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Caption: Aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) takes on fuel from oiler USS Navasota (AO 106) while patrolling the South China Sea in 1961. (Naval History and Heritage Command)


The Seventh Fleet Arrives

In the early 1960s, the Seventh Fleet moved into Vietnamese waters to counter Communist operations in South Vietnam and Laos. It quickly earned the nickname “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” since most operations were based there. Ships cruised along the coast to record transmissions and identify North Vietnamese radar installations. Naval advisors in Da Nang maintained patrol craft and trained Vietnamese commandos to conduct raids and destroy enemy vessels and installations.

Published: Thu May 27 03:22:03 EDT 2021