!!! The YRBM 16 !!!
This Page is dedicated as a Memorial
to the 7 Men who died
from a bomb that exploded against the hull of the YRBM 16.
on Thanksgiving Night!, 1:15 AM November 24, 1967
in the middle of a river at Ben Tre, Vietnam
The explosion's hull rupture is shown above.
A fire also damaged much of the interior.
Lionel Burns CS3, who was there, supplied this photo (taken in Binh Thuy)
and much of the information on this page.
It is assumed that a VC swimmer evaded the nets and placed the bomb there.
John Hendrickson and Dick Strandberg supplied additional information.
HISTORY OF THE YRBM 16
Tan Chau was the first location in Country
near Cambodia on the Mekong River
In 1967 the YRBM was moved to Can Tho
on the Bassac River
There it supported the building of the Binh Thuy PBR Base
After that it was moved to Ben Tre
On the Ham Luong River
It was moored in the middle of the Ham Luong River
The Bombing occured here at 1:12 am
The morning after Thanksgiving Day
Flooding and a fire occured also
The Explosion occured at the bulkhead between the engine room and RD 522s berthing space.
The double hull in the area was a diesel fuel tank.
The Explosion ripped a hole big enough to drive a truck through.
The explosion also blew the hell out of the double hull fuel tank
topped off with 3000 gallons of diesel the day before from a costal AO.
Fuel was thrown all over the decks and erupted in Flames.
Smoke filled the ships passages.
Flame may have leaped over 100 feet in the air.
Fire, extreme heat and smoke hindered rescue efforts and forced evacuation.
The Crew escaped on Mike boats until returning with firehoses
PBRs of Squadron 522 began the fire fighting efforts.
In addition to 7 deaths, 14 crewmen were injured.
According to Lloyd Tutor - EMAIL: tutorls[ at ]dmi.net ,
his boat PBR 65 in squadron 521 was scrambled from the Hunterdon County LST 838
PRB 65 arrived first at the YRBM 16 and began fighting the Fire.
The rest of the squadron followed and LST 838 arrived Later.
The PBR Crews did not find survivors or casualties before their OBAs ran out.
The PBR crew spent the day fighting the fire.
They were the first to enter the area between the Machine Shop and the Berthing Space
The YRBM 16 was towed to Dong Tam for a sea patch
It was towed to Japan for a refit
It was almost lost in heavy seas
I first saw it in Chou Doc in fall 1969
In summer 1970 it left Chou Doc
It may now be moored at Bangor Washington on the Hood Canal
It may be with the YRBM 20 and YRBM 18 at the Naval Submarine Base
THE YRBM 16
The quality of these black and white photos is not as good as it could be.
I did not have a glass plate to flatten the wrinkled photos
and took the pictures with a hand held camera and a 50 mm macro lens using direct sunlight.
PLEASE EMAIL ME
IF YOU HAVE
Page Hits since November 2003
All PHOTO IMAGES, TEXT AND THE PAGE DESIGN ARE THE PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR
UNLESS OTHERWISE CREDITED.
All RIGHTS RESERVED.