Bob Smith has kindly given me permission to pass on his description of what happened in the military on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
April 4, 1968
I never heard all of this, but like my black and red brothers in the
Navy at the time knew it instinctively.
That particular day I was
the duty Weapons Dept. Officer on a Destroyer Tender (USS Tidewater, as I recall). That evening
meal started out like any other with the mess cooks (Junior enlisted
serving six months of Mess Duty) setting up the chow line. I passed
through the mess hall on my way to the Weapons Office to do some
reports and noticed more of my black shipmates then usual gathered
on the mess deck. I didn't think to much about it at the time.
Finished my reports and started back to eat and saw something I had
never seen before. The chow line was still not moving. Just then the
PA system blared for the duty Weapons Officer and the duty Gunners
Mate to report to the office of the XO (Executive Officer, second in command). So I turned around and went back
the way I had come. the XO was waiting and gave me the order to
clear the Mess Decks as the black's had barricaded them self in it.
He ordered the Gunners Mate to issue what ever weapons I thought we
I had a idea, so I told the GM to go forward and round
up everyone he could find and meet me with them on the hanger deck.
Then I started aft rounding up everyone I could find and sending
them to meet me on the hanger deck. When I had everyone available
assembled I briefed them on the situation and my plan.
entrance to the mess decks was filled with people with charged fire
hoses ready to open the door and hose down anyone they saw. When I
verified that every entrance was covered I went to the Quarterdeck
and gave the signal "NOW" over the PA system. My hose crews moved in
spraying and knocking down everyone who was part of the barricade.
Followed by more crew members tying them up moving them out to the
My crews then dewatered the Mess decks and had the
cooks prepare another supper for those of us who had not eaten. The
XO and the CDO went through and had the ringleaders moved to the
Brig and sent the rest of them back to their sleeping quarters. The
ship departed on a nine-month deployment three days later so I lost
track of what else happened because of Dr. King's killing. It did
happen on most Navy ships with some being deprived of lights,
ventilation and power until they gave up. A few military units used
armed force to break up the so-called mutinies. So, I was glad I
used a different tactic.
Robert N. Smith PO1 USN RET
Conspiracy to Kill MLK: Not a Theory But a Fact
April 4, 1968, the government was part of a successful
conspiracy to assassinate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article34509.htm
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