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#76 firefighter

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:27 AM

My bad.I thought the Armed Forces Service medal was the Volunteer Service medal.Still not a medal he should be wearing.Here is a link that shows what operations qualify for the AFSM, http://en.wikipedia....s_Service_MedalThe other thing I have never seen on a separation paperwork is a Presidential Testimonial Letter.That is pretty much a certificate for your service, aka: letter of appreciation.It would be like adding a Cold War Certificate on my DD214.For somebody that spent so many years in the Navy you would think he would know to put gold stars not oak leaf clusters on his Commendation ribbon.It should say 'GOLD STAR' on his medal certificates.Like I said, I'm not accusing anybody of anything it's just that certain things do not add up.



#77 Shade Ruff

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:53 AM

January 23, 2014

 

He has a membership card noting: John Arens is a Life Member of:
187th Airborne R.C.T. Assn.
RAKKAJANS 95938

 

 

  His DD Form 214 for Korean War service confirms this.  Note the block that appears to be titled "Most Significant Unit Assignment."  In this block it appears to read, "CO G 18TH AIR APO 51."

 

  I would assume 18TH AIR is a typographical error for what should read "187TH AIR" - 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment or 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team as it was also known.

 

Shade Ruff

 

 

 

 

 



#78 Shade Ruff

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 01:07 PM

  I believe the attached ribbon rack more accurately represents what Captain Arens is entitled to wear based on his documented U.S. Army and U.S. Merchant Marine service.  Should other documentation surface that confirms actual U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard service, his ribbon rack would be modified accordingly:

 

Army Good Conduct Medal; Army Occupation Medal; National Defense Service Medal

 

Korean Service Medal (with three bronze service/campaign stars); Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal; Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal

 

Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal; United Nations Service Medal (Korea); Korean War Service Medal (Republic of Korea)

 

  Although not reflected on his Korean service DD Form 214, his active, honorable service during that conflict entitles him to the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal (Republic of Korea).  His Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal is authorized given his Merchant Marine service during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s.

 

Shade Ruff

Attached Images

  • Arens Rack.jpg

Edited by Shade Ruff, 25 January 2014 - 01:15 PM.


#79 firefighter

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:00 PM

He also should or could have the following.Company G 187th AIR also had a combat jump in Korea.

 

cbtabn.jpgcombat-infantrymans-badge-68969_462x306. mCmGu3YCkLrMjx2svHkKfVg.jpg X2 on the overseas bars.I'm guessing has the Army Overseas ribbon because of this.The unit was also awarded The Army & Navy PUC's.


Edited by firefighter, 25 January 2014 - 02:02 PM.


#80 Shade Ruff

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

He also should or could have the following.  I'm guessing has the Army Overseas ribbon because of this.

 

firefighter,

 

  He does not qualify for the Army Overseas Service Ribbon.  In order to do so, he would have to have been on active duty in the U.S. Army on or after August 1st, 1981.

 

Shade Ruff
 



#81 firefighter

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

 

firefighter,

 

  He does not qualify for the Army Overseas Service Ribbon.  In order to do so, he would have to have been on active duty in the U.S. Army on or after August 1st, 1981.

 

Shade Ruff
 

 

 

I understand that.I was just saying that maybe he thought he could wear that because he couldn't wear the o/s bars on his Navy/MM uniform.I wasn't saying he should be wearing it.



#82 Shade Ruff

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:39 PM

 

 

I understand that.I was just saying that maybe he thought he could wear that because he couldn't wear the o/s bars on his Navy/MM uniform.I wasn't saying he should be wearing it.

 

firefighter,

 

  Understood.

 

  Based on information contained in his Korean War discharge paperwork, he would not have participated in either of the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment's credited assault operations so therefore would not qualify for the combat jump star on his jump wings.  The first 187th AIR assault was on October 20th, 1950 and the second was March 23rd, 1951.  He would also not qualify for the Navy Presidential Unit Citation as that was awarded for service in the unit from September 15th - October 11th, 1950.  Arens was still stateside.

 

  He likely does qualify for the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. 

 

  Unless he was awarded a U.S. Army Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) while assigned to another unit in Korea, he does not qualify for personal, permanent wear of the U.S. Army Presidential Unit Citation for service with the 187th AIR.  Per DA Pamphlet 672-1, all three PUC awards to the 187th AIR occurred prior to his arrival in Korea. 

