(Acting Exec).'"

    • It may be true that they "should not - and typically do not", but once again, multiple examples were easily found on other Separation documents of other veterans which include the job descriptions in this box.  (click image to see samples)


Wright: "The U.S.S. Mist was a civilian vessel that was commissioned by the Navy and dubbed U.S.S. YP-422 -- the name that appears in the document from the National Archives."

    • Hubbard's Navy service records (from the National Archives) refer to the ship as the "Mist" as well:


Wright: "The commanding officer who signed this document was 'Howard D. Thompson, Lt. Cmdr.' The Notice of Separation at the National Archives is signed by J. C. Rhodes, the same officer who signed Hubbard's detachment paperwork (p. 3). Hubbard's National Archives file contains a letter, from 2000, to a researcher who had written for more information about Thompson. The letter says that 'there was no Howard D. Thompson listed' in records of commissioned naval officers at the time."

    • It can be confirmed that there was no "Howard D. Thompson, Lt. Cmdr, USNR" in the records of commissioned Naval Reserve officers in 1944 or 1945.
    • There was however a "Howard T. Thompson", a "Howard A. Thompson", and "Howard H.", "Howard O.", "Howard E." and "Howard J." Thompsons. Since documents in the 1940s were often rapidly typed by secretaries, mistakenly hearing "D" instead of "T" in a dictation, or hitting the "D" key (near the "A" key on a typewriter) seems to fall within the realm of possibility.
    • At least one of the above Thompsons is known to have been based in San Francisco (the location where Hubbard was separated from the Navy).
    • As suspicious as this signatory is, it seems premature to conclude that the document is a fake without having gone through the necessary steps to ensure that a different "Howard Thompson" did not sign it.


Wright: "The document provided by the Church of Scientology says that Hubbard received a 'Purple Heart (palm)', which would indicate that he was wounded in action on two separate occasions while in the Navy. The document in the National Archives lists only four service medals (not including a Purple Heart) and Hubbard's military records do not mention any battle wounds. Moreover, if someone was wounded in action more than once, the Navy recognized subsequent wounds with gold and silver stars, not a palm, according to archivists and to John E. Bircher, the spokesman for the Military Order of the Purple Heart."

    • Hubbard's records also don't make mention of where Hubbard might have gotten the "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award, yet the Navy version claims Hubbard received it.
    • Further, there are several issues which Wright does not seem to be aware of with regard to the Purple Heart and Hubbard's service:
      • During the early months of World War II, the Navy did not give out Purple Hearts at all, only the Army did.[191]
      • The Army DID use "leaf clusters" (or perhaps "palm" on some Separation documents) to indicate a second Purple Heart award.[192]
      • Hubbard was in fact formally attached to the US Army in Australia, during the first several weeks of his service in the South Pacific after Pearl Harbor (see "Combat" section).
      • It turns out that the most likely period in which Hubbard would have seen action and was injured was during this period in Australia/South Pacific (see "Combat" section).

Now true enough, the Church version has its own inaccuracies and anomalies -- for example, it shows Hubbard as having a four year degree, when in fact he barely finished two years of college. And it also lists other medals for which there is no corresponding record in Hubbard's Navy file (with the undocumented "Expert Rifle & Pistol" award being a common discrepancy between both versions).  And the Church version has the suspicious signatory of "Howard D. Thompson".

Ultimately, however, both versions have inaccuracies.  And the Navy version, in particular, has questions of completeness.  Therefore, neither version can be relied upon in any meaningful way.  This is especially true if we are to use the Navy version for a complete and accurate list of any awards that Hubbard may have received while in the South Pacific (for which a great deal of documentation is missing - see "Gaps" section above).  In essence, the "Notice of Separation" issue is essentially a red herring argument, drawing attention away from the real issue of whether Hubbard saw combat, was injured and/or received a Purple Heart.

It seems, if we are to approach this with balance, that a "merged version" of the two documents would provide the most accurate and complete summary of Hubbard's World War II service.  As to whether a Purple Heart would be included on that "merged version", arguably more documentation would be needed to do so.  Hubbard certainly was in a position to have seen combat (see "Combat" section above); and he did injure his eyes somehow (see "Injured" section above) and apparently other parts of his body; he may have also taken small pieces of shrapnel. The question of Hubbard's possibly earning the Purple Heart is looked at more closely in the Purple Heart section below.




What happened to Hubbard's service records for the period that he was in the South Pacific? 

As described in the "Gaps" section above, there is a significant gap in Hubbard's service record covering his time in the South Pacific in the months after Pearl Harbor.  Several theories have sprung up over the years as to the fate of Hubbard's service records while he was in the South Pacific.  In the past, Hubbard's critics have generally contended that Hubbard's existing service records were sufficient to explain it all:  that Hubbard was never involved in counter-intelligence activities, was never near combat, never left southern Australia (Brisbane/Melbourne), was never injured, and he simply returned home on a ship (not a plane) shortly after he arrived.  

We now know, based on the above, that all of these conclusions are false. 

There are records of Hubbard's counter-intelligence activities, records that he was in a combat zone, medical records of injury, and evidence that he was flown home.  All of this evidence also tends to support Hubbard's statements in his service record shortly after returning from the South Pacific, that he was a "combat intelligence officer" for at least part of the time while he was in the South Pacific.

