CHAPTER XXXVII

(31 March to 6 June 1975)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operation Evening Light and Eagle Claw - 24 April 1980

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

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Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 1980)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER SHIP HISTORY (1920 to 2019)

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0465-1

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-365-25019-4

Library of Congress

Control Number: 

2008901616

(Book Version)

 

U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS REDESIGNATED AND OR RECLASSIFIED (1953 to 2016)

 

U. S. AIRCRAFT

CARRIERS

REDESIGNATED

AND OR

RECLASSIFIED

(1953 to 2016)

 

BOOK - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0452-1

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-365-25041-5

Library of Congress

(Book Version)

2008901619

 

ENERGY QUEST AND U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOYMENT HISTORY INVESTMENT CAPITAL REQUIRED TO PUBLISH 55 EIGHTH HUNNDRED PAGE BOOKS, EBOOKS & CD’s (48 Navy Books)

 

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USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. I (27 December 1982 to 6 May 2003)

 

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. I  of III (27 December 1982 to 6 May 2003)

 

Book Vol. I of IV            ISBN: TBA                EBook Vol. I of IV

ISBN: 978-1-365-73794-7

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. II (7 May 2003 to 13 January 2010)

 

USS Abraham Lincoln

(CVN-72) History Vol. II of III

(7 May 2003 to 13 January 2010)

 

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USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) History Vol. III (14 January 2010 to 31 December 2012)

 

USS Abraham Lincoln

(CVN-72) History Vol. III of III

(14 January 2010 to 31

December 2012)

 

Book - ISBN NO.

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Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

USS Coral Sea CV-42 CVB-43 CVA-43 and CV-43 History and Those Aircraft Carriers Operating with Coral Sea During Her Tour of Service CONSTRUCTION to LAUNCHING and EARLY JET AIRCRAFT DEVELOPMENT (10 July 1944—2 April 1946) and a Tour of Duty in the U. S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

ISBN: 9781434382917

 

 

At sea in the Western Pacific, 30 November 1974. Good overhead showing stern of Midway after her 1966-1970 overhaul: note 3 deck-edge elevators, two to starboard (forward and abaft the island) and one to port. F-4s, A-6s, A-7s, E-2s and an SH-3 are shown on the flight deck - NS024105 - USN. http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024105.jpg

 

Eighth deployment, as the U. S. Navy’s forward-deployed carrier operating with the 7th Fleet, in the Western Pacific Region, conducting Operations in the Pacific Ocean, on her 12th “WestPac,” her 14th South China Sea, on her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise, in support of Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam (31 March to 29 May 1975) and conducted Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan (NAF Atsugi, Japan) at Piedmont pier (30 May to 6 June 1975). (31 March to 6 June 1975)

CHAPTER XXXVII

 

 

    The war was not over for the Vietnamese. By spring 1975, the North was advancing on the South” (Ref. 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure).

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41) with RADM W. L. Harris, COMCARGRU SEVEN, serving as Commander, Carrier Strike Force Seventh Fleet (CTF-77), Commander, Task Group, CTG-77.4 since  22 March 1975 and CDR W. L. Chatham, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) embarked departed Yokosuka, Japan (NAF Atsugi, Japan), with Captain Lawrence Cleveland Chambers, USNA '52, as Commanding Officer, the morning of 31 March 1975, on her eighth deployment, as the U. S. Navy’s forward-deployed carrier operating with the 7th Fleet, in the Western Pacific Region, conducting Operations in the Pacific Ocean, Refresher Operations in the Northern Japan operations area, the day after the fall of Da Nang, on her 12th “WestPac,” her 14th South China Sea, on her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise in support of Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam. Admiral Gavler directed USSAG/Seventh Air Force and Seventh Fleet to begin Frequent Wind Option IV at 1051 29 April 1975 (Saigon time). She will under go her tenth deployment since her second recommission 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her seventh “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her seventh South China Sea, on her first Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin in the Far East. She will under go her 16th deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon arrival from her World Cruise and first “WestPac” deployment, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the 2nd Fleet and Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her first South China Sea deployment, for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. She will under go her 26th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II(Ref. 1-Midway, 72, Part I, Tab G, Annex A of USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVW-5 (NF)

(31 March to 29 May 1975)

 

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVA-41) –7th (8th Forward Deployed)

Western

Pacific

Region

Pacific Ocean

12th WestPac

14th SCS

CVW-5

NF

31 Mar 1975

29 May 1975

Vietnam

26th FWFD

60-days

5th Vietnam Peace Patrol

Operations in the Pacific Ocean, Refresher Operations in the Northern Japan operations area, the day after the fall of Da Nang, in support of Operation Frequent Wind was the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam. Admiral Gavler directed USSAG/Seventh Air Force and Seventh Fleet to begin Frequent Wind Option IV at 1051 29 April 1975 (Saigon time). Operation Frequents Wind ended with the off-loading in Guam of the aircraft that had landed aboard during the evacuation and had been received in the Gulf of Siam.

