Naval History and Heritage Command

Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Related Content
  • Exhibits
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
  • Vietnam Conflict 1962-1975
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials
  • Hampton Roads Naval Museum


Ready for Battle: Supporting the War

The U.S. Navy was the backbone of the logistics effort in Vietnam. The United States transported 99% of ammunition and 95% of supplies (including vehicles) by sea. By mid-1967, the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) ran a fleet of 527 ships to keep the ammunition and equipment moving. The MSTS also transported tens of thousands of U.S. and allied troops to South Vietnam. The Seabees (Navy Construction Battalions) built, repaired, and maintained base and port facilities, hangars, helicopter pads, runways, piers, and offshore fuel lines. The Navy established Headquarters Support Activity, Saigon on July 1, 1962. Naval Support Activity, Da Nang later served as the Navy’s largest overseas logistics command. Naval personnel provided spiritual and physical support as well. Navy doctors and nurses treated the wounded on hospital ships and in-country while chaplains and corpsmen served with Marines fighting on the front lines.


Port Operations: January 22, 1969. Seaman John Dahlgren unhooks lines from crates while Seaman Phillip Rasnake records their arrival. One of the duties the Navy performed in Vietnam was ensuring the efficient resupply of American and South Vietnamese forces. Often, this duty involved a bit of sweat and elbow grease.  

<p>Dinsmore Mortar Round&nbsp;</p>

60MM Mortar Round: Navy doctor Captain Harry Dinsmore removed this live projectile from a South Vietnamese soldier at the Naval Hospital in Da Nang in October 1966. He immediately handed it to an explosives expert, who disarmed it. HRNM.2019.012.001, on loan from Dr. Harry Dinsmore, Jr.  

Title: Voices From the War
Published: Tue Mar 17 11:31:16 EDT 2020