By Sandy Gall, Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division
Did you know March 29th is Vietnam War Veterans Day? Every facet of the Navy we know today took part in the Vietnam War effort. Sailors were on the sea, along the rivers, in the air, and on land in support of ongoing operations.
Just as those who came before them and those who serve today, our Navy Vietnam War veterans served their country with honor, courage, and commitment. At the Naval History and Heritage Command we’re proud of our mission to remember the sacrifice and service of Sailors past. We believe the service of those who came before us should be celebrated and remembered. So, in conjunction with the Presidential Proclamation asking all Americans to say Thank You to our Vietnam War veterans, we recently asked our Facebook fans to share their, or their family members, stories of service. Here are some highlights from that post.
Editor’s note: All language and imagery were provided by the fan indicated in the corresponding caption. To find out more about Navy’s role in the Vietnam War, visit our website for books available for free download, imagery and much more!
From Facebook fan Larry Weatherall: RivPatSec 531 – MK I PBR w/ GMSN Mac McMurry on the twins, QM1 Bob Fellman on the helm, GMSN Ken Baumann on the M-60 and ENFN Larry Weatherall on the aft .50.
From Facebook fan Wes Linscott: This is a photo of me as a RM3 aboard the destroyer tender USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37) taken in July 1972 as we arrived back in San Diego after a 10-month WestPac deployment which included service at Da Nang in Vietnam.
From Facebook fan Michael Blanchard: CWO2 Gary Blanchard, my father, in 1968 aboard the USS New Jersey. He was the main engines technician and putting this ship into commission and serving aboard during her Vietnam deployment was the highlight of his career.
From Facebook fan Thomas Irwin: My dad. 1969 to 1972. He was with Va75 onboard Kitty Hawk and Saratoga.
From Facebook fan Grace Anderson: My dad Jerry Kovach enlisted on his 18th birthday in 1968 and served on a PBR in Vietnam. He made the Navy his career serving almost 25 years and retired a GMC.
From Facebook fan Josie Lynne Lenny: My dad, Peter John Lenny, served on USS Oriskany flying A-7 jets during the Vietnam War. So proud of him!
From Facebook fan Michael Kerins: This is me on USS Hoel DDG13 during my second deployment to the Tonkin Gulf in 1970. FTG1 in gunnery division.
From Facebook fan Kimberlyn Fortier: This is my father, who served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk from 1968-1971. Unfortunately he is no longer with us, he passed away suddenly 20 June 2015. He came from a long line of service members. His grandmother (my great grandmother), Nellie W Fortier, sponsored the USS Batfish due to 9 of her son’s serving all at once during WWII.
From Facebook fan Joey M Fiordaliso: Me in the Tonkin gulf aboard the USS BAINBRIDGE DLGN-25 72-74
From Facebook fan Freddie Libao: USS Bayfield APA 33, ‘67-68 , decommissioned.. was transferred to USS Yorktown CVA – 33, decommissioned ‘69..got transferred to USS Oriskany CVA 34 ‘69-72. Retired 22 years service.