In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Anybody Else Go To Vietnam By Boat?

DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 12,937 ✭✭✭
edited August 2010 in US Military Veteran Forum
I was in BLT 2/5 aboard the USS Mitchell (sister ship to the USS Breckinridge that took me to the Med in '63 with 3/6). Totally sucked. Twenty-three days of going from one long chow line to the next, cots five-deep in the rear hold with two * pipes bringing air down to us. Good libo in Hawaii and Yokosuka, though.
«1

Comments

  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    I went both ways by Continental Airlines, but my brother in law went over in a boat in 1965. Not sure if it was as a unit, but he was with 7th Motors while there.
  • DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 12,937 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Ray B
    I went both ways by Continental Airlines, but my brother in law went over in a boat in 1965. Not sure if it was as a unit, but he was with 7th Motors while there.

    Ray: Ask him. Maybe we were on the same ship. We docked at Naha and went through Jungle Lanes at Butler for a couple weeks before flying south.
  • Grunt2Grunt2 Member Posts: 2,527 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Nope....Took Flying Tiger Airlines...crewed by runners up from the Miss America contest that year!!!! Took about 23 hours as I recall..Stopped in Alaska and Japan before landing in HELL!
    Retired LEO
    Combat Vet VN
    D.A.V Life Member
  • divecopdivecop Member Posts: 778 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    No boat, even though I was Navy, I went both ways by plane. Landed
    in Ton Son Nhut airport, then went by C-130 to Na Trang. Then by
    jeep.
  • dolfandolfan Member Posts: 4,159
    edited November -1
    My understanding from what I've read is that most troops arrived in Nam via commercial air carriers. Is this true?
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    Generally speaking, those that went as a unit went by boat; those that went as a replacement went by plane.
  • dolfandolfan Member Posts: 4,159
    edited November -1
  • robparobpa Member Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would have been AWOL before taking a damn boat!
  • Da-TankDa-Tank Member Posts: 4,074
    edited November -1
    Left Oakland on Aug. 13 1965 a bright and sunny day. USS Barrett.
    28 days to guam and 18 more to Nam. Sleeping shifts eating in shifts and taking turns on deck. The only cards in the ships com. were pinicle. I think every body who ever got off that boat knew how to play.
  • rovernutrovernut Member Posts: 256 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yep, first tour went over on a LST or LSD, anywy the bigger one. We went up by Kodiak Island, then droped down to Yokuska, resupplied then off to Red Beach. My second tour, came back on the USS IWO JIMA with 3,000 other Jarheads. You talk about mess lines and crowding. I remember they played THE GREEN BERETS every night for the 28 days it took to get here. Never wanted to watch it, never did.
  • doorman292doorman292 Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Our battalion went over by boat. Follow this link to my story of "The Invasion of Da Nang by
    the 8th Bn, 4th Artillery"

    http://www.8th-4th-arty.com/invade-danang
  • DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 12,937 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by doorman292
    Our battalion went over by boat. Follow this link to my story of "The Invasion of Da Nang by
    the 8th Bn, 4th Artillery"

