- Title Pages
- 1 Nakhon Phanom
- 2 South Vietnam
- 3 Cambodia
- 4 The Mayaguez Incident
- 5 Thailand
- 6 Laos
- Appendix A General Definitions and Processing Ground Rules for Combat Analyses
- Appendix B JGS Assessments on Friendly/Enemy Activities of the Ceasefire
- Appendix C JGS Letter to DAO on FY 75 Funding
- Appendix D Excerpted Entries from a Mekong Convoy SITREP
- Appendix E “…Execute EAGLE PULL”
(p.349) Appendix D Excerpted Entries from a Mekong Convoy SITREP
(p.349) Appendix D Excerpted Entries from a Mekong Convoy SITREP
- Losing Vietnam
- University Press of Kentucky
In January 1975 the KC positioned forty battalions to interdict the Lower Mekong. They were assisted by several NVA/VC battalions. The communists successfully occupied both banks of the Mekong at several of the narrows. Thus, for the first time Mekong convoys were required to run a gauntlet of fire from many KC positions throughout most of the length of the river in Cambodian territory. The following excerpts of a SITREP provide pertinent details concerning the transit of convoy TP-113 (TP was the nomenclature for northbound convoys, Tan Chau to Phnom Penh, and PT was for the southbound convoys). On 28 January 1975 the first large convoy (consisting of eleven vessels—two ammo barges, three rice coasters, and four POL ships) attempted to transit the interdicted Mekong. The rice and POL vessels with their bulky profiles were very vulnerable.
MEKONG CONVOY TP 113
SITREP No. 1 281130Z
1. The vessels making up TP-113 have arrived at An Long/Tan Chau from Vung Tau and Phnom Penh.
As matters now stand the convoy makeup will be as follows:
Barge 192-1 1400 S/T
Barge L-44 1231 S/T
Four tugs will be used for ammo and will probably be Saigon 240, Timberjack, Asiatic Trust and Asiatic Stamina. (p.350)
Port Sun II 1650 M/T
Port Sun III 1800 M/T
Barge 201-67 1661 M/T
Barge 201-68 1642 M/T
Wah An 1652 M/T
Tung Lee 1800 M/T
Four tugs will pull the rice barges. They will be Geronimo, Hawkeye, Buckeye, and Wolverine.
Boo Heung 7 1200 C/M
Han Seung 2 1600 C/M
Han Seung 7 1582 C/M
Vira IV 1600 C/M
Adriana 1800 M/T
2. The Vira IV is still steaming and should arrive 290500G. If so it will join the convoy. The Adrian is aground in the Mekong. It should arrive prior to convoy departure. It will not sail if the Wah An and Tung Lee are at Tan Chau. They have refused to sail twice previously. USAID rep is talking with them now.
3. Weather is now a problem. Convoy is scheduled to cross the border at 290600G. At that time ceiling will be 2500 feet, visibility 2-1/2 miles and there will be ground fog. By 0900 when convoy reaches Peam Reang Island ceiling will have risen to 3500 feet allowing Khmer Air Force coverage. If the convoy is delayed in crossing they will reach Neak Luong in the dark. The area 3 km south of Neak Luong has seen the most intense fire to date from both sides of the river. FANK wants to transit this area in daylight so that Khmer Air Force and artillery can suppress fire.
4. The maximum convoy size is 12 vessels/barges. It will be protected by 19 MNK vessels. This is larger than the game plan originally called for because of recent intelligence concerning tactical situation around Phnom Penh. It is probable that several vessels will not sail. (p.351)
5. Current tactics are to sail the ammo vessels, which are well protected by shield barges, first and to follow with the rice and POL vessels. If enemy fires on ammo barges then Khmer Air Force and artillery will strike positions in preparation for the less protected and possibly more vulnerable cargo vessels. Lack of fire on PT-112 this morning indicates perhaps KC ammo is running low.
No. 2 1. 290055Z
1. Reference first SITREP. The Wah An sailed with the convoy. The Tung Lee refused to sail. The Adriana is still aground in Southern Mekong. The Vira 4 arrived at An Long 0500G and is clearing customs. It is scheduled to join the convoy. Therefore, there are two ammo barges; two rice barges; three rice coasters; three POL ships definite and possibly four.
2. The convoy was made up and proceeding well with a scheduled border crossing at 290800G. At the last moment the crew of the Asiatic Trust, SEAPAC contract, pulling an ammo barge refused to sail. The tug turned around and steamed independently back to An Long where another crew has been put aboard and the Asiatic Trust is now steaming north to the border. Convoy remains at border awaiting Asiatic Trust. This has postponed border crossing until approximately 1030G.
No. 3 1.290345Z
1. The Port Sun I received an ABF between parallels 24 and 25. The bridge was hit and caught fire. One crew member on board the ship was killed and another crew member who jumped into the water was killed. Three additional crew members were wounded out of a total crew of 32. The Port Sun I was beached at parallel 22 on the northeast side of the island. The crew is no longer aboard. Discussions are underway with MNK in an attempt to tow the ship to the border.
2. In the meantime, TP-113 is rearranging itself and should be across the border at 1030G. The Port Sun II, probably because of information on the Port Sun I refused to go. However, the VNN Commander ostensibly has talked it (p.352) into going. Until the ships cross the border, we will not have a final on the exact convoy makeup.
No. 4 290515Z
1. The head of the convoy crossed the border at 1020G. At 1150G the convoy was moving well and four vessels had still not crossed. However, Vietnamese Commander indicates that all are willing.
2. Ref SITREP 1, all vessels with the exception of Tung Lee and Adriana are in the convoy.
3. In summary, we have two ammo, five rice and four POL or a total of 11 barge/vessels.
No. 5 290740Z
1. At 1345G Convoy head at Peam Chor. Until they arrived at Peam Chor received small arms only. When head of convoy arrived at Peam Chor Island came under intense fire.Asiatic Trust received one hit on the main deck, barge L44 two hits port side on shield barges, Asiatic Stamina two hits port side, Timberjack four hits on shield barges. Boo Heung 7 also hit, large fire, situation unknown.
No. 6 290800Z 2.
1. Boo Heung 7 beached at parallel 27, west bank.
2. Han Seung 2 capsized and sunk at parallel 26.
No. 7 290110Z
1. The Han Seung 2 received two hits just above the water line. The ship capsized almost immediately. The crew was picked up by MNK.
2. Boo Heung 7 had two hits in the bridge. Fire broke out and crew abandoned ship. Fire appears not serious.MNK is trying to get the crew to reboard the vessel. Will advise.
No. 8 1. 291000Z
1. Head of convoy at Neak Luong at 1615G. Rest of convoy together (except Boo Heung 7) and proceeding well.
2. Although one ship has been capsized and another beached the general intensity of fire is much less than noted against previous convoys.
3. MNK reported that the Boo Heung 7 did not need to be (p.353) beached. This is a skittish crew who almost aborted earlier today and MNK is trying to talk them back on the ship.
No. 10 1.291400Z
1. Status of TP-113 as of 291745G, based on reports from ALUSNA Phnom Penh and MSCOV Saigon: is:
A. Han Seung 2 capsized and sunk parallel 26.
B. Han Seung 7 has Khmer personnel on board and fire out.Aground near parallel 27. Hopeful of salvaging overnight.Note that Han Seung 7 and Boo Heung 7 were confused in SITREP 6. Boo Heung 7 reported now at Neak Luong.
C. Wah An is reported aground and possibly afire 2 km south Neak Luong. Tug Asiatic Stamina assisting.
D. Port Sun II and Port Sun III both at Neak Luong. Bothwith unidentified engine problems.
E. All other ships/barges at Neak Luong with no reports of damage.
2. Convoy will remain at Neak Luong overnight as it would stretch limited Khmer Air Force night capable air assets if required to operate in support of convoy operations both north and south of Neak Luong. This will also allow reassembly of convoy ships, repair of damages and salvage, if possible of Han Seung 7 and Wah An.
No. 11 291630Z
2. MNK escorts providing security for Han Seung 7 and Wah An. Reportedly no civilian crews on board either. MNK plan salvage operations night of 30 Jan on these two ships as well as Port Sun I. With exception those casualties previously reported aboard Port Sun I, no civilian wounded or killed have been reported thus far on TP-113. (p.354)
No. 13 292230Z
1. Convoy at parallel 71. The Vira IV went aground at parallel 62 but came under its own power and is moving on to Phnom Penh. The tug Shinano, harbor tug from Phnom Penh refused to sail to assist the Vira IV.
No. 14 300135Z
1. The first element of the convoy arrived Phnom Penh 0530G. There are two ammo barges, two rice barges and one POL ship at Phnom Penh. The Vira IV, which earlier went aground, freed herself and is now three km from Phnom Penh.
2. Remaining ships of convoy will be policed up this evening and will make the move to Phnom Penh once they have been assembled at Neak Luong.
4. Of the 11 ships in the convoy that started out, four were barges and all made the trip with little or no problems. Of the four POL vessels which sailed, one was sunk and one was beached with a fire. Of the three rice vessels, two have damage related engine trouble and are at Neak Luong and the other had a fire and is grounded three km south of Neak Luong. We hope to close Phnom Penh ultimately with 10 vessels. It is obvious that the previously agreed upon all barge Mekong convoy concept is the most viable one. Steps are being taken to implement this as soon as possible.
No. 18 301535Z
2. Owner of Wah An will not sign release for any tugs to attempt to pull that ship from its grounded location. MNK is now contemplating operations to off-load rice cargo. Date/Time of off loading is unknown at this time.
No 19. 310115Z
1. USAID downriver convoy did not depart Phnom Penh due to difficulties locating crews and pilots.
2. Port Sun II and Port Sun III departed Neak Luong at 310300G and arrived at Phnom Penh at 310600G.
No. 20 310520Z