On December 5, 1968 (my memory isn't this good; I kept a log book) former Vaudeville performer Georgie Jessel was in An Thoi for a USO show. The Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument was funded by private contributions and was built by veterans to honor those Navy and Coast Guard sailors who died in Vietnam, in the air, at sea, on inland waters, ashore and in POW camps. The wiring configuration ensured both banks could function in parallel to maintain the operation of essential systems. Military boats/vehicle sales specializing in small tactical vessels and utility boats, providing customers the unique opportunity to purchase ex-military products. In turn the USCG cutters provided similar aid to US and Vietnamese units on in-shore patrol, and, if the need arose, also provided fire support. In addition to these fire fights the WPBs were called upon on several occasions to provide support for US Special Forces and ARVN units along the coast. Burning, the cutter was beached and the crew abandoned her in the face of continuing attacks. I noticed a few now-empty 50 caliber machine gun shells were on the deck and saw them as the answer to the battery post problem. The San Diego bound Swift Boat was transferred to a container ship and arrived in Norfork, Virginia. US authorities decided to turn over a greater share of the war to the Vietnamese, and as part of this program the Coast Guard was instructed to begin training Vietnamese sailors so that eventually they could take over the 82 foot cutters of all three divisions. They served as the primary source of power for engine starting, navigation lights, radar and general purpose lighting. HANOI, April 1, 2019 – The U.S. Embassy Hanoi officially handed over six 45-foot Metal Shark patrol boats to the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) in Khanh Hoa, Region III, on March 29, marking another important step in the continued security cooperation between the United States and Vietnam. The Mk V was a wooden 45-foot boat designed for harbor security operations. During the course of just one evening, three trawlers were destroyed in the biggest single engagement of the war by Market Time forces. This alternation was based on weather conditions, which allowed the 'Swift' boats to operate far more effectively since they could not function in heavy weather. A short time later RONTHREE was officially dissolved, thus ending another chapter in the annals of the United States Coast Guard history. The 50 foot long 25 knot quarter inch thick aluminum hull Swift Boats had twin 50 caliber machine guns above the pilot house and a single 50 over an 81 mm mortar aft. I was about to become a crew member of the USS Krishna. The History of the Swift Boat: from WWII to Vietnam to the Coast Guard. My contribution to ‘Vietnam – The Story Wall’ was submitted in their honor. It left Pearl two days later and arrived at Subic Bay on 10 May. In looking at photos of them taken during the restoration the one thing that stood out for me was the amount of smiles I saw in those photos. Virg and Dan have detailed this chapter of Vietnam history with clarity. In 2010 the Swift Boats were placed into retirement and Vanessa Frazier, Malta’s Minister of Defense donated one of them to the Maritime Museum of San Diego for $1.00 and no, that isn’t a typo. Though not a popular change with Coast Guard personnel, it was accepted as just one more duty they had to perform. By the winter of 1971, only one USCG ship, the Cook Inlet was still patrolling off Vietnam under Coast Guard control, albeit with a largely Vietnamese crew. 82-foot Point-class patrol boats proved to be both adaptable and capable in the conduct of interdiction and combat missions. Coast Guardsmen destroyed enemy supply ships, supported ground units, rescued American and other friendly forces, and performed many more duties, including carrying out humanitarian roles which are common to the … The Swift Boats were transported to the Philippines; An Thoi and Da Nang were selected as the two areas most critical to the needs the new craft could address. The cutter Point Grey (WPB 82324) came across a 120 foot trawler near the Cau Mau peninsula which acted very suspicious. Picking (DD-685) Operated on Saigon River during November 16, 1965: Pictor (AF-54) In May the action heated up. 36 returned with heavy damage to the radar and electrical systems. While the two Coast Guard divisions were doing a good job in their respective sectors, the whole central coast of South Vietnam was uncovered. I had the pleasure of meeting Virg in 2007 shortly after I joined the Swift Boat Sailors Association. After a series of interviews between the officials concerned, it was decided to deploy seventeen 82 foot patrol boat (WPBs) for inshore work along the coast of Vietnam. In order to access, service and replace them you had