FOURTH “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT AND

FIRST VIETNAM COMBAT CRUISE

U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

MAJOR OVERHAUL AT HUNTERS POINT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA. &

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS

(7 December 1964 to 28 July 1966)

CHAPTER XX

Part 1 – (7 December 1964 to 22 November 1965)

Part 2 – (23 November 1965 to 28 July 1966)

 

 

Midway WestPac July 1965 – Ref. 1179-Z2

Yankee Station – Ref. 1179-Z3

 

    “On 23 November 1965, USS Midway (CVA-41) with Commander, Robert E. Moore, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) embarked Rear William Floyd Bringle, USN, Commander, and Captain Pierre N. Charbonnet, Chief of Staff, Carrier Division Seven embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Captain James M. O’Brien, as Commanding Officer, USNA '43 and Captain Robert E, Gallatin, as Executive Officer, ending her sixth “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her first South China Sea deployment, on her first Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Station.” Midway made a port of call at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 13 to 14 March 1965 and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 19 to 21 March 1965, departing on the morning of the 22nd. Underwent Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) from 15 to 20 March 1965. Midway made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 4 to 7 April 1965, departing for Special Operations on the morning on the 8th conducting combat missions on her first line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Midway arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 12 May 1965, ending her first line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin, inport from 12 to 19 May 1965, departing for Special Operations to conduct combat missions on her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1961, then Captain Bringle became the first skipper of the carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). On April 1964 he broke his flag aboard the same carrier as Commander, Carrier Division Seven. Before leaving Midway in May 1965, RADM Bringle received the Legion of Merit climaxing his work as CTF 77. He went on to be Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, CINCPACFLT. Commander Kops became Executive Officer of Midway in June 1965, relieving Captain Robert E, Gallatin, serving as Executive Officer from May 1964 to May 1965 (Yankee Station” Map – Ref. 1179-Z). Midway aircraft were prepared for combat operations, and from mid-April flew strikes against military and logistics installations in North and South Vietnam. “Illustrative of the major contribution the carrier made to the war was a notable "first" for aviators of her Attack Carrier Wing 2, who in June, downed the first three MiGs credited to U.S. Forces in Southeast Asia. On 17 June 1965, while escorting a strike on the barracks at Gen Phu, North Vietnam, Cmdr. Louis C. Page and Lt. Jack E.D. Batson, flying F-4B Phantoms of VF-21, deployed aboard Midway, intercepted four MiG-17s and each shot down one, scoring the first U.S. victories over MiGs in Vietnam. On 17 June 1965, Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze was aboard Midway as part of a tour of the war zone. To the delight of the ship’s crew, he had the opportunity to announce over the public address system that two F-4B Phantom IIs from Midway had scored the first MiG kills of the war. The Phantoms and four MiG-17s tangled south of Hanoi and two of the North Vietnamese aircraft went down in Flames. On 20 June 1965, another MiG-17 was brought down by the 20mm gunfire of two propeller-driven A-1H Skyraiders from Midway. Pilot skill and the Skyraider’s outstanding maneuverability led to this unusual victory. The men that made Midway famous…are to be decorated for downing three MIG-17’s in awards ceremony held aboard on 23 June 1965. Commander Page (VF-21, Silver Star), Lieutenant Vatson (VF-21, Silver Star), Lieutenant Greathouse (VA-25, Distinguish Flying Cross), Lieutenant Johnson (VA-25, Silver Star), LTJG Hartman (VA-25, Distingush Flying Cross. Midway arrived Yokosula, Japan from 2 to 16 July 1965, departing on the morning of the 17th to conduct combat missions on her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin (Mdway WestPac July 1965 – Ref. 1179-Z2). Midway made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 27 August to 2 September 1965, departing for Special Operations to conduct combat missions on her fourth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Midway made a port of call at Hongkong, B.C.C. from 5 to 9 September 1965, departing on the morning of the 10th to conduct combat missions on her fifth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, mooring at Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point from 12 to 16 October 1965, departing for Special Operations to conduct combat missions on her sixth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 4 to 10 November 1965, departing for Special Operations to conduct combat missions on her seventh line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin en route to the West Coast. In 1965, operating with Task Force 77 in the Gulf of Tonkin, Midway planes flew 11,900 combat sorties against enemy forces in North and South Vietnam. Midway and her Air Wing, CVW-2, were awarded the Navy Unit Commendation. Midway also won the Battle Efficiency “E.”, marking her as the outstanding carrier in the Pacific Fleet. From March 6, 1965, when the ship departed her homeport of Alameda, California, until November 23, 1965, when she returned from the cruise, Midway, had steamed 80,000 miles, and operated at sea for 211 of 262 days in the cruise. Her longest at-sea period was from 19 May to 2 Juky 1965, operating off Vietnam. No Midway command history reports submitted for October through November 1965. Ports of calls include: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii a second time; 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; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a second time; Yokosula, Japan; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a third time; Hongkong, B.C.C. , situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a fourth time and Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a fifth time. Squadrons: VF-21, F-4B; VA-22, A-4C; VA-23, A-4E; VF-111, F-8D; VA-25, A-1H; VAH-8, A-3B; VFP-63 Det. A, RF-8A (F8U-1P); VAW-11 Det. A; E-1B; VAW-13 Det., EA-1F;  HU-1 Det. / HC-1, UH-2A; *VAP-61 Det., RA-3B / A3D-2P (RA-3B) and *VQ-1 Det., A-3 (EA-3B). *Not embarked for the entire deployment and HU-1 Det. A. (1) redesignated HC-1 Det D on 1 July 1965. USS Reeves (CG-24) and USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) joined up with Midway as part of her task force. Her sixth deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. Her 19th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (6 March to 23 November 1965)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 84A, 405, 1179-Q, 1179-R, 1179-R1, 1179-S, 1179S1, 1179S2, 1179-T, 1179T1, 1179-U, 1179T1, 1179-V, 1179-X, 1179-Y, 1179-Z, 1179-Z1, 1179-Z2,1179-Z3, 1180A & 1180B).