Hubbard military researcher, the late L. Fletcher Prouty, seemed to believe in 1985 that the Navy was holding out on releasing the rest of Hubbard's service files, believing that there was a "second record" which would fill in all the gaps.  While documents like the "Promotion History" card seems to have surfaced in the last ten years or so (in Hubbard's service record), there doesn't seem to have been a full "second record" that has ever surfaced.

While it would certainly be helpful if a "second record" would surface as to Hubbard's activities while in the South Pacific, the reality is:  many veterans' service records have gaps.  Missing records, especially from World War II, just come with the territory.  It is common. There has been, in fact, a very large problem over the years with regard to evidence for "missing records" among Army veterans, when it comes to VA benefits, recognition and awards such as the Purple Heart.[193]

With that said, there is also no question that Hubbard was an intelligence officer during the period for which the largest gap exists in his record.  And there is also no question that the bulk of the discrepancies were/are centered around that period.  Some of these discrepancies are now starting to get cleared up, as (hopefully) shown in these pages.  His flight home from the South Pacific, for example, may have been due to intelligence activities, and may have also been ordered verbally leaving behind very few records.

One theory, as to the fate of some of Hubbard's service records for the period that he was in the South Pacific, is that they were lost in the 1973 National Archives fire which destroyed many millions of veterans' records. Specifically, on 12-Jul-1973, a fire destroyed 16-18 million Army and Air Force veteran's service records in the National Personnel Records Center Source: http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/nara-logo.jpgof the National Archives in St. Louis, MO, including veterans' records from World War II.[194] While Hubbard was never actually a member of the Army, he was formally attached to the Army while in Australia. As such, there may have been a personnel file created for him separate from his normal Navy file. Normally, disparate files such as these would have all been collected up over the years, and eventually incorporated into one common "veterans service file".[195] If an Army file had been created for Hubbard, but had not yet made its way to his main Navy file, then it's possible that it could have been lost in the 1973 fire of Army records.

Fortunately, a World War II veteran's service record is not the only record of a veteran's activities while in the service.  This is especially true for officers (such as Hubbard), who often are specifically named in correspondence, movement records, rosters, etc.  There are millions and millions of military records in the National Archives, which often provide additional evidence of various activities of officers (and even in some cases "enlisted men") outside their normal service record.  This has already been used to fill in some of the gaps for Hubbard's World War II service above.  It is hoped that future research into these records, will continue to do so.




Is there evidence that Hubbard received a Purple Heart award during World War II?

There is evidence in Hubbard's service record that he was injured (see "Injured" section above) in the South Pacific in early 1942.  There is also evidence that he was in a combat zone in northern Australia (Darwin) on the day that the Japanese attacked (see "Combat" section above) on 4-Mar-1942.  There is also circumstantial evidence that he may have gone to the combat-heavy Java during the last two weeks of Feburary 1942.  Generally speaking, the Purple Heart Source: http://www.45thdivision.org/Pictures/General_Knowlege/RankMedalsPatches/Medals/PurpleW1Oak.jpgaward was given to servicemen if they were injured as a result of combat.  If the serviceman was injured a second time in combat, and was part of the Army, they would have been given a "leaf cluster" (perhaps sometimes called "palm" on some records) to signify a second injury.

Without knowing the specifics of how and where (geographically) Hubbard was injured -- and whether he actually saw combat while in a combat zone -- it is difficult to say with absolute certainty that he would have been awarded (or been eligible for) the Purple Heart. (He was attached to the Army at the time, so "Purple Heart (palm)" may have been an appropriate Army designation on his Navy separation papers.)

There are, however, a few additional factors which should be understood with regard to the Purple Heart award.  The specific and formal rules of eligibility for being awarded the Purple Heart (i.e. injury during combat) were not in fact adopted for the Purple Heart until September 1942 and later.[196]  Prior to that, some servicemen (in the Army) were awarded the Purple Heart for particularly meritorious service alone -- independent of injury, or independent of their having seen combat.[197]  The Navy did not begin awarding the Purple Heart at all until late 1942.[198]

In other words, Hubbard could have received the award in early 1942 without even being injured.  He could have received it for "meritorious service".

In one version of Hubbard's "Notice of Separation from the U.S. Naval Service" document (the church version), a "Purple Heart (palm)" is listed under awards and decorations.  The Navy version of the same document does not list it.  While there are noted inaccuracies in the church version of the Separation document, the Navy version is noted for being woefully incomplete (see "Notice of Separation" section above).

Given the fact that it can be documented that Hubbard injured his eyes and was in a combat zone while in the South Pacific (see "Combat" and "Injured" sections above), it is within the realm of possibility that Hubbard may have been awarded the Purple Heart by the Army during the February/March 1942 period (while he was attached to the US Army Forces in Australia).[199]  If so, the records for the award may have gotten lost along with other records from this period, such as those for the "Expert Rifle and Pistol" award (see earlier "Gaps" section).

In order to fully confirm (or disprove) an award of the Purple Heart, however, additional documentation would need to be located regarding Hubbard's specific activities while in the South Pacific.




Hubbard's Navy service record (as today supplied by the National Personnel Records Center [NPRC] of the the National Archives) is demonstrably incomplete, and in certain cases also provides false and inaccurate information with regard to Hubbard's actual activities during World War II. This is especially true for the South Pacific period, during which he was a Naval intelligence officer and also attached to the US Army. In all likelihood, most of these incomplete and inaccurate records are due to administrative oversight and error. There may have also been intelligence-related activites which affected certain documents.  And some records may have been lost in the 1973 NPRC fire of Army personnel records.

