Testimony of Thomas S. Moulton, Church of Scientology v. Armstrong,
21 May 1984
THE WITNESS: Captain Thomas S. Moulton, M-o-u-l-t-o-n.
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. PETERSON:
Q: Mr. Moulton, do you have a rank or position at the current time?
A: I am retired as a retired captain. My license is still intact.
Q: What type of license is that that you have?
A: Master Mariner.
Q: And where do you currently reside?
A: In Georgetown, Maine.
Q: And how long have you lived there?'
A: All of my life practically.
Q: And other than your license as Master Mariner, do you hold any other
A: I hold radar endorsements, of course, on that. I am also a licensed emergency
Q: And when did you first get your Master's license?
Q: And with a Master's license, what does that enable you to do?
A: My license is endorsed as Master of any vessel, steam, or motor, of any
tonnage on any ocean.
Q: And how long have you held that license?
A: Since 1947.
Q: And at one time did you hold a position in the United States Navy?
A: I did, sir.
Q: And when did you first join the Navy?
A: The end of 1940 or the beginning of 1941. I think it was January of 1941.
Q: And prior to joining the United States Navy did you have any other experience
on the high seas?
A: Not on the high seas. I was a coastwise fisherman for a time.
Q: For approximately how long?
A: Off and on for two or three years.
Q: And when you first joined the United States Navy in January of 1941, I
believe, what was your first rank?
Q: And where did you first serve?
A: I was sent to Jacksonville, Florida at the Naval Air Station.
Q: And what course did you take at the Naval Air Station?
A: At the Naval Air Station I sat before an examinations board to change the
type of classification of my commission from aviation specialist to dock
Q: Where was that?
A: Jacksonville, Florida.
Q: And after completing the course of duty in Jacksonville where did you then
A: I was then sent to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Q: What rank or position did you hold in Cambridge?
A: I was then Lieutenant Junior grade. The Navy had taken over the Harvard yard
and some of their buildings as a training school for senior officers. I was
head of the Navigation Department there.
Q: Were you an instructor?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: For how long did you instruct there at Harvard?
A: For the first two classes when we reappointed our successors from the class
graduates. I left there in the fall.
Q: When you left Cambridge where did you then go?
A: Miami, Florida, to the Sub Chasing Training Center.
Q: At the Sub Chaser Training Canter, what the course of instruction that was
A: Well, a certain amount of ship handling, so forth; primarily it was
anti-submarine warfare tactics and quite high qualifications in sonar.
Q: How long a course in this instruction was offered at the Sub Chaser School in
A: As I recall., it was 60 or 90 days.
Q: While you were at the Sub Chaser School in Miami, what year was that?
A: That would have been 1942.
Q: Do you recall the month?
A: I left there just before Christmas I think. I think it was Christmas Eve.
Q: So it would be safe to say late October is when you first arrived?
A: I would think so, yes.
Q: And while you were in Miami at the Sub Chaser School did you meet L. Ron
A: I did.
Q: Was he also attending school?
A: Yes. He was in my class.
Q: Did you know him socially?
A: Quite well. He was a guest of my wife and me at dinner; we were his guests
many times. We were quite close.
Q: He was also attending the school?
A: He was, sir.
Q: And at school he was taking the came courses you were taking?
A: Yes, the same class.
Q: And do you recall his rank at that time?
A: He was two stripes, full lieutenant.
Q: And to your knowledge had he any previous naval experience before attending
the Sub Chaser School?
A: It was common knowledge that he had been in destroyers for some time before
Q: You don't have the exact details?
A: Other than hearing the instructors in the classrooms refer to it. He was
used as something an authority in the classroom.
Q: Do you know what his position was on these destroyers?
A: I am told he was gunnery officer on the EDSEL. I don't know about the others.
Q: You mentioned that you left the Sub Chaser School in December of 1942; where
did you go from there?
A: I was pulled out of the class a week or ten days ahead of time. There was a
sub chaser being completed in Massachusetts that the captain had been taken ill
on and they needed a captain. Because I was near the top of the class, I was
pulled out ahead of time, I think a week or ten days. And I took over command of
Q: Did you see any duty on that sub chaser?
A: Yes, sir. I brought her - well, several patrols, quite a few patrols. I had
her for several months. I don't remember just how long. I finally brought her to
Miami and she was then turned over to the Brazilian Navy under Lend Lease.
Q: Now then, patrols were along the eastern seaboard of the United States?
A: Yes, sir, and offshore.
Q: And at that time was there an imminent danger of enemy submarines in the
A: There were sinkings all up and down at that time. We were so desperate for
Q: And ASW is?
A: Anti-Submarine Warfare.
Q: And when did you again have communication with L. Ron Hubbard?
A: After my ship was turned over to the Brazilians - which would have been
sometime in the early spring, perhaps March - I was assigned to a PC as
executive officer. We started for the Southwest Pacific. but we were diverted en
route to Key West and went through a week or ten day course in anti-submarine
warfare at the fleet sound school.
Then I was promoted, was senior to the captain, so I was detached and then I
returned to Miami to a subchaser training center for reassignment, and I
received a call from Ron Hubbard that his executive officer was either ill or
had been transferred or something. I don't recall the details.
Q: You recall at that time where Lt. Hubbard was stationed?
A: He was in Portland, Oregon at the Albina Engine and Machine Works with his
new ship being built, and although I had a chance to go probably as captain
myself on the PC, he asked me an a particular favor would I come out for a time
as his executive officer because he was in serious difficulties, and that I did
Q: And the serious difficulties, was that as a result of losing his executive
A: Mostly that. His executive officer had been transferred for some reason and
he had two young ensigns who were not very experienced. of course. He was also
ill at the time. He was recovering from, I believe. pneumonia but I am not
Q: And then did you travel to Oregon?
A: I did.
Q: And when you first arrived in Oregon. did you meet with Mr. Hubbard?
A: I did. He had just come from the hospital or wherever he had been laid up. I
think that was his first day back to duty.
Q: Did he seem to be in good physical condition?
A: Other than recovering from this illness that he had had, yes, sir.
Q: And when you took over duties, had the ship that Mr. Hubbard had been working
on, had it been commissioned yet?
A: No, sir.
Q: What was the status of that ship?
A: She was still in building.
Q: And is that the ship that was later designated the PC-815?
A: That's correct.
Q: And were you also stationed there in Albina?
A: Albina Engine and Machine Works was the name of the shipyard.
Q: And that is in what city?
A: Portland, Oregon.
Q: Did you have an opportunity also to visit with Mr. Hubbard on a social basis?
A: Yes, he and his wife and I went to dinner several times.
MR. PETERSON: Your Honor, may I approach the witness?
THE COURT: All right, you may.
MR. PETERSON: Your Honor. I as showing the witness a photograph. Could we have
that marked as plaintiff's next?
THE COURT: 90, I believe.
Q BY MR. PETERSON: Captain Moulton, do you recognize either of those two
A: I do.
Q: And who is the officer on the right?
A: On my right?
Q: The right-hand side of the picture.
A: That is I before the beard.
Q: And about what month and year was that taken?
A: That was taken in 1943. I would think in April, perhaps March, but probably
Q: And was that taken in Albina?
A: It was taken in the shipyard in one of their offices.
Q: And the gentleman on the left, do you recognize that gentleman?
A: That was L. Ron Hubbard.
Q: And is that the way he looked in April of 1943?
Q: And what was the purpose of taking that photograph?
A: It was for publicity purposes for the shipyard, I believe.
Q: It was actually taken in the office of the shipyard?
A: Yes, it was.
Q: And have you had that photograph in your possession since 1943?
A: I have had the original of that in my possession, yes.
Q: And I notice in that photograph that Captain Hubbard is wearing dark glasses;
In that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: And in all the times that you knew him in Portland did he wear dark glasses?
A: It was necessary for him to wear them, yes.
Q: And when you know him in Miami did he wear dark glasses?
A: Yes, he did, the same glasses.
Q: Did he ever tell you why he had to wear the dark glasses?
Q: What did he say?
A: He said that his eyes had been injured in the flash from a large caliber gun.
I think it was a four or five-inch gun on a destroyer he had been on. The gun
was fired prematurely. He was standing adjacent to the muzzle and he received a
bad flash burn which did not impair his vision, but it was very painful for him
to go around in any sort of light without the glasses on. I saw him try it on
Q: On this one occasion that he tried to go without his glasses, could you
A: Yes. We were in a place in Seattle, I believe, known as the Seattle Tennis
Club. There was this function, a dance or something, going on. And one of the
ladies in the party was kidding him about wearing dark glasses in dim light at
night. And he told her why. And for some reason, she thought that was a strange
So to go along with it, he took his glasses off. Within five or ten minutes,
even in that dim light, his eyes watered very badly - became red. And I think he
said he had a very bad headache. He put his glasses back on and from then on
wore them at all times except on the bridge at night in the dark.