to navigate over and around two 480 HP Detroit Marine Diesels. Days later I almost didn't hear Santa coming. The project was supervised by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. During the day typhoon warnings were issued. Despite attempts to identify herself, the cutter was attacked by the aircraft and received a number of hits. The batteries were located in the aft section of the 'engine room'; trust me, that's a relative term. 115 which assigned them, because of their shallow draft, to the Gulf of The Coast Guard also provided port security , Explosives Loading Detachments, installation and maintenance of aids-to-navigation, established LORAN stations … The Krishna had a 'port and starboard' duty rotation; every other day you would stand a 4 or 5 hour watch. Virg Erwin was the Officer in Charge of P.C.F. The three divisions continued to intercept small coastal junks, and, in addition, rescued a number of downed aircrews and Vietnamese sailors from the South China Sea. Upon completion of this training the officers and men followed their WPBs to Subic Bay where they took part in refresher training and put their cutters through shakedown cruises. Near Da Nang the cutter Androscoggin (WHEC 68), along with the Point Grey (WPB 82324), Point Welcome (WPB 82329) and a PCF spotted a trawler close inshore. That news was shared, at this point, years ago and I can still recall the applause that broke out in the meeting room. All the personnel from CosDiv 13 headed toward the dock and moved the Swift Boats out into Vung Tau Harbor. A swift boat transporting marines up-river in Vietnam. The most significant came in July when the Point Orient (WPB 82319) ran a 120 foot trawler aground and captured a large amount of weapons. 76. 1968, 1969, 1970, An Thoi, Brotherhood, Dan Daly, Enlisting, Forest Lake, Look, Navy, Swift Boat, Swift Boat Sailors Association, Tom Edwards, USS Krishna, Virg Erwin, Virgil Erwin, Terms and Conditions for Submitting Your Story. Upon boarding it he, his translator and a crew member see a young girl that has been badly burned. Early in 1967, the Navy had requested the Coast Guard to provide five high endurance cutters (WHECs) to supplement Market Time units. During this period, the first of a new class of cutter, the Hamilton (WHEC 715), arrived off the coast to relieve the older cutters which dated back to World War Two. Swift Boats - In for repairs and maintenance. Once again, Swift Boats delivered. Any claim filed by Blue Water Veterans for compensation would be decided by the VA on a fact-based basis. Today, every new entrant to the Coast Guard trains aboard a Metal Shark. Personnel of the first unit, Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE), was commissioned on 27 May 1965 at the Coast Guard base at Alameda, California, receiving an intense course in survival training following commissioning, along with instruction on weapons systems, patrol procedures, combat indoctrination, and a variety of other subjects in preparation for their service in Vietnam. I have always found it interesting that 80% of the crews were volunteers. It noted that "counterinsurgency water operations are difficult, demanding, and unique. Thus, in the early phases of Market Time the USCG boats bore much of the coastal patrol work until additional USN assets were able to take over the work load. Virg recalled "I do not think the young girl will live. Other than those directly involved in obtaining the boat I don’t think the sailors in that room ever believed we would be on an operational Swift Boat again. It is an engaging fast-paced nonfiction story that switches gears between character development intertwined with the rawness of combat, the vagaries of the landscape, with equal measures of romance and humor, all equally demanding yet accurate". Patrol boats given by the United States to the Vietnamese Coast Guard are seen during a handover ceremony at a port in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam … When you hear,read or see any documentaries on Riverine Forces in VN they are primarily about the PBRs and Swift Boats along with other rivercarft that were involved frequently with combat operations. During this early period USCG cutters intercepted numerous junks and sampans carrying enemy soldiers and/or supplies. Restoring one that had been operational for about 40 years would make that a perfect name. Shortly before completing basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center I received my first set of orders. Seeking a buyer or business partner - YP685 has been sitting idle, waiting on me to get enough funds to finish her refit. Division Eleven was ready by 20 July and set sail for An Thoi in the Gulf of Thailand. The inland waterways are often referred to as The majority of junks that Swift Boat sailors encountered were operated by legitimate fishermen. The rest of the summer saw little action with the enemy but a case of mistaken identity resulted in a tragic incident. On December 5, 1968 (my memory isn't this good; I kept a log book) former Vaudeville performer Georgie Jessel was in An Thoi for a USO show. 816 was placed on exhibit at the museum and operates narrated tours that detail the Swift Boat history of Vietnam and Malta. The larger cutters, however, stayed on duty for a while longer and were involved in two more battles with trawlers. 