FIRST “WESTPAC” AND

VIETNAM EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (VEF) DEPLOYMENT

(Vietnam History)

(19 September 1960 to 11 December 1961)

CHAPTER XVII

 

Vietnam History

 

Vietnam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Ref. 56

 

     “France occupied all of Vietnam by 1884, ruling it as a colony as a part of Indochina, until expelled by Japan in World War II, After the war, France, with the collaboration of the United States, attempted to regain control of the country, but Nationalist forces, that had originally fought against the Japanese invasion, declared independence. The French were defeated in 1954 by Vietnamese Alliance Parties (Vię̣t Nam Đồng Minh Hội), notably in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. With the French defeat in the battle and its surrender the First Indochina War (1946-1954) came to an end. On 20 July 1954, the Geneva Treaty was signed by French and Vietnamese representatives. Vietnam was partitioned, ostensibly temporarily, into northern and southern zones, with a general election to be held in June 1956 (Art. 3), and the prohibition of introducing foreign troops (Art. 4). The partition forced about two million North Vietnamese to migrate to the South as the communist north began impose severe rules to implement radical land reforms and applied socialist communism” (Ref. 56).

 

South Vietnam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Ref. 57

 

    “The Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Cộng Hňa), also known as South Vietnam, was created by the partition of Vietnam in 1954 after the defeat of France at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. South Vietnam's capital was Saigon and it was ruled by an anti-Communist government” (Ref. 57).

 

     Backed by the United States, the southern government headed by Ngo Dinh Diem refused to open consultation with the North Vietnamese concerning general elections when the date for these fell due in July 1955. (verbatim from the Pentagon Papers) on grounds that Ho Chi Minh will have a significant support in the north, basically because they tried to implement a massive agrarian reform that result in over one million people left North Vietnam to resettle in the South to avoid persecution and blood shed. The communist party encouraged poor peasants gaining ownerships of the land by putting all the landlords on public trials and executions. The South refused to abide to the Geneva Conference was declared a Republic, because, under Ho Chi Minh and his government, North Vietnamese people did not have freedom to choose and decide their votes. This move was followed by the declaration on North Vietnam as a country by Ho Chi Minh, backed by U.S.S.R. and China. Economic and military aid from the United States to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government” (Ref. 56).

 

North Vietnam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Ref. 58

 

    “The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hňa), also known as North Vietnam was created by the partition of Vietnam in 1954 after the defeat of France at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Viet Minh took control of North Vietnam on October 11, 1954” (Ref. 58).

 

    “Following the Pathet Lao capture of strategic positions on the central plain of Laos, Seventh Fleet forces consisting of USS Bennington (CVS-20), and an amphibious force, USS Lexington (CVA-16) and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) were ordered to the South China Sea” (Ref. 35).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked (tail code NL) departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 19 September 1960, on her first “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, her first South China Sea deployment, on her first Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployment, with Captain James S. Gray Jr., a former XO of the ship, in command. Prior to her deployment she conducted local operations off and training with CVG-15 embarked off the southern California coast, August to September 1960, recording the 1,000th and 2,000th landing since her conversion and recommissioning in mid August 1960, upon the completion of a six-week post-conversion availability at Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, Bremerton, Wa., arriving on 7 July 1960, while prior to post-conversion availability on the afternoon of 9 May 1960, Coral Sea logged her first arrested landing since the completion of the overhaul when CDR Jim Swope, CAG-15, landed an LTV F8U-IE Crusader on board, commencing underway training 22 April 1960 out of Long Beach and San Diego, Ca., having been was assigned to 7th Fleet in the Pacific (CarDiv Seven) on 1 April 1960, upon return from Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. She will undergo her 12th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVG-15 (NL)

(19 September 1960 to 27 May 1961) 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) Pacific & 7th

1st WestPac 1st VEF

1st SCS

CVG-15

NL

19 Sep 1960

27 May 1961

Vietnam

12th FWFD

251-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-151

Vigilantes -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Demon -    Jet- All weather Fighter

 NL100

F3H-2 (F-3B)

VA-152

Friendlies -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider -Attack

 NL200

AD-6 (A-1H)

