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The "scaredest" I've Ever Been

Discussion in 'Did you know - Remember when' started by Ken Boone, Jan 25, 2017.


  1. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    image.jpg

    I had the misfortune to be a repair party team member as a young sailor on the USS Oklahoma City, a light cruiser, off the coast of North Vietnam during an attack by MIGs and patrol boats. The gist of the action is in the write-up below but it doesn't come close to conveying the feeling one gets when he sees one his escort ships on fire and having to walk around the main deck picking up shrapnel from a near miss from bomb and MIG's screaming above you, trying to kill you. That was terrifying. Memories... at least none of the good guys got killed...

    http://storiesofthecoldwar.blogspot.com/2011/11/battle-off-dong-hoi.html is the url of the below story if it is hard to read...

    image.jpg

     
  2. shrimpmansteve

    shrimpmansteve Swabbie

    Thank you for your service and bravery!!!
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  3. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    A cruiser was second only to Battleships in size as a surface combatant. There were light and heavy cruisers. The difference was in the amount of armor they had. Light cruisers had "only " a six inch armor belt around her vital areas while a heavy cruiser could have as much as ten inches. Because of the decrease in armor, a light cruiser was the faster ship but more vulnerable to damage. A destroyer or frigate, by comparison, has no armor and faster still. They are and were considered "expendible" while cruisers and battleships were "ships of the line", the ones designed to go into harms way and have a decent chance of coming back. I was Chief Engineer Officer aboard both a cruiser and a Frigate during my career. The cruiser was a much more comfortable ride. :)
     
    Goggle Eye and Alps like this.
  4. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    Thanks for your service - Ken! And as we Vietnam vets like to say - "Welcome Home"!!

    I had a couple of those "scaredest moments" too.
     
    Goggle Eye and Ken Boone like this.
  5. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member

    Thanks for your service - Ken!

    And like it says in my signature
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º> >«(((º>
    I'm proud to be an American, and LOVE the U.S.A. It is because of people serving
    our Military past and present... That we all get to enjoy our many freedoms like Freedom to fish...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  6. robthetimekeeper

    robthetimekeeper Seaworthy

    I got nothing that even comes close to that. Glad you made it out alive and intact.
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  7. lobsterman

    lobsterman Seaman Recruit

    Thank you for your service Ken. Hopefully those orders never come again.
    MR2, USS Independence, C V 62. 75-79.
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  8. Alps

    Alps Swashbuckler

    I'll dig into this one tonight. [nodding] And thanks for posting, Mr B. [snappy salute!] ;)
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  9. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    Thanks for your service, too, Bob. I had a few other scary ones, like being trapped below decks with a fire blazing above me. If you were on the river boats, I'm sure my moments look like cakewalks...
     
  10. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    Another pic of the Okie City
    image.jpg
     
  11. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    I was in "A gang" on Midway as an MM2 then.
     
    lobsterman likes this.
  12. Ryan McLaughlin

    Ryan McLaughlin Blackbeard

    Thanks for your service! Showed my dad this, since I am visiting the family in Michigan and as a vet himself, he was appreciative of your service and the story.
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  13. Alps

    Alps Swashbuckler

    So, Mr. B, what's your take on 'break track' and the results of things? Like the author, I'm scratching my head, too. But then, I've heard enough solid accounts regarding our 'police action' in RVN that would make anyone's head spin. 2nd thought...maybe this ain't the right place for such banter.

    War's hell...it should be the last resort. I'd love to see the litmus test (of our leaders): "When it's important enough that you send your son/daughter, then mine will follow." ;) And 'Judge Advocate General Corps', doesn't count as combat, either!

    Of course, I'm dreaming....

    So what were you saying about sheepheads?? LOL
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  14. Saltgasm

    Saltgasm Buccaneer

    Can barely imagine what you and the others went through. Thank you and glad you are here to tell the stories.
     
    Ken Boone likes this.
  15. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    I believe the "break track" was because our phantoms were coming in to chase off/shoot down the MIGs and they didn't want us shooting down a phantom by mistake. We were supposed to have air cover but they arrived later than the MIG's because of an equipment problem on the carrier. The write up doesn't mention that, but I know for a fact there were Phantoms there because I saw one chasing a MIG about 100 ft over the water as they screamed right by me (I was walking around the main deck, looking for damage after our near miss. When they screamed by me, I thought it was a missile at first, headed my way. I dropped to the deck and hugged it as I figured I was about to die.) Yeah... Sheepshead...
     
    Alps likes this.
  16. Alps

    Alps Swashbuckler

    As Paul Harvey would have said, "Now...for the REST of the story."
    Thanks for providing it. Made total sense...completes the article. [thumbs-up]
    So then, we gotta wonder about the other ship that didn't 'break track'. There's always that small percentage that -for whatever reason - doesn't get the msg.

    And contrary to what we see in the movies...these ships are not bunched together, but rather, well-spaced...so one ship may not have had those F-4s in sight. Yes, no?

    Sheeps.... [nodding] [wink]
     
  17. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    We were approaching Haiphong harbor intent on stopping the flow of material south. We started out in a line fairly close together as we were approaching the harbor so the other ships could provide cover from shore guns while we, as the ship with the biggest guns, took out our objectives. The total battle area was likely about a 15 miles square box, fairly crowded for a bunch of ships maneuvering at flank speed. Everyone could see the bad guys and we were all targwts for a while. The airforce or navy bombers could have taken out the shore targets easily except for politics, since we couldn't bomb "civilian areas" in North Vietnam. We could shoot them up with high explosive rounds from six or eight inch navy guns but bombs were a no-no. Of course, the North had their fuel and ammo dumps purposely located in civilian areas because of this policy. Good strategy for them, bad for us.

    After this raid, we switched to night time raids... almost every night for seemed like weeks, since the North Vietnamese pilots weren't capable of flying effectively at night. Their boats and shore guns could shoot at night, though. Interesting times.

    So, when we got ashore after getting off the gun line, we acted like sailors, hahaha.
     
    Alps likes this.
  18. Ken Boone

    Ken Boone Seaman Recruit
    Thread Started By

    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
     
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  19. fishingfool

    fishingfool Lieutenant

    Ken - I was stationed in Qui Nhon. Big harbor there. My ex-wife's (Red Daddy's mom) first husband was killed on one of the river patrol boats in the Delta. They were hit by a shore fired rocket. Her cousin (Navy pilot) was shot down over North Vietnam. Neither were ever recovered.
     
  20. Alps

    Alps Swashbuckler

    [nodding] Like I alluded to earlier, lots of bone-headed moves when fighting in 'a police action'. While I understand both sides of the equation, I know what my logic is when it's my butt that's on the forward edge of the battle area.

    I'm having salad tonight, after doing battle with bass and crappie this afternoon! Boring, huh? :D:D:D
     
    Ken Boone likes this.

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