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Crew of U-877 in the Water

Crew of U-877 in the Water


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Crew of U-877 in the Water

On 27 December 1944 the corvette HMCS St Thomas sank the U-boat U-877. The U-boat surfaced after suffering heavy damage, and the entire crew was able to abandon ship. Here we see some of the German sailors in the water before being rescued by the Canadians.


Pirates in the Atlantic World

With so much valuable cargo crisscrossing the Atlantic, piracy flourished.

Pirates cruised the Caribbean Sea and the North American coast searching for likely targets. At the height of Atlantic world piracy around 1720, some 2,000 pirates were attacking ships and threatening trade. Many of them had deserted their posts aboard naval or merchant ships or had themselves been captured by pirates.

From Capt. Charles Johnson, A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates . . .(London, 1724)

Courtesy of the Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Pirate Captain on the African Coast, 1722

Capt. Bartholomew Roberts raises his sword to his two ships after capturing a fleet of eleven English, French, and Portuguese slave ships off the coast of Africa. The ships surrendered without a fight because the commanders and crews had gone ashore to deal with captives and cargoes.


Contents

Throughout history sailing has been a key form of propulsion that allowed greater mobility than travel over land, whether for exploration, trade, transport, or warfare, and that increased the capacity for fishing, compared to that from shore.

Early square rigs generally could not sail much closer than 80° to the wind, whereas early fore-and-aft rigs could sail as close as 60–75° off the wind. [1] Later square-rigged vessels too were able to sail to windward, and became the standard for European ships through the Age of Discovery when vessels ventured around Africa to India, to the Americas and around the world. [2] Sailing ships became longer and faster over time, with ship-rigged vessels carrying taller masts with more square sails. The Age of Sail (1570–1870) reached its peak in the 18th and 19th centuries with merchant sailing ships that were able to travel at speeds that exceeded those of the newly introduced steamships.

Exploration and research Edit

Austronesian peoples sailed from what is now Southern China and Taiwan with of catamarans or vessels outriggers, [3] and crab claw sails, [4] which enabled the Austronesian Expansion at around 3000 to 1500 BCE into the islands of Maritime Southeast Asia, and thence to Micronesia, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar. [5] They traveled vast distances of open ocean in outrigger canoes using navigation methods such as stick charts. [6] [7]

By the time of the Age of Discovery—starting in the 15th century—square-rigged, multi-masted vessels were the norm and were guided by navigation techniques that included the magnetic compass and making sightings of the sun and stars that allowed transoceanic voyages. [2]

During the Age of Discovery, sailing ships figured in European voyages around Africa to China and Japan and across the Atlantic Ocean to North and South America. Later, sailing ships ventured into the Arctic to explore northern sea routes and assess natural resources. In the 18th and 19th centuries sailing vessels made hydrographic surveys to develop charts for navigation and, at times, carried scientists aboard as with the voyages of James Cook and the Second voyage of HMS Beagle with naturalist Charles Darwin.

Commerce Edit

In the early 1800s, fast blockade-running schooners and brigantines—Baltimore clippers—evolved into three-masted, typically ship-rigged sailing vessels with fine lines that enhanced speed, but lessened capacity for high-value cargo, like tea from China. [8] Masts were as high as 100 feet (30 m) and were able to achieve speeds of 19 knots (35 km/h), allowing for passages of up to 465 nautical miles (861 km) per 24 hours. Clippers yielded to bulkier, slower vessels, which became economically competitive in the mid 19th century. [9] Sail plans with just fore-and-aft sails (schooners), or a mixture of the two (brigantines, barques and barquentines) emerged. [2] Coastal top-sail schooners with a crew as small as two managing the sail handling became an efficient way to carry bulk cargo, since only the fore-sails required tending while tacking and steam-driven machinery was often available for raising the sails and the anchor. [10]

Iron-hulled sailing ships represented the final evolution of sailing ships at the end of the Age of Sail. They were built to carry bulk cargo for long distances in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. [11] They were the largest of merchant sailing ships, with three to five masts and square sails, as well as other sail plans. They carried bulk cargoes between continents. Iron-hulled sailing ships were mainly built from the 1870s to 1900, when steamships began to outpace them economically, due to their ability to keep a schedule regardless of the wind. Steel hulls also replaced iron hulls at around the same time. Even into the twentieth century, sailing ships could hold their own on transoceanic voyages such as Australia to Europe, since they did not require bunkerage for coal nor fresh water for steam, and they were faster than the early steamers, which usually could barely make 8 knots (15 km/h). [12] Ultimately, the steamships' independence from the wind and their ability to take shorter routes, passing through the Suez and Panama Canals, made sailing ships uneconomical. [13]

Naval power Edit

Until the general adoption of carvel-built ships that relied on an internal skeleton structure to bear the weight of the ship and for gun ports to be cut in the side, sailing ships were just vehicles for delivering fighters to the enemy for engagement. [14] By 1500, gun ports allowed sailing vessels to sail alongside alongside an enemy vessel and fire a broadside of multiple cannon. [15] This development allowed for naval fleets to array themselves into a line of battle, whereby, warships would maintain their place in the line to engage the enemy in a parallel or perpendicular line. [16]

Recreation Edit

Recreational sailing can be divided into two categories, day-sailing, where one gets off the boat for the night, and cruising, where one stays aboard.

Day-sailing primarily affords experiencing the pleasure of sailing a boat. No destination is required. It is an opportunity to share the experience with others. [17] A variety of boats with no overnight accomodations, ranging in size from 10 feet (3.0 m) to over 30 feet (9.1 m), may be regarded as day sailers. [18]

Cruising on a sailing yacht may be either near-shore or passage-making out of sight of land and entails the use of sailboats that support sustained overnight use. [19] Coastal cruising grounds include areas of the Mediterranean and Black Seas, Northern Europe, Western Europe and islands of the North Atlantic, West Africa and the islands of the South Atlantic, the Caribbean, and regions of North and Central America. [20] Passage-making under sail occurs on routes through oceans all over the world. Circular routes exist between the Americas and Europe, and between South Africa and South America. There are many routes from the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia to island destinations in the South Pacific. Some cruisers circumnavigate the globe. [21]

Sport Edit

Sailing as a sport is organized on a hierarchical basis, starting at the yacht club level and reaching up into national and international federations it may entail racing yachts, sailing dinghies, or other small, open sailing craft, including iceboats and land yachts. Sailboat racing is governed by World Sailing with most racing formats using the Racing Rules of Sailing. [22] It entails a variety of different disciplines, including:

  • Oceanic racing, held over long distances and in open water, often last multiple days and include world circumnavigation, such as the Vendée Globe and The Ocean Race. [23]
  • Fleet racing, featuring multiple boats in a regatta that comprises multiple races or heats. [24]
  • Match racing comprises two boats competing against each other, as is done with the America's Cup, vying to cross a finish line, first. [25]
  • Team racing between two teams of three boats each in a format analogous to match racing. [26]
  • Speed sailing to set new records for different categories of craft with oversight by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. [22][27]
  • Sail boarding has a variety of disciplines particular to that sport. [28]

135°
E. Running (drag)— 180°
True wind (VT) is the same everywhere in the diagram, whereas boat velocity (VB) and apparent wind (VA) vary with point of sail.

Point of sail Edit

A sailing craft's ability to derive power from the wind depends on the point of sail it is on—the direction of travel under sail in relation to the true wind direction over the surface. The principal points of sail roughly correspond to 45° segments of a circle, starting with 0° directly into the wind. For many sailing craft, the arc spanning 45° on either side of the wind is a "no-go" zone, [29] where a sail is unable to mobilize power from the wind. [30] Sailing on a course as close to the wind as possible—approximately 45°—is termed "close-hauled". At 90° off the wind, a craft is on a "beam reach". At 135° off the wind, a craft is on a "broad reach". At 180° off the wind (sailing in the same direction as the wind), a craft is "running downwind".

In points of sail that range from close-hauled to a broad reach, sails act substantially like a wing, with lift predominantly propelling the craft. In points of sail from a broad reach to down wind, sails act substantially like a parachute, with drag predominantly propelling the craft. For craft with little forward resistance ice boats and land yachts, this transition occurs further off the wind than for sailboats and sailing ships. [30]

Wind direction for points of sail always refers to the true wind—the wind felt by a stationary observer. The apparent wind—the wind felt by an observer on a moving sailing craft—determines the motive power for sailing craft.

A sailboat on three points of sail

The waves give an indication of the true wind direction. The flag gives an indication of apparent wind direction.

Close-hauled: the flag is streaming backwards, the sails are sheeted in tightly.

Reaching: the flag is streaming slightly to the side as the sails are sheeted to align with the apparent wind.

Running: the wind is coming from behind the vessel the sails are "wing and wing" to be at right angles to the apparent wind.

Effect on apparent wind Edit

True wind velocity (VT) combines with the sailing craft's velocity (VB) to be the apparent wind velocity (VA), the air velocity experienced by instrumentation or crew on a moving sailing craft. Apparent wind velocity provides the motive power for the sails on any given point of sail. It varies from being the true wind velocity of a stopped craft in irons in the no-go zone to being faster than the true wind speed as the sailing craft's velocity adds to the true windspeed on a reach, to diminishing towards zero, as a sailing craft sails dead downwind. [31]

Effect of apparent wind on sailing craft at three points of sail

Sailing craft A is close-hauled. Sailing craft B is on a beam reach. Sailing craft C is on a broad reach.
Boat velocity (in black) generates an equal and opposite apparent wind component (not shown), which adds to the true wind to become apparent wind.

Apparent wind and forces on a sailboat.
As the boat sails further from the wind, the apparent wind becomes smaller and the lateral component becomes less boat speed is highest on the beam reach.

Apparent wind on an iceboat.
As the iceboat sails further from the wind, the apparent wind increases slightly and the boat speed is highest on the broad reach. The sail is sheeted in for all three points of sail. [30]

The speed of sailboats through the water is limited by the resistance that results from hull drag in the water. Ice boats typically have the least resistance to forward motion of any sailing craft. [30] Consequently, a sailboat experiences a wider range of apparent wind angles than does an ice boat, whose speed is typically great enough to have the apparent wind coming from a few degrees to one side of its course, necessitating sailing with the sail sheeted in for most points of sail. On conventional sailboats, the sails are set to create lift for those points of sail where it's possible to align the leading edge of the sail with the apparent wind. [31]

For a sailboat, point of sail affects lateral force significantly. The higher the boat points to the wind under sail, the stronger the lateral force, which requires resistance from a keel or other underwater foils, including daggerboard, centerboard, skeg and rudder. Lateral force also induces heeling in a sailboat, which requires resistance by weight of ballast from the crew or the boat itself and by the shape of the boat, especially with a catamaran. As the boat points off the wind, lateral force and the forces required to resist it become less important. [32] On ice boats, lateral forces are countered by the lateral resistance of the blades on ice and their distance apart, which generally prevents heeling. [33]

Course under sail Edit

Wind and currents are important factors to plan on for both offshore and inshore sailing. Predicting the availability, strength and direction of the wind is key to using its power along the desired course. Ocean currents, tides and river currents may deflect a sailing vessel from its desired course. [34]

If the desired course is within the no-go zone, then the sailing craft must follow a zig-zag route into the wind to reach its waypoint or destination. Downwind, certain high-performance sailing craft can reach the destination more quickly by following a zig-zag route on a series of broad reaches.

Negotiating obstructions or a channel may also require a change direction of with respect to the wind, necessitating changing of tack with the wind on the opposite side of the craft, from before.

Changing tack is called tacking when the wind crosses over the bow of the craft as it turns and jibing (or gybing) if the wind passes over the stern.

Upwind Edit

A sailing craft can sail on a course anywhere outside of its no-go zone. [35] If the next waypoint or destination is within the arc defined by the no-go zone from the craft's current position, then it must perform a series of tacking maneuvers to get there on a dog-legged route, called beating to windward. [36] The progress along that route is called the course made good the speed between the starting and ending points of the route is called the speed made good and is calculated by the distance between the two points, divided by the travel time. [37] The limiting line to the waypoint that allows the sailing vessel to leave it to leeward is called the layline. [38] Whereas some Bermuda-rigged sailing yachts can sail as close as 30° to the wind, [37] most 20th-Century square riggers are limited to 60° off the wind. [39] Fore-and-aft rigs are designed to operate with the wind on either side, whereas square rigs and kites are designed to have the wind come from one side of the sail only.

Because the lateral wind forces are highest on a sailing vessel, close-hauled and beating to windward, the resisting water forces around the vessel's keel, centerboard, rudder and other foils is also highest to mitigate leeway—the vessel sliding to leeward of its course. Ice boats and land yachts minimize lateral motion with sidewise resistance from their blades or wheels. [40]

Changing tack by tacking Edit

Tacking or coming about is a maneuver by which a sailing craft turns its bow into and through the wind (called the "eye of the wind") so that the apparent wind changes from one side to the other, allowing progress on the opposite tack. [41] The type of sailing rig dictates the procedures and constraints on achieving a tacking maneuver. Fore-and-aft rigs allow their sails to hang limp as they tack square rigs must present the full frontal area of the sail to the wind, when changing from side to side and windsurfers have flexibly pivoting and fully rotating masts that get flipped from side to side.

Tacking from the port tack (bottom) to the starboard (top) tack

Beating to windward on short (P1), medium (P2), and long (P3) tacks

Downwind Edit

A sailing craft can travel directly downwind only at a speed that is less than the wind speed. However, a variety of sailing craft can achieve a higher downwind velocity made good by traveling on a series of broad reaches, punctuated by jibes in between. This is true of ice boats and sand yachts. On the water it was explored by sailing vessels, starting in 1975, and now extends to high-performance skiffs, catamarans and foiling sailboats. [42]

Navigating a channel or a downwind course among obstructions may necessitate changes in direction that require a change of tack, accomplished with a jibe.

Changing tack by jibing Edit

Jibing or gybing is a sailing maneuver by which a sailing craft turns its stern past the eye of the wind so that the apparent wind changes from one side to the other, allowing progress on the opposite tack. This maneuver can be done on smaller boats by pulling the tiller towards yourself (the opposite side of the sail). [41] As with tacking, the type of sailing rig dictates the procedures and constraints for jibing. Fore-and-aft sails with booms, gaffs or sprits are unstable when the free end points into the eye of the wind and must be controlled to avoid a violent change to the other side square rigs as they present the full area of the sail to the wind from the rear experience little change of operation from one tack to the other and windsurfers again have flexibly pivoting and fully rotating masts that get flipped from side to side.

Wind and currents Edit

Winds and oceanic currents are both the result of the sun powering their respective fluid media. Wind powers the sailing craft and the ocean bears the craft on its course, as currents may alter the course of a sailing vessel on the ocean or a river.

  • Wind – On a global scale, vessels making long voyages must take atmospheric circulation into account, which causes zones of westerlies, easterlies, trade winds and high-pressure zones with light winds, sometimes called horse latitudes, in between. [43] Sailors predict wind direction and strength with knowledge of high- and low-pressure areas, and the weather fronts that accompany them. Along coastal areas, sailors contend with diurnal changes in wind direction—flowing off the shore at night and onto the shore during the day. [44] Local temporary wind shifts are called lifts, when they improve the sailing craft's ability travel along its rhumb line in the direction of the next waypoint. Unfavorable wind shifts are called headers. [45] : 97
  • Currents – On a global scale, vessels making long voyages must take major ocean current circulation into account. [46] Major oceanic currents, like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and the Kuroshio Current in the Pacific Ocean require planning for the effect that they will have on a transiting vessel's track. Likewise, tides affect a vessel's track, especially in areas with large tidal ranges, [36] like the Bay of Fundy or along Southeast Alaska, or where the tide flows through straits, like Deception Pass in Puget Sound. [47] Mariners use tide and current tables to inform their navigation. [34] Before the advent of motors, it was advantageous for sailing vessels to enter or leave port or to pass through a strait with the tide. [39]

Trimming refers to adjusting the lines that control sails, including the sheets that control angle of the sails with respect to the wind, the halyards that raise and tighten the tighten the sail, and to adjusting the hull's resistance to heeling, yawing or progress through the water.

