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NYWG Historian
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« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2007, 02:28:14 PM »

At least to the "arming" question....

from the official Base 17 history:

"By the end of the first week in August 1942, the Base began to emerge asa a reality.  Two ships, a Waco (NC 17717) and a Stinson Reliant (NC 15121), had been flown to Mitchel Field for installation of bomb-racks...."

As to the uniform question...according to Col Louisa Morse's Uniforms & Insignia, uniforms were under consideration for a number of months and various versions were approved for wear.  On June 30, 1942, the War Department finaly authorized CAP to wear the standard service uniforms and grades with distinctive US insignia (p6)

from Neprud's Flying Minute Men:

"The CAP uniform evolved during the first six months.  Several early suggestions for garb to be worn by members when on duty (and paid for by themselves) included a blue, single-breasted suit and special brown two-tone ensemble.  In the end, Army-style khakis and OD's--with distinctive CAP markings to distinguish them from the military--were officially authorized by the War Department."
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Peter J. Turecek, Major, CAP
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2007, 02:57:38 PM »

All of the references are undoubtedly accurate, and none of them are in opposition to my central thesis that armed attacks did not occur until CAP was officially transfered to the Army.

1.  The decision to put CAP into modified Army uniforms was made in or near April of 1942.  This would have been subsequent to Arnold's discussion with Wilson about the willingness of CAP volunteers to fight in civilian clothes.  This was of criticl importance in Arnold's mind, since if CAP members had been captured alive acting as combatants in civilian clothes, they would have had no protection under the Geneva Convention.  The Germans, by 1942, had a reputation of dealing with armed partisans very harshly.

2.  The authorization of special insignia for an Army unifrom in August, 1942 is about right, considering when the decision was probably made.

3.  The mix of aircraft types that CAP used was without a doubt a problem for Army aeronautical engineers.  Each type had different weight and balance issues, and a different bomb or depth charge rack would have to be designed and manufactured  for each type of plane.  This had to take time.  Also, the planes had to be ferried to, as we know, Mitchell Field, for installation of the racks.  This would have had to be done in increments, since it would not be a good idea to close a base to take all the planes up at once.  Given the number of planes, this process might not be complete until 1943.

4.  There was a legal issue involved.  As long as CAP was part of Civil Defense, I don't think that they could take armed action against an enemy force.  That is why, together with the scope of the problem of arming hundreds of light planes not originally designed for combat, I do not believe that any attacks by CAP took place until the actual transfer of CAP to the Army.

5.  AFTER the transfer, however, the attacks were frequent, and the level of activity intense.  Arnold's decision to arm CAP effectively put hundreds of combat aircraft out on patrol against the U-Boats, and this increased patrol and attack activity is what forced the U-Boats to retreat from the coasts and change tactics.
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Another former CAP officer
RiverAux
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« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2007, 11:23:12 PM »

Final nail in the coffin:

From Maine to Mexico, page 15.  There is an excerpt from a CAP News article (which used as a source a letter about the incident from the WWII CAP national commander written at the time) describing the dropping of a depth charge by a CAP coastal patrol plane on July 11, 1942 by a crew from the Atlantic City, NJ base in which a submarine was at least damaged.

Combining the evidence NY and I have cited it is very clear that CAP members had access to Army uniforms as early as April, 1942 and certainly had them officially authorized and available by mid-1942 and that they were conducting armed patrols as early as early July, 1942, well before the transfer to the Army in April, 1943. 

So, it is very probable that for the first few months of the coastal patrol operation that CAP memberswere not wearing uniformed, but it defies credibility that after everyone else in CAP had uniforms that spring that the coastal patrol people were not wearing them.  I think the burden of proof is on you to show that this was the case. 

Now, I wouldn't doubt that even after CAP planes began to be armed that there were some that were not due to the type of plane and that there probably was a mixture of armed and unarmed planes at the bases throughout their entire service, but there is no evidence that there was any sort of backlog that prevented CAP planes from being armed.
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Tubacap
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« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2007, 02:35:59 AM »

So we are credited with two kills during this time period, does anyone have the U numbers of the boats that were sunk and credited?  This is an interesting thread and would like to get down to Rehobeth to see the memorial.  Anyone know where it is on the beach?
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William Schlosser, Major CAP
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« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2007, 03:27:18 AM »

I don't know if we will ever get to that level of knowledge.  Finding out probable dates of sinkings from the German records is probably possible, but finding specific data on dates & locations when CAP planes performed attacks so as to try to match them would be the hard part.  Except for that find of what appears to be the complete records of one of the Coastal Patrol bases last year, who knows where most of that data is. 

