LEON COOPER – A WORLD WAR II HERO OR
A DISHONORABLE DESERTER. YOU MAKE THE CALL
© 2018 MilitaryIntegrity.com
Leon Cooper was in command of a Higgins boat bringing the Marines ashore on the Pacific Island Atoll of Tarawa in November of 1943. The military referred to the Higgins boat as an LCVP meaning “landing craft, vehicle, personnel.”
The fighting was twenty-four hours a day for three days. After the fighting was over, Cooper allegedly returned to the island to collect the dead and wounded. The military reported that around 1,000 Marines were killed on Tarawa. It’s long been alleged the War Department downplayed the numbers of casualties on Tarawa. Hundreds of Marines were still missing in action decades after the war ended because they dumped their bodies in trenches and after the war forgot where they buried them.
In truth there were over 8,000 causalities on both sides and the Marines lost many more than the Pentagon admitted to. The government agency tasked with finding our Marines on Tarawa made little or no effort until a non-profit organization called History Flight and BUSTER the famous grave detection dog discovered trenches filled with bodies. One trench had the body of the missing Medal of Honor recipient, Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman of Knoxville, Tennessee. The Bonnyman family was lied to by the DOD saying that Sandy had been buried at sea. For seventy years, “buried at sea” was written on a monument in a cemetery in Knoxville.
Leon Cooper went back to Tarawa in 2008 and was featured in a documentary called “Return to Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story.” The documentary allegedly led to legislation aimed at getting the Pentagon to prioritize the return of remains from Tarawa.
Leon decided to become a writer. To our knowledge he wrote four books, three of which were about his WWII experiences…
2003 – 90 DAY WONDER – DARKNESS REMEMBERED – BY LEON COOPER
2007 – THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC – A RETROSPECTIVE BY LEON COOPER
2011 – REMEMBERING PRIVATE LAMB – BY LEON COOPER
2013 – THE PATENT JUNGLE – THE INVENTOR’S FRIENDLY USER GUIDE BY LEON COOPER
In CHAPTER NINE of his first book (90 Day Wonder), Leon Cooper describes what happened on the first day of fighting on Tarawa. How much of what Cooper wrote is fact or fiction will never be known. Each LCVP carried approximately 30 Marines and Lt. Leon Cooper was in charge of ten Higgins boats filled with Marines to land on “Beach Red” on Betio Island on Tarawa.
The coxswain shouted a warning to Lt. Cooper that he saw whitewater ahead, meaning the waves appeared to be breaking over a coral reef. By notifying Cooper the coxswain was strongly suggesting that he immediately alter course to avoid the shallow waters breaking over the reef. Cooper, and the hunkered-down Marines knew that if the LCVP got hung up on the reef, they would be sitting ducks for defending Japanese forces. Cooper wrote in chapter nine that he thought the whitewater was the splash of mortar fire and made no deviation from their course heading to the beach.
The coxswain was right. The landing craft hit the coral reef and came to an abrupt halt, hopelessly snagged on the reef. The coxswain shoved it in reverse, but the LCVP could not be freed from the jagged edges of the reef, the Marines were shouting at Cooper to lower the ramp so they could get the hell off that boat. The Marines instinctively knew they were sitting ducks for the Japanese mortar units. To no one’s surprise, the LCVP took a direct mortar hit killing and wounding many aboard. Thanks primarily to his life vest, a stunned Cooper popped up to the surface of the water.
Lt. Leon Cooper and his coxswain were taken to a hospital ship and checked out. The doctor ordered the coxswain to stay for observation because of a concussion he sustained. Seeing nothing wrong with Lt. Cooper, the doctor immediately ordered him back to duty. Lt. Cooper decided to ignore the doctor’s order and grabbed another coxswain ordering him to take him in a landing craft to a remote island away from the fighting.
The Coxswain resisted saying that he wasn’t sure he was authorized to do that. But, Leon gave the young 18-year-old an order and he shoved off with his only passenger being Lt. Leon Cooper. After the fighting had ended a few days later, the same coxswain who dropped him off at his own personal island for some rest and relaxation came back to pick him up. He gave a dehydrated Lt. Cooper some water and returned him to his assigned ship.
