Under a Tonkin Gulf Moon

Under a Tonkin Gulf Moon

BY Dale Byhre

‘Under a Tonkin Gulf Moon’

This is my completed painting depicting US Navy ships on Yankee Station during the Vietnam War. It shows elements of Task Force 77 steaming under a full moon and broken sky in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Represented are four classes of ships commonly deployed during that time, including a vintage Essex class carrier, a Leahy class guided missile ‘frigate,’ a Forrest Sherman class destroyer and a Fram II modified Gearing class destroyer.

You will soon be able to visit my website atwww.marineartbydale.com for information regarding ordering or email me at byhres@telus.net

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USS Warrington DD-843

USS Warrington DD-843

On 15 July, USS Warrington DD-843 put into port at Danang briefly and then headed for the coast of North Vietnam to participate in Operation “Linebacker.” On 16 July, she relieved Hamner (DD-718) of “Linebacker” duty and began her primary blockade and interdiction mission—the destruction of North Vietnamese small craft and observation of communist Chinese merchant shipping. The following morning, while operating in company with Hull(DD-945) and Robison (DDG-12), Warrington came under the rapid and heavy fire of enemy shore batteries; but she took prompt evasive action and avoided damage.

Struck by an underwater explosion

That same afternoon, however, luck abandoned her. At 1316, two underwater explosions close aboard her port side rocked the destroyer.[1] She suffered severe damage in her after fireroom, after engine room, and in the main control room. Her crew rose to the occasion, and their efforts enabled her to retire from the area at 10 knots. Hull maneuvered alongside to transfer repair personnel, pumps, and shoring equipment to Warrington to address continuing flooding. Before returning to her station , Hull also transferred feedwater to help maintain boiler operation, along with several movies for the slow trip. Later, the damage forced her to shut down her propulsion plant and ask Robison for a tow.

Through the night of 17 and 18 July, her crew struggled against flooding caused by ruptured fuel oil and freshwater tanks, but she remained afloat the next morning when Robison turned her over to Reclaimer (ARS-42) for the first leg of the trip to Subic Bay. Tawakoni (ATF-114) took over from Reclaimer on the 20th and towed Warrington safely into Subic Bay on the 24th. Throughout the six-day voyage, Warrington’s ship’s company worked magnificently to keep their ship afloat. Around 1 December 1972, the Navy announced that Warrington had struck two American Mark 36 mines after finding fragments of a specific fuse on the ship. At the time, officials speculated that the mines had been jettisoned from an aircraft, but apparently, the location had not recorded to warn ships of the location.[3] According to the account of a retired chief mineman, who worked at Naval Magazine Subic Bay converting Mk 82 bombs to Mk 36 mines during that time period, the ship disregarded warning messages and entered a known area where aircraft jettisoned bombs and mines.

Unfit for further Naval service

For a month after her arrival, Warrington received the special attention of the ship repair facility at Subic Bay to improve her habitability and ensure watertight integrity. However, at the end of August, a board of inspection and survey found her to be unfit for further naval service. Accordingly, on 30 September 1972, Warrington was decommissioned at Subic Bay, and her name was struck from the Navy list. On 24 April 1973, she was sold to the Taiwan Navy for cannibalization and scrapping.

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The Battle of Dong Hoi Gulf.

Striking Eight Bells: A Vietnam Memoir

In April of 1972, along the coast of North Vietnam the Dong Hoi Gulf was a unique and active area. The coastline was mountainous and Highway 1 went through a pass very near to the Gulf of Tonkin. There was the point south of Brandon Bay where the highway could be attacked by naval forces and naval gunfire. It was in this place on April 19, where North Vietnamese MIG aircraft attacked U.S. Navy destroyers in what was known as the Battle of Dong Hoi Gulf. In that battle, one destroyer, the USS Higbee (DD 806), suffered damage from a bomb hit and the USS Sterrett (DLG 31), a guided missile destroyer, shot down two MIGs with her Terrier missiles. On the Higbee no one was killed, but four sailors were injured. Fortunately, the ship had just evacuated the gun mount due to a misfire and no one was inside.

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Why do older people move so slow???

theleansubmariner

Why do old people move so slow?

I am fully prepared to get blasted from both the young and the old that read this post. But as I pass another milestone in less than a month, the question has bothered me a bit and I have sought to find an answer.  Perhaps it has puzzled you as well?

You see it every day in all walks of life. Driving down the highway, a line of cars will suddenly appear in front of you for no particular reason. You were cruising along at traffic speed (which typically is about 15 miles above the speed limit) and you find yourself punching for the breaks, perhaps with a small curse on your lips. Its a two lane winding road and there doesn’t seem to be any escape from this slowly moving mobile impediment to progress. Finally, the road in front of you dips…

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Wishful Drinkin’

Wishful Drinkin’

By Garland Davis

I took a little literary license and rewrote Waylon Jennings’ Drinkin’ and Dreamin’. I call it Wishful Drinkin’.

Verse 1:

My shipmates looking for a way out

I’m looking for a way back in

I’ve been wasting my time, standing in line

What civvy street is all about

 

Verse 2:

All I’ve got is a world that I don’t like

And girlfriends that don’t understand

So tonight, in a bar, I’ll go aboard my ship

And sail off for a fairer land

 

Chorus:

Drinkin’ and dreamin’, Knowing Damn well I won’t go

I’ll Never see Hong Kong again, or ol’ Olongapo

But here at this table, I’ll just put it out of my mind

Drink til I’m sailing just half a world out of my mind

 

Verse 3:

This suit and this tie, they just don’t fit me

Like thirteen buttons do

Some were born to be tied to the land

My kind was just born to be free

 

Verse 4:

When I look toward the horizon

How I can feel it again

The shore has me but my true heart and soul

Are in the sea riding the wind

R

epeat Chorus

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Patriots’ Day

Patriots’ Day

Today is Patriots Day in the USA.

Patriot’s Day commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, which were fought near Boston in 1775. Patriot’s Day is annually held on the third Monday of April.

For veterans, I would say that every day is Patriots Day!

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Asia Sailors and a Marmont Pool Party

Asia Sailors and a Marmont Pool Party

By Cort Willoughby as told to Garland Davis

Some recent events in a couple of Facebook groups brought to mind an event that happened in Subic. Basically, it ended up with some member of the groups being told, “If you don’t like what we are doing here, get the fuck out and shut up. It reminded me of a story of USS Parsons and a Captain who shall remain nameless.

Obviously, Subic was part of the story. We had a group of rooms at the Marmont for the week or whatever amount of time it was. This was back when the Marmont was new. The incoming C.O. of the Ammunition Depot was staying there with his family. We mostly spent our time in the Barrio at Traveler’s Inn, the Marmot pool, or at Marilyn’s in Subic City. The Captain and his family barely tolerated us.

Well, his teenaged son would sneak away and meet some of the younger guys at Traveler’s for a drink and to meet with the girls. One night we were having a pretty wild pool party and some participants were involved with getting underwater blow jobs. The Captain’s kid got an underwater hummer and went to the family’s room a bit tipsy.

The Ammo Depot C.O. wasn’t there but his wife came down and began chastising one of our shipmates, who shall also remain nameless. The wife’s rant ended with a loud, “God will get you for this!”

Our shipmate responded with, “Yea God. Fuck you!”

That statement was heard round Subic Bay where all Asia Sailors congregate and, especially, in the Parson C.O.’s Cabin the next morning when the incoming C.O. of the Ammo Depot paid a visit to our Captain.

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