"I wish to have no Connection with a Ship that does not Sail Fast, for I intend to go in Harm's Way."
-Captain John Paul Jones
16 November 1778
BROWN WATER SCHOLARSHIPS
DEADLINE JULY 30TH EACH YEAR.
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I attended the change of command for Coastal River Squadron Eleven at Seal Beach on 3 December, 2016 representing Gamewardens, Vietnam to Present. Captain Brad Story relieved Captain Charles (Chuck) Lund as Commanding officer of CRS-11. Captain David E. Miller Commander, Coastal Riverine Group One was present and the main speaker was Vice Admiral Luke M. McCollum Chief of Navy Reserve Commander, Navy Reserve Force. Both Captain Lund and Captain Story have been great supporters of Gamewardens and Captain Story has been serving as the Gamewardens West Coast Chapter Vice President. Larry Bissonnette one of our all time greatest supporters and volunteers had ask to step down from his B.O.D. position, one of many he has held over the years; most notable his twelve plus years managing our ships store. I requested a minute with Captain Story and ask if he would be willing to take the position on our Board of Directors. He excepted without hesitation, and said he is ready to help in any way possible. I met with the officers and enlisted of his command and talked with the senior enlisted separately I received nothing but positive feedback. Coastal River Squadron Eleven and Gamewardens has had a long standing relationship that includes picnics prior to deployment and meeting their returning warriors. The MORALE of this command is nothing less than excellent and I for see the bond between the past warriors and our current warriors continuing to grow. I thank Captain Story and Captain Lund for inviting me to be present at this moment in history it was very touching to this old sailor. God Bless you all and have a Blessed Christmas.
President Gamewardens Vietnam to Present
Complements of/to Jerry Gandy (from email 10/17/2016)
Just returned yesterday from Baltimore MD. and the commissioning of the USS (Elmo, "Budd") Zumualt. What a spectacular event! It was estimated that 10,000 attended. Many high dignitaries were in attendance, including the Secretary of the Navy, who I actually spent some time chatting with, and the Chief of Naval Operations. The Secretary stated that the next ship of the Zumualt class will be named the Lyndon B. Johnson. The ship is super stealth and awesome in size and capabilities. (in fact, the size of a cruiser)
Bob Browers of the Northwestern Chapter of Gamewardens, Vietnam to Present presented the ship with two beautiful gifts, a silver plated, encased SKS Rifle that was actually captured in Vietnam, and donated by Larry Bissonnette, and a beautiful shadow box. We must all thank Larry for the donation of the rifle.
Nancy Re (Bless her heart), who did a whole lot of prepping and organizing to facilitate the care and needs of Gamewardens attendees, is due many thanks, and I would like to take this opportunity to (again) add my appreciation and thanks to her. She has developed a "Scrap Book" containing 250 photos of the proceedings, and of Gamewardens who attended. Please honor her by reviewing them! If you were not there, you missed a a great show!
(Our thanks to Jerry. When it is well said, repeat it. View the pictures below to see the rifle and shadow box. Both looked teriffic, and were immediately taken to special display areas on the ship. Special thanks to Larry Bissonnette and the NE Chapter. To Nancy Re, on behalf of all those who attended; We deeply appreciate your efforts to insure this was a truely 'great show'.)
These pictures were taken across two days. The first day was when the presentations were made to the ship/crew immediately following the commissioning ceremony rehersal. The second day was of course the actual ceremony. Gamewardens personnel were honored by being given front and second row seats at this auspicious occasion! We were all individually greeted by the Secretary of the Navy with a handshake and words such as "So good to see here. You know this ship was built for you guys".
In the process of doing some research for a buddy I served with whose records are horribly incomplete! He served on PCF 66, CosRon 15 from 6/66-5/67 and in RivDiv 533 from 1/68-1/69. He was on my boat and the guy who saved my life on 26JUL1968! His final DD-214 shows he was awarded the National Defense, Viet Nam Service and Viet Nam Campaign medals ONLY. He also was awarded, but never received, a Navy Commendation Medal with "V"; it was downgraded by Saigon from a Bronze Star! His records don't show the Cross of Gallantry, Civil Actions 1st Class, Navy Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation (for Tet '68) and Navy Unit Commendation he earned while on PCF 66 in CosRon 15. Then I find this other award that apparently was authorized to all Naval and Coast Guard personnel who earned the Viet Nam Service Medal and that is the Viet Nam Naval Service Medal (a Vietnamese award). The info is at: www.amervets.com/replacement/vnnv.htm.
Watch this video of the modern 'boat guys',
The SWCCs, as they show how they "Get 'er done!"
Please send stories, events, your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf on the organization membership, thanks for your effort and contribution Dick!
The 158th Army Sea Tigers and individuals from RD-535 and RD-515 combine for a reunion in Virginia. They deeply appreciate SBU-20 (our SWCC brothers) for their support. Click here to see a slideshow of activities.
In support of the event the two coordinators Dennis Ambruso and Dave Pizzoferrato brought their PBR's. So, once again a two-boat patrol left the docks and proceeded to the Pelican Marina in Elizabeth City in support of the reunion. Charlie stayed low in his bunkers.
The Vietnam story you haven't heard! The MOST DECORATED SQUADRON in naval history,HA(L)-3 SEAWOLVES ... A film is being made, click here to view the trailer. If the Seawolves ever saved your ass contribute to the effort to produce this film.
(many thanks to our brothers who shared their photos)
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Black Beret and their RivRon 1 Beret Flash
Riverine Squadron One after they were outfitted with the Black Beret and their RivRon 1 Beret Flash. They procured the 200+ Black Berets and the Flashes from the Gamewardens Ass'n Ship's Store.