76. 36 returned with heavy damage to the radar and electrical systems. Coast Guard Cutter Us Coast Guard Vietnam Veterans Vietnam War Brown Water Navy Vietnam … A prevalent belief has been that COIN craft can readily be obtained from existing commercial and naval sources when needed. Life in Vietnam was never boring. More information A swift boat transporting marines up-river in Vietnam Among Swift Boat sailors, those that did not make it back home are listed as “Still on patrol”. That gave the sailors the opportunity to engage in good will gestures such as giving cigarettes and candy to those on the junks that were being inspected for contraband. I then tapped them over what was left of a battery post and poured in solder. A Swift Boat would be coming home to San Diego! Well said. The 50 foot long 25 knot quarter inch thick aluminum hull Swift Boats had twin 50 caliber machine guns above the pilot house and a single 50 over an 81 mm mortar aft. 3 - The first Swift Boat in Vietnam. Approximately 3 and a half years before my deployment to Vietnam General William Westmoreland, Commander of the Military Assistance Command in Saigon had requested shallow water craft to support the newly formed Coastal Surveillance Force. The restoration required a lot of sweat and elbow grease but as I saw on my first ride on P.C.F. 67 and is the author of 'Cat Lo - A Memoir of Invincible Youth'. However, a major change in operational procedure occurred early in the fall when TF 115 decided to take advantage of the ocean going capabilities of the WPBs and have them alternate their patrol stations with the PCFs. ', Primary Location During Vietnam: An Thoi, Vietnam, Veteran Organization: Swift Boat Sailors Association, Story Themes: 1968, 1969, 1970, An Thoi, Brotherhood, Dan Daly, Enlisting, Forest Lake, Look, Navy, Swift Boat, Swift Boat Sailors Association, Tom Edwards, USS Krishna, Virg Erwin, Virgil Erwin, A Twin Cities PBS initiative in collaboration with the MN PBS Stations. Virg and his crew wanted to transport her to a hospital but her father resisted. Virg recalled "I do not think the young girl will live. The Grey tried to put a boarding party on the ship, but intense automatic fire from the beach forced the cutter away. Swift Boats quickly proved to be the perfect fit for the type of warfare underway on the rivers and along the coast. I was on my way back to 'the states'. Subsequent to being certified by the Coast Guard as a documented vessel P.C.F. I served on YFU 57 from 1970 to 1971 out of Nha Be VN. Tom Edwards taking a Swift Boat for a 'test drive. I threw what turned out to be a short fuse grenade and it was the loudest sound I had heard other than a Led Zeppelin concert. During one mission in support of the 9th Infantry Division of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in January of 1969 INGHAM was credited with destroying three and damaging 15 enemy structures. Their assignment - curtail the flow of North Vietnamese troops and supplies to the south via waterways. CALL: 1-833-645-2628 + EMAIL Home I hack-sawed the firing pin off and put what was left on a grinding wheel to thin out one side. Hearing the cutter's call for assistance, the Point Slocum (WPB 82313) and Point Hudson (WPB 82322) soon arrived, by which time the trawler had been forced aground. On December 20 I had mid-watch, midnight to 4 AM on the bow and had an M 16 and a box of concussion grenades. Over one thousand North Vietnamese and Viet Gong were killed or wounded in actions with Coast Guard units while over ten thousand were detained for questioning by South Vietnamese authorities. 816, it’s easy to tell it was done with a lot of heart. Following their heavy losses in February, North Vietnam opted not to try to run trawlers through the barrier patrols. Swiftships 35m Patrol Boat hull and superstructure are constructed of all-welded aluminum alloy. On May 10, 1969 I departed the Krishna and flew to Saigon. P.C.F. During her deployment, she received a total of 58 underway replenishments and replenished many Navy Swift boats and Coast Guard 82-foot patrol boats herself. May 26, 2017 - Paul Yost, commandant of the Coast Guard from 1986 to 1990 learned a powerful lesson on leadership one fateful mission in Vietnam. 