If one relies solely on Hubbard's service record from the NPRC to understand Hubbard's military career in the Navy (as most earlier Hubbard researchers and biographers appear to have done), one will be left with an inaccurate and incomplete picture of Hubbard's World War II years. One must look into the military, travel and other records of the National Archives (as well as other reliable sources) in order to get a more complete and accurate picture of Hubbard's Navy service. This is especially true as it pertains to accurately answering the questions surrounding the South Pacific period, i.e. the truth behind whether Hubbard was flown home in the Spring of 1942, whether he was injured, and whether he saw combat.

When more extensive research was conducted into these areas, it was found that Hubbard was in fact flown home from the South Pacific (as he had claimed), did in fact sustain injuries while in the South Pacific (including being "blinded" by something which physically damaged his eyes), and was sent into an area where he may have seen combat. The injuries, combined with a later duodenal ulcer, left Hubbard in a debilitated condition after the war. As a result, the Veteran's Administration considered him 40% disabled, after World War II, after conducting physical exams and tests.



Note: If you have read this article, and wish to join in the conversation about it, please visit:




[1] Miller, Russell, "Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard" (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1987).

[2] Atack, Jon, "A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed" (New York: A Lyle Stuart book, 1990).

[3] Owen, Chris, "Ron the 'War Hero'" web pages (1999), online at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/warhero/ pulled on March 12, 2013.

[4] Wright, Lawrence, "The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology", New Yorker magazine, 14-Feb-2011, online at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright.

[5] Wright, Lawrence, "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief" (New York: Knopf, 2013).

[6] The author of this article can be reached at mesamarg @ gmail.com.

[7] "L. Ron Hubbard Navy service records", National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO (copies provided in 2011), Correspondence section. The NPRC is part of the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration (aka NARA aka "National Archives").  Hubbard's service records from the NPRC can be found here.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid, Service Records section.

[10a] Hubbard was initially rejected on 19-Nov-1945 for a promotion to Lt. Commander based on being physically disqualifed (see this document), however a later letter dated 25-Jun-1947 authorized his temporary promotion to Lt. Commander effective 3-Oct-1945, and was then later made permanent by authority of a Secretary of the Navy letter dated 3-Jun-1948, as noted in the far right column of Hubbard's Promotion History Card (technically known as the "Officer Precedence Record") in Hubbard's Navy service file.

[11] Ibid, Correspondence section (see letters here).

[12] Ibid (see letter here).

[13] Ibid, Service Records section.

[14] Ibid, Correspondence section.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid; also missing is Hubbard's assignment to the Hydrographic Office for two weeks in Sep-1941.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Miller.

[18a] Sappell, Joel and Welkos, Robert, "The Scientology Story: The Mind Behind the Religion", Los Angeles Times, 24-Jun-1990, online at http://web.archive.org/web/20080612145705/http://www.latimes.com/business/la-scientology062490,0,2050131,full.story.

[19] Atack, pg. 86 (PDF version); "Hubbard became a Lieutenant senior grade. This was the highest rank he achieved".

[20] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 36, "in April 1943 ... he was actually not yet a full lieutenant".

[21] Most travel records from the National Archives are no longer available as paper records, but were microfilmed and are now available at the various National Archives research locations around the country.  See http://www.archives.gov/locations/ for addresses.  Two of the National Archives' online partner sites, http://www.fold3.com and http://www.ancestry.com, have also been putting many of these and other military and public National Archives records online.  Most are digitally searchable.  These sites generally require a for-pay membership in order to access their records, though some libraries and all National Archives research locations provide access for free.

[22] "Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong" ("CSC v Armstrong"), Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. C 420153 (1982-).  Many (though not all) of these records are available online at http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/a1/.

[23] Prouty, L. Fletcher (US Army Colonel, ret'd), "Prouty Affidavit" for the Church of Scientology, February 1985. Available online at http://scientologymyths.com/prouty-affidavit.htm.

[24] Hubbard Navy service records, Medical Records section.

[25] Prouty Affidavit.

[26] Packard, Wyman H. (US Navy Captain, ret'd), "A Century of U.S. Naval Intelligence", A Joint Publication of the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Naval Historical Center (Department of the Navy, Washington, 1996);  pp. 334-335.  The 16xx routing designation can also be found in many hard-copy intelligence-related memos in the Navy records of the National Archives.

[27] Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[28] Ibid, Efficiency Records section.

[29] Ibid, Service Records section.

[30] CSC v Armstrong; Frank K. Flynn testimony, 1-Jun-1984. 

[31] Owen, "Conclusions" page.

[32] "Causey memo", Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[33] Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[34] As one example, the USS POLK, which took Hubbard from San Francisco to Brisbane in Dec-1941/Jan-1942, was considered a "fast ship" at the time by Washington (see http://ozatwar.com/pensacola.htm).  Before it arrived in New Zealand, it did not make any stops and was not in convoy; it left San Francisco in the early morning hours of 19-Dec-1941 and rushed to Wellington, New Zealand, arriving on 6-Jan-1942 -- 18.5 days later; it then took 3-4 days to get to Brisbane (Bartsch, William H., "Everyday a Nightmare: American Pursuit Pilots in the Defense of Java, 1941-1942", [Texas A&M University Press, 2010]).