VA-153

Blue Tail Flies -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Fighter – Attack

All weather operation

 NL300

A4D-2N (A-4C)

VF-154

Black Knights -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Attack

 NL400

F8U-1E (F-8B)

VA-155

Silver Foxes -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

 NL500

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VMA-324 (1*)

Marines - Vagabonds - Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

 DX600

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VAW-13          Det. D

Zappers - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Grumman - Hawkeye -

“Willy Fudd”

 VR760

WF-2 (E-1B)

VMA-121 (2*)

Marines - Green Knights Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

 VK800

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VAH-2*

Royal Rampants - Heavy Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -  Jet Attack Bomber

900

A3D-2 (A-3B)

VCP-61 Det. D

World Famous - Photographic Composite Squadron

Vought - Crusader - Jet - Photographic Reconnaissance/Survey

 SS900

F8U-1P (RF-8A)

HU-l Det.  Unit D

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Utility Squadron

Piasecki -

'Retriever' Chopper

 UP00

HUP-2 (UH-25B)

*Made the 100,000 arrested landing – 10/23/1961

(*1) VMA-324 deployed aboard CVA-43 until Mar. 1961 from Nov. 1960

(*2) VMA-121 deployed aboard CVA-43 until Apr. 1961 from Nov. 1960

(*3) VCP-61 redesignated VAP-61 on Jul.1, 1961

“Composition for CVG-15 onboard Coral Sea for her first “Westpac” since her 1st conversion indicated the recent major evolutionary changes in the U.S. Navy's carrier striking power. VF-151 embarked with F3H-2 Demons to pair with VF-l54 F8U-lE Crusaders. VA-153 A4D-2N and -155 A4D-2 Skyhawks. VA-152 provided AD-6 ‘Spads,’ and VAH-2 introduced the A3D-2 Skywarrior to CVA-43. Another newcomer was VAW-13, Det Delta's WF-2 ‘Willy Fudd’” (Ref. 43).

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

The Crises in Laos

 

    “In 1959 North Vietnam initiated a long-term campaign aimed at destroying the government of South Vietnam through political subversion and armed action. The goal was to unify Vietnam under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh. To achieve this end, the North Vietnamese directed Communists in the South to spark unrest, infiltrated guerrilla reinforcements, and began preparing a logistical line of communication, soon labeled the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through neighboring Laos. To ease the threat to this supply system, the North Vietnamese exacerbated existing political tensions in Laos. They supported with troops and supplied the indigenous Pathet Lao Communists, who were attempting to overthrow the pro-Western Royal Laotian Government.

 

Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea

 

    The Navy was called upon to demonstrate American determination to oppose these actions. One of the means adopted was a show of force by the fleet.

 

    During September 1959, the Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea as a deterrent to further Communist guerrilla attacks on pro-American forces in Laos and as reassurance to friendly governments of U.S. resolve to stand by them.

 

    Heavy cruiser USS Toledo (CA 133) in October 1959, the flagship of Commander Seventh Fleet visited Saigon to participate in Vietnamese Independence Day celebrations.

 

Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB)

 

    In addition, less visible actions were taken to aid the anti- Communist cause in Laos. During 1959 several detachments from Naval Mobile Construction Battalions (NMCB), known as Seabees, improved strategically important roads and the country's main airfield, Wattay, at the capital of Vientiane” (Ref. 387D).

 

Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea

 

    “The Navy was called upon to demonstrate American determination to oppose these actions. One of the means adopted was a show of force by the fleet.

 

    During September 1959 and to late March of 1960, the Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea as a deterrent to further Communist guerrilla attacks on pro-American forces in Laos and as reassurance to friendly governments of U.S. resolve to stand by them.

 

    The North Vietnamese, who needed unrestricted access to the road and trail network along the Lao/NVN and Lao/SVN borders to support the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, assisted the Pathet Lao in setting up a Communist enclave in the Plaine des Jars area, and the Soviet Union began providing supplies via airlift to the Pathet Lao. USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) airwing, which included Skyraider and Skyhawk ground attack aircraft, provided the basis for immediately available military support for the pro-Western elements in Laos.

 

     "Several crises with Communist China over Taiwan and the crisis in Laos resulted in U.S. Pacific forces being put on high alert several times during the early 1960's prompting CINCPAC to deploy nuclear forces. These crises put to the test a new nuclear war plan introduced by the US Navy in the early 1960's; the Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP).                                   

                                    

     Following the Pathet Lao capture of strategic positions on the central plain of Laos, Seventh Fleet forces consisting of ASW Carrier USS Bennington (CVS-20) with CVSG-59 embarked, and an amphibious force, USS Lexington (CVA-16) with CVG-14 with embarked and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked were ordered to the South China Sea” (Ref. 35).

 

Naval Beach Group 1 and Underwater Demolition Team (UDT)

 

    “In June and July of 1960, men of Naval Beach Group 1 and Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) 12 pushed 430 miles up the unpredictable, rapid-strewn Mekong River to deliver ten landing craft to the Laotian armed forces” (Ref. 387D).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked reached Japanese waters on 5 October 1960, debarked her two fighter squadrons ashore at Atsugi while embarking two Marine A4D squadrons, VMA-121 and VMA-324, thus pioneering the ‘all attack’ carrier concept” (Ref. 43).

 

     “Captain John Joseph Lynch assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 5 December 1960, relieving Captain James Seton Gray, Jr., 13th Commanding Officer, serving from 25 January 1960 to 5 December 1960” (Ref. 35A).

 

Show of Force - Laos

 

    “During the last three months of 1960, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked operated in various parts of “WestPac,” but as the crisis in Laos grew she was directed to take up station in the South China Sea.

 

    Heavy cruiser USS Saint Paul (CA-73), the flagship of Commander Seventh Fleet, in October 1960 visited Saigon to participate in Vietnamese Independence Day celebrations” (Ref. 387D).

 

    “In December 1960 a military coup overthrew the Laotian government and open civil war began. On December 31, 1960, for example, forces earmarked to support CINCPAC operations in defense of mainland Southeast Asia against Communist aggression or insurgency in Southeast Asia, were placed on DEFCON 2 (the defense condition immediately below outbreak of war).

 

    Three naval task groups, including USS Lexington (CVA-16) with CVG-14 with embarked and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked were ordered to depart Okinawa immediately for operations in the South China Sea” (Ref. 387E).

 

    “Although the administration of President John F. Kennedy already had decided against American intervention to rescue the Laotian government, Communist forces halted their advance and agreed to negotiations. The Navy was called upon to demonstrate American determination to oppose these actions. One of the means adopted was a show of force by the fleet.

 

Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea

 

     During September 1959, to late March of 1960, and again in January 1961, the Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea as a deterrent to further Communist guerrilla attacks on pro-American forces in Laos and as reassurance to friendly governments of U.S. resolve to stand by them” (Ref. 387D).

 

    “Although the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese supporting forces withdrew in each crisis, in the spring of 1961 their offensive appeared on the verge of overwhelming the pro- American Royal Laotian Army. Once again the fleet sortied into Southeast Asian waters.

    "Several crises with Communist China over Taiwan and the crisis in Laos resulted in U.S. Pacific forces being put on high alert several times during the early 1960's prompting CINCPAC to deploy nuclear forces.

 

    During 1961, for example, PACOM forces were alerted twice for imminent combat action and combat units were pre-positioned in the Philippines, on Okinawa, or in the South China Sea. Equipment was loaded, and planes and ships stood by ready to move forces into Southwest Asis immediately upon receiving an order to execute war plans. These crises put to the test a new nuclear war plan introduced by the U. S. Navy in the early 1960's; the Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP).

 

    Three naval task groups, including USS Lexington (CVA-16) with CVG-14 with embarked and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked were ordered to depart Okinawa immediately for operations in the South China Sea.

 

     Following a week of high alert, the three naval task groups were returned to DEFCON3 on January 1961 and ordered no more the FOUR hours steaming distance away. Eventually, on February 25, 1961, DEFCON 4 was re-established for the three naval task groups.

 

     Already the following month, however, tension escalated once more. On March 19, 1961, U.S. forces were placed back of DEFCON 3 in response to a deteriorating of the situation in Laos. This alert condition was raised to DEFCON 2 two days later, and four nuclear carriers were called in"” (Ref. 387E).