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-161

Chargers -                    Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF100

F-4N

VF-151

Vigilantes -                  Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF200

F-4N

VA-93

Blue Blazers -                Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF300

A-7A

VA-56

Champions -                Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF400

A-7A

VA-115

Arabs - Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder - Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

NF500

A-6A / A-6B     KA-6D

VMCJ-1 Det. 101

Golden Hawks - Marine fixed-wing squadrons

Grumman - Intruder - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

(RM)

530

EA-6A

VMCJ-1 Det. 101

Golden Hawks - Marine fixed-wing squadrons

Grumman - Intruder - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

(RM)

530

EA-6A

VMCJ-1 Det. 101

Golden Hawks - Marine fixed-wing squadrons

McDonnell-Douglas  - Phantom II Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

(RM) 610

RF-4B

VAW-115

Liberty Bells -               Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye -Electronics

601-604

E-2B

HC-1 Det. 2

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

722-727

SH-3G

*VMAQ-2 Det.

Marine Electronics Warfare

Grumman - Intruder - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

(CY) 620

EA-6B

*VMFP-3 Det.

Eyes of the Corps - Marines Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

(RF)  610

RF-4B

*Not embarked for the entire deployment

 

Operation Eagle Pull       

 

    On 2 April 1975, in response to the further deterioration of the Cambodian government's defenses around Phnom Penh, Ambassador John Gunther Dean had requested the insertion of the Operation Eagle Pull command element into Phnom Penh...” (Ref. [33] of 1444).

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41) CVW-5 Flight operations were conducted on the 1st through the 3rd of April 1975 as the situation in Southeast Asia deteriorated. Contingency evacuation forces were ordered to assemble in the Subic area. On 4 April 1975, Midway received a taste of things to come when two Marine helicopter squadrons embarked aboard for three days. Light Squadron 367 and Attack Squadron 369 were on the move in anticipation of events in Vietnam, and Midway transported them from their home base in Okinawa to the Subic operating area off the Philippines.

 

      On 6 April 1975, Marine Light Helicopter Squadron (HML-367) and Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMA-369) depart USS Midway (CVA-41) for transfer to USS Hancock (CVA-19)” (Ref. Part I, Tab H, Annex A of USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    The rebels controlled, uncontested, the eastern side of the Mekong, and by 10 April 1975 they so inundated the airfield with artillery fire that the United States ceased all fixed-wing evacuation operations” (Ref. [34] of 1444).

 

    RADM Harris as Commander Task Group 77.4, turned toward Vietnam and gradually made its way south, conducting flights en route through 11 April 1975, when operation Eagle Pull (evacuation of Cambodia) began. At this time, the USS Midway (CVA-41) was about 200 NM east of Cam Ranh Bay. Although no direct involvement in Eagle Pull developed, Midway and CVW-5 stood ready to provide air support if necessary in standby status during the evacuation of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh 12 April 1975” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    The Execution of Eagle Pull Shortly after 0600 on 12 April 1975, 12 CH-53s from HMH-462 launched from the deck of the Okinawa and ascended to their orbit stations above the task group” (Ref. [35] of 1444).

 

    Operation Eagle Pull (12–13 April 1975), the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, Blue Ridge was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal” (Ref. [23] of 1444).

 

    While the North Vietnamese were making gradual progress in Vietnam, USS Midway (CVA-41) headed for the Philippine operation area to provide refresher carrier landings to CVW-21, shore based at Cubi Point, on 14 April 1975” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41) entered Subic Bay, Philippines on 15 April 1975, for a ten day upkeep period. The situation in Vietnam had continued to deteriorate and the evacuation of Saigon was imminent” (Ref. 405).

 

    On 18 April 1975, the third day of the scheduled 10 day port-call at Subic Bay, Philippines, from 15 to 18 April 1975, USS Midway (CVA-41) was directed to get underway and proceed to the coast of Vietnam at maximum Speedy, conducting her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise in the South China Sea” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).   

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and USS Okinawa (LPH-3) responded on 19 April 1975 to the waters off South Vietnam when North Vietnam overran two-thirds of South Vietnam” (Ref. 1184).

 

Operation Frequent Wind

 

    The final descent of the Republic of South Vietnam: "On the evening of 20 April 1975, USS Midway (CVA-41) conducted a successful withdrawal from Xuan Loe, ... Overshadowing the military consequences of this withdrawal were the political consequences. ... The following day, President Thieu resigned ... Vice President Tran Van Huong. the president's constitutional successor, replaced Thieu” (Ref. 1444).

 

    USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) waiting: "Included in the meeting on board the Blue Ridge was a 35mm slide presentation of the DAO landing zones, obstacles to flight, aerial checkpoints and the ingress/egress route from the task force to Saigon” (Ref. [40] of 1444).

 

    After floating off the coast of South Vietnam for over a week, the 9th MAB was more than ready for action. Every day since its arrival the task force had expected orders to begin the evacuation, but the only directives it received changed the response time” (Ref. [41] of 1444).

 

    On 21 April 1975, U. S. Air Force HH-53’s and CH-53’s onboard USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. Part I, Tab I, Annex A of USS Midway (CV-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    Ten U. S. Air Force H-53 helicopters from the 56th Special Operations Wing flew aboard Midway April 20th to take part in the evacuation. The Midway then joined two other carrier task groups and three amphibious ready groups southeast of Vung Tau on the 23rd of April. Commander Task Force 76, RADM Whitmire, was Officer in Tactical Command embarked in USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)” (Ref. 405).

 

    While the Vietnam War may have been over, the aftershocks of that conflict continued to be felt. With the collapse of Cambodia early that spring, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) operated in standby status during the evacuation of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh 12 April 1975 in Operation Eagle Pull. Over the following two weeks, the carrier operated off the Vietnamese coast as North Vietnamese forces inexorably overran the south” (Ref. 43). 