[35] "USS NEW ORLEANS War Diary, March 1942" in the "World War II War Diaries" of Record Group 38, "Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1875-2006", National Archives; also online at http://www.fold3.com/image/#267903716.

[36] Miller, Chapter 6, "The Hero Who Never Was".

[37] Atack, Part 2, Chapter 3, "Hubbard as Hero".

[38] Owen, "Naval Intelligence" page.

[39] Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid, Medical Records section.

[42] See USS POLK example above.

[43] Hubbard Navy service records, Medical Records section.

[44] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, 1893-1953", National Archives, Microfilm Publication number M1410, USS CHAUMONT records. Available online at ancestry.com, in the "Immigration and Travel" section.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] "CinCPAC War Diary, March 1942", from National Archives microfilm "World War II War Diaries, 1941-1945", roll A15. Available online at fold3.com in "World War II, War Diaries" section.

[48] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Francisco, CA, 1893-1953", Microfilm Publication number M1410, M/S PENNANT records, National Archives, Record Group 85. Available online at ancestry.com in the "Immigration and Travel" section.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid, M/S ALCOA PENNANT records; also "CinCPAC War Diary, March 1942" in National Archives and fold3.com.

[51] "PHILIPPINE CLIPPER" airplane records in "Index to Vessels Arriving in San Francisco, 1882-1957", Microfilm Publication Number M1437, Record Group 85, National Archives.

[52] "CHINA CLIPPER" airplane passenger records, 22-Apr-1942, showing US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz aboard, "Passenger Lists of Airplanes Departing from Honolulu, Hawaii, January 27, 1942-July 1, 1948", Microfilm Publication Number A3392, Record Group 85, National Archives; also available online at ancestry.com.

[53] "YANKEE CLIPPER" airplaine passenger records, 8-Mar-1942, showing US Navy Admiral Thomas Hart aboard, "Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957", Microfilm Publication Number T715, Record Group 85, National Archives; also available online at ancestry.com.

[54] "NC-18609" airplane passenger records, 28-Mar-1942, showing intelligence officer Roger D. Wolcott aboard, "Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957", Microfilm Publication Number T715, Record Group 85, National Archives; also available online at ancestry.com.

[55] Declassified intelligence memo dated 12-Jan-1942 sending intelligence officer Lt. Cassady "carrying very important and highly confidential pouches for both the State Department and ONI" from New York to France on trans-Atlantic PanAir flight via Bermuda, Record Group 80, "Secretary of the Navy / Chief Naval Officer Formerly Classified Correspondence, 1940 - 1947", Box 458, National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[56] "Index to Correspondence in the Office File of Frank Knox, 1940-1944", from Boxes 1-14, Record Group 80, National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[59] "John O'Keefe Obituary", Chicago Tribune, 9-Feb-1992, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-02-09/news/9201120771 pulled 14-Mar-2013 (also available here).

[60] Letter of Recommendation from Congressman Warren G. Magnuson, 8-Apr-1941, Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section.

[61] Letter of Recommendation from Congressman Robert M. Ford, 1-May-1941 (this letter is not in Hubbard's Navy service records; apparently written by Hubbard at Ford's request, and signed by Ford [see Miller, p. 66]; original source of document appears to be Hubbard's personal archives, retrieved by Gerry Armstrong).

[62] Reitman, Janet, "Inside Scientology", (New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2011), p. 11;  Wright, "Going Clear", p. 34.

[63] Hubbard claimed in at least two lectures in the 1950s, to have been flown home from the South Pacific in the Secretary of the Navy's plane in the Spring of 1942, specifically lectures dated 7-Feb-1956 called "The Game of Life", and  8-Nov-1956 called "Definition of Organization, Part I" (transcript excerpts).

[64] See for example:  Warren, James R., "The War Years: A Chronicle of Washington State in World War II", (University of Washington Press, 2000), p. 208; Juettner, Bonnie, "100 Native Americans Who Changed American History", (Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2005), p. 76.

[65] Airplane passenger lists from 1942, Record Group 85, National Archives.  Many now available online at ancestry.com in the "Immigration and Travel" section.

[65a] Cable from Hubbard/Johnson to CinC Asiatic, "Adjutant General, Outgoing Messages, 1941-1942", Box 1172, Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[66] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section, Promotion Card, promotion to full Lieutenant effective 15-Jun-1942.  (Note: Records for the promotion on 15-Jun-1942 do not exist in Hubbard's service record, though correspondence in early 1943 indicates that Hubbard had accepted it in mid-1942.  This promotion may have been due, in part, to Hubbard having met certain qualifications based on a general Navy order ALNAV-120; the promotion was recommended by his commanding officer in the Cable Censor office in New York in mid-1942, according to 1943 correspondence in Hubbard's Navy service records.) 

[67] Matloff M., Snell E. M., "United States Army in World War II, The War Department, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942" (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1992), Chapters V, available online at http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-WD-Strategic1/index.html.

[68] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section.

[69] Ibid, see this document.

[70] Ibid, see this document.

[71] "Name and Subject Index to the General Correspondence to the Secretary of the Navy, 1930-1942 (also includes Office of Chief of Naval Operations)", Microfilm Publication M1067, National Archives I, Washington, DC.