 

    “During the 1961 spring crisis, antisubmarine support carrier USS Bennington (CVS-20) with CVSG-59 embarked carried 14 Sikorsky H-34 helicopters to the Gulf of Siam where they were flown off and transferred to friendly forces in Laos, then preparing to meet the next Pathet Lao assaults” (Ref. 387D).

 

     VMA-324, 121 from Japan replace FITRONS for all attack CVW onboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) on 5 May 1961” (Ref. 34). http://www.history.navy.mil/seairland/chap2.htm

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked became part of the Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF), her first VEF deployment of the cruise from 29 April to 9 May 1961” (Ref. 34).

 

    “Fleet training exercises also served to highlight American strength and purpose in Southeast Asia. Exercise Pony Express, conducted on the northern coast of Borneo by 60 ships and 26,000 personnel from Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) member states between late April and early May 1961, prominently displayed U.S. naval power and allied military solidarity. Throughout this period, the Navy took other steps to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to friendly governments” (Ref. 387D).

 

    “By the end of April 1961, most of the Seventh fleet was deployed off the Indochinese Peninsula preparing to initiate operations into Laos. The force consisted of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with embarked CVG-15 embarked and USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVG-2 embarked carrier battle groups, antisubmarine support carrier USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) with CVSG-53 embarked one helicopter carrier, three groups of amphibious ships, two submarines, and three Marine battalion landing teams. At the same time, shore based air patrol squadrons and another three Marine battalion landing teams stood ready in Okinawa and the Philippines to support the afloat force.

 

Communist forces and Laotian government cease fire

 

    “Although the administration of President John F. Kennedy already had decided against American intervention to rescue the Laotian government, Communist forces halted their advance and agreed to negotiations. The contending Laotian factions concluded a cease-fire on 8 May 1961, but it lasted only a year.

 

    Even as the Laotian crisis subsided, Southeast Asia remained an area of concern because of developments in the Republic of Vietnam. That country was increasingly threatened by Communist insurgents who wreaked havoc on the political, economic, and military infrastructure. Bedeviled by the enemy's guerrilla attacks and political proselytizing, the South Vietnamese government looked to the United States for assistance” (Ref. 387D).

 

    “On 27 May 1961, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked (tail code NL) arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain John Joseph Lynch, as Commanding Officer, relieving Captain James Seton Gray, Jr., 13th Commanding Officer, serving from 25 January 1960 to 5 December 1960, ending her first “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, her first South China Sea deployment, on her first Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployment and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East ended, reaching Japanese waters 5 October 1960, Coral Sea debarked her two fighter squadrons ashore at Atsugi while embarking two Marine A4D squadrons, VMA-121 and VMA-324, thus pioneering the ‘all attack’ carrier concept and was moored at Yokosuka, Japan when the new CO: Lynch, John J arrived on 5 December 1960, relieving Captain James S. Gray Jr., a former XO of the ship, in command, departing Yokosuka, Japan, Coral Sea was operating in South China Sea as Pathet Lao, Laos crisis escalated in January 1961, becoming part of the Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF), her first VEF deployment of the cruise from 29 April to 9 May 1961, during which timeVMA-324, 121 from Japan replace FITRONS for all attack CVW on board Coral Sea on 5 May 1961. Ports of call include: Pearl Harbor, Hi.; Iwakuni, a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan; Yokosuka, Japan, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, covering an area of 100.7 km˛ and is the 11th most populous city in Greater Tokyo, 12th in the Kantō region; Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; Kobe, Japan, the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka; Okinawa Island (沖縄本島, Okinawa-hontō?, alternatively 沖縄島 Okinawa-jima; Okinawan: 沖縄/うちなー Uchinaa or 地下/じじ jiji;[1] Kunigami: ふちなー Huchináa) is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu (Nansei) Islands of Japan. The island has an area of 1,201.03 square kilometers (463.72 sq mi). It is roughly 640 kilometres (400 mi) south of the rest of Japan. The city of Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture, is located there; Hong Kong, situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; and Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines. Squadrons: VF-151, F3H-2 (F-3B); VA-152, AAD-6 (A-1H); VA-153, A4D-2N (A-4C); VF-154, F8U-1E (F-8B); VA-155, A4D-2 (A-4B); VMA-324, A4D-2 (A-4B); VAW-13 Det. D, WF-2 (E-1B); VMA-121 (*2), A4D-2 (A-4B); VAH-2*, A3D-2 (A-3B); VFP-61 Det. D (*3), F8U-1P (RF-8A) and HU-1 Det. D, HUP-2 (UH-25B). (*1) VMA-324 deployed aboard CVA-43 until Mar. 1961 from Nov. 1960; (*2) VMA-121 deployed aboard CVA-43 until Apr. 1961 from Nov. 1960 and (*3) VCP-61 redesignated VAP-61 on Jul. 1, 1961. *Made the 100,000 arrested landing – 10/23/1961. Her first foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. Her 12th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947 (19 September 1960 to 27 May 1961)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

