Photos US Forces

Lance Corporal Robert A. Bishop (Cincinnati, Ohio) explores a Viet Cong tunnel complex found by Leathernecks of the 2d Battalion, 26th Marines [2/26] during Operation Bold Mariner. The Marines teamed up with Army of the Republic of Vietnam and American Division units in the multi-battalion cordon-and-sweep operation on the Batangan Peninsula near Quang Ngai City (official USMC photo by Corporal D. Kramer)."

Original photograph and description sourced from : The Jonathan F. Abel Collection (COLL/3611), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

It was sometime in April 1968 at Cua Viet and we were under heavy bombardment from NVA artillery out of the DMZ. Someone brought a young sailor into the communications bunker and turned him over to me. He was covered with sand, crying and shaking like a leaf. The little bunker his buddy and he had built received a direct hit. A large beam broke and killed his buddy sitting next to him.
I put my arm around his shoulders and sat him down next to me against the wall of the... bunker. All I could do for him was hold him and try to comfort him. We stayed there for quite awhile. Later I put him on a medevac helo.
Recently I saw this picture on the internet and that reminded me of that incident. Sometimes the only thing you can do is hold them.
CAPTAIN Herman W. Hughes, US NAVY, Retired

U.S. Navy F-4G Phantom II (BuNo 150484) of fighter squadron VF-213 Black Lions on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) during that carrier's deployment to Vietnam from 19 October 1965 to 13 June 1966

Sikorsky Aircraft 'Assault Support Patrol Boat', ASPB Mk2.

Sikorsky won a U. S. Navy contract to build a prototype ASPB (Assault Support Patrol Boat). Sikorsky designed the ASPB for its environment, the ASPB warship was in reality a floating tank, and much more. It was approximately 50 feet long and 20 feet wide and powered by three Pratt & Whitney PT-6 turbine engines connected to three water-jet pumps. On smooth river water the ASPB could reach speeds of 50 miles per hour and maneuver in only water 4 feet deep. Also this type of drive system allowed the ASPB to turn rapidly, maneuverability was critical because of limited space within the delta rivers.

It had a central turret with a 105 millimeter howitzer and two 20 millimeter automatic cannons. The howitzer was the most common artillery piece in the Army's inventory and parts and ammunition were readily available. The howitzer is capable of firing directly at an enemy or indirectly at high angles over obstacles in support of our ground troops. The 20 millimeter cannons were rapid fire machine guns for short range attacks and also they were used to defend the ASPB. Both weapons allowed the ASPB to lay down fire outside the range of the Viet Cong's 300 meter range of their rocket propelled grenades. Also a small machine gun was installed in the bow of the ASPB for quick reaction defense in case of an ambush.
A unique armor system was designed for the ASPB called "bar armor". It is a light steel bar grill mounted 3 to 4 feet away from the hull and superstructure. This armor defeated the Viet Cong's rocket grenade by exploding the grenades armor piercing warhead against the "bars" before it reached the ASPB. The use of this armor allowed the ASPB to be designed with a lighter armored hull reducing the ASPB's overall weight.
The ASPB was delivered to the U. S. Navy at the end of 1969, but never saw operational use because the war ended. However the ASPB was used by the Special Forces to train for riverine warfare until 1980 when it was taken out of service.


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