This list identifies ships and boats involved in the inland waterways of Vietnam. Quite extensive and in many cases explains the ships reasons for being there.
IED's - HERE'S HOW THEY DO IT! This is a video of a suicide VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosion Device). The explosions are definitely not like the movies. We were actually out on patrol that day and heard the blast from about 7 miles away. Watch the slow moving dump truck moving toward you in the left lane. You'll see some Iraqi Army humvees pull up behind it before it blows. No Americans hurt that day. View the video »
Read the narrative copy from All Hands magazine [June 1970] about the USS Harnett County during Operation Giant Slingshot and view a copy of the Presidential Unit Citation »
It's Official!! DD-214's are now online through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
Viet Nam vets' experience on boats utilized in Iraq — 7/9/2006
By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY. Read the full article.
Enjoy hundreds of clips of Vietnam-era music »
Herb Stephan's dedication speech - from the ceremony at the Naval Amphibious Base Special Warfare Compound at Little Creek, VA, July 18, 2003..
We've got some talented folks among us – please take a moment to peruse our library below:
Gamewardens of Vietnam History Book, Second Edition.
by Gamewardens Sailors - Hardback, an in-depth overview of the history of the Gamewardens, complete with photos. A must-read for Brown-Water sailors!
America’s True Heroes
by Nicholas Rider In America’s True Heroes (Island Time Publishing, 2006) you will be introduced to Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine veterans who served in peacetime and during conflicts; from WWI to present-day Iraq. You will be inspired by their bravery, commitment to duty, and love for their country. 50+ photos. Read More Here »
by Ralph Christopher and Jim Davy. The true story of an elite group of men who wrote a page in Naval history. They patrolled the waterways in thirty-one foot river patrol boats powered by Detroit diesel engines with water jet-propulsion. Armed with machineguns and grenade launchers, as well as sheer guts and determination, these sailors faced danger around every bend in the river.
NILO HA TIEN
Vietnam War In the early months of 1970, LT Thomas Medici, NILO Ha Tien, enters Cambodia on U.S. Naval Intelligence missions and negotiates a secret weapons agreement with the Cambodian Navy, then thwarts the destruction of the Port of Sihanoukville-- for which he is tried at a Naval Board of Inquiry. "This remarkable novel relates many events that our Naval Intelligence Liaison Officers actually experienced during the Cambodia episode of the Vietnam War...
by Lynn Salsi
Eighteen year old Al Lupo is suddenly faced with the biggest decision of his life after he is drafted to serve in the United States military in 1965. This novel is a coming-of-age saga of Al dealing with his relationship with his father, dealing with the authority of officers, and learning to survive.
Al (A.J.) Billings
An exciting action filled novel of one of the top decorated naval aviators of the Vietnam era brings the reader a dramatic story of a twenty-two year career of a Navy helicopter pilot. By the end of the Vietnam War he was a four tour veteran with well over 600 missions and the recipient of more than thirty-nine citations, including the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross.
by Marie LeDuc and Dr. Art Schmitt
The stories of Families of Veterans who are effected with post tramatic stress disorder.
A Quiet Reality
by Emilio Marrero, Jr - A heartwarming and hopeful story that invites you to join Chaplain Marrero in this exciting journey through Iraq as he ministered to U.S. Marines. Join him through an exhilarating tactical convoy during his first night in Iraq, through the painful ministry to the wounded and dead. Reflect with him as he ponders on this quest as a man in uniform and a pastor. Walk with him through the ancient ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's Palace in Babil and join him on an exciting quest to open biblical history to his Marines while he seeks to care for the Iraqis around him. More »
When Johnny/Joanie Comes Marching Home
by Dr. Lester L. Westling - Our military families endure the burdens of separation when a significant member is repeatedly, often suddenly, called far away to serve for extended periods of time. Not only handling the separations but also the reunions and restoration of the family circle are the subjects of this book.
All That Glitters
by Lester Westling - Join respected pastor, missionary, and former Navy Chaplain Lester Westling as he chronicles his journey through danger, toil, and triumph and discovers the true meaning of treasure that lasts. His riveting stores will capture your imagination and inspire you to reach for the true gold of life?gold that will glitter forever in Heaven.
by Ralph Christopher - River Rats provides a ...lively insight into the hows and whys of the United States involvement in Vietnam, and the attempt of that involvement to bring freedom to those who were unable to achieve it by their own efforts...
by Ralph Christopher - From author From the Author: DUTY HONOR SACRIFICE, is 432 pages, 30 chapters with maps and pictures. It is divided up with TF-115, -116, and -117 and 9th Infantry stories all told together. It was another honor to have been trusted by so many to tell portions of their stories.
Listen to a radio interview of the author on "Meet The Author" »
Riverine Photo Album
by Ralph Christopher - The Riverine Photo Album is a tribute to those forces that served in the river coastal war of South Vietnam, which was made up of small units of sailors that manned forward firebases, floating detachments, and rode small fast patrol boats and the larger heavy riverine craft alongside South Vietnamese troops, mercenaries, and regional forces, who were fighting for their independence from communist rule. The River Rats and River Raiders fought for freedom and they fought with honor, but in the end they fought for each other. Praise is hardly enough.
by Bill Ferguson -
Volunteering for anything while serving in the Navy
is risky business. Many a naive Sailor found
himself suffering from "volunteers remorse" shortly
after stepping forward to answer the call for a
special assignment. Before he could hum the first
few notes of Anchors Aweigh, he would come to
believe that what he had asked for and what he had
received may not be the same...
Available in the Ships Store »
A Day In The Life Of The Brown Water Navy.
by LTJG John. F. McGuire – A rare book by LTJG McGuire that outlines an "average" day on The Mekong Delta in a stunning pictorial fashion.
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