Purple Heart? Nah, Purple ASS...
There are various reasons in entering a canal. It's the PATROL
OFFICER's prerogative to do so. I can honestly say that the Boat Commanders
FROWN on the idea. However, we go whenever and WHEREVER the other boat goes. If
it is HELL, then it's into HELL I go...
Read more »
Hold me mate, please hold me,
I'm not sure what's going
I know that I've been hit mate,
but the pain is almost gone.
Read more »
WHAT MY MEDALS
Submitted by Ned Falconer
I'd never worn my medals; they
were left there in the drawer,
so when I finally took them out, it had been
twenty years or more.
My daughter saw me take them out, and asked me what
I looked at her and calmly said, "They're a reminder of a
Submitted by Larry Dunn
Brownwater Sailors of years
gone by have become a dying breed.
But these are the men who carried the
flag when their country was in need.
From the width and breadth of this
great land they flocked to heed the call
And promised God and country that
they would give their all.
INTO THE NAM
E. Jonathan Holmes
Into the Nam went the 9th Marines,
on a beach at Da
Nang they stormed ashore.
Getting used to C-Rats and cold canned beans,
they were ready to die for the honor of the Corps.
Read more »
The Fleet Ballistic Missile
Submitted by E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS) USN
There was a time when all the children of our Country were aware
of "duck and cover".
All were fearful in those times, of radiation, and
blast effect, there seemed little chance we would recover.
The bombs we
faced, or felt we faced, became more menacing each year.
built their fallout shelters, and it mattered not what they said, it was out of
Saints Over There
by Sue Schneider, submitted by husband Ron Schneider
As read by Sue Scheider
as the statue dedicated to Nurses in Vietnam passed through
She's a fine lady, known as a saint over there
tended a wounded soldier and gave him constant care
Not ever would she let
them see the tears in her eyes,
As she held him in her arms and heard his
Night time embraces us
With cold hands of fear.
With cold hands of fear
Night time chases us
And embraces us with
The Long Tao Sweepers - MSBs in
Vietnam 1965 1970 By Edward B Sinclair
The 57 MSBs were the backbone of US Navy Vietnam
minesweeping forces and maintained Saigons vital link with the South
China Sea at Vung Tao. Although most sailors referred to this route as the
Saigon River, technically a series of rivers, this route was officially named
the Long Tao shipping channel...
Read the article »
International War Veterans' Poetry
Submitted by Anthony W. Paul, Webmaster
International War Veterans' Poetry Archives (IWVPA) website is a living and
growing memorial, dedicated to all warriors who paid the supreme sacrifice for
their Country during all occasions where, whilst wearing the uniform of their
country, they were placed in harm's way.
the site »
Dead To The
Submitted by JeanneMarie "Brooks" Wagner
Hunt at Night
SUSH!!! or there will be a fight....
He Was A Swab
by E. A. Hughes, FTCM (SS) USN (Retired)
When I was but a youngster,
and knew little of this world, I was sure of this one thing.
was the most important person that I had ever seen.
He had sailed the world
but said it was the 7 seas.
He talked of Davy Jones, and white caps, and
pennants whipping in the breeze.
He also spoke of other things that were
very strange to me.
General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations!
And he said " I prayed, and I knew whatever was to be, would be, but I
believe He answered me.".... more
by Kirk Ferguson
Was a Dastardly night,
Reminded me of home,
When the wind played the treetops,
Setting them to moan....
Not This Time
by E.M. Cooper, USMC
They gathered in the 60s
And Ol Glory
burned and tore
With all their hollow slogans such as
make love, not war.... more
Ray F. Longaker Jr.
In the latter part of December 1969 I was
assigned to the PBR River Division 511 at Muc Hoa just down from the Cambodian
Boarder at Muc Hoa. My primary mission for RIVDIV-511 was to search out and
destroy all the NVA/VC fighting positions that I could find which is a whole
other story... more »
All Hands magazine story on USS
Submitted by William Chris Caldes.
on the USS Harnett County in the delta from October of 67 to August of 68.
During Operation Giant Slingshot, she earned the Presidential Unit Citation.
Thank You Soldier
Chris Woolnough, Submitted by Phil Poisson.
Have you stopped to thank
a Veteran today?
For the price of freedom they had to pay?
Did you gaze
into those distant eyes?
Did you see the ghosts he can't deny? ....
