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Riverines page 68
Caption: The PCF of Swift Boat's high speed and shallow draft made it highly effective for coastal and riverine patrols. In this photo, PCF 43 gains speed for a firing run in 1969 as part of Operation Slingshot. (Naval History and Heritage Command)



Vice Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr., Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, decided to blockade waterways from the Gulf of Siam to north of Saigon. The U.S. launched Operation SEALORDS (Southeast Asia Lake, Ocean, River, Delta Strategy) in November 1968 to keep the enemy on the defensive after their heavy losses from the Tet Offensive. The Navy took the lead to cut off supply routes from Cambodia and to take out enemy bases in the Mekong Delta. Patrol Craft Fast (PCF), also known as Swift boats, conducted fast raids into coastal waterways and took over patrol duties on the larger rivers in the delta, allowing PBRs to patrol canals and smaller rivers. Ending in 1971, SEALORDS’ success helped prepare Vietnamese allies for the eventual turnover of operations as U.S. forces withdrew.

Riverines page 69 bottom image
Caption: A Swift boat passes the city of Ca Mau in 1969. (National Archives and Records Administration)
Published: Wed Jun 09 15:52:40 EDT 2021