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Many others can be seen at John Altfeltis's (USN-Retired) site, .

Lighters [click image for close-up/additional pictures]

Coastal River Division 21 - Great Lakes Proving and Training Ground. Zippo (double sided) 1974
Submitted by: Martin [ The M ] Wilson
Mobile Support Base Two lighter (MSBII) submitted by Martin Wilson. Dated 1968 Vietnamese LLDN 212
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1968 M.I.B. Zippo River Division 535 Coastal Squadron Three
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Mint in the Box, 1968 Zippo from the USS Asheville, PG-84, Coastal Squadron Three, CHECKMATE

During the first "six years" of the deployment, this gunboat served with the Coastal Surveillance Force in Vietnam. During her line periods, she conducted blockade missions, code named Operation "Market Time" along the South Vietnamese coast in an attempt to interdict the water borne flow of arms and supplies from North Vietnam to the communist forces operating in South Vietnam. As a secondary mission, the warship provided gunfire support for American and South Vietnamese forces operating ashore. Sent to Guam for repairs, she departed Guam on 5 November and, after a 16 day stop at Subic Bay, returned to Vietnam at Vung Tau. Her duty in that war-torn country lasted until late March 1972 when she headed via Subic Bay back to Guam.

Respectfully Submitted,
John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
Extremely Rare 1967 USAMAA, LCM Zippo
The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency (USAMAA) used Navy LCM's to ferry much needed medical supplies to Brown Water Naval Bases throughout South Vietnam. In rare cases, some these LCM's also carried Army MASH Surgeons/Doctors to care for our wounded.

Respectfully Submitted
John A. Altfeltis USN-Retired
Mint in the Box 1967 Zippo from the USS Clarke County LST 601.

She was recommissioned in July, 1966 for service in Vietnam's muddy rivers in support of our PBRs, Swifts and PTFs. In January 1967 the ship stood into port at Vung Tau, then turned in-country to serve in Saigon, DaNang, Chu Lai, Cua Viet, Qui Nhon, Tam My, Mekong Delta and Duc Pho, where she earned six battle stars, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, two Meritorius Unit Citations, the RVN Gallantry Cross and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Respectfully Submitted,
John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
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1968 M.I.B. Zippo
Napier Deltic Repair Facility, Subic Bay

Logo: We Make Like New! Damaged made by North Vietnamese shore batteries/machine gun fire to our amphibious assault crafts, PBRs, PTFs (Nastys) and Swifts were quickly repaired at Subic Bay's Special Boat Unit Repair Facility so that these much needed gunboats, could be returned to Vietnam. Both sides of this rare Zippo are acid etched and on the reverse side of this mint lighter is a "rare" image of a PTF - Nasty Class Gunboat. Only a "few" Vietnam era Zippos have ever displayed a PTF image.
Respectfully Submitted,
John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
River Section 541 DUCEMUS - Mine Squadron Eleven
This Rare, M.I.B. 1966 Zippo Lighter is from US Navy Mine Squadron 11, Detachment Alpha, Nha Be, Vietnam

Mine Squadron 11 was essential to the security of Vietnam's waterways. Nowhere was this more crucial than on the rivers near Saigon, the country's most vital port. Viet Cong mining of the main shipping channel, the Long Tau River, which wound its way through the Rung Sat Special Zone south of the capital, could have had a devastating effect on the war effort. Consequently, on 20 May 1966, the Navy established Mine Squadron 11, Detachment Alpha (Mine Division 112 after May 1968) at Nha Be, under Commander Task Force 116. From 1966 until mid-1968, the minesweeping detachment operated minesweeping boats (MSB) reactivated in the United States and shipped to Southeast Asia. The 57-foot, fiberglass-hulled vessels were armed with machine guns and grenade launchers and carried surface radars and minesweeping gear for clearing explosives from the key waterways. The Navy also deployed three-boat subordinate units to Danan g and Cam Ranh Bay. Detachment Alpha's strength increased in July 1967 when the first of six mechanized landing craft (LCM(M)) that were specially configured to sweep mines arrived at Nha Be.

Respectfully Submitted by
John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
RivPatFlot V Sea Float USS Hunterdon Cty
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PBR Mobile Base Mekong Delta River Section 533 River Section 523
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River Division 531 USS Benewah APB-35 River Division 532
USCGC BIBB, WHEC-31 - Vietnam Tour - 04 July 1968 - 28 February 1969 The USCGC Bibb provided logistical support to U.S. Navy "Swift" boats and Coast Guard 82-foot patrol boats of Coast Guard Squadron One. The support included providing fuel, food, water, ammunition, maintenance repair, battle damage repair, and medical services. Frequently one, two or three boats were alongside and on one occasion there were as many as nine boats alongside at the same time.