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) Air Wing: Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW)-2 - Ref. 406A

 

DEPLOY.

DATES

K

I

A

M

I

A

P

O

W

PLANES LOST

LINE DAYS

LINE PERIODS

WESTPAC

 

CVW-2 (NE)

06/03/65 to 23/11/65

 

 

 

 

 

*7

6th WestPac

1st SCS

Air Combat Victories (?) – Ref. – 406A

Combat Losses (?)

Operational Losses (?)

In-chop/out-chop:

EQNEEDF note: Best Guess based on port of calls and distance and steaming periods between port periods.

Ref. 406A

 

 06/03/65 to 23/11/65

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

Navy Unit Commendation – Vietnam

16 Apr to 4 Nov 1965

 

6th WestPac

1st SCS

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal – Vietnam

Vietnam

09 Apr to 11 May 65 *b

20 May to 28 Jun 65 *b

same

Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star (see Note 2) Vietnam Defense Campaign

Jul to Nov 1965

same

Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm)

 

same

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

 

same

Battle Efficiency Award (Navy "E" Ribbon), marking her as the outstanding carrier in the Pacific Fleet – Ref. 1180B

 

same

National Defense Service Medal – Vietnam

Jan 1961 to Aug 1974

same

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - Service outside the geographical limits of South Vietnam and direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces for more than six months.

Note 2 - 1 Silver Star = 5 Bronze Stars

*b = Vietnam (01 JUL 58  to  03 JUL 65)

The Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal), with Palm, was awarded to a unit cited at the Armed Forces level.

Ref. 1181 & 1181/C

 

Sixth “WestPac” deployment and First Vietnam Combat Cruise

(6 March to 23 November 1965)

(KIAs, killed due to operational loss and POWs)

KIA/MIAs/POWs

NAME

RANK

SQUADRON

DATE of LOSS

LOSS-COUNTRY
HOW

COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Status in 1966:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) became the first nuclear-powered ship to engage in combat when it launched bomb-laden aircraft in a projection of power against the Viet Cong near Bien Hoa on 2 December 1965. Enterprise launched 125 sorties on the first day, unleashing 167 tons of bombs and rockets on the enemy's supply lines. The next day it set a record of 165 strike sorties in a single day” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “While at Yankee Station on 6 December 1965, a big blaze in USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) main engine-room #3 and an ammunition magazine was flooded to avoid an explosion while off Vietnam. The fire caused heavy damage aboard the ship, killed some crewmen, and injured 48 others. Despite the seriousness of the fire, Kitty Hawk was able to continue full air operations on schedule” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “While USS Independence (CVA-62) was steaming to her home port, approximately 220 miles southeast of Norfolk, Va., an aircraft fuel tank ruptured on takeoff, starting a fire, injuring 15 on 13 December 1965” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “From 17 May to 31 December 1965, USS Yorktown (CVS-10) conducted normal operations out of Long Beach, Ca.” (Ref. 1-Yorktown and 72).

 

    “USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) spent the Christmas season in the crisp freshness of an Okinawan winter” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

 

NS024341 87k. Photograph taken by Commander Jim Waldron in 1965, off the coast of Vietnam. CDR Jim Waldron, USNR (Ret.).

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024341.jpg

 

Operation Arc Light

 

     “Operation Arc Light had by year's end 1965 involved flying more than 1,500 sorties by 27 B-52Fs from Andersen AFB, Guam, hitting Vietcong strongholds in South Vietnam raining tons of bombs on enemy troop concentrations, bases and supply dumps. Laotian raids followed in December 1965, with raids to North Vietnam added in April 1966 (Ref. 102E).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Yankee Station” for a port call at Yokosuka, Japan in late December or early January 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “After embarking a fresh Marine battalion landing force and a medium transport helicopter squadron at Okinawan, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) sailed for Vietnam on 3 January 1966”(Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Yokosuka, en route “Yankee Station” on 9 January 1966 conducting refresher flight operations and nuclear weapons loading exercises en route” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 11 January 1966, CVW-11 aircraft onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), under control of CTG 70.4, conducted attacks on a USS Hornet (CVS-12) towed sled in close proximity to a USSR Task Unit near Bashi Channel. RA5C aircraft from RVAH 13 obtained photo coverage on all surface units” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft commenced Tiger Hound, Steel Tiger, Blue Tree and in-country operations on 14 January 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “The Tet (Vietnamese Lunar Holiday) stand-down resulted in increased sortie requirements for CVW-11 aircraft onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on 21 and 23 January but provided a break in routine on 22 January.  Concentration of all flight activity in the Steel Tiger/Tiger Hound areas (20-23 January 1966) produced high-density air coverage with resultant disappearance of targets. Intense interdiction apparently highly effective. Post-Tet in-country operations were handicapped by frequent periods of low ceiling in the I Corp area and by non-availability of Forward Air Controllers. Heavy sortie rates in the Steel Tiger/Tiger Hound areas apparently resulted in reduced vehicular activity as evidenced by the paucity of live targets in Laos. Planning for possible resumption of Rolling Thunder operations was accelerated” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Following pauses at Subic Bay and Chu Lai, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) arrived off the Vietnamese coast on the 27 January 1966” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “On 29 January 1966, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) launched her landing forces to take part in Operation Double Eagle. Remaining on station off the coast, the ship provided logistic and medical support with inbound helicopters supplying the men ashore and outbound ‘choppers’ evacuating casualties for medical treatment back on the ship” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “The pace of operations increased sharply with resumption of Rolling Thunder operations on 31 January 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 31 January 1966, an F-4 Phantom from VF 114 crashed near USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) after complete hydraulic failure due to combat damage” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 1 February 1966, an A1 from VA-115 was shot down in the Steel Tiger area. Crewmembers, both aircraft, recovered uninjured” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 1 February 1966, an A1 from VA-115 attached to CVW-11 embarked onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was shot down in the Steel Tiger area. Crewmembers, both aircraft, recovered uninjured” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “The weather in North Vietnam was uniformly bad until 3 February when Rolling Thunder Package III opened for a few hours. USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) responded with a 170-sortie day, including 49 attack sorties in NVN” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Rolling Thunder Package III opened for a few hours 3 February 1966 as the weather had improved. USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) responded with a 170-sortie day, including 49 attack sorties in NVN” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 3 February 1966, an RA-5C Vigilante from RVAH 13 attached to CVW-11 embarked onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was downed by enemy fire off the NVN coast just south of Cape Bouton. A major SAR effort, including excellent shore bombardment by USS Waddell (DDF-24) and the USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) failed to recover the crew” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Yankee Station,” and steamed for Subic Bay, Philippines” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Subic Bay, Philippines on 10 February 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “En route to Hong Kong, from Subic Bay, Philippines, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) conducted a Surface-to-Air Missile Exercise on 10 February 1966 and a Air-to-Air Missile Exercise on 11 February 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California and entered San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard on 11 February 1966 for extensive modernization 1966” (Ref. 1180A, 1180B, 1181N & 1183).

