In 1975 as Saigon fell, the U.S.S. Okinawa assisted in the evacuation of fleeing Vietnamese. To make room on deck, abandoned aircraft were thrown overboard.
Jim served aboard the U.S.S. Okinawa in 1969 with Task Force 117 and in 1971 with the "Brown-water" Navy's Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) patrolling the Mekong Delta with Vietnamese Navy.

Jim Schmelz

U.S.S. Okinawa on station in Vietnamese waters.

Gary Hutchison Memorial Chapter 1028

The MRF operated variety of boats such as the ATC (Attack Troop Carrier), ASPV (Assault Support Patrol Boat), and the Monitor pictured here with a flamethrower.

 

The Way We Were

Jim on the bow gun of an Alpha boat. Long Xuyen in the background.

Getting ready to ship out from Oakland, CA, 1968

NOW

Jim at the forward turret of a Vietnamese Navy Alpha boat.

THEN

Greg served with the 56th Transportation Company in BearCat in 1968 - 69

Tank Landing Ship ARL- 23, U.S.S. Satyr on station in Vietnamese waters.

Vietnam Veterans of America

It's been decades since we served. But to many of us, it seems like only yesterday.  Today we are old and slow; but once we were young and swift.  For those who never knew us then; and for those who can't remember when, take a look back at‚Äč  the way we were: