Vietnam Center and Archive Collection Finding Aid

Collection Finding Aid

Title
Ralph Christopher Collection
Collection Number
1648
Date(s)
Undated
Size
0.5 linear feet
Physical Location(s)
Library, Cold Storage Vault, AVcollection D145.1J
Processed by
B. Robertson, Sep. 2005[Updated: Dec. 2012 by R. Nanes]
Digitization Status
Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive

Scope and Content

Book titled River Rats and DVD titled River Rats of Vietnam document the U.S. Navy's fight to gain control of the rivers of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Biographical Note

Ralph Christopher was born in Richmond, Virginia on 03 February 1950. In February 1967, he volunteered for the United States Navy beginning his three years, seven months in the military. During his service, Christopher served with the USS Vega 1967 - 1970, Repair, Berthing & Messing Barge 21 (Non Self-Propelled) March 1970 - July 1970, Advanced Tactical Support Base Ben Keo and Advanced Tactical Support Base Phuoc Xuyen July 1970 - October 1970. Promoted from an SA to FA to FN to MM3, Christopher served as an Engine Mechanic, a Captain M-60, and he volunteered to ride River Patrol Boats. Nine months of this time was spent in Vietnam, where Christopher served with the Brown Water Navy. During this time, Christopher participated in the Cambodian Invasion, Operation Barrier Reef, Operation Slingshot, and Vietnamization (SEALORDS). Christopher was discharged in October 1970 and received the following awards/citations for his service: Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star and 3 Bronze Stars, the Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Presidential Unit Commendation/Ribbon, Combat Action, and the Armed Forces Expedition/Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross and Civil Action. After his service, Christopher attended classes at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and in 1982, he graduated from MIT in Hollywood and became a professional musician. He has also written a book titled River Rats, which tells his story of his service to America and Democracy in Southeast Asia, and he is a member of the Gamewardens Association, the River Patrol Boats (PBR) Association, the Mobile Riverine Forces Association, and the Free Vietnam Alliance.

Rights and Access

Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research

Collection Inventory

Contents
Box
Folder
Location
E-mail exchanges regarding Naval Support Activity, Saigon casualties during the Vietnam War
1
1
D083.5D
1966-1977 yearbook for U.S. Naval Support Activity, Saigon

Separated Materials

Books
River Rats by Ralph Christopher.

Duty Honor Sacrifice: Brown Water Sailors and Army River Raiders, by Ralph Christopher, 2007 (author autographed).

Iron Butterfly: the True Story of an Elite Group of Men who Wrote a Page in Naval History by Ralph christopher and Chief Jim Davy, 2010.
Moving Images
1648VI2022 DVD: River Rats of Vietnam.
Audio
1648AU2590--(D145.1J) DVD-ROM with several segments of the Histroy Czar show.

Digitized Materials

Items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Virtual Vietnam Archive.

To search for items within this collection, or within all of the holdings of the Vietnam Archive, go to the Virtual Vietnam Archive