COMMANDER COASTAL DIVISION
10 OCTOBER 1970
It has been much longer than I really care to admit since I've had the pleasure of writing to the families and friends of Coastal Division THIRTEEN. The last few months have been somewhat of a change of pace for all of us. Along with the other swift divisions we have been caught up in the increased training of Vietnamese Naval personnel and re-emphasis on the psychological aspects of the present conflict, "the hearts and minds" side.
In the accelerated turn-over program (ACTOV) the division has done an outstanding job in training all-Vietnamese swift crews who will shortly take over boats in Qui Nhon, which will soon become an all Vietnamese run operation, a giant step forward for the ACTOV program. There have been some rough spots at times as I'm sure you've heard, but I think I can safely say that there is not one man who has been associated with the program who is not as proud of himself as I am proud of them. All of you will notice, I think, a great deal more patience in your man than he had when he left home.
In the fields of Civic Action and Psychological Warfare (PsyOps) the division is finding a rewarding and worthwhile occupation. We have been instrumental in the pacification of Phong Thuan District, a program which has come along so well that it is now possible to contemplate building a high school for the poorer people of the area. The people of Phong Thuan are themselves contributing money and materials for a two room structure. the division as a whole is contributing money to see this worthwhile project to it end. This is but one example of the work the men of the Armed Forces in Vietnam are doing, there are presently many, many similar projects underway.
All of the boats in the division are now "armed" with "PsyOps" speakers in addition to their regular armament. These can be used to broadcast pre-recorded tapes or for Vietnamese crew member to read messages. The messages this broadcast contains information of a general nature, political information, and Chieu Hoi appeals. As a brief aside, I might mention that the Chieu Hoi (Choo-Hoy) program works by both appealing to and harassing "Charlie" until he voluntarily turns himself in to government officials, in return for which he is treated fairly, re-trained, and hopefully sent into the field against his former allies. Swift boats, working with Army and coastal group advisors, have accounted for a tremendous increase in the number of Chieu Hoi's in the last three months.
Another aspect of the PsyOps Program is the material carried aboard the boats. In our work of boarding and searching sampans we distribute our own "Care Packages" to the non-suspicious occupants. These packages consist of soap, leaflets, a Vietnamese Flag, and usually some extra food the crew is able to "scrounge up" from sources unknown to me. It never ceases to amaze me how the average american sailor can manage to get hold of so much when his Division Commander has a hard time keeping the office supplied with pencils.
With the North-East Monsoon coming up shortly, we have had to adjust our patrol schedules somewhat to try to keep the boats off the high seas as much as possible (believe me the seas are high during Monsoon!) as a result most of the boats will be deploying in the rivers of the Delta for up to a week at a time. In some cases this will mean that the usual letter load to home will drop, but please make all possible efforts to keep the cards and letters coming in as I know there isn't a man here who doesn't appreciate hearing from home.
I have attached two lists to this letter to show you how well we are doing in terms of recognition by our superiors and by their counter-parts in the Vietnamese Military. I hope this information will be well-received in case anyone is being overly modest or tardy in writing home.
Once again I would like to say what a pleasure it has been writing to the families of Coastal Division THIRTEEN. Those of us associated with these men can be proud to know and work with men who themselves have so much to be proud of. This will be my last Family-Gram as Division Commander as my tour will be completed early November. This has been an extremely interesting and rewarding tour for me as I am sure it has been for everyone. My best wishes to all of you and my hopes for a speedy reunion with loved-ones.
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The following personnel have been recommended for the following awards:
|QM1 Ronald D. Krushe||Bronze Star|
|EN3 Larry Hoffmaster||Bronze Star|
|GMG3 Chris H. Wayland||Navy Achievement|
|GMG3 Richard M. Madison||Bronze Star|
|LT Clayton G. Zucker||Bronze Star and Navy Achievement|
|EN3 Bernard Perrcult||Navy Achievement|
|BM3 Charles Richardson||Bronze Star|
|RD3 William H. Means||Navy Commendation|
|LTJG Douglas Martin||Bronze Star|
|LCDR Joseph W. Streuli||Bronze Star and Navy Achievement|
The following personnel have been recommended for the Vietnamese Navy Honor Medal First Class for their outstanding efforts in the training of Five Vietnamese Swift Boat Crews:
|BM3 Charles Richardson||GMG3 William P. Walters|
|QM2 Jerry Ashley||EN3 Larry Hoffmaster|
|QM2 Lee Hodges||EN2 Larry R. Wells|
|RD2 Craig I. Dobis|
For their efforts in the pacification of the Thanh Phu area over a period of nine months, LT Clayton G. Zucker and GMG2 Herman D. Lavinghouse have been recommended for the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
The following personnel have been authorized for advancement in rate:
|RD3 Neal A. Hirsch||GMG3 Robert D. Kadanka|
|RD3 Stephen J. Wilson||BM2 Veron G. Bear|
|QM1 Franklin Alligood||BM2 Donald H. Clemon|
|RD2 Terry L. Mason||RD2 Robert E. West|
|RD2 Arthur Spurr||GMG2 Stephen H. Johnson|
|GMG2 Michael E. Scrivner|
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