All of this information is from his own words in his book “90 Day Wonder.” Whether Leon Cooper was a deserter and coward, or someone who suffered from “shell shock” or “PTSD” is unknown. To be frankly honest, the description of what he did during the Battle of Tarawa has more than a hint of cowardice.
According to Leon Cooper, he became heavily involved in later years in allegedly helping the repatriation of bones from our missing Marines on Tarawa. Again, we don’t know to what extent he was involved doing that either. We know for a fact that Tarawa was basically being ignored by the U.S. government until a retired police detective and his famous grave detection dog BUSTER along with an excellent non-profit organization called History Flight brought attention to the missing Marines on Tarawa.
So, there you have it. Lt. Leon Cooper stated in his own words that ignoring the pleading of his coxswain, he failed to alter course away from the whitewater breaking over the coral reef. He ends up getting hung up on the coral reef and giving the Japanese an easy target. Because of this mistake, most of the Marines in his LCVP were killed or injured when another mortar made a direct hit.
Then, Lt. Cooper ordered a subordinate to take him to a quiet south-sea island several hundred yards away from the fighting, to sit the battle out. Once the fighting was over, he returned to his ship and went back to work. Seventy plus years later he is regarded as one of the heroes of the Battle of Tarawa. Then many years later, Leon Cooper is credited to some extent with the discovery of the bones of our missing Marines. It’s doubtful he knew where the Marines had fallen in battle because, by his own words, after he got his landing craft blown out from under him, he hightailed it to a deserted island to wait out the battle.
Adding insult to injury, Leon Cooper has been quoted as saying that he was holding the hands of dying Marines on the beach and consoling them as they slipped away. That’s not possible, because he was on a quiet island playing Robinson Crusoe.
Leon Cooper died November 16, 2017 in Malibu, California at 98 years of age. The Marine Corps presented a flag to his family for his “honorable” service to his country.
A GIANT DICK IN THE SKY, COURTESY OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
© 2018 MilitaryIntegrity.com
Just about this same time, a Navy pilot decided to use his jet to draw a huge penis in the sky over Okanogan County in Washington State. The civilians took photos of his creative artwork and sent them into the local TV station (KREM-TV).
If the aircraft was one of the Navy’s F-18s, it has a fuel capacity of 16,380 lbs, and begs the question, how much jet fuel did it take to draw a dick in the sky? What was the cost to the taxpayers for this phallic drawing activity?
Residents turned their eyes skyward to see the airplane exhaust by a Navy EA-18G Growler jet drawing a big penis in the sky.
VADM Shoemaker promised to get to the bottom of it. The unit involved was Electronic Attack Squadron 130 of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The “EA” version of the F-18 flies a two people and specializes in electronic warfare.
Because of the international embarrassment, the Navy is said to have taken the matter seriously.
The Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, was cited in a 2014 investigation for painting a giant penis on the roof of a trailer at its winter training home in El Centro, Calif, where pilots could see it from above. Instead of “painting” it in the sky with a vapor trail, they took actual paint and created their Picasso phallus on the roof of a trailer. The blue-and-gold painting was so large that it could be seen on satellite imagery.
It’s unclear what fate awaits the pilot in this latest incident, but more than likely it was a non-punitive letter or reprimand accompanied by an old-fashioned ass chewing.
If the skywriting a huge penis over the Washington sky is determined to be some sort of sexual harassment aimed at someone, the pilot could be subjected to formal counseling (whoop-de-do), a negative fitness report that could adversely injure an officer’s career, administrative punishment called a captain’s mast in the Navy, or a full-blown court-martial and dishonorable discharge. The dishonorable discharges are usually used against whistle blowers and would not likely happened to an oversexed pilot.
A COMPLETE FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP
© 2018 MilitaryIntegrity.com
Placing things in perspective, here’s a classic example of the failure of leadership in favor of politics. In 1967, LCDR Robert J. Naughton was shot down over Vietnam and spent seven years of his life in the Hotel Hanoi. Upon his return all sorts of medals pinned to his chest and attempted to resume his naval career. In June 1984, he became the commanding officer of Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas. The outgoing commanding officer and his henchmen had been working on a plan to get rid of Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Michael Tufariello because he had the audacity to expose massive fraud at the base. Naughton didn’t have a clue as to what had happened before he arrived and decided to believe in his executive officer CDR Mike Powers and his minion, LCDR Randy Loveless.
