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tv   The American Navy in Vietnam  CSPAN  September 16, 2017 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT

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1967, nearly 500,000 u.s. forces were serving in vietnam and 11,000 americans died. of the next on reel america, a needy film from the ear. "the american navy in vietnam," the film describes aircraft carrier-based helicopter and fighter jet strikes, swift boat patrols, amphibious marine landing, medical and community eight, and construction by navy engineers. dawn, somewhere deep within the river delta, a vietnamese river assault group moves against the viet cong. with it goes an american navy lieutenant. he serves in a guerrilla war of seek and destroy.
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yet here far from destroyer, an is thet carrier, he american navy in vietnam. on station somewhere in the south china sea, another more familiar view of the american navy in vietnam. the kitty hawk, second largest of u.s. attack carriers turns in the wind to launch its airborne strike force. away along the coast, of the units of the u.s. seventh fleet take careful aim, on call from troops fighting a short and place supporting fire on viet cong concentrations. farther south, another kind of arms strength prepares to go ashore. the most effective names known for gaining and holding a piece of ground. the individual fighting man, the united states marine.
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>> can i help you sir? >> in saigon, a navy chief works at a different kind of job. less glamorous, but vitally important. behind the guns and planes and fighting men is a staff of navy, army, and air force personnel who administer support activities for allied forces throughout the country. >> [laughter] >> here. >> east of saigon at a small village near the coast, these men have gone beyond their basic mission of military action to launch an equally important campaign of civic action. on other side of the american navy in vietnam. to these men, they work on projects which will result in civic achievement. it is just as important as the work their shipmates do in more
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conventional naval surroundings. for most of us, this is the united states navy. the aircraft carrier, the cruiser them and destroyer. the modern deepwater navy extending american strength across the oceans of the world. but in vietnam the american navy has done an unprecedented variety of different jobs. it has held command responsibility for all support activities. with the army and has been advisor to the south vietnamese and has sent the marines to fight the land war. with the air force it flies the planes that provide airpower. and with civilian agencies it pursues a vigorous program of civic action. these are the all-around capabilities demonstrated by a modern versatile naval force in action. the american navy in vietnam.
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♪ >> july, 1964. off the coast of vietnam, the
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u.s. seventh fleet troll the waters of the south china sea. to help the people of south vietnam defend themselves against an armed communist takeover, the united states and other countries have begun a flow of economic, technical, and financial aid. a joint civilian military effort to build a stronger nation. but dedicated south vietnamese navy is hard at work to deny the use of reverse on coastal waters as supply routes from the viet cong. to bring knowledge of new techniques which can increase efficiency, a u.s. military assistance command has been established. navy advisors work with the vietnamese and help in many phases of training. states heavy support quarters activity has been established in saigon. already in mid-1964 the american navy is in vietnam.
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at the end of july 1964 the united states military assistance command reports an increase in viet cong courses in -- viet cong forces in south vietnam. the navy's role in vietnam suddenly expands. ♪ on august 2, the united states addoxdestroyer metrics -- m begins to track three unknown craft approaching from the northwest. they are identified as north vietnamese boats armed with 37 millimeter guns. when morning failed to stop the upcoming pt boats, she open fire. the attack probes the united states to strengthen its really defense capabilities. >> the destroyer was carrying out a patrol in those waters in international waters when it was attacked.
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a reply to the attack. continued to carry out its mission today and will do so in the same week. the president has asked the destroyer force be doubled. with air patrol at all times on call to it. he has issued instructions that in the event of a further attack upon our vessel in international waters, we are to respond with the objective of destroying the attackers. narrator: the maddox resumes its patrol. the next night the men on watch again detect unidentified contacts on radar. the attack from the north vietnamese boats is renewed. after a three-hour running battle in which two of the pt boats are sunk, the attackers break contact. >> my fellow americans, as president and commander in chief, it is my duty to the american people to report that
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renewed hostile actions against the united states ships on the high seas in the gulf of tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the states to take action in states to take action in reply. the performance of commanders and cruise in this engagement is in the highest this engagement s in the highest position of the united states navy, but repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the united states must be met not only with alert defense, but with positive reply. narrator: by the end of march, 1965, air operations on navy carriers in the south china sea are underweight on a daily basis. -- underway on a daily basis.
