Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vietnam Service 1962-1973

Vietnam Service 1962-1973

From the time that United States' assistance to the Republic of South Vietnam was confined to an advisory status through the period of major combat actions, the varied and extensive roles of the U.S. Navy were crucial to the overall military effort in Southeast Asia. 

After early participation by the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the detection of infiltration by sea from the north, a Coastal Surveillance Force, MARKET TIME., conducted inshore operations as well as offshore patrols to augment the efforts of the Vietnamese Navy. 

Mobility and the endurance sustained by underway replenishment forces resulted in maximum use of Seventh Fleet carriers for retaliatory raids, for strikes in support of troops ashore, and for attacks against the enemy lines of communication. Naval air operations were of particular im portance in the days before adequate airfields could be built ashore, and the ability of task forces to operate in nearby Tonkin Gulf permitted effective and efficient air operations against targets in North Vietnam. 

The Amphibious Force of the Seventh Fleet projected ashore the first organized ground forces, U.S. Marines, at Danang in March 1965, and carried out many later landings. Destroyers, cruisers, and battleship New Jersey added the weight of their gunfire in support of forces ashore, and conducted operations against the logistic lines of the enemy along the coast of North Vietnam. 

The Amphibious Command drew upon its Underwater Demolition Team capability to develop SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Teams which conducted operations against Viet Cong guerrillas. The River Patrol Force, GAME WARDEN, extended the control of waterways in the Mekong Delta and other areas of the Republic. The joint Navy-Army operations of the Mobile Riverine Force captured base areas and defeated enemy concentrations. 

Elements of the Coastal Surveillance, River Patrol, and Mobile Riverine Forces were com bined into operation SEA LORDS to interdict infiltration routes from Cambodia into the Mekong Delta, to control vital Delta waterways, and to harrass the enemy in his base areas. Essential support to in country forces was provided by the Service Force's naval support activities and Seabees. 

Sea lines of logistics were a key to the defense of the northern provinces. The valiant naval medical personnel with the Marines, in hospitals and in hospital ships, saved lives and healed the wounded with unprecedented success. Salvage forces recovered ships in distress and cleared waterways. From across the seas came the vast quantity of supplies required to fight this major war. All but a small percentage of the tonnage was delivered by ships under the Navy's Military Sealift Command. 

After years of negociations from 1968 to 1973, the Paris Agreement of January 1973 between the U.S., South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the National Liberation Front provided that the prisoners of war would be returned and that the North Vietnam military and all U.S. military personnel had to be out of South Vietnam by 29 March 1973, except for U. S. embassy personnel. The eligibility for this medal ended on 28 March 1973.

3 Silver and 2 Bronze Stars

1. Vietnam Advisory Campaign (15 March 1962- 7 March 1965)
2. Vietnam Defense Campaign (8 March-24 December 1965)
3. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (25 December 1965- 30 June 1966) 
4. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (1 July 1966-31 May 1967) Phase II 
5. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (1 June 1967-29 January 1968) Phase III 
6. Tet Counteroffensive (30 January-l April 1968) 
7. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (2 April-30 June 1968) Phase IV
8. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (1 July-l November 1968) Phase V
9. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (2 November 1968- 22 February 1969) Phase VI
10. Tet 69/Counteroffensive (23 February-8 June 1969)
11. Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969 (9 June-31 October 1969)
12. Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 (1 November 1969-30 April 1970)
13. Sanctuary Counteroffensive (1 May-30 June 1970)
14. Vietnamese Counteroffensive (l July 1970-30 June1971) Phase VII
15. Consolidation I (1 Jul 1971 - 30 Nov 1971)
16. Consolidation II (1 Dec 1971 - 29 Mar 1972)
17. Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign (30 Mar 1972 - 28 Jan 1973)

Published: Wed Nov 15 08:49:50 EST 2017