1972 aboard the USS Denver
April 15: Aboard the USS Denver, LPD-9: 50 miles north of the DMZ. Denver selected to spot for shelling of North Vietnam, so ship is heading to a location 200-250 miles (?) north of the DMZ. Our helicopters will spot for destroyers shelling the coast, and we?ll be about five miles off the coast of North Vietnam. The United States conducts its first bombing missions against Hanoi and Haiphong in North Vietnam since 1968.
April 18: USS Denver joins Task Group 77.1 for naval gunfire operations. Naval gunfire support element aboard Denver includes two UH-1E helicopters of Detachment Bravo, HML-367, and two UH-1E?s from HMM-165. Mission effectiveness is marginal.
May 2: Picked up the pilot of an A-5 Skyraider, after he?d been shot down by a surface to air missile. To date, Denver has retrieved three pilots who have been shot down.
May 9: The three companies of Marines on the Denver were told no Sailors or Marines had been this far north of the DMZ before. Ship?s Captain told us President Nixon had ordered Haiphong Harbor mined and gave all foreign ships until May 12th to get out. USS Chicago has shot down six MIGs so far, but I told the folks not to worry. I?d earlier told them the Chicago was guarding the Denver, but we picked up another shotgun and left the Chicago down South. Because of the Denver?s duties, we?re regarded as being pretty valuable, and there?s always one or two ships guarding us. There is speculation in the news as to what President Nixon?s next move will be, in reaction to the Communist offensive. One view is that he might organize an incursion into the North, using South Vietnamese troops with American air support to relieve pressure on the South. Another is that the Allies might mount a seaborne invasion south of the DMZ to stop the flow of supplies to the Communists. Speculation developed Sunday when Secretary of State Rogers cut short his mission to Western Europe, and returned for urgent talks with Nixon.
June 23: HMA-369, with seven AH-IJ Cobras on board Denver (LPD-9) begins flying armed reconnaissance missions to interdict water-borne logistics craft along the coast of North Vietnam.
Denver receives Navy Unit Commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for making aeronautical history as the first ship to launch U.S. Marine attack helicopters on missions in North Vietnamese waters.
Posted by Wayne Wienke
Mar 15 2006 09:26:00:000PM