User:Cuprum17/ Coast Guard Squadron One

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Coast Guard Squadron Three
Active 24 April 1967 – 31 January 1972
Country United States of America
Branch United States Coast Guard
Nickname(s) RONTHREE
Engagements Operation Market Time
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (Navy)[1]
Navy Unit Commendation[2]
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy)[3]


Coast Guard Squadron Three was a combat unit formed by the United States Coast Guard in 1967 under the operational control of the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and assigned duties in Operation Market Time.


Five WHEC commissioned at Pearl 24 April 1967<chron3> 
following two paragraphs need re-written

Early in 1967, the Navy forces assigned to MARKET TIME and other operations were being stretched thin. As a result, the Navy requested that the Coast Guard provide five high endurance cutters (WHEC) for duty with the Coastal Surveillance Forces. On April 24, 1967, Coast Guard Squadron Three was formed at Pearl Harbor. Two days later the squadron sailed from Pearl Harbor and arrived at Subic Bay on May 10.

Barataria left Subic Bay a few days later and on the May 22 fired the first WHEC Naval Gunfire Support Mission (NGFS) mission of the war. Still, the WHECs continued their peacetime duties with Half Moon acting as On Scene Commander in the search for survivors from the sunken ship Shinagawa Maru. Yakutat took a young girl on board for medical treatment after she suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. Also the cutters immediately started conducting


Arrival in Vietnam[edit]

Market Time operational theory[edit]

Market Time operational theory[edit]

Market Time planners sectioned off nine patrol areas numbered in order from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the north to the Cambodian border in the south. The areas varied in size, measuring 80 by 120 miles (130 km × 190 km) and running 30 to 40 miles (48 to 64 km) out to sea. The outer two-thirds of each area was covered by the Navy DER and MSO fleet and was identified by the area number with the suffix "B". After May 1967 Coast Guard Squadron Three high endurance cutters (WHEC) also assisted in the outer patrol areas.[4] Because the inner third of each patrol area was usually shallow water it was covered by Navy PCFs and Coast Guard WPBs which had shallow drafts. These smaller patrol areas were identified by a letter "C" or higher. Thus, the patrol area covering the waters near Cam Ranh Bay[5] would have the outer two-thirds designated "4B" and the waters nearer shore designated "4C" through "4H".[6] Overflying the whole area were Navy patrol aircraft that flew various assigned tracks, reporting any traffic to watchstanders stationed at five Coastal Surveillance Centers (CSC) operated jointly by the Navy and South Vietnamese Navy. Reports of movements by suspicious vessels were relayed to the nearest Market Time patrol craft whose duty it was to board and search for contraband material and persons on board with out proper identification.[7] The rules of engagement that Market Time forces operated under allowed any vessel except warships to be stopped, boarded and searched within three miles (4.8 km) of the coastline and from the area three miles to twelve miles (19.4 km) from shore, identification and a declaration of intent could be demanded of any vessel except a warship. Outside the twelve mile limit only vessels of South Vietnamese origin could be stopped, boarded and searched.[8][9]

While on patrol the cutters operated under orders from an operational commander at the CSC and not the division commander to which they were assigned.[10][11] The division was responsible for seeing that each cutter was ready to perform her assignments and properly supplied with trained personnel, supplies and equipment.[10] Each division's staff performed regular readiness reviews on each assigned cutter; riding with the crews to judge their effectiveness.[11]

On 30 September 1968, Vice Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. assumed command of Naval Forces Vietnam and he redirected the focus of interdiction operations conducted by TF115 to areas nearer the DMZ as a part of Operation SEALORDS. (Southeast Asia Lake, Ocean, River, and Delta Strategy). The result was that all but four Division 11 WPBs were transferred to Divisions 12 and 13 and the shallower draft Navy PCFs that had been used for patrol duties at the DMZ were used to patrol the canals and rivers.[12]

Major cutter operations[edit]

22 may 1967 USCGC Barataria WHEC-381 fire first naval gunfire support mission (NGFS)<chron3>
1 March 1968 Androscoggin WPG-68, Winona WPG-65, Minnetonka WPG-67 <chron3>
21 November 1970 Trawer destroyed Rush WHEC-723, Sherman WHEC-720 <chron4>

21 December 1971 last two cutters of RONTHREE transferred Cook Inlet WHEC-384 and Castle Rock WHEC-383 to SVN <chron4>

Vietnamization and disestablishment[edit]

Civic action[edit]

Legacy and impact[edit]

Unit and service awards[edit]

  • Presidential Unit Citation
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg

The Presidential Unit Citation (Navy) was awarded for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance to units participating in Operation SEALORDS for the period 18 October to 5 December 1968 and included the Squadron One cutters Point Cypress, Point White, Point Grace, Point Young, Point Comfort, Point Mast, Point Marone, Point Caution, and Point Partridge.[1]

  • Navy Unit Commendation
U.S. Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg

The Navy Unit Commendation was awarded for exceptionally meritorious service to the United States Navy Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115) which included the administrative staff of Squadron One and Division 11 for service during period 1 January 1967 to 31 March 1968; Division 12, 1 January to 28 February 1967; and Division 13, 1 January to 10 May 1967.[2]

  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg

The Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation was awarded for meritorious service to units of the United States Navy Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115) which included the following Squadron One cutters: Point White, Point Arden, Point Dume, Point Glover, Point Jefferson, Point Kennedy, Point Young, Point Partridge, Point Caution, Point Welcome, Point Banks, Point Lomas, Point Grace, Point Mast, Point Grey, Point Orient, Point Cypress, and Point Marone.[3]

  • Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg

Although the Vietnam Service Medal is a personal service award, it is permissible and customary under Coast Guard regulations for cutters to display service awards on the port and starboard bridge wings.[13] Squadron One cutters were entitled to display the VSM by virtue of having served in Vietnam for more than thirty days during the eligibility period of 15 November 1961 to 30 April 1975.