Sails Edit

Square sails are controlled by two each of: sheets, braces, clewlines, and reef tackles, plus four buntlines, each of which may be controlled by a crew member as the sail is adjusted. [48] Towards the end of the Age of Sail, steam-powered machinery reduced the number of crew required to trim sail. [49]

Adjustment of the angle of a fore-and-aft sail with respect to the apparent wind is controlled with a line, called a "sheet". On points of sail between close-hauled and a broad reach, the goal is typically to create flow along the sail to maximize power through lift. Streamers placed on the surface of the sail, called tell-tales, indicate whether that flow is smooth or turbulent. Smooth flow on both sides indicates proper trim. A jib and mainsail are typically configured to be adjusted to create a smooth laminar flow, leading from one to the other in what is called the "slot effect". [50]

On downwind points of sail, power is achieved primarily with the wind pushing on the sail, as indicated by drooping tell-tales. Spinnakers are light-weight, large-area, highly curved sails that are adapted to sailing off the wind. [50]

In addition to using the sheets to adjust the angle with respect to the apparent wind, other lines control the shape of the sail, notably the outhaul, halyard, boom vang and backstay. These control the curvature that is appropriate to the windspeed, the higher the wind, the flatter the sail. When the wind strength is greater than these adjustments can accommodate to prevent overpowering the sailing craft, then reducing sail area through reefing, substituting a smaller sail or by other means. [51] [52]

Reducing sail Edit

Reducing sail on square-rigged ships could be accomplished by exposing less of each sail, by tying it off higher up with reefing points. [49] Additionally, as winds get stronger, sails can be furled or removed from the spars, entirely until the vessel is surviving hurricane-force winds under "bare poles". [45] : 137

On fore-and-aft rigged vessels, reducing sail may furling the jib and by reefing or partially lowering the mainsail, that is reducing the area of a sail without actually changing it for a smaller sail. This results both in a reduced sail area but also in a lower centre of effort from the sails, reducing the heeling moment and keeping the boat more upright.

There are three common methods of reefing the mainsail: [51] [52]

  • Slab reefing, which involves lowering the sail by about one-quarter to one-third of its full length and tightening the lower part of the sail using an outhaul or a pre-loaded reef line through a cringle at the new clew, and hook through a cringle at the new tack.
  • In-boom roller-reefing, with a horizontal foil inside the boom. This method allows for standard- or full-length horizontal battens.
  • In-mast (or on-mast) roller-reefing. This method rolls the sail up around a vertical foil either inside a slot in the mast, or affixed to the outside of the mast. It requires a mainsail with either no battens, or newly developed vertical battens. [53]

Hull Edit

Hull trim has three aspects, each tied to an axis of rotation, they are controlling: [45] : 131–5

  • Heeling (roll about the longitudinal axis)
  • Helm force (rotation about the vertical axis)
  • Hull drag (rotation about the horizontal axis amidships)

Each is a reaction to forces on sails and is achieved either by weight distribution or by management of the center of force of the underwater foils (keel, daggerboard, etc.), compared with the center of force on the sails.

Heeling Edit

A sailing vessel's form stability (the resistance of hull shape to rolling) is the starting point for resisting heeling. Catamarans and iceboats have a wide stance that makes them resistant to heeling. Additional measures for trimming a sailing craft to control heeling include: [45] : 131–5

  • Ballast in the keel, which counteracts heeling as the boat rolls.
  • Shifting of weight, which might be crew on a trapeze or moveable ballast across the boat.
  • Reducing sail
  • Adjusting the depth of underwater foils to control their lateral resistance force and center of resistance

Helm force Edit

The alignment of center of force of the sails with center of resistance of the hull and its appendices controls whether the craft will track straight with little steering input, or whether correction needs to be made to hold it away from turning into the wind (a weather helm) or turning away from the wind (a lee helm). A center of force behind the center of resistance causes a weather helm. The center of force ahead of the center of resistance causes a lee helm. When the two are closely aligned, the helm is neutral and requires little input to maintain course. [45] : 131–5

Hull drag Edit

Fore-and-aft weight distribution changes the cross-section of a vessel in the water. Small sailing craft are sensitive to crew placement. They are usually designed to have the crew stationed midships to minimize hull drag in the water. [45] : 131–5

Seamanship encompasses all aspects of taking a sailing vessel in and out of port, navigating it to its destination, and securing it at anchor or alongside a dock. Important aspects of seamanship include employing a common language aboard a sailing craft and the management of lines that control the sails and rigging. [54]

Nautical terms Edit

Nautical terms for elements of a vessel: starboard (right-hand side), port or larboard (left-hand side), forward or fore (frontward), aft or abaft (rearward), bow (forward part of the hull), stern (aft part of the hull), beam (the widest part). Spars, supporting sails, include masts, booms, yards, gaffs and poles. Moveable lines that control sails or other equipment are known collectively as a vessel's running rigging. Lines that raise sails are called halyards while those that strike them are called downhauls. Lines that adjust (trim) the sails are called sheets. These are often referred to using the name of the sail they control (such as main sheet or jib sheet). Guys are used to control the ends of other spars such as spinnaker poles. Lines used to tie a boat up when alongside are called docklines, docking cables or mooring warps. A rode is what attaches an anchored boat to its anchor. [55]

Management of lines Edit

The following knots are regarded as integral to handling ropes and lines, while sailing: [56] [57]

    – forms a loop at the end of a rope or line – affixes a line to a cleat – two half hitches around a post or other object – a stopper knot − a basic overhand knot around a line or object − (or square knot) joins two rope ends of equal diameter – a friction hitch to affix a line to itself or another object – joins to rope ends of unequal diameter

Lines and halyards are typically coiled neatly for stowage and reuse. [58]

The physics of sailing arises from a balance of forces between the wind powering the sailing craft as it passes over its sails and the resistance by the sailing craft against being blown off course, which is provided in the water by the keel, rudder, underwater foils and other elements of the underbody of a sailboat, on ice by the runners of an iceboat, or on land by the wheels of a sail-powered land vehicle.

Forces on sails depend on wind speed and direction and the speed and direction of the craft. The speed of the craft at a given point of sail contributes to the "apparent wind"—the wind speed and direction as measured on the moving craft. The apparent wind on the sail creates a total aerodynamic force, which may be resolved into drag—the force component in the direction of the apparent wind—and lift—the force component normal (90°) to the apparent wind. Depending on the alignment of the sail with the apparent wind (angle of attack), lift or drag may be the predominant propulsive component. Depending on the angle of attack of a set of sails with respect to the apparent wind, each sail is providing motive force to the sailing craft either from lift-dominant attached flow or drag-dominant separated flow. Additionally, sails may interact with one another to create forces that are different from the sum of the individual contributions of each sail, when used alone.

Apparent wind velocity Edit

The term "velocity" refers both to speed and direction. As applied to wind, apparent wind velocity (VA) is the air velocity acting upon the leading edge of the most forward sail or as experienced by instrumentation or crew on a moving sailing craft. In nautical terminology, wind speeds are normally expressed in knots and wind angles in degrees. All sailing craft reach a constant forward velocity (VB) for a given true wind velocity (VT) and point of sail. The craft's point of sail affects its velocity for a given true wind velocity. Conventional sailing craft cannot derive power from the wind in a "no-go" zone that is approximately 40° to 50° away from the true wind, depending on the craft. Likewise, the directly downwind speed of all conventional sailing craft is limited to the true wind speed. As a sailboat sails further from the wind, the apparent wind becomes smaller and the lateral component becomes less boat speed is highest on the beam reach. In order to act like an airfoil, the sail on a sailboat is sheeted further out as the course is further off the wind. [31] As an iceboat sails further from the wind, the apparent wind increases slightly and the boat speed is highest on the broad reach. In order to act like an airfoil, the sail on an iceboat is sheeted in for all three points of sail. [30]

Lift and drag on sails Edit

Lift on a sail, acting as an airfoil, occurs in a direction perpendicular to the incident airstream (the apparent wind velocity for the headsail) and is a result of pressure differences between the windward and leeward surfaces and depends on the angle of attack, sail shape, air density, and speed of the apparent wind. The lift force results from the average pressure on the windward surface of the sail being higher than the average pressure on the leeward side. [59] These pressure differences arise in conjunction with the curved airflow. As air follows a curved path along the windward side of a sail, there is a pressure gradient perpendicular to the flow direction with higher pressure on the outside of the curve and lower pressure on the inside. To generate lift, a sail must present an "angle of attack" between the chord line of the sail and the apparent wind velocity. The angle of attack is a function of both the craft's point of sail and how the sail is adjusted with respect to the apparent wind. [60]

As the lift generated by a sail increases, so does lift-induced drag, which together with parasitic drag constitute total drag, which acts in a direction parallel to the incident airstream. This occurs as the angle of attack increases with sail trim or change of course and causes the lift coefficient to increase up to the point of aerodynamic stall along with the lift-induced drag coefficient. At the onset of stall, lift is abruptly decreased, as is lift-induced drag. Sails with the apparent wind behind them (especially going downwind) operate in a stalled condition. [61]

Lift and drag are components of the total aerodynamic force on sail, which are resisted by forces in the water (for a boat) or on the traveled surface (for an iceboat or land sailing craft). Sails act in two basic modes under the lift-predominant mode, the sail behaves in a manner analogous to a wing with airflow attached to both surfaces under the drag-predominant mode, the sail acts in a manner analogous to a parachute with airflow in detached flow, eddying around the sail.

Lift predominance (wing mode) Edit

Sails allow progress of a sailing craft to windward, thanks to their ability to generate lift (and the craft's ability to resist the lateral forces that result). Each sail configuration has a characteristic coefficient of lift and attendant coefficient of drag, which can be determined experimentally and calculated theoretically. Sailing craft orient their sails with a favorable angle of attack between the entry point of the sail and the apparent wind even as their course changes. The ability to generate lift is limited by sailing too close to the wind when no effective angle of attack is available to generate lift (causing luffing) and sailing sufficiently off the wind that the sail cannot be oriented at a favorable angle of attack to prevent the sail from stalling with flow separation.

Drag predominance (parachute mode) Edit

When sailing craft are on a course where the angle between the sail and the apparent wind (the angle of attack) exceeds the point of maximum lift, separation of flow occurs. [62] Drag increases and lift decreases with increasing angle of attack as the separation becomes progressively pronounced until the sail is perpendicular to the apparent wind, when lift becomes negligible and drag predominates. In addition to the sails used upwind, spinnakers provide area and curvature appropriate for sailing with separated flow on downwind points of sail, analogous to parachutes, which provide both lift and drag. [63]

Spinnaker set for a broad reach, generating both lift, with separated flow, and drag.


Environmental And Economic Impacts

Prince William Sound had been a pristine wilderness before the spill. The Exxon Valdez disaster dramatically changed all of that, taking a major toll on wildlife. It killed an estimated 250,000 sea birds, 3,000 otters, 300 seals, 250 bald eagles and 22 killer whales.

The oil spill also may have played a role in the collapse of salmon and herring fisheries in Prince William Sound in the early 1990s. Fishermen went bankrupt, and the economies of small shoreline towns, including Valdez and Cordova, suffered in the following years.

Some reports estimated the total economic loss from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to be as much as $2.8 billion.

A 2001 study found oil contamination remaining at more than half of the 91 beach sites tested in Prince William Sound.

The spill had killed an estimated 40 percent of all sea otters living in the Sound. The sea otter population didn’t recover to its pre-spill levels until 2014, twenty-five years after the spill.

Stocks of herring, once a lucrative source of income for Prince William Sound fisherman, have never fully rebounded.


USS Westchester County: Attacked During the Vietnam War

According to one veteran of the river war in Vietnam, ‘The Mekong Delta’s quiet at night, so quiet you can hear a pin drop for a klick [a kilometer].’ And for the crew of USS Westchester County, LST (landing ship, tank) 1167, the night of November 1, 1968, had been no exception — until 0322 hours, when a team of VC swimmers almost succeeded in turning the ship into a fireball.

Originally designed to transport and land troops directly onto a beach, in late 1968 Westchester County was serving as a temporary home and base to 175 soldiers of the 9th Infantry Division’s 3rd Battalion, 34th Artillery, and to the crews of Navy River Assault Division 111. Assigned as support ship for Mobile Riverine Group Alpha, ‘Wesco,’ as she was known throughout the fleet, was anchored midstream on the muddy My Tho River, 40 miles upstream from the coastal seaport of Vung Tau. Clustered in a rough semicircle around the LST were the Brown Water Navy command ship USS Benewah, the repair vessel USS Askari, two large barracks barges, a small salvage vessel and scores of squat, green armored assault craft. All were fully loaded with fuel and ammunition.

Tied to Wesco‘s starboard side and cushioned from the ship’s hull by a 50-foot-long teakwood log called a ‘camel’ were three ‘ammis,’ huge aluminum pontoon barges linked together that served as combination pier, loading dock and ammunition and gasoline storage depot. The 25 monitors, assault support patrol boats and armored transports of River Assault Division 111 were moored to the ammis. On the ship’s main deck were five fully fueled Army helicopters below, on the tank deck, more than 350 tons of high explosives and ammunition were stored.

Operating out of Yokosuka, Japan, the 384-foot-long LST was one of many World War II and postwar amphibious workhorses pressed into service with the Brown Water Navy. She was no stranger to the coffee-colored rivers of the Mekong Delta, and on the night of November 1, the ship was almost at the midpoint of her fifth combat deployment to the Republic of Vietnam. So far, the cruise had been routine — for a combat tour — filled with hot, humid, seven-day workweeks, little liberty time ashore and the always-present chance of VC attack.

Nevertheless, morale was high. The ship’s engineering department had recently taken the coveted Squadron ‘E’ for excellence, and the award was now proudly displayed on her bridge. With only one month left in the delta, Wesco‘s 132-man crew looked forward to offloading their mobile riverine ‘guests’ and sailing for Singapore and a well-deserved period of rest and recreation.

It was a typical night on the river. The ship was darkened, with only navigation lights showing. Forward and aft, 3-inch rapid-fire guns were loaded and ready, manned by reduced crews. Armed lookouts were posted on deck. A roving petty officer made sure that gun crews and sentries remained alert. A full watch was in place on the bridge, and in the engineering spaces the’snipes,’ as engine-room personnel were known, stood ready to answer all bells. In the distance, muffled thumps could be heard as picket boats made their rounds, dropping concussion grenades to ward off enemy frogmen. Below decks, in the crowded berthing compartments, the silence was disturbed only by the whir of air-conditioning fans and the murmurs of sleeping men.

But as the crew slept, a team of VC frogmen evaded the picket boats and silently approached the ship. The messenger of the watch had just gone below to wake the oncoming duty section when two enormous explosions ripped into Wesco‘s starboard side. A pair of swimmer-delivered mines, each estimated to contain between 150 and 500 pounds of explosives, had been simultaneously detonated directly beneath the camel.

Compressed between the pontoons and the LST’s hull, the force of the explosions was driven upward, shredding steel plating, rupturing fuel tanks and blasting into the berthing compartments. One of the ammis seemed to leap out of the water as a huge spray of oil, water and hardwood splinters was thrown into the air. In an instant, visibility within the ship was reduced to zero as lighting was knocked out and the air filled with clouds of choking steam and vaporized diesel fuel.

In the crowded sleeping areas, the blasts rolled an entire deck upward and back, like the tongue of a shoe, leaving only a cramped crawl space jammed with twisted metal and mangled bodies between the deck and bulkhead. Below, in the Army berthing spaces, men, bedding, weapons, ammunition and personal gear were hurled across the compartment as two gaping holes opened the interior of the ship to the muddy waters of the My Tho.

Shock waves reverberated across the water, and Wesco began listing to starboard. General Quarters was sounded throughout the ship as men groped in the tangled darkness to reach battle stations or aid wounded shipmates. The LST’s commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. John Branin, had been pitched from his bed by the blast. Thinking his ship was under rocket attack, Branin picked himself off the deck, struggled into his pants and dashed for the bridge.

