HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS DESCRIBING SEAFLOAT
INFO FROM TOM BYRNES
EMAIL: tombyrne[ at ]aug.com
I WAS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE OFFICER AT
OPERATION SEAFLOAT/ SOLID ANCHOR FROM MAY-DECEMBER 1970.
THERE WAS ONLY ONE "SEAFLOAT" AND IT WAS IN THE CUA LONG RIVER,
5 KILOMETERS SOUTH OF NEW NAM CAN.
WHILE ON SEAFLOAT, OUR HELO SUPPORT ( GUNSHIP )WAS PROVIDED BY HAL3 DET1
AND WE NORMALLY HAD ABOUT 20 SWIFTBOATS, 1 MONITOR, 1 ZIPPO,
1 HEAVY SEAL SUPPORT CRAFT (HSSC), 1 MEDIUM SEAL SUPPORT CRAFT (MSSC),
1LIGHT SEAL SUPPORT CRAFT (LSSC),
3 SEAL PLATOONS, ABOUT 40 USN SEAFLOAT STAFF,
20 VNN SEAFLOAT STAFF AND A JUNK ADVISOR WITH 2-3 JUNKS.
THE VNN LSSL-225 STILL MARKS THE SPOT WHERE SEAFLOAT WAS.
IT'S LYING ON THE BOTTOM OF THE CUA LONG RIVER 1 KILOMETER NORTH OF
SEAFLOAT'S OLD LOCATION. SWIMMER SAPPERS GOT IT ONE RAINY NIGHT.
"HEARTS ACTUAL" TOM BYRNES
INFO FROM TOM BYRNES
EMAIL: tombyrne[ at ]aug.com
SEAFLOAT WAS ONLY ATTACKED BY SWIMMER/SAPPERS,
BUT THEY ATTACKED FREQUENTLY.
THERE WERE 4 USN SNIPERS, TRAINED BY THE ARMY AT CU CHI, ASSIGNED TO SEAFLOAT.
THEIR JOB WAS TO GIVE EARLY WARNING OF MOVEMENT ON THE RIVER BANKS.
SEAFLOAT ITSELF WAS HEAVILY ARMED. THERE WERE SANDBAGS
FACED ON THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE BY PLYWOOD AS PROTECTION
AROUND THE PERIPHERY OF THE PERSONNEL SPACES.
THERE WERE MULTIPLE M-60 MOUNTS AROUND THE PERIPHERY AND 4 81 MM
MORTAR MOUNTS, ONE ON EACH CORNER.
THERE WAS A MULTIPLE HOLE OUTHOUSE OVER THE RIVER
ON THE EAST- NORTHEAST END.
SEAFLOAT HAD SEVERAL KENNER SKI BARGES AND A SWIMMER SAPPER DETECTION UNIT.
THIS UNIT HAD A COUPLE OF DOGS THAT WOULD RIDE IN THE BOAT
AND ATTEMPT TO DETECT THE EXHALED BREATH OF THE SWIMMER/SAPPERS.
DUE TO OUTBOARD EXHAUST OR OTHER FACTORS THE DOGS NEVER DETECTED ANYTHING.
LATER, A LCM-6 (MIKE BOAT) WITH SONAR EQUIPMENT WAS BROUGHT IN
THE O-IN C WAS A SONAR TECHNICIAN FIRST CLASS. HE COMMITTED
SUICIDE WITH AN M-16 IN HIS MOUTH.
PERIODICALLY, VAL-4 BLACK PONIES WOULD COME DOWN TO THE AREA
AND SHOOT IT UP FOR US.
THE DUFFLEBAG TEAM PLANTED A VARIETY OF SENSORS THAT
WERE MONITORED FROM OUR NAVAL OPERATIONS CENTER (NOC).
IT HELPED US IN KNOWING WHEN THE BAD GUYS WERE MOVING AROUND.
LSSL 225 WAS ANCHORED ABOUT .6 MILES EAST-NORTHEAST OF SEAFLOAT
WHEN THE SWIMMER SAPPERS GOT HER ON A RAINY NIGHT AT ABOUT 8:00PM.
THE USN ADVISOR WAS LT HERMAN MILLER. WE COULDN'T THROW GRENADES
WITH FRIENDLIES IN THE WATER SO WE FISHED THEM OUT. THE SAPPERS
PROBABLY FLOATED RIGHT BY.
LATER, LT MILLER WENT TO HIS NEXT ASSIGNMENT, LSSL-226 UP IN THE BASSAC RIVER.