 

    VADM Steele, Commander Seventh Fleet, and RADM Coogan, Commander Attack Striking Force SEVENTH Fleet came aboard on the 26th of April to review contingency plans. The USS Midway (CVA-41) with ten U. S. Air Force helicopters and embarked air wing, remained in the assigned holding station from 23 April 1975 until the execute order came” (Ref. 405).

 

    On 26 April 1975, Colonel L. J. Anders, USAF, briefs VADM G. P. Steele, COMSEVENTHFLT, prior to Operation Frequent Wind as RADM W. L. Harris, Commander Task Group 77.4 and Captain L. C. Chambers look on USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. Part I, Tab J, Annex A of USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    Frequent Wind involved the evacuation of American citizens from the capital of South Vietnam under heavy attack from the invading forces of North Vietnam. The military situation around Saigon and its Tan Son Nhut airport made evacuation by helicopter the only way out. President Gerald Ford ordered the evacuation when Viet Cong shelling forced the suspension of normal transport aircraft use at Tan Son Nhut airport” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    Vice President Tran Van Huong. the president's constitutional successor, replacing Thieu on 20 April 1975, term lasted a week. ... the National Assembly designated General Duong Van "Big" Minh to replace Tran Van Huong as President of the Republic of Vietnam.' ... (Ref. 1444).

 

    On the evening of 28 April 1975, with Saigon nearly surrounded, General Minh took the oath of office. ... within minutes of the ceremony, a flight of captured South Vietnamese A-37s bombed Tan Son Nhut. ... convinced the new leaders of the republic that they had but two choices: negotiate or capitulate. ... Ambassador Martin returned to the Embassy and made his decision ... and called Secretary of State Kissinger, he officially relinquished control of the evacuation of South Vietnam. In less than 20 minutes, it became a military operation” (Ref. [39] of 1444).

 

    On 29 April 1975, the Saigon evacuation commenced” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    USS Worden (DLG-18), as part of the 7th Fleet, assisted in the evacuation of Americans from Vietnam as part of Operation "Frequent Wind"” (Ref. 1438).

 

    By the morning of Tuesday, 29 April 1975, everyone in the task force knew the status of the North Vietnamese offensive and the peril that Saigon faced, and wondered why the evacuation had not begun. ... This day, however, was different. Finally, the waiting was over. Admiral Gavler directed USSAG/Seventh Air Force and Seventh Fleet to begin Frequent Wind Option IV at 1051 29 April 1975 (Saigon time). With that announcement the evacuation of Saigon officially began. ... General Minh. ... told his soldiers to lay down their arms” (Ref. [39] of 1444).

 

    At 1215, the 9th MAB received General Burns' message directing them to "execute." For some unexplainable reason, dissemination of this message to the participating units had been delayed from 1052 until 1215"” (Ref. [42] of 1444).

 

    Operation Frequent Wind finally executes: "... 1315 departed the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) for the landing zone.' At 1350, a section of Huev helicopters landed at the DAO Compound and discharged its passengers” (Ref. [47] of 1444).

 

    Communication problems in the fleet: "Captain Kurt A. Schrader. a helicopter commander in HMH-462. related, We had just stood down when the ship's captain came over the 1MC (public address system) and announced that the mission was a go but the message directing it had been lost by the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) communications center." ... Following receipt of detailed information from the HDC on the USS Okinawa (LPH-3), Admiral Whitmire announced that L-Hour had changed again and would now be 1500. Despite this modification, due in large part to the continuing confusion over USSAGs understanding of L-Hour, Operation Frequent Wind was finally in motion.' At this time, the brigade began the most critical aspect of pre-L-Hour operations: positioning the landing force"” (Ref. [43] of 1444).

 

    General Carey and Colonel Gray. ... the first wave started landing at 1506. At that moment, it was 0306 in Washington. the same day, 29 April 1975, and 2106, 28 April, at the CinCPac Command Center in Honolulu, Hawaii"” (Ref. [47] of 1444).

 

    The sky was filled with South Vietnamese Air Force helicopters, looking for a place to land and unload their passengers” (Ref. [43] of 1444).

 

    According to a witness on USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) during the evacuation of Saigon, the ship seemed to be under siege by helicopters. Five helicopters crashed on the ship that day not counting ones ditched or abandoned overboard. One crashed causing a near disaster and showering the ship and personnel with debris” (Ref. [44] of 1444).

 

    A NBC film crew, with reporter George Lewis, filmed this unexpected arrival of SVN choppers with refugees fleeing Saigon, on the flight deck of Blue Ridge, showing the processing of the refugees and two SVN choppers rotor blades colliding. And to free up space on the flight deck, SVN choppers were ditched by their pilots in the South China Sea after unloading their refugees on BR. With that iconic photo of a SVN Huey being pushed over the side of USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), they filmed one unknown crew member being tossed into a flight deck safety net by the movement of the chopper going over the side” (Ref. [45] of 1444).

 

    The Fleet: "Gunnery Sergeant Russell R. Thurman, the 31st MAU public affairs specialist, recalled. "The most incredible thing that morning was the number of ships. Every direction that you looked all you could see were ships and more ships""” (Ref. [43] of 1444).

 

Ships anchored off of Saigon, Operation Frequent Wind, 1975.

