[13] In the days that followed, five U.S. Navy divers were deployed to Saigon from the Philippines, in addition to several salvage teams from U.S. bases in Japan and the Military Sea Transport Service Command. [6], When Nao received news Card had arrived in Saigon, he inspected the equipment which now included a new battery and a redesigned bomb. The Card was first commissioned into the United States Navy during World War II, playing a significant role in destroying German Navy submarines as the flagship of Task Group … Meanwhile, the tug boat USS Tawakoni based at Subic Bay in the Philippines was placed on standby, and later received similar orders to head for South Vietnam. [9], Once the commandos finally got out of the tunnel, they both swam towards the broadside of the Card which anchored near the opening of the sewer. [9], For the VC commandos of the 65th Special Operations Group, the explosion on Card signalled a successful mission. Adapted from Chaplain Bell interview in box 2 of World War II Interviews, Archives, Naval History and Heritage Command. [14] The U.S. Navy refused to admit Card had been sunk even for a brief period of time, instead it simply stated Card was damaged and quickly repaired. The fervor and skill with which Card’s group attacked these subs earned them a Presidential Unit Citation. The American brass and Pres. It was about 5,000 yards in front of the ship so that the men of the crew, of the [escort aircraft carrier USS] Card [CVE-11], could … In August … He advised Nao that the best way to enter the area where the American ships normally anchored, was through the sewer tunnel opposite Thu Thiem. Nao decided to utilise high explosives, enough to sink a ship, and detonate it using a timer so that his men could get away safely. [4], Nao then returned to Saigon and began assembling the equipment required for the attack, which included C4 plastic explosives, TNT, wires, mine detonators and batteries. This page was last modified on 15 April 2016, at 18:56. [10] Due to the rapid response from the ship's crew and the local authorities, flooding inside the ship was quickly stopped and it was stabilized. Again, the police patrol boat was waiting for Nao and Hung to arrive, because the commander wanted another bribe. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group (Đội Biệt động 65). Shortly after the Card was sunk, North Vietnam made full use of the incident for propaganda purposes. … Lam Son Nao, a commando of the 65th Special Operations Group, was also an employee at the port facility. The commandos attached the explosives to Core's hull, set the timer and retreated back into the sewer to wait for the outcome. [4], From 1961 onwards, the Card and the USNS Core regularly docked in Saigon to unload heavy artillery, M-113 armored personnel carriers, aircraft, helicopters and ammunition for the South Vietnamese government. Furthermore, five American civilians who worked on the ship died as a result of the attack. Shortly after midnight on May 2, 1964, two Viet Cong commandos climbed out of the sewer tunnel near the area where the Card was anchored, and they attached two loads of explosives to the ship’s hull. Card … The ship was reactivated on 16 May 1958 as USNS Card and operated with a civilian crew under Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) control as an aircraft transport. [9] By the time the sun rose over Saigon, the Card had sunk 48 feet (15 m) into the river with its engine compartment completely flooded. Shortly after midnight on May 2, 1964, two Viet Cong commandos climbed out of the sewer tunnel near the area where Card was anchored, and they attached two loads of explosives to the ship's hull. On the evening of December 29, 1963, Nao and Cay managed to carry their bomb devices through the sewer tunnel which had about 80 kilograms (180 lb) of explosives. As a regular visitor to the port, Card became a target for local VC commando units. Five Navy divers investigated damage to Card. Reclaimer and Tawakoni then towed the damaged Card out of Saigon, and headed for Subic Bay where it underwent further repairs.[13]. But due to illness, Cay declined to take part in the operation, so Hung had to replace him. [6], Nao then returned to Saigon and began assembling the equipment required for the attack which included C4 plastic explosives, TNT, wires, mine detonators and batteries. Departing San Diego 18 January 1943 Card arrived at Hampton Roads 1 February for … Bartholomew, Charles A.; Milwee, William I. "The Attack on the USNS Card " Topic. So VC members of the 65th Special Operations Group were able to watch U.S. and South Vietnamese military activities at the port, while they were preparing to attack American targets. The ship supported an escalating military commitment of the South Vietnamese government that occurred well before the Tonkin Gulf Incident. The