Just beneath the main deck a volcano waited to erupt. Two-thirds of the tank deck, running nearly the entire length of the ship, was being used for ammunition storage. More than 10,000 rounds of Army 105mm and 155mm high-explosive ammunition were stored there, closely stacked alongside pallets of 20mm ammunition, boxes of C-4 plastic explosive, Claymore mines, white phosphorous ammunition and cases of flares and pyro-technics. In the wake of the explosions, loose and damaged ammunition lay scattered about the deck. Clouds of highly flammable vaporized fuel hung in the air. With just one spark, the entire contents of Westchester County could easily go ‘high order.’

Amidships on the second deck, in the hard-hit senior petty officers’ compartment, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class John Sullivan struggled to breathe as he regained consciousness. An emergency battle lantern from the deck above cast a hint of light through the diesel fog in the devastation around him. Thrown from his bunk, Sullivan found himself lying half on the deck and half in a gaping hole that had suddenly appeared six inches away from where he had been sleeping. Dazed and disoriented at first, he instinctively pulled himself away from the opening. Below, unseen in the darkness, the waters of the My Tho poured into the ship. Sullivan felt a burning sensation in his right leg. A large chunk of flesh had been torn from the inside of his knee. With the General Quarters alarm sounding faintly in the background, the blast-deafened corpsman became aware of muffled cries for help. Gingerly, as much by feel as by sight, Sullivan skirted the hole in the deck and began crawling through the gloom, across the wreckage and toward the source of the voices.

On the bridge, Commander Branin and his executive officer, Richard Jensen, faced a grim situation. Early reports indicated severe damage amidships and suggested heavy casualties, especially among the senior petty officers. Movement about the ship was extremely hazardous on oil-slick decks. Communications between repair parties and damage control central was almost negligible. On the tank deck, clouds of vaporized fuel and tons of ammunition provided the potential for an explosion of hellish dimensions. And while it was now clear that the LST was not being rocketed, there was a very real possibility that the VC had planted more than two mines.

But for the moment, Branin’s attention was occupied by a more immediate problem. Wesco‘s list was increasing as tons of river water continued to flood into ruptured compartments. As the ship heeled, charts, publications, shattered glass and overturned equipment began to slide across the bridge deck. For an instant Branin thought, ‘She’s going all the way over!’

If the LST was to be saved, the list had to be corrected — and corrected fast. Twenty-four years of naval service and an intimate knowledge of the Wesco‘s unique capabilities gave Branin his solution. Designed for amphibious assaults, the landing ship was equipped with a sophisticated ballasting system. By flooding a series of huge internal tanks, the ship was designed to be able to partially sink herself onto a beach and offload her armored cargo through a set of massive bow doors. After that, it was simple to pump out the ballast, refloat the ship and back away. Since depths on the tidal rivers of the Mekong Delta can change rapidly and become quite shallow, Wesco‘s forward ballast tanks were already flooded as a precaution when the mines exploded. Branin knew that if the hull in the forward part of his ship was still watertight, he could ‘deballast’ the LST’s forward starboard tanks and, theoretically, offset the tons of water flooding in amidships.

With so many of the senior petty officers killed or wounded, many of the ship’s vital stations had to be quickly reorganized. Junior petty officers and nonrated men stepped up, instinctively taking charge at battle stations suddenly undermanned and without leaders. As watertight doors were being closed throughout the ship, 22-year-old Petty Officer 2nd Class Rick Russell found himself alone in the LST’s forward pumping station. Discovering little damage in the forward section of the ship, Russell made contact with the bridge by sound-powered phone, reported in and stood by for orders. Almost 30 years later, Branin still gives his youthful shipmate credit for reversing Wesco‘s list by ‘doing exactly as he was told.’

Miraculously, there was still electrical power to the pumps and, with Branin’s damage control officer relaying precise instructions, Russell began the complex process of deballasting the forward starboard tanks. While the captain held his breath, instructions were passed, valves opened and pumps started. As water was forced from the tanks, the rate of list began to decrease. Groaning, Wesco straightened herself out and slowly started rolling back.

Because of the darkness and devastation, a detailed investigation of the ship’s condition was still extremely difficult, but with an hour and a half before first light, damage control and rescue efforts continued. Soundings indicated that the flooding was being brought under control as compartments next to the devastated areas were sealed off.

Over the next half-hour the situation began to stabilize, but deep within Wesco‘s mangled second deck berthing compartments, hospital corpsman John Sullivan knew only that there were wounded men still trapped in the destruction around him. After feeling his way through the choking darkness of the senior petty officers’ quarters, Sullivan finally located his injured shipmates. Sandwiched between the remains of their bunks and tons of tangled steel, two sailors lay pinned in the wreckage. Sullivan hollered for help and began first aid.

Without light to work by, the corpsman treated his patients by touch. One of the wounded men was still conscious a large, metal support hook had been driven through his arm. The other sailor wasn’t making any noise at all. Sullivan probed the top of the man’s head — it was mushy, but he was still breathing. Both sailors had multiple injuries. After treating their wounds as best he could, Sullivan was able to pry the men free and, with the help of an impromptu rescue team, evacuated them to a higher deck. According to Sullivan: ‘We didn’t obey a whole lot of first-aid rules on moving victims. At the time, it was just a matter of getting them the hell out of there.’

Of the 11 men quartered in the first class petty officers’ berthing area, three had been in other parts of the ship on watch five were killed outright. Sullivan and his two wounded shipmates were the only sailors to emerge alive from the compartment after the explosions.

After evacuating the wounded men from the remains of the first class quarters, Sullivan headed for the bridge to find out where else he was needed. Along the way, the hospital corpsman realized that his leg was still bleeding and what clothing he had been wearing at the time of the explosions was long gone. Sullivan was able to find a pair of pants and a pair of shoes that fit, but his leg would have to wait.

By now, every crew member still able was hard at work. As soon as it became evident the ship was not under sustained attack, Captain Branin released nonvital men from their topside battle stations to assist with rescue and casualty evacuation. Until blowers could clear the lower decks of vaporized fuel, the use of cutting torches was out of the question. Chain falls, pry bars, come-alongs and screw jacks were used to free men trapped in the wreckage. Battle lanterns and portable lighting equipment provided illumination. On the ammunition-laden tank deck, an attentive fire party stood by with hoses at the ready while sailors gingerly went about the work of collecting damaged ammunition, gently setting it aside until it could be disposed of.

In the flooded fourth-deck troop compartment, the inrush of river water and diesel oil finally abated, stabilizing at a depth of 6 feet. But inside the 88-man berthing area was a scene out of Dante’s Inferno. Rescue teams were held up by an impenetrable tangle of debris. Sheets, blankets, pillows, M-16 rifles and duffel bags were intermingled with shredded metal lockers, bunk stanchions and an incredible jumble of personal gear. Another hazard facing the rescuers was a bewildering assortment of grenades, mines and ammunition, brought back aboard the ship in violation of regulations by soldiers returning from the field. Once all the trapped and injured survivors were evacuated, the compartment was abandoned until a complete investigation could be conducted. The next day, salvage divers removed the remains of five soldiers who had been crushed in the explosions.

At first light, as boats shuttled rescue equipment and wounded men to and from the scene, the scope of the VC attack and the damage resulting from it became obvious. Wesco‘s hull was scarred by a pair of gaping, 10-foot holes, and the ship still listed 11 degrees to starboard. On the oil-soaked main deck, two of the Army choppers were wrecked beyond repair. The inboard ammi, miraculously still afloat, was grotesquely crumpled, its forward third punched inward by the force of the blasts. Dozens of damaged light anti-tank rockets, Claymore mines, blocks of C-4 plastic explosive, flares, grenades and other loose ordnance lay strewn across the ammi’s twisted deck. The pontoon’s guard shack was a jumble of splintered timber Petty Officer 3rd Class Harry Kenny, the sailor who had been manning this post, was missing. Several armored assault craft moored to the ammi were severely damaged and in danger of sinking. The teakwood camel was no longer in the water. The forward half of the enormous log had been vaporized, and a telephone-pole-sized chunk of the remaining 25 feet had been driven through the ammi’s aluminum hull with the splintered remainder scattered over the decks of the pontoon and LST.

While a corpsman from River Assault Division 111 tended to casualties in sick bay, John Sullivan returned to the devastated starboard-side berthing areas. Two men had been discovered still alive in one of the partially flooded lower compartments. A huge sheet of steel had pinned them and their bunks against the overhead. Directly below the men, sunlight and the waters of the My Tho River entered the ship through a 10-foot-wide hole. Once again Sullivan made his way into the wreckage and stayed with his two shipmates for more than an hour, rendering first aid and giving encouragement. Slowly, the metal was pried back far enough to pull the wounded sailors free. A Boston whaler was then driven directly into the ship through the hole to take them to safety.

About 1100, Sullivan himself finally left the ship to receive medical attention. Once his wounded leg was sewn up, the corpsman returned to the LST for his most difficult task of the day, identifying and fingerprinting the bodies of his dead shipmates.

Several days later, after unsuccessfully attempting to assess the full damage to his ship where she lay, Branin reluctantly gave orders to beach Wesco, and the LST was gently run aground on the bank of the My Tho near Dong Tam. At low tide, enough of the hull was exposed to enable the captain to plan temporary repairs.

With the help of a repair division from Askari and a team from Naval Support Activity, Dong Tam, Wesco‘s crew worked around the clock for the next 14 days, building a cofferdam to keep the river at bay, cutting away mangled steel and binding up the LST’s wounds.

But before the temporary repairs could be completed, Branin and his men faced one more challenge. A local shortage of structural steel plating and I-beams threatened to keep the ship in its vulnerable riverbank position until a shipment of the critical materials could arrive from a repair base in Japan or the Philippines. Not willing to wait, Branin decided to follow a time-honored Navy tradition and sent a party ashore for a little ‘midnight requisitioning.’ That evening at an Army engineer compound near Dong Tam, Branin’s men located a stockpile of portable bridging equipment, complete with assorted I-beams and plenty of steel plating. Within hours the ‘borrowed’ I-beams and patches were cut to size and welded into place on Wesco.

On November 14, 1968, with the help of a large Navy tug, the crew of Westchester County refloated their ship and steamed down the My Tho, outbound for the South China Sea and a 2,500-mile voyage home to Yokosuka for dry-docking and permanent repairs. Wesco‘s passage home was not to be an easy one. Along the way, the wounded LST lost a race trying to outrun a typhoon. Rough seas caused cracks and ruptures in the temporary repairs, and the ship’s damaged holds began taking on water. By the time the LST entered Tokyo Bay on November 25, flooding from the hole in the aft part of the ship had overwhelmed pumps capable of pumping 3,200 gallons per minute. Once again, parts of the damaged areas were flooded to the waterline.

This time the crew was ready. Watertight doors and well-braced bulkheads sealed off flooded compartments from the rest of the ship. Well-tested damage control parties stood by, confident of themselves and of Wesco‘s ability to take whatever was thrown at her.

At 1000 hours the next day, battered but unbowed, Westchester County passed the Yokosuka breakwater and steamed into her home port. Obvious patches marked where the VC mines had torn into her side, and her main deck was still piled high with debris cut away dur-ing the repair effort. But topside, the ship sported a fresh coat of haze-gray paint, and while the special sea-and-anchor detail scrambled to make her fast to the pier, a veteran crew manned Wesco‘s rail.

When the final casualty figures were tallied, they showed that 17 crew members of Westchester County had been killed in the explosions five 9th Infantry Division soldiers died in the wreckage of the troop compartment. Also killed in the attack were one sailor from River Assault Division 111, one South Vietnamese Navy sailor and one South Vietnamese ‘Tiger Scout’ interpreter. Twenty-two crewmen had been wounded. The 25 KIAs lost in the mining of Westchester County represent the U.S. Navy’s greatest single-incident combat loss of life during the entire Vietnam War.

In a postwar analysis of the attack, retired Army explosives expert Captain Robert Shelley expressed his opinion that the mining had been a well-planned and executed enemy operation that fell just short of becoming an unparalleled allied disaster. Shelley, whose 21 years of active service included 14 years with explosive ordnance disposal, two tours in Vietnam and command of the unit tasked with clearing the Suez Canal after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, said that had Westchester County‘s cargo of ordnance gone high order, the resulting blast would have been equal to that of a small nuclear weapon, destroying the ship instantly and generating an enormous wave capable of capsizing other good-sized vessels. Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel would have been spilled into the river, with tons of unexploded ammunition and automobile-sized pieces of the ship being hurled into the shoreline, the local town, and onto ships anchored several thousand yards away. According to Shelley, had the mining of Westchester County been entirely successful, it could have easily resulted in immobilizing or destroying the entire Mobile Riverine Force. Shelley credits the action and quick thinking of Wesco‘s crew — and a slight miscalculation in the VC’s placement of their charges — for averting a tragedy that, terrible as it was, could have been incalculably greater.

Following repairs in Japan, Westchester County continued to make regular deployments to Vietnam until the end of the American involvement. By the time she was decommissioned in 1973, Wesco had been awarded three Navy Unit Commendations, two Meritorious Commendations and 15 Engagement Stars, a combat record matched by only two other LSTs. More than 36 awards and commendations were awarded to the ship’s crew for its performance during and immediately after the November 1 attack. Lieutenant Commander Branin received the Bronze Star. Hospital Corpsman First Class John Sullivan was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. Branin and Sullivan later retired from the Navy, and today both men live in Ramona, Calif.

In 1974, USS Westchester County was turned over to the Turkish navy, where she continues to serve as TCG Serdar (L 402).

This article was written by Navy veteran and documentary filmmaker Gene Frederickson and originally published in the August 1998 issue of Vietnam Magazine. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Vietnam Magazine today!


THE H. L. HUN­LEY'S SINK­INGS

The H. L. Hunley arrived in Charleston on August 12 th , 1863, accompanied by James McClintock and Gus Whitney, one of the investors in the sub. The crew quickly began testing the Hunley in Charleston Harbor. Frustrated by McClintock’s pace, the Confederates seized the Hunley submarine and turned it over to Lt. John Payne, a Navy man assigned to the CSS Chicora.

On August 29 th , the Hunley was moored at Fort Johnson, preparing to depart for its first attack on the blockade when it suddenly sank at the dock. There are conflicting stories of what happened: Some claimed the wake of a passing ship flooded into the Hunley’s open hatches, filling it with enough water to sink it. Others claimed the mooring lines of another ship became tangled on the sub, pulling it onto its side until its hatches were underwater. Whatever happened, the result was the same: the Hunley sank immediately, taking five of her crew down to their deaths. Payne, who was standing atop the sub, jumped into the water and was rescued. William Robinson escaped through the aft hatch and Charles Hasker – trapped by the hatch cover – rode the sub to the bottom before freeing himself and swimming to the surface.

It took weeks to retrieve the submarine, and in that time Horace Hunley arrived in Charleston and demanded the submarine be returned to him. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard granted the request, and Hunley sent for a crew of men from the Park and Lyons Machine Shop in Mobile.

During her test missions in Charleston, the Hunley suffered two fatal sinkings that would claim the lives of over a dozen men, including Horace Hunley himself.


Submarine escape and rescue: a brief history

The disaster which befell the Russian submarine Kursk in August 2000 caught the world’s attention and became a galvanising event in drawing renewed focus on submarine safety in the new century. Public empathy worldwide seemed to be driven by the belief that when a submarine goes down there is little that can be done for the crew. However, the history of successful submarine escape and rescue is as long as the history of the submarine itself.

As submarine capabilities were gradually introduced in various navies around the world, a common question also emerged: what can be done in the event of a submerged accident that disables the submarine and prevents it returning to the surface? Essentially the answers remain the same.

