During the Vietnam War, the 82-foot “Point”-Class cutters of Squadron One supported small boat reconnaissance missions. Their missions required the small boats to probe the canals and waterways of South Vietnam. These missions gathered intelligence regarding enemy weapons, troop movements, fortified positions and bunkers. Check out the blog to learn more about these dangerous operations, carried out at night and giving new meaning to the service’s old saying, “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.”
Today, over 50 years after the service joined the fight in Vietnam, we commemorate the Coast Guardsmen who went in harm’s way, several of whom paid with their lives in a land far from home shores. In all, 8,000 Coast Guardsmen served in Vietnam. Their efforts curtailed maritime smuggling and enemy infiltration, saved hundreds of lives, and proved vital to the war effort in Vietnam.
For more than 150 years, servicemembers from every military branch have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery has a free app to help visitors locate gravesites, monuments and more. It also includes a self-guided Coast Guard tour focusing on points of interest relating to the Coast Guard, Coast Guard aviation and notable pioneers of naval aviation.
With a max speed of more than 28 knots and a range of nearly 3,000 nautical miles, the Coast Guard’s fast response cutters are crucial to curbing illegal maritime activity. The Coast Guard welcomed the 17th fast response cutter, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, to the fleet in the cutter’s new home port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 20, 2016.
Fast Response Cutter namesake Heriberto Segovia Hernandez volunteered for duty in Vietnam in 1968. Known as “Eddie” by his friends and shipmates, Hernandez was assigned to the 82-foot Coast Guard patrol boat Point Cypress, which served along the Cau Mau Peninsula on the southern-most tip of South Vietnam.
“Their numbers were not large – their contribution was,” said Capt. Sean Cross. “They were all volunteers, many with spouses and families, who regularly put their lives on the line to save fellow airmen who were in peril of death or capture. Their focus was on Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.”
The U.S. Coast Guard continued to expand U.S. ties to Vietnam last week with a visit by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp, who became the first Commandant to visit as part of an official international outreach initiative. Over the past three years, the Coast Guard, in close coordination with the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, has been helping Vietnam to build their maritime governance capacity by providing training assistance to the Vietnam Marine Police. The VMP is a “Coast Guard-like” maritime law enforcement component within their Ministry of Defense, and will become the Vietnam Coast Guard next month.
It was the eve of Coast Guard Cutter Robert Yered’s commissioning. The decks were abuzz with anticipation as the crew was just hours away from taking their months of training to the sea. The Coast Guard’s fourth fast response cutter – with its impressive array of capabilities and state-of-the-art technology – will be a sentinel on the shores of our nation. But this sentinel will also be a symbol of valor; the valor of Engineman 1st Class Robert Yered.
There are many titles used in the Coast Guard. Some are earned as you move up in the ranks while some are given based off your chosen profession. Amongst all of the titles Coast Guard members earn there is one that perhaps warrants the most bragging rights – plank owner.
Henry Rittichier visits the Vietnam Memorial Wall where the name of his brother Coast Guard Lt. Jack Columbus Rittichier's name is listed on Oct. 5, 2003. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto. A 34-year-old Coast Guard pilot flew above the war-torn Republic of Vietnam with many uncertainties on his mind.