 

    “The Midway (CV-41), former CVB-41, the 35th aircraft carrier of the United States Navy by Hull No. and in order of commission, the 35th, commissioning on 10 September 1945, commenced SCB-101, the most extensive modernization ever completed on a naval vessel that fitted with an enlarged flight deck, steam catapults, and new elevators and arresting gear to handle heavier aircraft on 11 February 1966 at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay” (Ref. 1180A, 1180B, 1181N & 1183).

 

    “On 11 February 1966, Rear Adm. J. F. Reedy, CTF 77, presented 61 Air Medals to pilots and crewmembers of Attack Carrier Air Wing Eleven, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) embarked Air Wing” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) arrived Hong Kong on 12 February 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Captain James Michael O'Brien, USNA '43, 24th Commanding Officer of USS Midway (CVA-41), serving from 19 December 1964 to 15 February 1966” (Ref. 1178-G).  

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Hong Kong and was en route “Yankee Station,” on 15 February 1966. The exemplary conduct of Kitty Hawk crewmembers resulted in the following form SOPA (ADMIN) Hong Kong, ‘During your brief Hong Kong visit from 12 to 15 February, it was most evident to all concerned that Kitty Hawk personnel are a diplomatic force promoting an atmosphere of friendship, mutual respect, and understanding. “Well Done”’” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) entered the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay to under go SCB-101, the most extensive modernization ever on 11 February 1966, for which she was placed in Pacific Fleet Reserve, in commission special and decomissioned a second time 15 February 1966 completed on a naval vessel that fitted with an enlarged flight deck, steam catapults, and new elevators and arresting gear to handle heavier aircraft” (Ref. 1180A, 1180B, 1181N & 1183).

 

    “USS Yorktown (CVS-10) arrived in Yokosuka. Japan on 17 February 1966 and joined TF 77 on “Yankee Station” later that month” (Ref. 1-Yorktown and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) arrived “Yankee Station” on 17 February 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Re-embarking her landing team on 17 February 1966, USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) proceeded northward, while her marines took a breather” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

     “Captain Frank Willis Ault assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 18 February 1966 at Hunters Point NSY, relieving Captain George Louis Cassell, 19th Commanding Officer, serving from 15 January 1965 to 18 February 1966” (Ref. 34 & 35A).

 

    “On 18 February 1966, an Intruder attached to CVW-11 embarked onboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was lost when it failed to complete pullout from a glide bombing attack. There were no survivors” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “The second phase of ‘Double Eagle’ commenced on 19 February 1966 and USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) marines again went ashore via helicopter to attack enemy concentrations” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) operated on “Yankee Station” from 17 to 20 February 1966. A6A Intruder aircraft from VA 85 using radar system deliveries through the overcast completed the majority of Rolling Thunder missions after 17 February” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) moved south to “Dixie Station” on 20 February 1966 and conducted in-country operations on 22 February 1966. Extremely low ceilings and visibility throughout the area seriously limited air operations” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

 

NS024371a 149k http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024371a.jpg

 

    “On 26 February 1966, the second phase of Double Eagle had drawn to a close; and USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) re-embarked her marines and sailed for Subic Bay, Philippines and following a round trip to Danang, steamed back to the west coast” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Yankee Station” on 5 March 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “During the period 22 February to 5 March 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft of CVW-11 averaged 100 direct air support sorties per day in support of friendly forces in South Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 5 March 1966, an F4B Phantom from VF 114 attached to CVW-11 on board USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) was lost after being hit by enemy ground fire during in-country operations. The crew ejected due to loss of hydraulic pressure and control effectiveness. Both pilot and RIO were recovered safely by SAR helicopter. All-weather A6A Intruder aircraft maintained steady pressure on North Vietnamese targets despite overcast skies and inclement weather, both day and night” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) returned to “Yankee Station” on 6 March 1966, conducting air operations while en route” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft provided close air support missions in defense of the beleaguered As Hau Special Forces Camp on 10 March 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 11 March 1966, an A1H of VA-115 was lost shortly after catapult launch from the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). The pilot was recovered on board with only minor injuries” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) pulled into port at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 13 March 1965” (Ref. 405 & 1179-R).