A month after he became commanding officer, on 20JUL84, Naughton allowed his officers to cart Tufariello off to a military mental hospital in a brazen attempt to destroy his ability to blow the whistle on their system of organized crime involving the misappropriation of millions of taxpayer dollars. Once Capt. Naughton became aware that five of his officers had committed crimes, in politician fashion, he chose to look the other way. Ironically, CPO Michael Tufariello was serving in Vietnam at the same time Naughton was being shot down. Instead of being a leader and holding his officers accountable for their heinous acts, he chose to take the easy path ultimately retiring from the Navy and going to work for NASA. It was OK with Naughton to allow a criminal enterprise to continue operating on his base.
I’LL DO WHAT I WANT AND I’LL SPEND WHAT I WANT BECAUSE I AM ABOVE THE LAW AND THEREFORE ABOVE ACCOUNTABILITY
© 2018 MilitaryIntegrity.com
VADM John Disher was the Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET). He always thought the Navy was his personal bank account and the aircraft under his command was provided for her personal whims. Admiral Disher ordered a T-44 training aircraft together with a flight instructor and student to be converted into an air limousine for his son and daughter-in-law to fly from NAS Corpus Christi, Texas to San Diego, California to attend a family wedding. Unfortunately, the aircraft broke down in El Paso, Texas and his son and daughter-in- law had to continue their journey on a commercial carrier.
The Navy had to fly a special maintenance crew to El Paso to fix the aircraft to get it back to its home base. The admiral was smart though, he made sure the flight could be cloaked under the guise of a “training” flight. This information came from the young female student aviator who was forced to “drive the limousine.” Her name was Rhonda Buckner who is now a captain with United Airlines. Not many flag-ranking officers care about the burden the taxpayers must bear. We guarantee that VADM John S. Disher surely did not.
Bye the way, we have more examples of Disher’s spendthrift ways indicating it wasn’t a one time thing. On another occasion, the admiral and his wife went on a shopping spree at the local J.C. Penney with a government credit card to purchase items for a BOQ room. Actor Robert Conrad was planning to visit the base during the peak of his Baa Baa Black Sheep portrayal of World War II ace Pappy Boyington. The impress the film and television star, the admiral decided to personally decorate the BOQ room he planned reside Conrad. It was all politics and a pathetic waste of taxpayer dollars. But, old Admiral Disher didn’t really care. It wasn’t his money.
14MAR17, THE NAVY’S FAT LEONARD SCANDAL, A BRIEF RUNDOWN OF THOSE CHARGED.
SAN DIEGO – Retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless and David Newland, chief of staff to the Commander of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet, along with seven other high-ranking Navy officers are charged in a federal grand jury indictment with acting as a team of moles for a foreign defense contractor, trading military secrets and substantial influence for sex parties with prostitutes, extravagant dinners and luxury travel.
According to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed today, the Navy officers worked together to help Singapore-based defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, pull off a colossal fraud that ultimately cost the Navy – and U.S. taxpayers – tens of millions of dollars.
Navy officers were arrested March 14, 2017, early in the morning in California, Texas, Florida, Colorado and Virginia. The United States will seek their removal to face charges in San Diego. Admiral Loveless was taken into custody at his home in Coronado, CA. The other defendants are Captains David Newland, James Dolan, Donald Hornbeck and David Lausman; Marine Corps Colonel Enrico DeGuzman; Commander Mario Herrera; Lt. Commander Stephen Shedd and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch. DeGuzman were also taken into custody.
The defendants face various charges including bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services fraud and obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators when confronted about their actions. Two defendants – Shedd and Herrera – were at the time on active duty; the others were recently retired.
The indictment is a veritable 78-page list of allegations in which Francis spent tens of thousands of dollars on bribing the defendants and the actions the officers took to reciprocate. Francis plied the officers with things like foie gras terrine, duck leg confit, ox-tail soup, $2,000 boxes of cigars and $2,000 bottles of rare cognac, plus wild sex parties in fancy hotels.