[72] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section.

[73] "USS NEW ORLEANS War Diary, March 1942", National Archives.

[74] Hubbard lecture, 8-Nov-1956, "Definition of Organization, Part I".

[75] Hubbard lecture, 7-Feb-1956, "The Game of Life".

[76] CSC v Armstrong; Frank K. Flynn testimony, 1-Jun-1984.

[77] CSC v Armstrong; Thomas S. Moulton testimony, 21-May-1984.

[78] Ibid.

[78a] Map from http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/BBBO/BBBO-3.html (pulled on 14-Mar-2013).

[79] Matloff, Snell, Chapters IV-VII; Naval History Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, "UNITED STATES NAVAL CHRONOLOGY, WORLD WAR II" (Washingon DC: US Government Printing Office, 1955), 1941-1942, available online at http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/chr/chrface.html.

[80] Owen, "Naval Intelligence" page.

[81] Owen, "Crippled and Blinded" page.

[82] Owen, "Intelligence Connection" page.

[83] Owen, "Crippled and Blinded" page.

[84] Owen, "Naval Intelligence" page.

[85] Kehn Jr., Donald M., "A Blue Sea of Blood: Deciphering the Mysterious Fate of the USS Edsall" (Zenith Press, 2009).

[86] Owen, "Naval Intelligence" page; Atack, p. 85 (PDF version).

[87] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 34.

[88] Hubbard Navy service records, Service Records section, "Causey memo" dated 14-Feb-1942.

[89] "Hubbard Report to Army Col. Alexander L.P. Johnson, 3-Feb-1942", from Owen's website (this document is not in Hubbard's Navy service file, and it presumably came from Gerry Armstrong, who presumablly retrieved it from Hubbard's personal archives).

[90] Ibid.

[91] Williford, Glenn M., "Racing the SUNRISE: Reinforcing America's Pacific Outposts, 1941-1942" (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010), Ch. 5.

[92] Hubbard Report to Johnson; and Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II in College Park, MD.

[93] Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II,  College Park, MD.

[94] Dunn, Peter, "Australia @ War" website, http://www.ozatwar.com/usarmy/basesection1.htm (2011) pulled 14-Mar-2013; also Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[95] RG 495, National Archives, Jan-Mar 1942 correspondence.

[96] Ibid.

[97] Ibid; and Hubbard Report to Johnson.

[98] Hubbard report to Johnson.

[99] Causey memo.

[100] RG 495, National Archives, Jan-Mar 1942 movement records.

[101] USS NEW ORLEANS War Diary; Memo showing Naval Observer as "Commander", Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section; Commander Paul S. Slawson and his staff replaced Hubbard as the "US Naval Liaison Officer" and "Naval Observer" for Brisbane, upon Hubbard's departure in mid-March 1942, "Paul S. Slawson Navy service records", National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO.

[102] Hart, Adm. Thomas H., "Narrative of events, Asiatic Fleet leading up to War & from 12/8/41 to 2/15/42", "World War II War Diaries, compiled 12/07/1941-12/31/1945", Record Group 38, National Archives, available online at fold3.com

[103] "COMANZAC War Diary, 3/23-31/42", "World War II War Diaries, 1941-1945", Microfilm Roll A19, Record Group 38, National Archives; also available online at the National Archives partner site, fold3.com, at: http://www.fold3.com/image/#268226393.

[104] Lundstrom, John B., "Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal" (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2006), Ch. 6; Hart's War Diary; NAVY CHRONOLOGY; Glassford, R. Adm. William, "Narrative of events in the South-West Pacific from 14 Feb to 5 Apr 1942", "World War II War Diaries, compiled 12/07/1941-12/31/1945", Record Group 38, National Archives, available online at fold3.com.

[105] Ibid.

[106] "COMANZAC War Diary, 3/23-31/43".

[107] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section.

[107a] Cable from CNO, "Foreign Intelligence Branch, Correspondence with Naval Attaches, Observers, & Liaison Officers 1930-1948, Cairo to Caracus", Box 4, Record Group 38 "Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Office of Naval Intellgience", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[108] The fact that Hubbard was involved in counter-espionage, was the "Naval Observer" as well as "Naval Liaison Officer" in Brisbane, and was also sent into a combat zone -- all of which have been discovered from National Archives military records outside Hubbard's service record (War Diaries, RG 495, et al) -- suggests that the order(s) that Hubbard received from the COMANZAC were likely in relation to expanding Hubbard's duties. Further this CNO document, and additional documents in the National Archives and at NPRC (Slawson Navy service record), show that Hubbard's duties as the "Naval Observer" and "Naval Liaison Officer" were turned over to a Navy Commander, Lieutenant and several other men upon his (Hubbard's) departure.

[109] Kehn, p. 109.

[110] "Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 01/01/1939 - 01/01/1949", Record Group 24, National Archives II, College Park, MD; also online at ancestry.com.

[111] Ibid; and Kehn, p. 109.

[112] CSC v Armstrong; Thomas S. Moulton testimony, 21-May-1984.

[113] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section, 1943 Australian machine-gun despatch.

[114] See http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_5-62_mk3.htm and http://www.vickersmachinegun.org.uk/ (the "Gun, Machine, Vickers .5-inch, Mk. III" selection in the "The Guns" section).

