African-Americans and the U.S. Navy - The Vietnam War, 1965-1972



The War in Vietnam came as the U.S. Southern civil rights struggle was reaching a climax, and the two conflicts defined a watershed in race relations in the United States. African-Americans were heavily involved in Vietnam combat operations, generally in the lower ranks. As the war became longer and appeared less likely to produce a victorious outcome, racial and other tensions in American society, and in the Navy, reached an unprecedented level. During the early 1970s, this situation led to major changes in the Navy's approach to its African-American personnel.

This page features African-American Naval personnel engaged in Vietnam War activities afloat and ashore.

Additional pictorial coverage, see African Americans and the U.S. Navy

Click the photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: K-31453

Operation "Jackstay", Vietnam, 1966.


A Navy sailor mans a .30 caliber machine gun on a utility boat cruising in the Rung Sat Special Zone, Republic of Vietnam, during Operation "Jackstay", 26 April 1966.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 45KB; 510 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-K-31453.
Though reproductions of this photo from the NHHC collections are available in black & white only, those from the National Archives may be available in color.

 
Photo #: USN 1140482

USS Harnett County (LST-821)


Seaman Lawrence W. Overton loading magazines for his M-16 rifle from 5.56x45mm ammunition stripper clips, as he assumes the watch, May 1969. Harnett County was then operating on the Vam Co Dong River, Republic of Vietnam.
Photographed by JOCS Ed Nelson.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 61KB; 515 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1140482.

 
Photo #: USN 1140635

USS Saint Francis River (LFR-525)


Crewman passes a five-inch rocket, as the ship loads ammunition at the U.S. Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay, Republic of Vietnam, July 1969.
Photographed by PH3 W.D. Newton.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 64KB; 520 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1140635.

 
Photo #: USN 1151551

USS Constellation (CVA-64)


Flight deck crew prepares for air operations, in the Gulf of Tonkin, 1972.
Photographed by YN3 Galluccio.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 515

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1151551.

 
Photo #: K-31466 (Color)

Da Nang Harbor, Republic of Vietnam


Mineman Second Class Franklin Marshall, a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team member, conducts a search for mines, especially those attached to ship's hulls, circa April 1966.
The E.O.D. Team is responsible for harbor security.
Several merchant ships are in the distance.
Photographed by Ernie Filtz.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 78KB; 740 x 500

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-K-31466.

 
Photo #: USN 1139720

Chief Boatswain's Mate Eddie L. Head


Craftsmaster of the harbor utility craft YFU-74, gives a smile of approval as his crew prepares to leave the lighterage area at Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, on a cargo run northward to Dong Ha, 21 May 1969.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 535

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1139720.

 
Photo #: USN 1142182

USS Repose (AH-16)


A Navy Nurse offers a word of encouragement to a patient about to leave the ship for further treatment in the United States, October 1967.
Repose was then operating in the South China Sea, a few miles south of the Seventeenth Parallel off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam.
Photographed by JOC R.D. Moeser.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 590 x 765

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1142182.

 
Photo #: USN 1119860

Commissaryman First Class Joshua Paige


Holds "sick call" for children of Tam Toa village, Republic of Vietnam, November 1967.
Paige is a member of Team Six of the U.S. Naval Support Activity, Da Nang.
Photographed by JO1 Bob Young.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 535

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-N-1119860.

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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