For their part, the defendants allegedly worked in concert to help Francis and GDMA win and keep defense contracts to provide port services to U.S. Navy ships; to redirect ships to ports controlled by Francis in Southeast Asia so he could overbill the Navy for supplies and services such as food, water, fuel, tugboats, and sewage removal; to sabotage competing defense contractors; to recruit new members for the conspiracy by spreading the “Glenn Gospel” to incoming Seventh Fleet leaders; and to keep the conspiracy secret by using fake names and foreign email service providers.
Including today’s defendants, a total of 25 named individuals have been charged in connection with the GDMA corruption and fraud investigation. Of those, 20 are current or former U.S. Navy officials; five are GDMA executives. Thirteen have pleaded guilty; other cases were pending.
“This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, and it was allegedly carried out by the Navy’s highest-ranking officers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “The alleged conduct amounts to a staggering degree of corruption by the most prominent leaders of the Seventh Fleet – the largest fleet in the U.S. Navy – actively worked together as a team to trade secrets for sex, serving the interests of a greedy foreign defense contractor, and not those of their own country.”
“The defendants in this indictment were entrusted with the honor and responsibility of administering the operations of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, which is tasked with protecting our nation by guarding an area of responsibility that spanned from Russia to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco. “With this honor and awesome responsibility came a duty to make decisions based on the best interests of the Navy and the 40,000 Sailors and Marines under their care who put their lives at risk every day to keep us secure and free. Unfortunately, however, these defendants are alleged to have sold their honor and responsibility in exchange for personal enrichment.”
“The allegations contained in the indictment exposed flagrant corruption among several senior officers previously assigned to the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet. The charges and subsequent arrests are yet another deplorable example of those who place their own greed above their responsibility to serve this nation with honor,” said Dermot F. O’Reilly, Director, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
“Naval Criminal Investigative Service, in concert with our partner agencies, remains resolved to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and to help hold accountable those who make personal gain a higher priority than professional responsibility,” Special Agent Andrew L. Traver, NCIS Director. “It’s unconscionable that some individuals choose to enrich themselves at the expense of military security.”
Here’s a sampling of bribes that were alleged in the indictment:
-During the U.S.S. Blue Ridge’s port visit to Sydney Australia on June 17, 2007, Francis hosted and paid for a dinner event at the Altitude Restaurant within the Shangri-La Hotel. Some of the defendants dined on saute of scallops, foie gras, and beef loin for a cost of $11,898. During dinner, defendant Gorsuch handed Francis two floppy disks containing classified port visit information for many U.S. Navy ships, according to the indictment.
-In March 2007, Francis hosted and paid for a multi-course dinner for several of the defendants at the Oak Door in Tokyo, Japan. The menu included foie gras, Lobster Thermidor, Sendai Tenderloin, and for dessert, Liberte Sauvage, the winning cake of the 10th Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2007, followed by cognac and cigars. Each course was paired with fine champagne or wine. Attendees posed for photographs wearing custom-made GDMA neckties that Francis had given them as gifts.
-During one port visit in Singapore on March 9, 2006, Francis seduced the leaders of the Seventh Fleet with foie gras terrine, duck leg confit, ox-tail soup, roasted Chilean sea bass, paired with expensive wine and champagne, followed by digestifs and cigars. The extravagance included $600-a-bottle Hennessy Private Reserve, $2,000-a-bottle Paradis Extra and $2,000-a-box Cohiba Cigars.
According to the indictment, the group of officers referred to themselves using various terms, such as “the Cool Kids,” “the Band of Brothers,” “the Brotherhood,” “the Wolfpack,” “the familia,” and “the Lion King’s Harem.” The officers tried to conceal their corrupt relationships by using fictitious names to create email addresses using foreign-based email services.
This is the first time multiple officers are charged as working all together in a multi-layered conspiracy, pooling their individual and collective resources and influence on behalf of Francis.
In addition to performing various official acts in return for Francis’s booty, these officers are also accused of violating many of the sworn official duties required of them as Navy officers, including duties related to the handling of classified information and duties related to the identification and reporting of foreign intelligence threats.
