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MRF Summary Report - April 1967

ComRivFlotOne / ComRivSuppron - Seven
Command History
April 1967

During April, ComRivFlot One with units of RivRon Nine and Eleven continued to support the 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division in combat riverine operations in the Rung Sat Special Zone, RVN.

Embarked as follows:

1-26 April – USS Montrose (APA-212)

26-30 April – USS Benewah (APB-35)

A RivFlotOne detachment headed by CDR C.H. Black, USN, RivFlot Operations / Plans Officer, proceeded to Dong Tam on 10 and 11 April. CDR Black was designated Task Group Commander (CTG-117.2) for river assault operations staging from Dong Tam. Elements of River Assault Squadron Nine also deployed to Dong Tam in two increments on 10 and 11 April 1967. One CCB and four ATC’s made transit from Vung Tau to Dong Tam on 10 April, and nine ATC’s and one VNN Monitor escorted APL-26 and YFNB-24, which were towed by commercial tugs, on 11 April. Initial operations from Dong Tam commenced on 12 April in support of 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry and 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry. Task Group 117.2 operations to date have been primarily of the quick reaction type. Taking advantage of hard intelligence gained from agent reports, elements of TG-117.2 have embarked company sized reaction forces at Dong Tam and transported them to various locations along the Mekong River. River Assault Craft conducting these operations normally remain in support of ground forces until they are extracted. This type of operation has proved highly successful to date.

On Sunday, 2 April, the Vietnamese Commandament suffered a near miss from mining. The resulting violent vibration caused considerable structural deterioration, including some main strength members and void bulkheads. This damage was not immediately apparent, but was discovered upon it’s return to APA-212.

USS Kemper County (LST-854) arrived in Vung Tau 14 April and reported for duty as first Mobile Riverine Support Ship.

USS Benewah (APB-35) arrived at 1315, 22 April 1967. Transfer of the staff, RAS-11 and Army units was completed by 26 April 1967.

A conference regarding the medical support for the Mobile Riverine Base was held aboard the USS

Benewah on 26 April with the following commands being represented:

44th Medical Brigade

68th Medical Brigade

9th Medical Battalion, 9th Infantry

River Assault Flotilla One

After inspection of the helicopter landing facilities and the medical spaces of the ship the Army representatives concluded that the facilities were inadequate for the functioning of a KA type surgical team. They further concluded that the present available medical staff in each APB would be augmented by one partially trained surgeon. Cases requiring definitive surgery as a result of injuries should be evacuated by helicopter to shore based medical facilities. ComRivFlot One does not concur completely with this position. These recommendations are to be submitted to higher authority for resolution.

USS Benewah (APB-35) conducted it’s first helicopter operations when a U.S. Army HU-1D, piloted by a USN LTJG (considered fitting), landed on board on 26 April. Benewah was assisted in its initial operations by the helicopter detail of USS Jennings County (LST-846). ComRivFlot One was a confident passenger on the first helicopter take off from the Benewah when he departed to attend ComNavForV change of command ceremonies in Saigon. On 27 April eight operational landings and take-offs were accomplished and on 28 April an additional six landings and take-offs were completed.

A steady stream, day and night since.

On 29 April helicopter MEDEVAC procedures were tested in Vung Tau harbor utilizing two RivRon Eleven ATCs and an HU-1D MEDEVAC helo from the 436th Air Ambulance Company, Long Binh. Trails were conducted lifting stokes stretchers from the ATC utilizing winch lifting device installed in the helo. Results indicate that MEDEVAC from an ATC in this manner is entirely feasible. Both day and night tests were conducted.

The following is a summarized list of U.S. designed LCM conversions in-country as of 30 April 1967:

RivRon Nine RivRon Nine RivRon Eleven
C-91-1 T-92-1 T-111-1
M-91-1 T-92-2 T-111-3
M-92-2 T-92-3 T-111-4
T-91-1 T-92-4 T-112-2
T-91-2 T-92-5 T-112-3
T-91-3 T-92-6 T-112-4
T-91-5 T-92-9 T-112-5
T-91-7 T-92-10 T-112-6
T-91-8 T-92-11  
T-91-9 T-92-12  


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