There are two options available for the crew of a submerged disabled submarine (DISSUB) escape or rescue. Escape is the process where the DISSUB’s crew leaves the boat and reaches the surface without external assistance while rescue is undertaken by outside parties who remove the trapped crew from the submarine. At the dawn of the modern submarine age the initial focus was given to escape. Appearing around 1910 the first escape systems were derived from the breathing apparatus used by coal miners. These used a soda-lime cartridge which binds large quantities of carbon dioxide, cleaning the air breathed. The system utilised in the first submarine escape was the German Dräger breathing apparatus, used when the submarine U3 sank in 1911.1 A number of similar systems followed with the Davis Submarine Escape Apparatus (DSEA) being adopted by the Royal Navy in 1929 and the Momsen Lung used by the United States Navy (USN) until 1957.

These escape systems remained prevalent until 1946 when the Royal Navy held an inquiry into escape from sunken submarines. The inquiry found no difference in survival rate between those who used a DSEA to escape and those that did so unaided.2 As a result the DSEA was replaced with the ‘free ascent’ or ‘blow and go’ technique. Free ascent involved the crew member beginning the ascent with compressed air in their lungs. During the ascent the submariner breathed out at a controlled rate, allowing air to escape. This was a continual process, as the air expanded in the lungs due the decreasing pressure experienced en route to the surface. To limit the chance of being affected by decompression sickness, the escapee would use the bubbles of expelled air to judge the ascent by staying behind the smaller bubbles. To aid in the escape, a crew member might also use a life jacket or buoyant ring. In this case the rate of ascent was more rapid, which required the submariner to blow more rapidly throughout the journey to the surface. Buoyancy assisted free ascent continues to be practiced by Royal Australian Navy (RAN) submariners at the Submarine Escape and Rescue Centre at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

After a brief flirtation with free ascent, the USN implemented the Steinke Hood in 1962. Literally a hood with a plastic face mask attached to a life jacket, the Steinke Hood allowed the crew member to breath air trapped in the hood on their ascent following escape. Breathing in the trapped air reduced the chances of contracting the bends if the user breathed normally.

Free ascent and the Steinke Hood were favoured for their ease of use, but both systems had one glaring flaw: they failed to provide protection from the elements once the submariner reached the surface. This was apparent in 1950, when HMS Truculent sank following a collision with a merchant vessel within sight of the British shore. All of the 72 crew made it to the surface but only 15 survived with the rest swept out to sea by the tide and lost. These shortcomings were again evident with the Kosmsomlets disaster in 1989.

Of the Soviet submarine’s 69 crew, 34 of those who made the ascent to the surface later died from hypothermia, heart failure or drowning. In the 1990s a large percentage of the world’s navies operating submarines, including the RAN, replaced their existing escape systems with either the British developed Submarine Escape Immersion Ensemble (SEIE) or local versions of that design. Using trapped air, similar to the Steinke Hood, the SEIE covers the user completely and importantly, provides thermal protection. Further, the suit has an inbuilt life raft that, once on the surface, can be linked to other life rafts. The suit allows for an escape from 185 metres.

Prior to 1939 it was generally considered that if the crew could not escape the DISSUB then there was little that could be done to rescue them. During the 1920s some navies, in particular the USN, used salvage type operations with some success. However, these early rescue operations were conducted under ideal conditions which seldom occurred in practice. Often the amount of damage suffered by the submarine was unknown, which meant the submarine could not be moved as it might break apart in the process. Time was also a factor as the crew would have only three days of air at the most. Unfavourable conditions on the surface would prevent a salvage operation being carried out, as was the case in 1927 with the American submarine S-4 when gale force winds prevented the rescue from commencing in time. Due to the difficulties involved, salvage was abandoned as a means of rescue. Thinking on submarine rescue changed dramatically in 1939 with the sinking of USS Squalus. During seagoing trials an equipment failure resulted in the flooding of Squalus’ aft torpedo room, engine rooms and crew’s quarters killing 26 of the boat’s 59 crew instantly. Quick work by the remaining submariners prevented further flooding but the boat, now disabled, came to rest 74 metres below the surface. Since Squalus was carrying out the exercise in company with her sister ship, USS Sculpin, the DISSUB was quickly located and the alarm raised. What followed was the first true and, to this day, only successful submarine rescue.3 The submarine rescue ship Falcon arrived on site with submarine salvage and rescue expert Lieutenant Commander Charles B ‘Swede’ Momsen, USN, on board.

Momsen, the man who invented the Momsen Lung, employed the newly developed McCann Rescue Chamber to great effect. The chamber was a large steel bell that was lowered from a surface vessel to cover the submarine’s escape hatch. Once attached it was possible to reduce air pressure and open the hatch to allow the trapped submariners to climb aboard. Using the chamber the 33 surviving crew members were rescued in four trips. The McCann Rescue Chamber System remains in service in several contemporary navies, including the USN and the Turkish Navy. Submarine rescue philosophies evolved further in the 1960s following the loss of two American nuclear powered submarines, US Ships Thresher and Scorpion, despite both boats being lost in waters that precluded escape or rescue. After considering a variety of options, including submarines with in-built escape pods (similar to the Russians) and submarines with front ends that could be blown to the surface, the USN developed the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV). Entering service during the 1970s the DSRV, a manned mini-sub that mates with a DISSUB’s hatch and could carry 24 people at a time, offered great flexibility. With two built, one is maintained in an operational state so it can be flown in a C-5 cargo plane to a port nearest the DISSUB. It can then be placed onboard either a modified US or allied submarine. Operating from a submarine means that rough surface conditions or ice is less likely to adversely affect rescue operations.

US Navy DSRV with HMAS Rankin in Hawaii (RAN) Other navies followed the lead of the USN and developed their own portable rescue capabilities. The Royal Navy’s LR5 Submarine Rescue Vehicle (SRV) is similar to the DSRV in most aspects but instead of using a modified vessel the LR5 uses a ship of opportunity as the Mother Ship. The LR5 is part of the UK’s multifaceted Submarine Rescue Service which also includes the Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG) and the Scorpio Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). Composed of selected staff members from the submarine escape training tank and rapidly deployable, the SPAG functions as a first–on-site capability that provides assistance to a DISSUB or to those who have escaped. The obvious benefit of the SPAG is that timely assistance and coordination can be provided in order to avoid another Truculent or Kosmsomlets. The primary function of the Scorpio is to inspect and survey the DISSUB on the ocean floor. It can also clear debris from the site and record data such as water temperature, which is then used to assist in deciding on a suitable rescue strategy. Both the LR5 and DSRV are nearing the end of their lives with each expected to be replaced by new systems by the end of 2008. The LR5 will be replaced by the NATO Submarine Rescue Service (NSRS), a system developed jointly by Britain, France and Norway, while the USN is developing the Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). Both systems are similar and will carry out rescue operations in three phases reconnaissance, rescue and crew decompression. The reconnaissance stage will involve an ROV locating the DISSUB and recording data before a manned vessel conducts the rescue. The final stage, crew decompression, will involve a Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) chamber which enables the rescued submariners to be transferred from the rescue vehicle directly to a decompression chamber, thus preventing exposure to any unsafe atmospheric changes. While many of the developments in submarine rescue have been driven internationally, the RAN has taken the initiative in designing its own rescue system. Prior to 1995 the RAN had no organic submarine rescue system but did have a standing agreement with the USN for use of a DSRV in any emergency situation involving an RAN Oberon class submarine. The introduction of the Collins class coincided with the development of the Submarine Escape and Rescue Suite (SERS) which includes the Australian SRV Remora, the SRV’s launch and recovery system, and decompression chambers with a TUP capability. The capability to conduct a rescue is vital but counts for little if nations are unable to employ elements of another’s rescue capability, where that equipment might be better suited than their own. This was revealed in the post-Kursk disaster analysis. In the disaster’s aftermath the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Organisation (ISMERLO) was formed, with the primary objective to help coordinate future submarine rescue missions. Through its website, a nation with a DISSUB can note what assets are available, while nations that are capable can respond. With over 40 countries now operating submarines the role of ISMERLO is critical. This is reflected in the fact that the organisation is an intrinsic part of submarine rescue exercises around the world, such as the NATO-sponsored BOLD MONARCH. The RAN also helps to promote regional cooperation on submarine rescue through its participation in Exercise PACIFIC REACH, the triennial Asia-Pacific submarine rescue exercise. In summary, early submarine operations relied on escape as the preferred method of recovering submariners from a disabled submarine. However, accidents and practical experience proved that rescue was also necessary. Momsen and other advocates of submarine rescue championed advancements in rescue systems, life support and recovery coordination. So if the unthinkable happens today, the chances of a successful rescue are significantly greater than they have ever been.


Agent Orange – U.S. Navy & Coast Guard Ships Exposed to Toxic Agents During Service in Vietnam

August 2018 – Veterans benefits eligibility for the presumption of Agent Orange exposure requires that a Veteran’s military service involved “duty or visitation in the Republic of Vietnam” between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. Service includes being within the country of Vietnam itself or aboard a ship that operated on the inland waterways of Vietnam. Service does not include being aboard a large ocean-going ship that operated only on the offshore waters of Vietnam, unless evidence shows that a Veteran went ashore. Inland waterways include canals, deltas, estuaries, and rivers. They do not include open deep-water bays and harbors such as those at Cam Ranh Bay Harbor, Da Nang Harbor, Ganh Rai Bay, Nha Trang Harbor, Qui Nhon Bay Harbor, or Vung Tau Harbor. These are considered to be part of the offshore waters of Vietnam because of their deep-water anchorage capabilities and open access to the South China Sea.

A ship is placed on the eligibility list when documentary evidence shows that it fits into one or more of the five categories of ships that operated on the waters of Vietnam. The required evidence can come from an official ship history, deck logs, cruise books, Captain’s letters, or similar documents. Evidence requirements for the presumption of Agent Orange exposure may vary depending on what dates the Veteran was aboard and what ship activity occurred on those dates. Ship categories include:

1.) Ships operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways
2.) Ships operating temporarily on Vietnam’s inland waterways
3.) Ships that docked to shore or pier in Vietnam
4.) Ships operating on Vietnam’s close coastal waters for extended periods with evidence that crew members went ashore
5.) Ships operating on Vietnam’s close coastal waters for extended periods with evidence that smaller craft from the ship regularly delivered supplies or troops ashore

The list of ship names below are in alphabetical order. They are being provided to assist US Navy or Coast Guard Veterans of the Vietnam era in determining their potential eligibility for the presumption of Agent Orange herbicide exposure based on operations of the Veteran’s ship. To search for a ship by name or designation, use the FIND (CRTL+ F) function in your browser and then type either the ship’s designation or name. A specific ship may be listed more than once, based upon its activities.