The U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet represents a vital piece of the United States military’s projection of power as well as American foreign policy and national security. The largest numbered fleet in the U.S. Navy, the Seventh Fleet comprises 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft and approximately 40,000 Sailors and Marines. The Seventh Fleet is responsible for U.S. Navy ships and subordinate commands which operate in the Western Pacific Ocean throughout Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia, and Russia as well as the Indian Ocean territories, as well ships and personnel from other U.S. Navy Fleets that enter the Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility. The U.S.S. Blue Ridge is the command-and-control ship of the Seventh Fleet and housed at-sea facilities for Seventh Fleet senior officials.
In addition to the nine defendants charged today, the 11 Navy officials charged so far in the fraud and bribery investigation are: Admiral Robert Gilbeau; Captain Michael Brooks; Captain Daniel Dusek; Commander Jose Luis Sanchez; Commander Michael Misiewicz; Commander Bobby Pitts; Lt. Commander Gentry Debord; Lt. Commander Todd Malaki; Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug; Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau; and Paul Simpkins, a former DoD civilian employee, who oversaw contracting in Singapore.
Gilbeau, Brooks, Dusek, Misiewicz, Sanchez, Debord, Malaki, Layug, Beliveau, and Simpkins have pleaded guilty. On Jan. 21, 2016, Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison and a $15,000 fine; on Jan. 29, 2016, Malaki was sentenced to 40 months in prison and to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $15,000 fine. On March 25, 2016, Dusek was sentenced to 46 months in prison and to pay $30,000 in restitution to the Navy and a $70,000 fine; and on April 29, 2016, Misiewicz was sentenced to 78 months in prison and to pay a fine of $100,000 and to pay $95,000 in restitution to the Navy. Beliveau was sentenced on October 14, 2016 to 12 years in prison and to pay $20 million in restitution; Simpkins was sentenced on December 2, 2016 to 72 months in prison; Gilbeau, Brooks, and Sanchez await sentencing. Pitts was charged in May 2016 and his case is pending.
Also charged are five GDMA executives – Francis, Alex Wisidagama, Edmund Aruffo, Neil Peterson and Linda Raja. Three have pleaded guilty; Wisidagama was sentenced on March 18, 2016 to 63 months in prison and $34.8 million in restitution to the U.S. Navy. Francis and Aruffo await sentencing. Peterson and Raja were extradited to the United States from Singapore in September 2016 and their cases were pending at the time.
DEFENDANTS Case Number: 17CR0623-JLS
Captain David Newland Age 60 San Antonio, Texas, Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Seventh Fleet
Colonel Enrico DeGuzman Age 58 Honolulu, Hawaii, Fleet Marine Office of the Seventh Fleet, responsible for coordinating the missions of the U.S. Marine Corps with the Seventh Fleet; and Assistant Chief of Staff of Operations for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific
Captain James Dolan Age 58 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics for the Seventh Fleet, responsible for meeting the logistical needs of every ship within the Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility
Captain Donald Hornbeck Age 56 United Kingdom, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for the Seventh Fleet, responsible for directing the operations of all combatant ships in the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility
Rear Admiral, Retired, Bruce Loveless Age 53 Coronado, CA, Previously a Captain and Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence for the Seventh Fleet, responsible for assessing and counteracting foreign intelligence threats within the Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility
Captain David Lausman Age 62 The Villages, Florida, Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln; Commanding Officer of U.S.S. Blue Ridge; Commanding Officer of U.S.S. George Washington
Lt. Commander Stephen Shedd Age 43 Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seventh Fleet’s South Asia Policy and Planning Officer, responsible for identifying ports that U.S. Navy ships would visit; and once promoted to Commander, served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Milius
Commander Mario Herrera Age 48 Helotes, Texas, Fleet Operations and Schedules Officer for the Seventh Fleet, responsible for scheduling the port visits for ships and submarines in the Seventh Fleet’s area of responsibility (Herrera was previously charged in February 2017 via complaint)
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch Age 49 Virginia Beach, Virginia, Seventh Fleet’s Flag Administration Officer, responsible for providing administrative support to the Seventh Fleet Commander and other senior officers on the Seventh Fleet staff
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Commit Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, Maximum Penalty: 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss, whichever is greater
Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201, Maximum Penalty: 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or gross pecuniary loss from the offense, or three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater
False Statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, Maximum Penalty: 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine
Obstruction of Justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, Maximum Penalty: 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine
Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Wire Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349, 1346, 1343, Maximum Penalty: 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine