Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” “Change of Life on USS Rich (DD 820).” In less than two days since our ship had arrived on the Vietnam gun line, our shipboard life had changed completely. It no longer bore any resemblance to the old normal underway routine. The major changes were not much sleep for anyone … Continue reading Change of Life on DD 820
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” It was early afternoon on December 1, 1972. Our 26-year-old U.S. Navy Gearing class destroyer, USS Rich (DD 820) was operating in the coastal waters of Vietnam, south of the Dong Hoi Gulf region, about 15 nautical miles out from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The ship had gone … Continue reading “Tiger Island: A Dangerous Place.”
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” USS Warrington (DD 843). My ship, USS Rich (DD 820) docked on November 18, 1972 at the Subic Bay Naval Station in Subic Bay Harbor at 0710. The ship would remain in Subic Bay for six days while making the necessary preparations and alterations to enter the combat zone … Continue reading A stark reminder of what could happen.
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” August 27, 1972. Operation Lion’s Den, or the Battle of Haiphong Harbor, occurred, which involved one of the few ship-to-ship naval battles of the Vietnam War. The operation was carried out by four ships designated as Task Unit 77.1.2., which included USS Newport News (CA 148), an 8-inch … Continue reading Operation Lion’s Den
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” It was December 1, 1972. Our ship USS Rich (DD 820) was attached to the Commander Task Unit (CTU) 71.1.1, embarked on board USS Wilson (DDG 7). CTU 71.1.1 was made up of our ship, USS Wilson (DDG 7) and USS Rowan (DD 782), CTU 71.1.1 embarked on USS … Continue reading “Hit and Run at Hon La”
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” Just off the coast of Quang Tri Province in the area of MR1, but very close to the DMZ, was a gun line position designated as, “Point Allison.” Naval gunfire in South Vietnam was under the control of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison … Continue reading “Danger Close”
From “Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir.” Battle of Brandon Bay: January 11, 1973. On January 11, another combat action occurred involving USS Cochrane (DDG 21), USS McCaffery (DD 860), and USS Turner Joy (DD 951) near Vinh, North Vietnam, about 100 miles north of the DMZ. This action, which came to be called “The … Continue reading Did someone drop a goddamn nuke?