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in march and integrated marine corps effort three marines land in the name. later on the peninsula. , the allied forces fight to turn the tide of conflict from the retreating defense against guerrilla attacks to an offensive strategy designed to defeat the viet cong. 1965 the united states navy with its ability to move quickly on short notice is called upon to reinforce the united states position. 1965in a short time sense the n gulf incident, american naval power rapidly expands from a supporting role to a full-fledged naval task force. embodied in the forces of the united states seventh fleet is almost every facet of modern naval power. cruisers like the uss canberra are built for fast speeds and
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long endurance. the destroyer, indispensable to any naval action, is the workhorse of the fleet. the uss bainbridge, a destroyer leader, is largest of the destroyer class. the world's first nuclear powered guided missile frigate. both cruisers and destroyers, in addition to their traditional deep water rolls, have been called upon to play a special role in vietnam. >>. tacoma this is gamma 2 6 charlie. --get number 206 bearing 1,3 narrator: whenever the need arises, ships in the seventh arises, ships in the seventh fleet arrived on the coast of vietnam. take directions from a spotter who is in visual contact with the enemy. over.e for effect,
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>>[explosions] narrator: over. this is naval gunfire support. a mobile source of big gun reinforcement for friendly troops ashore. meanwhile understanding farther offshore is the heart of the fighting fleet. theietnam, as never before, aircraft carrier has proven her worth. from the huge kitty hawk to the even larger nuclear powered enterprise, the navy's attack carriers have this is naval gune support. held the balance of power. >> standby. a1. a3. >> stand clear of the jet intake exhaust on a4. >> a6. a1 and a3. fast, mobile, independent of political boundaries and agreements, the carrier can ready her flight deck on notice, launch as required. the modern attack carrier is a
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coordinated organization of complex pieces of hardware and of hundreds of men who make the hardware work. >> roger. narrator: from yeoman to work traditional drugs through work traditional drugs through naval -- traditional jobs throughout naval ships throughout the world. other men must master knew her skills required by newer technologies. in the confident permissions enter equipped with the latest center,t communications a complete picture of the surrounding tactical situation is kept up to the minute by sophisticated electronic and computerized systems. home plate over.
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narrator: in other spaces and components the carrier plate ov. narrator: in other spaces and components the carrier is equipped to carry anything from a coffee pot to complex avionics gear. >> this is seven delta. 14.ill be running route there should be automatic weapons along the route. there is some artillery fire north. narrator: in a sense, the final response ability for the success of the carrier's mission rests with a small group of men whose job is to master the mission of a million dollar for the machine, the modern jet aircraft. >> everybody get your radios and data on the board and he will be ready to man them. narrator: the carrier's primary mission is to put these men and their planes in the air and on target. the mix of fighters, attack aircraft, and reconnaissance
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planes extends the carrier's strength for hundreds of miles. they seek out the enemy's strong points and selectively place striking power on targets where it will be most effective.
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enemy supplyin the year since w, amphibious landing techniques have been refined, modernized, and speeded up. in vietnam, amphibious assaults by the seventh fleet have many strongholds along the coast. it is typical of the cooperative effort in vietnam that in this operation, a navy amphibious ship provides a landing platform and fresh ammunition for army helicopters which will provide airport -- air support for soldiers and marines onshore.
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one of the newest concepts in warfare is built around the amphibious assault ship, a completely equipped helicopter base with complete facilities for the service and control of an airborne assault. >> control, this is bravo eight-1. fighter 16, 101-4. over. >> bravo 8-1, this is clearwater. 8-1, roger out. narrator: introduction of the helicopter to amphibious operations has precipitated the greatest single taxable innovation since the single oral -- single technical innovation since the first world war.
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marines are swiftly airlifted to land behind enemy positions while the rest of the force also the beach. -- forces assaults the beach. completion of the mission is within the navy marine, the most competent means of extending inland. completion of theit may be thatl thing about the american navy in vietnam is the fact that it has played such an important role in vietnam. while itof the navy, has carried out a wide range of alsonments at sea, has also contributed heavily to the effort along the coast, in the rivers and onshore. one of the most important jobs is the continuing patrol of vietnamese coastal waters. airborne patrols are flown day and night around the clock to to
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ensure against infiltration of supplies and ammunition from the north. >> this is bluebird, 30. romeo, 736. >> request units investigate. >> roger out. >> suspicious contact report sir. narrator: in saigon at the command center of u.s. naval forces vietnam, naval activities throughout the country are coordinated. >> bluebird, 30 aircraft has a suspicious contact in the restricted zone. narrator: one of the major efforts of this command is operation market time, the navy's name for the important task of coastal surveillance. >> we have a destroyer in the area. i recommend we send the destroyer to investigate this contact. narrator: in this case a
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destroyer escort is assigned to examine a spacious contact reported by air patrol. -- suspicious contract reported by air patrol. vietnamese navy liaison officers are assigned to each chip, check identity papers and cargo manifests. supply does not hold viet cong guns and a munitions, hulls are inspected. each day brings thousands of fishing ships to the coastal waters of vietnam. the enormous task of operation market time is to guard against the use of normal market activity as a cover for smuggling and infiltration by the vietcong. in addition to destroyers and minesweepers, market time patrols are conducted by high-speed patrol craft called swift boats, and by covers of the united states coast guard, crews crews are experienced in this kind of work. one of the newest additions to
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the natural efforts in vietnam pbr, a 31 foot plastic hull water jet propelled craft designed for high-speed operation in very shallow water. quiet and highly maneuverable, it is used in operation game warden, whose mission is to prohibit all viet cong movement in the river delta. pbr, a 31 foot plasticpatrols along the coast e coordinated with the vietnamese navy through its regional centers,urveillance just as naval activities at all levels are coordinated between american and vietnamese. had course for vietnamese assault group 25. here and at other bases throughout the countries, men of the advisory group provide one of the most important roles of the american navy in vietnam.