For what its worth, this site http://uboat.net/index.html has extremely detailed information on all WWII uboat losses, including who exactly was responsible for sinking them.  I went through all the losses attributed to aircraft and none were made by CAP.  For comparison, the Australians Air Force sank 29 subs and the Czechoslovakian Air Force sank 3.  Heck, even the Brazlians got 1. 

Now, to go back to the original intent of the tread, some of the data on that site is interesting in that 1,154 uboats were sunk in the war, 250 were sunk solely by aircraft and 37 by aircraft and ships together.  Even if CAP's claim of sinking 1 or 2 is correct it shows that we were only a very tiny part of the war and do not deserve a major claim to fame. 

Did we scare the Germans away?  I don't see how.  The Germans suffered great losses attacking convoys but continued to do it because it was worth the risk. The small deterrent offerred by CAP would not have kept them away from the coasts if they had really wanted to be there.  In my opinion they took advantage of our general unpreparedness and struck near the coasts while they could.  It wasn't our planes operating near shore that kept them from coming back, it was the fact that they would have had to slip by a whole lot of other new defenses to get to that near shore area by mid to late 1942.  It was easier to stay nearer Germany and lie in wait for the convoys to come to them. 
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wingnut
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« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2007, 04:10:23 AM »

Gee Bud are you a Kill Joy

" but Did we scare the Germans away?  I don't see how"

Such a statement, remember we provided immense value as recon, and the oil company's were so grateful for helping save thousands of Merchant seaman  OK maybe hundreds. But common sense tells you that a submarine on the surface recharging its batteries is going to dive when an allied (CAP) aircraft appears. One can't tell if its a P-39 or a Waco from one mile. The point is we were a force of hundreds of Airplanes with 2 sets of Mark 4 eyeballs. I believe we did sink at least 2 subs, I would like to find out the lat long and see if they are on the sunken u-boat wreck location.
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2007, 11:38:19 AM »

I don't know if we will ever get to that level of knowledge.  Finding out probable dates of sinkings from the German records is probably possible, but finding specific data on dates & locations when CAP planes performed attacks so as to try to match them would be the hard part.  Except for that find of what appears to be the complete records of one of the Coastal Patrol bases last year, who knows where most of that data is. 

For what its worth, this site http://uboat.net/index.html has extremely detailed information on all WWII uboat losses, including who exactly was responsible for sinking them.  I went through all the losses attributed to aircraft and none were made by CAP.  For comparison, the Australians Air Force sank 29 subs and the Czechoslovakian Air Force sank 3.  Heck, even the Brazlians got 1. 

Now, to go back to the original intent of the tread, some of the data on that site is interesting in that 1,154 uboats were sunk in the war, 250 were sunk solely by aircraft and 37 by aircraft and ships together.  Even if CAP's claim of sinking 1 or 2 is correct it shows that we were only a very tiny part of the war and do not deserve a major claim to fame. 

Did we scare the Germans away?  I don't see how.  The Germans suffered great losses attacking convoys but continued to do it because it was worth the risk. The small deterrent offerred by CAP would not have kept them away from the coasts if they had really wanted to be there.  In my opinion they took advantage of our general unpreparedness and struck near the coasts while they could.  It wasn't our planes operating near shore that kept them from coming back, it was the fact that they would have had to slip by a whole lot of other new defenses to get to that near shore area by mid to late 1942.  It was easier to stay nearer Germany and lie in wait for the convoys to come to them. 

River, for a guy with nautical experience, you sure are willing to sell the CAP short.

There was a reason that the Germans liked raiding the U.S. coast.  The defense against U-Boats on the high seas was the convoy.  A lot of ships protected by some destroyers and sometimes what was called a "Jeep Carrier" or a small aircraft carrier.  These were tough to attack, and forced the Germans to attack in "Wolf Packs."

