To the U.S. Navy Veterans of the War in Southeast Asia
"Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
--Robert Louis Stevenson
This volume depicts the United States Navy's contribution to the twenty-five-year American and Vietnamese campaign to defend the Republic of Vietnam. The dimension of that effort is suggested by the fact that two million U.S. naval personnel, more than 2,500 of whom lost their lives, served their country in Southeast Asia.
The text and photographs in By Sea, Air, and Land cover all naval aspects of this prolonged campaign, particularly the operations of carrier, surface, amphibious, logistic, riverine, coastal, and mine forces. Assessments of the Navy's overall experience in counterinsurgency, civic action, and the advisory effort are provided. Coverage extends to naval forces assigned to the Seventh Fleet as well as to units based ashore that reported to the Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam.
Edward J. Marolda, who heads the Naval Historical Center's Contemporary History Branch, is a recognized authority on the U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. For more than twenty years, as a member of the Center's historical staff, he has concentrated his attention on the maritime aspects of the Vietnam War. Previously, he had first-hand experience in Vietnam, where he served as a U.S. Army officer. Dr. Marolda is the author of three books and a number of shorter works on the conflict in Southeast Asia.
Special recognition needs to be given to several individuals who worked with the author. Charles R. Haberlein, the highly competent head of the Naval Historical Center's Photographic Section, offered his expert advice on the selection of photographs for this volume. Sandra J. Doyle and Akio J. Stribling of the Editorial Section and Charles Cooney of the Naval Aviation News staff capably prepared the book for publication and oversaw the printing process.
As is true for all publications of the Naval Historical Center, the opinions and conclusions expressed in this work are solely those of the author. Those views do not reflect the position of the Department of the Navy or any other agency of the U.S. Government.
This volume presents a much needed overview of a complex subject. The Navy's historians trust that By Sea, Air, and Land will be of value to naval professionals and to all other readers interested in the Navy's experience in Southeast Asia.
DEAN C. ALLARD
Director of Naval History
08 November 1997