Vietnam War Bibliography:

The Naval War

David L. Altheide and John M. Johnson, "Bureaucratic Propaganda: The Case of Battle Efficiency Reports", in Robert Jackall, ed., Propaganda (New York: New York University Press, 1995), pp. 229-328(?). Procedure by which reports of naval gunfire support missions by a US destroyer in Vietnam were "gundecked".

Larry Berman, Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. 508 pp.   pb Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2014 (forthcoming). 544 pp. Zumwalt was Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, from 1968 to 1970, and Chief of Naval Operations 1970 to 1974. (See also under Zumwalt and Cullen, below.)

Ray L. Burdeos, Filipinos in the U.S. Navy & Coast Guard During the Vietnam War. AuthorHouse, 2008. 192 pp. Burdeos, who himself served in the Coast Guard, presents the stories of six men who served in the Coast Guard, and six who served in the Navy.

Mike Carlin, Trial: Ordeal of the USS Enterprise. West Grove, PA: Tuscarora, (1993?). 256 pp. About a disastrous series of munitions explosions on the deck of the carrier, which killed 28 men on January 14, 1969. Carlin was a flight-deck fuels crew leader.

Joseph Cirquone (interviewer), "Viet Vet David Martin's War of Words". Martin served in the Navy off the coast of Vietnam, then went into the media, became CBS Pentagon correspondent for an extended period that included the Gulf War. VVA Veteran, June 1991.

Randall Cook, Blue Water, Brown Water: Stories of life in the Navy and in Vietnam. CreateSpace, 2011. 392 pp. Cook was a junior officer during the later part of the Vietnam War.

Denis Fairfax, Navy in Vietnam: A Record of the Royal Australian Navy in the Vietnam War 1962-1972. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1980.

Christopher E. Goscha, "The Maritime Nature of the Wars for Vietnam (1945-1975): A Geo-Historical Reflection." War & Society, November 2005, pp. 53-92.

Jeffrey Grey, Up Top: The Royal Australian Navy and Southeast Asian Conflicts, 1955-1972. St. Leonards, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 1998. xx, 380 pp.

Don L. Hart, "Holding the Line in the Tonkin Gulf." Vietnam, August 2000, pp. 46-52. Guided Missile Frigate USS Biddle (DLG-34) in the Gulf of Tonkin June-September 1972, doing SAR, controlling air strikes against North Vietnam. Once attacked by MiGs.

Kerry S. Hart, "As If We Had Never Been There", Proceedings, January 1991, pp. 52-56. USS Preble, DLG-15, doing shore bombardment, SAR, air control, rice destruction off NVN and northern SVN, August 1972 to January 1973.

Glenn E. Helm, "Surprised at Tet: U.S. Naval Forces in Vietnam, 1968." Pull Together, vol. 36, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 1997), pp. 1-5. Text also on a Naval Historical Center website.

Lt. CMDR Wesley A. Hoch U.S.N., Dai Uy Hoch: "A Legend in Remote Seas": U.S.N. Military Advisor to the Junk Force. Xulon Press, 2009. 444 pp. Hoch was in Vietnam in the early 1960s--1964 or earlier--advising slow wooden patrol vessels of the Vietnamese Navy, based on Phu Quoc Island. My impression is that the book stresses the author's Christian faith.

Admiral James L. Holloway III, "The Big E Goes Where the Action Is," Naval History, 14:4 (August 2000).

Alex Larzelere, The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1997. xxv, 345 pp.

Edward J. Marolda and Dean C. Allard, The U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War: An Illustrated History. Washington: Brassey's, 2002. 416 pp.

John Fass Morton, Mustin: A Naval Family of the 20th Century. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2003. Lloyd Mustin, Hank Mustin, and Tom Mustin (see below) were involved in one way or another were the Vietnam War.

Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute. This monthly magazine, nominally private, is for practical purposes the professional journal of the U.S. Navy's officer corps.
Call number in Clemson University Library: V1 .U8

CDR R. L. Schreadley, From the Rivers to the Sea: The U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1992. xxii, 418 pp.

Paul C. Scotti, Coast Guard Action in Vietnam: Stories of those who Served.  Central Point, Oregon: Hellgate, 2000. ix, 236 pp.

Neil Sheehan, The Arnheiter Affair.  New York: Random House, 1971. LCDR Marcus A. Arnheiter was relieved of command of USS Vance, which had been serving off the coast of Vietnam, in 1966.

John Darrell Sherwood, Black Sailor, White Navy: Racial Unrest in the Fleet During the Vietnam War Era. New York: NYU Press, 2007. 344 pp.