To attack in a wolf pack, the Germans had to break radio silence to coordinate the attack with other U-Boats.  They felt safe in doing this, since they had confidence in their Enigma coding devices.  They did not know that the British had already captured one, as did the Americans when the U-505 was captured.

It was far easier to attack merchant ships as they left port, before they could form up in convoy. CAP made that task so difficult that the Germans were forced to switch to the wolfpack tactic, and keep their operations out of range of land-based aircraft. 

That increased the casualties suffered by the U-Boats, by forcing them into tactics that were easier to defend against.  In the Army we call that forcing the enemy to fight on our terms and on our terrain. 

CAP is credted with sinking two subs.  The entire US Coast Guard, through the entire war, is credited with three.

I frankly don't understand your fascination with uniforms.  I have several times indicated that a decision was made in or around April, 1942 to have CAP members wear an Army Air Corps uniform with distinctive insignia.  They did not, evidently, wear uniforms prior to the 1942 meeting between Arnold and Wilson, where Arnold asked Wilson if CAP members were willing to bear arms in civilian clothes.

You have documentation of an attack in July, 1942.  That means that the level of intensity of attacks was significantly diminished than would have been the case under my theory. 

But...  Consider this:

CAP made 57 attacks against U-Boats in about 12 months (July 1942-July 1943, the Coastal Patrol ended in August of 1943 for want of targets).  Two subs were sunk during that time.  That still indicates an attack against a U-Boat at a rate of 4.75 attacks per month, or on average, an attack every week.  As additional planes were equipped with bomb racks, the frequency of attacks would have increased over time.

So, my central premise still stands.  CAP was a decisive force in the Coastal Defense phase of the Battle of the Atlantic.  CAP forced the Germans to switch to the riskier tactic of attacking convoys. 

CAP, and by extension, the Air Force, can lay claim to the fact that an irrgular force drove an armed and determined enemy from the shores of the United States, a feat that had not happened since the War of 1812, and has not happened since.
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Another former CAP officer
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Civil Air Patrol Patches
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2007, 01:49:30 PM »

Thanks Kach and Aux for the read, I thought the discussion was well worth it!

While the books From Maine to Mexico and Flying Minuteman probably are not 100% accurate, there are also questions and facts that they do not cover. That's what I think was being discused here.

If you two ever want to calaborate on a dissertation tat expounds upon the logistical developement of Civil Air Patrol, that would be fantastic! Perhaps you could get a grant from National HQ? I'm pretty sure the HO Dept has some ching available that isn't being spent on eBay stuff.

- Ace

BTW, there are also several audio and video recordings owned by National HQ of former Patrol Base members telling stories that have never (to my knowledge) been published or used for any purpose.
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Ace Browning, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2007, 06:55:11 PM »

I do not sell CAP short for a minute.  I just contend that there are no facts to back up an assertion that we were a decisive factor in the battle of the Atlantic.  I hold no fascination with uniforms and was just disproving Kach's early assertion that we didn't wear uniforms until we transferred to the Army. 

Quote
CAP is credted with sinking two subs. 
By who?  I know we CLAIM to have sunk two subs, but as I pointed out, we may or may not have actually done so.  As far as I am aware, no one has matched a specific CAP attack to the loss of a known German sub. 

Quote
So, my central premise still stands.  CAP was a decisive force in the Coastal Defense phase of the Battle of the Atlantic.  CAP forced the Germans to switch to the riskier tactic of attacking convoys. 
Please go ahead and find a reputable historical journal that would accept that as part of an article they would publish.  Given the lack of evidence to back it up, I don't think anyone would touch it with a ten foot pole.  You're just over-reaching. 
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aveighter
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« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2007, 11:25:47 PM »

John, your wasting your time.  This has become a pearls before swine discussion. 

Save your pearls.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2007, 03:17:57 AM »

I'm basically happy that we've got the facts regarding plane arming, uniform wear, and the Army takeover clear.  I enjoy being a mythbuster. 