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side-by-side with his vietnamese counterpart, the american advisor hopes to fulfill the mission of the river assault ny hiding places to the vietcong. >> keep a careful eye on this area for the next couple nights. a typical operation begins shortly after midnight, as troops load aboard the assault forc -- assault boats. by the next morning, the assault group, which has moved several miles of river to close with the viet cong force, launches its attack. >> [gunfire]
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narrator: in terms of numbers, these men who ride the river assault boats are few. in terms of navy commitment, their contribution is great. a junk for space in the delta near a small fishing village, a another naval adviser works day in and day out with the men of vietnamese coastal group 37. with his counterpart, the base commander, he takes part in every phase of the daily routine. okay?ers all narrator: together they carry out the daily patrols against
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the infiltration of vietcong supplies along the river waterways. care care -- together they shae the meals. together they relax when time permits, discuss their work, and the small matters of personal concern which often seem significant, but help to bridge the gap between their two widely separated worlds. other advisors at the vietnamese naval shipyard in saigon put their experience and skills to work, contribute their knowledge of improved shipbuilding techniques and new construction materials. developed procedures to help increase shipyard efficiency.
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at da nang, from the delta to the highlands, the naval construction experts are at work on a wide variety of vital projects. often working behind the scenes, they don't make headlines. but without the things they do make, the headlines might never appear. from airfields and runs to hospitals and storage depots, the construction battalions moved from project to project, pursuing the a consummate of their motto "can do." ♪ in addition, the navy also staffs the oicc, officer in charge of construction, which supervises civilian contractors in the largest single construction program. the oicc plans and builds military facilities throughout the country. at saigon, the navy has
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established the major medical facility for the united states and allied personnel. the quality of medical service in vietnam has reduced mortality from battlefield casualties to an unprecedented low. 1965, the in country support activity has grown into the navy's largest single overseas short command. and buying june the 19th of the as, -- 1966, it is serving chauffeur, mechanic, administrator, electrician, policeman. that is providing electric power, warehouse facilities, operating an airline, and providing other services for thousands of policeman. allied personnel. to the north at the port city of
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, another u.s. naval support activity has been growing rapidly. these facilities, which will meet the demands of an expanded logistics support operation, include provisions for another large naval hospital. while the officers and men of the navy and marine corps who serve onshore, the campaign in vietnam is not only military in nature. seabee technical assistance teams have helped with scores of civilian projects which will help improve conditions for the south vietnamese people. roads, bridges, security hamlets to protect from viet cong terrorism. clinics conducted by navy doctors have brought medical treatment and supplies to areas where they might otherwise never have been. from people to people projects of many kinds, these men are working to win the confidence and restore the hopes of the vietnamese through joint civilian military action.
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this too is the american navy in vietnam. in terms of the variety and scope of the experience, vietnam has already written a new chapter in the annals of naval history. never before has the potential of a navy marine team has been so fully realized. and yet one important thing remains unchanged, the success effort will rely as it always has on the x of the individual man. -- acts of the individual man. whatever credit is due will rest with the thousands of individual men who stand behind the relyaft,
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as it always has on the x of the individual man. -- boats rifles, from the delta to the south china sea. and whether he serves ashore or in the rivers and coastal waters, at sea or in the skies above, he will shoulder the responsibility for final success or failure, and he will be the one to make the needed sacrifice. and it is important to remember that no matter what or where his duty, key is the navy's greatest single asset, the individual man. this is the american navy in vietnam, moving quickly where and when needed. displaying the flexibility of modern sea power. controlling the seas. extending its influence on land. and holding superiority in the air. peace,-way force for meeting aggression at any spot on the globe. ♪ >> interested in american
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