 

    “On 14 March 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft and SAR helicopter participated in the daring rescue of two USAF air crewmen after their aircraft had been shot down. Both crewmen were rescued within range of NVN shore batteries, returned to Kitty Hawk, and treated” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 13 to 14 March 1965” (Ref. 405 & 1179-R).

 

    “On 14 March 1966, the 35th Fighter Interceptor Wing was redesignated the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing. On 1 April 1966, the wing activated at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, replacing the 7252nd Tactical Fighter Wing. While at Da Nang Air Base, the wing had five flying squadrons assigned or attached to it. The 390th and 480th Tactical Fighter Squadrons flew F-4Cs while assigned to the wing. The wing had elements of the 64th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, flying F-102 aircraft, and the 8th and 13th Tactical Bomb Squadrons, both flying B-57s, assigned while at Da Nang Air Base” (Ref. 111B).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Yankee Station” on 16 March 1966 and arrived in Subic Bay Philippines on 17 March 1966 for an upkeep period” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 31 March 1966, Rear Adm. J. F. Reedy, Commander Task Force 77, presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 238 Air Medals, and 7 Navy Commendation Medals to pilots and crewmembers of Attack Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN. Aircraft from CVW-11 provided in-country and Operation Jackstay support and averaged 100 sorties per day on enemy targets” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 1 April 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) with Commander Attack Carrier Striking Force, 7th Fleet (CTF 77) and Commander Carrier Division FIVE and Attack Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN embarked, continued to support U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with direct combat action against insurgent communist forces in Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 3 April 1966, Lt. Felix Templeton of VF-114, flying an F4B Phantom, became USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) first triple Centurian by making his 300th arrested landing aboard ship” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Princeton (LPH-5) relieved USS Okinawa (LPH-3) as flagship for the Amphibious Ready Group, engaging the enemy in operations Jackstay from 26 March to 6 April 1966, to clear the Rung Sat Special Zone of Viet Cong guerrillas” (Ref. 1-Princeton and 72).

 

    “On 9 April 1966, Lt. j.g. A. E. Johnson of VA-113, flying an A4C Skyhawk, made the 10,000th landing on USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) since commencement of this “WestPac” deployment on 19 October 1965” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Dixie Station” on 11 April 1966 and arrived at “Yankee Station” on 12 April 1966. Air Wing ELEVEN aircraft delivered an average of 100 tons of ordnance per day on enemy targets while conducting Rolling Thunder, Blue Tree, and Steel Tiger operations” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 12 April 1966, a KA-3B Skywarrior (a tanker) with four crewmembers aboard, en route USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) from NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippinest was overdue and missing. Crewmember status was undetermined” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 15 April 1966, a UH2 helicopter from HC 1 Detachment CHARLIE was lost over the side after experiencing control difficulties soon after lift-off. One crewmember was killed and one man killed and four injured on the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) flight deck by flying shrapnel from the helicopter's rotor blades” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 15 April 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft responding to a SAR effort launched for a downed USAF F4C, and silenced one 57MM and two 37MM AAA sites in the vicinity of the downed aircraft” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 17 April 1966, an A-4C Skyhawk from VA-113 embarked on board USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) crashed into the sea immediately following launch. The pilot ejected and was recovered safely aboard with no injuries” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 17 April 1966, an A-6A Intruder from VA-85 attached to CVW-11 experienced hydraulic failure in flight and crashed at sea. Both the pilot and NFO ejected and were rescued at sea in good condition. An A1H aircraft from VA 115 was also downed on 17 April. Extensive SAR efforts were negative” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Also on 17 April 1966, an attack was carried out against a primary target in North Vietnam, the Hai Doung Railroad and Highway Bridge, located approximately 20 miles east of Hanoi, and resulted in the dropping of the center span and heavy cratering of the eastern bridge abutment and approaches” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 18 April 1966, a flight of two A6As attached tom CVW-11, executed a surprise midnight attack on the Uong Bi Thermal Power Plant located approximately 12 miles northeast of the seaport of Haiphong. Making radar system deliveries, the Intruder aircraft placed 26,000 pounds of ordnance on target” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 19 April 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft struck the Cam Pha Port Facility. The destruction to port facilities caused by this strike was a significant economic blow to North Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 20 April 1966, an A4C Skyhawk from VA 113 attached to CVW-11, while orbiting a downed pilot, was also hit by ground fire. The pilot retired seaward, ejected two miles from USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and was recovered safely on board after spending approximately one minute in the water” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 21 April 1966, an A-6A Intruder from VA 85 attached to CVW-11 embarked aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), disappeared form radarscopes at weapons release point. His wingman observed a large flash at this time, which could have been weapons detonation. Both crewmembers were missing” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 22 April 1966, an A-6A Intruder attached to CVW-11 embarked aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), was observed to crash in the water while retiring from the target. There were no survivors” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 26 April 1966, an F-4B Phantom was hit in the vicinity of the starboard engine by enemy ground fire while on a bombing mission. Both pilot and RIO ejected near USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and were recovered aboard in good condition by Kitty Hawk's helicopter” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 27 April 1966, an A-6A Intruder attached to CVW-11, while on armed reconnaissance, received numerous small arms hits, one of which severely wounded the pilot. The pilot, with the NFO's assistance, flew his aircraft seaward where they both ejected and were recovered by helicopter and brought back to USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). For this action, the NFO, Lt. j.g. B.E. Westin, USNR, received the Navy Cross” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 28 April 1966, an F-4G Phantom attached to CVW-11, was hit by enemy ground fire. Both pilot and RIO ejected at sea and were recovered safely by helicopter and brought back to USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “During the period 12 through 28 April 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) aircraft attached to CVW-11, participated in a series of strikes aimed at the North Vietnamese lines of communication (LOC). Targets hit included railroads, bridges, highways, and waterborne logistic craft. During this period, over 200 enemy waterborne logistic craft were destroyed. The strikes conducted during this period severely hampered the movement of military supplies south. Operations during this period were distinguished of aggressiveness and reliability in the face of adversity. Aircraft and crew losses were a direct reflection of aggressiveness of CVW-11 pilots in face of increased capabilities of enemy defenses” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed “Yankee Station” on 29 April 1966 and arrived Subic Bay, Philippines on 30 April for upkeep” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