 

    Problems in the air: "The commanding officer of ProvMAG 39. Colonel McLenon, exercised control of his Marine aircraft through the Tactical Air Coordination Center (TACC) on board the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19). The Helicopter Direction Center on board the USS Okinawa (LPH-3), maintained aircraft spacing and routing. ... The primary difference between TACC and HDC was that TACC controlled the tactical disposition of the helicopters and HDC controlled the helicopters as long as they were in the Navy's airspace. These areas of responsibility often overlapped and at times even merged. Under the conditions existing on the morning of 29 April 1975, the difference in control responsibilities of TACC and HDC at best seemed blurred, at worst redundant"” (Ref. [46] of 1444).

 

    Personnel and Vietnamese were evacuated to waiting ships after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese. With fighter cover provided by carrier aircraft, the helicopters landed on Saigon rooftops and at Tan Son Nhut to evacuate the Americans” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk). 

 

First choppers for Frequent Wind.

 

    More problems in the air: "Landing on these ships at 1540, they unloaded the first refugees delivered by Operation Frequent Wind. ...Unfortunately, coordination and control of the overall embarkation operation suffered from more serious communication problems. Direct communications with Admiral Whitmire and 9th MAB Rear were sporadic, at best, requiring a continuous relay by the ABCCC (airborne C-130 equipped with several types of radios). Added to the already heavy traffic, these relays served to create confusion on the radios ..."” (Ref. [48] of 1444).

 

    Ambassador’s last stand "Admiral Steele offered his recollections of the nearly endless supply of evacuees at the Embassy: "One thing not generally known is that Ambassador Martin was attempting to get large numbers of Vietnamese evacuated from the Embassy. lt appeared to be a bottomless pit, and as our men and machines began to tire ... I did not want him captured. The number three man in the Embassy arrived on board the Blue Ridge amid reported the Ambassador to be ill and exhausted. Through loyalty to our Vietnamese colleagues. he was going to keep that evacuation going indefinitely, and in my opinion, force it to keep going by not coming out himself"” (Ref. [49] of 1444).

 

    General Carey notified Captain Gerald L. "Gerry" Berry. a HMM-165 pilot, that his CH-46 would extract Ambassador Martin. His instructions included the order to remain atop the Embassy building as long as necessary to load him. At 0458 on 30 April 1975 Captain Berry, in "Lady Ace 09' departed the Embassy helipad and Ambassador Martin bid farewell to South Vietnam. The American Embassy had officially closed its doors. Unofficially, a handful of American Marines still remained at the Embassy waiting for their ride to freedom. At 0327. President Ford ordered that no more than 19 additional lifts would be flown and that Ambassador Martin would be on the last one” (Ref. [50] of 1444).

 

    "...cable from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It read, "I think it advisable that you avoid all public comment until you have made your report to the President." ... Kissinger's long-ago words crossed Martin's mind. "You've got to get back out there because the American people have got to have somebody to blame.' Martin cancelled the press conference. Yet when caught by reporters below decks, the last U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam declared, "I think the Americans have a right to be proud of this evacuation. I have absolutely nothing for which I apologize at all"” (Ref. [51] of 1444).

 

    In April 1975, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) aircraft furnished logistic support for the evacuation of South Vietnam. No actual strikes were conducted during this time period. An intensive training program in all areas to improve the ship’s readiness characterized the majority of the 1974-5 cruise” (Ref. 34, 43 & 1184).

 

    The first U. S. Air Force helicopters H-53’s departed USS Midway (CVA-41) at 2:45 P.M. local time bound for landing zones in Saigon. Returning at 4:53 P.M., each helo carried about 60 passengers. During the first day, 2,074 refugees were brought aboard Midway. While Air Force H-53’s were bringing more evacuees aboard Midway, Navy and Marine Corps helicopters began transferring the early arrivals to other ships in the Seventh Fleet Armada off Vietnam” (Ref. Part I, Tab K, Annex A of USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    The airport became the main helicopter-landing Zone: Marines from the 9th Amphibious Brigade flown in for that purpose defended it. All but a handful of the 900 Americans in Saigon were evacuated. The last helicopter lifted off the roof of the United States Embassy at 7:52 p.m. carrying Marine security guards” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & Hancock & Enterprise).

 

    Early on the morning of 30 April 1975, the last Americans were lifted from Saigon to safety. Midway continued to receive evacuees, however, as thousands of refugees fled to Seventh Fleet’s ships in Vietnamese helicopters. One of those coming to Midway was former Vice-President Nguyen Cao KY after his arrival USS Midway (CVA-41) was escorted by LTJG Prater. In the scramble to escape, the helos were often loaded far beyond their normal capacity. One UH-1 (design capacity 12 infantry men) landed with over 50 people, most of them small children, on board” (Ref. Part I, Tab L, Annex A of USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    On 30 April 1975, South Vietnamese Air Force Major Buang-Ly loaded his wife and five children into a two-seat Cessna O-1 Bird Dog and took off from Con Son Island. After evading enemy ground fire Major Buang headed out to sea and spotted the USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk). 

 

    In the early afternoon of 30 April 1975, a small Cessna 0-1 “Bird Dog” light observation plane began to circle Midway. At first it was thought the pilot would try to ditch alongside the carrier. But then the tiny, single-engine aircraft flew over the ship and after three tries, Major Buang managed to drop a note from a low pass over the deck: "Can you move the helicopter to the other side, I can land on your runway, I can fly for one hour more, we have enough time to move. Please rescue me! Major Buang, wife and 5 child." There were no radio communications with the pilot.

 

    On orders from the Commanding Officer, flight deck crewman quickly cleared the angle deck and prepared to recover the aircraft. The Midway's crew attempted to contact the aircraft on emergency frequencies but the pilot continued to circle overhead with his landing lights turned on. When a spotter reported that there were at least four people in the two-place aircraft, all thoughts of forcing the pilot to ditch alongside were abandoned - it was unlikely the passengers of the overloaded Bird Dog could survive the ditching and safely egress before the plane sank.

 

     Captain Larry Chambers, the ship's commanding officer, ordered that the arresting wires be removed and that any helicopters that could not be safely and quickly be relocated should be pushed over the side.

 

     To get the job done he called for volunteers, and soon every available seaman was on deck, regardless of rank or duty, to provide the manpower to get the job done. An estimated US$10 million worth of UH-1 Huey helicopters were pushed overboard into the South China Sea. With a 500-foot ceiling, five miles visibility, light rain, and 15 knots of surface wind, Chambers ordered the ship to make 25 knots into the wind. Warnings about the dangerous downdrafts created behind a steaming carrier were transmitted blind in both Vietnamese and English.

 

     To make matters worse, five additional UH-1s landed and cluttered up the deck. Without hesitation, Chambers ordered them scuttled as well. Captain Chambers recalled in an article in the Fall 1993 issue of the national Museum of Aviation History's "Foundation" magazine that the aircraft cleared the ramp and touched down on center line at the normal touchdown point. Had he been equipped with a tailhook he could have bagged a number 3 wire.

 

     Despite a rain-soaked deck, the Bird Dog’s pilot, Major Bung Lee, South Vietnam Air Force, made his first carrier landing a successful one. He bounced once and came stop abeam of the island, amid a wildly cheering, arms-waving flight deck crew. The Bird Dog came to a stop well short of the end of the angle deck without benefit of a tailhook or barricade. Major Buang was escorted to the bridge where Captain Chambers congratulated him on his outstanding airmanship and his bravery in risking everything on a gamble beyond the point of no return without knowing for certain a carrier would be where he needed it. The crew of the Midway was so impressed that they established a fund to help him and his family get settled in the United States” (Ref. [6] of 1184).

 

    The Bird Dog that Major Buang landed is now on display at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL.” (Ref. [7] of 1184).

 

Quoted from Naval Aviation News magazine

 

    On the bridge, Midway's C.O., Captain L.C. Chambers didn't wait long to act. He directed the flight deck crew to clear the landing area." "Moments later the O-1 pilot turned into the groove and guided his craft, sans tail hook, toward the deck. He crossed the fantail, touched down, bounced, struck the ship again, rolled forward and stopped with plenty of room to spare." (Quoted from Naval Aviation News magazine, July 1975 issue, pages 32–33.). NS0241ap. Submitted by: Robert Hurst.

 

VNAF Major Buang lands his Cessna O-1 Bird Dog on the deck of USS Midway (CVA-41) during Operation Frequent Wind.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/0241ap.jpg

 

    It was April 30, 1975. Rain had soaked the deck. The men of USS Midway (CVA-41) were bringing order out of chaos. An armada of helicopters, flown by and filled with Vietnamese, flocked to the floating sanctuary. At one point a tiny silhouette appeared on the horizon, heading toward the carrier. It was soon identified as a Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, used as an observation aircraft in the war." "The diminutive plane circled Midway. The Vietnamese Major at the controls tried to toss a note to the flight deck. He failed twice. But on the third attempt he succeeded. Scribled on a torn nav chart was a crude but eloquent appeal:" "Can you move these helicopter to the other side, I can land on your runway, I can fly 1 hour more, we have enough time to move.Please rescue me. Major Buang Wife and 5 child"

 

    As South Vietnam fell, in two days of operations, a total of 3,073 evacuees were recovered and processed in USS Midway (CVA-41) during Operation Frequent Wind” from 29 to 30 April 1973. In addition to the Bird Dog, three Vietnamese CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters, 40 Vietnamese and five Air America “Hueys” found refuge aboard Midway. The carrier’s medical team treated nearly 300 evacuees for minor illnesses and injuries. Most were found to be in good physical health. Over 6,000 meals were served to the refugees aboard the ship during the course of this operation” (Ref. 1181O, 1183 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    In the evacuation, one Marine CH-53 carried more than 80 men, women, and children on a flight to USS Midway (CVA-41); Marine CH-46 Sea Knights normally carried some 60 persons. Two American helicopter pilots were lost in the operation when their helicopters crashed” (Ref. 1183 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    Aboard USS Midway (CVA-41), HC-1 Det-2 kept the refugees moving. Their four 13-passenger “Sea King” helicopters, in a 30-hour period, logged a total of 60.9 hours of flight time and transferred over 1,600 refugees and 8,660 pounds of cargo belonging to the refugees. The detachment accomplished 158 landings aboard six different ships involved in the evacuation. Despite the fact that evacuees were taken to other ships as soon as possible, over 1,000 spent the night onboard. All available berthing was soon jammed, and many evacuees spent the night on mats or blankets in the hangar bay.

 

    During Operation Frequent Wind, USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) aircraft flew 95 sorties” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & Hancock & Enterprise).

 

    Hundreds of U.S. personnel and Vietnamese were evacuated to waiting ships after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese. Nearly 9,000 were evacuated: 1,373 U.S. personnel and 6,422 of other nationalities were evacuated to waiting ships after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese. South Vietnam officially surrendered to the North on 30 April 1975” (Ref. 1-Midway & Enterprise).

