This film, produced by the Navy in 1967 and narrated by television anchorman Chet Huntley, is a kaleidoscope of action from its start and shows all aspect s of the Navy's on and off shore commitment to an ever widening war in Vietnam. Huntley provides the introduction to this film while standing on the amphibious assault ship Guam with UH-34 and UH-2 Seasprite helicopters behind him. From the start of the action its the 7th Fleet that draws center stage with the North Vietnamese attacks in August 1964 on the Destroyers Maddox 731 and the C. Turner Joy 951 in what became known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. There is footage of both ship and naval gunfire in response to the August 2 and 4 attacks. 7th Fleet carriers Ticonderoga CV14 and Kitty Hawk CVA 63 are seen conducting air operations and launching F-4 Phantoms, A-4 Skyhawks and A-5 Vigilantes. The Kitty Hawk's combat information center and boiler room is viewed. Pilots are seen being briefed for operations along Route 14 in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam's II Corps. The carrier Enterprise CVAN 65 is seen in clip. Captured in this film is operation Dagger Thrust that sent the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade across the beaches at Da Nang and Chu Lai in March 1965. While later other Marines thought to be the 7th Fleet Special Landing Force are seen hurrying on an amphibious assault ship to board UH-34 helicopters of Medium Helicopter Squadron HMM 362. UH-34s are seen conducting an assault ashore. Other identified 7th Fleet ships in the film are the Destroyers 947, 12, 682, cruiser Camberra, and the Bainbridge the world's first nuclear powered guided missile frigate. The Destroyer 325 as part of Market Time, the Navy's maritime interdiction mission is seen searching a Vietnamese junk. In addition the Dixie AD 14 and good footage of the Swift Boat 37 are also caught on this film. The Navy's advisory mission is explored with general footage of advisors training South Vietnamese sailors. Another advisor is seen at South Vietnamese River Assault Group 25s headquarters at Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. While another is seen in the Delta with Coastal Group 37. Still another advisor is pictured at the Vietnamese Navy ship yard at Saigon. Ashore there is good footage of Seabee activities. There is a clip of the major medical facility established by the Navy in Saigon. The new support activity it established at Da Nang is also seen as well as a clip of its new hospital there under construction. This film is a must for those individuals interested in the Navy's early mission in Vietnam and is a good addition to one's collection. Small Boat Navy In Vietnam: This film produced for the Navy in the late 1960's and narrated by Raymond Burr captures in color the action of the Navy personnel who operated along the South Vietnamese coast line, along its rivers and waterways of the Mekong Delta. Utilizing a variety of small craft, some designed specifically for the war in Vietnam or modified for use there, the sailors who manned them carried the war to the Viet Cong. Raymond Burr provides the film's narration. In the opening of the film, there is terrific action footage of the USS Kittyhawk CV63 launching A-5 Vigilante, F-4 Phantom and A-4 Skyhawk aircraft and a clip of the Heavy Cruiser St Paul CA73. Transitioning to the small boat navy, the film has a clip of early Navy advisors with their South Vietnamese counterparts. The film combines air and land footage to make for some very interesting action. Seen are pictures of LCPL [Landing Craft , Vehicle, Personnel] which was the first craft sent to serve with the small boat navy in Vietnam. The introduction includes a clip of the Coast Guard 82 foot Cutter Point Jefferson. And there is a good scene of an air cushion vehicle [ACV]skimming over water and swampy terrain. The 52 foot Swift Boat is capable of 25 knots and armed with a dual .50-caliber machine guns and a single rear mounted .50-caliber machine gun and 81mm mortar. Seen in clips throughout the introduction are Swift Boats 8, 30, 37. The film also includes various code named operations the small boat navy conducted in Vietnam. Operation Market Time the code name for the Navy's coastal patrol and security along South Vietnam's 1,500 mile long coast line to stop the infiltration of enemy troops and supplies. This operation was conducted from five coastal surveillance centers. In addition, there is action footage as Swift Boat 97 is seen intercepting a Vietnamese junk and another is seen delivering mortar fire as its machine gunners and individual crewmen provide supporting fire. Another vital operation conducted by the small boat navy was Operation Stable Door, which provided a protective screen for merchant ships waiting in Vietnamese harbors for clearance to unload. At Vung Tau the harbor entrance control post where footage for this segment was filmed, a 24-hour surveillance was maintained over all movement in the anchorage area. Navy Gun Boat 33 is seen patrolling the merchant ships and inspecting a suspicious craft. Stable Door patrol boats guarded against Viet Cong attack, sabotage, swimmers and mines. A EOD team is seen starting a hull inspection for mines of a merchant ship riding at anchor. There is a good aerial overview of the infamous 400 square miles of mangrove swamps and waterways called the Rung Sat. It is through the Rung Sat that the Long Tau Shipping Channel from Vung Tau to Saigon winds a torturous 45 mile course. There is excellent footage of freighters heading up the Long Tau. Good clips of mine sweeping boats [MSB'sj sweeping the shipping channel, and there is good footage of them conducting a mine sweep. An equally important operation conducted by the small boat navy was Operation Game Warden that provided for patrol and security on the rivers of South Vietnam. Utilizing PBR's [river patrol boat] at speeds of 25 knots, the PBR's were manned by a four man crew and armed with two forward .50-caliber machine guns and a rearward .50-caliber with M-79 Grenade Launcher. There is good footage of PBR's stationed at Nha Be and excellent footage of those stationed on the Bassac River at Binh Thuy near Can Tho. The aerial view of the base is outstanding as is the view of the PBR's stationed there. It is here that Headquarters River Patrol Force coordinates activities of Game Warden units in the Mekong Delta. Support was provided by armed helicopters known as Sea Wolfs and the gunships were operated from several LST's or from airstrips ashore. There is good action footage of PBR's attacking Viet Cong and rocket firing machine gun firing Sea Wolfs joining the fight. PBR's are seen leaving their base in pairs for night patrol, while Navy Seals are seen moving out for a night mission. An equally important aspect of the Navy's operations in the Mekong Delta was River Assault Flotilla One the Navy's component to the joint Army-Navy Mobile Riverine Force. The flotilla consisted of barracks ships and support ships in addition to a variety of smaller craft vessels that were employed in riverine operations. There are good views of these vessels: Armored Troop Carriers [ATC]; Command and Communications Boat CCB; LCM Monitor, and an armored gun boat. Join troops of the Army's 9th Infantry Division's, 2d Brigade as they embark on ATC's for movement from their barracks ship to an amphibious landing. See Monitors softening up the landing site. And watch as ATC's hit the shore and troops disembarking into action. The film footage in this sequence is outstanding. This film captures the harsh deadly environment in which sailors of the Navy's small boat navy fought and died in.
American Navy And Small Boat Navy In Vietnam, Undated, Vietnam Archive Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=998VI0609>.
Pub. Credit Line
998VI0609, Vietnam Archive Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University