     “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, operated locally off Ca. upon conclusion of her major overhaul at Hunters Point, San Francisco, Calif. on 30 April 1966, commencing on 22 November 1965. Excessive vibration during the sea trials, however revealed that the number three low pressure turbine was out of balance since the turbine could not be repaired in-place, it was replaced by one removed from sister ship Midway-then out of commission and undergoing a conversion similar to Coral Sea's six years before This measure enabled CVA-43 to meet her scheduled commitments Underway training off San Diego followed” (Ref.1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35, 43 and 72).

 

    “Evolving as the war continued, Yankee Station consisted of several stations. Moved northward in April 1966, reducing the distance aircraft were required to fly to reach their targets in North Vietnam, it subsequently was returned to its original position in 1968. With the resumption of intensive bombing against the north in 1972, the station was again moved north, designated as North, Mid and South, at 19º, 17º and 16º N, respectively. The latter two stations encompassed 10 charted reefs or shoals limiting operations “if taut station keeping was directed.” Dixie Station was established primarily to support operations across the south while additional aviation facilities were prepared ashore, and to allow CVWs to “warm up” prior to their operations at Yankee Station, as communist AD was relatively less developed in the south, as opposed to what would become the more intensive and layered AD of the north” (Ref. 362A).

 

    “On 1 May 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), while in Subic Bay, Philippines, celebrated the fifth anniversary of her commissioning with an open house. Numerous military personnel, DOD civilian personnel, and dependents visited Kitty Hawk from the NAS Cubi Point and Subic Bay area. The governor of Bataan and several of his officials attended as did the Mayor of Olongapo” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Princeton (LPH-5) engaged the enemy in operations "Osage" from 27 April to 4 May 1966, to protect Vietnamese in the Phu Loc area from Viet Cong "harassment” (Ref. 1-Princeton and 72).