The Bibb completed her deployment in February of 1969 and was relieved by Spencer. As Bibb departed the western Pacific for her return to Boston, the commander of the Cruiser-Destroyer Group, U.S. Seventh Fleet, RADM Rudden, send her a message: "As you depart the Cruiser-Destroyer Group, Seventh Fleet, your performance is noted with pleasure. In the various areas of Coast Guard Cutter operations which included Market Time Patrol and Naval Gunfire Support, you leave behind an impressive record of operational excellence. All hands can be justifiably proud of this accomplishment and of the fact that they have contributed significantly to the mission of the Seventh Fleet and to the United States efforts in Southeast Asia. Well done." Respectfully Submitted, John Altfeltis, USN-Retired
A M.I.B. Zippo from 1969, made for Operation Seafloat which consisted of eleven barges chained together and anchored in the Song Cao Lon River next to Old Nam Can City, which was hit hard in 1968, during the Tet Offensive. Seafloat was a Brown Water Navy Base, which supported an attack helicopter squadron with every type of River Assault Group Boat of that era; PBR's, Swift Boats, Zippos and Monitors. In 1969 there was some added protection when the USS Gallup, PG-85 arrived with her 3 inch rapid fire gun for support. Respectfully Submitted, John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired USS Marathon (PG-89)
USS MARATHON, PG-89 off the Coast of Vietnam. USS MARATHON (PG-89) is last PG to engage in SEAFLOAT operations when she departs the Song Bo De on 5 Oct 1970.

Originally built for the Cuban Missile Crisis era, MARATHON was constructed at Tacoma Boat Building in Tacoma, Washington. She was commissioned on 11 MAY 1968 and was intended to see service in the Caribbean Sea and other littoral areas. At the time, this class was the largest patrol craft built by the U.S. since WWII and was the first class of U.S. Navy warship to utilize Gas Turbine propulsion. On 5 SEP 69, the USS Marathon was awarded the green "E" and "C" for efficiency in operations and communications. Marathon was the first patrol gunboat to earn these awards. During her commissioning, the MARATHON was home ported in Guam assigned to COMPHIBPAC and saw 3 tours of duty in Vietnam assigned to CTF-115 conducting Riverine Warfare Operations.

Respectfully Submitted, John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
A Mint in the Box Zippo from Coastal Division 15 Naval Patch/Crest, We Can Hack It, their motto and a picture of a US Navy Swift Boat on the reverse side of the lighter. Zippo is from 1969 and Coastal Division 15 was out of Qui Nhon, Vietnam.

Respectfully Submitted,
John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
This rare Zippo was especially recreated for the Gamewardens of Vietnam 1992 Reunion. The Zippo Company used the original artwork and colors that they used on lighters during the Vietnam War to recreate this two sided rare piece of Zippo history. Zippo only did a very limited run of these lighters and they were sold out in just a few hours, the first day of the reunion. No additional Game Warden lighters were ever produced by Zippo even though there was a large demand by members, attending the reunion. This was a true limited edition. Submitted by: John A.Altfeltis, USN-Retired USCGC Gresham
Ultimately 30 high endurance cutters served in Coast Guard Squadron Three during its existence from April, 1967 through January, 1972. The Navy assigned the cutters to the Gulf of Thailand for 5"/38 gunfire support of Ong Doc as well as logistic support to patrol boats. Squadron Three operated from bases in Da Nang, Cat Lo and An Thoi. Submitted by John A. Altfeltis, USN-Retired
Photos here »
River Division 571 Binh Thuy USS Tutuila
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RivDiv 593 from 68-69
Extremely rare in that it is polished chrome. Submitted by John Altfeltis, USN, Retired.
PBR River Division 592, Go Dau Ha, Vietnam - 1969
Submitted by John A. Altfeltis, USN (Ret)
APL 55 – Submitted by Michael Knowlton
River Division 543 Fear No Evil Gamewardens of Vietnam
Association, Inc.
PBR River Patrol Section 513, Vinh Long, Vietnam - 1966
Submitted by John A. Altfeltis, USN (Ret)
This was one of the first lighters handed out to those of us who put the YRBM-20 in-service around 2/69. This is before the YRBM-20 became known as the Delta Hilton. I had just stopped smoking, so the lighter has remained in the original box for 36 years! Submitted by Greg Wilkey
1st known, Vietnam M.I.B. Zippo
Showing a WWII type P.T. Boat and entitled Peter Tare, the phonetic words for the letters, P. T. - Submitted by John Altfeltis, USN, Retired.
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Guy Arrans River Division 574
Submitted by Ian Griffin, Australia
USCGC Squadron 1, Division 11, Gulf of Thailand - 1967
Submitted by John A. Altfeltis, USN (Ret)
River Squadron 55 River Division 553 River Patrol Section 541
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River Patrol Force River Division 511 River Riders 594
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Coastal Squadron - Swift 1 River Division 554 River Section 511
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RIVPATFLOT V US Naval Forces - Vietnam
Submitted by Ian Griffin, Australia
River Patrol 541
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RPD 59
Submitted by Ian Griffin, Australia
River Division 593 NAVSUPPACT DET YRBM-18
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USS Jerome County YRBM 20 SeaWolves
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CTF 115 River Division 521 River Division 515
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River Section 512 River Division 542 YRBM 21
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PBR Mobile Base II River Division 532 River Section 543
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River Division 511 PBR Navy Training River Division 571

This M.I.B. rare Zippo was gifted to Bob Longwell's father in 1970. The box inscription reads "To Dad, Love Bob"

The photos shown below are suspected fakes — seen on eBay and other sites. (click on image for close-up)


This patch design was for River Section 521 which came into existence on September 1, 1968. River Patrol Section 521 no longer existed after this date. See example of River Division 521 to the right.

Also see the Collectible-Patches page and also Jerry Irvine's Collectible-Plaques for River Division 521.


Fake Riv Section 521

REAL RivDiv 521

Submitted by Jon Kellner,
River Section 521.

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