A: Now, at any time when you were with Mr. Hubbard in Portland did he have any
complaints about pain in his low back or any area like that?
Q: He frequently complained of pain in his right side and the back in the area
of the kidneys which he said was due to some damage from a Japanese machine gun
very early in the war. And from that he had considerable difficulty in
urination. And upon at least one occasion I saw him urinating bloody urine. He
had great difficulty in urinating.
Q: Now, at some time I presume that the PC-815 was completed and ready for sea
duty. Is that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: And do you recall about what time that was?
A: That would have been - I would think about - I don't know the exact date, but
about the 1st of May; perhaps the last week in April of 1943.
Q: And when the ship was completed, what did you and Captain Hubbard do at that
A: We stayed in Portland for a week or ten days outfitting and conducted trials,
builders' trials, during which time the propeller was damaged. And we came back
and we drydocked to repair that. The pilot managed to hit a mud lump in the
river or something on the trials. That was repaired; we finished outfitting and
went down the river sometime about the 10th, 11th, perhaps 12th of May.
Q: And when the trial runs and the outfitting had been completed, did you at
that time receive any orders?
A: Yes. We were ordered to proceed to Astoria for loading ammunition. And then
we were supposed to go to Seattle to have radar installed and some other
Q: Did you commence to proceed to Astoria to take on ammunition?
A: Yes, we did.
Q: Did you make it there?
A: When we got to Astoria they only gave us a small quantity of ammunition for
structural firing, the tests that had to be made.
Q: What are structural firing tests?
A: The main gun had to be fired a certain number of rounds, perhaps a half dozen
or something. We had to roll ash cans from the racks on the stern and also fire
Q: "Ash cans," are those --
A: Depth charges.
Q: -- used in sinking submarines?
A: That is correct.
Q: What are K-guns?
A: They were guns shaped roughly in the shape of the letter K that fired depth
charges. There were
two of them aft so you could fire depth charges on each side through the air
some distance from the ship.
Q: The ash cans, would they roll off the back?
A: They rolled off two racks in the back.
Q: Were there any other armaments on that ship?
A: Yes. She carried a 40-millimeter gun; she had three-inch 50, I believe. I way
he confusing her with another ship, but I think she had a three-inch 50. I know
she had a 40-millimeter forward and I think the three-inch 50 aft. She carried
two or three 20-millimeters; I think perhaps two.
Q: After you had taken on the ammunition in Astoria, then you proceeded to test
fire the guns?
A: Not at that time. We were due to go to Bremerton to do this at the Navy yard
There was a Navy plane that went down off the coast and all of us were ordered
out to search for that ship or that plane. And when we came back in, our orders
were then changed. And instead of going to Seattle because we were already late
from this other thing, we would proceed to, I think it was, San Francisco. I
have forgotten. I think it was San Francisco or San Diego, one or the other. And
then we would conduct these tests en route.
Q: Okay. The trip to Seattle and the Bremerton shipyards at that location. I
believe you testified that you were going to outfit the ship with radar
A: She was to get radar and also rocket propelled mousetraps which they did not
carry at the time.
Q: What is a rocket propelled mousetrap?
A: They were rockets that could be fired from the foredeck. They were used in
ASW attacks. They were a generation ahead of the depth charges. They later
became standard equipment on all ships of that type.
Q: Okay. So with the test amount of ammunition that you had loaded at Astoria,
you then proceeded, I believe it would be south down the coast?
A: We were bound south for either San Diego or San Francisco. I don't recall.
Q: And do you recall the approximate date that you had commenced the trip south?
A: It would have been, I would think, the last week in May. I am not certain of
the date, perhaps the 22nd, 23rd. I am not sure.
Q: And that is 1943?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And when you say "we," how many other ships were in the group?
A: We were alone. We were en route by ourselves.
Q: And who was the captain of that ship?
A: Ron Hubbard.
Q: And that is the PC-815?
A: That's correct.
Q: And what was your duty on the ship?
A: Well, I had several hats because there were only four officers and quite a
few departments. I was executive officer. I was also the medical officer. I was
communications officer, and I was also the engineering officer.
Q: Did Mr. Hubbard also wear several hats?
A: No, sir. He was captain or commanding officer. That was all.
Q: That was standard?
A: That was standard on all ships with reduced personnel.
Q: And did you have any type of sonar detection equipment on that ship?
A: Yes, sir. We had the latest sonar equipment at that date that was being used
in anti‑submarine warfare.
Q: Had you personally had any training on sonar equipment?
A: Yes, sir, both in Miami and in Key West. I was considered an expert on it. So
was Ron, of course.
Q: And did you also have a separate officer or enlisted man who held the duty of
operating sonar equipment?
A: We had either two or three sonar operators. One or two were third class, and
I think one was first class, or second, and this came under me directly under
communications. I was in charge of the sonar.
Q: And part of your training in the subchaser school in Miami, did you take
instruction on the use of sonar equipment?
A: Yes, sir. We had what today are known as simulators which were used in the
Navy and in the Air Force too, where the computer duplicated a submarine and his
motions, and submarine trained people operated the computer and our bridge crew
would operate the ASW team equipment, and we had mock battles. Then, in Key
West, we operated on live submarines with test firing equipment and conducted
many runs there also.
Q: When a submarine is detected on some sonar equipment. does it make a
distinctive response or noise of any kind?
A: Well, in the equipment of that day - I can't speak for what is used today, I
am not familiar - you sent an outgoing signal and a pinging sound was reproduced
as that signal went out. When the signal did not encounter any object there was
no return, It was merely a series of pings which went on day and night when you
On anything that was picked up in the beam from this, you received an echo
coming back which you then had to distinguish as to whether it was metal, such
as a ship, a submarine, a whale, a fish or just disturbances in the water. They
all had characteristic types of echoes,
Q: And part of your training was to distinguish between the different
characteristics of the returning sounds on the sonar?
A: A good part of our training was, a great part because that was vital to a
Q: And how could you distinguish the sound, for example, that would be made with
sonar bouncing off of whale versus a submarine?
A: Well. when the sonar beam hit the whale, he would naturally have blubber and
so forth, and the echo that returned was not as sharp. If you hit metal, other
than in bad conditions of sound reception, it came back as a much crisper,
sharper echo just as though you had talked to a hard wall as opposed to a padded
cell type of wall.
Q: And disturbances, for example, bubbles or any other type of disturbance in
the water; would that have a sound that was even different from that of a whale
or a fish?
A: They all had a most characteristic sound under ideal conditions.
Q: And the sonar equipment on the PC 815, where was the receptor?
A: The equipment was in a small alcove right on the bridge. You could draw a
curtain across it so the light at night didn't bother the bridge crew. but it
was essentially on the bridge in a little alcove.
Q: Was there some scope on the sonar equipment also?
A: There was the operating dial with an arrow which indicated the direction that
it was being trained at at the time. There were numerous operational gauges
along with it, but essentially it gave you the bearing that you sent the signal
out on. And when it came back, then, of course, you had a receiver - much as a
loudspeaker - where you could listen to the echo. The sound man heard the same
thing on earphones. And I or whoever wanted to check it also had a pair of
earphones which gave you better fidelity.
Q: And on the trip south in May of 1943 as an officer you were usually stationed
on the bridge?
A: I stood a watch on the bridge, a four‑hour watch. Then I stood an additional
watch because our two ensigns were not very experienced and usually when they
were on watch, except under ideal conditions, I stood by on the bridge or in the
chart room with one of them and Ron stayed back on with the other one.
Q: And as you were proceeding south in May of 1943 at some point did someone
raise an alarm that there was a possible submarine in the area?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And to your recollection who first raised that alarm?
A: Three of us did. Ron was on the bridge; I was on the bridge and the sonar
man, of course. All three called out at once. All three of us did, but there was
a return echo.
Q: And when you heard the return echo what did you then do?
A: I immediately went to the sound gear. I probably put on my headset. That
would have been routine. And we proceeded to evaluate the echo.
Q: And when you say "we", who were the other people on the bridge?
A: The sonar man, Ron and myself.
Q: And "Ron" is L. Ron Hubbard?
A: That is correct.
Q: And did you, after listening to the return sound on the sonar, reach a
A: After we had evaluated it, there was more to it than just listening to the
return echo. You checked the width of the target. Because you knew the tapered
width of the beam, you could estimate the length of the target that you were
getting a return from. You also checked it for a doppler which would be an
indication of whether the range was opening or closing. This, you detect in the
sound. You listen for screw noises or anything else that could help you evaluate
the contact. In this case, after evaluation, we had determined it was a
Q: You mentioned you listened for screw noises?
