The military career of L. Ron Hubbard saw the future founder of Scientology serving in the United States Armed Forces as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve and, between 1941–50, the Navy Reserve. He saw active service between 1941–45, during World War II, as a naval Lieutenant, junior grade and later as a Lieutenant. After the war he was mustered out of active service and resigned his commission in 1950.
As with many other aspects of L. Ron Hubbard's life, accounts of his military career are much disputed. His account of his military service later formed a major element of his public persona, as depicted by his Scientologist followers. The Church of Scientology presents Hubbard as a "much-decorated war hero who commanded a corvette and during hostilities was crippled and wounded." According to Scientology publications, he served as a "Commodore of Corvette squadrons" in "all five theaters of World War II" and was awarded "twenty-one medals and palms" for his service. He was "severely wounded and was taken crippled and blinded" to a military hospital, where he "worked his way back to fitness, strength and full perception in less than two years, using only what he knew and could determine about Man and his relationship to the universe."
However, his official Navy service records indicate that "his military performance was, at times, substandard", that he was only awarded a handful of campaign medals and that he was never injured or wounded in combat and was never awarded a Purple Heart. Most of his military service was spent ashore in the continental United States on administrative or training duties. He briefly commanded two anti-submarine vessels, the USS YP-422 and USS PC-815, in coastal waters off Massachusetts, Oregon and California in 1942 and 1943 respectively. He was removed from command of both vessels and rated by his superiors as being unsuitable for independent duties and "lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation". Although Hubbard asserted that he had attacked and crippled or sunk two Japanese submarines off Oregon while in command of the USS PC-815, his claim was rejected by the commander of the Northwest Sea Frontier after a subsequent investigation. He was hospitalized for the last seven months of his active service, not with injuries but with an acute duodenal ulcer.
The Church of Scientology rejects the official record and insists that Hubbard had a second set of records that the U.S. Navy has concealed. According to the Church's chief spokesman, if it was true that Hubbard had not been injured, "the injuries that he handled by the use of Dianetics procedures were never handled, because they were injuries that never existed; therefore, Dianetics is based on a lie; therefore, Scientology is based on a lie."
Read more about Military Career Of L. Ron Hubbard: Montana Army National Guard and US Marine Corps Reserve, War Wounds, Medals, Documenting Hubbard's Military Career
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