Early in 1967, the Navy had requested the Coast Guard to pro­vide five high endurance cutters (WHECs) to supplement Market Time units. Swiftships 35m Patrol Boat hull and superstructure are constructed of all-welded aluminum alloy. They served as the primary source of power for engine starting, navigation lights, radar and general purpose lighting. 76. 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. By the end of May the boats had been loaded aboard cargo ships and were on their way to Subic Bay in the Philip­pines which was to serve as an advanced training facility to ready the crews for deployment to the war zone. His only remaining option was to lead his men back there. The San Diego bound Swift Boat was transferred to a container ship and arrived in Norfork, Virginia. During routine night patrol near the DMZ in August the Point Welcome (WPB 82329) was illuminated by friendly aircraft. Prior to the arrival of Swift Boats the Viet Cong had unbounded access to rivers, canals and the coastline for smuggling and infiltration operations. My contribution to ‘Vietnam – The Story Wall’ was submitted in their honor. During the day typhoon warnings were issued. While the two Coast Guard divisions were doing a good job in their respec­tive sectors, the whole central coast of South Vietnam was uncovered. Virg recalled "I do not think the young girl will live. 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. 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. Unfortunately, no concerted effort has been made to develop COIN cra… 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. The following day P.C.F. 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. Today, every new entrant to the Coast Guard trains aboard a Metal Shark. Due to the service's role in coastal patrol and rescue it had a number of craft that were specifically designed for in-shore work. It was officially turned over to the Vietnamese Navy on 21 December 1971. P.C.F. There is now a list of more than 325 ships that were operated by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard off the shores of Vietnam. Some 8,000 Coast Guardsmen and 56 different combatant vessels were assigned to duty there. The batteries were located in the aft section of the 'engine room'; trust me, that's a relative term. How appropriate. The Coast Guard played a significant role in securing Vietnam's 1,200-mile coastline. Some memories of war are absolutely indelible and not all of them occur during combat. 67 and is the author of 'Cat Lo - A Memoir of Invincible Youth'. As a now retired aerospace engineer I am confident that when Swift Boats were being designed the engineers never considered the electricians that worked on them weren't former football players. 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 … A Swift Boat would be coming home to San Diego! 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. 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. 82-foot Point-class patrol boats proved to be both adaptable and capable in the conduct of interdiction and combat missions. The restoration required a lot of sweat and elbow grease but as I saw on my first ride on P.C.F. 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. Various Market Time forces, including the Point Ellis (WPB 82330) shadowed the vessel until it neared the coast. The Krishna had a 'port and starboard' duty rotation; every other day you would stand a 4 or 5 hour watch. I was on my way back to 'the states'. Some of the cutters carried out hydrographic surveys of un­charted areas but on the whole the .remainder of 1968 was a quiet year. 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. The majority of junks that Swift Boat sailors encountered were operated by legitimate fishermen. They were thrown into the water occasionally to keep Viet Cong from planting explosives on the ship. 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. 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. When the cutter moved in to investigate, the trawler, in an effort to escape, beached itself. 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 beginning of 1968 saw the largest battle of the entire war for the bar­rier patrol when North Vietnam made a desperate attempt to infiltrate men and supplies during the end of February to bolster their failing Tet offensive. 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. When the action was finally over, two Coast Guardsmen were dead and three were wounded. 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. One result of these new additions was the decision to transfer a number of the older cutters to the South Vietnamese Navy to give it more depth for off­shore patrolling. 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. Coast Guard river patrol boats in Vietnam. Those Swift Boats had been used for training at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California. I then tapped them over what was left of a battery post and poured in solder. 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. 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. Working with these centers RONONE cutters were assigned to different patrol stations off the northern and southern ends of Vietnam. The hull includes seven watertight bulkheads forming eight watertight compartments. I hack-sawed the firing pin off and put what was left on a grinding wheel to thin out one side. Examples of such vessels include swift boats, river patrol boats, and LSTs [landing ship, tank]. No matter what the conditions were, these men carried out their assignments. 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. However, these were the parting shots for Coast Guard operated cutters. Any claim filed by Blue Water Veterans for compensation would be decided by the VA on a fact-based basis. More information A swift boat transporting marines up-river in Vietnam 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. With more modern armament, radar, and flight facilities, these new arrivals soon showed how superior they were to the older vessels. The web site for his book 'White Water, Red Hot Lead' notes: Virg and Dan have detailed this chapter of Vietnam history with clarity. For the sailors aboard the USS Krishna our job was to keep Swift Boats up and running. Virg and his crew wanted to transport her to a hospital but her father resisted. The initial request for USCG assistance came in mid-April of 1965 when the Secretary of the Navy inquired about available assets from the Treasury Department, under which the Coast Guard operated during peacetime. Swift Boats Pier in Cat Lo Cat Lo base was attacked in early 1969 by mortar and RPG fire. 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. All the personnel from CosDiv 13 headed toward the dock and moved the Swift Boats out into Vung Tau Harbor. Swift Boats - In for repairs and maintenance. (WPB 82326) and sank the trawler in shallow water. That news was shared, at this point, years ago and I can still recall the applause that broke out in the meeting room. Coast Guard Cutter Us Coast Guard Vietnam Veterans Vietnam War Brown Water Navy Vietnam … Despite attempts to identify herself, the cutter was attacked by the aircraft and received a number of hits. The Point Welcome, severely damaged, was eventually refloated and towed to Da Nang for repairs. Burning, the cutter was beach­ed and the crew abandoned her in the face of continuing attacks. The larger cutters, with their heavier armament, participated in a number of fire support missions for US Army and ARVN troops, particularly in the Cau Mau peninsula area. Fortunately, in my case I played baseball and I worked on Swift Boats 48 years and 62 pounds ago. 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. The wiring configuration ensured both banks could function in parallel to maintain the operation of essential systems. Calling for back-up, the Grey was joined by the Point Cypress 36 returned with heavy damage to the radar and electrical systems. 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. I have believed for years you can never have too much chocolate or laughter and Georgie provided plenty of the second. Photo: US Coast Guard – Profile view of Point Cypres, one of the Coast Guard Squadron One 25-metre patrol boats that carried the skimmers used in small boat operations. Further south, near Nha Trang, another trawler was spotted by Naval and Coast Guard units which also forced her ashore. By their actions off the Vietnamese coast, the Coast Guard helped stop the flow of arms, men, and munitions into South Vietnam and undoubtedly saved the lives of countless thousands of allied soldiers and Vietnamese civilians. Though not a popular change with Coast Guard personnel, it was accepted as just one more duty they had to perform. Rarely during their daily patrol operations were any of the small craft found to be carrying weapons or supplies. For the Krishna electricians it was all hands on deck. We have developed a Mission Statement which reads as follows: Says he saw service on patrol boats with the "Brown Water Navy" and mentions the "Cat Lo" base. Shortly before completing basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center I received my first set of orders. These boats were employed by Inshore Undersea Warfare Units: IUWU-1 at Vung Tau, IUWU-2 at Cam Ranh Bay, IUWU-3 at Qui Nhon, IUWU-4 at Nha Trang, and IUWU-5 at Vung Ro. The next phase of Swift Boat operations was to conduct surveillance along the 1,500 miles of South Vietnam's coastline. 816 adopted the nickname The Dirty Boat Guys. 76. The portside batteries were for standby power and the starboard bank provided general boat power. 115 which assigned them, because of their shallow draft, to the Gulf of During the day typhoon warnings were issued. 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