A: The propeller sound coning from a ship, for example, or a submarine as
opposed to the sound made by dolphins, whales, so forth. They are all more or
Q: The screw noises would be the sound of the propeller under water?
A: That is correct.
Q: Does a propeller under water have a distinctive sound?
A: Very definitely. As a matter of fact, you can almost, if you are active in
listening constantly and up to date in your practice, usually you can determine
the type of ship it is. They all have a characteristic signature or sound.
Q: And after listening to the sonar sounds for some period of time did you make
an evaluation regarding the length of the target?
A: We decided it was roughly the length of a submarine. It made noises like a
submarine and it was behaving like a submarine.
Q: Did you hear screw noises?
A: We did.
Q: And could you tell if the ship, the underwater target was coming toward you,
away from you, or moving in what direction?
A: We would have been able to know from the doppler effect on the sound as well
as once we began an evaluation, sooner or later we would start a time plot and
start plotting what the target was doing, whether it was stopped, whether it was
moving, and, if so, what course. This was done both with what was then a highly
classified attack piece of electronics, now, knowledge and obsolete. But it was
then the very latest that very few people knew about. We had one of the earliest
ones. And we kept that going for a plot along with our own manual plot with a
Q: And you had determined that the target was a submarine?
A: Beyond any question.
Q: Did you scan the area for any other under water ships?
A: We had been conducting a routine search. Once we picked up on this target we
concentrated on that, of course.
Q: After making the determination that it was indeed a submarine, what did you
A: Well, we took some time ‑ it has been so many years I can't remember how long
‑ but we took some time to evaluate it. During that time we would know that a
submarine would bear our pinging inside its hull. If he were friendly, he would
have made recognition signals. We received no recognition signals; so we
proceeded to attack.
Q: What type of recognition signals would a friendly submarine have made?
A In those days he would have fired a small rocket which gave one or more
colored lights and ended up an a smoke signal of a distinctive color.
Q: And you didn't receive any type of --
A: We received none, no, sir.
Q: What did you then do?
A: We commenced our first attack.
Q: Was there any kind of an alarm sounded, or was the ship at that point already
A: Where we were, it was routine to go into what was at night time an assembly.
an alert. known as Condition 2. We sounded the general alarm for general
quarters. The attack, of course, could be started even in Condition 3 because
everybody we needed was there. But with the general quarters, we obtained water
tight integrity; alerted the engine room to manoeuvre and, of course, manned the
Q: And you said you commenced an attack; what did you do to commence the attack?
A: We made a pass on them and dropped depth charges.
Q: And do you recall how many depth charges?
A: No, we were rationed because we only had something like 12 or 14 onboard. I
think in our first attack, if I remember right, we rolled three or four and we
fired the X guns, but I think if I remember right one of them didn't go off.
After that we made a series of attacks over several days. Eventually our
ammunition was replenished, but it took a lot of doing to get it replenished.
Q: When you commenced the first run or attack on the submarine, were you out
A: Yes, sir. Naturally we alerted the shore side people by radio that we were
commencing an attack.
Q: And do you recall the approximate location of your vessel at the point you
commenced the attack?
A: We were off the Oregon coast. I think it is called, if I remember right, Cape
Meares. It was between there and a head called Tillamook. There is a beach in
the area known as, I think it is Silver Sand Beach, something similar to that,
and there is another landmark, Haystack Rock. We were somewhere off that. Our
battle report would show the position, of course.
Q: Approximately how far off the coast did this incident take place?
A: I would have to refer to the battle report because we made so many runs over
those days. We were, I would think, perhaps 10 or 12 miles, but that is purely
Q: 10 to 12?
A: 10 to 12 miles - I would say, somewhere around there.
MR. PETERSON: Your Honor, could we have exhibit 60? Captain Moulton, I am
handing you exhibit 60. Do you know what that document is?
A: I do, sir.
Q: And what is it?
A: That was our battle report eventually submitted after the action was over.
Q: And when it was over, do you recall actually seeing that document before it
A: I helped write it. It was written primarily by Ron Hubbard, but naturally I
contributed to it also as did the other officers.
Q: And by referring to that document, can you give us a more exact location of
where the incident took place?
A: I believe no, sir. I see on the first page it says "Just inside the steamer
track," but there is nothing more than that. I imagine it is further on.
But to your recollection it was about 10 to 12 miles off --
A: I would think so. We were on approximately a hundred thousand curve because
it was customary to steam that going up and down the coast.
Q: You made a couple of runs dropping depth charges on the target?
A: We made several runs that night. This happened that night, and over the
course of the next three days or so, two and a half days, we made a great many
Q: What was the condition of the seas during the two and a half days of the
A: Sometimes it was not bad. At times it got quite rough, and it was difficult
to transfer ammunition to us. I remember we had difficulty, but then it smoothed
back down again. That is when we finally did get some ammunition brought to us.
Q: In the two and a half days during the first group of attacks on the target,
were you all alone?
A: We had for the first day, perhaps into the second day, we were alone. The
first night we were alone. Eventually they were one, two, I believe two blimps
came out, and then we had an old Coast Guard cutter, and we had, I think. two
SC's eventually assigned to us.
Q: And what is an SC designation?
A: That is the sub chaser. the smaller class. the same an I had had before.
Q: And did they also join in the attack?
A: One did, was a considerable help. The other one was very reluctant to do much
of anything., He was there, but not voting, so to speak.
Q: And what part did the two blimps take part in this attack?
A: They had a different type of anti‑submarine detection gear, magnetic type of
gear, and they confirmed all of our ‑‑ whenever we had a contact or we gained
contact, we would give them the position. They would then pick it up on their
gear and verify it or if they picked it up before we did, they would call us
onto the barium range because after depth charge attacks, you lose contact and
then you have to pick them up again, so we worked as a team together. And at
least at one point ‑ I can't remember ‑ at least twice they dropped depth
charges on the target. They verified along with the depth charges we dropped.
Q: So the blimps were also equipped with depth charges?
A: They had depth charges set for shallow surface. They didn't have the large
deep water ones that we carried.
Q: How were you in communication with the blimps?
A: We had regular radio gear, ship to ship and ship to air. They had similar
equipment, except very weak. I think it was only five or ten watts.
For that reason, the shore stations could hear us, but they could not bear the
Q: Could you personally hear any of the radio transmissions between the PC-815
and the blimps?
A: Yes. Because a great many of them I made myself as communications officer.
Throughout the action I was in charge of all communications.
Q: And at any time in the communications that you had with the blimps did they
confirm to you that the target was. indeed, a submarine?
A: In their opinion it was. They felt so.
Q: And how would they form an opinion that it was a submarine? Was it visual, or
do they have certain type of equipment?
A: I think ‑‑ I frankly don't know. I have never been aboard that type of blimp.
How they evaluated, I have no idea; however, at one point when the submarine
tried to surface on us, we all saw its periscope and what appeared to be perhaps
the upper rim of its conning tower. And the blimps also reported up its
periscope to us. They also reported it on another occasion further away when we
had lost contact. They said they saw the periscope then. That one, we did not.
We were a little too far away. I think.
So they saw it, I believe, twice. We had it only once,
Q: And they made a radio transmission of this location?
A: They called us over and I imagine they dropped a smoke float. That is what
they had been doing; each time they had a contact they had marked it for us.
Q: Then you would proceed to the smoke float and start dropping depth charges?
A: We would start ranging in that direction with our sonar and close on it until
we picked it up.
Q: You mentioned that you had made these attacks over a two‑and‑a‑half day
period; after that what did you then do?
A: I think the total time we were in action was something like 60 hours. We then
returned to Astoria to the section base.
Q: After you would make an attack on the target did you stop and try to make a
visual observation to see if you had been successful in striking, or --
A: We were usually trying to recover contact with the sub. Naturally, we were
looking for debris or anything else that would help us. We had a great many
lookouts posted at general quarters; everybody was looking in certain assigned
Q: What would a person on lookout be looking for to be able to ascertain whether
or not a depth charge had either struck or in some way crippled a submarine?
A: Well, if you had blown a big hole in him, you would naturally find, or
hopefully find wreckage, bodies, or other equipment floating on the surface. If
you had damaged him outside, such as perforating a fuel tank, you would see
quantities of oil coming to the surface. If you damaged the screws or other
equipment, you would hear this on the sonar by a different pitch and sound in
Q: And this 60‑hour attack on the submarine, did you ever at any time make a
sighting or a discovery of any other target in the area?