[115] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section, 1942 Request for Sea Duty.

[116] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section.

[117] Ibid, Service Records section, 1942 Ryders correspondence.

[118] "Adjutant General, Outgoing Messages, 1941-1942", Box 1172, Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[119] "Adjutant General, General Correspondence, 1942-1946", Box 190, Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[120] Dunn website, "Air Raids on Australia" page, online at http://www.ozatwar.com/japsbomb/bomb08.htm; also Record Group 495, National Archives contains several references to this attack. Additional details of this attack, however, were never fully understood until the Japanese records were later analyzed and summarized, as available at the ozatwar.com site. In general however, this attack is still not very well documented, overshadowed by the much larger Darwin attack on 19-Feb-1942, which took several hundred lives. Several books have been written on the 19-Feb-1942 attack, dubbed "The Pearl Harbor of Australia".

[121] Record Group 495 "Records of Headquarters, United States Army Forces, Western Pacific (World War II)", National Archives II, College Park, MD.

[122] Dunn website, "Air Raids on Australia" page, online at http://www.ozatwar.com/japsbomb/bomb08.htm; also Record Group 495, National Archives contains several references to this attack.

[123] Miller, p. 100.  (No mention is made by Miller of actinic conjunctivitis; Miller also makes no connection between Hubbard's "mysterious dark glasses" and the UV eye damage [i.e. actinic conjunctivitis] documented throughout Hubbard's Navy medical records, beginning with medical records shortly after his return from the South Pacific.)

[124] Atack, p 88.  (Atack does not seem to be aware that actinic conjunctivitis is not "pink-eye". Atack states: "Hubbard attributed his visual trouble to 'excessive tropical sunlight.' The real problem was a recurrence of his conjunctivitis."  Atack does not seem to recognize that there are distinct differences between what causes "conjunctivitis" [a bacterial/viral infection] and "actinic conjunctivitis" [UV damage to the eye].)

[125] Owen, "Crippled and Blinded" section. (Owen: "It would seem that Hubbard's case of conjunctivitis, aka 'pink-eye', was transformed in his own mind into a war injury."  Owen mistakenly confuses "actinic conjunctivits" with "pink-eye".)

[126] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 35.

[127] Conjunctivitis is defined as: "Conjunctivitis is swelling (inflammation) or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids (conjunctiva)", and in "Causes, incidence and risk factors" it states: "There are many causes of conjunctivitis. Viruses are the most common cause. Viral conjuctivitis is referred to as 'pink eye'", (Source: A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia), from "PubMed Health" website, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002005/ pulled 15-Mar-2013.

[128] Actinic conjunctivitis is defined as "an inflammation of the eye contracted from prolonged exposure to actinic (ultraviolet) rays", (Source: "Actinic Conjunctivitis", Miller, Vandome, McBrewster [2010]).  Synonyms include: photokeratitis, solar photoophthalmia, UV-keratitis, actinic keratitis, and photokeratoconjunctivitis (See: Young, Richard W., "The Family of Sunlight-Related Eye Diseases", Optometry & Vision Science, 71(2):125-144, February 1994, online at http://journals.lww.com/optvissci/toc/1994/02000synonyms and "damage to eye" in relation to severity are in the "Photokeratitis" section of Young paper:  "Damage occurs primarily in the superficial epithelial cell but, as severity increases, it extends to the stromal keratocytes and corneal endothelium" and "It was previously thought that complete recovery from photokeratitis was the rule, but this recent evidence of keratocyte and endothelial cell injury and death indicates that permanent damage may result".)

[129] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section.  See the 11-May-1942 medical notes, 18-Jun-1942 physical exam15-Jul-1943 medical notes28-Nov-1945 medical notes and ultimately the Summary section of the 1945 Physical Exam.

[130] Young; Roberts, Joan E., "Ocular phototoxicity", Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 64 (2001) 136 - 143, (online at: http://faculty.fordham.edu/jroberts/JPP%20oct%20phto.pdf); Yen, YL, et al, "Photokeratoconjunctivitis caused by different light sources", American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2004 Nov;22(7):511-5, (online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15666251); also, see final notes in the "Actinic conjunctivitis" entry above.

[131] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section. See the 9-May to 11-May-1942 medical log entries.

[132] Young; Roberts; Yen.

[133] See especially Young above under "Actinic conjunctivitis" entry. Also Roberts; Yen; Brozen, Reed MD, and Kulkarni, Rick MD, "Ultraviolet Keratitis" (2011) article at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/799025-overview#a0104.

[134] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section. See 15-May-1942 medical log entry.

[135] Ibid; see also 15-Jul-1943 P.E. medical log entry, 28-Nov-1945 medical log entry and 5-Dec-1945 medical summary section.

[136] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 42.

[137] CSC v Armstrong; Thomas S. Moulton testimony, 21-May-1984.

[137a]  The author's personal correspondence with Paulette Cooper in 2012; in 2012, Cooper didn't believe the story.

[137b]  Cooper, Paulette, "The Scandal of Scientology", (New York: Tower Publications, 1971), Chapter 20.

[138] "SUN SPOTS", Vol. 6, No. 3, Apr-May 1942, editors Gerry de la Ree, Jr. & Roderick Gaetz (New Jersey: Solar Press, 1942).