    http://www.8th-4th-arty.com/invade-danang

    heh-heh-heh. I don't think it was a D-Day landing for anybody.
  • s2kilos2kilo Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Went by boat, the General Eltinge I believe in latter '65. took 3 weeks, came home by air.
    1st Inf Div
  • JerseyJoeJerseyJoe Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I and 4000 other guys went over in 1966 by boat from Boston. We were in the 196th LIB and wound up in Tay Ninh. It took 30 long days and was pure hell. I was a medic so I worked in the ship's hospital and life ok for me until we landed. The ships were the Patch and the Darby is I remember correctly. All in all...the worst year of my life.
    Joe
  • korsakovkorsakov Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My transportation on my first tour was braniff airlines on a mac flight...We all had a great time..
  • EdustEdust Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    We boarded the USS Saminole at Pearl Harbor on feb-13-65 to go to California to play war games, after several days unloaded the play toys and loaded the real ammo. Departed on march-11-65 for Okinawi, landed there on march-27-65. stayed there untell apr-10-65 then we boarded the USS Union at White Beach, Okinawi. arrived in Nam on apr-14-65, we spent our first night in Hue. 2 months, what a ride.
  • MemphisJim1MemphisJim1 Member Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sailed from Oakland on the USNS Weigle (sp?); departed approx. 3 March 1967. After 19 days we reached the sunny delights of Subic Bay and had about 24 hours of all the fun we could stand. Reached Vung Tau two days later. Took the scenic route home via Okinawa to visit family friends at Kadena; fuel stops at Misawa (where I bellied up to the same O-club bar my father's squadron hung out during Korean War rotations for his F-84 squadron) and Anchorage (in khakis, no jacket, on a "crisp" April morning) and on to Travis -- all courtesy of World Airways.
  • 03harlee03harlee Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    USS MIDWAY CVA-41 , 1970-1973 , PT2 - photo intelligence - briefed and debriefed the pilots for their missions , photolab personnel were the other half of my department , airwing PT's were also in my office.
    Am Plank Owner and Shellback.
    How bout you ?
  • 11echo11echo Member Posts: 1,001 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    "Flying Tiger Airlines"...Those were the yahoos that flew us! ...A VERY OLD 707, VERY long flight, and VERY cramped!!! I HATE fly overseas to this day because of that flight!!!
  • Da-TankDa-Tank Member Posts: 4,074
    edited November -1
    U.S.S. Barrett. 28 days only stop was Guam for 2 days and no enlisted men allowed off. That was equal to Nam in many ways.
  • 39chevy39chevy Member Posts: 199 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    went over on the general D I SULTAN I believe..1966..from california..if I remember 23 days..stopped at okinawa for re-supply..it was an OLD former troop ship..came back via TWA
  • fyimofyimo Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I flew over and came back on a Seaboard World Airlines commerical flight. We were in uniform with no gear or weapons. The flight flew to Hawaii then to Guam then to Vietnam going and coming home we flew to Japan then Alaska, and then Wasington State.
  • mikes1mikes1 Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Went over on BOAT. USNS D I Sultan. Left San Franciso In August 1965. Crossed Internation Date Line on August 12 (Lost Friday 13)
  • MrRockCanyonMrRockCanyon Member Posts: 14
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Da-Tank
    Left Oakland on Aug. 13 1965 a bright and sunny day. USS Barrett.
    28 days to guam and 18 more to Nam. Sleeping shifts eating in shifts and taking turns on deck. The only cards in the ships com. were pinicle. I think every body who ever got off that boat knew how to play.


    Left Port of Oakland on the USNS Barrett, May 1967, with my Battalion. Hit big seas on the route to Japan, skirted a typhoon, and dropped into Subic Bay. On to Nam. 21 days of fricken sea life, no sea legs. We were a petroleum outfit that ran the operations out of Cam Ranh Bay. Return was on Continental Airlines to Alaska, Seattle. Derosed out of Ft Lewis, Washington. Welcome Home Brother.
    Mick 67-68
  • br549br549 Member Posts: 1,024 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i was in okinowa(sp)when we got orders for VN 4 hours later i was on a C130 headed for that Hellhole. left on a C141
  • rhnaylor2rhnaylor2 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Left Ft. Bragg, NC with 519th MI Bn on 12 Nov 1965 -- sailed from Charleston, SC at 1800 same day on USNS Gen. Nelson M. Walker, T-AP-125. Went through Panama Canal to Long Beach, CA, arriving 23 Nov. Had problems with leaking fuel oil and sewage backup. Stayed in Long Beach and transferred to USNS Gen. Leroy Eltinge, T-AP-154. Sailed from Long Beach on 1 Dec. Guam - 1 night shore leave 16-17 Dec. Arrived Vung Tau and then Saigon on 23 Dec 1965 -- a long voyage but it all counted as part of our VN tour!
  • boogaleeboogalee Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello mike, must have left same day different ship. gen. blatchford, also crassed date line and missed the 13th aug. 65. Went to guinhon.
  • rivethookrivethook Member Posts: 150 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Question: When you went by boat did your time start when you left Conus or when you arrived in Vietnam. I was thinking that when I signed in at Travis AFB my time started. Being as how that was in '66 my memory has faded, I am now on the 3 minute rule, after three minutes its ok to forget[:D]
  • rhnaylor2rhnaylor2 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Overseas time for VN service started when the ship passed the 3 mile limit out of Charleston -- in our case in 1965 (down through the Panama Canal to Long Beach, CA to Guam to VN) trip was about 47 days -- so had 1-1/2 months of the tour done when we arrived in RVN.
  • watchmaker5watchmaker5 Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes I went by boat to the mouth of the Mecong. There they put us off in 5 man teams up the river to set up ambushes. I was in 1st Recon Bn USMC
  • flyin1340flyin1340 Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hearing about "Flying Tiger Airlines" brings back some very disturbing memories. While in the middle of the ocean, in what I'm sure was a C118 brought back from the dead one time too many, we had an engine catch fire. The guys started getting pretty uneasy and making a lot of noise, so the flight attendent makes an announcement that the pilot is turning off the fuel and shutting down that engine so that the wind can blow it out. As you can immagine she didn't instill us with a lot of confidense for the rest of the flight.