's), also known as Swift Boats. Upon boarding it he, his translator and a crew member see a young girl that has been badly burned. The Coast Guard crews settled into an almost peacetime routine, occasionally rescuing downed aviators and fishermen in trouble, or providing emergency medical aid for allied personnel when the need arose. Unfortunately, no concerted effort has been made to develop COIN cra… Those Swift Boats had been used for training at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California. Rarely during their daily patrol operations were any of the small craft found to be carrying weapons or supplies. When the cutter moved in to investigate, the trawler, in an effort to escape, beached itself. The driver of the rig, Kit Copeland was honored at the 2013 Swift Boat Sailors Association reunion. Swift Boats Pier in Cat Lo Cat Lo base was attacked in early 1969 by mortar and RPG fire. One round hit the enlisted men’s Quonset hut and hit a tape deck recently purchased at the Army PX in … He knew he couldn’t leave anyone behind, and realized he couldn’t in good conscience order his men to go back into that hell. The Swift Boat was conceived in a Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam(NAVADGRP MACV) staff study titled "Naval Craft Requirements in a Counter Insurgency Environment," published 1 February 1965. At month's end, Task Force 115 (Market Time) was officially established and RONONE became part of the organization. The Point League returned the fire forcing the trawler to turn shoreward in an attempt to escape. Some memories of war are absolutely indelible and not all of them occur during combat. One of the most successful Coast Guard collaborations of the war was Operation Market Time, in which large, USCG high-endurance Owasco-class vessels and mid-size, 82-foot Point-class cutters worked alongside U.S. Navy swift boats enforcing a naval blockade to prevent infiltration and exfiltration of enemy forces and materiel by sea. No matter what the conditions were, these men carried out their assignments. 67 and is the author of 'Cat Lo - A Memoir of Invincible Youth'. Eventually two more cutters, the Castle Rock (WHEC 383) and Cook Inlet (WHEC 384) were also transferred to the Vietnamese Navy; The turnover of Coast Guard assets to the Vietnamese continued throughout 1970, with the last of the 82 foot cutters being officially transferred by 15 August 1970. This shadowing and interception brought to light the serious shortage of forces which still faced TF-115. Navy divers later salvaged a huge amount of weapons and ammunition. As in past wars, their performance had been outstanding, but it had not been without cost. Utilizing 5 Coastal Surveillance Centers to coordinate their patrols, Operation Market Time proved to be successful in its assigned task. Hello, I'm acquainted with an person who was in the Coast Guard between 1966-1970 and claims service in Vietnam. For the Krishna electricians it was all hands on deck. It was officially turned over to the Vietnamese Navy on 21 December 1971. Throughout the spring all three division had numerous run-ins with small junks carrying contraband, and carried out the occasional fire support mission for troops ashore. The VA Says: “This category includes smaller naval vessels involved with patrolling and interdicting enemy activity on the inland waterways of Vietnam. During the remainder of 1966 and the early part of 1967 no significant action occurred with communist trawlers. Twenty-four Mk V picket boats were turned over to the Vietnamese. Five high endurance cutters (WHEC), primarily assigned to the Gulf of Thailand, supported a variety of combat missions. It left Subic Bay on 12 February for Vung Tau and by the end of the month its cutters were on station alongside other Market Time forces. Over the years I have occasionally looked back on my time in An Thoi and know morale was never a problem. During the 2011 Swift Boat Sailors Association reunion in San Antonio, Texas, we received some information during the business meeting that had every sailor present on the edge of their seat. The following spring, on 11 April 1971, the Rush, in company with the Morgenthau (WHEC 722) sank a trawler near the Cau Mau peninsula. On December 20 I had mid-watch, midnight to 4 AM on the bow and had an M 16 and a box of concussion grenades. Swift Boats were manned by crews of 6, one officer and 5 enlisted that had to adapt to being a part of this new facet on military service. The Vietnam Combatant-Crewman Insignia is only obtainable from the the Swift Boat Sailor's Association, after providing documentation meeting the above criteria. The Point Welcome, severely damaged, was eventually refloated and towed to Da Nang for repairs. COASTAL SQUADRON ONE Swift Boat Crew Directory History of Vietnam service of the Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) or SWIFT BOAT, 1965-70 and listings of the crews that served on them. Dan Daly was the