What is a Swift Boat's capacity?
On a night Market Time patrol on 23 May 1966, PCF 61, out of Qui Nhon, sighted a fifty-foot junk off the coast of South Vietnam, near Song Cau. Approaching for routine inspection, the Swift found the junk to be greatly overloaded with passengers and in the process of swamping from the weight, high winds and heavy seas. An attempt to take it in tow was unlikely to succeed. The Officer-in-Charge of PCF 61, LTJG James H. Franklin III, went alongside and embarked 157 Vietnamese passengers aboard his fifty-foot craft. The junk sank shortly after the last passenger was taken aboard. Due to the prompt and effective action by the crew of PCF 61 no lives were lost in the incident. The Swift, with 157 passengers and her crew of 6, proceeded to a U.S. Navy warship in the area, USS Vance (DER 387), to which she transferred the passengers. It was later learned that the people were refugees from Song Cau, Phy Yen District, who put to sea in the junk in order to escape the Viet Cong. They were attempting to reach Tuy Hoa and Nha Trang. The USS Vance debarked them at Qui Nhon, where they were turned over to Vietnamese authorities for transportation to their destination.
Story quoted from a "Letter of Commendation", dated 6 July 1966, from Commander Boat Squadron One, to the crew of PCF 61.
Story donated by Andrew S. Miller, RM3
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This page was last updated: August 26, 2013 at 10:58