 

Shade Ruff
 


Edited by Shade Ruff, 25 January 2014 - 02:46 PM.


#83 Shade Ruff

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:04 PM

  As for the ribbons displayed, here is the row-by-row breakdown:

 

Row 1:  Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars; United Nations Service Medal (Korea); National Defense Service Medal

 

Row 2:  Korean War Service Medal (Republic of Korea); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters (should correctly display three gold stars); Korea Defense Service Medal

 

Row 3:  Cold War Victory Medal (unofficial); Navy Expeditionary Medal; Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

 

Row 4:  Army Overseas Service Ribbon; Unknown; Meritorious Service Medal

 

Row 5:  Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, Antarctica Service Medal; Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal

 

Row 6:  Southwest Asia Service Medal; Armed Forces Service Medal; Merchant Marine Expeditionary Award 

 

  Although Captain Arens is authorized both the Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal and Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal, he is not wearing the ribbons for these awards.  The correct ribbons for those awards are attached.

 

Shade Ruff 

 

 

The previously unknown/unidentified ribbon in Row 4 is now identified.  It is the ribbon for the Korean Defense Commemorative Medal - an unofficial award.

 

Shade Ruff
 

Attached Images

  • KDCM.jpg


#84 Dave

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

First - Shade Ruff - thanks for your legwork and effort!

 

Just a couple of other things to mention:

 

1. He is wearing the Korean Defense Service Medal, which he probably thinks he's authorized to do. However, according to AR 600-8-22, the period of eligibility started on 28 July 1954, about 18 months after he was discharged from the Army. The link to the Army awards manual is: http://www.apd.army....s/r600_8_22.pdf

 

2. I also found his DD-214 from the Coast Guard interesting. It's the first one of those I've seen from the January 1988 declaration of the MM's veteran status. I thought it was also interesting on his Army DD-214 that his employment was listed from 1944 to 1950 as Standard Oil Company (perhaps better known as ESSO).

 

If he can provide proof of having been officially awarded any of the other decorations he currently wears on his uniform, I will put my money where my mouth is and buy him a correct set of ribbons, with his authorized awards, so long as he promises to stop wearing the set of ribbons he has.

 

That's about the best I can do.

 

Dave



#85 468abnarm

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:48 PM

The resolution on my computer is not the best, cab someone make out what the text says under A Co 4 TK BN in section 30 of the right hand 214

#86 Jack's Son

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 08:39 PM

Dave is NOT taking issue with this man in particular, but with the subject of this discussion. If any veteran is going to make and issue of their military service, that veteran should be able to stand up under scrutiny. Also, if a blogger, or reporter is going to bring the story to the attention of countless people, that person should also scrutinize the records COMPLETELY!

Dave is an intelligent and articulate individual who has a small gray area between black and white. In other words he needs provenance to understand what seems to be inaccurate. The subject of this thread is "did this person earn all of the awards he wears"? It is not so much that this person is lying, but rather does he have a clear understanding of what he is wearing, and what he deserves to wear.

This thread is better with Dave's insights and research. (IMHO)

#87 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 03:41 AM

The resolution on my computer is not the best, cab someone make out what the text says under A Co 4 TK BN in section 30 of the right hand 214

 

468abnarm,

 

  It reads:  "CP BRECKINRIDGE KY" - Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky.  This is where Arens attended a Leadership Course from February to March 1951.

 

  Camp Breckinridge was built in 1942 on 36,000 acres in Morganfield, KY at a cost of $39,000.000.00.  Named for John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Vice President 1856-60; Confederate Secretary of War, 1865.  Created as an infantry training center for up to 40,000 men.  During WWII, 1943-1946, it was used as a prisoner of war camp for as many as 3,000 enlisted men of the German Army.  Camp deactivated in 1949.  During the Korean War, 1950-1954, the camp reopened for infantry training.  From 1954-1963 the camp was used for the annual two-week summer training of 4,500 Army National Guard soldiers.  The U.S. Army commenced final deactivation of the camp in 1963.