ship’s crew were meant to treat trauma patients, allowing hospitals to concentrate on people suffering from COVID-19. Viet Cong operation during the Vietnam War. The South Vietnamese security guard in front has a WWII-era M1918 BAR.) After Nao had surveyed the tunnels which led into the port, he presented his plan of attack to the Saigon-Gia Dinh Military District Headquarters. it and a sister ship, the USNS Core had attracted the attention of local insurgents. The port itself was guarded round the clock by Republic of Vietnam National Police, as undercover South Vietnamese agents operated across the river in the Thu Thiem area to disrupt VC activities there. Meanwhile, the tugboat USS Tawakoni based at Subic Bay in the Philippines was placed on standby, and later received similar orders to head for South Vietnam. **Above — USNS ‘Card’ in Saigon Port after the attack. May 2 Vietnam War: Attack on USNS Card – An explosion caused by Viet Cong commandos causes carrier USNS Card to sink in the port of Saigon. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group (Đội Biệt động 65). The attack was a success and Card sank 48 feet (15 m), and five civilian crew members were killed by the explosions. [5], On one occasion while he was bathing in the Saigon River, Nao decided to inspect the sewer tunnel which his father had advised him to use. Nao also trained new commandos, namely Nguyen Phu Hung and Nguyen Van Cay, to support his operation. Finally on May 1, 1964, Viet Cong reconnaissance teams spotted USNS Card as the ship sailed through Ganh Rai Bay and entered Long Tau River, so they immediately reported the information to the 65th Special Operations Group in Saigon. During the periods between July and November, the Card’s aircraft and the escort vessels of TG21.14 destroyed a total of five German submarines. [11] In the days that followed, five U.S. Navy divers were deployed to Saigon from the Philippines, in addition to several salvage teams from U.S. bases in Japan and the Military Sea Transport Service Command. On July 15, 1943, the Card was reclassified CVE-11 and became the flagship of Task Group 21.14 (TG21.14), a hunter-killer group formed to destroy German submarines in the North Atlantic. The Attack on the USNS Card was a Viet Cong operation during the Vietnam War. Nao, on the other hand, reported the failure of his mission to the Saigon-Gia Dinh Military District Headquarters; his superiors did not express disappointment in the failure of the operation, but instead they encouraged Nao and his men to destroy Card at all costs. The USNS Card had been shuttling heavy equipment into Saigon Harbour for three years – aircraft, armoured vehicles and the like. [13] Amongst the divers was founding US Navy Seals member Roy Boehm, who claimed to have recovered the remains of a Hagerson Demolition Pack, a specialised explosive charge used by US navy frogmen. An inspection later revealed that the explosion had torn open a hole which measured 12 feet (3.7 m) long and 3 feet (0.91 m) high, on the starboard side of the ship. (2005). Two of the WWII CVEs in particular, USNS Card (T-AKV-40 / ex-CVE-11) and USNS Core (T-AKV-41 / ex-CVE-13) were heavily involved in the Vietnam War. As Nao and Hung approached the patrol boat, an explosion was heard and a bright light could be seen in the commercial port area. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page. [5], Despite their best efforts to control Viet Cong activities across the river in the Thu Thiem area, the South Vietnamese military and police could not stop Viet Cong agents from operating there. Nao's superiors approved the plan and they ordered him to launch the attack before sunrise to avoid killing local Vietnamese civilians. By the end of World War II, the Card and her aircraft destroyed a total of 11 German submarines, which made it the second most successful ship of its class. To ensure that his operation would go smoothly, Nao measured the height, length and width of the sewer tunnel to assemble the bomb devices to the right size, so it could be carried through the tunnel unhindered. B. Sykes in command.. The ship was reactivated on 16 May 1958 as USNS Card and operated with a civilian crew under Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) control as an aircraft transport. [3] With the war's escalation, the United States government stepped up military support for South Vietnam's fight against the Communist National Liberation Front (also known as the Viet Cong). Ultimately it took the salvors 17 days to refloat the Card, and when that was completed they began the process of moving the ship out of Saigon by installing a 6-inch pump and a load of generators inside the Card to get rid of excess water while at sea. [9] In response, Nao claimed that he and Hung intended to go to the other side of the river, to buy some new clothes at