http://navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv43-68/293.htm

 

 19/09/60 - 27/05/61

 AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

  “WESTPAC”

 National Defense Service Medal

 25 - 28 and 30 April - 1 May 1961

1st & 1st VEF

 Engineering Excellence

 1961

 1st& 1st VEF

Reference 34 and 35 reflect Chat info.

 

    “Early July 1961, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) steamed off the coast of southern California, she trapped a McDonnell F4H-l Phantom II, flown by LCDR Patrick L. Working of VF-121, for the Phantom’'s first PacFlt carrier operations” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Following minor repairs and alterations at San Francisco Naval Shipyard, Hunter's Point, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) visited San Diego, Ca. for naval aviation 50th anniversary on 18 August 1961, the largest ship of the time to enter that port. Coral Sea (CVA-43) operated off the coast of California upon her return from her first “WestPac” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) became one of six Pacific Fleet carriers to reach 100,000 landing milestone, when Lt. Fred M. Backman and ADJ2 C.L. Moore, in a Douglas A3D-2 Skyraider, caught her number two wire on 23 October 1961” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

     “Captain Maurice Franklin ("Mickey") Weisner assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 1 November 1961, relieving Captain John Joseph Lynch, 14th Commanding Officer, serving from 5 December 1960 to 1 November 1961” (Ref. 34 & 35A).

 

    “Installation of the Pilot Landing Aid Television (PLAT) system was completed on USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) on 14 December 1961, becoming the first carrier to have this system installed for operations use. Designed to provide a videotape of every landing, the system proved useful for instructional purposes and in the analysis of landing accidents, thereby making it an invaluable tool in the promotion of safety” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea and 72).

 

SECOND “WESTPAC” AND SECOND

VIETNAM EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (VEF) DEPLOYMENT

Installation of the Pilot Landing Aid Television (PLAT)

OVERHAUL & REPAIR

(12 December 1961 to 2 April 1963)

CHAPTER XVIII

 

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 embarked (tail code NL) departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 12 December 1961, with Captain Maurice Franklin ("Mickey") Weisner, as Commanding Officer, relieving Captain John Joseph Lynch, 14th Commanding Officer, serving from 5 December 1960 to 1 November 1961, on her second “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, her second South China Sea deployment, on her second Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployment, in what will turn out to be the first CVA in the Bering Sea. Prior to her deployment she operated off the coast of California upon her return from her first “WestPac,” when on 1 November 1961 Captain Weisner, Maurice F. became the new commanding officer, becoming one of six Pacific Fleet carriers to reach 100,000 landing milestone, when Lt. Fred M. Backman and ADJ2 C.L. Moore, in a Douglas A3D-2 Skyraider, caught her number two wire 23 October 1961, while in early July, Coral Sea steamed off the coast of southern California, when she trapped a McDonnell F4H-l Phantom II, flown by LCDR Patrick L. Working of VF-121, for the Phantom’s first PacFlt carrier operations. She will undergo her second foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960); decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. She will undergo her 13th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVG-15

(12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962) 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

Pacific & 7th

2nd WestPac

2nd VEF

2nd SCS

   CVG-15

 