Lt. Eugene N. Tulich, USCG, The United States Coast Guard in South East Asia During the Vietnam Conflict. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Division, United States Coast Guard, 1975. iii, 65 pp. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in two parts: front matter and pp. 1-40,   front matter and pp. 41-65.

Frank Uhlig, Jr., ed., Vietnam: The Naval Story. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1986. viii, 515 pp.

Master Chief William R. Wells, USCG (ret.), "Friendly Target." Naval History, June 1998, pp. 33-36. The friendly fire attack on the Coast Guard cutter Point Welcome August 11, 1966. the text has been place online at a web site of the U.S. Naval Institute.

Lt.(j.g.) Craig R. Whitney, U.S.N., "Naval Gunfire in Vietnam," Ordnance, no. 294 (May-June 1969), pp. 602-606.

Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr., "Paradox of Power: Infiltration, Coastal Surveillance, and the United States Navy in Vietnam, 1965-68." Journal of Military History, 53:3 (July 1989), pp. 275-290. If you browse the Internet through an institution that has subscribed to JSTOR, you can access the text directly or go through the JSTOR Journal of Military History browse page.

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, On Watch. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times Books, 1976. xv, 568 pp. Admiral Zumwalt was Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Vietnam, from 1968 to 1970, and Chief of Naval Operations 1970 to 1974. (See also under Berman above, and Cullen below.)

Admiral Elmo Zumwalt [Chief of Naval Operations] and Admiral Thomas Moorer [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], secure voice calls. Memoranda for the record, summarizing several of the conversations between these admirals, have been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University:

 

Navy Documents

Captain Joseph B. Drachnik was Chief of the Navy Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam (chief adviser to the Vietnamese Navy, with responsibility also for the advisers to the Vietnamese Marine Corps), from December 1961 to January 1964. The Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University has begun to place online, in the Joseph Drachnik Collection, some documents from his files. I don't know how large this body of material will eventually become, but I am optimistic. The following is a partial list of the items placed online so far:

U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, Monthly Historical Summary. The first month of publication under this title seems to have been April 1966, the month in which U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, was formally established. There may have been a predecessor title beginning in 1965. Early issues were made up of numerous sub-sections paginated separately; later there was a gradual shift toward continuous page numbering. The Monthly Historical Summary became the Quarterly Historical Summary as of the first quarter of 1972. Please note that U.S. Naval Forces, Vietnam, was a command in and for South Vietnam; it did not control naval operations against North Vietnam, or even the aircraft carriers off the coast conducting air strikes against targets in South Vietnam.
      The whole series, from 1965 to 1973, is to be published on CD-ROM by Carr's Compendiums, but so far as I know the date of publication has not yet been set. A near-complete set has been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in the collection "United States Naval Forces, Vietnam Monthly Historical Summaries, 1966-1972, 1973". A near-complete set has also been placed online by the Operational Archives of the U.S. Navy's Naval Historical Center. If you have a slow Internet connection, you may be better off using the collection at Texas Tech, which has broken up long reports into chunks. The Navy site has each monthly report as one large (sometimes over 40MB) .pdf file, which may be slow to download. In the listing that follows, if the date is highlighted for the link, the link goes to the version on the Navy web site. If the date is in black text and the link follows it, the link is to Texas Tech.

 U.S. Seventh Fleet News Releases. San Francisco: Seventh Fleet Public Affairs Office. Even the very short news releases--the monthly summaries I have seen have only about two pages of actual text--contain some useful information, such as lists of which ships had provided naval gunfire support during the month, and which carriers had flown air strikes.

Each month during the middle portion of the war, the Navy's Operational Archives Branch produced a fairly detailed summary of U.S. Navy activities in Vietnam for the month.  The reports for a few months in 1966 have been placed, declassified, on a Navy web site, United States Naval Operations Vietnam, Highlights, and it is hoped that more will be soon.

"Report of Night Action of DESOTO PATROL." 20 Dec 1967. After-action report, originally dated 22 September 1964, on the Tonkin Gulf incident of 18-19 September 1964, in which the destroyers Morton and Edwards believed they were under PT boat attack off the coast of North Vietnam. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Rear Admiral H.L. Miller, "History of Task Force 77, 2 September 1964-17 March 1965." The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in two parts: front matter, Enclosure 1 (narrative history), Enclosure 2 (chronologies), Enclosure 3 (operations against North Vietnam--mostly Flaming Dart but there are a few paragraphs on the very beginning of Rolling Thunder), Enclosure 4 (the header says this is about Yankee Team, but in fact the first 16 pages are further details about Flaming Dart and Rolling Thunder; pp. 17-21 are Yankee Team); and a single page of Enclosure 5 (Barrel Roll),   Enclosure 5 (Barrel Roll), pp. 2-34.

