In many ways, the U.S. Navy’s war in South Vietnam was a stark departure from the oceanic or "blue water" operations that characterized much of the service’s 20th-century history. Modern carrier battle groups launched air strikes from Yankee and Dixie stations in the South China Sea, destroyers and cruisers provided gunfire support, and the Navy was key in maintaining the U.S. logistical chain across the Pacific. However, naval warfare in the coastal areas and inland waterways of Vietnam was a decidedly low-tech, manpower-intensive operation—an anathema to a navy focused on fleet operations and cutting-edge technology. Moreover, in addition to combat operations, Navy personnel were involved in numerous training, advisory, infrastructure, and civil affairs programs.
The Naval History and Heritage Command offers a multitude of resources in support of the commemoration of Vietnam War Veterans Day. Explore the links provided below to view source documents, images, and personal stories of those U.S. Navy servicemembers who served—often at great personal sacrifice—in what became the United States' most divisive 20th-century war.