12 Dec 1961

17 Jul 1962

Vietnam

13th FWFD

149-days first  CVA in the Bering Sea

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-151

Vigilanties -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Demon -    Jet- All weather Fighter

NL100

F3H-2 (F-3B)

VA-152

Friendlies -                Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider -Attack

NL200

AD-6 (A-1H)

VA-153

Blue Tail Flies -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL300

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VF-154

Black Knights -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - All weather operation

NL400

F8U-2N (F-8D)

VA-155

Silver Foxes -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -            Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL500

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VAH-2

Royal Rampants -

Heavy Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -  Jet Attack Bomber

NL600

A3D-2 (A-3B)

VAW-13 Det. D

Zappers - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Douglas - Skyraider -

Attack

VR710

AD-5Q (EA-1F)

VAW-11          Det. D

Early Elevens/Roosters/ Scouts - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Grumman - Hawkeye -

“Willy Fudd”

RR700

WF-2 (E-1B)

*VFP-63 Det. D

Eyes of the Fleet

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Photographic Reconnaissance/Survey

PP900

F8U-1P (RF-8A)

 

HU-1 Det. D

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Utility Squadron

Piasecki -

'Retriever' Chopper

UP00

HUP-3 (UH-25C)

 “CVW-l5 reflected the latest ‘stale-of-the-art’ carrier air power technology. VF-151 had traded in its Demons for F-4H Phantom IIs to compliment VF-154 F-8Ds. The light attack squadrons had been reduced to VA-153 and -155 flying more capable A-4C and Es, respectively. VA-165 was now onboard with A-1H/Js, while VAH-2 remained with A-3Bs” (Ref. 43).

*VFP or VF(P) - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron.

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

 

Official US Navy Photograph, USN 1061345, dated January 12, 1962, officially released. US Naval Photographic Center. Caption on back reads: "USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) leaving Subic Bay, Phillipines. British ships in background." NS024353 175k. David Buell. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024353.jpg

 

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) steams alongside USS Bellatrix (AF-62) during underway replenishment in Western Pacific waters. USS Duncan (DDR-874) is at left. Photo was released by USS Coral Sea under date of 16 April 1962. Among the planes on the carrier's flight deck are seven A3D Skywarrior heavy attack aircraft. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo #: NH 97649). NS024315 139k. NHC.

 

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) during her 12 December 1961–17 July 1962 WestPac deployment, as seen from USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7). NS024373 49k. WA Jagger EM2, via Dan Marks. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024373.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port call at Kobe and Sasebo in Japan commencing on 1 February 1962, departing Sasebo, she headed for Yokosuka, Japan” (Ref. 34).

 

    “Demon, F3H, catapulted while at anchor on board USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) at Yokosuka, Japan on 13 March 1962” (Ref. 34).

 

    “Japan Prime Minister, 23 Diet members tour USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) Yokosuka, Japan on 30 March 1962” (Ref. 34).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port call at Hong Kong on 27 May 1962” (Ref. 34).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) departed Hong Kong on 3 June 1962” (Ref. 34).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was the first attack carrier to operate in Bering Sea” (Ref. 34).

 

    “On 17 July 1962, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 embarked (tail code NL) arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain Maurice Franklin ("Mickey") Weisner, as Commanding Officer, ending her second “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, her second South China Sea deployment, on her second Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployment, becoming the first carrier to have the Pilot Landing Aid Television (PLAT) system installed on 14 December 1961, becoming part of the Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployment, her second VEF deployment on 12 to 27 January 1962, making a port call at Kobe and Sasebo in Japan commencing on 1 February 1962, departing Sasebo she headed for Yokosuka, Japan when on 13 March 1962, a Demon, F3H, was catapulted while at anchor on board Coral Sea at Yokosuka, Japan, conducting operations in between visits at Hong Kong on 27 May 1962 and on 3 June 1962, she became the first CVA in the Bering Sea. Ports of call include: Pearl Harbor, Hi.; Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan; Yokosuka, Japan; Kobe, Japan, the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka; and Hong Kong, situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea. Squadrons: VF-151, F3H-2 (F-3B); VA-152, AD-6 (A-1H); VA-153, A4D-2 (A-4B); VF-154, FF8U-2N (F-8D); VA-155, A4D-2 (A-4B); VAH-2, A3D-2 (A-3B); VAW-13 Det. D, AD-5Q (EA-1F); VAW-11 Det. D, WF-2 (E-1B); VFP-63 Det. D, F8U-1P (RF-8A) and HU-1 Det. D, HUP-3 (UH-25C). Her second foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960); decommissioned on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. Her 13th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 1 October 1947 (12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