A: Yes. Yes. On, I believe it was toward the close of the second day when we
made ‑ we had lost contact with our submarine. And after one of the attacks when
the water had been roared up. we were searching around to pick him up and we
picked up a second contact which was not where it should have been at all if it
had been ours. We swung our sound gear back and forth and determined that we
now had two targets. We went through the same procedure and identified the
second one as a submarine also.
Q: And during the period of the 60‑hour attack and battle with the submarines,
did you ever note any bodies or debris floating on the surface?
A: We found no bodies or solid wreckage. On several occasions we had large
quantities of oil surface which was noted both by us and by the blimp. There
was also a semi‑solid yellowish sort of glutinous material. We never did
identify what that was. We were too busy to stop and pick it up for samples. It
spread over quite an area. but we never knew what it was.
Q: Did you ever form an opinion on what you believed it to be?
A: No, sir. But the oil we knew was oil, of course.
Q: Did you at any time during the 60‑hour battle make a determination that there
was any change in the sound of the screws on the target?
A: Well, of course, they were speeding up, slowing down, and stopping and
manoeuvring. But eventually we felt certain that we had damaged both of them. We
were quite certain that we had completely wrecked the one who tried to surface
on us. He never moved from that position after that for another day or no. The
second one --
Q: By not moving from a position for a day or so, what did that indicate?
A: We could pick him up with our sound gear. But he never changed position.
Q: what did that indicate to you?
A: We figured that he was long since past temporary damage, at had boon down so
long I think he would have been out of air. He'd be unable to maneuver because
early in that period, he had echo ranged on us. We heard the echo ranging
clearly from his gear, and we were at that time fully expecting to have a
torpedo sent at us, but the torpedo never came and we felt because of the angle
that he was apparently at on the bottom, that he could not bring his stern or
bow to bear on us to fire a torpedo.
Q: And the other target, did you make a determination as to the ultimate fate of
A: In our opinion, the one sub was a definite sinking. We were fully decided on
that. The second one we felt was either sunk or damaged so badly that he could
not get away.
Q: And at that point did you terminate the attack?
A: No, we stayed around. I have forgotten how long. It would be in this report.
We and the other ships patrolled the area for quite come time and act up picket
lines and so forth to listen for any movement, We never heard any.
Q: And did you yourself file a report an part of that exhibit 60?
A: Exhibit 60? That is this?
A: Yes. I wrote nothing as elaborate as this. I merely wrote a short report.
Q: Could you locate that report in exhibit 60?
A: If it is here.
Q: I think it is just after the report of Captain Hubbard.
A: Yes, here in my report.
Q: And would you look down in about the second paragraph, I believe, of that
report. Actually it is in the paragraph 3, subsection 1. You indicate that the
attack took place in April?
A: No. That in an error on my part when I wrote it. That, of course, was May,
Q: Why do you think that you wrote April instead of May?
A: Well, I notice the report is dated May 25. This attack was over on the 21st.
It was at least another day before we got into port. We were sent up to Seattle
to report to Admiral Fletcher, and in all of this time we had had very, very
little sleep. I was so tired I probably wrote half of this in my sleep. I have a
habit of missing months and dates. That to why I keep a watch with a calendar on
it because I never can remember dates. That is not a typographical. It is
merely my fault in writing it.
Q: In the action report I noticed there was an incident where I believe the 20
millimeter gunners had taken some shots that weren't directed toward the target
but maybe directed in another direction; do you recall such an incident?
A: I do. It damn near got me.
Q: And could you describe briefly what that incident was?
A: How it came about or why it was aimed where it was?
A: Well, those 20 millimeters had a real flukey part known an a parallelogram.
Was about yay big and it looked as though it could be put into the mechanism
either way. In fact, it could be, but when it went in one way, you lost complete
control of the trigger mechanism. This was a common fault that was later
remedied in 20 millimeter guns, but in the early ones, that was common. And
after a firing which we had done a day or so before, the guns naturally had been
overhauled by very tired personnel and in the dark. We were showing no lights,
and apparently this parallelogram, as we found it, had been put in backwards and
for some reason the gun went off.
Q: Could you have been firing at the periscope or the conning tower?
A: Not at that particular firing. This one when the parallelogram was in, it was
subject to going off at any fancy and if it did go off, there was no way to stop
it unless you could run off and get it and rip off the magazine. Otherwise it
would go until the magazine was exhausted.
Q: And about how many rounds was in that magazine?
A: Oh, I have forgotten, about 100 to 150. The magazine was about yay big. but
there were a lot of them. seemed like 10 million to me.
Q: When this particular 20 millimeter gun went off, where were you at the time?
A: I was up about two-thirds of the way up the mast.
Q: About how tall was that mast?
A: I don't know, probably 65 feet, 70 feet. I was up there for better
visibility. And to continue, these 20 millimeter guns had done so much damage to
the ships they were on early in the war because they were a very hard gun to
control, if you were in the harness wearing them and you happened to slip, there
was no way you could get back on your feet again because the thing was making so
much vibration and they frequently kept going.
To accomplish some sort of control on the PC-815, she had one of the primitive
methods that they put on to stop this. They had two cans, one that controlled
the elevation and the other one controlled the horizontal train, and
theoretically these could be set so that there was no part of the ship that you
could hit directly with your fire. That was act by approximation in the yard.
but until after you had made your trials, done your test firing, you were never
sure of the setting and the thing never worked very well anyhow.
Later on they built what was called a birdcage or mousetrap built out of pipe
with all sorts of weird curving, so that no matter where the gun barrel was, it
couldn't be depressed or swung where it would hit the ship. We didn't have that.
I was at the mast and the gun went off and went the full round in the magazine.
And I was much thinner then, fortunately. People who saw it say it missed me by
about that far.
Q: Indicating about ten inches to a foot?
A: I would say about that. I was making love to the mast and was almost out to
the other side. Looking down the barrel, it looked like it was coming right
In the course of this, it did some small damage to the ship. The cans had never
been given their final setting. And I think, if I remember right - it is a long
time ago - I know we shot the antenna down. But I think it hit the insulator at
the end, something of that sort, but outside of that, there was no damage from
Q: Later on they corrected that problem on the ship?
A: I believe, if I remember right, she had the bird cage thing put on her when
she got down to San Diego.
Q: And in reviewing the action report and accompanying documents, I noted that
one of the admirals in the area had cast some doubt upon the fact that you had
engaged in battle with an enemy submarine, do you recall the admiral making that
A: I remember our meeting with Admiral Fletcher, who was quite disparaging at
the time we had the meeting, perhaps understandably so.
Q: Now, did he give you any factual reason why he believed that there were no
enemy submarines involved in that attack?
A: The only thing that I know was that at the point where we had been screaming
for ammunition for several days without results from shore side people. as
communications officer and with Ron's permission, I originated a message to the
commander and chief of the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. It was a very - well,
I wouldn't write it today. I was younger then.
But it was quite a nasty message asking why in thunder we couldn't get any help
out there and get some ammunition, I coated this and sent it with a carbon copy
so it would be equivalent to full copies to everybody on the coast, I guess.
I did see the message that came back immediately from the commander in chief of
the Pacific Fleet, Admiral King, with a carbon copy to me asking Admiral
Fletcher what was going on out there and why he had not been told of an action
taking place. I saw the carbon copy that went back from Admiral Fletcher to him
where he said there was no submarine. I think he said "there were no submarines,
repeat, no submarines in the area."
This was quite a strong statement. But in view of the political climate on the
West Coast at that time, I could see why he might have said that. And having
said that he would not deviate from it.
Q: Are there any other indications in that Action Report other than your report
and Captain Hubbard's report that indicate that, indeed, the targets that were
discovered were submarines?
A: Well, there were statements taken from all the crew, I see they are here. I
am sure some of the crew had mentioned that because some of them, I know,
sighted the periscope. The sonar men who, in each case, two or three of them,
were very definite in that they had the submarine on their sonar. And we did
have, as I said, communications from the blimps.
Q: Is there any other record that is kept as part of the action report, any
testing or any read outs on equipment that also would indicate that the targets
A: Yes. Our attack recorder - our attack director made a recording, an
electronic recording which anyone competent in reading that could use to
determine what type of target it was. Because it would give the type of echo.
its strength. general characteristics and you could plot courses and distances
from it. It would also contain a record of an attack. our recordings were all
turned over to Admiral Fletcher at that conference. We did not get them back.
He called a man in on his staff to interpret them. The man was not a ASW man. He
was, I believe, a three-striper or four-striper, but he was in Naval Aviation.
And they were using a recorder, perhaps similar to this one. I never saw it, but
he said he was not real competent to evaluate this. There were no submarine
people there or any submarine people there at the time who could.
