Vietnam Center & Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive News and Updates

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gamewardens of Vietnam Reunion

From 17-19 July, I had the pleasure of attending the reunion of the Gamewardens of Vietnam in Norfolk, Virginia. 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of the Gamewardens, so this was certainly a very special event. The U.S. Navy initiated Project Gamewarden to combat enemy traffic on the inland waterways of the Mekong Delta during the war, and this Brown Water Navy was involved in some of the most harrowing experiences of the Vietnam War. Mainly operating PBRs (patrol boat river) these sailors plied the rivers and canals of South Vietnam, searching for shipments of enemy weapons, food, etc.

As you might imagine, I met a number of very colorful individuals at the reunion, and enjoyed the distinct honor of speaking with members of River Division 593, a group whose gallantry in combat earned them a number of medals, including the Navy Cross which was bestowed upon David Larsen in 1970.

The Gamewardens have offered much support to the Vietnam Center and Archive over the years (see Gamewardens collections donated to the Archive), and I look forward to working with them in the Oral History Project in the future.