 

Shade Ruff
 



#88 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 03:52 AM

It is not so much that this person is lying, but rather does he have a clear understanding of what he is wearing, and what he deserves to wear.

 

  Jack's Son's comment is spot on.  Far from disparaging Captain Arens' legitimate military and merchant marine service, we simply seek to provide the correct baseline for the U.S. government-authorized medals and qualification badges as well as foreign awards and unit citations to which he is entitled. 

 

  Commemorative medals, being unofficial in nature, are not authorized for wear in the uniformed services.

 

Shade Ruff   



#89 firefighter

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:45 AM

Dave is NOT taking issue with this man in particular, but with the subject of this discussion. If any veteran is going to make and issue of their military service, that veteran should be able to stand up under scrutiny. Also, if a blogger, or reporter is going to bring the story to the attention of countless people, that person should also scrutinize the records COMPLETELY!

Dave is an intelligent and articulate individual who has a small gray area between black and white. In other words he needs provenance to understand what seems to be inaccurate. The subject of this thread is "did this person earn all of the awards he wears"? It is not so much that this person is lying, but rather does he have a clear understanding of what he is wearing, and what he deserves to wear.

This thread is better with Dave's insights and research. (IMHO)

 

 

Thumbs up!!



#90 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:14 AM

  A couple more observations as noted on Captain Arens' Korean service DD Form 214:

 

  He held basic Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 1745 - Light Infantry Weapons Leader.  MOS 1745 was also used with the following duty positions:

 

Infantry First Sergeant

Light Weapons Platoon Sergeant

Light Weapons Squad Leader

Mortar Section or Squad Leader, 60-mm

Rifle Platoon or Squad Leader, 57-mm

Rifle Section or Squad Leader, 57-mm

Security Platoon Sergeant

Security Squad Leader

 

  At separation from service, he held the rank of Sergeant (Temporary)

 

Shade Ruff



#91 Allan H.

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:40 AM

There is a John Arens listed on the roster of the 3rd Ranger Company on the Korean War Rangers Association website- www.airbornerangerkoreanwar.org

 

It is a pity that the addition of all of the "extra" ribbons and a lack of ribbons that we would expect to see on this veteran's rack would cast doubt on his service as a whole. I think Shade Ruff did a great job of working u a ribbon group that would be more plausible. Still, one has to wonder why this veteran decided to put together a rack of ribbons that are so far out of the realm of reality. Arens would have helped his cause greatly by not adding ribbons that he thought he might be eligible for.

 

Glad to see the mystery getting cleared up!

 

Allan



#92 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:40 AM

  While it was awarded two Korean Presidential Unit Citations (18 APR - 11 MAY 51, DA GO 20-53 and 19 SEP 50 - 31 JUL 52, DA GO 41-55) the 3rd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) was not awarded any U.S. Army or other U.S. service unit citations for combat service in Korea - this per DA Pamphlet 672-1.

 

Shade Ruff


Edited by Shade Ruff, 26 January 2014 - 08:56 AM.


#93 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

 

1. As I stated earlier in this thread, his photo in the dress whites is believable based on what could have possibly happened based on what he recalls of his experiences. It's an unusual uniform, but not impossible. It also confirms what you have on his paperwork.

 

Dave

 

  As for the ribbons displayed in the cited image (see attached enlargement), I agree with Dave completely.  The ribbons clearly track with Captain Arens' WWII Merchant Marine and Korea U.S. Army DD Forms 214.  The only exception is the U.S. Army Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) with oak leaf cluster at the very top of the ribbon rack.  Based on information I've provided in earlier posts this thread, Arens is not entitled to wear the U.S. Army PUC as a permanent individual award.

 

Dress Whites Ribbon Rack Decoded:

 

Row 1:  U.S. Army PUC with oak leaf cluster

 

Row 2:  Merchant Marine Atlantic War Zone Medal; Merchant Marine World War II Victory Medal

 

Row 3:  Army Occupation Medal (note:  the ribbon is worn incorrectly/upside down; the black section should always face the wearer's right), Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars; United Nations Service Medal (Korea)

 

Shade Ruff

 

 
 

Attached Images

  • John Ahrens d.jpg


#94 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:53 AM

  I've come across this very interesting article that sheds more light on Captain Arens' basic airborne training in Korea and his Ranger connection.