 

    As that country collapsed, Helicopters from USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) evacuate refugees during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon on 29 April 1975 and proceeded apace from 29 to 30 April 1975. CVW-15 aircraft covered the helo lift of the last people to leave Saigon as communist forces overran the city” (Ref. 34, 43 & 1184).

 

    On 30 ApriI 1975, the Republic of Vietnam ceased to exist"” (Ref. [39] of 1444).

 

    Operation Frequent Wind (29–30 April 1975), the evacuation of Saigon, South Vietnam, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal” (Ref. [23] & [63] of 1444).

 

    Operation Frequent Wind was the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam from 29 to 30 April 1975 during the last days of the Vietnam War and was carried out by U.S. 7th Fleet forces. During this operation, USS Midway (CVA-41) had offloaded fifty percent of her regular combat air wing at NS Subic Bay, Philippines.

 

      USS Midway (CVA-41) steamed to Thailand, whereupon eight CH-53 from 21st Special Operations Squadron and two HH-53 helicopters from 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron[5] were loaded for the purpose of ferrying people from Saigon out to the fleet cruising in the South China Sea. Hundreds of U.S. personnel and Vietnamese were evacuated to waiting ships after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese.

 

      At the end of the evacuation operation, USS Midway (CVA-41) was directed to Thailand to offload the USAF helicopters and on load Vietnamese aircraft which had been flown out of South Vietnam before the country fell. The CH-53s then airlifted over 50 South Vietnamese Air Force aircraft to the ship” (Ref. 1184 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    On 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon and through the gates of the Presidential Palace, as South Vietnam fell to the Communists. Midway was the last of 17 U.S. attack carriers to participate in the conflict” (Ref. 1183 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41) anchored off Sattahip, Thailand on 2 May 1975, after flying off the Air Force helos. 23 F-5 fighters and 27 A-37 light bombers were loaded aboard. Additionally, Midway made an unscheduled pickup of 84 more evacuees, who were discovered attempting to reach safety in a badly crowded and sinking fishing boat on 3 May 1975” (Ref. 1184 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Worden (DLG-18), as part of the 7th Fleet, assisted in the evacuation of Americans from Vietnam as part of Operation "Frequent Wind." As the operation came to a close on 3 May 1975, Worden returned to Thailand to resume her port visit” (Ref. 1438).

 

    After departing Sattahip, Thailand on 5 May 1975, inport from 2 to 5 May 1975, USS Midway (CVA-41) participation in Operation Frequents Wind ended with the off-loading in Guam of the aircraft that had landed aboard during the evacuation and had been received in the Gulf of Siam” (Ref. 405, 1184 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    All told, 101 aircraft that included 23 F-5 fighters and 27 A-37 light bombers that were loaded while USS Midway (CVA-41) was anchored off Sattahip, Thailand were off-loaded by Cranes in one day of work while the ship lay anchored in Guam on 11 and 12 May: 45 UH-1 “Huey” and three CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters; 27 A-37 strike aircraft, 25 F-5 “Freedom Fighters”; and one Cessna O-1 “Bird Dog”, earmarked for the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola where it is today.

 

      USS Midway (CVA-41) departed Guam on 12 May 1975 for Subic Bay, the same day the Mayaguez was captured” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) seemed destined for no rest during an ostensibly peacetime deployment. As she was en route to Perth, Australia, from Singapore word reached her of the capture of SS Mayaguez by Cambodians on 12 May 1975” (Ref. 43).

 

    The Mayaguez incident took place between Democratic Kampuchea and the United States from 12 to 15 May 1975, less than a month after the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital Phnom Penh ousting the U.S. backed Khmer Republic. It was the last official battle of the Vietnam War. The names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three U.S. Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation before they attacked. Nevertheless, the Marines boarded and recaptured the ship anchored off shore a Cambodian island, finding it empty” (Ref. [1] - Wetterhahn, Ralph (2002). The Last Battle: The Mayaguez Incident and the end of the Vietnam War. Plume. ISBN 0-452-28333-7 of 1446). 

 

     The capture of SS Mayaguez by Cambodians from 12 to 15 May 1975 Report is located in Appendix I of this Chapter.

 

    From 12 to 14 May 1975, USS Hancock (CVA-19) was alerted, although not utilized, for the recovery of SS Mayaguez, a U.S. merchantman with 39 crew, seized in international waters on 12 May by the Communist Khmer Rouge” (Ref. 1-Hancock).

 

    The capture of the SS MAYAQUEZ by the Cambodians on 13 May 1975 interrupted her stay; and USS Worden (DLG-18) sailed from Thailand for Hong Kong. The MAYAQUEZ was freed before Worden reached the British crown colony, so she proceeded to Yokosuka, arriving there on 20 May 1975” (Ref. 1438).

 

    On 12 to 14 May 1975, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) participated with other United States Navy, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps forces in the Mayaguez incident, the recovery of the U.S. merchant ship SS Mayaguez and her 39 crew, illegally seized on 12 May in international waters by a Cambodian gunboat controlled by the Communist Khmer Rouge” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & 72).

