After watching President Obama speak at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, this Memorial Day, 2012, I thought I would give only a glimpse of the 22th of January, 1968, when this picture was taken.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Half Moon sailed from New York Harbor on April 1,1967 bound for duty in the waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. Homeported at Coast Guard Base, St.George, Staten Island, she joined four sisters ships making their way to the war zone in the far east.
The High Endurance Cutter was one of the original Coast Guard ships of Squadron Three sent to Vietnam. With a crew of 160 officers and men, Half Moon participated in Operation Market time, designed to stop the flow of arms, ammunition and supplies to Viet Cong units in South Vietnam.
While in Vietnam, Half Moon complied a most enviable record. In addition to conducting endless patrols and boardings of suspect vessels off the coast, she was always ready to respond to a call for gunfire support from U.S. and allied forces ashore.
Some of her impressive statistics: 13 Viet Cong killed, 64 military emplacements and structures destroyed or damaged, four sampans sunk, four secondary explosions observed and significant military equipment damages or destroyed.
When not inspecting vessels or providing support with her guns, the cutter served as a home base for 50-foot Navy Swift boats.
The 311-foot cutter’s return to New York marks the end of yet another assignment. WELL DONE.
From WELCOME HOME, USCGC HALF MOON,
Returning From Duty in Southeast Asia
January 22, 1968
New York, New York
In 1967, Half Moon’s colors were proudly displayed at such poarts as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Miami, Florida; Panama Canal Zone; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong; Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; Sasebo, Japan; Vung Tau, Nha Trang, and an Thoi, Vietnam.
The ship’s Commanding Office, CDR Emmett G. McCarthy of Silver Spring, Maryland is looking forward to a well deserved rest for his officers and men when Half Moon docks at the U. S. Coast Guard Base St. George, Staten Island on January 22nd. Half Moon, in performance of her duties has upheld the highest traditions of the Coast Guard by putting into practice her service’s motto “SEMPER PARATUS” meaning ALWAYS READY.”
US Coast Guard Squadron Three
The Anniversary of the Coast Guard while off Vietnam: