LEE,I DID WANT TO GET BACK TO YOU CONCERNING THE LITTLE BOATS AFTER I READ SOMEONES STORY ABOUT THE BOSTON WHALER GOING UP IN SMOKE IN QUI NHON . WELL THAT WAS MY BOAT ,AND WE HAD BEEN CALLED OUT BECAUSE OF POSSABLE SAPPERS BY THE OIL FREIGHTER IN THE HARBOR WE WERE DOING ASWEEP WHEN ONE OF MY GUYS(GRILLO) DROPS A LIVE GRENADE IN THE BOAT! COUNT TO THREE BOOM!!! I GET BLOWN IN THE WATER AT NIGHT AND BURNED WHEN I COME UP THERES FRED WITH HIS HAND OUT AND PULLS ME OUT IF NOT FOR HIM I WAS A GONER , SOMETIMES YOU GET LUCKY. THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING FOR FRED BUT THE MPs WERE NOT GIVING OUT MEDALS TO PBR TYPES AT THAT TIME.
OH WELL PUT THIS ON THE PAGE FRED DESERVES IT. BEST
Ok, This pic is from left to rt. Myself(Fred Schmidt) Joe (el gato/mel)Kenny and Lt. Pete Irwin our FAC pilot. Pete had spotted some bunkers from the air so we were out doing alittle souvenir hunting. If you didn't watch out Joe and Pete could get you into some VERY tight situations. My Whaler's bow is in the foreground . I think my gunner that day was Cordell or Medina. Note the wet boots, thats how deep the water was back in the mangrove were the bunkers were. They luckily were uninhabited that day, which was not always the case.
not before/not after
Below is a picture of my Whaler up by Loc Trung. This is about 5 miles north of the docks. just doing alittle sightseeing.
BELOW, burned out little boat, picture furnished
by Bill Nortrop
For all the Boston Whaler fans out there, here's one more from Qui Nhon.
A EMAIL FROM THE NAVY
Was a pleasant surprise to see your site on the Boston Whalers. I spent quite a bit of sweat, fear, adrenaline, on board those boats. (see the combat action reports in Chief Jim Bryants book) I suppose I have mixed feelings about my memories of them. We Navy types used them for waterborne ambushes, almost always at night. The Whaler we had in RivDiv 591 was outfitted with 2 outboards as I remember they were 55hp Johnsons. because of the extra weight in the stern the biggest crew member was always in the bow manning the "60". I almost always was in the coxwains position. We carried a crew of three. A driver(coxwain) a "60" gunner and either an E-6 or above as a patrol officer. The Officer types liked this type of ops because they could be made to look real good on their after action reports. Advancement you know! One of these days I will tell you how one of our officers got his purple heart by attacking the radio with his forehead. Our Unit acquired 2 of these Whalers from the army on some kind of trade. (all legal I'm sure...) We then turned around and traded one of them (w/o engine) to an airforce officer up at Tuns sunit air base in Saigon for a blue airforce crewcab pickup. We then painted it Navy Grey and put a phony USN# on the side. We used it for beer, exchange, etcerta, runs. It was even known to be seen on Tu Dostreetin Saigon a time or two. (all official of course) I digress, We in Div-591 used the Whaler for combat operations from about july/August of 68 and they were still using it when I left in June of 69, with a bullet hole or two in it as I remember. As a vehicle for the ambushes it was excellent as it was easy to hide in the nipa palm along the rivers, carried plenty of ammo and firepower and was faster than the PBR's and quieter too. Later brother ~h
Tu Do Street??? Any more whaler stories out there?