Period 3

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  MAC-V-SOG Command History Annex B: 
(1971-1972) Volume II, 
The Last Secret of the Vietnam War
by Charles F. Reske

    [Webmaster note: this web page includes four sections which are excerpts from the third book in a series of three.]


(C) The Mobile Support Team (MST), Da Nang functioned as a Branch of NAD. Its parent command was Coastal River Squadron ONE, Coronado, Calif, an integral command of Naval Inshore-Warfare Command, Pacific. All MST personnel were Temporary Attached Duty (TAD) to NAD for a 180-day period. The Mobile Support Team was composed of the OIC, a Navy Line Lieutenant, and ten to fifteen enlisted men of various technical rates commensurate with PTF/PCP craft upkeep and repair.

(S) MST supported NAD/CSS operations through the supervision of training and maintenance efforts of indigenous personnel in the operation, maintenance, and repair of high speed patrol craft (PTFs and PCFs) and their associated base support facilities, and by providing logistic support for the boats through liaison with the Navy Special programs Office at Ship Repair Facility (SRP), Naval Supply Depot, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines.

(C) Through the advisory efforts of MST, MTT assumed the responsibility for maintenance and repair of boat equipment and installed shop equipment, exclusive of certain minor repair/maintenance Items which were conducted by boat crew members. By May 71, the full responsibility for planning, conducting and supervision PTF/PCP crew training and subsequent qualifications of boat commanding/executive officers was shifted to the CSS,

(C) Although MST personnel functioned mainly as advisors, technical assistance was rendered VNN counterparts in completing more complicated tasks beyond their capabilities. Some of the major tasks performed jointly by MST and MTT personnel included:

     1. Eleven engine changes on PTFs.
     2. Three engine changes on PCPs.
     3. Screw changes on PTF/PCFs.
     4. Re-reaving cabling on the 30-ton crane.
     5. Overhaul of engines on the LCM-3 (Pusher Boat) and crane barge.
     6. Installation of AN/PRC-46 radios on all craft.
     7. Installation of AN/PRC-41 radios on four craft.
     8. Improvements to the ventilation system in the radio and converter rooms on all craft.
     9. Installation of AN/ACR-94 radios with MG sets on two craft.
    10. Installation of AN/TUS-1 Starlight Scope mounts on the bridge of PTFs.
    11. Installation of 122mm rocket launchers on PTFs.
    12. Major underwater repairs to the hulls of two PCFs.
    13. Complete re-wiring of the LCM-3 (Pusher Boats).

(C) With the cooperation of SRF, Subic Bay, twenty-three VNN personnel were sent to Subic Bay to attend the Naval Ship Repair Facility School on PTF engineering, electrical, and electronic systems.


(C) On 22 Oct 71, Typhoon Hester, with sustained winds of 75 knots and gusts of over 85 knots, hit the Da Nang area. Of the 10 buildings in the NAD/CSS complex. approximately 30 sustained damage and nine were destroyed. The destroyed buildings were all small sheds or buildings in the CSS Camps and were not rebuilt. The remaining buildings were repaired by the NAD Public Works Department at a cost of $4500 material and $4000 labor. A large quantity of the material utilized was reclaimed from the buildings themselves.

(S) PTFs 6 and 12 were damaged to the extent that they sunk at the mooring piers. Sinking was caused by LCM-3 (Pusher Boat) breaking loose and slamming into the stern of PTF 6, which In turn slammed into PTP 12. The starboard quarters of both PTF 6 and PTF 12 were extensively damaged. LCW-3 (Pusher Boat) sank as a soft patch gave way In the steering room. PCF 3 was sunk clue to excessive damage to the starboard bow caused by heavy winds and sea beating the boat against pontoon causeways. A 40 foot utility boat was sunk when it became trapped between other craft during the high winds and was crushed. All boats were raised by the salvage team ordered from SRP, Subic Bay. The PTPs and PCF were shipped to SRF, Subic Bay for repair. The LCM-3 (Pusher Boat) was overhauled by MST personnel of the VNN with assistance of US Navy MST personnel. The 40 foot utility boat was beyond economical repair and was surveyed. Repair of PTFs 8 and 12 was hale in abeyance pending direction from higher authority. This damage reduced NAD/CSS operational craft to four PTPs and two PCFs.

(C) On 15 Mar 72 MST assisted in the salvage of a UH-1C helicopter that had crashed In Da Nang harbor two weeks earlier. For three days MST personnel, in conjunction with VNN divers from the Logistical Support Base, Da Nang conducted underwater searches for the missing helicopter. On 17 Mar the aircraft was located and raised by the MST floating crane. Three bodies were recovered.

(S) On 29 Mar 72, SCT divers searched for the body of a US PW, allegedly dumped into a canal in Thuan Hoa District, Ba Xuyen Province In 1971, with negative results. 

(S) Anticipating an accelerated drawdown, MST initiated a complete supply reorganization. Over 10,000 repair items, consumables, weapons, and equipage items were inventoried and cataloged. A listing of these items was forwarded to NSD SUBIC and Commander Coastal River Squadron ONE. When redistribution of these items was ordered, a priority listing of consignees was formulated and approved by CDR, MACSOG-37 and the above activities~


(TS) PARBOIL (C) missions consisted of covert maritime operations conducted against North Vietnam. These operations were divided into five categories for which OPLANS were prepared by MACSOG-37 

    1. CLAY DRAGON: PTFs transport Sea Commando teams to designated targets along the North Vietnam Coast and conduct cross-the-beach operations.

    2. BOSTON ANTIQUE: PTFs intercept attempting to infiltrate supplies, and destroy NVN trawlers

    3. HAI CANG TUDO 1: PTFs Interdict and destroy coastal shipping within designated areas along the coast of North Vietnam.

    4. HAI CANG TUDO 2: PTFs conduct shore bombardment of selected targets along the coast of North Vietnam. 

    5. GLYNN REEF: PTFs destroy/disrupt the North Vietnamese fishing industry.

(TS) Four PARBOIL (C) missions were approved by JCS and conducted in 1971:

    1. Two HAI CANG TUDO 1 operations were conducted on 10 and 19 Feb 71 with great success 

    2. Two HAI CANG TUDO 2 operations were conducted 23-24 and 26-27 Dec 71 with negative results. The first operation was aborted due to sea conditions in the target area, and the second was aborted due to an engineering casualty and enemy craft in the target area. 


10 Feb 71

    1 cargo junk sunk.
    1 cargo junk heavily damaged.
    1 sleek hulled coastal freighter (HAIPHONG TL-I5) sunk.
    1 SL-4 damaged.
    8 prisoners taken.
    3 kilos documents captured

19 Feb 71

    1 cargo vessel
    1 P-4 sunk. 
      [Author's note: The P-4 is a Soviet-built aluminum hulled motor torpedo boat mounting 2 Machlne Guns (1 twin) and capable of attaining speeds of up to 50 knots. All statistics on NVN and US/SVN vessels are drawn from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1974-75.]
    2 SO-1 damaged. 
      [The SO-1 is a  Soviet submarine chaser mounting 4-25mm guns (2 twin mountings), 4-5 barrelled NBU and 2 DCT Anti-Submarine weapons. It can reach speeds of up to 29 knots.]
    1  SHANGHAI II heavily damaged. 
      [The SHANGHAI II is a Fast Attack Craft-Gun transferred to NVN by the People's Republic of China in 1966. It mounts 4-37mm guns ( two mountings) and 4-25mm (twins) and is capable of speeds of 30 knots.]