Q: So there was no one there who could look at that and say definitely it was a
A: I do know that these reports were later analyzed in, I believe, San Diego or,
perhaps, San Francisco by another, I believe, Admiral Braisted, something like
that. And he entered his comments concerning some, I think, 19 runs.
Q: He mentioned that some of these runs were mushy; the echos were mushy and
could have been due to fish or knuckles in the water bubbles, but that two may
have been submarines.
A: Well, that was sort of like saying a girl is a little bit pregnant. If the
two may have been submarines, it is more than likely that the other 16 or 17 may
have been submarines.
THE COURT: We'll take a 15-minute recess.
THE COURT: All right. We are back in session. The witness has taken the stand.
Please state your name again for the record, sir. You are still under oath.
THE WITNESS: Thomas Moulton.
THE COURT: You may continue, Mr. Peterson.
MR. PETERSON: Thank you.
Q: Now, you had mentioned earlier that there was some aspect of the political
climate which I believe influenced Admiral Fletcher's conclusion; what was that?
A: Well, I am sure that - without that it would have been - at about that time
either just before this action or just after, I think it was just after you had
the shelling of a refinery here somewhere in the Los Angeles area, I believe
just up the coast. It was written up in Reader's Digest a couple of months ago,
three months ago.
At that time it caused quite a local panic, so I am told, and the press so
indicated, and everybody on the West Coast apparently started a bunch of rumors,
became quite upset about it.
I know that the commanders of the various areas received a lot of inquiries from
shoreside people. It wasn't a panic, but it was getting into that stage.
It got so bad that I remember in Oregon that the papers there, there ware
several articles. I saw one of them asking people to keep quiet, not start
rumors and so forth, and I am quite sure that this was well known to all the
commanders up and down the coast, and it was to their advantage. at least
publicly, not to admit that there were submarines in the area and, of course,
once Admiral Fletcher had sent this message to Admiral King, knowing how the
Navy works, I am sure he wouldn't back down from it.
Q: And later on in the summer did you again receive any indication that in fact
the submarine or the two submarines had been sunk in the area?
A: It wasn't that summer. It was some time after that.
I was traveling up the Columbia River on a merchant ship and was talking with
the pilot who came from somewhere in that area, I believe, in that Sand Beach or
Silver Sand Beach. And I happened to discuss this action with him.
He had been living there at the time -
MR. FLYNN: I’ll object to this.
THE COURT: I’ll sustain the objection.
Q BY MR. PETERSON: During the incident with the attack on the submarines. in
your opinion, how did Captain Hubbard react?
A: Well, he ran a very competent, extremely competent attack throughout the
thing. He did a very fine job.
And after the incident with the submarines in May of 1943 did the PC 815
continue on its voyage?
A: We went back to Astoria for replenishment of ammunition. And at that time
there was a new carrier, the first of the Kaiser carriers that came down from
the Seattle area. And we went up to meet her and we picked her up in Port
We were detailed to escort her because she was very valuable, as the first one
and it was felt at the time that there might be grave damage from submarines and
from mining in the area.
We escorted her to San Francisco where she took on stores and then escorted her
front there to San Diego.
Q: And at some point did you then leave the PC 815?
A: Yes, sometime after we completed that escort. I would think within a week or
two - I don't remember exactly.
Q: And then from the PC 815 where did you then go?
A: I was sent to the Amphibious Center in Virginia and took command – well, I
went through the training program and took command of my first LST there.
Q: And did you see action at the battle of Saipan?
A: Yes. That was the last one.
Q: What happened there briefly?
A: Well, we were stranded on the - I had been the first ship to land there in
the action on D-Day. And we were stranded on the reef for about 10 days. During
that time the Japanese used to run dawn and dusk attacks on us. We were badly
strafed and bombed and one thing and another and quite badly damaged. I lost a
substantial part of my crew there.
MR. PETERSON: Nothing further from the witness, Your Honor.
THE COURT: You may cross-examine.
MR. FLYNN: Thank you, Your Honor.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. FLYNN:
Q: Sir, you have a rather remarkable memory after all of these years. I take it
before your testimony today you refreshed your memory with regard to the Action
Report which you have in front of you there?
A: I had a chance to skim through it; that is all, sir.
Q: Did you skim through any other documents such as the conference report of
A: If that was his letter of transmittal from this, I saw it too, yes.
Q: You did see the letter of transmittal from Admiral Fletcher?
A: Yes, I did, sir.
Q: Is that attached to the exhibit in front of you?
A: I think that is where I saw it. It doesn't seem to be in here.
Q: Now that in the letter that summarizes the results of the conference that
Admiral Fletcher hold with regard to this action?
A: Yes that is the one I am looking for, but I so far haven't come across it.
Q: And that is where Admiral Fletcher stated that the action, in fact, never
A: Something to that effect, yes, sir.
Q: And you can't find it in that exhibit?
A: I am still looking, but I am also listening to you at the same time.
Q: Now. the conference report in the transmittal of Admiral Fletcher would have
been classified information and secret at that period of time; is that correct?
A: This entire record and everything pertaining to it was classified secret at
that time. It since, I see here, has been declassified.
Q: So, Admiral Fletcher's notation that no such action ever took place would
have been secret at that period of time; is that correct?
A: Yes, it would have been. I think it said something in there instructing that
it be forwarded only by registered letter if I remember right.
Q: So if the political climate at the time in 1943 was one of fear on the West
Coast, it would have been more helpful to that climate to disclose Admiral
Fletcher's conclusions that there were no submarines; is that correct?
A: I am not sure I follow you. It would have been very helpful for him to insist
that he had none, yes.
Q: But it would have been helpful to disclose his findings to the public that
there had been no submarines?
A: No, I don't think so, because I believe the entire action was secret at that
Q: So, the public didn't know about it one way or the other?
A: Other than people who lived along the shore and saw and heard the things.
Q: When did you last see Admiral Fletcher's report?
A: I saw it this morning, I glanced at it. That is why I am trying to find it
because I would recognize it if I saw it. I had not seen it before I came out
here. As I recall, it was dated June 23rd, and that was after I left the PC. I
don't find it here, but I am sure it is in here.
Q: Who first contacted you. sir. with regard to your appearance as a witness?
A: Who first contacted me? Mr. - I think it is - Wittle, Tom Wittle.
Q: And approximately how long ago was that?
A: Last week or early, I think no, last week. I am sorry.
Q: Had you had any prior contact with any representatives of the Church of
Scientology at any time in the last three or four years?
A: No, sir. not in over 15 years.
Q: And they found you in Maine?
Q: Now, did you know L, Ron Hubbard as a good storyteller?
A: As a good storyteller?
Q: A person who told stories.
A: What sort of stories?
Q: Well, did you know him to have any reputation at the time you knew him during
World War II as a good storyteller?
A: Do you mean jokes and things of that sort?
Q: No; stories about incidents that had taken place in his lifetime.
A: No, he was very reticent, as a matter of fact.
Q: Did you consider him to be a very honest person?
Q: And he told you that he had injured his eyes from a flash burn when a gun
unexpectedly went off; is that correct?
Q: Did he tell you when that took place?
A: It would have been sometime before Pearl Harbor, I don't know, I seem to
remember he told me it was - it was on a destroyer, but I wouldn't swear to it
after all of this time.
Q: But you are clear that he injured his eyes from the flash burn of a gun?
A: I am cleat that he said he did, yes.
Q: When you were serving with Mr. Hubbard did you over see his medical records
with regard to his eye condition in 1942 and 1943?
A: No. sir. I would not have seen him after I left the ship. I have never seen
him since then.
MR. LITT: Your Honor, I -
Q BY MR. FLYNN: I'm talking about the period now when you were with him.
A: When I was with him, I don't remember him going to a doctor at all.
MR. PETERSON: I object to Mr. Flynn showing the witness something. I have no
idea what he is showing the witness.
THE COURT: Just show counsel what it is before you show it to the witness.
MR. LITT: Your Honor, the document that is being shown to the witness appears
to be a Veterans Administration document from 1947.
MR. PETERSON: Your Honor, let’s hear the question.
He is showing the witness the document and pointing to things for the witness to
look at before he has even asked his question. I think it is irregular. Why
doesn't he ask the question rather than putting medical records in front of the
witness who isn't a trained doctor?
THE COURT: I don't see any big question. He has asked him the question. I’ll
overrule the objection. You can answer whether he ever told you that.
THE WITNESS: He did not, no.
This was a hospitalization in February of 1942 which was before I knew him. He
did not - it does not say in here that that was the original injury. This could
have been an aggravation of an old one. It says “excessive tropical sunlight,”
but it doesn't say this was the cause of his original trouble.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Does it say anything about a flash burn from a gun?