Once I Was A Navyman
E. A. Hughes:
I originally wrote "Once I Was A Navyman" in 1958
while attending Denver University, as an English 102 assignment. This was after
my first hitch in the Navy. In less than a year I was back in the Navy and
served another 20 years. I felt the need to say something more about my
experiences in the Navy for those 20 years, so I updated my original "Once I
Was A Navyman" to reflect some of those experiences. This included many of the
ships that I, or other Navymen that I had known served on. Along with their
ships names I also tried to include the area of the country that this Navyman
came from. I have had at least three phone calls or letters from Navymen who
felt that I wrote "Once I Was A Navyman" just for them. I was extremely pleased
with the response from old Navymen that I had known.
I did not think
much about my efforts in writing and revising "Once I Was A Navyman" until I
had been retired from the Navy for twenty some years. I went on the internet
about 5 years ago and was trying to locate old shipmates because I had found
some Navy ship sites, and many of these sites listed crew members. I also found
that many of these sites carried my work "Once I Was A Navyman" but the sites
would attribute this work to "Author unknown" or "Anonymous. and in many cases
names of ships were changed and other wording changed as well. Even the title
was changed in a number of instances. The following is a copy of my latest
version of "Once I Was A Navyman".
E. A. Hughes,
FTCM (SS) USN (Retired) ....
A Short & Savage
By Ivan Travnicek, Submitted by Richard Cragg.
the dim light of dawn on 24 May 1967, a two boat Navy patrol was silently
drifting down a South Vietnamese river when Vietcong machine-gun fire
Freedom Is Not Free
LCDR Kelly Strong, USCG
I watched the flag pass by one day,
fluttered in the breeze.
A young Service man saluted it,
And then he
stood at ease....
"On Memorial Day"
Cyndi Szurgot (Tom Glickman's daughter)
Fighting off of foreign
In countries brave to the core
That is how the time in Southeast
The Attack on Song Ong
By Lee Wahler
During 1969/1970, several naval units
used the Advance Tactical Support Base at the mouth of the Ong Doc River (Song
Ong Doc). By July 1970, RVN River Patrol Group 62 (along with Naval Advisory
Group Vietnam advisors), USN River Assault Division 15, a detachment of two
HAL-3 Seawolves, a Dufflebag unit, and the NSA base support unit...
Ode to A. Billy Rat; A Great Hero From
Written and Submitted by Gary Marker, Mid-Atlantic
NO ORDINARY RAT
Last year I finally met Billy the
a real go getter who was champion bred
This is the story I heard long
from a dancing girl in old Can Tho
She told me that PBR Jack
friend of hers told her that
while she was sipping tea a decade back
When I Found Out I Was Going To
By Leon Tiggeman, River Division 593
I dont remember any Viet Nam protesting before or after I got back from
Viet Nam. I know there had to be or I would not have written attached poem 36
years ago. I was probably more concerned about chasing women than getting shot
or maybe its Gods way of keeping me from being mad at the world...
A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS
By Larry Darland
The embers glowed softly, and in
their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a
VN Historical Issue
By Sam Eaton
I've been down in the delta on the
Cambodian border with a TF-116 shipmate doing research for his next book. We
found the answer to a question of interest probably only to Navy Riverine
Forces, a few seals, a few USN EOD, some Navy Helicopter people, some US Army
9th infantry, and a few Army SF personnel ...
History of the Challenge
By Jim Dickson
During World War 1, American
volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying
squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard
who quit in mid-term to join the war...
Vietnam Combat Photo Surfaces After 37
By Rick Townsend
Retired U.S. Navy deep water
diver, HTC (DV), Steve Olson of Lynn Haven Florida never realized he was in
possession of a photograph that held much importance to the crew of a patrol
boat in Vietnam in 1968...
By John Lang
Since some surgery two years ago
that took most of my vision, I've lived in an Assisted Living Retirement
Community. At 55 I barely qualify for living here and I'm the youngest
resident. I would have been a Vietnam vet or otherwise, but health problems
made the military turn me down. I went around for years with my 4F Draft Card
in my wallet while many others were burning theirs and the Flag...
Jane Fonda seeks exoneration,
Forgiveness from her
What say you warriors fought that war?
due that wartime whore?
So rich, so smart, she thought she knew
more than us, we bloodied few.
So smug, self-serving, seeking fame,
rich bitch played her seditious game.
