CPO, U.S. Navy
Served in Vietnam War from 1966 to 1967 aboard the USS Caddo Parish LST 515; retired from Navy in 1988.
Memory: “The USS Caddo Parish, a tank landing ship designed to deliver equipment, men and supplies right to the beach, and the squadron it was part of were heavily used during the Vietnam War.
“We made multiple trips from Subic Bay in the Philippines to Phan Rang, Vietnam, with cement to build the big air base for the USAF. We delivered food, trucks, tanks, ammunition, bombs, gasoline, Marines and Army troops to various locations within Vietnam.
“We were the first large ship to deliver cargo and supplies to the man-made lagoon at Dong Tam in the Mekong Delta. We also delivered cargo to Cua Viet in far northern South Vietnam and to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta in the south. We made trips to Sasebo, Japan, and to Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippines to pick up the cargo we needed to deliver to Vietnam.
“Our ship’s motto was ‘No Beach Too Hard to Reach,’ and we delivered cargo to some very difficult beaches to get to for a ship our size. A lasting memory of Vietnam for me was how beautiful the beaches were. Smooth, white sand that would stretch for miles.”