Description Operation Market Time was the United States Navy’s effort to stop troops and supplies from flowing by sea from North Vietnam to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was one of four Navy duties begOperation Market Time was the United States Navy’s effort to stop troops and supplies from flowing by sea from North Vietnam to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was one of four Navy duties begun after the Tonkin Gulf Incident, along with Operation Sea Dragon, Operation Sealords and naval gunfire support.
Seaplane tenders USS Currituck (AV-7), USS Pine Island (AV-12), and USS Salisbury Sound (AV-13) served as flagships for Market Time.
A VP-40 SP-5B Marlin on patrol in 1965.
An SP-2H Neptune of VP-1 flying over Vietnamese junks.
When a trawler was intercepted landing arms and ammunition at Vung Ro Bay in northern Khánh Hòa Province on 16 February 1965 it provided the first tangible evidence of the North Vietnamese supply operation. This became known as the Vung Ro Bay Incident.
North Vietnamese mine laying ships attempted to close the entrance to the bay but were turned back by U.S. Marine helicopters modified with anti-ship missiles launching daring close range attacks on the vessels, braving intense machine gun fire from North Vietnamese commandos on the decks of the ships.
P5M seaplane Patrol Squadrons, Navy destroyers, ocean minesweepers, PCFs (Swift boats) and United States Coast Guard cutters performed the operation. Also playing a key role in the interdictions were the Navy’s patrol gunboats (PGs). The PG was uniquely suited for the job because of its ability to go from standard diesel propulsion to gas turbine (jet engine) propulsion in a matter of a few minutes. The lightweight aluminum and fiberglass ships were not only fast but highly maneuverable because of their variable pitch propellers. Most of the ships operated in the coastal waters from the Cambodian border around the south tip of Vietnam up north to Dà Nẵng. Supply ships from the Service Force, such as oilers, would bring mail, movies, and fuel.
Of the many vessels involved in Operation Market Time, one of the more notable was the USCGC Point Welcome (WPB-82329) which, on 11 August 1966, was brought under fire by a number of United States Air Force aircraft. This incident of a "blue-on-blue" engagement killed two members of the cutter’s crew (one of whom was the commanding officer) and wounded nearly everyone on board.
Operation Market Time was established by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff after the 1965 Vung Ro incident to blockade the vast South Vietnam coastline against North Vietnamese gun-running trawlers. The trawlers, usually 100-foot-long Chinese-built steel-hulled coastal freighters, could carry several tons of arms and ammunition in their hulls. Not flying a national ensign that would identify them, the ships would maneuver “innocently” out in the South China Sea, waiting for the cover of darkness to make high-speed runs to the South Vietnam coastline. If successful, the ships would off load their cargoes to waiting Viet Cong or North Vietnamese forces.
To stop these potential infiltrations, Market Time was set up as a coordinated effort of long range patrol aircraft for broad reconnaissance and tracking. These aircraft, initially SP-5 seaplanes, later P-2 and SP-2 Neptunes and P-3 Orions, were armed with Bullpup air-to-surface missiles and were therefore capable of engaging these craft directly. Under normal conditions, however U.S. and allied surface forces intercepted suspect ships that crossed inside South Vietnam’s 12-mile coastal boundary. On the aviation side, some of the patrol squadrons that were involved and flying from South Vietnam, Thailand, or Philippine bases were: VP-1, VP-2, VP-4, VP-6, VP-8, VP-16, VP-17, VP-22, VP-26, VP-28, VP-40, VP-42, VP-45, VP-46, VP-47,VP-48, VP-49 and VP-50.
A significant action of Market Time occurred on 1 March 1968, when the North Vietnamese attempted a coordinated infiltration of four gun-running trawlers. Two of the four trawlers were destroyed by allied ships in gun battles, one trawler crew detonated charges on board their vessel to avoid capture, and the fourth trawler turned tail and retreated at high speed into the South China Sea. LT Norm Cook, the patrol plane commander of a VP-17 P-2H Neptune patrol aircraft operating from Cam Ranh Bay, was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for discovering and following two of the four trawlers in the action.
Market Time, which operated day and night, fair weather and foul, for eight and a half years, succeeded in denying the North Vietnamese a means of delivering tons of war materials into South Vietnam by sea.... More
Criteria The Navy Good Conduct Medal (NGCM) is a decoration presented by the United States Navy to recognize members who have completed three years of honorable service. Medals awarded before January 1, 1996 r... The Navy Good Conduct Medal (NGCM) is a decoration presented by the United States Navy to recognize members who have completed three years of honorable service. Medals awarded before January 1, 1996 required four years of service. MoreHide
Description TF 115 was responsible for the harbor defense and surveillance units in the ports of Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, and Vung Ro, Inshore Undersea Warfare Groups (IUWG) 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5,TF 115 was responsible for the harbor defense and surveillance units in the ports of Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, and Vung Ro, Inshore Undersea Warfare Groups (IUWG) 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, operated a total of 16 large personnel landing craft, 25 Boston Whalers, and 8 picket boats in Operation Stable Door. The 45-foot picket boats, which began to reach Vietnam in June 1967, carried a crew of one officer and five men and two .50-caliber machine guns, twin-mounted. In each port the units constructed harbor entrance control posts and equipped them with radios and surface search radars.
