Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
By Marc Liebman, Fireship Press, Tuscan, AZ, (2012)
Reviewed by Thomas P. Ostrom
It was my pleasure to review this magnificent book about U.S. Navy helicopter combat rescue operations for downed aviators and crews during the Vietnam War. Naval Historical Foundation Program Director Dr. David F. Winkler suggested I review this book because of my own writing about U.S. Coast Guard history and that service’s Search and Rescue (SAR) legacy. The USCG flew SAR missions with the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam in the Sikorsky “Jolly Green Giant” helicopters that author Marc Liebman chronicles in his exciting book, Big Mother 40.(read the full review)
On 2 August 1964 three North Vietnamese PT boats attacked destroyer USS Maddox (DD 731) in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. Maddox sunk one. A few days later, the U.S. Congess passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which gave the Government authorization for what eventually became a full-scale war in Southeast Asia. This oil on canvas by Commander E.J. Fitzgerald depicts the fight. NHHC image KN-11060.
On 29 July 1967 the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CVA 59) suffered a huge fire that began among aircraft on her flight deck and spread into her hangar. More than 130 of Forrestal's men lost their lives, 26 aircraft were destroyed and over thirty damaged. The Navy learned crucial firefighting lessons from the tragedy.
Former Vietnam POW Visits Cold War Gallery
The U.S. Navy’s Cold War Gallery, located at the Washington Navy Yard, pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the five tense decades of the latter half of the 20th century. In June, the Naval Historical Foundation cut the ribbon on a new “Battle Behind Bars” exhibit, dedicated to the memory of the U.S. Navy Prisoners of War held during the Vietnam War. On Friday, 28 June, one of those POWs paid a visit to the Gallery, and had the chance to reunite with a unique artifact that he had previously donated – a pair of boxer shorts that he wore during captivity. Captain Ted Triebel, USN (Ret) was a naval aviator whose F-4 Phantom was shot down over North Vietnam by a surface to air missile in August 1972.(read the full story here)
New Interpretation Planned for Vietnam POW Artifacts on Display in Cold War Gallery
With the support of the Naval Historical Foundation, valuable contextual interpretation is being developed for artifact display cases located in the South Hall of the Cold War Gallery of the National Museum of the United States Navy. On display within these glass cases are Vietnam Prisoner of War artifacts including boxer shorts dotted with red hearts, a shoulder board, sandals, a chess set, cigarettes, soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and textbooks.
any good photos of the river boats used in Vietnam????
Here’s a drawing we really like, from our good friend and supporter Captain John Roach (image is USN 1165166).
We also have a number of photographs of Vietnam boats on the Cold War Gallery website, here is starting page of the Vietnam exhibit: http://usnavymuseum.org/Ex9_HotWars_Vietnam.asp
As you flip through that virtual tour, you’ll notice that a number of small Vietnam boat models are also on display in the Cold War Gallery. And outside, on the Riverwalk, is a real PCF Swift Boat on permanent display.
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NHF Annual Meeting and Ribbon Cutting of New Museum Exhibit
The Naval Historical Foundation 2012 Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, 23 June, and featured the debut of a brand new exhibit for the Cold War Gallery. Admiral James Holloway, USN (Ret), christened the new exhibit with a riveting firsthand account of the 1972 battle in Haiphong Harbor that is memorialized in the new “Into the Lion’s Den” exhibit.
USS Providence Veterans Recall Operation Lion’s Den
The Foundation has been busily occupied preparing the new exhibit “Into the Lion’s Den” for the Cold War Gallery, and on Thursday, 3 May, we were reminded of the reason we strive to build such exhibits in the first place. The National Navy Museum and the Cold War Gallery were honored by a visit from approximately 60 members of the USS Providence (CL 82/CLG 6) reunion group. Amongst the group were two sailors who were on board Providence the night of the pitched battle in Haiphong Harbor: Gary Cheever and Ken Chambers. For those unfamiliar with the exhibit, it centers around a 1972 nighttime raid by four surface warships of the U.S. Navy deep into enemy waters. The ships successfully bombarded enemy shore positions, and with the assistance of A-7 Corsair II aircraft, fended off a counterattack by North Vietnamese torpedo boats.