  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg

All units serving under MACV were awarded the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm by the Republic of Vietnam. Because U.S. Navy units serving in Vietnam were subordinate to MACV this included all Coast Guard Squadron One cutters.[14]

  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg

The Vietnam Campaign Medal was an award of the Republic of Vietnam for those individuals who served in Vietnam for a period of at least six months. Although it was a personal award, Coast Guard regulations permitted its display on a cutter's port and starboard bridge wings since Squadron One's cutters served during the eligibility period of 1 March 1961 to 28 March 1973.[13][15]

Cutter assignment and disposition information[edit]

Group Cutter name and hull number Dates assigned Notes
First USCGC Barataria (WHEC-381) 4 May 1967 – 25 December 1967
First USCGC Half Moon (WHEC-378) 4 May 1967 – 29 December 1967
First USCGC Yakutat (WHEC-380) 4 May 1967 – 1 January 1968
First USCGC Gresham (WHEC-387) 4 May 1967 – 28 January 1968
First USCGC Bering Strait (WHEC-382) 4 May 1967 – 18 February 1968
Second USCGC Androscoggin (WHEC-68) 4 December 1967 – 4 August 1968
Second USCGC Duane (WHEC-33) 4 December 1967 – 28 July 1968
Second USCGC Campbell (WHEC-32) 14 December 1967 – 12 August 1968
Second USCGC Minnetonka (WHEC-67) 5 January 1968 – 29 September 1968
Second USCGC Winona (WHEC-65) 25 January 1968 – 17 October 1968
Third USCGC Bibb (WHEC-31) 4 July 1968 – 28 February 1969
Third USCGC Ingham (WHEC-35) 16 July 1968 – 3 April 1969
Third USCGC Owasco (WHEC-39) 23 July 1968 – 21 March 1969
Third USCGC Wachusett (WHEC-44) 10 September 1968 – 1 June 1969
Third USCGC Winnebago (WHEC-40) 20 September 1968 – 19 July 1969
Fourth USCGC Spencer (WHEC-36) 11 February 1969 – 30 September 1969
Fourth USCGC Mendota (WHEC-69) 28 February 1969 – 3 November 1969
Fourth USCGC Sebago (WHEC-42) 2 March 1969 – 16 November 1969
Fourth USCGC Taney (WHEC-37) 14 May 1969 – 31 Jan 1970
Fourth USCGC Klamath (WHEC-66) 7 July 1969 – 3 April 1970
Fifth USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715) 1 November 1969 – 25 May 1970
Fifth USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716) 3 November 1969 – 19 June 1970
Fifth USCGC Chase (WHEC-718) 6 December 1969 – 28 May 1970
Fifth USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717) 31 March 1970 – 2 July 1970
Fifth USCGC Pontchartrain (WHEC-70) 2 April 1970 – 25 October 1970
Sixth USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720) 22 April 1970 – 25 December 1970
Sixth USCGC Bering Strait (WHEC-382) 17 May 1970 – 31 December 1970 2nd tour
Sixth USCGC Yakutat (WHEC-380) 17 May 1970 – 31 December 1970 2nd tour
Seventh USCGC Rush (WHEC-723) 28 October 1970 – 15 July 1971
Seventh USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722) 6 December 1970 – 31 July 1970
Eighth USCGC Castle Rock (WHEC-383) 9 July 1971 – 21 December 1971
Eighth USCGC Cook Inlet (WHEC-384) 2 July 1971 – 21 December 1971

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Presidential Unit Citation (Navy)". Presidential Unit Citation (Navy). Mobile Riverine Force Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Navy Unit Commendation". Navy Unit Commendation. Mobile Riverine Force Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Meritorious Unit Commendation". Meritorious Unit Commendation. Mobile Riverine Force Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "USCG in Vietnam Chronology" (pdf). U.S. Coast Guard History Program. U.S. Coast Guard Historians Office. p. 3. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Kelley, sec 5, p 83
  6. ^ Scotti, p 19
  7. ^ Larzelere, p 37
  8. ^ Naval Historical Center, U.S. Navy (2006). "United States Naval Operations Vietnam, Highlights; March 1966". Naval Historical Center, U.S. Navy. Retrieved 17 June 2011.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  9. ^ Scotti, p 18
  10. ^ a b Larzelere, p 34
  11. ^ a b Scotti, p 173
  12. ^ Larzelere, p 66
  13. ^ a b "Coatings and Color Manual" (PDF). U.S. Coast Guard Coatings and Color Manual CG-263, 16 July 1973. U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Republic of Vietnam Galantry Cross Unit Citation" (PDF). General Orders No. 8. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Title 32 - National Defense, § 578.129, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal". Code of Federal Regulations. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Craft Index".
 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "U.S. Navy, Naval History and Heritage Command's Operational Archives".

References cited[edit]

  1. ^ The Kelley (2002) reference is divided into several sections with each section starting its page numbering with page 1, therefore footnoting for this reference follows the same pattern

External links[edit]

*<<Category:United States Coast Guard>>
*<<Category:Units and organizations of the United States Coast Guard>>