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The Mobile Riverine Force in Vietnam (Part 2) on VBC Happy Hour – Monday, October 24 @ 7:00pm ET

Date: October 24, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour
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The Mobile Riverine Force in Vietnam (Part 2) on VBC Happy Hour

During the Vietnam War, almost half of Viet Cong insurgents lived and worked in the Mekong Delta, the southernmost part of Vietnam crisscrossed by 3,000 miles of canals and streams. The waterways act as river roads and support thick, often impenetrable vegetation perfect for concealing guerrilla operations.

In 1967, in an effort to take on the Viet Cong and reclaim the swampy Delta for friendly forces, the US created the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF), the first major joint Army-Navy operation in history.

 

The collaboration proved a remarkable success, bringing 5,000 soldiers of the 9th Infantry Division together with sailors of the Navy’s Riverine Assault Force to pursue and engage the enemy in some of the most remote and rugged areas of Vietnam. A strange array of boats and ships, along with armor, trucks, and helicopters, made up the force. Most famous was the new “Patrol Boat, River”–PBR–studded with.50-caliber and M-60 machine guns that could maneuvers quickly in the narrowest and shallowest waterways.

There were other unique assault and transport vessels, such as the amphibious Armored Troop Carriers (ATCs), while more heavily armored “monitors” ddi battle from the water. There were boats equipped with helicopter landing pads. Boats used as floating barracks and hospitals. Boats for repair and resupply.

These boats, and those who manned them and disembarked them, helped save the Delta from the Tet Offensive of 1968. The MRF is considered one of the more successful innovations of the US effort in Vietnam.

Join us for a conversation with Mobile Riverine Force veterans from Army and Navy, including Lt. Gen. Gus Pagonis (Ret.), who commanded the 1097th Transportation Company in 1967-1968. The 1097th was a completely waterborne unit, operating out of 20 Landing Craft, Mediums (LCMs).

Pagonis figured out how to mount 105mm Howitzers mounted on the boats. They also mounted platforms for helicopters and mortars. As one site dedicated to the company’s memory states:

“By the end of the tour the 1097th modifications created living quarters, fire direction centers, command posts, landing pads for medevacs, ammo depots, and maintenance facilities all completely waterborne. What made the unit so successful in Vietnam also brought great credit to the unit. Captain Pagonis was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Legion of Merit for his actions as company commander. Other awards included four Bronze Stars for valor, and 24 Army Commendation Medals with “V” device. During this era over 100 heroism awards and six unit medals were presented to the company.”

Sponsored by D&D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health.  Simulcast to Facebook and YouTube.

Veterans Breakfast Club – Christ United Methodist Church | October 25, 2022

Date: October 25, 2022
Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Location: Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park 15102)
All Events | In-Person Events
VBC CUMC 2015-10-27077

Tuesday, October 25, 2022, 8:30am: Christ United Methodist Church (44 Highland Rd, Bethel Park 15102) in-person and livestreamed. $15 per person.

To RSVP, call: 412-623-9029 or email betty@veteransbreakfastclub.org  with the breakfast location you’re attending. Please make sure to RSVP for events at least two days in advance. We understand that your schedule can change quickly, but advance notice of attendance always helps us and our venues prepare the program. Thank you!

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The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten.  We believe that through our work, people will be connected, educated, healed, and inspired.

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Preserving veterans’ stories so that this living history is never forgotten.

We pair passionate VBC volunteers with military veterans for one-on-one oral history interviews over Zoom. If you are a veteran, or you know a veteran, who would be interested in sharing his or her story with us, let us know. If you are someone interested in conducting these interviews, please reach out!

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Watch and listen to the Scuttlebutt, the VBC’s podcast dedicated to understanding military culture. Hosted by Shaun Hall, Director of Programming. New episode every Monday at 6AM ET.

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