 

 12/12/61 - 17/07/62

 AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

  “WESTPAC”

 National Defense Service Medal

 12-19 & 24-27 Jan 1962

 2nd & 2nd VEF

 

     “Captain Robert Martin Elder assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 23 July 1962, relieving Captain Maurice Franklin ("Mickey") Weisner, 15th Commanding Officer, serving from 1 November 1961 to 23 July 1962” (Ref. 34 & 35A).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) commenced overhaul period at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard San Francisco, Ca. on 8 September 1962” (Ref. 34 & 1275U7).

 

    “The Coral Sea (CVA-43), former CVB-43 & CV-42, the 43rd aircraft carrier of the United States Navy by Hull No. and in order of commission, the 45th, commissioning on 1 October 1947, with her 1st CO Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command, conducted a four-month overhaul period at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard, San Francisco, Ca. in December 1962, commencing on 8 September 1962” (Ref. 43).

 

     “By 1963, all attack carriers had been equipped with PLAT and plans were underway for installation in the CVSs and at shore stations” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea and 72).

 

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) conducting a replenishment at sea with an unidentified oiler and an unidentified destroyer, apparently in late 1962–early 1963 in the Eastern Pacific. US Navy photo. NS024384 165k. Paul L. Adkisson, MMCM, USN (Ret.).

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024384.jpg

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVG-15

(2 February to 2 March 1963) 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

Pacific & 7th

EastPac

CVG-15

NL

2 Feb 1963

2 Mar 1963

Training Ops

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-151

Vigilanties -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Demon -    Jet- All weather Fighter

NL100

F3H-2 (F-3B)

VA-152

Friendlies -                Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider -Attack

NL200

AD-6 (A-1H)

VA-153

Blue Tail Flies -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -

Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL300

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VF-154

Black Knights -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - All weather operation

NL400

F8U-2N (F-8D)

VA-155

Silver Foxes -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyhawk -            Jet Attack Bomber

Drone director

NL500

A4D-2 (A-4B)

VAH-2

Royal Rampants -

Heavy Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -  Jet Attack Bomber

NL600

A3D-2 (A-3B)

VAW-13 Det. D

Zappers - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Douglas - Skyraider -

Attack

VR710

AD-5Q (EA-1F)

VAW-11          Det. D

Early Elevens/Roosters/ Scouts - Carrier Airborne Early Warning

Grumman - Hawkeye -

“Willy Fudd”

RR700

WF-2 (E-1B)

*VFP-63 Det. D

Eyes of the Fleet

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Photographic Reconnaissance/Survey

PP900

F8U-1P (RF-8A)

 

HU-1 Det. D

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Utility Squadron

Piasecki -

'Retriever' Chopper

UP00

HUP-3 (UH-25C)

CVW-l5 reflected the latest ‘stale-of-the-art’ carrier air power technology. VF-151 had traded in its Demons for F-4H Phantom IIs to compliment VF-154 F-8Ds. The light attack squadrons had been reduced to VA-153 and -155 flying more capable A-4C and Es, respectively. VA-165 was now onboard with A-1H/Js, while VAH-2 remained with A-3Bs” (Ref. 43).

*VFP or VF(P) - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron.

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was in port Alameda pier on 13 February 1963” (Ref. 34).

 

     “Captain Charles Eugene Roemer assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), in port Alameda pier on 13 February 1963, relieving Captain Robert Martin Elder, 16th Commanding Officer, serving from 23 July 1962 to 13 February 1963” (Ref. 35A).

 

 

CHAPTER XVII & XVIII

 USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy - Operation Evening Light And Eagle Claw -

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-329-15473-5

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA  Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54596-0

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54790-2

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4