USS Agerholm (DD-826) operated on Song Nga River and Ganh Rai Bay during March-April 1969
USS Ajax (AR-6) [Repair Ship] anchored in Vung Tau area for repair duties with evidence of shore-based repairs during June 1968, September to October 1969, April to May 1970, and August to November 1971
USS Alamo (LSD-33) landed Marines while at Qui Nhon Bay during July 1965 and at Rung Sat Special Zone during March-April 1966
USS Alamo (LSD-33) while anchored in Da Nang Harbor, sent crewmembers ashore for R&R beach parties during March-April 1969
USS Albatross (MSC-289) – docked to Junk Training Command Pier, Cam Ranh Bay, on July 22-25, 1964
USS Albert David (DE-1050) Sent a motorized whaleboat ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on December 30, 1969
USS Aludra (AF-55), conducted in-port docking replenishments at Cam Ranh Bay, Vung Tau, An Thoi, and Da Nang during March-April 1969
USS Alvin C. Cockrell (DE-366) anchored in Saigon Harbor for four days during May 1962
USS Anchorage (LSD-36) transported troops and supplies into Qui Nhon Bay during June 1970 and January 1972
USS Antelope (PG-86) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Arikara (ATF-98) [Fleet Ocean Tug] assisted with salvage operations on Saigon River during August 1966
USS Arikara (ATF-98) docked to piers at Da Nang from September to December 1969
USS Arnold J. Isbell (DD-869) sent small boat ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on April 12, 1970
USS Asheville (PG-84) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Askari (ARL-30) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Ault (DD-698) operated on Mekong River Delta and Soirap River during May 26, 1967
USS Barney (DDG-6) [Guided Missile Destroyer] while serving as Flagship for Destroyer Division One Six Two, sent crew members ashore at Da Nang for gunfire mission planning during June-July 1967
USS Barry (DD-933) operated on Saigon River during December 1965
USS Basilone (DD-824) operated on Saigon River, May 24-25, 1966
USS Bausell (DD-845) sent small boat ashore for briefing while in Da Nang Harbor on November 27, 1968
USS Belknap (DLG-26) while in Da Nang Harbor on December 1, 1969, received crew members back to ship from temporary duty ashore
USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) [Landing Ship Dock] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Benewah (APB-35) [Self-Propelled Barracks Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22) operated on the Song Lang Nuog River December 24, 1965 and the Cua Viet River April 25, 1972
USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22) sent small boats ashore from Da Nang Harbor on September 17, 1969 and December 22, 1970
USS Benner (DD-807) operated on Ganh Rai Bay and Rung Sat Special Zone during June 26-July 1, 1968
USS Bennington (CVS-20) [Anti-Submarine Aircraft Carrier] entered Qui Nhon Bay Harbor to pick up Bob Hope for onboard Christmas show on December 26, 1966
USS Berkeley (DDG-15) sent small boats ashore at Da Nang and elsewhere for gunfire support missions during May-June 1970
USS Bexar (APA-237) [Attack Transport] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Biddle (DLG-34) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for briefings on March 5 and June 2, 1968 and delivered North Vietnamese fisherman ashore at Da Nang on July 30, 1969
USS Bigelow (DD-942) docked to pier at Da Nang on April 19, 1967
USS Black (DD-666) operated on Saigon River during February 1965, Qui Nhon Bay during June 1965, and Saigon River during July 1966
USS Blandy (DD-943) – sent motor whaleboat to shore on January 25, 1973
USS Blue (DD-744) anchored in Da Nang Harbor on April 21, 1968, with crewmembers going ashore for picnic
USS Bolster (ARS-38) crew operated on land to extract USS Clark County (LST-601) from beach after grounding at Duc Pho from November 18 to December 1, 1967
USS Boston (CAG-1) – docked in-port at Da Nang Harbor on April 30th and May 17th, 1967
USS Boxer (LPH-4) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay on September 9, 1965
USS Braine (DD-630) docked to pier at Da Nang on November 27, 1966
USS Breckinridge (T-AP-176) entered Qui Nhon Bay September 16-17, 1965
USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) conducted fire support mission on Saigon River during November 11-17, 1968, and in Rung Sat Special Zone during February 9-11, 1970
USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) sent crew ashore for work details and liberty leave while anchored at Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay, and Vung Tau during April-May, 1970
USS Bronstein (DE-1037) [Destroyer Escort] docked to pier at Da Nang on December 11, 1972
USS Brownson (DD-868) operated on Song Nha Be River and Mekong River Delta during February 1967
USS Brule (AKL-28) [Light Cargo Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Brush (DD-745) – sent whaleboat ashore on January 11, 1969, while anchored in Cam Ranh Bay and on January 12, 1969, while anchored in Vung Tau Harbor
USS Buchanan (DDG-14) docked to pier with destroyer tender at Da Nang during April 11-12, 1972
USS Buck (DD-761) operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River during October 1966
USS Cabildo (LSD-16) delivered equipment to Nha Be via the Long Tau River during June 1968
USS Caliente (AO-53) [Fleet Oiler] docked for in-port replenishment at An Thoi and Vung Tau during June 1970
USS Calvert (APA-32) [Amphibious Attack Transport] served as Da Nang Harbor station ship, with crewmembers going ashore, from November 1965 through January 1966
USS Calvert (APA-32) entered Qui Nhon Bay during October 1965
USS Camden (AOE-2) sent a helicopter to Da Nang on October 6, 1970
USS Canberra (CAG-2) [Guided Missile Cruiser] operated on Saigon River from March 31 through April 1, 1966, on Mekong Delta Ham Luong River during January 15, 1967, and on Cua Viet River ( Song Thach Han) during December 10, 1968
USS Canberra (CAG-2) [Guided Missile Cruiser] sent small boats and helicopters ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor during April 1965
USS Canon (PG- [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.)
USS Card (ACV-11) [Escort Aircraft Carrier] mined, sunk, and salvaged in Saigon River Harbor during May 1964
USS Carpenter (DD-825) sent medical team ashore at Song Tra Village on December 20, 1968
USS Carronade (IFS 1) – all vessels of Inshore Fire Support [IFS] Division 93 are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Carter Hall (LSD-3) [Landing Ship Dock] delivered supplies up Saigon River to Nha Be during March-May 1967 and June 1968
USS Carter Hall (LSD-3) [Landing Ship Dock] served four-month duty as “boat repair ship” in Da Nang Harbor during 1965, with evidence of crew members going ashore
USS Castor (AKS-1) [General Stores Ship] docked to pier at Da Nang on October 7, 1966
USS Catamount (LSD-17) travelled up Saigon River to Saigon during November 1962 and operated on Nha Be and Long Tau Rivers during April 1969
USS Catskill (MCS/MSC-1) [Minesweeper-Coastal] entered Saigon River on March 18, 1970
USS Cavalier (APA-37) entered Qui Nhon Bay on February 2, 1968
USS Cavalier (APA-37) served as Da Nang Harbor station ship, with crewmembers going ashore, from June-July 1966
USS Chanticleer (ASR-7) [Submarine Rescue/Salvage Ship] traveled up the Saigon River and docked at Saigon during February 1963
USS Charles E. Brannon (DE-446) sent crew members ashore for liberty leave at Duong Dong during March 1962
USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) docked at Da Nang during January 1966
USS Charles S. Sperry (DD-697) operated on Saigon River during December 1965
USS Chevalier (DD-805) operated on Saigon River during June 15-21, 1966, and Mekong River Delta during January 25, 1968
USS Chicago (CG-11) [Guided Missile Cruiser] while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on May 22, 1969, deck logs show a utility boat went ashore for one hour with 8 crewmembers aboard
USS Clarion River (LSMR 409) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Cleveland (LPD-7) [Amphibious Transport Dock] sent Naval Academy Midshipmen on training mission ashore at Da Nang on 9-10 July, 1970
USS Cohoes (AN-78) [Net laying ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Colleton (APB-36) [Self-Propelled Barracks Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Collett (DD-730) provided naval gunfire support while in the Mekong River on August 19, 1965
USS Colonial (LSD-18) travelled up Saigon River to Nha Be during April 1966 and June and September 1969
USS Comstock (LSD-19) [Landing Ship Dock] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Cone (DD-866) docked to pier in Da Nang Harbor on December 11, 1972
USS Conflict (MSO-426) [Minesweeper-Ocean] docked to piers at Cam Ranh Bay on September 30, October 7, 27, 28, and 31, 1971
USS Conflict (MSO-426) [Minesweeper-Ocean] operated on Saigon River April 1, 1966 and Song Huong River (Perfume River) May 14, 1966
USS Conquest (MSO-488) operated on Saigon River during 1962 and entered Qui Nhon Bay on January 29 and February 7-9, 1969
USS Conway (DD-507) operated on Saigon River during early August 1966
USS Cony (DD-508) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during November 6-7, 1967
USS Cook (APD-130) [High Speed Transport] conducted tactical beach surveys with crew members ashore along Vietnam coast during June and July 1966
USS Core (ACV-13) travelled on Saigon River to delivered aircraft to Saigon during June 1965
USNS Corpus Christi Bay (T-ARVH-1) [Helicopter Repair Ship] anchored in Cam Ranh Bay from 1966 to 1969 with US Army crew of helicopter repair technicians who went ashore regularly and assisted a Vietnamese orphanage
USS Corry (DD-817) – provided Naval gunfire support on the Mekong River on October 27, 1968
USS Corry (DD-817) sent small boats ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor January 11-12, 1969 and Nha Trang Harbor February 20, 1969
USS Crockett (PG-88) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Current (ARS-22) [Salvage Ship] conducted salvage operations on Saigon River during July 1964 and April 1967 and Qui Nhon Bay during May 1967 and August 1971
USS Currituck (AV-7) [Sea Plane Tender] anchored at Cam Ranh Bay for month long periods during 1966 and 1967 to repair and tend to Navy sea planes, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Currituck (AV-7) [Sea Plane Tender] travelled up Saigon River to Saigon during early 1964 and operated in Mekong River Delta during June 1965
USS Dahlgren (DLG-12) sent motorized whaleboat and Captain’s gig ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on June 4, 1967
USS Damato (DD-871) operated on Saigon River during December 12-13, 1967
USS Davidson (DE-1045) operated on Vung Ganh Rai and Rung Sat Special Zone of Mekong River Delta from September 16 to October 5, 1967
USS Davidson (DE-1045) sent motorized whaleboat ashore while anchored off coast of Tan My on September 20, 1972
USS Davis (DD-937) sent small boats ashore from anchorage while providing gunfire support in Da Nang Harbor during December 1968
USS De Haven (DD-727) operated on Mekong River September 1, 1963
USS De Haven (DD-727) operated on Saigon River during early March 1967
USS Deliver (ARS-23) docked in Cam Ranh Bay to pick up DeLong floating pier July 26-28, 1973
USS Delta (AR-9) anchored in Vung Tau Harbor repairing other vessels during July 1969 with deck logs showing that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Dennis J Buckley (DD-808) docked to pier in Da Nang Harbor to deliver drone on December 15, 1969
USS Dennis J Buckley (DD-808) operated on Mekong River Delta, Saigon River, and Ganh Rai Bay during July 1965 and from December 19, 1966 to January 16, 1967 and on Mekong River Delta during June 1971
USS Dewey (DLG-14) sent whaleboat ashore for briefing while in Da Nang Harbor on January 15, 1968
USS Diachenko (APD-123) – conducted tactical beach surveys with crew members from April to August 1968 also, on May 21, 1968, while anchored in Qui Nhon Harbor, a harbor patrol craft arrived at the ship and departed with the commanding officer, operations officer, and communications officer for briefings in Qui Nhon.
USS Douglas H. Fox (DD-779) operated on Ganh Rai Bay and Rung Sat Special Zone during March 16-20, 1969
USS Du Pont (DD-941) operated on Mekong River Delta during October 1968
USS Dubuque (LPD-8) docked at Da Nang on March 15, 1970
USS Duluth (LPD-6) made numerous dockings at Da Nang, as well as transporting troops and supplies to Chu Lai, Vung Tau, and Quang Tri, from May 1967 to August 1972 also participated in evacuation of Saigon during April 1975 by sending rescue boats ashore at Vung Tau
USS Duncan (DD-874) operated on Long Tau River and Rung Sat Special Zone during January 1969 and Qui Nhon Bay during March 1969
USS Duncan (DD-874) sent small boat ashore for briefing while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on December 14, 1968
USS Duncan (DDR-874) [Radar Picket Destroyer] operated on Saigon River during September and October 1965
USS Durham (LKA-114) [Amphibious Cargo Ship] docked to piers at Da Nang during March 20-21, July 20-21, August 18-19, and September 7, 1970
USS Dyess (DD-880) operated on Saigon River and Rung Sat Special Zone from June 19-July 1, 1966
USS Eaton (DD-510) entered the mouth of the Saigon River in the Mekong River Delta on August 23, 1967
USS Edson (DD-946) docked to Da Nang pier and sent small boats ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor and off Point Allison during July 1971
USS Eldorado (AGC-11) sent crewmembers ashore for liberty leave at Cam Ranh Bay during June 1967 and July 1970
USS Elkhorn (AOG-7) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Endurance (MSO-435) docked to piers at Da Nang at various times during March-June, 1969
USS England (DLG-22) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mission briefings on March 9, 1967 and July 30, 1968
USS Enhance (MSO-437) entered Qui Nhon Bay repeatedly during October through November 1968 and January through February 1969
USS Epperson (DD-719) docked to Da Nang Pier on October 4, 1970
USS Epperson (DD-719) operated on Qui Nhon Bay during November 1965
USS Epperson (DD-719) while anchored off Phan Thiet on November 16, 1969, crewmembers went ashore for liberty leave
USS Epping Forest (MCS-7) [Mine Countermeasure Support Ship] conducted “goodwill” tours at Cam Ranh Bay and Nha Trang with crewmembers going ashore and Vietnamese coming aboard during September-October 1964, and mine sweep of Cua Viet River using smaller vessels from main ship during May 1968
USS Ernest G. Small (DDR-838) [Radar Picket Destroyer] repeatedly sent small boats ashore with naval gunfire spotters in II Corps area during April-May 1966
USS Esteem (MSO-438) crewmembers painted a Vietnamese orphanage while docked at Qui Nhon Bay during December 1967 and again during March 1969
USS Estes (AGC-12) [Amphibious Force Flagship] entered Qui Nhon Bay during June 1965 and anchored in Mekong River during January 1967
USS Estes (AGC-12) sent crewmembers ashore for beach picnic at Vung Tau during April 1968
USS Everett F. Larson (DD-830) operated on Mekong River during December 1967
USS Everett F. Larson (DD-830) sent crew members ashore for beach party while anchored in Van Phong Bay on September 15, 1969
USS Eversole (DD-789) sent motorized whaleboat ashore to Chu Lai from offshore anchorage to transfer two crewmembers on July 25, 1972
USS Excel (MSO-439) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay July 31, 1967
USS Falgout (DER-324) [Radar Pickett Ship] operated on Mekong River during June 1965 and entered Qui Nhon Bay as part of operation with PCFs interdicting junk traffic during May 1966
USS Fechteler (DD-870) operated in Mekong River Delta on September 27, 1965 and Qui Nhon Bay November 25-26, 1968
USS Fechteler (DD-870) sent crew ashore for beach party on September 25, 1965, and while conducting night patrols of Da Nang Harbor, crewmembers went ashore for daytime liberty leave during October 1965
USS Finch (DER-328) [Destroyer Escort Radar] entered Qui Nhon Bay on January 20, 1966 and December 1967 (when crewmembers painted a Vietnamese orphanage)
USS Firedrake (AE-14) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during April 1966
USS Firm (MSO-444) docked to pier at Da Nang November 26-30, 1969 and docked to piers at Cam Ranh Bay February-April, 1971
USS Fiske (DD-842) operated on Mekong River from June 16-21, 1966
USS Floyd B. Parks (DD-884) operated on Saigon River and Ganh Rai Bay during February and March 1968
USS Force (MSO-445) while moored with other ships in Vung Tau Harbor, sent crew ashore for liberty leave March 3-7, 1967 and docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay March 13-15, 1972 and Vung Tau April 25-May 3, 1972
USS Forester (DER-334) crew had liberty leave at Nha Trang on June 28 and July 10 1965, with whale boat ashore for medical assistance on August 20, 1965
USS Forrest Royal (DD-872) operated on Saigon River during June 1967
USS Fort Marion (LSD-22) navigated Saigon River to dock in Saigon during February 1966
USS Fortify (MSO-446) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay on September 30 and November 29, 1971
USS Fortify (MSO-446) travelled up the Saigon River to Saigon September 19-22, 1964
USS Fox (DLG-33) sent small boat ashore from Da Nang Harbor with Captain for mission briefings on October 24, 1967
USS Francis River (LSMR 525) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Frank Knox (DD-742) operated on Long Tau River during June 16-17, 1969
USS Fred T. Berry (DD-858) operated in Mekong River Delta area on March 15, 1966
USS Gallant (MSO-489) docked to pier at Da Nang during November 5-6, 1969
USS Gallop (PG-85) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Gannet (MSC-290) operated on rivers of Mekong Delta at Vinh Long and Binh Thuy during May 1967
USS Geiger (T-AP-197) entered Qui Nhon Bay November 23-26, 1965
USNS General Hugh J. Gaffey (T-AP-121) entered Qui Nhon Bay November 6-8, 1966
USS Genesee (AOG-8) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS George Clymer (APA-27) [Amphibious Attack Transport] navigated Saigon River to Saigon Port during January 1963
USS George K. Mackenzie (DD-836) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during February 1969
USS Glennon (DD-840) provided gunfire support on Cua Viet River during June 7, 1972
USS Goldsborough (DDG-20) operated on Cua Dai River December 13, 1968
USS Goldsborough (DDG-20) sent small boats ashore from Da Nang Harbor on December 20 and 24, 1972
USS Graffias (AF-29) [Auxiliary Stores Ship] docked to pier at Da Nang for resupply on February 20 and November 25, 1967, and conducted other in-port docking replenishments at An Thoi and Vung Tau during 1967
USS Grapple (ARS-7) [Salvage Ship] conducted numerous repair and salvaging operations while moored to beach or piers at Da Nang, Chu Lai, Cam Ranh Bay, and Tan My during January 1967 November 1970 through April 1971 and August 1972 through January 1973
USS Grasp (ARS-24) – moored to the shore at Wunder Beach and Chu Lai on multiple occasions to repair seaload fuel lines in July and August 1968
USS Grasp (ARS-24) conducted salvaging operations on Song Cua Dia River and other inland waters from February through April 1969
USS Gray (DE-1054) sent motorized whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mail pickup on October 7, 1972
USS Gridley (DLG-21) [Guided Missile Frigate] Docked to Pier #2 in Da Nang Harbor to unload a damaged helicopter on January 12, 1967
USS Guadalupe (AO-32) [Oiler] operated on Ganh Rai Bay during April 1966
USS Guide (MSO-447) [Minesweeper-Ocean] sent motorized whaleboats ashore for briefings while in Da Nang Harbor during May 1970
USS Guide (MSO-447) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay on September 30, 1971
USS Gunston Hall (LSD-5) operated on Saigon River during April 1965 and March 1968
USS Gurke (DD-783) operated on Ganh Rai Bay, Saigon River, and Mekong River during October 1966 and May 1969
USS Haleakala (AE-25) anchored in Da Nang Harbor August 27 – 29, 1969, due to boiler accident and sent crew ashore prior to departure for Subic Bay for repairs
USS Hamner (DD-718) docked to pier with destroyer tender at Da Nang during April 11-12, 1972
USS Hamner (DD-718) operated on Song Lon Tao and Long Song Tao Rivers, August 15-September 1, 1966 and on Song Gga in Rung Sat Special Zone November 14-15, 1967
USS Hanson (DD-832) operated on Saigon River during July 2-3, 1965 and September 13, 1966
USS Hanson (DD-832) sent motorized whaleboats ashore from Da Nang Harbor on September 17, 1972, for medical evacuation and mail pickup
USS Harold J. Ellison (DD-864) operated on Saigon River between late 1965 and mid 1966
USS Hector (AR-7) anchored in Vung Tau Harbor repairing other vessels from July 20 to August 16, 1970, with deck logs stating that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Henderson (DD-785) operated on Saigon River during December 17, 1965
USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) – anchored in Da Nang Harbor on July 21, 1965, and sent crew members ashore for liberty following Change-of-Command ceremony.
USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) [Guided Missile Destroyer] docked at Da Nang pier on April 2, 1967 and September 29, 1971
USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) [Guided Missile Destroyer] operated on Mekong River Delta during May 1968
USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) docked to pier in Da Nang Harbor on September 12, 1971 (see other categories)
USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) operated on Qui Nhon Bay during 1965 and August 1968 and Mekong River Delta during March 1966 and May1969 (see other categories)
USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) sent whaleboat ashore at Da Nang for briefing on January 23, 1969 sent medical team ashore while off Quang Ngai on 27 February, 1969 conducted whaleboat transfers of personnel to shore on August 27, 1972 sent small boat ashore to transport body for transfer to An Thoi on November 14, 1972 ship’s helicopter transported personnel ashore on November 22, 1972 (see other categories)
USS Herbert J Thomas (DD-833) operated in Mekong River Delta during December 1966 and on Saigon River during April 28, 1968
USS Hermitage (LSD-34) [Landing Ship Dock] docked to Da Nang pier June 2-3, 1967
USS Higbee (DD-806) provided naval gunfire support from Ganh Rai Bay and Mekong River Delta during January-February and April 1966 March 1969 and September 1970
USS Higbee (DD-806) sent small boats ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on September 9, 1965 and December 7, 1967
USS Hissem (DER-400) moored to port side of USS Tuluita (ARG-4) for repairs in Vung Tau area from January 11-23, 1967, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore for liberty leave and sent motorized whaleboat ashore for briefing at An Thoi on February 3, 1967
USS Holder (DD-819) operated on Vung Ganh Rai and Saigon River during August 5, 1966
USS Hopewell (DD-681) operated on Mekong River Delta during June 15-16, 1966
USS Hugh Purvis (DD-709) operated on Qui Nhon Bay during January 1969
USS Hull (DD-945) sent small boats ashore while anchored off Nha Trang on February 17, 1968
USS Illusive (MSO-448) conducted training with Vietnamese Navy on Saigon River from January through March 1962
USS Indra (ARL-37) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Inflict (MSO-456) travelled up the Saigon River to Saigon September 19-22, 1964
USS Ingersoll (DD-652) operated on Saigon River October 24-25, 1965
USS Ingraham (DD-694) operated 10 miles up Saigon River on November 12, 1965
USS Isle Royale (AD-29) [Destroyer Tender-Repair Ship] salvaged the beached USS Mahnomen County (LST-912) at Chu Lai during January 1967 with crewmembers going ashore for stripping operations
USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) [Landing Platform, Helicopter] docked to pier at Da Nang on October 6, 1969 and May 19-20, 1971
USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2) [Landing Platform, Helicopter] entered Qui Nhon Bay in July 1965
USS James C. Owens (DD-776) docked at Cam Ranh Bay on April 30, 1968
USS James E. Kyes (DD-787) provided naval gunfire support on Song Ca River during October 1967 and Ganh Rai Bay during June 1969
USS Jamestown (AGTR-3) conducted numerous month-long deployments along the Vietnam coast collecting data, with photographic evidence that crewmembers went ashore, between January 1966 and September 1969
USS Jason (AR-8) anchored in Vung Tau Harbor repairing other vessels with deck logs showing evidence of crewmembers going ashore June through August 1968, December 1969 through January 1970, and March through April 1971
USS John A. Bole (DD-755) operated on Saigon River during July 4-6, 1966
USS John R. Craig (DD-885) anchored off Nha Trang during summer 1968 with crewmembers going ashore for beach party
USS John R. Craig (DD-885) operated on inland waterway during July 1965
USS John W. Thomason (DD-760) operated on Mekong River Delta for Operation Deck House III during August 1966 and on Nga Be River during 1969
USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16) operated on Mekong River Delta March 4, 1966 and Ganh Rai Bay during November 7 and December 7, 1968
USS Jouett (DLG-29) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mission briefings on February 15, April 15, and June 1, 1968
USS Kalispell (YTB-784) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Kennebec (AO-36) provided fuel to vessels while in Ganh Rai Bay during August 1969
USS King (DLG-10) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for operations briefing on April 13, 1969 and August 8, 1970
USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Klondike (AR-22) anchored in Vung Tau Harbor repairing other vessels during April 1969 with deck logs showing that crewmembers went ashore
USS Koiner (DER-331) [Destroyer Escort, Radar] crew had liberty leave at Vung Tau and survey parties were sent ashore at various locations while on Operation Market Time radar patrol during 1967
USS Kretchmer (DER-329) entered Qui Nhon Bay during September and November 1965, June and August 1966, and April 1967
USS Krishna (ARL-38) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Kula Gulf (CVE-108) [Small Aircraft Carrier: used as helicopter and troop transport] docked at Cam Ranh Bay November 13-16, 1965
USS Lang (DE-1060) docked to pier #4 in Da Nang Harbor for 38 minutes on January 5, 1972, and sent whaleboat to and from shore with “briefing personnel” on January 8, 1973
