U.S. COAST GUARD CUTTER
ANDROSCOGGIN

MARKET TIME MISSIONS

Our Market Time patrols were set up to stop Viet Cong infiltration of war supplies and men into South Viet-Nam from seaward.
USCGC Point Welcome (WPB-82329) alongside. USCGC Winona (WHEC-65) coming alongside.

Perhaps one of these innocent looking fishing junks are hiding hidden grenades, guns and ammo beneath layers of drying fish or tons of ice in the holds. Mostly we just found hard working fishermen. Occasionally, ID or registration papers were  questionable. These cases were taken into the South Viet-Namese civil authorities.

   

Of the 15 junks inspected, most of the inspections were made by lowering our small boat, the boarding party would then motor out to where the junk was hove to; inspect here and return. Occasionally we would have them come alongside, always under constant guard. In this war it is impossible to distinguish VD from a pro-government  civilian....until he shoots.

Preparing to depart for Vessel Boarding Boarding party approaching vessel on starboard side.
LCDR Bouck  

Keeping close tabs on other shipping in the area also kept us busy. Singapore trawlers, Chinese Nationalists, and Thailand fishing vessels have to be warned to stay out of South Viet-Nam territorial waters. If discovered in these waters, they are taken to South Viet-Nam authorities and detained until their illicit cargo of fish rots as their ice supply melts

 
   

Vessel surveillance took the bulk of out patrol time on Market Time. At all hours of the day and night the officer on the bridge would order intercept courses for craft in our area. Close visual observation by day, and searchlight illumination by night to check hull numbers and craft shapes, insured against VD arms infiltaration. Thus we accomplished another segment of our mission in Viet-Nam.

 

Occasionally a different type of vessel was encountered. Here is the yacht Phoenix, the American Quaker vessel purported to have been delivering medical supplies to North Viet-Nam and units of the Viet Cong.

Small, fast, heavily armed Navy PCF (Swift) and Coast Guard 82' (WPB) patrol boarts have smaller fuel and food capacity, and more limited crew accomodations than the Andy. Thus we serve as a "Mother ship", providing fod, water, fuel, and fro the Swift boat crews, a place to sleep. These crews operating on two 24 hour shifts, run their small craft close inshore on boarding and gunfire missions.

   
   

A typical day would begin with the arrival in the morning of the Swift boats for fuel, water, and food as well as a fresh crew. After ½ to 1 hour they depart for their sector  patrols, many times with Andy personnel as additional crew. Searching for deserters, VC, and contraband, the Swift boat would arrive at a group of small craft. Calling them alongside, all would be searched and ID's and boat registrations checked.

   
   
From L to R: AF SGT George Sousa (medic), An Xuyen VIS Chief Mr. Houg, VIS Interpreter SGT Ngo, Trung-uy (1LT) Thoai District Chief SOD, Captain Stewart, Mr. Kim SOD District Health Chief, LCDR Gallop, MAJ Laverty aboard USCG Cutter Androscoggin 12/67
Wounded Viet Cong prisoner taken aboard Andy for medical treatment.
South Vietnamese Navy Patrol Boats alongside.

Next, a gunfire support mission would have the boat's machine guns and mortars blasting a VC camp, or supporting a coordinated ground assault. All night long the firing and boarding may continue, and their arrival back at the Andy many times revealed .50 caliber cartridges scattered about from a recent fire fight.

Night time engagement with mortars. .50 caliber cartridges scattered about from a recent fire fight.

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