SWIFT FAMILY GRAM
This is the second in a series of FAMILY GRAMS from Coastal Division THIRTEEN to keep you, the families and friends back home, informed of the happenings and interesting occurrences here in Cat Lo, Republic of Vietnam.
Since the last FAMILY GRAM published in February, COSDIV 13 has been actively engaged with the continuance of Operation Sea Lords in the Mekong Delta area of the Republic of Vietnam. Due to the high tempo of operations, new inputs to Cat Lo are being received from the Northern divisions and not from PCF School, Coronado. This policy affords the division the luxury of obtaining experienced crews with at least 3 months petrol time behind them prior to reporting to Cat Lo.
During the latter part of March and early April, four crews from Coastal Division THIRTEEN took part in Operation Silver Mace II in the Ca Mau Peninsulas. This operation is the first step in establishing an allied presence in an area long held by the enemy.
In the past few months, the PCFs of this division have discontinued patrols of the Soirap and returned responsibility of this area to the PBRs. However, we still remain in the Co Chien River and Ham Loung River as well as continuing our 24 hour patrols of the coastal areas in and around Cat Lo.
In addition to regular patrols, the Black Cats continue to conduct special operations along the coast and in the rivers of the Mekong Delta as a part of the Navy's highly successful Operation Sea Lords. The evolution of Sea Lords has come a long way from its initial stages. What started out as shallow probes into various rivers has now developed to a point where PCFs are almost daily carrying large numbers of ARVN troops into various areas to conduct sweeps in enemy held territory.
The month of May, long awaited by PCF crewmembers, has finally arrived and with it has come the Southwest Monsoon and the rainy season. After six months of high winds, bad seas and dry weather we can now look forward to 5-6 months of fairly calm seas. The Northeast Monsoon, dreaded by anyone who has ever ridden a PCF because of the rough seas encountered, will not return till late October. This will make patrolling and long transits more effective and a great deal more comfortable.
On May 9th Captain R.F. HOFFMAN was relieved as Commander Coastal Surveillance Forces Vietnam by Commander NICHOLSON at the United States Naval Facility, Cam Rahn Bay. During his one year tour, Captain HOFFMAN successfully changed the entire concept of Operation Market Time, changing it from a passive surveillance force to an active fighting force, carrying troops, providing gunfire support besides continuing the everyday job of Market Time surveillance.
During the past few weeks the division welcomed 21 Vietnamese seaman for integration into the division for training on board PCFs. This is the first step in turning over the responsibility of the war effort to the Vietnamese Navy. The initial indications of the program indicate that it should be highly successful.
The large scale building and improvement program here at Cat Lo continues to progress. In mid-March the division moved out of its old quonset hut office into a building along with the Coast Guard Division 13. In late April the Bachelor Officers Quarters was completed and a brand new enlisted barracks for PCF personnel was completed in early May and the completed their moves by 28 May. The additional space in the new quarters is welcomed by all hands and is a tremendous improvement over the old quarters. The Enlisted Mens Club is currently undergoing renovation and is due to be completed very shortly. The 1st and 2nd Class Petty Officers Club has just completed its renovation and is open and providing a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for the men during their few off duty hours.
The following is a list of awards received by members of the division since mid-February:
|Bronze Star||Navy Commendation|
|LT Current||LT Hart||EN3 Clark||BM3 Billiot|
|LTJG Emery||LT Erickson||QM2 Russell||RD2 Kerestenyi|
|GMG3 Gorman||RD2 Inabnett||GMG3 Baca|
|BM2 Pank||QM2 Johnson||QM2 Agee|
|GMG3 Rose||EN2 Babst||RD2 Frantsen|
|Navy Achievement||Purple Heart|
|LT D'Amico||LTJG Emery||QM3 Kittle||QM2 Coyle|
|ENS Martin||LT Menikheim||GMGSN Gardner||EN2 Yoas|
|QMSN Bridgewater||LTJG Pfeifer||BM3 Neal||QM1 Hodges|
|LTJG O'Grady||BM3 Rearick||GMG3 Walters|
|LTJG Holleran||RDSN Hale||EN2 Jorgenson|
|ENS W.C. Martin||RD3 Lloyd||RD3 Osborne|
|RDSN Cott||EN2 Blakely|
In addition, 27 separate message commendations were received from our superiors addressed to a total of 66 crews.
That is about all the general news for this time. If you find the SWIFT FAMILY GRAM to be of interest, we would appreciate your letting your man in Cat Lo know. We will continue to publish the SWIFT FAMILY GRAM about once every 4 months.
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This page was last updated on: January 02, 2006 at 02:56 PM