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Court-Martialed Skipper to Resign

From a Times Staff Writer

The skipper convicted last month of dereliction of duty for failing to rescue a boatload of Vietnamese refugees said he is resigning from the Navy after 26 years, because he believes that he will never again be given command of a ship.

Seagoing command is what he loves, Capt. Alexander Balian said in an interview Tuesday, “so I intend to pursue endeavors that will give me similar satisfaction.”

“I’m going to make it easy on the Navy,” he said.

Balian, who was captain of the amphibious transport dock Dubuque, was convicted in a court-martial of failing to give adequate aid to the refugees drifting in a junk in the South China Sea last June 9. The refugees drifted another 19 days and later said they resorted to cannibalism when their food ran out.

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