U.S. rescue preparations

 

    Following Secretary Schlesinger's instructions, P-3 Orion aircraft stationed at Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines and at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield in Thailand took off to locate the Mayaguez. The aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43), then en route to Australia, was ordered into the area” (Ref [1]:43). The destroyer escort USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074) and the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7), were both ordered to proceed at high speed from the USS Philippine Sea (CG-58) towards the Mayaguez's last known location” (Ref [1]:44–45). An alert order was sent to 1st Battalion 4th Marines (1/4 Marines) at Subic Bay and to the 9th Marine Regiment on Okinawa. A reinforced company from 1/4 Marines was ordered to assemble at Naval Air Station Cubi Point for airlift to Thailand, while an 1100-man Battalion Landing Team (BLT) assembled in Okinawa” (Ref [1]:45)” (Ref 1446).

 

Locating and stopping the Mayaguez

 

    On the early morning of May 13, the P-3 Orions identified large radar returns near Poulo Wai and dropped flares on the suspected location of the Mayaguez provoking Khmer Rouge gunfire. Low on fuel, the two Orions returned to base and were replaced with another Orion from Patrol Squadron 17. At 08:16 local time the Orion made a low pass over Poulo Wai positively identifying the Mayaguez and again drawing Khmer Rouge gunfire” (Ref [1]:50–51). Shortly after the Orion made its low pass, the Khmer Rouge leader, Sa Mean, ordered Captain Miller to get the Mayaguez under way. At 08:45 the Mayaguez set off towards the northeast following one of the Swift Boats” (Ref [1]:53). The Orion continued to track the Mayaguez as it left Poulo Wai. Once the location of the Mayaguez was identified, Admiral Gayler ordered the commander of the Seventh Air Force, Lieutenant General John J. Burns, at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, to move combat aircraft to the area” (Ref [1]:54). At 13:00 two unarmed F-111 fighter-bombers diverted from a training mission began making low-level high-speed passes by the Mayaguez. Once the F-111s had left, Sa Mean ordered Captain Miller to follow the swift boats around Koh Tang and drop anchor approximately 1.5 km north of the island” (Ref [1]:54–55). Two F-4 Phantoms soon arrived over the Mayaguez and began firing their 20 mm cannon into the water in front of the ship. The F-4s were followed by A-7Ds and more F-111s which continued to fire into the sea in front of and behind the ship indicating that no further movement should be attempted” (Ref [1]:55–56). At 16:15, the Khmer Rouge ordered the Mayaguez crew onto two fishing boats which then took them closer to the shore of Koh Tang.[1]:56–58)” (Ref 1446).

 

Fishing boats interdicted

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), the destroyer escort USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074) and the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7), were all scheduled to arrive on station by 15 May 1975, but none of these ships carried any troops” (Ref [1]:61).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) provided both medical and air support for U. S. Marines on Koh Tang Island. Protective air strikes were flown from Coral Sea against the Cambodian mainland naval and air installations as Air Force helicopters with 288 Marines from Battalion Landing Teams 2 and 9 were launched from Utapao, Thailand, and landed at Koh Tang Island to rescue the Mayaguez crew and secure the ship. Eighteen Marines, Airman, and Navy corpsmen were lost in the action” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 72 & 1275W3).

 

    The priority was then to get back to the Subic area and recover the Air Wing, which flew onboard on the 15th of May 1975 as the USS Midway (CVA-41) steamed further into the South China Sea. Air operations filled the next four days, and a Soviet Task Group en route from the Indian Ocean to Vladivostok was encountered” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    Steaming to the Gulf of Thailand, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) air wing flew 63 combat sorties on the 15 May 1975 against Koh Tang Island and the Cambodian mainland, in support of Mayaguez's recovery. Wounded Marines were flown to the carrier for medical attention and transfer to Subic Bay” (Ref. 43 & 72).

 

    The USS Hancock (CVA-19) carried a Marine contingent but could not arrive on station until 16 May, while the USS Okinawa also carried Marines but could not arrive until 18 May 1975” (Ref [1]:61–62)” (Ref 1446).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) remained in the Gulf of Thailand through 18 May 1975, at which time she began a two-day transit to Subic Bay” (Ref. 43 & 72).

 

    “On USS Midway (CVA-41) way back to the Philippines to pick up her air wing she was rerouted to act as a floating airfield in support of special operation forces rescuing a pirated cargo ship (see Mayagüez incident). No active participation in the Mayaguez operations developed and Midway entered Subic Bay, Philippines on 20 May 1975, for three days of well deserved liberty, having completed the special operations” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Worden (DLG-18), as part of the 7th Fleet, assisted in the evacuation of Americans from Vietnam as part of Operation "Frequent Wind." As the operation came to a close on 3 May, Worden returned to Thailand to resume her port visit. However, the capture of the SS MAYAQUEZ by the Cambodians on 13 May interrupted her stay; and she sailed for Hong Kong. The MAYAQUEZ was freed before Worden reached the British crown colony, so she proceeded to Yokosuka, arriving there on 20 May 1975” (Ref. 405, 1184 & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 20 to 23 May 1975, conducting her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise in the South China Sea en route to her forward deployed port of Yokosuka, Japan” (Ref. 405 & 1184).