HE GOT THERE TO FIND THAT IT HAD BEEN A SWIMMER/ SAPPER ATTACKED AND WAS SUNK.
OLD NAM CAN WAS OVERRUN AND OCCUPIED DURING TET 1968.
THE U.S.A.F. BOMBED IT INTO THE MUD. THE PEOPLE MOVED INTO THE
NAM CAN FOREST.
WHEN SEAFLOAT ARRIVED A NEW VILLAGE, HAM RONG, WAS ESTABLISHED 5 KILOMETERS
(3 MILES) UP THE SONG CUA LON TO THE EAST-NORTHEAST OF SEAFLOAT.
ORIGINALLY THERE WERE 47 PEOPLE THERE. WITHIN 1YEAR THERE WERE MORE
THAN 10,000 PEOPLE THERE. THEY JUST FILTERED IN FROM THE WOODS.
MAIN INDUSTRIES WERE CRAB/SHRIMP FISHING AND CHARCOAL
PRODUCTION. EVENTUALLY THERE WERE 2 VILLAGES SIDE BY SIDE.
AP MOT(VILLAGE 1) AND AP HAI (VILLAGE 2) BUT STILL CALLED HAM RONG.
A SMALL RF/PF(REGIONAL FORCE/ POPULAR FORCE) FORT (MUD TRIANGLE)
WAS ESTABLISHED TO PROTECT THE VILLAGE, BUT IN REALITY, THE V.C.
OWNED IT AFTER 5:00PM.
SEAFLOAT CORPMANS VIEW
INFO FROM MARK FONTAINE
EMAIL: mark.fontaine[ at ]madison.osha.gov
I was at Seafloat July 69 - July 70. Like you said there were two similar places.
Both were in the Cau Mau pennensula a long time VC stronghold.
They only served as a base of operations for the Brown water Navy.
(mostly RAG and Swifts with occasional Seawolf air support.)
In mid 1970 a detachment of SeaBees started a Shore base.
looks like you have a few pics which show the base at a later date.
No roads and little civilization except wood cutters. The original town
of Cau Mau was supposedly overrun and destroyed during Tet of 1968.
Anyway, the REAL Seafloat was in the Cau Lon River (can't remember the original
spelling) which ran from the East coast of the provice to the West coast
(sea to sea). The other Floating bunch of barges was on the Song Ung Doc
River to the South of Seafloat. Of the two, Seafloat was larger.
Both were in very precarious posiions and numerous attempts were made by
sappers and mortor crews to destroy them.
A lot of good sailors, both US and VN died at Seafloat and rivers around it.
(As a young hospital corpsman, myself and two or three other docs saw em all
without the benefit of a doctor.
Only near the end of my tour did the Navy see fit to send a physician.
He couldn't understand why he was needed until about a month into his tour
the proverbial shit hit the fan and he experienced the need first hand.)
Myself and another HM were sitting along side the VN hut
where there was a VN women with her infant son.
We called the kid "knucklehead" because he had a very bad case of impetigo
when they firstcame aboard. We loved that kid!
We treated him with antibiotics every day and he was almost healed.
He was being held in his mothers arms when the barge hit.
The jolt knocked the poor kid from his mother's arms and into the
swift current of the river. The mother, myself and the other doc all jumped
in to try to locate the child but he was gone. Poor knucklehead! I was
depressed for a month.
One or both of the Seafloats was overrun in December of 1970.
I read a newspaper account of the one in Song Ung Doc being overun,
and have been contacted by sailors who I patched up in country who have needed
verification that they were wounded in VN. They have said that Seafloat itself
was also overun. Both bases apparently survived the attacks but some lives were lost.
By the way, one of your guests wrote of having a Concussion grenade explode
underneath them in the river head. That happened to me also.
Another wrote of the time a sand barge broke loose and hit seafloat. I think
it was New Years eve of 1970.
INFO FROM Ken McClelland
EMAIL: kmcclelland[ at ]iopener.net">
I Was a RD1 assigned SEAFLOAT from NSA SAIGON from Jul thru Sep 70.
I was in charge of the NOC watchstanders on board.
We had a SEAL Team and a HELO Detachment on board old SEAFLOAT.
During this time a VN hosptital ship sunk by sappers one night which created
quite a commotion on SEAFLOAT when all the bodies came down river.
We moved to SOLID ANCHOR in Sep 70.
Not to long after moving ashore sappers attacked our boats
also our OIC SEAL Det. was injured but not seriously in Sep.