USS Lawrence (DDG-4) Sent a motorized whaleboat ashore on December 8, 1972, to pick up mail and passengers
USS Leader (MSO-490) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay on November 30, 1968
USS Leary (DD-879) operated on the Mekong River Delta on October 9, 1967
USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) docked to pier at Da Nang on February 12, 1973
USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852) operated on Ganh Rai Bay and channels during August 1969
USS Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) operated on Ganh Rai Bay and Saigon River area during December 28, 1970
USS Lofberg (DD-759) operated on Song Nha Be River during February 18-21 and April 14-15, 1969 and on Song Cua Dai River during April 10-12, 1969
USS Long Beach (CGN-9) [Guided Missile Cruiser, Nuclear] while anchored in Da Nang Harbor, deck logs show that utility boats went ashore with passengers on May 5, 1968 and the Captains Gig went ashore on September 4, 1969
USS Lowe (DE-325) anchored in Saigon Harbor during April 1966
USS Lowry (DD-770) operated on Mekong River Delta during October 1968
USS Lowry (DD-770) sent motorized whaleboat ashore at Phan Thiet on June 5, 1968
USS Loyalty (MSO-457) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay on April 9 and 25, 1971
USS Loyalty (MSO-457) travelled up the Saigon River to Saigon September 19-22, 1964
USS Lucid (MSO-458) docked to pier at Da Nang for off-loading and on-loading equipment during May 1967
USS Lyman K. Swenson (DD-729) traveled up Saigon River for a four-day visit to Saigon during May 1964
USS Lynde McCormick (DDG-8) operated on Cua Ham Loung River and Mekong River Delta during April 1966 and Mekong River Delta during March 1969
USS Maddox (DD-731) sent motorized whaleboats ashore while anchored in Vung Tau Harbor on March 3, 1967
USS Magoffin (APA-199) entered Qui Nhon Bay to offload troops during October 23-24, 1965
USS Mahan (DLG-11) [Guided Missile Frigate] sent a “group of personnel” ashore at Da Nang for a short tour of Monkey Mountain on October 6, 1968
USS Mahan (DLG-11) [Guided Missile Frigate] visited Saigon via Saigon River from October 24-28, 1962
USS Mahopac (ATA-196) moored in Saigon during October 6-9, 1965, and operated on Mekong River from October 30-November 3, 1966
USS Manatee (AO-58) docked for in-port replenishment at An Thoi and Vung Tau during November 1968
USS Manley (DD-940) docked periodically at Da Nang and sent crew members ashore for liberty leave and work details between November 1966 and March 1967
USS Mansfield (DD-728) entered mouth of Mekong River on November 29, 1965, and operated on Saigon River August 8-19, 1966 and December 21-24, 1969
USS Marathon (PG-89) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Mark (AKL-12) [Light Cargo Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Markab (AR-23) [Repair Ship] conducted repair operations on Ganh Rai Bay during November 1967
USS Mars (AFS-1) [Combat Stores Ship] operated on Mekong River July 8, 1966
USS Mataco (ATF-86) [Fleet Ocean Tug] docked to piers at Da Nang during May and August 1968
USS Mataco (ATF-86) [Fleet Ocean Tug] provided tow on Saigon River and delivered vessels to inland river base at Nha Be during June-August 1968
USS Maury (AGS-16) conducted surveys of Mekong River Delta and other coastal areas and rivers from November 1965 through 1969
USS McCaffery (DD-860) provided naval gunfire support while in Mekong River during April 8-9, 1967
USS McCaffery (DD-860) sent small boat ashore while in Da Nang Harbor December 12-14, 1972
USS McGinty (DE-365) [Destroyer Escort] sent crew members ashore at Da Nang for a party on WESTPAC cruise during spring 1962
USS McKean (DD-784) operated on Mekong and Saigon River Deltas during March 14-15, 1967
USS McMorris (DE-1036) entered Qui Nhon Bay during July 1965
USS Mercer (APB-39) [Self-Propelled Barracks Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Merrick (AKA-97) [Attack Cargo Ship] participated in Operation Jackstay amphibious landings while on Saigon River during March 1966
USS Mobile (LKA-115) docked to pier at Da Nang on September 20, 1970 and April 16, 1971
USS Moctobi (ATF-105) provided tow on Saigon River with deliveries to inland river base at Nha Be during September-October 1967
USS Montrose (APA-212) [Attack Transport] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Morton (DD-948) docked to pier at Da Nang on February 7-10, 1973
USS Morton (DD-948) operated on Vung Ganh Rai and Saigon River during April 1966 and February 1969
USS Morton (DD-948) sent small boat ashore at Hue on November 13, 1972
USS Mount McKinley (AGC-7) [Amphibious Force Flagship] Command ship for 7th Fleet Amphibious Force operated out of Da Nang during 1969 with evidence that crew members went ashore
USS Mullany (DD-528) entered Qui Nhon Bay during June 1965
USS Mullinnix (DD-944) operated on Vung Ganh Rai and Saigon River during August 5-6, 1966
USS Myles C. Fox (DD-829) entered Qui Nhon Bay during February 1967
USS Navarro (APA-215) transported Thai “Queen’s Cobras” troops from Thailand to Saigon via Saigon River during September 1967
USS New (DD-818) operated on Song Bu Lu River during October 1967
USS New (DD-818) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mission briefing on August 8, 1967
USS New Jersey (BB-62) sent 30 crew members ashore for Thanksgiving dinner while offshore near Hue on November 28, 1968
USS New Orleans (LPH-11) docked to pier at Da Nang on March 12, 1970
USS Newell (DER-322) [Destroyer Escort Radar] docked at port of Nha Trang during December 22-24, 1965
USS Newman K. Perry (DD-883) operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River from November 23-28, 1966
USS Newport News (CA-148) [Heavy Cruiser] operated on Song Huong Estuary during February 1968 and on Mekong River Delta in vicinity of Vinh Binh Province during December 1968
USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) unloaded supplies on Saigon River and Cam Ranh Bay, April 22-25, 1968
USS Nicholas (DD-449) [Destroyer] operated on Ganh Rai Bay during April 1965, Mekong River Delta during January 1967, and Ganh Rai Bay and Mekong River Delta during August 1968
USS Noa (DD-841) operated on Qui Nhon Bay during April 1969
USS Norris (DD-859) conducted operations on inland Song Nga River during November-December 1966
USS Noxubee (AOG-56) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Nueces (APB-40) [Self-Propelled Barracks Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Oak Hill (LSD-7) served as station and repair ship in Da Nang Harbor with evidence of crewmembers going ashore from January through March 1966
USS Oak Hill (LSD-7) conducted salvage operations for damaged swift boat on Ganh Hao River during July 1967
USS O’Bannon (DD-450) operated on Saigon River during May 22-24, 1966
USS O’Brien (DD-725) sent motorized whaleboat ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on December 16, 1969
USS O’Callahan (DE-1051) sent gunfire spotters ashore in vicinity of Cua Viet River on January 13, 1973
USS Ogden (LPD-5) [Amphibious Transport Dock] made numerous dockings at Da Nang to transport troops and supplies, with crew members going ashore, from February 1966 to March 1973
USS Okanogan (APA-220) [Attack Transport] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Okanogan (APA-220) navigated Saigon River to Saigon for delivery of Thai troops during August 1968
USS Okinawa (LPH-3) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay to offload aircraft during May 1971
USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) [Light Guided Missile Cruiser] docked in Saigon during 21-24 July 1964 and operated in the mouth of the Thach Han River during July 20-21, 1966
USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) [Light Guided Missile Cruiser] sent small boats ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor during September 1966 and January-February 1970 and sent ship’s softball team ashore during July 1969
USS Orleck (DD-886) operated on Mekong River Delta during July 1969
USS Ouellet (DE-1077) sent motorized whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor on July 29, 1972
USS Oxford (AGTR-1) [Technical Research Ship] conducted numerous month-long deployments along the Vietnam coast collecting data, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore, between 1965 and 1969
USS Ozbourn (DD-846) conducted fire support missions on Saigon River from October-November 1965 and August-October 1966
USS Ozbourn (DD-846) docked briefly to piers in Da Nang Harbor on February 21, April 1, and April 11, 1971
USS Passumpsic (A0-107) docked in-port at An Thoi on June 28, 1971
USS Patapsco (AOG-1) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Paul Revere (APA-248) assisted with salvage of the USS Card (ACV-11) in Saigon Harbor on Saigon River during May 1964 and transported Korean troops through Qui Nhon Bay during October-November 1965
USS Perkins (DD-877) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during October 1967 and on Saigon River during June 1969
USS Persistent (MSO-491) docked to piers at Da Nang and Cam Ranh Bay during October-December 1970
USS Pickaway (APA-222) operated on Rung Sat Special Zone from March 31 to April 5, 1966
USS Picking (DD-685) operated on Saigon River during November 16, 1965
USS Pictor (AF-54) [Auxiliary Stores Ship] entered Cua Viet River while delivering supplies to Dong Ha during September 1967
USS Pictor (AF-54) docked to pier at Da Nang during 1969
USS Pine Island (AV-12) anchored at Da Nang during August 1964, and Cam Ranh Bay for month long periods during 1965 and 1966, to repair and tend to Navy sea planes, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Pledge (MSO-492) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay intermittently during July 1967 and May-June 1971
USS Pledge (MSO-492) entered Qui Nhon Bay on May 8, 15, and 21, 1971
USS Point Defiance (LSD-31) entered Qui Nhon Bay to deliver troops during July 1965 operated on Saigon River during March 1967 and conducted several operations on Saigon River to Saigon Port during October and November 1968
USS Pollux (AKS-4) [General Stores Ship] delivered supplies while in Ganh Rai Bay on April 4. 1966, June 14, August 16, and October 31, 1967, and January 5, March 14, April 5, May 29, June 18, August 5, and October 10, 1968
USS Ponchatoula (AO-148) [Fleet Oiler] sent crew members ashore to visit the An Thoi Naval Base on April 27, 1969
USS Ponchatoula (AO-148) operated on Mekong River Delta during July 1971(see other category)
USS Porterfield (DD-682 [Destroyer] while operating in close coastal waters on March 19, 1966, two officers and a seaman went ashore in a junk and, on April 8, 1966, a small boat went ashore from Da Nang Harbor with Vietnamese officers
USS Power (DD-839) sent Commanding Officer and others ashore in whaleboat for briefing while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on November 13, 1968
USS Preston (DD-795) operated on Mekong River Delta, Ganh Rai Bay, and Saigon River during September 28 – 29 and December 27 – 29, 1965, on Mekong River Delta June 3, 1967, and Ganh Rai Bay on November 24, 1968
USS Prichett (DD-561) operated on Mekong River Delta in September 1966 and operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River during August 1969
USS Prime (MSO-466) docked to pier at Da Nang on February 16, 1967
USS Princeton (LPH-5) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during April 1966
USS Procyon (AF-61) docked and conducted in-port replenishments at Da Nang during June 1965, November 1965, January 1966, December 1966, August 1967, and April 1970 and at Cam Ranh Bay during January 1966 and May 1970
USS Providence (CLG-6) operated on Saigon River 3 days during January 1964, on Song Huong (Perfume River) during February 15, 1968, and on Cua Viet River during August 1972
USS Pyro (AE-24) [Auxiliary Explosive, Ammunition Ship] sent small boat ashore from Da Nang Harbor with injured crew member for medical treatment on September 29, 1972
USS Quapaw (ATF-110) provided tow on Saigon River with deliveries to inland river base at Nha Be during June 1966
USS Queenfish (SS-393) sent crew ashore for liberty leave while anchored in Nha Trang Harbor from August 27-September 7, 1962
USS Radford (DD-446) [Destroyer] operated on Ganh Rai Bay and Saigon River during December 1967
USS Ramsey (DEG-2) [Destroyer Escort] docked to pier in Da Nang Harbor on November 24th and 30th, 1969, and January 6, 1973
USS Ready (PG-87) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Reclaimer (ARS-42) operated in Saigon Harbor to salvage USS Card (ACV-11) from sinking in Saigon River during May 1964 and in Rung Sat Special Zone of Mekong River Delta salvaging ships during early 1966
USS Regulus (AF-57) conducted numerous in-port docking replenishments at Cam Ranh Bay, Vung Tau, An Thoi, and Da Nang during March-November 1966, May-July 1967, February-December 1968, October-December 1969, June-September 1970, and April-July 1971
USS Rehoboth (AGS-50) conducted hydrographic survey of Mekong River Delta area during December 1965
USS Repose (AH-16) [Hospital Ship] operated continuously on close coastal waters from 1966-1970, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Rich (DD-820) docked to pier at Da Nang on December 13, 1972
USS Richard B Anderson (DD-786) docked to pier at Da Nang on August 29, 1972
USS Richard B. Anderson (DD-786) operated on Mekong River Delta during May-June, 1966
USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849) operated on inland river north of Da Nang during June 2-5, 1966, protecting Marines holding a bridge
USS Richard E. Krause (DD-849) sent motorized whaleboats ashore while in Da Nang Harbor on December 29, 1972
USS Richard S Edwards (DD-950) operated on Mekong River Delta in Province of Kien Hoa during February 28 and March 1, 1969
USS Richard S. Edwards (DD-950) – sent personnel ashore via small boat on November 5, 1967, and December 1, 1967
USS Richmond K. Turner (DLG-20) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mission briefing on December 4, 1966
USS Robert L. Wilson (DD-847) entered Song Da Rang River (near Tuy Hoi) and Rung Sat Special Zone area during February-March 1969
USS Robison (DDG-12) provided naval gunfire support for Operation Jackstay in Rung Sat Special Zone and Saigon River during April 1966
USS Rogers (DD-876) sent whaleboats ashore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor July 29-August 3, 1971
USS Rowan (DD-782) operated on Song Tra Khuc River and Qui Nhon Bay from April through July 1965, December 1967, and June 1969
USS Rupertus (DD-851) operated on Saigon River during April 1966 and May 1969
USS Rupertus (DD-851) sent motorized whaleboats ashore while in Da Nang Harbor on January 4, 1973
USS Sacramento (AOE-1) [Fast Combat Support Ship] regularly sent helicopters ashore to Da Nang for mail pick-up during March-August 1970
USS Safeguard (ARS-25) [Salvage Ship] anchored in Da Nang Harbor repairing other vessels with evidence that workboats went ashore during July 1971
USS Safeguard (ARS-25) docked at Pier-2 in Cam Ranh Bay on August 14, 1971
USS Safeguard (ARS-25) operated on Ganh Rai Bay and Mekong River Delta during December 8, 1965
USS Saint Paul (CA-73) [Cruiser] while anchored in Da Nang Harbor, small boats sent ashore on May 9, 1969, and May 25, July 17, and September 17, 1970
USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) anchored at Da Nang during February 1965, Con Son Island during May 1965, and Cam Ranh Bay for month long periods during 1966, to repair and tend to Navy sea planes, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore
USS Sample (DE-1048) – sent motor whaleboat to shore on July 26, 1972
USS Sample (DE-1048) – Travelled on Cua Viet River on April 27, 1972
USS Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823) operated on Mekong River Delta and Saigon River during December 1965
USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) [Destroyer Tender] multiple dockings to piers at Da Nang during April 1972
USS Samuel N. Moore (DD-747) operated on Saigon River, Rung Sat Special Zone, and Mekong River Delta during November 1965 and September-December 1968
USS Sanctuary (AH-17) operated continuously on close coastal waters from 1967-1971, with evidence that crewmembers went ashore on liberty leave
USS Satyr (ARL-23) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Savage (DER-386) Sent crew ashore to provide medical assistance to villages from January 1 to 15, 1966, and from June 12 to September 15, 1966
USS Seminole (AKA/LKA-104) [Attack/Amphibious Cargo Ship] docked in Saigon during July 1962 operated on Saigon River channel on March 4, 1967 and entered Cua Viet River on May 26, 1967
USS Serrano (AGS-24) conducted mapping surveys of Mekong River Delta and other coastal and river areas from 1966 through 1969
USS Sheldrake (AGS-19) conducted sounding surveys of Vietnam coastal and inland waterways October 1967 through March 1968
USS Shelton (DD-790) conducted small boat inland waterborne logistics craft (WBLC) surveillance of Cua Viet River on August 16, 1972
USS Shelton (DD-790) operated on Saigon River during January 16, 1966
USS Southerland (DD-743) operated on Song Nga and Saigon River during July 1966
USS Sphinx (ARL-24) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Sproston (DD-577) operated on Mekong River Delta and Ganh Rai Bay during January 1966
USS St. Louis (AKA/LKA-116) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during March 9, 1971
USS Steinaker (DD-863) anchored off Phan Thiet July 25- August 3, 1968 with crewmembers going ashore to visit Junk Base
USS Stoddard (DD-566) operated on Saigon River during September 1965
USS Stormes (DD-780) sent motorized whaleboat ashore to assist 2nd ARVN and 2nd US Advisory Group on September 17, 1966
USS Strong (DD-758) operated in Mekong River Delta and Rung Sat Special Zone during April 1968
USS Surfbird (ADG-383) [Degaussing Ship] conducted anti-mine degaussing operation for ships on Qui Nhon Bay during November 1967 and August 1969
USS Surfbird (ADG-383) [Degaussing Ship] sent crew members ashore during anti-mine degaussing operations at Cam Ranh Bay, Vung Tau, Da Nang, and Con Son Island during September-November 1967 March-July and December 1968 March and December 1969 and January-February 1970
USS Talladega (APA-208) operated on Saigon River during October 1967
USS Tanner (AGS-15) [Mapping Survey Ship] conducted surveys of Mekong River Delta and other coastal areas and rivers from October 1966 through 1968
USS Taussig (DD-746) operated on Soirap River in Mekong River Delta during June 15-26, 1966
USS Tawakoni (ATF-114) operated in Saigon Harbor to salvage USS Card (ACV-11) from sinking in Saigon River during May 1964
USS Tawasa (ATF-92) moored in Saigon from June 30 – July 4, 1964
USS Taylor (DD-468) operated on Ganh Rai Bay during August 1967 and November-December 1968
USS Thomaston (LSD-28) conducted dredge lift on Saigon River during November 1964
USS Tillamook (ATA-192) [Auxiliary Ocean Tug] operated on Qui Nhon Bay during April 1965 and on Long Tau branch of Saigon River during January 1966
USS Tolovana (AO-64) sent crew ashore for beach party at Phu Quoc during May 1971
USS Tombigbee (AOG-11) [Gasoline Tanker] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Tortuga (LSD-26) [Landing Ship Dock] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Towers (DDG-9) operated on Saigon River and Rung Sat Special Zone during July 1966
USS Towhee (AGS-28) conducted sounding surveys of Vietnam coastal and inland waterways October 1967 through March 1968
USS Tripoli (LPH-10) [Landing Platform Helicopter] sent crew members ashore for beach party at Da Nang on July 29, 1967
USS Truxtun (DLGN-35) sent small boats ashore from Da Nang Harbor on June 2, 1968 and October 25, 1969
USS Turner Joy (DD-951) entered Cua Viet River channel on December 24, 1969
USS Tutuila (ARG-4) [Repair Ship] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Uhlmann (DD-687) entered Qui Nhon Bay during June 1965
USS Union (AKA/LKA-106) anchored in Hue River while conducting operations during April 1965
USS Ute (ATF-76) [Fleet Ocean Tug] conducted numerous salvaging operations on beached vessels from April 1966 through April 1971 with crewmembers going ashore and all attended beach party at Cam Ranh Bay on April 12, 1969
USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) entered mouth of Hue River during December 1965
USS Vance (DER-387) entered Qui Nhon Bay on January 20, 1966
USS Vancouver (LPD-2) [Amphibious Transport Dock] entered Qui Nhon Bay during September 11-12, 1971
USS Vancouver (LPD-9) docked to pier at Da Nang on June 19, 1971
USS Vega (AF-59) conducted resupply operations on Mekong River Delta September 13, 1966
USS Vesole (DD-878) operated on Saigon River during December 1965-February 1966
USS Vogelgesang (DD-862 ) provided gunfire support while in Thu Bong River during October 18-29, 1966
USS Vogelgesang (DD-862) anchored in Da Nang Harbor and sent 30 crewmembers ashore on August 15, 1966
USS W. A. Mann (T-AP-112) [Military Transport] entered Qui Nhon Bay August 23, 1965
USS Waddell (DDG-24) Launched a whaleboat and Captain’s GIG to shore while anchored in Da Nang Harbor on December 28, 1971
USS Waddell (DDG-24) operated on Saigon River during March 1966 and Cua Viet River during March 1967
USS Walke (DD-723) operated on Mekong River Delta during September 2, 1969
USS Walker (DD-517) operated on inland waterway near Chu Lai during April 1966, on Mekong River during May 1967, and Saigon River during December 1968
USS Walton (DE-361) travelled up Saigon River and docked in Saigon Harbor during March 1962
USS Warbler (MSC-206) [Minesweeper-Coastal] docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay July 22-25, 1964 and June 18 and July 6, 1970
USS Warrington (DD-843) operated on Mekong River Delta and Rung Sat Special Zone during March 1967
USS Weiss (APD/LPR-135) [High Speed Transport/Small Amphibious Transport] conducted inland waterway troop-landing operations with Marine and SEAL units at various locations in the Mekong River Delta, Rung Sat Special Zone, and Saigon River and routinely surveyed river mouths and canal entrances for amphibious landings from November 1965 through February 1969
USS Welch (PG-93) [Patrol Gunboat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Whetstone (LSD-27) anchored as long term “boat haven” for repairs of smaller vessels on Qui Nhon Bay during June-July 1965
USS Whetstone (LSD-27) anchored as long term “boat haven” in Da Nang Harbor for repairs of smaller vessels, with evidence of crewmembers going ashore, during April-May 1965
USS Whippoorwill (MSC-207) [Minesweeper-Ocean] entered Qui Nhon Bay repeatedly during July-August 1968
USS Whippoorwill (MSC-207) docked to pier at Cam Ranh Bay during July 22-25, 1964 March 10, 1969 July 21 and 29, August 13, and September 1, 1970
USS White River (LSMR 536) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Widgeon (MSC-208) docked repeatedly to piers at Cam Ranh Bay during July 1964 and June-July 1969
USS Wilhoite (DER-397) sent crew members onto enemy vessel in De Sey Ky River during July 16, 1965 and sent landing party ashore from Vung Tau Harbor on September 28, 1968
USS William C. Lawe (DD-763) – Operated on the mouth of the Cua Viet River on December 20, 1972
USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13) sent whaleboat ashore from Da Nang Harbor for mission briefing on August 8, 1967
USS Wiltsie (DD-716) docked in Da Nang during January 1973, with evidence of crew members going ashore
USS Wiltsie (DD-716) operated on Saigon River during July 1966
USS Wiltsie (DD-716) while operating in close coastal waters during September 1970, two officers and five sailors were sent ashore by helicopter for one night
USN Winnemucca (YTB-785) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USS Woodpecker (MSC-209) entered Qui Nhon Bay during May 1965
USS Worden (DLG-18) sent whaleboat ashore for briefing while in Da Nang Harbor on November 27, 1968
USS Wrangell (AE-12) [Auxiliary Explosive, Ammunition Ship] entered Mekong River Delta to supply ammunition for US Coast Guard vessel on November 21, 1968
AGP [Assault Group Patrol/Patrol Craft Tender] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Barracks Barge (APL-26) [Sleeping Quarters] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Barracks Barge (APL-30) [Sleeping Quarters] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-16) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-17) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-18) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-20) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
Floating Base Platform (YRBM-21) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
LCM [Landing Craft, Mechanized] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
LCU [Landing Craft, Utility] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
LCVP [Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
LST [Landing Ship, Tank] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
“Mobile Riverine Force” – vessels referred to in military records in this way are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
PBR [Patrol Boat, River] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
PCF [Patrol Craft, Fast or Swift Boat] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
STABS [Strike Assault Boats] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USN Harbor Tug 84 (YTB-84) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
USN Harbor Tug 85 (YTB-85) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing Barge] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.
WAK [Cargo Vessel] – U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with this hull designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways, during their Vietnam tours.
WHEC [High Endurance Cutter] – U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with this hull designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways, during their Vietnam tours.
WLB [Buoy Tender] – U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with this hull designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways, during their Vietnam tours.
WPB [Patrol Boat] – U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with this hull designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways, during their Vietnam tours.
YFU [Harbor Utility Craft] – vessels with this designation are associated with operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways.

In addition to its name, all US Navy and Coast Guard vessels are assigned letters and numbers, usually painted on the forward hull of the ship, that identify the ship type and the numerical order in which it was built. Ships on the above list are arranged alphabetically and then by the ship type letter designations and then numerically by hull numbers within that ship type. As an example, for the USS Ingersoll (DD-652), “DD” represents the “destroyer” ship type and the number shows that this is the 652nd destroyer built for sea service.

This list is evolving and is not complete. Therefore, the presumption of Agent Orange exposure should not be denied solely because the Veteran’s ship is not on this list.


Deepwater Horizon (2016)

The Deepwater Horizon true story reveals that the rig was located 52 miles off the coast of Venice, Louisiana. It was the largest oil rig in the world at the time and had been digging the deepest well in history, starting on the seabed at a depth of 5,000 feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico. The crew had been in the final stages of shutting down the exploratory Macondo Well located more than 18,000 feet below the surface. The find had the potential of yielding in excess of 200 million gallons of oil per year. As the film emphasizes, the Deepwater Horizon didn't pump oil. Its purpose was to dig holes looking for it and then move on. It was essentially a large boat that was floating on the water, unlike some oil rigs that are supported by stilts that reach the ocean floor. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

Had Mike Williams really been on a call with his wife just before the disaster?

Yes, but not as the disaster began. Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams had just hung up from a call with his wife when he heard the engines revving, saw the lights glowing, and heard the alarms (in the movie, his wife sees his room get brighter on a video call but in real life he was already off the call with her). Like in the Deepwater Horizon movie, his lights and computer monitor exploded. He first assumed that it was caused by an engine that might have run away. Nonetheless, he knew there would be a sizable investigation into what was going on. The rig suddenly lost power. In total darkness, he intended to proceed to the engine control room to help the engineer diagnose what was happening. He didn't make it out of the shop before the first explosion struck. -60 Minutes

Were college students fishing under the rig just before it exploded?

Yes, though they are not depicted in the movie, several students had an up close view of the catastrophe. While fishing below the rig, they noticed a powerful wave of methane gas, which burned their eyes. "It was like a freight train coming through and I just hit the gas on the boat and tried to get away from it as quick as we could," said university student Albert Andry. They got about 100 yards from the rig and had a front row seat to the disaster that was about to unfold. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

Was Mike Williams really given a dinosaur tooth to bring home to his daughter?

No. In fact-checking Deepwater Horizon, we found no evidence that a driller on the rig gave Mike Williams a dinosaur tooth to take home to his daughter Sydney. In the movie, Sydney (Stella Allen) is working on a school project about her dad, explaining how he "tames the dinosaurs" by digging for oil, which is essentially plants and animals (including dinosaurs) that have decayed and been compressed over millions of years. The "taming" of the dinosaurs is an analogy that represents the controlling (or taming) of the oil well, a beast in its own right that is under pressure and has the potential to explode. It's a nice addition that helps to explain the science while also adding to the story's human element, but it's pure fiction. -NYTimes.com

What were the first signs that told the crew something was seriously wrong?

"I heard this awful hissing noise," the real Mike Williams said during a 60 Minutes interview, "and at the height of the hiss, a huge explosion. You know, this is it, I'm gonna die right here."

Did the Deepwater explosion really engulf the entire rig in flames like in the movie?

Yes. As evidenced by both witnesses and video of the Deepwater Horizon engulfed in flames, the real-life explosion was equally as bad as what's shown in the movie. Perhaps the best witnesses were the college kids who had been fishing under the rig. After smelling methane gas and fleeing to a safe distance, they had a front row seat to the disaster. "I saw a blue spark and then the whole thing just went up in flames," said student Westley Bourg. The massive fireball consumed the entire rig. "We felt the shockwave. We felt the heat. We heard it," said Bourg's friend Dustin King. "It was the loudest thing I've ever heard in my life." Bourg said the rig exploded "six or seven times." Video of the explosions and inferno was shot by crewmembers of a nearby ship that was moving in closer to try and help. The ship eventually became a refuge for the survivors. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

What caused the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to explode?

