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Related Content
  • Exhibits
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
  • Vietnam Conflict 1962-1975
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • Hampton Roads Naval Museum


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.

USS Topeka colorized image
Caption: USS Topeka (CLG 8) fires on Viet Cong targets in support of troops ashore. (National Archives and Records Administration)



USS Southerland (DD 743)
Caption: USS Southerland (DD 743) and USS Black (DD 666) escort USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1966. (National Records and Archives Administration)
Published: Mon May 03 13:54:19 EDT 2021