"Narrative '1968' History of the USS New Jersey BB-62." ii, 80 pp. Online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in two parts: Front matter and pp. 1-39, pp. 41-80.

An unidentified document (I am not even sure it is from the U.S. Navy) giving relatively detailed descriptions of the various port facilities in South Vietnam, as of September 1969 has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

"Carrier Deployments During the Vietnam Conflict." Naval Aviation History Branch, Naval Historical Center, 2003. Gives overall beginning and end dates of deployments, and within those spans, the dates of port visits. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

"Order of Battle for Carrier Forces in WestPac/Vietnam (1964-1975)." Gives deployment dates, and the squadron number and aircraft type for each squadron aboard each carrier. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Navy Helicopter Unit Documents

 

Riverine Warfare

Lt. Col. John W. Baker, USA, and Lt Col. Lee C. Dickson, USA, "Army Forces in Riverine Operations" Military Review, August 1967 (vol. XLVII, no. 8), pp. 64-74.

Mickey Block and William Kimball, Before the Dawn. Canton, OH: Daring Books. Paperback New York: Pocket Books, 1989. Both the front and back covers of the paperback say that Block was a Navy SEAL, but he was never in fact a SEAL, nor does the text of the book really claim he was. He was in Special Boat Unit 524, a PBR unit based at Sa Dec, 1968 to 1969.

Douglas M. Branson, Three Tastes of Nuoc Mam: The Brown Water Navy & Visits to Vietnam. Ashland, OR: Hellgate Press, 2012. 312 pp. Roughly the first third of this book deals with Branson's service as a junior officer in the Brown Water Navy, 1966-67.

Douglas Brinkley, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. New York: Morrow, 2004. 546 pp. Pages 129-328 cover Kerry's November 1968 to March 1969 tour in Vietnam. He commanded PCFs (Swift boats), initially with Coastal Squadron 1, Coastal Division 14, at Cam Ranh Bay; later Task Force 115; then Coastal Division 11 and Coastal Division 13. After his return to the United States, he became a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). The book is primarily devoted to Kerry's actions during the years of the war; only a brief section at the end (pp. 427-457) deals with events after the Paris Agreements of 1972, including the initial stages of his 2004 presidential campaign. For Kerry's postwar career, see the biography by Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton (below).

SMC Jimmy R. Bryant, USN, Man of the River: Memoir of a Brown Water Sailor in Vietnam, 1968-1969. Fredericksburg, VA: Sergeant Kirkland's Press, 1998. 195 pp. Bryant served with the PBRs of River Division 591, Task Force 116 (River Patrol Force, Operation GAME WARDEN), from October 1968 until he was badly injured in an accident.

John M. Carrico, Vietnam Ironclads: U.S. Navy River Assault Craft, 1966-1970. (Morrisville, NC?): J.M. Carrico, 2007. 134 pp.

Col. Victor J. Croizat, The Brown Water Navy: The River and Coastal War in Indo-China and Vietnam, 1948-1972. Dorset, UK: Blandford Press, 1984. 160 pp.

Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., with David Chanoff, Line of Fire: From Washington to the Gulf, the Politics and Battles of the New Military. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. 367 pp. of which pp. 75-85 are devoted to Crowe's tour in 1970 (probably stretching into 1971) as an adviser to RVN riverine forces in the Mekong Delta.

Leslie Julian Cullen, "Brown Water Admiral: Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. and United States Naval Forces, Vietnam, 1968-1970." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Texas Tech University, 1998. 351 pp. DA 9826449.

Lcdr. Thomas J. Cutler, Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1988.

Victory Daniels and Judith C. Erdheim, Game Warden. Arlington, VA: Center for Naval Analyses, 1976. iii, 42 pp., plus about 60 pp. of appendices. Appendix A has a lot of detail about Communist logistics, including munitions arrivals at Sihanoukville. Appendix B gives maps of Communist base areas in South Vietnam at various dates in the mid 1960s. Appendix I is a 14-page Chronology covering the years 1965-1968. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in three parts: Front matter and main text,   Appendices A-E, and   Appendices F-I.

R. Blake Dunnavent, Brown Water Warfare: The U.S. Navy in Riverine Warfare and the Emergence of a Tactical Doctrine, 1775-1970. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003. xviii, 185 pp.

Bill Ferguson, Laughter on the Rivers of Death: One Sailor's Humorous Experiences in Vietnam. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2007. xii, 147 pp.

