Richards, E. Mack, PNCS

Personnelman
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary Designator/NEC
9513-Senior Manpower Analyst
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Personnelman
Primary Unit
1985-1988, PN-0000, USS Texas (CGN-39)
Previously Held Designator/NEC
8351-A-4 Maintenance Technician
00-0000-Unknown NEC Rating
PN-0000-Personnelman
PN-9614-Job Analyst
Service Years
1968 - 1988
Foreign Language(s)
Japanese
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Dragon
Tailhook
PN-Personnelman
Four Hash Marks

 Official Badges 

Career Counselor US Navy Retired 20


 Unofficial Badges 

Sea Bees Badge Order of the Shellback Cold War Medal Navy Chief Initiated

Gulf of Tonkin Yacht Club Order of the Golden Dragon Cold War Veteran Global War on Terrorism Civilian Support Medal

Vietnam Veteran 50th Commemoration Blue Water Navy


 Photo Album   (More...



Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (68-69)
Start Year
1968
End Year
1969

Description
This Campaign period was from 2 November to 22 February 1969. When Admiral Zumwalt launched SEALORDS in October 1968 with the blessing of the new COMUSMACV, General Creighton Abrams, allied naval forces in South Vietnam were at peak strength. The U.S. Navy's Coastal Surveillance Force operated 81 Swift boats, 24 Coast Guard WPBs, and 39 other vessels. The River Patrol Force deployed 258 patrol and minesweeping boats; the 3,700-man Riverine Assault Force counted 184 monitors, transports, and other armored craft; and Helicopter Attack Squadron Light (HAL) 3 flew 25 armed helicopters.

This air component was soon augmented by the 15 fixed-wing OV-10 Bronco aircraft of Attack Squadron Light (VAL) 4, activated in April 1969. The lethal Bronco flown by the "Black Ponies" of VAL-4 carried 8 to 16 5- inch Zuni rockets, 19 2.75-inch rockets, 4 M-60 machine guns, and a 20-millimeter cannon. In addition, five SEAL platoons supported operations in the delta.

Complementing the American naval contingent were the Vietnamese Navy's 655 ships, assault craft, patrol boats, and other vessels. To focus the allied effort on the SEALORDS campaign, COMNAVFORV appointed his deputy the operational commander, or "First SEALORD," of the newly activated Task Force 194. Although continuing to function, the Game Warden, Market Time, and Riverine Assault Force operations were scaled down and their personnel and material resources increasingly devoted to SEALORDS.

Task Force 115 PCFs mounted lightning raids into enemy- held coastal waterways and took over patrol responsibility for the delta's larger rivers. This freed the PBRs for operations along the previously uncontested smaller rivers and canals. These intrusions into former Viet Cong bastions were possible only with the on-call support of naval aircraft and the heavily armed riverine assault craft.

In the first phase of the SEALORDS campaign allied forces established patrol "barriers," often using electronic sensor devices, along the waterways paralleling the Cambodian border. In early November 1968, PBRs and riverine assault craft opened two canals between the Gulf of Siam at Rach Gia and the Bassac River at Long Xuyen. South Vietnamese paramilitary ground troops helped naval patrol units secure the transportation routes in this operational area, soon named Search Turn.

Later in the month, Swift boats, PBRs, riverine assault craft, and Vietnamese naval vessels penetrated the Giang Thanh-Vinh Te canal system and established patrols along the waterway from Ha Tien on the gulf to Chau Doc on the upper Bassac. As a symbol of the Vietnamese contribution to the combined effort, the allied command changed the name of this operation from Foul Deck to Tran Hung Dao I.

Then in December U.S. naval forces pushed up the Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay Rivers west of Saigon, against heavy enemy opposition, to cut infiltration routes from the "Parrot's Beak" area of Cambodia. The Giant Slingshot operation, so named for the configuration of the two rivers, severely hampered Communist resupply in the region near the capital and in the Plain of Reeds.

Completing the first phase of the SEALORDS program, in January 1969 PBRs, assault support patrol boats (ASPB), and other river craft established patrol sectors along canals westward from the Vam Co Tay to the Mekong River in Operation Barrier Reef. Thus, by early 1969 a patrolled waterway interdiction barrier extended almost uninterrupted from Tay Ninh northwest of Saigon to the Gulf of Siam.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1968
To Year
1969
 
Last Updated:
May 31, 2015
   
Personal Memories
   
Units Participated in Operation

1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade

 
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  296 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, William, PO3, (1965-1969)
  • Adams, Roger, PO2, (1967-1976)
  • Anderson, Bill, PO3, (1967-1973)
  • Bassett, Michael, PO2, (1963-1972)
  • Bentley, Edward, CPO, (1951-1975)
  • Borruso, Cam, PO2, (1966-1969)
  • Cayford, Bill, PO1, (1966-1972)
  • Claeys, Kenneth (Ken), PO2, (1965-1969)
  • Cochran, Leon, LT, (1964-1994)
  • Conrad, Jack, CWO4, (1968-1996)
  • Coyle, Michael, PO2, (1966-1970)
  • Dahlke, William, CMC, (1958-1988)
  • Delauney, Mitchell, PO1, (1974-1988)
  • Diano, Steve, PO2, (1963-1970)
  • Dubuque, John, MCPO, (1965-1993)
  • Eckstein, Dan, PO2, (1967-1971)
  • Elam, Stephen, PO1, (1966-1994)
  • Ellis, Tom, PO2, (1968-1972)
  • Ewing, Kent, CAPT, (1965-1993)
  • Fields, Ed, PO1, (1955-1975)
  • Franclemont, David, PO3, (1967-1978)
  • Frederick, Lee, PO1, (1968-1989)
  • Frohwitter, Joseph, CWO2, (1967-1994)
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