Aboard the USS Tortuga
I served aboard the USS Tortuga LSD-26 for 4 years. We
were assigned to TF 116, PBR section 512 and detachment 29 of helicopter
support squadron one. These pictures were taken August 1966 on station off the
Basac River in the delta of Viet Nam...
Wounds From an Old War
I've been exchanging E Mails with a fellow Viet Nam War vet
from my old unit. Back in America, he still bears the wounds and sorrows of
that "lost " war. But he is wrong. We won the War...
A Proud Day
After I left Nam and after a couple of schools, I was
stationed at Naval Damage Control Training Center in Philadelphia, the home of
the Army Navy game...
A Tribute to Veterans
By Jerry Calow
To Whom It Would Be of
Interest; I wrote this song to pay tribute to All Veterans and would be honored
if they were to use it on Veterans Day. I thank you and God Bless!
The SEAWOLVES from Det.4 were "SCRAMBLED" for
support of the River Boats and Vietnamese Army that were doing a sweep near the
Parrot's Beak near the Cambodian border and ran into a bit of trouble.
Not long after my arrival at Binh Thuy, R.V.N., home
base of the Navy HA(L)3-SEAWOLVES, I started flying SEALORD's; running mail,
parts, supplies to the various gunship detachments throughout the Mekong Delta,
from 8/70 to 12/70. During this time I was also involved in SEAL insertions and
extractions. more »
In Flanders Fields
The poem In Flanders Fields by the
Canadian army physician John McCrae remains to this day one of the most
memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle
in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. more »
The Day It Snowed
Submitted by Jim Schueckler
The usual carols played in
the mess hall as the calendar showed December 24, 1969, but it didn't feel much
like Christmas Eve. We were tired from a long day of flying missions-picking up
infantrymen and recon patrols more
From the Other Side of the
by Patrick Camunes
At first there was no place for us to go
until someone put up that black granite Wall. Now, every day and night, my
Brothers and my Sisters wait to see the many people from places afar file in
front of this Wall... more
A Just and Noble Cause
Submitted by Nolan Nelson
We picked up the burden from
We grew up, went to school and then to war.
volunteered, But mostly we obeyed in our turn.
We said tough luck, no
sweat, or freedom had to be earned.
We knew Communism or Fascism was all
Warping of Darwin for personal gain
Of control over
And not national freedom
And Christian love of your
brother... more »
The First Time
by Wayne D. Paterson
The feeling that it gave me as I made that
The power of that granite, a force I'd yet to
It took fourteen years to get here, it took all my strength to
But thanks to friends and comrades, I would finally make it
through... more »
Wayne D. Paterson
The name of our boat they call PBR,
places we travel are many and far.
Our main objective the Vietnam
Where few are our friends and the VC our host...
Submitted by Joseph B. Vitale, River Section/Division 532
View a copy of a 1979 Newsletter... more
Drums Along the Mekong
Submitted by Bill Rutledge
Not since the wars with the
Indians on the American plains have Americans heard war-drums at night...
Yachting Magazine article
Submitted by Larry Bissonnette
on how the private
industry helped to develop the River Patrol Boat.
SEAWOLVES Det.4, Phu Loi
Submitted by Mike Worthington
I was a crew/chief
door-gunner with the U.S. Navy HA(L)3-SEAWOLVES. Ben Luc was the home of Det.4.
Our AO-area operation-was the Plain of Reeds, Parrots Beak,Cambodia. We were
known as the Slingshot Raiders and Delta Gypsies. Sometime in 1971 we were
given the task of covering the river boats...more »
From the Gamewardens Archive
Submitted by Larry Bissonnette
View a copy of a news clip
from one of our first reunions! more
River Patrol Boat Formidable
Submitted for publication by Bill Rutledge
River Patrol Boat formidable weapon against Viet Cong...[a reprint of an
article from the Jackson Daily News, November 25th, 1968]
"My Heart's At Sea Forever"
Author Unkown. Submitted for publication by Tom Anderson
Long ago, I was a Sailor.
I sailed the ocean blue.
I knew the bars in
The coastline of Peru. more
V.C. Open Fire on the USS White
This story was contributed by William Geraghty.
The L.S.M.R. came to an abrupt stop; hitting a sandbar 25 kilometers up
the Go Song Gia River. The officer in charge gave orders to the engine room to
back down port engine one third and forward one third on the starboard engine.