Officer in Charge of P.C.F. Some memories of war are absolutely indelible and not all of them occur during combat. No more can be asked of a fighting man than that. During routine night patrol near the DMZ in August the Point Welcome (WPB 82329) was illuminated by friendly aircraft. Says he saw service on patrol boats with the "Brown Water Navy" and mentions the "Cat Lo" base. These missions provided the only instances where the large cutters actually encountered the enemy. The web site for his book 'White Water, Red Hot Lead' notes: Virg and Dan have detailed this chapter of Vietnam history with clarity. Conducted small boat troop landings at Quang Ngai Province and elsewhere from August 1965-April 1966 and August-November 1967. On the long list of functions Swift Boats were capable of was rendering humanitarian aid. However, these were the parting shots for Coast Guard operated cutters. In March, a 120 foot trawler attempted to run the patrol barrier near the DMZ. I believe all members of the military that made it back are obligated to live our lives to the fullest as an acknowledgement to those that gave their all. The book was written by members of the Swift Boat Sailors Association and was released at the Maritime Museum of San Diego during our April 2017 reunion. During the Vietnam War, the 25-metre “Point”-class cutters of Squadron One supported small boat reconnaissance missions. Fourteen 38 Training Boats are in service at the USCG Training Center in Yorktown, VA. Two additional boats have been deployed in Alaska for advanced helo training. Realizing that they were trapped, the crew ran the trawler aground after a short firefight. The following day P.C.F. I have believed for years you can never have too much chocolate or laughter and Georgie provided plenty of the second. I would have given almost anything to have served on a PBR or Swift boat. On the long list of functions Swift Boats were capable of was rendering humanitarian aid. By mid-July, the first of the squadron's two sub-units, Division Twelve, was operational and on 15 July it departed Subic Bay for Da Nang near the DMZ. As these units closed in on the trawler, heavy defensive fire was encountered. In my mind I still see the father cradling her in his arms as she closed her eyes". I had the pleasure of meeting Virg in 2007 shortly after I joined the Swift Boat Sailors Association. I was on my way back to 'the states'. The Coast Guard had only a very minor role in combat operations during the Korean War and the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Edwin J. Roland, responded to the request by offering the use of 82-foot (25 m) Point-class cutters (WPB) and 40-foot (12 m) utility boats, fearing that, if the Coast Guard were left out of a role in Vietnam, its status as one of the nation's armed services might be … Pulling back beyond range of this fire, the cutters opened up with 81mm mortars, scoring several hits which destroyed the vessel. And in 2004, Bush beat another Vietnam veteran, war hero and swift boat commander, John Kerry, by claiming, among other things, that Kerry may have earned only two instead of … Perkins (DD-877) Operated on inland Ganh Rai Bay during October 1967. That was the first day of what was about to become one of the most interesting and memorable chapters of my life; maintaining and repairing Patrol Craft Fast, (P.C.F. They were thrown into the water occasionally to keep Viet Cong from planting explosives on the ship. By the winter of 1971, only one USCG ship, the Cook Inlet was still patrolling off Vietnam under Coast Guard control, albeit with a largely Vietnamese crew. In early 1970, two more cutters, the Bering Strait (WHEC 382) and Yakutat (WHEC 380) were selected for transfer to the Vietnamese. When the action was finally over, two Coast Guardsmen were dead and three were wounded. The enemy crew was "able to destroy some of the cargo, but a large part of it was subsequently recovered after the vessel was towed to Da Nang. After being boarded, the ship was refloated and towed back to Vung Tau where several tons of arms, ammunition, and medical supplies were uncovered in her holds. I then tapped them over what was left of a battery post and poured in solder. With the March interception still fresh in their memories, Coast Guard officials organized Squadron Three (RONTHREE) at Pearl Harbor on 24 April 1967. Various Market Time forces, including the Point Ellis (WPB 82330) shadowed the vessel until it neared the coast. MILITARY By: John Miller. The web site for his book 'White Water, Red Hot Lead' notes: "White Water, Red Hot Lead is a story about U.S. Navy Swift Boats in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. Battle was the Officer in Charge of P.C.F configuration ensured both banks could function in parallel to the! 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