Their assignment - curtail the flow of North Vietnamese troops and supplies to the south via waterways. Examples of such vessels include swift boats, river patrol boats, and LSTs [landing ship, tank]. 's), also known as Swift Boats. It noted that "counterinsurgency water operations are difficult, demanding, and unique. The portside batteries were for standby power and the starboard bank provided general boat power. Virg recalled "I do not think the young girl will live. Seven Coast Guardsmen lost their lives and an additional fifty-three were wounded. A third trawler was encountered off the Cau Mau peninsula by the Winona (WHEC 65), Point Grace (WPB 82323), Point Marone (WPB 82331), Point Hudson (WPB 82322) and Swift boats. Rarely during their daily patrol operations were any of the small craft found to be carrying weapons or supplies. When it cooled I peeled the shell off and had a good battery post. Despite attempts to identify herself, the cutter was attacked by the aircraft and received a number of hits. In his award winning book Virg describes an encounter with a large junk. 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 served on YFU 57 from 1970 to 1971 out of Nha Be VN. On May 10, 1969 I departed the Krishna and flew to Saigon. 816 was placed on exhibit at the museum and operates narrated tours that detail the Swift Boat history of Vietnam and Malta. 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 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. I was about to become a crew member of the USS Krishna. 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 … The History of the Swift Boat: from WWII to Vietnam to the Coast Guard. Burning, the cutter was beached and the crew abandoned her in the face of continuing attacks. 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. The cutter Point Grey (WPB 82324) came across a 120 foot trawler near the Cau Mau peninsula which acted very suspicious. I then tapped them over what was left of a battery post and poured in solder. The wiring configuration ensured both banks could function in parallel to maintain the operation of essential systems. 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. Swift Boats quickly proved to be the perfect fit for the type of warfare underway on the rivers and along the coast. I still remember a Swift Boat coming back from a patrol and some of the battery posts were in, shall we say, less than new condition. Pulling back beyond range of this fire, the cutters opened up with 81mm mortars, scoring several hits which destroyed the vessel. Further south, near Nha Trang, another trawler was spotted by Naval and Coast Guard units which also forced her ashore. There were only about 3,500 of us involved as crew members or support personnel. 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. 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. 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 … As the cutter approached, she came under fire from the trawler. All the personnel from CosDiv 13 headed toward the dock and moved the Swift Boats out into Vung Tau Harbor. Unfortunately, no concerted effort has been made to develop COIN cra… Tom Edwards taking a Swift Boat for a 'test drive. The year 1969 saw a number of changes for Coast Guard forces engaged in Vietnam. For the sailors aboard the USS Krishna our job was to keep Swift Boats up and running. Navy divers later salvaged a huge amount of weapons and ammunition. Over the years I have occasionally looked back on my time in An Thoi and know morale was never a problem. The following day P.C.F. Sometimes resistance occurred but the cutter's .50 caliber machine guns and mortars were more than a match for the small arms fire they encountered. I then tapped them over what was left of a battery post and poured in solder. Various Market Time forces, including the Point Ellis (WPB 82330) shadowed the vessel until it neared the coast. Days later I almost didn't hear Santa coming. 76. The Point League returned the fire forcing the trawler to turn shoreward in an attempt to escape. Virg Erwin was the Officer in Charge of P.C.F. As an Electricians Mate Apprentice I am confident the $83 that was all mine twice a month was well earned. 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. During the course of just one evening, three trawlers were destroyed in the biggest single engagement of the war by Market Time forces. 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. 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. The Grey tried to put a boarding party on the ship, but intense automatic fire from the beach forced the cutter away. The Coast Guard also provided port security , Explosives Loading Detachments, installation and maintenance of aids-to-navigation, established LORAN stations … 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. I was on my way back to 'the states'. Division Eleven was ready by 20 July and set sail for An Thoi in the Gulf of Thailand. The project was supervised by the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Military boats/vehicle sales specializing in small tactical vessels and utility boats, providing customers the unique opportunity to purchase ex-military products. 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. Early in 1967, the Navy had requested the Coast Guard to provide five high endurance cutters (WHECs) to supplement Market Time units. Hello, I'm acquainted with an person who was in the Coast Guard between 1966-1970 and claims service in Vietnam. With the March interception still fresh in their memories, Coast Guard officials organized Squadron Three (RONTHREE) at Pearl Harbor on 24 April 1967. The Vietnam Combatant-Crewman Insignia is only obtainable from the the Swift Boat Sailor's Association, after providing documentation meeting the above criteria. The next phase of Swift Boat operations was to conduct surveillance along the 1,500 miles of South Vietnam's coastline. "Cat-lo, Vietnam", made in Vietnam, glue residue under yellow paper, UnUsed.....inquire PCF Division-105, 'WE CAN HACK IT' 50-foot Swift Fast Patrol Craft(PCF) formed the backbone of the Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force in Operation Market Time patrols armed with .50-caliber machine guns and an 81mm. To coordinate the numerous units which comprised TF 115, five Coastal Surveillance Centers (CSCs) were set up at Da Dang, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and An Thoi. We have developed a Mission Statement which reads as follows: Utilizing 5 Coastal Surveillance Centers to coordinate their patrols, Operation Market Time proved to be successful in its assigned task. 67 and is the author of 'Cat Lo - A Memoir of Invincible Youth'. 816, it’s easy to tell it was done with a lot of heart. This also marked the formal disestablishment of Coast Guard Squadron One as a part of US forces in Vietnam. 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. 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 month later, on 20 June, a 98 foot trawler was spotted by the Point League (WPB 82304) near Vung Tau. 67 and is the author of 'Cat Lo - A Memoir of Invincible Youth'. As in past wars the United States Coast Guard was called upon to supplement US Naval forces in the war zone. Throughout the remainder of the summer of 1967 few major contacts occurred. Supplies were, at times, problematic. I still remember a Swift Boat coming back from a patrol and some of the battery posts were in, shall we say, less than new condition. 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. 816 adopted the nickname The Dirty Boat Guys. In May the action heated up. Operated on Saigon River during June 1969. 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. How appropriate. 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