A: No. sir.
And with regard to his actual chronological medical history, in May 1942, this
officer states, “While acting as intelligence officer for the Asiatic Fleet he
exposed his eyes to strong sunlight and has had to wear tainted glasses ever
since.” Did he ever tell you that?
A: No, sir, he did not.
MR. PETERSON: I am not sure I understand what “tainted glasses” are.
THE COURT: For the record, it is what it in, I assume -
Q BY MR. FLYNN: He told you that -
THE COURT: He probably means “tinted.” Go ahead.
BY MR. FLYNN: He told you that he was injured by a Japanese machine gun?
A: Yes. sir.
Q: When was that. sir. that he told you that?
THE COURT: When did he tell him. or when did he tell him he was injured?
Q BY MR. FLYNN: First, when did Captain Hubbard tell you that he was injured by
a Japanese machine gun?
A: This was while we were in Miami which would have been in the fall of 1942. It
was the fall of 1942.
Q: Is that -
A: While we were in Miami.
Q: Did he describe the circumstances under which he was injured by the Japanese
A: Yes, in some detail; not entirely.
Q: What did he tell you?
A: That he had been in Surabaya at the time the Japanese came in or in the area
of Surabaya and that he spent some time in the hills in back of Surabaya after
the Japanese had occupied it.
Q: Now, Surabaya was where, sir?
A: That is a port on the north part of Java in the Dutch East Indies.
Q: So you understood from Captain Hubbard that he had been in Java fighting the
Japanese and was hit by machine gun fire?
A: Not quite as you put it. He had been landed, so he told me In Java from a
destroyer named the Edsall and had made his way across the land to Surabaya, and
that is when the place was occupied. When the Japanese came in, he took off into
the hills and lived up in the jungle for some time until he made an escape from
THE COURT: Sounds like the South Pacific, the “Tales from the South Pacific” by
THE WITNESS: I know of it. I haven’t read it.
THE COURT: Anyway, go ahead.
Q BY MR, FLYNN: When did he tell that this took place, Captain Moulton?
A: He was there apparently on the 8th of December which corresponded to December
7th, the other wide of the dateline.
Q: December 8th
A: At that period when the Japanese occupied all of the Dutch East Indies.
Q: That would have been in 1941 or 1942?
Q: So this would have been -
A: Did I say 1942? I should have said 1941.
THE COURT: Was that Pearl Harbor?
THE WITNESS: That was at the time of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was the 7th on
one side and the 8th on the other side.
The Japanese came in - I was not in that area at the time so I don't know the
exact time that they occupied Surabaya, but it was within a day or two after
BY MR. FLYNN: So he told you he was in the South Pacific in Surabaya when the
Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?
A: That is correct. He had been landed by the Edsall and she was sunk shortly
after that. He was, as far an I know, the only person that ever got off the
Edsall because he wasn't aboard when it happened. She was sunk within a few days
Q: And Captain Hubbard told you all this?
A: Yes, sir, but I also know that she was sunk. She is carried in the records
as having been sunk with all hands.
Q: And all hands were lost except Captain Hubbard?
A: He was ashore at the time.
Q: And that is when he was hit by the machine gun fire?
A: Some time during his chasing up and around through the jungle before he made
Q: Now, when you were working with Captain Hubbard, did you ever look at any of
his records with regard to his military history prior to the time that you act
A: No, sir. I would have no access to them.
Q: So you believed Captain Hubbard at the time?
A: Certainly. I had no reason not to.
Q: Did he tell you exactly where he was hit by the machine gun fire?
A: In the back, in the area of the kidneys, I believe on the right side.
Q: And did he tell you what caliber machine gun it was?
A: No, sir, he did not.
Q: And it damaged his urinary system?
A: Somewhere In the urinary system. I know he had a great bit of difficulty in
Q: And did he till you how long he remained hiding in the hills with these
machine gun wounds before he was removed from the combat area?
A: I know that he told me he had made his escape eventually to Australia. I
don't know just when it was. He apparently, he and another chap, sailed a life
raft, I believe. to near Australia where they were picked up by a British or
Q: And that would have been late 1941, early 1942?
A: I would imagine it would have to have been early 1942 because it would take
some time from December 7.
Q: Now, Captain Hubbard gave you all of these details that you are giving the
court today; is that correct?
A: Well, I have no other knowledge except what he told me.
Q: And did he tell you how far he sailed the raft?
A: He told me he was picked up - again. I'm trusting my memory - but it was on
the order of 75 miles off Australia.
I know it was under 100, but it was somewhere around 75 because it was a
remarkable piece of navigation.
Q: And had he received any treatment for his wounds during this period of time?
A: This, I do not know. He said that he was very ill in the jungle with the
injuries. That is all I know.
Q: With machine gun bullets in his back?
A: I don't know if the bullets were in there or had passed through or what, I
never saw the scars.
Q: Now, did he tell you whether he was an Intelligence officer at that time or
what type of duty post he had?
A: No. He mentioned he had been on the Edsall. And that was all, and that he had
previously served in other Vessels.
Q: You believed this entire story, is that correct?
A: I had no reason to disbelieve it. sir.
Q: Now, let me show you exhibit 500-II and ask if you are familiar with this
type of Naval document called “Report of Compliance With Orders.”
A: This is a standard form, yes, sir.
Q: You are familiar with those forms; is that correct?
A: Yes. sir.
Q: Now, that relates to the Lieutenant J.G. Lafayette Hubbard; is that correct?
A: That is correct.
Q: And it shows that he was ordered to Australia on November 24, 1941; right,
and that he left on December 8. 1941 from the United States?
A: Let me see. Received the orders on the 24th and he was dispatched on
December 8th; however -
Q: He arrived in Brisbane, Australia when, Captain Moulton?
A: It says January 16; however, this could be meaningless. It is not to be
relied on. If something you said just now is true - said he was an intelligence
officer, I believe - if that is so, this would be meaningless.
Q: That could be false?
A: Not false, but an intelligence officer, as far as I know, has all sorts of
spurious letters stating where he is sent to, when he got there. I did not know
he was an intelligence officer. But if he was, this would be meaningless.
Q: Now. what about this document, Captain Moulton; do you recognize what that
MR. PETERSON: Can we have -
MR. FLYNN: 500-JJ marked. “Confidential” at the bottom.
Q: Do you recognize what that is?
A: This is a Navy communication stating that there is nothing available for him
there and that he is ordered to return to Com 12. I think that was the West
Q: It says, “Lieutenant J.G. ordered returned via Chaumont; report to Com 12;
unsatisfactory for any available assignment.”
A: That would be routine wording, yes.
Q: What is the date of that, Captain Moulton?
A: This is dated - let me see - 16 February 1942.
Q: That would be roughly a month after he was shot in the back with a Japanese
A: Well, it would be anywhere from six to eight weeks on up, yes. If we assume
that happened in early December.
Q: Let me show you this document from the United States Naval Attaché,
Melbourne, Australia, dated February 14, 1942, exhibit 500-KK.
A : Uh-huh.
Q: Now, do you see the part that - let me read part of it to you.
'The subject officer arrived in Brisbane via SS President Polk. He reported to
me that he was ordered to Manila for duty and asked for permission to leave the
SS President Polk until a vessel offering a more direct route to his destination
was available. I authorized him to remain in Brisbane for future transportation
to his destination. By assuming unauthorized authority and attempting to perform
duties for which he has no qualifications, he became the source of much
Do you see that?
Q: “On February 11, 1942 I sent him dispatch orders to report to the commanding
officer USS Chaumont” - that's C-h-a-u-m-o-n-t – “for passage to the United
States. And upon arrival report to the commandant 12th Naval District for future
assignment. This officer is not satisfactory for Independent duty assignment. He
is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to
think that he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate
that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any
Q: Did you see that?
A: Does it say when - will you give me just a moment to read this?
A: This is dated, as I see, February 14. It says he arrived in Brisbane on the
President Polk, but it doesn't say where he came from.
Q: Well, doesn’t the other report of compliance with orders indicate that he cam
from the United States, Captain Moulton?
A: Not necessarily, it doesn’t mention the Polk.
Q: Do you know whether the President Polk was a life raft?
A: No, but I don’t know where he came from. It merely says he was on her on
arrival in Brisbane. If he was on that run, she probably made a lot of ports in
Australia. He may have ridden coastwise on her. I can't tell from this. I was
Q: I take it that you like L. Ron Hubbard.
A: I served with him. I liked him very well at the time I served with him. It is
a great many years ago.
Q: And rather than believe those documents, you'd believe what Mr. Hubbard said?
A: I never believe or disbelieve them. I merely pointed out that they do not
state that he came on to Brisbane from the States.