The Viet Cong watched with intent waiting for the moment to strike. The crew
was at General Quarters...."SW00SH" the sound of a rocket coming right at the
boat. more »
The USS White River (LSMR 536): A
This story was contributed by William
It had been a long and hot day patrol for the 536, we
were heading into Camh Rahn Bay for a 72 hour cease fire. The 536 had left the
pier at Market Time Beach in the morning at 0600. It was now close to midnight
as they were approaching Camh Rahn. more
What is a Veteran?
story was written by: Father Denis Edward O'Brien USMC
veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a
certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin
holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the legor perhaps another
sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity...
Lady Liberty Stands Tall
Dear Friends, September 11, 2001 is a day we will, as a nation, remember. Like
during Pearl Harbor, the Apollo deaths, the Challenger explosion, we will
remember where we were. Tuesday I was at Liberty Island. I watched in horror as
the first plane dove into the WTC buildings...more »
Bury Me With Sailors
This story was contributed by: Al Lambinus
I've played a
lot of roles in life
'I've met a lot of men. I've done some things I'd like
to think I wouldn't do again. And though I'm young, I'm old enough to know some
day I'll die, and to think about what lies beyond, Beside whom I would lie.
Perhaps it doesn't matter much; Still if I had my choice, I'd want a grave,
amongst sailors when at last death quells my voice. I'm sick of the hypocrisy
of lectures of the wise...more »
was contributed by: Don Fallon, Authored by Larry Dunn
sailors sit and chew the fat
'bout how things used to be
of the things
and places they've been
When they ventured out to
The Naming of the USS James E.
This story was contributed by: Lee Wahler
Navy names destroyer after war hero
Remarks by MCPON(SS/SW/AW) James
L. Herdt at the USS James E. Williams Naming announcement ceremony, Darlington,
S.C., May 26, 2001....more »
The Battle of the Flag
This story was contributed by: Paul Cagle
It is the
soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the
soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to
Tribute to James Elliott
This story was contributed by: James Ward
Navy names destroyer after war hero
This Article appeared in a local
newspaper of Palm Coast, Florida....more
The things they Carried....
Author UnknownRemember them this Memorial Day
carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, insect repellent,
gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos,
Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno,LRRP- rations,
and C-rations stuffed in socks...more »
Ben Keo - NSA
River Supply Outpost A Graphic image of the August 12th, 1970 article from the
Jackstaff News. more »
The Men In The Boats
This story was written by: Lt/General Johnnie Corns US Army (Ret.)
Operations Officer 2nd/de 1967-68
The mist of the morning cools
and softens the air
The last of the soldiers have gone down the steel
He crossed the barge that lay along side the big ship
boarded the craft making sure he did not slip...
Seawolf And River Rats, Burning Man In
This story was written by: Bill Rutledge, Seawolf
In the early afternoon on March 6 th 1971, Airman Norm
Stayton was the left Door Gunner on the lead Seawolf Gunship staging out of the
Rach Gia short strip. The Fire Team was assigned to fly cover for a convoy of
Army Mike boats and US PBRs transporting munitions and fuel to outposts on the
Can Gao canal. These missions were very long and boring...
The Great Seawolf Airshow
This story was written by: Bill Rutledge, Seawolf Gunner
COME ONE, COME ALL, FOR YOU MUST SEE THE GREAT SEAWOLF AIRSHOW FROM DETS ONE,
TWO AND THREE NO SLEIGHT OF HAND FROM DETS FOUR, FIVE AND SIX, BUT WITH OUR
WEAPONS ,WE DO LOTS OF TRICKS. GUNNERS ON ROCKET PODS LIKE TRAPEZE ARTISTS SO
FINE, YOU CAN SEE THIS ALL AT DETS SEVEN, EIGHT AND NINE...
