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Author Topic: 1966, July 1 - PT Boat Incident  (Read 9509 times)
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Chuck White
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2014, 00:28:31 AM »

Attention all:  the web page has been updated with the help of John Kowalewski who has submitted photos and an article of his observations.

http://www.uss-king.com/ptboat1966.shtml
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Chuck White 1963-1967
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Chuck White
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2006, 02:32:49 AM »

Thanks to Mark Donovan's hard research work, the results can be read here.
http://www.uss-king.com/ptboat1966.shtml
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 19:31:40 PM »

Yesterday I pulled the deck logs for the 4 ships involved, the USS KING (DLG-10), the USS COONTZ (DLG-9), The USS GURKE (DD-783), and the USS ROGERS (DD-876). Most of the questions are answered by these logs and the detailed course of events will be coming soon.

In the meantime, here's a teaser!
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Chuck White
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2006, 15:30:11 PM »

A video clip is available here, taken by Dave Nesbitt.  Everything was not over when it was taken, Capt Tesh put the ship back to GQ and then both Coontz and King went back and started rescuing/capturing survivors,

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« Last Edit: May 03, 2006, 15:50:32 PM by Chuck W » Logged

Chuck White 1963-1967
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2006, 22:13:10 PM »

I have included a link here to Don Dodsons account from the standpoint of the USS Coontz (DLG-9) for discussion purposes.

http://uss-king.com/ptboat-dlg9.shtml

Also from the Naval Historical Center - USS Constellation (CV-64)

http://www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy_hr.asp?id=69

Constellation returned 1 February 1965. Her crew was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for actions in the Gulf of Tonkin. Constellation again deployed to the western Pacific from her home of San Diego on 12 May 1966 with Carrier Air Wing 15. On 1 July, three North Vietnam torpedo boats came out to attack USS Coontz (DLG 9) and USS Rogers (DD 876) operating about 40 miles off shore on search and rescue missions. Aircraft from Constellation and USS Hancock (CVA 19) made short work of the attackers, sinking all three with bombs, rockets, and 20mm cannon fire. After the attack, Coontz pulled 19 survivors from the water. Constellation returned from the WESTPAC deployment on 3 December 1966.

Also From the USS Boyd (DD-544) Bulletin board at Tin Can Sailors

http://board.destroyers.org/cgi-bin/tcs-544-bb.cgi?read=201

Also from

United States Naval Operations Vietnam Highlights; (No.10) July 1966

Produced by Naval History Division, Washington DC

http://www.mrfa2.org/MRFA%20'Highlights'%20copies/mrfa-10/high-10.htm
Air Operations

On 1 July, Hancock and Constellation were at Yankee Station, and Oriskany was at Dixie. Aircraft from Yankee CVA's hit POL storage areas in the Hanoi/Haiphong complex for the third consecutive day. At Dong Nham, 13 miles northwest of Haiphong, 15 naval aircraft destroyed seven POL tanks and four support buildings.

On the same day, an F-4 BARCAP sighted three high speed surface contacts closing three U.S. destroyers on SAR station in the Gulf of Tonkin. The northern SAR commander in Coontz (DLG 9) was notified, and air support was requested. The targets, identified as PT boats, were taken under attack by two F-4s, four A-4s and two A-6s from Constellation All boats were sunk. One F-4 was damaged, but all planes returned safely to base.

Also from Destroyer Museum website


The first day of 1965 found Gurke with Task Group 77.7 in the South China Sea. Long hours were spent on station, plane-guarding for attack carriers Ranger (CVA 61) and Hancock (CVA-19). As the Vietnam conflict became "hot" in late January she served as one of the escorts for an amphibious task group in the vicinity of Da Nang, South Vietnam. Long stretches at sea with fast carriers were punctuated by liberty calls at Subic Bay and Hong Kong. On 20 April 1966 the destroyer sailed in company with Ranger (CVA-61) for return to San Diego, 7 May 1966. The remainder of the year was filled with a rapid succession of coastwise training exercises ranging north to Seattle, which continued until she sailed for the western Pacific 12 May 1966. After visiting Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines, Gurke was stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin late in June for search and rescue duty. On 1 July three North Vietnamese PT boats were detected 11 miles away from Gurke and three sister destroyers and closing at high speed. Fighter aircraft from Constellation intercepted the raiders and sank all three within minutes. The destroyers picked up 19 survivors for questioning.

and from USS Gurke website
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 23:34:57 PM by Chuck White » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2006, 18:18:58 PM »

Then I will definitely ask them to declassify the Coontz's deck logs for that date as well as our deck logs. That should give us an accurate picture as well as explain what happened to the diamond formation!

Do we have any way to verify which carrier supplied air support? I'm leaning towards the Constellation as referenced on the USN website, but then again they referred to the Coontz as DLG-8.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2006, 12:21:32 PM »

I do not recall the USS Rogers being present on the day of the event or any other day while we were at PIRAZ. North SAR or PIRAZ was a lonely place to be. The day we got there, the only other ship present was USS Coontz. I think that when Tom Mealey said that we tried to get into a Diamond Formation, he meant that Coontz was to take a station off our port or Starboard Quarter. This would allow a two gun (5"54) coverage forward. Instead Coontz fell in dead astern. The whole thing was over before it really had a chance to begin.

It will be interesting when we have access to the Deck Logs for that date and can verify the facts.
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 13:52:51 PM »

another possibility would be DD950 USS Richard S Edwards.   I also just found the following: from

http://www.history.navy.mil/seairland/chap3.htm


In what seemed a replay of the August 1964 attack on Maddox, on 1 July 1966 an F-4B pilot on combat air patrol spotted three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats making for guided missile frigate Coontz (DLG-8) and destroyer Rogers (DD 876). The American ships then steamed at the North SAR Station 55 miles east of Haiphong. Within 30 minutes of the sighting, around 1600 local time, Phantom IIs from Constellation began a rocket, bomb, and gun attack on the boats. The North Vietnamese ineffectually launched torpedoes against the ships, then 10 miles away, and turned for home. Hancock aircraft soon joined the fray, sinking all three enemy craft. The destroyers rescued 19 North Vietnamese Navy survivors who were interned in Danang and then returned to their homeland in 1967 and 1968 in exchange for U.S. prisoners.
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Chuck White 1963-1967
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 12:37:21 PM »

Tom Mealey's account makes reference to an attempt to form a diamond formations, so I would think there should have been a couple of tin cans there along with us and the Coontz. He also mentioned that it was the Oriskany's aircraft that came in and attacked the PT boats.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 12:29:56 PM »

The other ships involved were the USS Constellation (CVA-64) - air support and the USS Coontz (DLG-9).  I don't know of anyone else.
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 10:39:53 AM »

This is a key event that I will be researching at the National Archives. I would also like to know what other ships were there so I can get their deck logs as well.
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« on: February 15, 2006, 17:39:29 PM »

This discussion will focus on what went on onboard the King and who was involved, the rescue, the motor whaleboat. 

See Tom Mealey's account here http://uss-king.com/ptboat1966.shtml
« Last Edit: February 17, 2006, 13:35:18 PM by C W White » Logged

Chuck White 1963-1967
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