[ Vietnam ]

Mark-V Picket

Mark V Picket

Displacement: approx. 10 tons
Length: 45 feet
Beam: 9 feet 
Draft: 3 feet
Propulsion: 2 diesel engines 
Speed: 25 kts 
Crew: 1 officer + 5 enlisted
Weapons: 2 twin .50 Browning machineguns plus personal side arms


Photo: Vietnamese Navy

Note: A purpose-built design used for harbor patrol. The first of these boats was delivered to the Inshore Undersea Warfare Group ONE in 1967. The IUWG had five detachments: IUWU-1 Vung Tau, IUWU-2 Cam Ranh Bay, IUWU-3 at Qui Nhon, IUWU-4 at Nha Trang, and IUWU-5 at Vung Ro. Twenty-four picket boats were turned over to the Vietnamese as part of the Accelerated Turn Over to Vietnam (ACTOV) program. This boat is an improved Mk V of the type delivered to the Navy in 1952 by the Hacker Boat Company of Mt. Clemens, MI.

 02/11/03  Bob Stoner here. I learned about the Mk V picket boat by accident. I was browsing on the Inshore Underwater Warfare Group (IUWG) website and I ran across a photo of the Mk V. I remember also seeing some Mk IV LCPLs (steel-hull) and a lot of Mk 12 (fiberglass-hull) boats.

From your input it appears you fell under a different chain of command than IUWG (or it may be that your unit was melded with them later on). From the guys I know that were up North (my tours were all in the Mekong Delta and on the Ca Mau Peninsula), the Cua Viet was a pretty dangerous place. Glad I was able to find a photo of the Mk V boat. They weren't as well known as other types, but they served well under difficult conditions.

Welcome aboard. We're glad to have your photos and stories. Bob

02/11/03  Hi Dan, Just visited the CCOA website. First photo I have found of the Mk V. I went into Danang in 02/66, tour lasted until 02/68. We had four Mk V's and six or eight Mk IV steel hulled LCPL,s and half dozen skimmers ( 17' Boston Whalers ) At that time we were called Harbor Patrol, attached to NAVSUPPACT operations division. Later,after I rotated home, I heard they changed the name to Danang Security Group.

Approximately 04/67, we received op orders to establish a patrol on the Cua Viet. We went north in a Mk IV LCPL #23, ( towed by a LCU ) to the mouth of the Cua Viet, where we were attached TAD to a Marine AmTrac Unit. The Tracs were mounted with 105's for fire support. Think the base was later named Camp Kistler. We were the first patrol boat on the Cua Viet. The engineers were still dredging and we could not make it to Dong Ha bridge without kicking sand. At that time we were called Cua Viet River Patrol. I came back to Danang 01/68 and came home in 02/68. I found a couple of websites recently that called it Cua Viet Security Group and Dong Ha Security Group. Sometime toward the end of 1967, Danang operations sent another Mk IV up to help us out. If memory serves me correctly, it was lost somewhere around Quang Tri, after I returned to Danang. When I left Cua Viet in 01/68, we were the only patrol boats on the Cua Viet. The build up came soon after.

In the past thirty five years, I have experienced almost everything life has to offer, but nothing compares to the nine months I spent on the Cua Viet. It was the scariest, most dangerous place I have ever been. Would have enjoyed having some PBR's for company, at that time, as we were definantly out gunned. Have numerous photos of the V's and IV's that I will share with you. If interested send me you postal address, scanner on the blink.

Best Regards, Tom Young (former GMG3)

[Tom your email address changed and I cant reply] - Send those photos.