 

    On 23 May 1975, RADM Monger, COMCARGRU ONE, relieved RADM W. L. Harris, serving as Commander, Task Group CTG-77.4 in the Western Pacific Region, arriving aboard USS Midway (CVA-41), serving since 22 March 1975 and RADM Monger assumed the duties of Commander Task Group 77.4. The Task Group departed Subic the same day for Yokosuka conducting air operations en route. Midway tied up at Piedmont pier, Yokosuka, Japan on 29 May 1975, after two months away from homeport” (Ref. Part I, Tab G, Annex A of USS Midway (CV-41) 1975 Command History Report, 1178-G & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

    On 29 May 1975, USS Midway (CVA-41) with RADM Monger, COMCARGRU ONE, serving as Commander, Task Group, CTG-77.4 since 23 May 1975, relieving RADM W. L. Harris, COMCARGRU SEVEN serving since 22 March 1975 and CDR W. L. Chatham, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) embarked tied up at Piedmont pier, Yokosuka, Japan Yokosuka, Japan (NAF Atsugi, Japan), with Captain Lawrence Cleveland Chambers, USNA '52, as Commanding Officer, ending her eighth deployment, as the U. S. Navy’s forward-deployed carrier operating with the 7th Fleet, in the Western Pacific Region, conducting Operations in the Pacific Ocean, Refresher Operations in the Northern Japan operations area, the day after the fall of Da Nang, on her 12th “WestPac,” her 14th South China Sea, on her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise in support of Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam. Admiral Gavler directed USSAG/Seventh Air Force and Seventh Fleet to begin Frequent Wind Option IV at 1051 29 April 1975 (Saigon time). Operation Frequents Wind ended with the off-loading in Guam of the aircraft that had landed aboard during the evacuation and had been received in the Gulf of Siam. Ports of calls include: Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; Sattahip, a district (amphoe) in the province Chonburi, Thailand, located at the southern tip of the province, close to the tourism center Pattaya; Guam, an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean, with the island's capital is Hagåtña (formerly Agaña). Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a second time. Squadrons: VF-161, F-4N; VF-151, F-4N; VA-93, A-7A; VA-56, A-7A; VA-115, A-6A / KA-6D; VMCJ-1 Det. 101, RF-4B & EA-6A; VAW-115, E-2B; VMCJ-1 Det. 101, RF-4B; HC-1 Det. 2, SH-3G. Her tenth deployment since her second recommission 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her seventh “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her seventh South China Sea, on her first Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Stationin the Gulf of Tonkin in the Far East. Her 16th deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon arrival from her World Cruise and first “WestPac” deployment, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the 2nd Fleet and Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her first South China Sea deployment, for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. Her 26th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (31 March to 29 May 1975)(Ref. 1-Coral Sea, Hancock, Midway, Kitty Hawk & Enterprise, 34, 43, 72, 405, 1275W3, 405, 1181O, 1183, 1184, [5], [6] & [7] of 1184, 1185, 1438, Military Wiki is a Fandom Lifestyle Community. Content is available under CC-BY-SA & USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).

 

31/03/75 to 29/05/75

AWARD OR CITATION

AIR WING

TAIL

CODE

East & West Coast & 7th Fleet

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Seven Awards)

Taiwan Straits

06 ~ 10 SEP 58 *a

12 ~ 29 SEP 58 *a

12 ~ 30 OCT 58 *a

11 ~ 15 NOV 58 *a

30 NOV ~ 12 DEC 58 *a

Vietnam

24 ~ 25 MAR 61 *b

28 MAR ~ 07 APR 61 *b

09 APR ~ 11 MAY 65 *b

20 MAY ~ 28 JUN 65 *b

Cambodia

17 ~ 19 OCT 71 *c

Vietnam (Operation "Frequent Wind")

29 APR ~ 30 APR 75 *d (see Note 1)

Persian Gulf (Operation "Earnest Will")

NOV 1987 to FEB 1988

CVW-5

NF

12th WestPac

14th SCS

26th FWFD

31/03/75 to 29/05/75

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humanitarian Service Medal

Operation "Frequent Wind"

APR 75

CVW-5

NF

same

Note 1 — Public Law 107-314 of 2 December 2002 stipulates that personnel who were awarded the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for their participation in Operation Frequent Wind, during the period 29 to 30 April 1975, may elect the Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) in lieu of the AFEM for such service. However, no person shall be entitled to both awards for the same service.

OPNAVNOTE 1650 NOTES:


*a = Taiwan Straits (23 AUG 50  ~  01 JUN 63)

*b = Vietnam (01 JUL 58  ~  03 JUL 65)

*c = Korea (01 OCT 66  ~  03 JUN 74)

*d = Operation FREQUENT WIND (29  ~  30 APR  75)

*e = Operation FREQUENT WIND (29  ~  30 APR  75)

*f = Iran/Indian Ocean (06 DEC 78  ~  06 JUN 79)

*g = Persian Gulf (24 JUL 87  ~  01 AUG 80

*h = Iran/Indian Ocean (21 NOV 79  ~  20 OCT 81)

Ref. 1181 & 1181/C

 

      USS Midway (CVA-41) Eighth deployment, as the U. S. Navy’s forward-deployed carrier operating with the 7th Fleet, in the Western Pacific Region, conducting Operations in the Pacific Ocean, on her 12th “WestPac,” her 14th South China Sea, on her fifth Vietnam Peace Patrol Cruise, in support of Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam, the evacuation by helicopter of American civilians and "at-risk" Vietnamese from Saigon, South Vietnam Summary (31 March to 29 May 1975) – Chapter 37, Appendix II

 

      USS Midway (CVA-41) conducted Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan (NAF Atsugi, Japan) at Piedmont pier from 30 May to 6 June 1975” (Ref. USS Midway (CVA-41) 1975 Command History Report).