Naval History and Heritage Command

Hampton Roads Naval Museum

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<p>Directing Gunfire Support</p>
Caption: Ensign Lawrence Fairchilds directs gunfire at North Vietnamese targets in March 1967 aboard USS Canberra (CAG 2). (Naval History and Heritage Command)

 

Naval Gunfire Support

Stationed along the 1,200-mile coast of South Vietnam, destroyers and cruisers provided gunfire support to U.S. Army and Marine forces on shore between 1965 and 1972. With a devastating range of fire, warships could target large inland areas. The ships provided unspotted fire on pre-selected areas and also answered requests for direct fire on enemy troops, fortifications, and facilities selected by ground or aerial spotters. Naval gunfire often saved the lives of ground troops about to be overrun.