[139] Chapdelaine, Perry A. (editor) et al, "The John W. Campbell Letters, Volume I" (Fairview, TN: AC Projects, 1985), letter from Campbell to Hubbard dated 5-Apr-1938 shows nature of their early friendship.

[140] Patterson Jr., William H., "Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1, 1907-1948: Learning Curve" (New York: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 2010), p. 308 - "Campbell wrote [Heinlein] in mid-May [1942] that L. Ron Hubbard was in New York, wounded, and he might be available".

[141] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section, 9-May-1942 document.

[142] Ibid, Medical Records section, 11-May-1942 medical log entry.

[143] CSC v Armstrong, Thomas S. Moulton testimony.

[144] Ibid.

[145] Hart's War Diary; Glassford War Diary; NAVAL CHRONOLOGY.

[146] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, 5-Dec-1942 medical summary section.

[147] Ibid, 15-Jul-1943 medical log.

[148] "Where Malaria Occurs" (2010) in Malaria section of "Center for Disease Control and Prevention" website, http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/distribution.html.

[149] Walker, Allan S., "Australia in the War of 1939 - 1945. Series 5 - Medical - Volume Vol 1" (Sydney: Halstead Press, 1952), see "Section 1 - Infection Diseases (b) Vector-borne Group, Chapter 7 - Malaria", online at http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/volume.asp?levelID=67921.

[150] Ibid, p. 76, see map of malarial areas in the Southwest Pacific in early 1942.

[151] Joy, Robert J. T., "Malaria in American Troops in the South and Southwest Pacific in World War II", Medical History, 1999, 43: 192-207, online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1044732/pdf/medhist00019-0044.pdf.

[152] Hubbard lecture, 6-Dec-1954, "Havingness".

[153] Several examples of missing medical records exist in Hubbard's service file: (a) A Physical Exam was given on 19-Jul-1941, but a corresponding mention of this Physical Exam does not exist in the running medical log/history pages in Hubbard's service file (as it does with most other Physical Exams); (b) The 24-Nov-1941 medical log entry (for a matching Physical Exam) is the final entry before Hubbard left the US, however there was a Physical Exam on 8-Dec-1941 which does not exist (any longer) in the running medical log pages -- the relevant medical log pages appear to be missing; (c) No medical records exist (any longer) for Hubbard's time outside the US, despite later references to Hubbard's having gotten malaria and injuring his eyes and his foot while in the South Pacific; (d) The medical log was re-started when Hubbard returned from the South Pacific for some reason, i.e. it says "Page 1" on 23-Mar-1942 (despite there being earlier pages from before his departure); (e) There is a reference to a Physical Exam in the medical log pages for 28-Dec-1943, but no Physical Exam of this date exists in Hubbard's medical records; (f) There is also a reference to a Physical Exam in the medical log pages for 23-Nov-1944, but no Physical Exam of this date exists in Hubbard's medical records.

[154] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, 23-Mar-1942 medical history/log.

[155] Hubbard lecture, 7-Feb-1956, "The Game of Life".

[156] Brodie, B. B., Udenfriend, S., "The estimation of Atabrine in biological fluids and tissues", Journal of Biological Chemistry, 151(1): 299-317.

[157] Medical Research Council on Malaria, "Mepacrine for Malaria", British Medical Journal, 1944 November 18; 2(4376): 664, online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2286849/?page=1.

[158] Private conversation with MD and anti-malarial specialist.

[159] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, 15-Jul-1943 medical log.

[160] Patterson, p. 335.

[161] Patterson, p. 336.

[162] Patterson, p. 563.

[163] "Hubbard Appeal to the Veteran's Administration", 4-Jul-1946, from Owen's website (this document is not in Hubbard's Navy service file, and it presumably came from Gerry Armstrong, who presumablly retrieved it from Hubbard's personal archives), pulled 14-Mar-2013.

[164] Patterson, p. 409.

[165] Pendle, George, "Strange Angel: The Otherwordly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons" (Orlando, FL: Harcourt Books, 2005), pp. 253-254.

[166] Miller, p. 181.  (Note:  Shrapnel working its way out of World War II veterans' bodies years, even decades, later is not as unusual as it might sound; see this and this article for recent examples.)

[167] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, 5-Dec-1945 medical summary section.

[168] Ibid, 22-Sep-1941 medical summary section.

[169] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 43.

[170a] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, Aug-Dec 1945 medical notes.

[170b] "Veteran's Administration Physical Exam of Hubbard", dated 19-Sep-1946, from Owen's website (this document does not exist in Hubbard's Navy service record; presumably originally from Gerry Armstrong, who presumably retrieved it from Hubbard's personal archives.)

[171] Hubbard lecture, 23-Jul-1951, "Basic Processing - Science of Perceptics".

[172] Atack, p. 98.

[173] Owen, "Blinded and Crippled" section.

[174] "The Affirmations", said to be written by Hubbard shortly after the war, come from Gerry Armstrong.  Armstrong says he retrieved these undated, unsigned documents from Hubbard's personal archives -- with Hubbard's blessing (see CSC v Armstrong) -- for biographical research in the early 1980s.  Armstrong was a former Hubbard archivist.  Parts were entered into the Church of Scientology vs. Armstrong trial in the 1980s by Armstrong, and the Church treated them as authentic documents (at the time).  In all likelihood, they are authentic and were written by Hubbard in the early- to mid-1946 timeframe.  Originals, however, have not surfaced (nor have copies of originals), so we rely on Armstrong to have faithfully typed them up based on what he says were hand-written copies of originals.  Based on their contents, the documents appear to have been written at a time that Hubbard later considered to be one of the lowest points in his life, when he was trying to heal himself and rise above life's difficulties.  They were likely given by Hubbard to his biographers in 1980 to help them understand Hubbard's journey, showing his struggles at a time that he later described as "facing an almost non-existent future".  Armstrong would later use their very personal and often self-contradictory nature to attempt to tear down Hubbard.