Q: Does it say anything about being wounded by Japanese machine gun fire?
A: No, sir.
Q: It states that he is garrulous and unsatisfactory for any assignment.
MR. LITT: Objection - the document speaks for itself. It is argumentative.
THE COURT: I will sustain the objection.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, I take it when you ware serving with him on the PC 815, you
believed the machine gun story?
MR. LITT: Objections asked and answered.
THE WITNESS: You mean of his being wounded?
MR LITT: This is the third time.
THE COURT: Yes, it has already been indicated.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, you went from an antisubmarine warfare vessel to an
amphibious vessel, an LST?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: So after the incident involving you and L. Ron Hubbard on the PC 815 in May
1943, you never saw anymore duty in connection with anti-submarine warfare
vessels. Is that correct?
A: Let me see. No, I did not, sir.
Q: You were transferred out of that duty right after that incident?
A: No it was, oh, I would say two or three weeks later. I had a request transfer
for some time. I had taken it, as I told you, temporarily as a relief executive
Q: Now, so, I take it from the time where you dropped all these depth charges
with the PC 815 and Mr. Hubbard, you never dropped any depth charges again on
any supposed submarine contacts?
A: That is correct.
Q: Now, I believe you testified that you first heard the sonar contact and you
evaluated it and determined it was a submarine?
A: That is correct.
Q: Would you turn to page 2 of L. Ron Hubbard's -
A: Page 2? Yes, sir.
Q: L. Ron Hubbard's report of this action. Now, in the second paragraph you
find “Attack One”; is that correct?
A: Paragraph 2, no, sir. Are we looking at different things?
Q: Page 2.
A: We seem to have a different copy or something.
Q: We sure do. This copy was provided to me, Your Honor, by plaintiff's counsel.
I see, simply a question of different pagination at the bottom of one page with
a handwritten number and a typewritten page 2 at the top.
A: Oh, I see. You didn't make that clear. I guess that is why I made a mistake.
Q: I guess I didn't. Typewritten page 2.
Q: You see where “Attack One” begins and concludes?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And then right next to that, at this point you have dropped all but three of
your depth charges; is that correct?
A: Frankly I don't remember. We had dropped some of them. I don't remember how
many we had left. We had very few to start with. I don't remember the count.
THE COURT: Are those the ash cans or X guns?
THE WITNESS: Well, the X guns fired ash cans and we also rolled them.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, incidentally, in your Naval career was this the only time
that you claimed you sunk a submarine?
A: The only time I claimed I sunk a submarine? It is the only time I sunk a
submarine, yes, sir.
Q: Is it the only time you ever rolled ash cans to sink a submarine?
A: I rolled dummy ash cans on tame submarines for a period of two or three weeks
from morning until night and in the night, also.
Q: So this is the first time that you ever suspected a live enemy submarine and
rolled ash cans?
A: I had rolled them on tame submarines.
Q: So this is the one and only time that you have ever rolled ash cans on
supposed enemy submarines, this incident?
THE COURT: I assume it was your men that rolled them and you ordered them?
THE WITNESS: That is correct.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Now, you said in the third paragraph after you claim that you
found or made solid contact with a submarine, the notation that you have rolled
all but three of your depth charges as indicated by the next page at this point.
“No one, including the commanding officer, could readily credit the existence of
an enemy submarine here on the steamer track, and all sound men now on the
bridge were attempting to argue the echo ranging equipment and chemical recorder
out of such a fantastic idea."
A: That is correct.
Q: Now, this was after you had made the solid contact that you testified about.
Is that correct?
A: Well, using your words. I think you are twisting just a bit. To use an
analogy, If you came down a dose of gonorrhea, it would be difficult to credit
it, but the evidence is immutable.
This is what happened here; who would expect a submarine off the West Coast of
California? But you can't argue with a machine, your hearing. and your training.
Q: Are you testifying that these are my words, or Captain Hubbard's words about
a fantastic idea?
A: I just wanted to clarify the way you ware wording it. I didn't know what you
Q: All I did was write the words of Captain Hubbard
A: We'll try it again and I'll try to answer.
Q: Do you recall testifying that you first made sonar contact; you evaluated it;
you determined it was a submarine and rolled depth charges?
Q: How many depth charges did you roll?
A: I don't remember. It would be in the attack report. It would be somewhere in
the gunnery report.
Q: This statement of Captain Hubbard appears after attack one concluded; is that
Q: And that is where he says, “No one will argue for such a fantastic idea”?
A: As I told you, the analogy.
Let me point out that we never would have rolled the first ash cans as a matter
of routine unless we knew what we were rolling it on. We didn't go around
rolling them on porpoises.
Q: That seems to be the question, Captain Moulton.
A: Whose question?
Q: Now. after you did this first attack on this fantastic idea, there was three
depth charges left on the ship; is that correct, on page 3?
A: Is that typewritten three?
Q: Typewritten three.
A: Where does it give the amount – oh, I see.
Q: Only three depth charges were now left on the ship?
A: At that point, yes.
Q: “The next three attacks were therefore parsimonious”; do you see that?
A: “ . . . with an eye to harass the submarine”; yes.
Q: Now. one of the vessels that came onto the area, the SC 537, refused to even
participate; didn't she?
A: She participated very poorly, as I mentioned earlier.
Q: She refused to cooperate because she didn't believe the soundings; is that
A: I cannot say it was for any reason. All I know is her actions were not
consonant with the orders that were given to her. Why she did it, I cannot say.
Q: Did Captain Hubbard exceed his orders when he made the initial firings of the
A: Absolutely not. This is war time. This is not playing games. You come across
a submarine and he doesn't identify, you sink him if possible. You don't need
orders from anybody for that.
Q: He didn't exceed his orders by firing first on the submarine?
A: No. He would have been very remiss if he hadn't done so.
Q: Would you turn to page 18, typewritten 18?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: In the last paragraph just above the signature of L. Ron Hubbard, do you see
the statement. “. . . although exceeding its orders originally by attacking the
A: Yes, sir.
Q: “This vessel feels only that it has done the job for which it was intended
and stands ready to do that job again.”
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Now, did L. Ron Hubbard - did you help prepare this report with L. Ron
A: Yes, part of it, yes. This last paragraph, I don't recall. though.
Q: About his exceeding hie orders?
A: I still don't understand it. I think he was trying to perhaps explain
something, but what, I have no idea. You do not need orders to attack a
submarine once you identify it.
Q: You never saw any further anti-submarine warfare duty after this incident?
MR. LITT: Objection. Asked and answered.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Do you recall seeing an object floating in the water that you
attack with, I believe, your 40-millimeter guns?
A: Yes, I remember that.
Q: That turned out to be a floating log?
A: Well, we thought perhaps - we eventually saw it, yes. We didn't know what it
was when we opened fire.
Q: Do you recall on page 11 taking an oil slick sample, but finding that the
slick was too thin for samples?
A: No. That, I don't recall.
Q: That is on page 11.
A: What paragraph?
Q: The fourth paragraph from the top.
A: Oh, I see. Yes. I see that.
Q: Do you recall that?
A: Not I don't, frankly. But if that was diesel, that would probably be true.
Diesel was very, very thin on the surface.
Q: Now. do you see in the two paragraphs below that a report that the sub had
surfaced off Sand Lake caused all vessels except the Bonham to go flying north
to that position, but then it was determined that that was a fishing vessel? Do
you see that?
A: Yes, of course. I believe, if I recall correctly, that Ron sent them up there
to investigate. That would be routine.
Q: Chasing fishing vessels?
A: Pardon me. You chased any contact on the surface until you identify what it
is. We were in battle against a submarine here.
Now, when you first picked up the supposed submarine contacts, how long after
you had left port did you pick up these contacts?
A: It was either - I believe it was the first night.
Q: And that was the first shakedown cruise of PC 815?
A: She was still on shakedown, yes.
Q: So you had pretty much an inexperienced crew at that time. Is that correct?
A: That is completely incorrect.
Q: Well, had the crew seen any duty together prior to that point in time?
A: Together? No, except perhaps by coincidence. Some may have come from the same
ship. We had a very, very competent group of people on that ship, one of the
best crews I have called with.
Q: How long were you with them?
A: I was with them, as you know, for what, two months, three months.
Q: And in the very first night of the shakedown cruise you had -
THE COURT: This in going to he argumentative, Counsel,
THE WITNESS: The ship had been to sea several times before that,
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Captain Moulton, after you left the ship, it proceeded down to
the San Diego area?
A: After I left the ship, I think that I told you, I am trusting my memory, I
believe I left her in San Diego, but I am not certain.
Q: Well, did you -
A: I left her either in San Francisco or San Diego. I believe San Diego.