    Made 2 trips over and 3 trips back by ship as a "Gator Sailor" with BLT 1/9, 1/4, 2/5, various HMH's, HMM's and HMA's along with 1 HAL.

    I saw the last big offensive, sweated and bled and at times cried over dead Brothers with my Marine Brothers. I was where I "really wasn't" in 1973 and had the doubious fortune to also take part in the evacuation of Saigon, which I then thought was the greatest display of political dishonor and cowardice I had ever seen. I now find myself amazed to see it happening again as our supposed "Representitives" expose their treachery and disregard for our values in an attempt to dishonor the next generation that would defend our freedom.

    Sailors and Marines are siblings in a most disfuntional family.
    Left alone we constantly fight amongst ourselves.
    Let an outsider pick a fight with either of us and we will join forces to fight them.

    I played a small part and have the greatest respect and offer the greatest thanks to all who served. Some gave all, all gave some.

    ABH-2
    Phibron 5
    USS Duluth LPD-6
    1972 - 1975
  • StingSting Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    On an LST in the Summer of 1966. 13th Marines with 1-26
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    19 days on the USS GORDON from Hawaii SUCKED Hit the beach on landing craft like JOHN Wayne but girls on beach selling BAM DE BAM NO D.DAY but I was glad of that.
  • helimanheliman Member Posts: 597 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 03harlee
    USS MIDWAY CVA-41 , 1970-1973 , PT2 - photo intelligence - briefed and debriefed the pilots for their missions , photolab personnel were the other half of my department , airwing PT's were also in my office.
    Am Plank Owner and Shellback.
    How bout you ?


    Me too!......USS Midway CVA-41.....VA-93....Plane Captain, 1971.

    Dave
  • 1stTankerSki1stTankerSki Member Posts: 16 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    In 1965, 1st Tank Bn. was attached with 7th Marines, we were the first 7800 Marines, of 1st Mar.Div. that sailed out of San Diego, 7th Reg. FMF, stopped off at Okinawa, and offloaded both in Danang, and Chu Lai, from late May thru July of '65. First aboard LSD's (USS-Alamo,LSD 33) and off loaded to causeways at Chu Lai from LST's (1178)

    I was a crewmen on a TVR, (Tank Vehicle Recovery) a 62 ton tracked Tow &30 ton Crane, top speed on road surface 35 miles per hour. Called the M-51, engine was a Gasoline, Continental V-12, 970 hp. w/auto-transaxle, two forward, (low a Drive) N and reverse, & park/idle.