Ron Fitts, Not A Hero. Brentwood Christian Press, (2001?). 136 pp. Fitts was a lieutenant in Brown Water forces 1969-1970. A substantial portion of the book deals with Fitts' postwar PTSD problems.

John Forbes and Robert Williams, Riverine Force. Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, no. 8. New York: Bantam, 1987. 158 pp.

Bruce Fordham, Cherry Snow Cone. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2004. x, 257 pp.

Wynn Goldsmith, Papa Bravo Romeo: U.S. Navy Patrol Boats at War in Vietnam.  New York: Ballantine, 2001.  xvi, 285 pp.  Goldsmith arrived in Vietnam in September 1967, a Navy LTJG, and was assigned to River Section 534, a new outfit just being created to run ten new MK II PBR's that were about to arrive in country.  Operating in the eastern Mekong Delta, vicinity of Kien Hoa province.

Barry Gregory, Vietnam Coastal and Riverine Forces Handbook.  Northamptonshire, England: P. Stephens/New York: Sterling, 1988. 135 pp.

Anthony Harrigan, "River and Shallow-Water Warfare." Military Review, XLV:10 (October 1965), pp. 77-83. Only in part about Vietnam.

Michael Harris, "Interview with Michael Harris." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, August 22, 2000. 42 pp. Harris arrived in Vietnam in 1968 and was assigned to an armored troop carrier, Tango 152-1 (Boat 1, Division 152, River Assault Squadron 15, Task Force 117). The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

USS Harnett County (LST-821), operations report and lessons learned for 1968. A PBR/helo support LST, involved in Operation Game Warden, and toward the end of the year, Operation Giant Slingshot. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

David Lane Jones, "United States Riverine Warfare in Vietnam: A Critical Analysis of Strategy." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science(?), Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University), 1999. 311 pp. AAT 9988013.

Michael Kranish, Brian C. Mooney, and Nina J. Easton, John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. xxviii, 448 pp. There are two chapters (pp. 71-109) on Kerry's service on Swift Boats in Vietnam, but this is an overall biography, devoted mostly to events after the end of the Vietnam War (unlike Brinkley's biography, above, devoted mostly to the war years).

LCDR William C. McQuilkin, "Operation SEALORDS: A Front in a Frontless War, an Analysis of the Brown-Water Navy in Vietnam." Master's thesis, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1997. vii, 86 pp. The text has been placed online by STINET.

Jim Mesko, Riverine: A Pictorial History of the Brown Water War in Vietnam. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1985. 64 pp.

Major Richard M. Meyer, USA, "The Ground-Sea Team in River Warfare" Military Review, September 1966 (vol. XLVI, no. 9), pp. 54-61. Looks at the French Dinassauts of the First Indochina War, as well as recent operations in South Vietnam.

Mobile Riverine Force: America's Mobile Riverine Force, Vietnam. 2 vols. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 1997-2005.

Lt. Thomas M. Mustin, U.S.N., "The River War," Ordnance, no. 290 (September-October 1968), pp. 176-178.

John Prados, "Brown Water, Red Blood: The Story of U.S. Riverine Forces in Vietnam." VVA Veteran, 19:2/3 (February/March 1999), pp. 24-25, 43.

River Patrol Force TF-116. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing, 1996. 104 pp. 2d ed. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner, 2000. 160 pp.

Gordon L. Rottman, Vietnam Riverine Craft, 1962-75. Oxford: Osprey, 2006. 48 pp.

Don Sheppard, Riverine: A Brown-Water Sailor in the Delta, 1967. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1992. viii, 326 pp.

Weymouth D. Symmes, War on the Rivers: A Swift Boat Sailor's Chronicle of the Battle for the Mekong Delta. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories, 2004. ix, 260 pp.

Captain Clarence J. "Jerry" Wages, "Riverine Operations, Rung Sat, Republic of Vietnam, 1969-1970." Naval Historical Foundation, Oral History Program, 2002. 49 pp. Interviewed December 16, 30, 2001. Captain Wages served a 14-month tour beginning March 1969, as senior adviser for the Rung Sat Special Zone (RSSZ) and concurrently the commander of the RSSZ River Patrol Group (CTG 116.9). The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University, in two parts: front matter and pp. 1-30, and pp. 31-49.

Some documents from riverine units can be found both under Navy Documents (immediately above) and under Tet and the Battle of Khe Sanh.

For an Army unit serving in the Mobile Riverine Force, see Andrew Wiest in U.S. Soldiers on the Ground.

 

Riverine and Naval Aspects of the First Indochina War

The Naval Air War

U.S. Navy SEALs

U.S. Navy Publications

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised June 9, 2014.