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Herriott, Major Jack A. USA Papers 

Dates: 1966-1972

Collection Number: COLL/457

Finding aid (Word)

Biographical Note

Major Herriott graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1962 as an Ensign. He was assigned to the destroyer USS Epperson (DD-719) and then the destroyer Waddell (DDG-24). He did not enjoy his tours aboard either destroyer, and by February 1963, he had decided to separate from the Navy as soon as possible. While attending an Emergency Sailing Procedures course at the Naval Propellant Plant in Indian Head, Maryland, Herriott learned of the need for junior officers to command small boats in Vietnam. Upon his return to Waddell, he volunteered, and nine months later was assigned to the coastal patrol craft. He trained in Coronado, California, for four months at the beginning of 1966, and then deployed with the rest of his crew to Subic Bay in the Philippines.

After outfitting and testing his boat, Herriott was assigned to PCF Division 102, in Da Nang. Although initially disappointed by his division and Da Nang, Herriott efficiently carried out his duties as both an Officer-in-Charge of his coastal patrol craft, and also as the Operations Officer for his squadron. His duties consisted mostly of patrolling for North Vietnamese guerrillas, communiqués, and war materiel that could be hidden aboard sampans and smaller fishing vessels. Herriott also provided support for SEAL operations and Marine Corps units operating on the riverbanks. When his one-year tour in Vietnam was over, Herriott returned to the United States and left the Navy.

After resigning his Navy commission, Herriott was later commissioned in the U.S. Army. By 1971, he was a Major in the General Staff, assigned to training at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. At the beginning of 1972, he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence in the Foreign Liaison Office at the Pentagon.

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Major Jack A. Herriott are almost entirely devoted to his service on coastal patrol craft in Vietnam from 1966-1967. The collection is organized in a single series, arranged alphabetically by title.

The first folder contains correspondence from August to November 1971 between Major Herriott and Dr. Oscar P. Fitzgerald, who was then working in the Classified Operational Archives in the Naval Historical Division (OP-09B92). The correspondence is mostly recollections by Herriott of his time as an OIC of a coastal patrol craft.

The second folder is an end of tour report by one of Herriott’s friends, containing information Herriott felt would be useful for the Archives. The third folder contains a proposed handbook for quality searches of Vietnamese sampans and other marine craft. The fourth folder contains two lists of personnel who were associated with coastal patrol craft in Vietnam, probably drawn up by the Swift Officers Association, of which Herriott was a director.

The fifth folder is a log that Herriott kept as a coastal patrol craft OIC from 1966 to 1967. It is a handwritten day-by-day record of his life from when he arrived in Subic Bay with his patrol craft to when he left for the United States at the end of his one-year tour.

The sixth folder contains a map of the Republic of Vietnam, probably procured by Herriott when he was in Vietnam from 1966-1967. Unfortunately, there is no date of reference on the map. The seventh folder contains an article about the Naval Investigative Service in Vietnam that one of Herriott’s friends wrote for publication in the Naval Institute Proceedings, but the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, refused to forward it. The eighth folder contains the first two newsletters of the Swift Officers Association. The final folder is a copy of a book about Vietnamese Legends with annotations.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Papers of Major Jack A. Herriott, Archives Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Subject Headings (LCSH)

United States. Navy--History--Sources.
United States. Navy--Small-boat service.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975.


Published: Tue Aug 10 12:22:15 EDT 2021