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Coast Guard In Vietnam
Last Post 19 Nov 2018 12:56 PM by sardaddy. 12 Replies.
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qlUser is Offline
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ql

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25 Jun 2018 11:57 AM
    Hello, I'm acquainted with an person who was in the Coast Guard between 1966-1970 and claims service in Vietnam.  Says he saw service on patrol boats with the "Brown Water Navy" and mentions the "Cat Lo" base.  I've done some basic research about USCG history in Vietnam and this claim seems unlikely, but I'm not sure.  Can anyone provide advice or other resources to help corroborate (or not) this claim?  What would the DD214 say?   Thank you.
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    25 Jun 2018 12:40 PM
    DD214 would likely say "Republic of Vietnam." I'm kind of curious as to why you doubt this person's claim. There's plenty of documentation out there outlining the CG's role in the conflict

    https://media.defense.gov/2018/Jan/11/2001864982/-1/-1/0/USCGVIETNAMCHRONOLOGY.PDF

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_NENrDGmHE

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coast_Guard_Squadron_One
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    25 Jun 2018 12:49 PM
    A very good friend and my ex-husbands former boss, now passed away may he rest in peace, served in Vietnam. I'm not sure what's not to believe? The CG had a strong presence in Vietnam and were the river rats, brown water Navy. I know there is a lot of stolen valor out there and I don't appreciate it. But unless the guy is only 51 or lies about everything or gives any other logical reason to not b believed, why doubt? Do you not think the CG was serving in Vietnam?
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    25 Jun 2018 01:21 PM
    Thank you both for your prompt reply!  I certainly acknowledge the CG service in Vietnam.  In this individual's case however, they are unable to provide any details (other than being at Cat Lo) about the locale they served at (i.e., geography, place names, etc.),  the name(s) of any ships/boats they were on, or any of the terminology that I would think they would be able to readily recall (e.g., PBR for Patrol Boat River I believe).  I'm reacting just to a variety of subtle hints that seem to be adding up.  While not necessarily proof, there are no souvenirs, original photographs either.   In reference to the latter, they showed me a photo (attached) and claimed they were one of the pictured crew. I found this common photo on a number of sites and it appears to be PCF-71 of the Navy in Vietnam.  I even found a site once that listed some/all of the crews of those boats over Vietnam period.  This person's name is not there.  In contrast, they have plenty of photos, souvenirs, other documentation, and even certificates (e.g., crossing the equator) showing Antarctic service on an icebreaker!  Nothing Vietnam except uncorroborated stories.  I'm certainly not attempting to besmirch this person's reputation.  I'm just trying to learn from those that have far more experience and background that may be able to help.  Any further advice is most welcome.  Thank you!




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    25 Jun 2018 07:48 PM
    Simply ask if he was attached to a unit in either Squadron One or Squadron Three. That should be the most direct approach..
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    27 Jun 2018 05:30 AM
    I just googled PCF71 and a wikipedia article came up. Yep, there was that EXACT picture. Sounds like you have someone that might be overstating their involvement in the Vietnam era. I have a very good friend who was in the Navy during Vietnam. He was in for 20 years, during the time of Vietnam he was either stationed on Attu or Whidbey Island. Yes, he served during Vietnam. No, he never saw combat. It sounds as if your friend might have had the same experience, serving during then but not there. Oh well... people have to feel like they matter. There isn't much you can do unless you honestly think he has never served or is using some level of combat deployment as an advantage over "just" a veteran status.
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    27 Jun 2018 12:22 PM
    Service from 1966 to 1970 would make the individual a viet nam era veteran..
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    29 Jun 2018 10:34 AM
    It does not mean they served IN Vietnam. There is a difference saying I served during the Vietnam era and I was a river rat on patrol in Vietnam.
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    29 Jun 2018 05:13 PM
    Don't get all wrapped up in the term 'river rat'.. That was the operating areas of the USN riverine forces, PBRs and assorted riverine assault craft.. Squadron One consisted of 82 foot patrol boats. There were occasions of shallow water river operations, but the overall operations areas were close to shorelines. The Squadron Three were larger cutters and operating area was defined by depth of water.. With a 15+ foot draft most operations were in the Gulf of Thailand due to shallow draft requirements. Anywhere from 2 to 12 miles off shore.. Close enough to quickly provide naval gunfire support for the Army ..
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    29 Jun 2018 09:18 PM
    Posted By MastersMate on 29 Jun 2018 06:13 PM
    Don't get all wrapped up in the term 'river rat'.. That was the operating areas of the USN riverine forces, PBRs and assorted riverine assault craft.. Squadron One consisted of 82 foot patrol boats. There were occasions of shallow water river operations, but the overall operations areas were close to shorelines. The Squadron Three were larger cutters and operating area was defined by depth of water.. With a 15+ foot draft most operations were in the Gulf of Thailand due to shallow draft requirements. Anywhere from 2 to 12 miles off shore.. Close enough to quickly provide naval gunfire support for the Army ..
    She's not getting "wrapped up."  It's simply being  mentioned as an example of those who served in theatre vs those who served during the time frame of a particular conflict.  Those of us in the CG understand the role played during Vietnam.

    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    02 Jul 2018 09:57 AM
    Thank you all for your responses.  Definitely helps!
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    16 Nov 2018 02:33 PM
    Ask him what major city was near cat lo answer Vung Tow 
    Served there in same time period he would know that as that’s where all personnel took liberty
    sardaddyUser is Offline
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    19 Nov 2018 12:56 PM
    Using easily accessible pictures to show your service is not by itself an indication that they are being less than truthful. I am in quite a few "common photos" taken by photographers but I have very few personal photos. If I showed someone the common photo would that mean it couldn't really be me? In addition, why would your acquaintance tell you more than he was based at Cat Lo? Most people can't even find Vietnam on a map. Why would he expect anyone to know where he actually was.

    I sat down with a man that showed me nothing but press photos of Vietnam because in his words, he was too busy doing his job to take pictures. But the pictures depicted where he was and he was either in the back of the picture or had been at that location. He was the real deal and was a hardcore operator (Air Force Para Rescue) in Vietnam. Not having personal pictures or memorabilia doesn't make you a fraud, it just means you focused on different things.

    I am not saying the person is telling the truth or is lying. I am just noting that one should be careful before casting doubt. If you don't know much about the CG in Vietnam, you may end up with egg on your face trying to call someone out.

    Finally, Stolen Valor does not include lying about service unless they lied about it to gain profit or privilege.
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