VIETNAM – 40 Years ago…

capt_snyderNEW JERSEY remained on station until 0600 1 April (1969) , finishing the deployment where she had begun it more than six months earlier.  The last observed mission was fired on the evening of 31 March against an enemy bunker complex three-and-one-half miles northeast of Con Thien.  The aerial observer reported seven bunkers destroyed.  An additional 50 rounds of main battery and 815 rounds of secondary battery were fired unobserved that night.”

“This brought the total ordnance expended to nearly 12,000,000 pounds… total rounds expended were 5,866 16-Inch, and 14,891 five inch.    Main battery rounds expended during NEW JERSEY’s deployment to Vietnam were only 1,500 short of the total she fired in World War II, two cruises to Korea, and several midshipman cruises.”
“It is worthy to note that NEW JERSEY accomplished all this with a crew one-half the size of her World War II  complement.  But then too, one must remember that she was served, not by ordinary men, but by NEW JERSEYMEN.   As Captain Snyder remarked;    “The men on today’s NEW JERSEY are not afraid to experiment, to innovate, to reject old and begin new traditions.  They are linked to their heritage yet not chained to the past.  They are younger, better educated, and more individualistic than the men I knew as a Junior Officer on the Battleship PENNSYLVANIA 25 years ago.  The NEW JERSEY crew is undoubtedly the finest and most professional group of men with which I have ever had the privilege of serving.”

GUN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, (1968 -1969 Combined)
Structures destroyed – 439
Structures damaged – 259
Bunkers destroyed – 596
Bunkers damaged – 250
Artillery sites neutralized – 19
Automatic weapons, AA, and mortar sites silenced – 35
Secondary explosions – 130
Roads interdicted – 26
Meters of trenchline rendered unusable – 1,925
Cave and tunnel complexes destroyed – 75
Enemy killed in action (confirmed) – 136
Enemy killed in action (probable) – 17
Troop movements stopped – 12

Structures destroyed – 56
Structures damaged – 92
Bunkers destroyed – 59
Bunkers damaged – 73
Artillery sites neutralized – 2
Mortar sites silenced – 6
Waterborne Logistic Craft (WBLC) destroyed (Sea Dragon) – 9
Secondary explosions – 46
Enemy killed in action (confirmed) – 10
Enemy killed in action (probable) – 7

The above excerpts are from (Operational Experience of Fast Battleships; World War II, Korea, Vietnam  – pp 196/197, and from the USS NEW JERSEY Command History dated 17 Dec 1969. – Declassified 23 April 1980.
(See The Jerseyman, p.5., 2Q-2006.)
(Article courtesy of The Jerseyman)