 

    “After a stop at Sasebo, Japan from 25 April to 3 May 1966, USS Ticonderoga (CV-43) put to sea to return to the United States” (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) departed Subic Bay, Philippines, arriving “Yankee Station” and immediately conducted a Surface-to-Air Missile Exercise on 6 May 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) arrived “Yankee Station” on 8 May 1986. CVW-11 aircraft averaged delivery of 110 tons of ordnance per day on enemy targets while conducting Rolling Thunder, Steel Tiger, and Blue Tree operations” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 11 May 1966, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Pyro (AE-24) set a new ordnance transfer rate record by averaging 237.66 standard tons per hour” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-15 embarked was underway for operations off Vietnam in May 1966” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “On 15 May 1966, an A6A Intruder from VA 85 was lost following fuel exhaustion due to inability to receive fuel from tanker aircraft. Both pilot and NFO ejected and were recovered safely. The pilot, Lt. Cmdr. John Ellison, was rescued by USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) helicopter detachment, HC1 Detachment CHARLIE. This was the 14th rescue made by this detachment this deployment” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 18 May 1966, an F4B while flying RESCAP for a downed aircraft was hit by small arms fire. The pilot and RIO ejected and were recovered uninjured by helicopter” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 12 to 19 May 1965, departing for Special Operations to conduct combat missions on her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405 & 1179-R).

 

    “On 19 May 1966, an A1J suffered engine failure, suddenly and completely, following deck lift-off and crashed into the sea. The pilot was recovered uninjured by a USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) helicopter, HC1 Detachment CHARLIE’s 16th rescue” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 21 May 1966, while maneuvering in the turning basin adjacent to NAS North Island, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and the USS IWO JIMA (LPH-2) brush briefly in San Diego, Ca., causing slight damage” (Ref. 43 and 84A).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) ended combat action against insurgent communist forces in Vietnam on 23 May 1966 and departed “Yankee Station” in the South China Sea and commenced the long voyage homeward after completing operations on her third “Westpac” deployment” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) stopped in Subic Bay., Philippines on 24 and 25 May 1966 and then steamed to Yokosuka, Japan” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) stopped at Yokosuka, Japan on 29 May 1966” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) sailed from Yokosuka, Japan on 3 June 1966 for the United States” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Oriskany (CVA-34) with CVW-16 embarked arrived Yokosuka, Japan on 14 June 1966” (Ref. 1-Oriskany and 72).

 

    “USS Oriskany (CVA-34) with CVW-16 embarked underwent wearisome days and nights of combat since her arrival at “Dixie Station” off South Vietnam on 27 June 1966, where on 8 July she shifted to “Yankee Station” in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 1-Oriskany and 72).

 

    “USS Princeton (LPH-5) provided transportation, medical evacuation, logistics and communication support for the amphibious operation Deckhouse I from 18 to 27 June 1966, in the Song Cau district and the Song Cai river valley, followed by search and destroy missions against Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army in support of 1st Air Cavalry and 101st Airborne units engaged in ‘Nathan Hale’ to the south of the ‘Deckhouse I’ area. ‘Deckhouse II’ and support for ‘Hastings’ followed as Navy, Marine, and Army units again combined, this time to impede enemy infiltration from the DMZ”(Ref. 1-Princeton and 72).

 

    “On 1 July 1966, 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 USS Constellation (CVA-64) 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” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

   “USS Yorktown (CVS-10) concluded her last tour of duty on “Yankee Station” early in July 1966, spending three extended tours of duty on “Yankee Station” providing ASW and sea-air rescue services for the carriers of TF 77, participating in several ASW exercises, including the major SEATO exercise, Operation Sea Imp” (Ref. 1-Yorktown and 72).

 

    “The F-4B aircrew of pilot Lieutenant William M. McGunigan and radar intercept officer Lieutenant (jg) Robert M. Fowler from Fighter Squadron (VF) 161 embarked on board USS Constellation (CVA-64), shot down a MiG-17 on 13 July 1966, marking the ship’s first MiG kill of the war” (Ref. 1-Constellation and 72).

 

    “After a stop at Yokosuka, Japan, USS Yorktown (CVS-10) headed home on 15 July 1966” (Ref. 1-Yorktown and 72).

 

FOURTH “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT AND

FIRST VIETNAM COMBAT CRUISE

U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

MAJOR OVERHAUL AT HUNTERS POINT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA. &

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS

(7 December 1964 to 28 July 1966)

CHAPTER XX

Part 1 – (7 December 1964 to 22 November 1965)

Part 2 – (23 November 1965 to 28 July 1966)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XX

Part 2 - (23 November 1965 to 28 July 1966)

 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.

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EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4