WPB - "Point Class" Cutter



 [ Vietnam ]

WPB - "Point Class" USCG Cutter

WPB - Point Class Cutter
: 67 (A series)
Length: 82 feet 
Beam: 17.25 feet 
Draft: 6.0 feet 
Propulsion: 2 diesels. @ shafts BHP: 1200
Speed: 35+ kts Crew: 4 + 20 
Weapons: single 20mm. 
Compliment: 10
Rated as 82 ft Cutters. Designed and built at Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD, for law enforcement, search and rescue. Steel hulls, unmanned engine room controlled from the bridge, power steering and air conditioning. "C" Class modifications  (also 82318) include an increase in BHP to 1600 and speeds to 23kts. In addition to diesels, CG82314 is fitted with 2 Saturn gas turbines with 1100 HP each, manufactured by Solar Aircraft Co., giving a speed of over 20kts. Controllable pitch propellers. CG 82301 to 82344 were assigned "Point" names Jan 1964, and re-designated patrol craft instead of patrol boats. Fifty three Cutters were commissioned between 1960 and 1970..

Click Here for: The US Coast Guard in the Vietnam War

Additional photos can be found at: http://www.fredsplace.org/cgi-bin/psearch.cgi and enter WPB-82.

Click here for other USCG boats on this website. If you know of others, lets add them. We are trying to get a complete list of 83XXX and their existing conditions.

04/23/04 Here are a couple of shots the the 82329 15 miles south of DaNang taken from the USS Stoddard by me, on August 3rd, 1965. We were both dispatched to this location to look for a downed aircraft. All I remember seeing is a oil slick. - Dan Withers your webmaster.

01-19-04 -      Never was in DaNang, so can't contribute there.

Yesterday, I said that there were 4 Coastal Zones. I should have elaborated. CG was set up in 3 divisions: 11 in DaNang, 12 in An Thoi and 13 at Cat Lo. Each division had a Commodore, who was a LCDR. Each had repair and support facilities. The whole shebang was under Coast Guard Activities, Saigon. Our operational commander was the Commander of the Coastal Zone that we operated in. Commander Coastal Zone IV was a CG three striper. When that zone was turned over to the VN (mid '69); Command of Coastal Zone III went to CG. The collective organization was RONONE.

RONTHREE was major cutters, who ran barrier patrol and fire support. Coastal Zone II was pretty much patrolled by Navy PCFs, But on occasions we took some of their patrols, and vice versa.  The Swifts were limited in duration, so usually stayed relatively close to home. Our patrols lasted from 5 to 10 days (depending on transit time. Once in a while we would be extended, if our relief boat was disabled, or if the base area was under attack.

While the Zone III Commander was located on a hill overlooking Vung Tau, the boats were 8 miles up the Song Din, at Cat Lo. The base there was shared by USN, CG and VN Navy.
There are a couple of excellent book on the subject, both written by old Coasties.: "Coast Guard Action in Viet Nam", by Paul Scotti and "The Coast Guard at War" by Alex Laraelere.

Jerry Echols  agroundaz@joimail.com

Just looked at the new page. GREAT!

Thought I would give you a little info on the crews.

The typical war crew differed greatly from stateside SAR duty.:
2 officers (usually both LTjg, but some LTs as CO)
1 each -BMC,ENC,BM1,GM1,EN2,CS2,ET3, SN,FN. Also 1 VN liaison. At one point, we carried a VN Ensign, in training.
We mounted an 81MM, trigger fired mortar, five 50MM machine guns (one on each quarter, one in each waist and one, piggy-back on the mortar. Also had M60 light machine gun, M79 and assorted small arms.
The squadron was divided into 4  Coastal Zones (later reduced to 3, when Viets took over the southern most zone. My boat was in the 3rd Coastal Zone (headquarters in Vung Tau); boats were based in Cat Lo. We patrolled areas (roughly) 25 miles long, and extending to 20 miles off shore; where our mission was the suppression  of smuggling. However, we also patrolled the rivers in our area, provided naval gunfire support and conducted SEALORDS missions.

"Coast Guard" can be a misnomer, as we were sometimes 30-35 miles into the delta.

Jerry Echols agroundaz@joimail.com

[Well, we did something about that Grove, here is the new WPB section - Dan]


Hi Dan,  I was in the Coast Guard in Vietnam and was stationed on an 82' patrol boat (USCG 82320) the Point Hudson. I don't see anything about these patrol boats on your site.  we were stationed out of Vung Toa  (Spelling is wrong).

Grove G Gipple [gggip5@comcast.net]