Veteran, National Vietnam War Veterans Day The Ten Thousand-Day War at Sea: The U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War

. This is surprising, given that the Navy was involved in the wars prosecution in almost every conceivable way.. This video introduces viewersto the Navys wartime contributions, including intelligence and special operations, surfacewarfare airpower, riverine, combat and logistics.. Along the way you will hear the experiences ofNavy veterans who describe their war in Vietnam.. Some might argue that it was naval action that ledto direct U.S. involvement in the war. On August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese patrol boats, attackedUSS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin.. This incident, along with the belief that a second attack took place induced Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave PresidentLyndon Johnson almost limitless authority to use Americas armed forces to defend non Communist nations in Southeast Asia. Without a formal declaration of war.. Once theUnited States escalated involvement in the war, the U.S. Navy demonstrated its dynamic and diverse capabilities in earnest., Virtually all military actions in Vietnam, dependedon accurate and timely intelligence. During the war naval intelligence personnel providedinformation that enabled successful operations influenced tactical victories and saved thelives of Americans And their allies. From the air, from the sea and from the land Sailorscollected information about the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong rebels who supported them. Navalintelligence missions were dangerous and deadly., Though not without failures. Overall navalintelligence critically aided the war effort hindering North Vietnams effort to resupplySouth Vietnam by sea.. Further naval intelligence missions identified targets for attack aircraftand, they helped riverine forces keep control of the vital Mekong Delta.

. Additionally, in 1962, the Navy established two counterinsurgency SEALteams., Often operating in small six man squads SEALs carried out, ambushes, reconnaissancepatrols and special intelligence operations.. Forty eight SEALs lost their lives in Vietnamand. Three others received the Medal of Honor. Navy SEAL Rick Woolard recounted a typical patrol in the jungles of Vietnam At sea ocean going warships, monitored, coastalfortifications and enemy, communications., Cruisers and destroyers bombarded Vietnamesecoastal and inland targets, often saving allied troops in imminent danger., Along with CoastGuard vessels And South Vietnamese coastal craft U.S. Navy surface ships successfully blockadeda 1200 mile coastline from the 17th parallel to the Cambodian border. Other daily surface missions, included, search and rescue tracking enemy aircraft and landing U.S. Marines for amphibious operations., But the Navys 8 and 5 guns were in Constantdemand. Charlie Pfeifer, an officer aboard the destroyer USS Richard Edwards, remembered howoften. His ship received calls for fire support. Airpower was a crucial element of Americanstrategy during the Vietnam War. U.S. pilots provided fire support for friendly troopsattacked key supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and bombed North Vietnams infrastructureto weaken the enemys campaign against South Vietnam.. During the course of the war, Americanplanes dropped more than twice as many bombs in Southeast Asia as they used in all of World WarII.. The Navy delivered 25 of that ordnance. Task Force 77. The aircraft carrier group assigned to Seventh Fleet generally operated from an area off North Vietnamcalled Yankee Station.. These aircraft carriers provided the American war effort with one of its most important capabilities.

The projection of power from offshore. In this clipBob Ponton, an A 6 Intruder. Bombardiernavigator remembers the types of missions he and hispilot experienced when they flew off USS Midway Aircraft carriers were the scenes of the costliest Naval disasters of the Vietnam War.. The Navy suffered three deadly fires: aboardthe USS Oriskany Forrestal and Enterprise that accounted for the deaths of 206 men. USSForrestals fire occurred on July 29, 1967 when a Zuni rocket misfired and hit the fuel tank ofa plane parked on the flight. Deck. Marine Jonnie Allen stationed aboard Forrestal, remembered thedevastation wrought by the unforgiving flames, Perhaps most famously the Navy clashed withViet Cong guerrillas in the shallows of Vietnam, with the creation of the first Brown Water Navy. Since the American Civil War., Control of the rivers was vital to the wareffort. In Operation, Game, Warden, Swift Boats, river patrol boats or PBRs and other vesselsof. The River Patrol Force fought to deny the enemys use of South Vietnams inland waterways.The Navy supplied special vessels for the Mobile Riverine Force to carry troops and support Armyoperations. Later in the war Operation, SEALORDS increased security in the Mekong delta, untilAmerican forces. Finally, withdrew. During the war. The brown water navy, patrolled 3000 nauticalmiles of inland waters. Many of these patrols ended with wounds both physical and emotionalas recounted by Swift Boat Sailor Charlie Hunt. The U.S. Navy was also the backbone of the American logistics effort in Vietnam.. The United States transported 99 of ammunitionand 95 of supplies, including vehicles by sea.

By mid 1967. The Military Sea Transport Service or MSTS ran a fleet of 527 ships to keep the ammunition and equipment. Moving.The MSTS also transported tens of thousands of U.S. and allied troops to South Vietnam., TheSeabees or Navy Construction Battalions built repaired and maintained bases and portfacilities hangars helicopter pads, runways, piers and offshore fuel lines. Naval personnelalso provided spiritual and physical support. Navy doctors and nurses treated the Wounded on hospitalships and chaplains and corpsmen served with Marines fighting on the front. Lines. Navy chaplainGordon Paulson remembered the gut wrenching duty performed by one doctor at the hospital in DaNang a man. He called one of his heroes After the Tet Offensive in 1968, when the U.S. downsized its role in the conflict, Sailors continued to train their South Vietnamesecounterparts and turned over equipment and installations. American firepowerboth navalgunfire support and aerial bombinghelped turn back the 1972 Easter Offensive, which, in Turnhelped commit the North Vietnamese to peace. Talks. Later the Navy rescued tens of thousands ofrefugees fleeing the country when North Vietnam took Saigon, just as it did twenty years, earlierwhen Communist forces overthrew French rule.. In the end, U.S. and allied operational successeswere, often plagued by Americas, inconsistent and continually shifting strategic goals. Further the unstable South Vietnamese governmentand. The erosion of support in American society led to Americas ultimate withdrawal from theregion.. During more than a decade of conflict. The U.S. Navy suffered the loss of 1631 men killed and 4178 wounded. Overall U.S. Navy Sailors demonstrated skill and dedication during the Vietnam War.

Most veterans were not welcomed, home with pageantry or fanfare.. Quite the contrary. Many Sailors, Soldiers and Marines returning fromVietnam were advised not to wear their uniforms..

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