Researching the Deepwater Horizon true story confirmed the rig suffered what in the industry is termed a "blowout," a sudden surge of oil and gas that bursts out of the well. Drilling an oil well is a lot like puncturing a balloon. An enormous amount of pressure exists in the well, ready to unleash oil and gas. The pressure must be controlled at all times. To help do this, a blowout preventer (BOP) sits on top of the well head. The BOP is a 4-story, 350-ton stack of hydraulic valves that control powerful rams that can slam tightly shut and seal off the well completely if there's a problem. If those rams and the annular preventers fail to work, the last resort is the blind shear ram, which is supposed to cleanly slice the drill pipe so that it can be sealed off. The vessel above can then safely disconnect from the well.

In the moments after the gas on the rig ignited, the crew tried to activate the BOP before abandoning ship, as Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) tries to do in the movie. However, the BOP failed to seal the well, most likely because the drill pipe inside it had buckled due to "effective compression" and was off-center when the blind shear ram attempted to cut the pipe. As a result, the pipe was only partially cut and a seal could not be made. Oil company BP later tried to blame offshore drilling contractor Transocean for failing to adequately maintain the BOP and control the well (Chemical Safety Board).

Was Mike Williams badly injured during the Deepwater Horizon explosion?

Yes. "The explosion literally rips the door from the hinges, hits, impacts me and takes me to the other side of the shop," Williams told 60 Minutes. "I began to crawl across the floor. As I got to the next door, it exploded. At that point I actually got angry, I was mad at the doors. I was mad that these fire doors that are supposed to protect me are hurtin' me." Blood ran from a head wound into his eyes. He could hardly breathe and he also had suffered injuries to his ankle and elbow. The latter rendered his left arm nearly useless as he tried to help the crew get off the ship.

Was crew captain Jimmy Harrell, portrayed by Kurt Russell, seriously injured in the disaster?

Yes. Nicknamed "Mr. Jimmy," Mike Williams recalled seeing Jimmy Harrell when he made it to the bridge after the explosions (Williams did not rescue Harrell outside his stateroom as Mark Wahlberg's character does in the movie). "He was coughing and vomiting," said Williams. "He was in pretty bad shape." Harrell was the rig's offshore installation manager (OIM). -60 Minutes

Did the lifeboats really leave without Mike Williams and the remaining crew members?

Yes. Both lifeboats that were designated to be used left without Mike Williams, the rig's captain Jimmy Harrell, and several other crew members. With about eight of them left on the bridge, they were about 20 yards from the lifeboat deck, which was down a flight of stairs. "When we get to the very last step, about eight of us, the other lifeboat starts descending," said Williams. "They had left without the captain and without knowing they had everyone who had survived all this on board." After loading a life raft and getting it into the water, it also left without them. Young technician Andrea Fleytas (portrayed by Gina Rodriguez) and another young man were stranded with Williams. -60 Minutes

Did Mike Williams really jump from an incredible height to escape the burning rig?

Yes, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg in the movie), jumped 10 stories into the Gulf of Mexico in order to escape the flames that had engulfed the rig. "I remember closin' my eyes and sayin' a prayer, asking God to tell my wife and little girl that daddy did everything he could, and if I survive this, it's for a reason. I made those three steps, and I pushed off the end of the rig. And I fell for what seemed like forever," he told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.

Once in the water, Williams described his scramble to get away from the burning oil around him. "I feel this God-awful burning all over me, and I'm thinkin' 'Am I on fire?' Ya know, I just don't know. I could tell I was floatin' in oil, so I swam. And I kicked and I swam, and I kicked and I swam as hard as I could until I remember not feeling anymore pain. And I didn't hear anything. And I thought, 'Well, I musta burned up, because I don't feel anything. I don't hear anything. I don't smell anything. I must be dead." Williams had been badly injured during the explosions, and like in the movie, was eventually hoisted into a boat, which also picked up Gina Rodriguez and then toed a life raft to safety that was about to drift under the rig.

Were Mike Williams' heroics exaggerated for the movie?

How many people lost their lives during the Deepwater Horizon explosion?

"You knew people were dying, you can't do nothing about it," said college student Westley Bourg, who had been fishing with his friends under the rig. "You saw flames shooting out the top of the derrick. Flames shootin' out the side of the rig. Nothing but flames." The true story confirms that 11 of the 126 crew members lost their lives during the April 20, 2010 blowout. The Coast Guard searched for them for two days, but the search was called off when the Deepwater Horizon succumbed to its fires and sunk to the bottom of the Gulf 5,000 feet below. Watch video of the Deepwater Horizon sinking. Miraculously, 115 crew members escaped the raging inferno. 17 were injured. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

Had BP officials really come to give the rig's crew a safety award on the day of the explosion?

Yes, despite the timing being hard to believe, this indeed happened. While fact-checking the Deepwater Horizon movie, we learned that on April 20, 2010, the day of the disaster, BP and Transocean officials showed up to give the rig's crew a safety award to celebrate seven years without a lost-time accident. In 2009, the crew had even made a hip-hop-themed music video that promoted hand safety. -WashingtonPost.com

Did survivor Caleb Holloway have the hymn words "How Great Thou Art" written on the inside of his hard hat?

Yes. Though it's not in the movie, Caleb Holloway, portrayed by Dylan O'Brien, had the words of the Christian hymn written inside his hard hat. He says that hearing the hymn triggers traumatic memories of the catastrophe. After the disaster, he heard the hymn sung at the memorial services of his coworkers (LATimes.com). Holloway was one of the few members of the drilling crew to survive the blowout, making it off the Deepwater Horizon in one of its life boats. "I felt like I was carried off of that rig by God's righteous right hand" (NYTimes.com).

Had BP executive Donald Vidrine really brushed off safety concerns?

Is BP executive Donald Vidrine, portrayed by John Malkovich, really the villain that the movie makes him out to be?

No. The movie places the blame mainly on Donald Vidrine's shoulders, but the real-life story is a little different. First off, the movie's Vidrine (John Malkovich) chalks up the bad result of the negative test to something he calls a "bladder effect." In real-life, investigations concluded that a Transocean employee who perished in the disaster was the source of the "bladder effect" hypothesis, not Vidrine. Furthermore, a report produced by BP known as the Bly Report states that before proceeding with well abandonment procedures, Vidrine spoke by phone to a BP engineer in Houston with regard to the problematic negative test. While the movie hones in on BP's Donald Vidrine as the villain, government investigations concluded that it was his BP superiors in Houston who were largely giving the orders for the crew to get work completed on the well, which was 43 days behind schedule. Donald Vidrine never testified in the federal hearings due to medical issues that his lawyer said were caused by the blowout. In the end, there was a lot of blame to go around, which was the result of several oversights and missteps made by BP, Transocean, and Halliburton. -WashingtonPost.com

After escaping the burning rig, did the survivors really gather on the deck of the Bankston and say the Lord's Prayer?

Yes, but this happened the following morning, not the night of the disaster. An assistant driller named Patrick Morgan spoke up first, "Our Father," he began. The others joined him in the Lord's Prayer to pay respect to those who had perished. The Damon B. Bankston was a 262-foot work vessel that had been moored to the Horizon. -NYTimes.com

Was the movie shot on a real oil rig out in the ocean?

No. The rig seen in the movie is an 85% scale recreation of the actual Deepwater Horizon rig. The entire rig, which was constructed using 3.2 million pounds of steel, was built inside of a giant two-and-a-half million gallon water tank. "It's one of the largest sets ever constructed in the history of film," says star Mark Wahlberg, who portrays chief electronics technician Mike Williams. The main deck sat 53 feet in the air and real instrument screens from similar oil rigs were used to recreate the bridge, in addition to real parts being used for the rigs construction. The real Mike Williams acknowledged accuracies "all the way down to the salt and pepper shakers in the galley." In addition to meticulously recreating the rig, current and former oil workers and Coast Guard members were cast in smaller roles, adding to the realism. In the end, the rig was set ablaze to recreate the explosions and inferno. -LATimes.com

Are the survivors happy with the movie?

Were divers sent down to work on containing the spill?

No, mainly for the fact that it was far too deep for divers. The well head was 5,000 feet below the surface where the pressure is 150 times that on land. "A human at that depth would be crushed to the size of a tennis ball," says Geoffrey Orsah, dean of the SMU School of Engineering. The deepest a human can dive is a little over 1,000 feet. Instead, engineers used ROVs (remote operated vehicles), which were tethered to the surface.

How many things did the BP crisis team try in order to contain the oil spewing from the well?

BP's team of scientists and engineers dubbed the "crisis team" came up with several plans to contain the spill. They first used an ROV (remote operated vehicle) to figure out where the leak was coming from. They determined that the oil was leaking out of the severed pipe attached to the top of the blowout preventer (BOP), which itself had failed to seal the well. The pipe, called a riser, had severed when the rig drifted after it lost power. Every minute at least 150 gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf. Below is a list of the strategies used to try to contain the spill. Most failed.

· Day 5: After realizing the power lines to the BOP are no longer attached, a hot stab is attempted to close the BOP valves. This involves inserting a device into the BOP to force the rams shut by injecting hydraulic fluid. The valves don't respond.

· Plans are made to drill 2 relief wells 18,000 feet down that will intersect the well and then allow concrete to be pumped into the main well to seal it off. This will take months and provides no immediate control over the surge.

· Chemical dispersants are released into the water, both from above and under the surface, including near the well head. The dispersants cause the oil to bead much like how dish detergent binds grease. It helps to break up the oil into more manageable bits, but some argue that the chemical dispersant may be just as damaging to the environment.

· Day 18: A four-story high rectangular steel dome is placed over the broken riser pipe above the well head in an attempt to create a seal with the ocean floor, trapping as much as 85% of the oil and allowing it to be siphoned to the surface. Hydrate icing around the well head prevents the seal from being made and the dome plan is scrapped.

· Day 28: A plan is enacted to thread a smaller pipe into the broken riser pipe in an attempt to siphon at least 20% of the oil directly from the leaking pipe. An estimated 84,000 gallons are siphoned from the broken riser, a daily rate they hope to increase.

· Engineers decide to try a plan known as top kill, which has proven successful in stopping runaway wells on land but has never been tried on the sea floor. It involves pumping "mud" down into the well followed by cement to seal it off. 50,000 barrels of mud (a mixture of water, clay and other minerals) are shipped in and a 30,000 hp pump engine is attached to a newly installed pipe to the Gulf floor. However, the top kill plan is halted around Day 38 of the disaster because they are having trouble forcing the mud down against the pressure of the oil coming out. The plan is abandoned two days later.

· Engineers next try a junk shot, which involves shooting debris into the blowout preventer (BOP) to clog the broken seals on the rams. The debris, or "junk," includes golf balls, tire pieces and knotted rope. All three junk shots fail. Completion of the relief wells is still months away.

· Day 44: Similar to the earlier dome cap plan above that failed, a Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) cap is lowered after the riser pipe is cut so that the cap can fit snuggly and oil can be channeled to surface ships. Methane is injected under the cap and around the well head to prevent hydrate icing, the issue that prevented the earlier dome cap from sealing with the ocean floor. The LMRP operates like a mini blowout preventer (BOP) by connecting to the riser and using a series of valves to control the flow. Placement of the LMRP is successful and helps to stop the oil from surging into the ocean.

· Day 83: The old cap is removed in preparation for a new cap to be installed on the LMRP two days later. The new cap contains a three-ram capping stack.

· Day 88: On July 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm, BP determines that the 40-ton containment device sealing cap has stopped all oil from flowing into the Gulf.

"When the technology exceeds the capabilities of the contingency plans that are in place, then you end up with the perfect storm, which is what we have today," said LSU fisheries agent Rusty Gaude during the disaster.

How much oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico?

How big was the clean-up effort?

To help battle the worst ecological disaster our nation has ever faced, millions of feet of containment boom were laid with the help of local fishermen. Ironically, the booms were stuffed with pet and human hair, which work perfectly for absorbing oil. A month after the explosion, approximately 750 vessels and 17,000 people assisted in the response. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

Was Mike Williams' 60 Minutes interview referenced at the hearings to help prove BP was accountable?

Yes. In our investigation into the Deepwater Horizon true story, we learned that during the hearings, Senator Jeff Sessions expressed his disappointment at the lack of information offered by industry witnesses, stating that the senators and congressmen had learned more from watching Williams' 60 Minutes interview.

What was the financial cost of the spill?

In addition to the spill's heavy environmental toll, its financial one has currently cost BP $53.8 billion in cleanup, fines and settlements. The company plead guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter (for the crew members who were lost), one felony count of lying to Congress, and two misdemeanors. -Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf

Drill deeper into the Deepwater Horizon true story by watching the Mike Williams interview and footage of the Deepwater Horizon burning and sinking. Also view an interview with the real Caleb Holloway, who is portrayed by Dylan O'Brien in the movie.


French Lick Springs Hotel

Taking the Waters with Franklin & Bing

The history of Southern Indiana’s French Lick and West Baden Springs hotels traces to 1778 when George Rogers Clark is said to have discovered the area’s mineral springs and salt licks. The salt licks and the supposed curative powers of the spring water combined with the idyllic landscape drew animal and human visitors from the earliest days.

The region’s reputation as a resort area began in the 1830s. By the late nineteenth century, seven rail lines brought guests from all over the U.S. to the Springs Valley to relax and take the mineral water cure.

In 1901, Thomas Taggart bought and enlarged the French Lick Springs Hotel, facing it with the trademark buff colored French Lick brick. He continued to expand it over the next 20 years, adding three six-story wings.

Taggart rose from restaurant waiter to success in politics, serving as mayor of Indianapolis, U.S. Senator, and national chairman of the Democratic Party. In the 1890s, Taggart bought his first hotel in Indianapolis. He remained a force in national Democratic politics until his death in 1929.

His charisma and marketing savvy drew an elite clientele that included Joe and Rose Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, the Reagans, John Barrymore, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, Howard Hughes and Lana Turner, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and many more.

In the luxurious Pluto Bar, guests could take a dose of Pluto Water, the hotel’s own brand of mineral water, bottled on site and sold around the world. The beverage carried the slogan “when Nature won’t, Pluto will,” a reference to the water’s powerful laxative properties. Production of Pluto Water ceased in 1971 after Lithium, one of the naturally occurring elements in Pluto Water, was classified as a controlled substance.

When Taggart bought the hotel, golf was a relatively new sport in America. He hired Thomas Bendelow to design Valley Course, which opened in 1907 and was expanded by 1910. Taggart’s son Tom later assumed the day-to-day management. The Taggarts added a second golf course in 1920 designed by the famed Donald Ross. The Hill Course hosted the PGA Championship in 1924, won by Walter Hagen.

Tom Taggart sold the French Lick Springs Hotel in 1946. Although it remained open through the following decades under several different owners, the hotel grew tired and shabby by the turn of the twenty-first century.


Aftermath

Morehouse brought the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar for salvage, and a man named Frederick Solly Flood conducted the court hearing. He jumped to the conclusion that a crime had been committed and blamed the intake of alcohol for it. Flood ordered an inspection of the ship which revealed a few interesting findings. Some sources suggest a sword was found on the deck and stains on the railing appeared to be blood. A deep mark was also discovered and was likely made by an ax.

Morehouse and his crew came under suspicion but were eventually cleared of all wrongdoing. Alas, the men received only a fraction of the salvage money they were entitled to and also remained under a cloud of controversy. Flood was convinced Morehouse and his men had something to do with the disappearance of the Mary Celeste&rsquos crew despite having no proof.


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Comments:

  1. Odin

    I am sorry, that I interrupt you, there is an offer to go on other way.

  2. Orwel

    Nicely written, I liked it.



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