Regarding the idea that CAP was significant in the battle of the Atlantic, we can agree to disagree until some actual evidence is presented. 
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Al Sayre
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« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2007, 12:14:24 PM »

I wish I still had my father's scrap books, he commanded the squadron at PB3 in Lantana FL shortly after the war.  I remember seeing some of the newspaper articles about the base and the sub that was sunk off Lantana beach.  If you can search the archives of the Palm Beach Post from '42-'44 (might be available on microfiche at the downtown library in West Palm Beach) you will probably find what you are looking for...
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Lt Col Al Sayre
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« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2007, 03:37:23 PM »

The Palm Beach Historical Society recently put out a DVD called Puddle Jumpers of Lantana about the Coastal Patrol Base 3.  I just bought my copy last week but haven't been able to view yet.  I would assume as part of their research for the film, they would have some archival materials that would include some documentation.

Here's the link for the video: http://www.historicalsocietypbc.org/publications.asp

I too have looked for concrete evidence of CAP's 2 kills but have been unable to find documentation.  Most of the CP bases don't appear to have published base histories as they were requested to do.
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Peter J. Turecek, Major, CAP
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JohnKachenmeister
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« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2007, 03:57:35 PM »

Confounding historical research is the fact that there were sunset dates on records, and the records were destroyed in accordance with the regulations at the time.

Credit for "Kills" is established through intelligence channels.

Also, I went back, because I don't remember claiming that CAP did not wear uniforms until 1943, and I did find an offhand comment that "Bomb racks and uniforms were all ready by 1943."  Sorry about that lack of clarity that led anyone to an erroneous conclusion.

Also, I have been careful to point out that I have never said that CAP was a decisive force in "The Battle of the Atlantic," but rather in the coastal phase of that battle, or as I have alternately described it, the battle along the coast.  CAP made a contribution to the overall battle by denying areas of easy targets to the Germans, but was decisive only in forcing the enemy from the coastal areas.

So... OK, you are watching an old western movie.  The Indians are attacking the wagon train full of settlers.  Suddenly, a bugle blowing "Charge" is heard, and the cavalry rides up.  The Indians run away.  From this, we can conclude:

A.  The marksmanship of the settlers was improving, forcing the Indians to retreat.

B.  The Indians were getting tired of attacking the settlers, and decided to go back and smoke some primo wampum in their wigwam.

C.  The cavalry attack changed the tactical situation, and the Indians fell back.

D.  The Indians returned to their camp to discuss how many additional feathers should be awarded for the attack, the cavalry had nothing to do with this withdrawal. 

I think it is obvious that CAP was a decisive force in the Coastal Battle.  Adding a couple of hundred combat planes changed the tactical situation, and can't be anything BUT a decisive action.

  
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Another former CAP officer
MovingOnToOtherThings
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« Reply #54 on: October 17, 2007, 05:05:24 PM »

Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King 1941-1945 (kind of hard not to take his words and feelings for truth) Official Reports to the Secretary of the Navy:

May 18th 1943 Admiral King wrote a letter that began - The Commander in Chief, United States Fleet appreciates the valuable contributions rendered by these civilian aircraft in Sea Frontier Operations. He ordered that CP bases be closed and reported as part of the Official War Diary:

**** Enemy Submarines Definitely Damaged or Destroyed 2 ****

Official US Navy Records taken from the book

U-Boat Commanders cursed the persistent presence of what they called the "yellow bees"

Operation Drumbeat by Michael Gannon / The Dramatic Story of Germany's First U-Boat attacks along the American Coast in WWII



Edwin P. Hoyt (Naval Author and Historian)

The civilian effort was far more important than most Americans ever knew. All up and down the East Coast, the inadequecy of military coastal defenses had led to the buildup of coastal patrols manned by civilian air pilots flying their own planes, at their own expense most of the time. They were unpaid volunteers.

U-Boats Offshore When Hitler Struck America

« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 05:17:23 PM by caphistorian » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #55 on: October 17, 2007, 10:02:36 PM »

Well, I suppose what some of us are looking for is confirmation of CAP kills of specific submarines using records that would not have been available until after the war (the german ones).  Sub kill claims are a little like bomb damage assessments -- you don't know if your immediate after-action assessment was correct until after the war is over and the enemies records are available to you. 

In other words, I'm sure that all the relevant military authorities thought that CAP killed those submarines based on the intelligence available to them at the time of the "kill", but that doesn't mean that a sub was actually sunk, just that everyone thought one was sunk. 
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aveighter
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« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2007, 11:23:26 PM »

Major Shaw, I don't know how you can publish those claims and propose we should take them as anything other than wild speculation.