Description This Campaign period was from 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968. By mid-1967, the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service operated a fleet of 527 reactivated World War II Reserve Fleet ships and chartThis Campaign period was from 1 June 1967 to 29 January 1968. By mid-1967, the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service operated a fleet of 527 reactivated World War II Reserve Fleet ships and chartered vessels under U.S. and foreign registry. Throughout this period, MSTS shipping carried over 40,000 U.S. and allied combat and support troops to South Vietnam. The allied requirements for transportation were passed from MSTS representatives in the ports of Danang, Chu Lai, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh, Vung Tau, Phan Rang, and Vung Ro through the MSTS office in Saigon to the MSTS Far East, headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and finally to Commander MSTS in the United States. Many types of vessels sailed in the MSTS fleet, including converted escort carriers Core, Card, Point Cruz (T-AKV 19), and Kula Gulf (T-AKV 8), which served as aircraft ferries. Corpus Christi Bay (T-ARVH 1), formerly seaplane tender Albermarle (AV 5), operated as a helicopter repair ship for the Army. In addition to the great number of standard cargo hulls, the service operated ships that carried cargo stowed in easily handled containers and new roll-on/roll-off ships that could quickly load and unload vehicles through rear or side ports. Arriving at Danang on 1 August 1967, Bienville was the first such container vessel to reach South Vietnam. Fuel tankers included the 190,000-barrel capacity Maumee (T-AO 149), the 140,000-barrel Cache (T-AO 67), and the 30,000-barrel Chattahoochee (T-AOG 82), the latter of which was used for storage and shuttle services in-country.
MSTS also controlled as many as 16 troop transports in the Pacific during the buildup of forces in South Vietnam. A fleet of LSTs, the number of which increased from 17 to 42 by mid-1968, handled cargo shuttling along the coast. In-port lighterage and terminal duties were accomplished by the MSTS-contracted Alaska Barge and Transport Company, which operated 19 tugs and 33 barges. The total MSTS effort ensured that the 550,000-man U.S. contingent in South Vietnam was well supplied, armed, and prepared to stay in the battle against the determined enemy.
Naval Support Activity, Saigon, which the Navy activated on 17 May 1966, two days after HSAS ceased operations, was charged with providing logistic support to naval units in the II, III, and IV Corps Tactical Zones. The newly created NAVFORV directed the operations of NSA Saigon. The support activity supplied the Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force, River Patrol Force, Riverine Assault Force, and the various specialized headquarters, offices, and detachments operating in the three southern corps areas. NSA Saigon provided the commands with ammunition, weapons, and communications equipment; transported cargo and personnel; repaired and maintained ships and craft; stocked spare parts; and built bases and facilities. Finally, NSA saw to the quartering, messing, payroll, and recreational needs of the naval officers and enlisted personnel in Vietnam.
The Saigon activity developed subordinate support bases for the combat forces similar to those of NSA Danang's. NSA Saigon detachments at Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh Bay, An Thoi, Cat Lo, and Vung Tau primarily served the Market Time operation, although the last two bases were home to other naval combat units as well. The concentration of the Task Force 115 headquarters, naval air units, and other large contingents at Cam Ranh Bay required greater command authority and logistic resources. As a result, in September 1967, NSA Saigon upgraded the detachment to the Naval Support Facility, Cam Ranh Bay. Detachments were also established at Can Tho (and later moved to nearby Binh Thuy), Nha Be, Vinh Long, Sa Dec, My Tho, Tan Chau, and Long Xuyen. These units saw to the special needs of the Task Force 116 PBR commands. The Naval Support Activity, Saigon, Detachment Dong Tam, supplied only the Mobile Riverine Force naval units. ... More
Criteria The Vietnam Service Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspa... The Vietnam Service Medal was awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who served at any time between July 4, 1965, and March 28, 1973, in Vietnam or its contiguous waters or airspace; or, for any period of service during the same time period in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia or the air spaces thereover and in direct support of operations in Vietnam. MoreHide
Criteria This medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who: 1. Served for 6 months in South Vietnam during the period 1 Mar 61 and 28 Mar 73; or 2. Served outside the geographical l... This medal is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who: 1. Served for 6 months in South Vietnam during the period 1 Mar 61 and 28 Mar 73; or 2. Served outside the geographical limits of South Vietnam and contributed direct combat support to the RVN Armed Forces for an aggregate of six months. Only members of the Armed Forces of the United States who meet the criteria established for the AFEM (Vietnam) or Vietnam Service Medal during the period of service required are considered to have contributed direct combat support to the RVN Armed Forces; or 3. Did not complete the length of service required in item (1) or (2) above, but who, during wartime, were: a. Wounded by the enemy (in a military action); b. Captured by the enemy during action or in the line of duty, but later rescued or released; or c. Killed in action or in the line of duty; or 4. Were assigned in Vietnam on 28 Jan 73, and who served a minimum of 60 calendar days in Vietnam during the period 29 Jan 73 to 28 Mar 73. MoreHide
Criteria The National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service... The National Defense Service Medal is awarded for honorable active service as a member of the Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, the war against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, and for service during the current War on Terrorism. In addition, all members of the National Guard and Reserve who were part of the Selected Reserve in good standing between August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995, are eligible for the National Defense Service Medal. In the case of Navy personnel, Midshipment attending the Naval Academy during the qualifying periods are eligible for this award, and Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Midshipmen ae only eligible if they participated in a summer cruise that was in an area which qualified for a campaign medal. MoreHide