the market. There had been an earlier attempted attack on the Core, in late 1963, which had failed but the IEDs had actually been … The aftermath of the attack on the Card rallied American rescue and salvage crews to deal with a severe crisis. USNS Card in Saigon Port after the attack. [14], The USS Reclaimer rescue and salvage ship, which was heading for the Philippines at the time, was ordered to change course and sailed for Saigon. [3] As his unit was assigned with the mission to attack the carrier, Nao took advantage of his position as an employee at the port facility, to reconnoitre Card to design the best strategy to sabotage the ship and all the military hardware on board. Nao’s superiors approved the plan, and they ordered him to launch the attack before sunrise to avoid killing local Vietnamese civilians. When the commandos arrived at the sewer tunnel, they assembled the bomb device with each man carrying 40 kilograms (88 lb) of explosives down through the tunnel. The ship was refloated 17 days later, and was towed to the Philippines for repairs. The Port of Saigon was situated between the Te and Ben Nghe Canals, and was about 700 meters (2,300 ft) wide from one side to the other. However, raising Card would be a major salvage operation. [12], USS Reclaimer, a rescue and salvage ship, which was heading for the Philippines at the time, was ordered to change course and sailed for Saigon. Both men then pulled over in the Thu Thiem area, to avoid detection from South Vietnamese authorities by intermingling with the local workers who lived there. WASHINGTON (Jan. 15, 2021) A graphic illustration of the future Virginia-class attack submarine USS Silversides (SSN 807). 3rd Division (Vietnam)-Wikipedia. [8], When Nao received news the Card had arrived in Saigon, he inspected the equipment which now included a new battery and a redesigned bomb. [7] As usual, the Card docked at the commercial port district in the city to unload another shipment of cargo and military helicopters, as well as upload a batch of helicopters scheduled to be returned to the United States. After the bombs had been attached to Card's hull, Nao inspected both bombs to ensure they had been assembled properly. At 6pm, after Nao had finished unloading the bombs onto one canoe, he and Hung traveled down the Saigon River in two separate canoes, towards the commercial port district. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group. On December 15, 1961, USNS Card left Quonset Point, Rhode Island, with a cargo of H-21 Shawnee helicopters and U.S. soldiers from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, bound for Vietnam. [6] Determined the operation would remain a secret, the commandos snuck back to the Core and retrieved the explosive devices. An inspection later revealed that the explosion had torn open a hole which measured 12 feet (3.7 m) long and 3 feet (0.91 m) high, on the starboard side of the ship. It illustrated how vulnerable naval vessels can be even when faced with a low-tech enemy … and how difficult maintaining port security can be in a war with no real front. [15] For the remainder of 1964, the VC launched further attacks on U.S. targets such as the Brinks Hotel and Bien Hoa Air Base, but there were no significant responses from the U.S. [2], After 1945 the Card was decommissioned and briefly put out of service when it was transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Again, Nao decided to set off the bombs during the early hours of May 2, so that he and his fellow operative could escape safely and avoid inflicting casualties on the local population. Torpedoed twice, she managed to stay afloat until When the commandos arrived at the sewer tunnel, they assembled the bomb device with each man carrying 40 kilograms (88 lb) of explosives down through the tunnel. The attack was made by insurgents from the 65th Special Operations Group. Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History 2 May 1810 – Launch of French Friedland, an 80-gun Bucentaure-class ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané The Friedland was an 80-gun Bucentaure-class ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané. The USNS Mercy briefly docked in the Port of LA in March and was one of several medical field locations established by the state in preparation for an expected COVID-19 surge Newsom said would require an additional 50,000 hospital beds. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group (Đội Biệt động 65). The ship was manned by a civilian crew and was prefixed "USNS" (United States Naval Ship) instead of "USS" (United States Ship) as it was in service but not commissioned. [1], With the escalation of the Vietnam War, the United States government stepped up military support for South Vietnam's fight against the Viet Cong. 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