How do we know that the Admirals stateroom wasn't next to the engine room and he was breathing potentially lethal and hallucinatory quantities of diesel fumes while writing those letters and reports???

And how do we know that the good Admiral was not, in actual fact, John Kachenmeisters brother-in-laws cousins uncle, knowing full well that in 50 some years young John would be making wild-eyed claims of honor and glory about some organization of losers and malcontents so he set about creating a plausible historical cover story to save face for ol John to spread around a half century later??????

Bet you fancy historical types can't explain that one!  Took the wind right out of your sails, HA! you uppity straight gig-line non belt-oozing over uniform wearing wannabees.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #57 on: October 17, 2007, 11:47:00 PM »

Is it time for a lock?
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Dave Bowles
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« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2007, 01:24:01 AM »

Well, I suppose what some of us are looking for is confirmation of CAP kills of specific submarines using records that would not have been available until after the war (the german ones).  Sub kill claims are a little like bomb damage assessments -- you don't know if your immediate after-action assessment was correct until after the war is over and the enemies records are available to you. 

In other words, I'm sure that all the relevant military authorities thought that CAP killed those submarines based on the intelligence available to them at the time of the "kill", but that doesn't mean that a sub was actually sunk, just that everyone thought one was sunk. 

Doesn't CAP have "historical documents" that provide a history on this topic?  Here is a blurb right from "History of CAP"  it gives peoples names, and specifically says where and gives details about oil slicks and all...
Quote
Quote from: http://level2.cap.gov/documents/u_082503081737.pdf
It was one of these larger planes armed with depth charges that made the first CAP “kill.” Captain Johnny Haggins and Major Wynant Farr, flying out of Atlantic City, New Jersey, had just become airborne in a Grumman Widgeon (an amphibian, a plane that can land on land or water) when they received a message from another CAP patrol that “contact” had been made about 25 miles off the coast.

The other patrol was low on fuel and was being forced to return to base, so Haggins and Farr sped to the area, while flying a scant 300 feet above the ocean. When the Haggins-Farr patrol reached the area, no sub was in sight. Very shortly thereafter however, Major Farr spotted the U-boat as it cruised beneath the surface of the waves. After radioing to
shore, and knowing that they could not accurately estimate the depth of the sub, the crew decided to follow the sub until (they hoped) it rose to periscope depth, when they would have a better chance of hitting the sub with their depth charges.

For over three hours they shadowed the U-boat and eventually ran low on fuel. Just before they had to turn back, the U-boat rose back up to periscope depth. Captain Haggins swung the plane around quickly and aligned it with the sub. He then began a gentle dive to 100 feet where he leveled off behind the sub’s periscope wake. Major Farr pulled the cable release and the first depth charge plummeted into the water just off the sub’s bow.

Seconds later a large water and oil geyser erupted, the explosion literally blowing the sub’s forward portion out of the water. Shock waves from the blast rocked the patrol plane.

As the sub sank below the surface, it left a huge oil slick as the target for the second run.
On the second run, the remaining depth charge was dropped squarely in the middle of the oil slick.

After the second geyser had settled, pieces of debris began to float to the surface. The CAP Coastal Patrol’s first kill was confirmed!
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RiverAux
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« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2007, 02:37:20 AM »

As I said, I don't doubt that the CAP pilots and associated military members were sure they sunk a sub, but there were also plenty of pilots who thought they shot down planes or thought they sunk ships that didn't actually go down.  I don't think they were lying in those case, they just happened to be wrong.

Please tell me exactly which subs CAP sunk.  I provided a link to a page which listed all known German u-boat losses in WWII.  None were listed as being sunk by CAP.  Heck, show me a specific sub that CAP attacked that was listed as missing by the Germans at about the time CAP claimed to have sunk a sub where that one was supposed to be and that will be good enough for me. 

Again, I think it very possible that CAP did actually sink a sub or two, but I just don't think we should claim it unless we've got rock solid date and the name of the sub(s) that we sunk.  Maybe someone has that information, and if so, I'd be extremely happy to see it as I really do want for us to be able to make those claims and have them be true.

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