The War at Sea
Ocean-going warships provided the U.S. military effort in Vietnam with vast capabilities. They monitored coastal fortifications and enemy communications. Cruisers and destroyers bombarded coastal and inland targets, often saving allied troops in imminent danger. Along with Coast Guard vessels and South Vietnamese coastal craft, U.S. Navy surface ships also successfully blockaded a 1,200-mile coastline from the 17th parallel to the Cambodian border. Other missions included search and rescue, tracking enemy aircraft, and landing U.S. Marines and other ground forces during amphibious operations.