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Torpedo Attack Survivor Loses Bid In Claims Court

WASHINGTON (CN) - A survivor of a torpedo attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 lost his bid to have his military records corrected to reflect a disability discharge based on post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the Court of Federal Claims, Harold Six Sr.sued the governmentfor a70 percent disability rating based on the post-traumatic stress disorder he allegedly developed after the attack, which happened off the coast of Gaza during the Six-Day War between Israel and Arab forces.

The Navy Court of Inquiry investigated the attack and concluded that it was a "case of mistaken identity that ended once the ship was recognized to be a U.S. naval vessel."

Six demanded a disability discharge, saying the Navy court's decision contained false facts, and the Navy had "purposefully engaged in a cover-up operation."

But the Board for Correction of Naval Records determined that the evidence did not establish "probable material error or injustice."

Six challenged its conclusion, saying the board failed to consider the effects of a "silencing order," in which a Navy officer allegedly warned Six and other survivors not to discuss the attack with anyone.

Given Six's solid Navy record after the attack, the questionable credibility of his PTSD diagnoses and his failure to report any PTSD symptoms, the claims court concluded that his records should not be altered to receive back pay and benefits. See ruling.

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