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Gallery of War

Page 24

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Rvier Patrol Boats (PBR's)
Moored along side the Taylor
Vung Tau, Vietnam 1968
Archival Print #V-VT113PBRF
(c)2003 L. Nollenberger

We were met by a couple of PBR's at Vung Tau. The Crew Chief came aboard to discuss our mission with the Captain. The Cong were moving in on the city of Vung Tau, in an attempt to take it over. Vung Tau sat at the base of a large mountain, which sat on the end of a long peninsula. It was too risky for planes and most ships were not fast enough to get in and out in a hurry. Thus, they had called on the Taylor, which was well known as being the fastest Destroyer in the Seventh Fleet. The Cong had a stronghold on the top of the mountain and were also squeezing in from both the north and south. They had the city surrounded and the marines and boats had been unable to hold off the advancing attack. The Marines were far out numbered and could not penetrate the fortress due to the steep cliffs that lined the mountain. The Cong would send out scouts to fight off the boats and then send in another battalion behind the scouts. This strategy had worked and the city was in deep trouble. Our job was finally clear. We were to blast away the fortress on the top of the mountain, while the PBR's launched a massive river attack. It would be a final, desperate attempt to save the city.