Inshore Undersea Warfare Group-1 (IUWG-1)
INSHORE UNDERSEA WARFARE GROUP
CAM RANH BAY
REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM MAY 1970
VOL. 1 NO. 1
LETTER FROM THE OFFICER IN CHARGE Commander George H Overstreet, USN - - - - - - - Page 3
FEATURE Unit One-Vung Tau - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pages 4-5
FEATURE Unit Two-Cam Ranh Bay - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pages 6-7
FEATURE Unit Three-Qui Nhon- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pages 8-9
FEATURE Unit Four-Nha Trang - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pages 10-11
Officer-in Charge Commander George H. Overstreet, USN
Assistant Officer –in-Charge Lt. (j.g.) John M. Saunders, USNR
Public Affairs Officer Lt. (j.g.) James R. Herriman, USNR
Editor and Photographer Quartermaster Second Class John S. Brown, USNR
A special word of recognition is extended to the Photographic Laboratory at the Naval Air Facility, Cam Ranh Bay, without whose assistance in [providing photographic processing, this NEWSLETTER would not have been made possible.
All photographs appearing in the IUWG NEWSLETTER are official U.S. Navy photographs.
(front cover) Late April afternoon finds an IUWG patrol craft on board and search operations in the Qui Nhon Harbor.
(back cover) A lone crewman keeps a firm grip on his weapon as he steps from junk to junk during corral maneuvers at Vung Tau.
Dear IUWG-1 WESTPAC Family,
We are putting out this NEWSLETTER in an effort to bring our lives here in Vietnam a little closer to you at home.
Our mission is to protect all friendly shipping in the harbors of Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, and Nha Trang. We are not only engaged in protecting all friendly shipping against swimmer/sapper mining attempts, but also by checking hundreds of junks each month, we help to cut the enemy supply routes and disrupt the contraband and black-market operations. To carry out this mission successfully in the face of the enemy threat and to maintain the continuous patrols in adverse weather requires considerable professionalism and dedication. The 500 officers and men of IUWG-1 WPD have met this challenge for over four years with great success having had only one ship sunk in our harbors.
Each of the units is now deeply involved in Vietnamization which is the process of training Vietnamese Naval personnel to eventually take over harbor defense. Our Vietnamese trainees have not had any English language training, neither have our men had Vietnamese language training. We accomplish our instruction through interpreters in the classrooms and on the boats, where communication is of prime importance, training is done through a word of Vietnamese here and there, pictures, and most of all, patience. Te effort has been successful and our training significantly effective that in the near future we will be ready to turn over our first unit.
The Navy in Vietnam has been aiding the Vietnamese, especially the dependents of their Armed Forces, by providing an economic subsistence program which will also help hold down the inflation in the country. IUWG-1 WPD is contributing by raising rabbits, poultry and pigs. This livestock will be turned over along with our units and the Vietnamese can continue to raise them for food or money. Other projects include dependent housing construction and agricultural development programs.
You can be proud of “your man in Vietnam”. He is doing an outstanding job and fulfilling a very important mission. Without secure harbors, the supplies so necessary to maintain our efforts here in Vietnam might never arrive. The swimmer/sapper continues to be a threat to shipping and requires the constant vigilance of our patrols.
George H. Overstreet
IUWG UNIT ONE AT VUNG TAU GUARDS SAIGON SHIPPING
Unit One of IUWG-1 WESTPAC Detachment is located in Vung Tau, a tropical resort area of South Vietnam, and has a boat element in Cat Lo, roughly a thirty minute drive north. However, the serene beach atmosphere is shrouded by Viet Cong activity in the area. Unit One has been engaged in keeping the harbor area under surveillance and has been responsible numerous times for restricting enemy attempts at sabotaging Allied installations and vessels and the running of contraband.
An example of this occurred during May of 1969 when two boats responded to a swimmer sighting in the pier area. The EOD removed high explosives from the pier, and a mine from the vicinity of a nearby ship. Two enemy swimmers were captured.
Unit One boats inspect almost 500 merchant ships each month, as well as 400 small craft during the same period.
In addition to routine harbor patrols, Unit One and other IUWG units are involved in numerous civic action programs. These programs add to the ever-increasing ”Vietnamization” process, ad aid the Vietnamese in becoming more self-sufficient. One such program was the construction of housing for the Vietnamese Fourth Marine Corps Battalion and installing recreational equipment for their dependents.
Like many other U.S. Naval bases in the Republic of Vietnam, the Vung Tau installation is scheduled to become involved in training programs for Vietnamese sailors. This type of Vietnamization will form the nucleus of the plan by which the base and its facilities can be effectively and confidently turned over to the Vietnamese successors.
Unit One, Vung Tau, is the only IUWG unit not situated at a major harbor entrance. The majority of shipping it guards is bound either to or from Saigon.
CAM RANHS’ UNIT TWO PROTECTS MOST TONNAGE
IUWG UNIT TWO, situated at Cam Ranh Bay, was established during the summer of 1967 on the site of an old French fortress and lighthouse complex. Since its inception three years ago, it has expanded to 150 men and 6 officers who are responsible for …square miles of harbor. At this time there are 14 patrol boats assigned to the unit. The fortress site on which the Harbor Entrance Control Post is built is comprised of a maze of connecting underground tunnels. It was not only used by the French but by the Japanese and the Vietnamese. During these earlier times, 5’ and 6’ guns were positioned here. Unit Two was responsible in 1969 for the protection of an amount of shipping equal in tonnage to that of Los Angeles Harbor for the same year. This month three men were recommended for several high awards for the discovery of an 80 lb. high explosive charge attached to a ship anchored in the bay. From the incomplete state of the charge, it was assumed that the sappers had been caught during their act.
QUI NHON UNIT HEAD EFFECTIVE VIETNAMESE TRAINING AND SEA COBRA EFFORT
IUWG UNIT THREE at Qui Nhon participated in a number of encounters with the enemies during 1969 and 1970. Operating with elements of the U.S. Army, Vietnamese Regional Forces and the Army of the Republic of Korea, IUWG’S RECONDO Team, known as ‘Sea Cobras’ put a sizable dent in the Viet Congs’ offensive artery. The Sea Cobras on many occasions cleared many V.C. strongholds yielding quantities of enemy stores, weapons, ammunition and secret documents, as well as destroying bunker complexes.
UNIT FOUR NHA TRANG PATROLS ISLANDS AND PROVIDES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
UNIT FOUR, situated at Nha Trang, is the last of the four units operating in the harbors of South Vietnam. Their RECONDO unit was formed early in January 1969. Although it never made contact with the Viet Cong, it successfully interdicted enemy movement on the islands off the coast of Nha Trang.
Unit Four has provided extensive help to the Vietnamese people through its civic action assistance. Outstanding of these programs was the providing of surplus food to supplement the limited diets of Vietnamese inhabitants of the region. Much of the civic action assistance was directed towards school children. It is through efforts such as this that the IUWG units have extended the hand of assistance to the Vietnamese in the sincere desire to promote a realizable and lasting peace.