     The content of "The Affirmations" is an amalgamation of Hubbard's experimentation with self-hypnosis and positive suggestion after the war, often written as stream-of-consciouness, life-reflection and perhaps just fantasy and whim.  "The Affirmations" were written during a time in Hubbard's life when he was trying to rebuild his life, find a footing again as a successful fantasy writer, and also trying to cure himself of physical and emotional maladies after the war.  While many parts of the documents are self-contradictory (most likely as a result of their being a mixture of random thoughts, story ideas and real life experiences), they also portray an individual trying to come to terms with life's ups-and-downs and the psycho-spiritual experiences/abilities which he seems to have had in his life. For example, "The Affirmations" make reference to Hubbard's unpublished "Excalibur" which he wrote in 1938 (described as "The One Command" in "The Affirmations") which was later said to be inspired by an out-of-body/spiritual/near-death experience that Hubbard had had during a 1937 dental operation (see Wright, "Going Clear", pp. 28-30; also in Hubbard's own words at this link).  In terms of how "The Affirmations" relate to the validity of Hubbard's war injuries and maladies, "The Affirmations" show that Hubbard -- in his own private thoughts -- in fact considered them very real and debilitating.

[175] Ibid.

[176] Ibid, see Armstrong preface to documents.

[177] Joy.

[178] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Medical Records section, 1948 VA letter.

[179] Cleveland Clinic website (2010), article on "Post-traumatic Arthritis":  "Post-traumatic arthritis is caused by the wearing out of a joint that has had any kind of physical injury. The injury could be from sports, a vehicle accident, a fall, a military injury, or any other source of physical trauma."  http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/arthritis/hic-post-traumatic-arthritis.aspx

[180] Hubbard, L. Ron, "My Philosophy", 1965.

[181] Miller, p. 109.

[182] "Dianetics: Science or Hoax?", LOOK magazine, 5-Dec-1950.

[183] Hubbard, "My Philosophy".

[184] "What is Scientology?", Church of Scientology (1992), pp. 120-121.  (Second picture online at  http://web.archive.org/web/20000306083647/http://scientology.org/wis/wiseng/wis1-3/wis3_1s.htm.)

[185] Owen, "Crippled and Blinded" section.

[186] Wright, "The Apostate".

[187] Wright, "Going Clear", p. 351.

[188] See http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/02/l-ron-hubbard-leaves-the-navy.html.

[189] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section, this document in Hubbard's service record in which he requests sea duty in mid-1942 makes note of "recent experience with small arms (qualified)", suggesting that he may have gotten the award in the South Pacific/Australia in early 1942.

[190] See http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/02/l-ron-hubbard-leaves-the-navy.html.

[191] "National Purple Heart Hall of Honor" website, History section, http://www.thepurpleheart.com/history/; "The Institute of Heraldry" website, Purple Heart section, http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Awards/purple_heart.aspx.

[192] "Department of Defense, MANUAL NUMBER 1348.33, Volume 3, November 23, 2010", online at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833vol3.pdf.

[193] See for example http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?/topic/16923-locating-missing-service-medical-records/, http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/453198221 and http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/26/nation/la-na-filipino-vets-20130127.

[194] "The 1973 Fire, National Personnel Records Center", National Archives, online at http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/fire-1973.html.

[195] Based on personal conversations with archivists at the National Archives.

[196] "National Purple Heart Hall of Honor" website, History section, http://www.thepurpleheart.com/history/; "The Institute of Heraldry" website, Purple Heart section, http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/Awards/purple_heart.aspx.

[197] Ibid.

[198] Ibid.

[199] Hubbard Navy service records (NPRC), Service Records section.  See 23-Mar-1942 Compliance report.


Image Sources







Grateful acknowledgement must be made to the following individuals and organizations, without whose earlier work and/or assistance, the above would not have been possible:


William H. Bartsch                             National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) locations in:

Peter Dunn                                              Washington, DC         San Bruno, CA

Mike Rinder                                              College Park, MD        Riverside, CA

Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, US Army                  (and the very helpful archivists at each of them)

Chris Owen                                     National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), St. Louis, MO

Lawrence Wright                              Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Russell Miller                                    US Air Force Historical Research Agency, Washington, DC

William H. Patterson, Jr.                     ancestry.com

Gerry Armstrong                               fold3.com

Ken Urquhart                                   The editors at malaria.com

George Pendleton                             US Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL

Capt. Shelby L. Stanton, US Army       The contributors at Australlia @ War (ozatwar.com website)

Jon Atack                                       The "Pacific War 1941-1945" discussion forum at network54.com

Mark "Marty" Rathbun                        

Donald M. Kehn

Capt. Wyman H. Packard, US Navy


...and so many others too numerous to mention.  Thank you.                                               



Debbie Coo

k Speaks Out