Q: So the birdcage that you testified about with regard to that gun was put on
in San Diego. Is that correct?
A: It was supposed to have been put on at the first yard availability, to I
would imagine it was done there. It was not on her at the time of our action.
She still had the cans.
Q: Now, shortly after this incident, in July 1943 do you recall whether Mr.
Hubbard was relieved of command for firing on the Mexican coast?
A: That did not occur while I was on her, sir. I wouldn't know.
Q: You don’t know anything about that?
Q: And do you know anything about Mr. Hubbard's subsequent Naval career after
you served with him?
A: No, I never saw him again. I have talked with him, but it has not been in 15
or 20 years.
Q: And do you know whether or not subsequent fitness reports were made on Mr.
Hubbard as lacking the essential qualifies -
MR. PETERSON: I object to this. He's testified he has no knowledge.
THE COURT: I will sustain the objection.
THE WITNESS: This covers a period of time I don't know. so I wouldn't want to
make a comment.
BY MR. FLYNN: This is roughly two or three months
THE COURT: I have already sustained the objection to the things that happened
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Who paid your way out here, Captain Moulton?
A: My expenses are being reimbursed by Mr. Peterson's firm, but I don't know who
bought it. Actually, it hasn't been paid. It in on a credit card.
Q: So you came out here voluntarily?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Now you and Mr. Hubbard were never given credit for sinking or damaging any
Japanese submarines; were you?
A: I don't know. There is something quite odd about that and I have never gotten
to the bottom of it. I believe we were.
Q: Well, Admiral Fletcher in his report never gave you credit?
A: I am talking about the Navy Department in Washington. We were allowed, so I
was advised, to wear two battle stars on our American Theater ribbon which I
wore as long as I was in the service. I was told that they had been allowed by
Q: Now, you saw this report of Admiral Fletcher just before coming into the
A: Yes, sir.
MR. FLYNN: That is all I have, Your Honor. I would request the production of
MR. PETERSON: It misstates testimony. He said he saw a transmittal letter.
THE COURT: Whatever it was, let's produce it.
MR. PETERSON: The only thing I have is a copy of some exhibits.
THE WITNESS: Let me take a little time to go through that. I may -
THE COURT: If it is part of that, lot's not worry about it.
THE WITNESS: I think that is where I saw it, but I am not sure. Can you give me
a page number, sir, from your file?
MR. FLYNN: I don't think it is in there, Captain Moulton.
MR. PETERSON: May I approach the witness, Your Honor? I think this is what you
are talking about.
MR. FLYNN: I would move - I would offer this, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Well, he can mark it as an exhibit.
MR PETERSON: What number, Your Honor?
THE COURT: I guess 91.
Q BY MR. FLYNN: Is this the document you were referring to marked "Secret" in
the upper left-hand corner and signed -
A: Yes, This is the letter. That is what I would call second endorsement. So it
is a part of the letter transmittal. Our report was endorsed: first endorsement
by somebody and then he was the second. And then it would go to someone else and
subsequently it would end up and be sent back.
MR, FLYNN: That is all I have, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Redirect?
MR. PETERSON: Yes, Your Honor.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. PETERSON:
Q: You mentioned that you had a Master Certificate; since the end of the war
what has your last occupation been?
A: Except for a short period ashore where I worked in engineering I have been
working almost entirely in the Merchant Marine.
Q: And were you involved in sailing ships off the Vietnam coast during the
periods of the Vietnam conflict?
A: I was captain of ships throughout most of the Vietnam conflict.
Q: Have you recently retired?
A: As of the 1st of this month, officially.
Q: And during that period of time you have been sailing vessels?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And during the remainder
A: When did you get out of the Navy?
A: I would have to check; either December 1946 or January of 1947.
Q: From the period of time that you left PC 815 until the time you left the
Navy did you serve basically in combat duty?
A: Yes, sir, essentially. As a matter of fact, until the and of the war it was
all combat, in command.
Q: In command of LSTs?
A: Two LSTs and two repair ships - one repair ship. The second one was after the
Q: In cross-examination and reviewing certain documents that Mr. Flynn placed
before you, you indicated that if Mr. Hubbard had been in Intelligence, that
those particular documents wouldn't necessarily reflect the true factual
A: That is my understanding, sir.
Q: That in your understanding of what happened with officers who were involved
in Intelligence duty; is that correct?
THE COURT: We are sure getting a lot of speculation. I don't know that there was
any evidence that he was in intelligence work.
THE WITNESS: I don't know that he was in intelligence work. Counsel said he was.
THE COURT: Counsel said he may have said he was.
THE WITNESS: I thought he said he was.
THE COURT: He may have said he was. Hubbard may have said that Hubbard was in
THE WITNESS: One of the documents that you were discussing said something about
It too.: I think one of those that you showed me; didn't it, the letter from
Australia? You mentioned it.
MR. FLYNN: It is not my examination now.
MR. PETERSON: May I see those exhibits, Your Honor?
Q: Captain Moulton, in your experience in the Navy did you have yourself
personal independent knowledge of how records were kept regarding intelligence
A: Yes, sir.
Q: It was based upon that personal knowledge that you were answering Mr. Flynn’s
A: That is correct.
Q: And you said that it would not be unusual for certain dispatches or orders,
items, to be put into a Naval officer's file if he were in intelligence
operations; is that correct?
A: This, we were told in instructions when we were taught how to keep Naval
records. And as Captain, of course, I was ultimately responsible. It was common
knowledge in the service,
Q: Part of it was for security reasons so that a enemy intelligence couldn't
ascertain where certain offers or certain people ware conducting intelligence
operations; in that correct?
A: I would think also to avoid letting people know that an intelligence officer was entering an area. THE
COURT: What do
mean by "an intelligence officer"? Is that
somebody that is working with
the Office of Naval Intelligence? THE WITNESS: Or related. THE COURT: Or OSS, or
what? THE WITNESS: I would say or any related organization. THE COURT: What
about just a lieutenant commander in the Navy, a lieutenant
JG? THE WITNESS:
If his classification or commission was intelligence,
it would he handled
somewhat differently. At the time I knew him,
his classification was DV(G). THE COURT:
I thought he was aboard a destroyer. THE WITNESS: DV(G) would cover that. THE
Was he an engineering officer, or what? THE WITNESS: No; a deck officer with the
COURT: That has nothing to do with intelligence, does it?
Maybe yes, maybe no. A lot of intelligence officers carry DV(G) commissions. A
lot of them carry special IV(S) commissions. They were changed frequently. I don't know, sir.
It is speculation on
my part only because another counsel mentioned that he
had been in
intelligence. I didn't know this. MR, PETERSON: Your Honor, the line of questioning is because
Mr. Flynn was using
certain documents and the witness indicated that it wouldn't
be inconsistent if the man was in Naval Intelligence. THE COURT: I think we are getting out
in left field. The witness isn't competent to testify about the way in which Naval
Intelligence records were kept.
He has some knowledge about some things. A lot of it is based upon
what somebody might have told
him. That is way out in left field. We
have no solid evidence that Mr. Hubbard was ever an intelligence officer with Naval Intelligence.
Maybe somewhere in archives, maybe Mr.
come in and tell us he was
an intelligence officer. MR. PETERSON: May I approach the witness, and ask
him one question? THE COURT: You don't have to approach him. MR.
PETERSON: I would like for it to be off the record. MR. FLYNN: Your Honor,
I don't understand what is going on now. MR. PETERSON: It
than taking a break.
(Conference between plaintiff's
counsel and witness.) THE WITNESS: Way I continue that with you for just a
MR. PETERSON: No further questions. THE COURT: Mr.
Flynn, anything further? RECROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. FLYNN: Q: Captain Moulton,
you never worked in Naval intelligence, did you? A: I was assigned to intelligence duty
at one point in my career. THE COURT: Well, do you have a CIC
on board your ship? That is
an intelligence operation, isn't it?
THE WITNESS: I
was stationed intelligence officer and chief of police for a
time at the Bayonne Annex of the Brooklyn Navy shipyards at which time I
had charge of security of the Europa
when she was captured as a war prize, and I
conducted considerable investigation for the Navy, as a result
of which City officials were put in prison. Q BY MR. FLYNN: And did
false records when you did that? A: That type of duty would not
require any false records. sir. I was there openly.
Q: So the answer is you didn't create any false records? A: No, sir. MR, FLYNN:
further questions. MR. PETERSON: I think the record now stands
corrected, that he does understand and know Naval intelligence. REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. PETERSON: Q:
In that correct? A: To some
extent, sir. MR. PETERSON: I have
nothing further. THE COURT: You may stop down, sir. THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.