Shade Ruff
 

 

Sun Herald - 12/04/01
www.sun-herald.com, 4 Dec 2001

'He did not realize what it was all about' says retired black soldier James Queen on training John Arens, a white Harbour Heights resident.

Three hours have stayed with Korean War veteran John Arens for a lifetime.
 
On July 27, 1951, Arens, a 24-year-old Army draftee in the war, looked from 1,100 feet in the air at his destination in a Korean field while he stood connected to a parachute in a C-46 airplane.  He had to successfully make three jumps from the airplane.  He was training to be a ranger during what amounted to a three-hour crash course.

Arens yearned to get the ranger status.  As soldiers who were trained in close-range fighting and raiding tactics, rangers were extraordinarily brave.

Eventually, Arens made all three jumps, "earned his wings," though he had never parachuted from an airplane or any other aircraft before.  His first successful float made him determined to complete the next jump, and then the next.

"I was so thrilled," Arens, 74, said from his Harbour Heights home.  "You never forget your first jump."
The exercise was indeed unforgettable and not typical.  About 48 years later in Mystic, Conn., Arens attended a reunion with the men -- an all-black ranger unit-- who provided him and two other draftees a rushed paratrooper training.  During the reunion, some of Arens trainers told him he was "crazy" for what he did.

"I wanted so badly to get into the rangers," Arens said, explaining his paratrooper instructors had not expected to get him and the two other trainees so green.
 
"They were surprised that we would jump without any training," Arens said.
 
During the Korean War, the all-black group was an infantry unit known as the 2nd Ranger Company. The head of the unit, James Queen, who was a lieutenant during the war, appeared to be in disbelief when he found out Arens and the two other trainees -- who were all white -- did not even know how to put a parachute on, Arens said.
 
"He (Arens) did not realize what it was all about," Queen said from his Washington, D.C. home in a recent telephone interview.

Arens, who was a merchant marine in World War II, was drafted to serve on the front lines during the Korean War after U. S. forces were hit with significant losses.
 
Arens and others like him were to quickly jump in as replacements for soldiers who had been deactivated in the line of duty.  "It was not just the wounded; they had died," Arens said of the fallen soldiers.
 
Otherwise, he added, he would not have been accepted as he was and he probably would not have been sent to train with the 2nd Rangers.
 
"In other words there was no chance of getting (formal) training," Arens said.  "We were in combat situation."
 
Arens believes that under normal circumstances, he would have spent several weeks at jumping school in the United States before being dispatched overseas.  Arens said he made about 10 jumps as a paratrooper.  He added none of the jumps were done in times of combat.
 
Although he was put in an all-white ranger unit after he trained with 2nd Ranger Company, Arens says the issue of race was not a big deal to him when the black unit was teaching.

"Remember.  These guys were rangers," Arens said of the 2nd Ranger Company.  "These guys were my heroes."
 
But Arens acknowledged because the 2nd Rangers were black, they were not always respected.
"Everyone knows this," he said.  "But they paid their dues in blood."
 
Black paratroopers in the 2nd Ranger Company were among the casualties of the Korean War, Arens explained.
 
Arens had come to the Korean War from Toledo, Ohio.  He is now retired after spending 36 years with the military in various roles, including as captain of the ship USNS Antares. The ship was used to transport equipment during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.  It was Arens' last major assignment before he retired after the war campaign.

He and his wife Dorothy have been living in Harbour Heights for about 16 years. They have a daughter and two grandchildren.
 
Arens has also become an associate member of the military retirement group of the 2nd Rangers.

During the 1999 reunion in Connecticut, Arens had time to reminisce about the three hours of training.  Arens and the other reunion attendees talked about the current state of the armed forces, about the racial progress made in its various units.

"What we mostly talked about is that we got out alive," Arens said.
 



#95 468abnarm

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 01:20 PM

 

468abnarm,

 

  It reads:  "CP BRECKINRIDGE KY" - Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky.  This is where Arens attended a Leadership Course from February to March 1951.

