US Navy Birthday

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Happy Birthday
United States Navy!!

The United States Navy was created on October 13, 1775 during the American Revolution, and today the Navy celebrates its 234th birthday. In order to celebrate this wonderful occasion the Vietnam Archive would like to present a few Navy items from our collections.

Please enjoy the materials and help us to congratulate all of the Navy personnel past and present on their big day.

Oral Histories

U.S. Navy flight helmet with boom mike, and oxygen mask attached. Commander B.C. Rudy marked on back of helmet. Red carrying bag also included.
(Bryan Rudy Collection [1668museum2130])

OH0438 - Rear Admiral Frances T. Shea Buckley

Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Frances T. Shea Buckley served in the Nurse Corps, U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict. With the ranking of Rear Admiral, she has achieved the highest rank held by women of the U.S. Uniformed Services.

OH0521 - Dr. Robert Ordonez

Dr. Robert Ordonez discusses his experiences as a Navy Corpsman in Vietnam.

OH0055 - Captain Frederick Frick

(USN) Captain Frick was present aboard the USS Maddox during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. He served as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade and acted as Division Operations Officer. His duty station put Frick on the bridge, in CIC (Command Information Center) and the radio room. In his lengthy interview, Frick recounts his experience during the North Vietnamese attack on 2 August and the controversial events of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin. Frick discusses the role of the ships involved in the incident, orders received by the Maddox and speculates on the significance of the incident. The interview also involves the consequences of 34A ops (operations by the South Vietnamese Navy and Marines against North Vietnamese shore defenses, logistically supported by the US) and rebuts the accounts of others that claim the events of 4 August did not include an attack by the North Vietnamese Navy. Finally, Frick describes the effects the Tonkin incident had on his commanding officer’s career and comments on the "Rules of Engagement."

Moving Images

Commander U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, A U.S. Navy River Patrol Boat Cruises slowly down a canal in the Mekong Delta of S. Vietnam. The 31 Foot craft Patrol the Waterways of the Mekong Delta and rung Sat Special Zone to prevent the Viet Cong from moving supplies by water. The PBRs are propelled by water jets and can travel in water less than a foot deep.
(Arthur Price Collection [va042051])

987vi0652 - Michael Sheets Collection

Biggest Ship in the U. S. Army is one of a Kind (Official Department of Defense motion picture film by the U. S. Army under the direction of the MACV Office of Information. Photography by SP5’s Sylvia, Morgan and Watson: Sound by Lt. Sheets.) The largest ship in the Army is the 4800 ton cargo vessel, John U. D. Page. The Page is 338 feet long, 65 feet in beam, and can carry up to 2000 tons of cargo. The Page’s official designation is BDL 1-X, which stands for Beach Discharge Lighter, Number One, Experimental. She’s one of a kind, and her ability to transport huge loads of ammunition and rolling stock on intra-coastal missions up and down the coast of Vietnam makes her an important part of the military effort there. For all her size, the Page can take on cargo or off-load on the beach. Currently, she loads at Cam Ranh Bay and sails from there to Phan Thiet, Phan Rang or Nha Trang, averaging one run every two days. Her eight warrant officers and 36 enlisted men live in the toadstool-like superstructure rising from her cargo deck. The quarters are roomy and air-conditioned, and assignments on the Page are coveted by all Army "sailors". One of the more noteworthey characteristics of the big flat-bottomed ship is her maneuverability. She is powered by two giant “eggbeater” blades which can be set at various angles. They’re positioned side-by-side just aft of mid-ship. The resulting ability to thrust in any direction allows the ship to make a full circle within her own length. This design has been applied to some European vessels, but has never been used in the American Merchant Marine or the U. S. Navy.


U.S. Navy summer flying coveralls with U.S. Naval Aviator identification patch that says CDR B.C. Rudy, Air Boss
(Bryan Rudy Collection [1668museum2132])
United States Navy VF-32 Tomcat Fighter Squadron patch
(Ralph Reinhart Collection [1618museum1743])


Four Navy F-4 Phantoms over a volcano
(William E. LeGro Collection [va043713])
Aircraft carrier: F-4 Phantom, A-7 Corsair II, A-6 Intruder, and others
(William E. LeGro Collection [va043708])