River Rats and the Big Indian
This story was contributed by: Bill Rutledge, Seawolf Door
A few fond and scary memories of the River Rats. I don't
recall which Riv Div it was but I was a Door Gunner with HA(L) 3 , Seawolves,
Det 8 staging off the Hunderton County, Rach Gia, along with a Seal Team and
the Riv. Div in early 1970. The ships crew were squared away sailors, but our
crews, the rats and Seals wore anything, did anything and were crazy, wild and
the bravest of the brave... more
Mom and Dad, The War is Done
This story was contributed by: Ray Walker, River Division 532
Ray's entire crew was lost in an ambush on February 8, 1969 just North of
Tra Cu. Ray was seriously wounded and his boat went up on the bank about 100
feet. The after gunner was on his first patrol. KIA were Hoopaugh, Luckett, and
Belford. Shortly after the attack, Larry Bissonnette of River Division 593 was
aboard the boat coordinating the efforts of all units to get the beached boat
back in the water with all weapons intact... more »
The Story Behind "Taps"
This story was contributed by: Chuck Metzler
We have all
heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us that lump in our
throats and usually creates tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story
behind the song? more »
I Don't Want To Be A Sailor
This story was contributed by:
Larry L. Dunn
A little boy sat all alone, consumed by childish
dreams A baseball glove lay by his side, unraveling at its seams. The final
game had just been played, the score was 10 to 2 His little league team had
lost again but that was nothing new... more
Duty, Honor, Country
This story was contributed by: Larry DunnVietnam Veteran
Brownwater Sailors of years gone by have become a dying breed. But these
are the men who carried the flag when their country was in need. From the width
and breadth of this great land they flocked to heed the call And promised God
and country that they would give their all...
Just A Simple Sailor
Written by an unknown sailor on the USS LEXINGTON CV2
was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast And he sat around
with his buddies telling stories of the past, Of a war that he had fought in;
and, the deeds that he had done In his exploits with his buddies; they were
heroes, every one... more
The Fatal Attack on PBR 139
This story was contributed by: Paul W. Cagle.
PBR 139 of
River Division 532 was hit from the west bank of the Vam Co Dong River with
automatic weapons fire, 2 RPGs, and one Recoilless Rifle round. This was about
8-9 klicks north of Tra Cu going towards the Sugar Mill. It was approximately
2300 when all hell broke loose... more
Once I Was A Navyman...
This story was contributed by: Albert.
I like the Navy. I
like standing on deck on a long voyage with the sea in my face and ocean winds
whipping in from everywherethe feel of the giant steel ship beneath me,
it's engine driving against the sea.... more
was contributed by: Cecil Martin
Navy Lore explained! Every
sailing ship had to have cannon for protection. Cannon of the times required
round iron cannonballs. The master wanted to store the cannonballs such that
they could be of instant use when needed, yet not roll around the gun
The People at Home
story was contributed by: Jim Dickson
Rise in the morning,
silence at tapsthis is the way our lives elapse. We're doing our best and
we know it's good But the people at home don't think we should...
Thoughts of Vietnam
story was contributed by: Paul W. Cagle
Many years have passed
since most of us have been in the place called "nam". Yet a lot of us still
find ourselves trapped in the sights, smells and sheer horror...
Loose Lips Sink Ships
This story was contributed by: Arthur G Carter
of priorities. It was a dark, moonless night. The watch on the bridge strained
their eyes through binoculars to focus on a dim light that appeared
sporadically between rain squalls up ahead. The giant ship was steaming full
speed into the inky blackness... more
Night Before Christmas
This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan.
Contributed by: Rich Wilson Rahway, NJ
Twas the night before
He lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
to see just who in this home did live...
All Is Calm
was contributed by: David Ajax
For me, Christmas will always be
in the music.
From those early days of grade school innocence, when nuns
began the crusade to drill the words of every carol in Christendom into my
brain until now, the joy of the Christmas message remains a constant prayer...
This story was contributed by: Al Ocanas and Arthur Carter
Pitching a Temp A soldier was asked to report to headquarters for
assignment. The sergeant said: "We have a critical shortage of typists. I'll
give you a little test. Type this," he ordered, giving him a pamphlet to copy
and a sheet of paper, and pointing to a desk across the room that held a
typewriter and an adding machine. The man, quite reluctant to become a clerk
typist, made a point of typing very slowly, and saw to it that his work
contained as many errors as possible... more
story was contributed by: Paul Cagle and Al Lambinus
Close your eyes...And go back...Before the Internet or the MAC,
Before semi automatics and crack, Before chronic and indo, Before SEGA or Super
Instructions: Change the email address
"email@example.com to the appropriate address to send this link. You may, of
course, send to as many people as you would like (use the semi-colon between
addresses) and add your own comments.
Many more stories and poems are available
at war-stories.com with submissions from
men & women from all branches who served in Vietnam.