 

  Camp Breckinridge was built in 1942 on 36,000 acres in Morganfield, KY at a cost of $39,000.000.00.  Named for John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Vice President 1856-60; Confederate Secretary of War, 1865.  Created as an infantry training center for up to 40,000 men.  During WWII, 1943-1946, it was used as a prisoner of war camp for as many as 3,000 enlisted men of the German Army.  Camp deactivated in 1949.  During the Korean War, 1950-1954, the camp reopened for infantry training.  From 1954-1963 the camp was used for the annual two-week summer training of 4,500 Army National Guard soldiers.  The U.S. Army commenced final deactivation of the camp in 1963.

 

Shade Ruff
 

Shade Ruff,

Thanks for the info and background on Camp Breckinridge.



#96 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:05 PM

An explanation of some of the patches Capt Arens is seen wearing in the attached image.
 
  On the left side of his blazer he wears:
 
- Shoulder sleeve insignia for the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne)
- Shoulder sleeve insignia for the 3rd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne)
- Patch/crest for the Association of Ranger Infantry Companies (Airborne) of the Korean War (RICA) 
 

  The patch on the right side of his blazer is unidentified.  It appears to be related to the 50th anniversary of the Korean War Ranger companies.
 
  The flash on his beret bears the RICA emblem.
 
Shade Ruff

Attached Images

  • Arens m.jpg
  • john-arens.jpg

Edited by Shade Ruff, 26 January 2014 - 02:10 PM.


#97 Shade Ruff

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:07 PM

RICA emblem as seen on his beret flash.

 

Shade Ruff

 

 

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  • Crest.gif
  • Arens K.gif

Edited by Shade Ruff, 26 January 2014 - 02:12 PM.


#98 manayunkman

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:04 PM

How do I attempt to even be humble ?

 

What I thought was one thing was actually another.

 

What I thought was good analysis, on my part, was flawed.

 

My conclusions were wrong and for that I apologize. 

 

This is no different than my old WWII buddy who every veterans day was so decked out wearing stuff I had no clue to it's purpose.

 

But to him everything meant something and did have a purpose.



#99 DonMooresWarTales

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:33 PM

First - Shade Ruff - thanks for your legwork and effort!

 

Just a couple of other things to mention:

 

1. He is wearing the Korean Defense Service Medal, which he probably thinks he's authorized to do. However, according to AR 600-8-22, the period of eligibility started on 28 July 1954, about 18 months after he was discharged from the Army. The link to the Army awards manual is: http://www.apd.army....s/r600_8_22.pdf

 

2. I also found his DD-214 from the Coast Guard interesting. It's the first one of those I've seen from the January 1988 declaration of the MM's veteran status. I thought it was also interesting on his Army DD-214 that his employment was listed from 1944 to 1950 as Standard Oil Company (perhaps better known as ESSO).

 

If he can provide proof of having been officially awarded any of the other decorations he currently wears on his uniform, I will put my money where my mouth is and buy him a correct set of ribbons, with his authorized awards, so long as he promises to stop wearing the set of ribbons he has.

 

That's about the best I can do.

 

Dave

 

 

Mary here again - thank you for all your efforts - all of you - for trying to sort out Mr. Arens' service. I hope to get to his folder and sift through the docs in the next few days, and will scan what I think might be of interest to you.

 

Dave - I believe that is a great challenge you offer Mr. Arens - let's see what we can do.

 

We're getting ripped apart from this site http://www.armyparat...r-your-comments

 and I'm not inclined to register for their site and defend.

 

Don has left it up to me to straighten out what I can so we can avoid the shadow cast on someone's service record. I'll pull the bottom pictures if I must.

 

Mr. Arens might be amenable to a correct set of commendations.

 

Shade Ruff - Interesting reading re: Charlotte Sun Herald (now called the Charlotte Sun). I missed that one - did you notice a by-line on that story?

 

Regards to all -

 

Mary A

Site Admin for DonMooresWarTales.com

 

There are some



#100 RustyCanteen

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:40 PM

 

Thank you, RC - I blotted the SS #, wasn't aware of others. For future reference, exactly which numbers should be edited?

 

Mary A

 

p.s. See how it is with a novice?

 

 

Hello,

 

My apologies for the late reply. In answer to your question, any personal numbers such as SSN should be removed before posting to protect the privacy and identity of Mr. Ahrens.

 

Thank you for joining the forum.

RC




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