    We packed more ammo then allowed, each crewman carried .45 pistol,in shoulder holsters, the TC turret had an aircraft mount .50 Cal MG, 1-3.5 rocket launcher, 2-.45 cal. grease guns, 1- M14 Rifle,w/1000 rds. 7.62x51, we were issued 4- M-79 rockets, but obtained more. My TC traded off K-rations, for a Thompson .45/w 30 rd. straight mags. Every man wore a steel helmet when not wearing a tanker Comm. helmet, on the ground, otherwise it was a soft utility cover. Each of us learned the others crew duties, we could all drive, all use the radios, (PRC-25's), all fired the .50 cal., 3.5 Rocket L., and could hook-up tow bars, or cables to a downed Tank, faster than a AAA tow truck driver on the Freeway. (Because we trained together that way!) Each crewmen was a Tank mechanic/tanker mos's, except me, I was weldor/tanker mos, Rigger/crane operator, as was the TC (not a weldor)but he could use a cutting torch.

    We were in country less than 45 days, when during OP Starlight, we made a beach landing with RLT-7, off loading from landing craft, with fording stacks on in the 5-6 ft.surf, as we followed the Grunts and support Tanks, to the objective VC and NVA positions. Only later did we learn of the extensive tunnel system in place. After three days of fighting the sob's. We recued three wounded crewmen from a shot up and burning tank, before we could get the last man out. We took them north of the fighting, where they could be airlifted out, we had passed three bogged down LVT's, two were on fire, and we were ready to go help them, when we were ordered to stay put untill morning. It was the longest six hours to dawn, none of us slept a wink. When we returned to the burned out Tank in daylight, we all wept at seeing it still smoking, knowing a buddy died in it.

    Semper Fi !
    Ski
  • sam---esam---e Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I went by boat after a two day train ride from Ft, Hood TX Newly formed 198th light Inf. along with 196th light Inf. Boarded a troop ship in San Fan bay area (walnut creek east side area) then across the pond with stop in Subic Bay, then Da Nang harbor; over the side into LST's and down the coast to Chu Lai beaches. First units to form Americal Division. Lost one before we even got to Subic Bay! Wasn't like any crusie I ever heard of. Maybe he was the lucky one.
  • mark1945mark1945 Member Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Left San Francisco in Aug of 65 on Gen Edwin D. Patrick MSTS ship.
    Got off in Cam Rahn about a month later.We stopped in Hawaii ,Guam , Subic Bay then VN.
  • william swilliam s Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    left Oakland Army terminal 6, May 1967 arrived DaNang RVN 5, June 1967
    MSTS Barrett. 31.5 days It sucked. Typhoon and all. Supposed to go to Guam, wound up in Subic Bay, Got 4 hours leave, 3 guys, $21.00 total Drinks .25 ea, Do the math, I tried to get on the wrong ship afterwards, I think it was a tramp chineese freighter. Remember fighting on a wooden gang way. Finally made my way back to the Barratt saluted the officed of the day when I borded, and passed out in the middle of the salute. Worst hang over I ever had the next day. Sitting on the deck waiting to leave and looking at the USS Foristall acress the bay.
  • StingSting Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I thought about this post yesterday, while I leaned on the railing at the Detroit River and looked past Fighting Island to Canada. Many little fishing boats were floating, and many power boats motored past me, but nobody was hanging off the side throwing-up. So there must be something about BIG SHIPS ONLY that causes seasickness, because almost all the Marines I knew got seasick on the way over--just one time. I did.

    If it happened on smaller boats too, no one would ever go fishing or boating. It wouldn't be worth it. And on a busy waterway we would always be seeing it. But we don't.
  • JPony56hdJPony56hd Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Went to Cam Rahn Bay in May of 1965 on the USS Barret, 864th Eng Bat. Left on xxxxx orders from Fort Walton? Mineral Wells (Miserable Gulch) Texas, stoped in the desert until night and then shipped out in the dead of night from somewhere on the west coast. Stayed out of shipping lanes, had No contact with others the whole trip. Broke down and was towed into Midway Island (was allowed to party on Goony Bird Island) got fixed and took off. Broke down again and was towed onto Subic Bay, got fixed, left and drove right into a 5 day Typhoon. On day three the ship got dammaged (bent prop shaft??) and had to head into the waves. The ship got hammered But stayed aflot. When the storm cleared we were left floating and got towed back to Subic Bay. Left this time on a Marine Assalt ship and finaly got to Cam Rahn Bay (the first ones there) and suddenly being on the Rusty Tub didn't seem so bad..
Sign In or Register to comment.