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Promotions during Vietnam Cruise


This picture was taken in November 1966 shortly before we left for Vietnam
by an official Navy photographer.  Captain McCaulley (later relieved by H. S.
Mathews), invited everyone who was getting promoted to be in the picture.
Left to right - Capt McCaulley, Chief ????, EM3 C A Thomas, FTG2 Fred
Gallagher, MM3 Rich Martin, EM3 ?????, EM3 ?????, and QM1 Jerry Arnquist.
One or both of the EM3s could be IC3s, not sure.
If anyone knows who the mystery people are, it would be great.  I looked in our
Vietnam Cruise Book, but couldn't find them. 

Fred Gallagher, FTG-2,
On USS HERMITAGE LSD-34, January 1964 to December 1967



HERMITAGE returned from the Caribbean on 27 January 1967 after having been a member of the Amphibious Ready Group during CARIB 4-56.  A two month availability immediately began at Little Creek upon return to prepare for a forthcoming eight month deployment in Southeast Asia. On 14 April 1967 Captain H. Spencer Matthews, Jr. relieved Captain J. E. McCauley as the eleventh Commanding Officer of HERMITAGE.  On 25 April HERMITAGE departed Little Creek for a WESTPAC deployment.  Enroute, HERMITAGE picked up 10 MSB's in Charleston for deliver in Long Beach, California.   On 30 April 1967, about 300 miles from Panama, HERMITAGE received a message that a small pleasure craft was sinking.  She was directed to proceed to the area and conduct a search and rescue operation.  HERMITAGE arrived on the scene, took the eight (8) passengers aboard and towed "Billy H" to Panama.  HERMITAGE transited the Panama Canal and on 1 May and proceeded to Long Beach where the 10 MSB's were off-loaded.  In San Diego, HERMITAGE embarked Marine Air Control Squadron FOUR and proceeded to Danang, Republic of Vietnam.  On 4 June, HERMITAGE relieved USS POINT DEFIANCE at sea and became a member of Amphibious Ready Group ALFA (TG 76.4).  OPERATION BEAR CLAW was in progress at the time and was the first of six combat operations in which HERMITAGE participated as Primary Control ship for the waterborne assaults and Area Defense Control Ship. HERMITAGE completed her first period of operations on 12 June and sailed for Subic Bay, Philippines for 12 days of upkeep and rest.  The first tow days in port were spent participating in various sporting events with the men from the other ships of the Amphibious Ready Group:  USS OKINAWA, USS DULUTH and USS SEMINOLE. page30_5 HERMITAGE departed Subic Bay, Philippines on 26 June 1967 for South Vietnam for more combat operations. HERMITAGE arrived at Chu Lai, Vietnam just two days later and backloaded marines.  On 3 July, the ship proceeded to the DMZ and landed the Marines beginning OPERATION BEAR BITE.  This operation lasted until 18 July when Marines were re-embarked.  Just three days later, OPERATION BEACON GUIDE began with the landings of the landing force some twenty miles north of Danang.  On 26 July 1967, HERMITAGE hosted the village chief, officials, school teachers and 45 school children of the village of Thon Dong Am.  A demonstration of well deck operations was provided, followed by the showing of cartoons and refreshments for the children.  The adults were given rides over their village in helicopters.  Upon returning to the ship, all were given gifts and the school children were given paper and pens.   A few days later, Robert Stack, the movie and TV star visited HERMITAGE.   The first week in August found the ship in Danang preparing for another landing which took place on 7 August, thirty miles to the north.  Operation BEACON GATE lasted a week and on 15 August the ship sailed for Subic Bay, arriving two days later, having been at sea almost two months.  While in Subic, necessary maintenance and repairs were conducted. HERMITAGE remained in Subic until 27 August and on 1 September landed the Marines near the DMZ in Operation BEACON POINT.  Rear Admiral Vannoy, Commander Amphibious Forces, Seventh Fleet and Rear Admiral Lacey, Commander Naval Support Activity, Danang were aboard HERITAGE to observe the landing. On 3 September HERMITAGE suffered a material casualty which caused the complete flooding of the after engine room.  In an all hands effort, the engine room was dewatered then cleaned to save as much machinery as possible.   page30_6 FROM BM3 WAYNE BSHARA,, aboard USS DULUTH (LPD-6): Hi, I ran across your site while searching for info re LSD-34 blowing a sea water inlet valve at the start of an amphibious operation sometime during the summer of 1967. Your ship was designated Line of Departure and at first light just as boats were about to cross the LOD for the beach on an amphibious landing, your ship's engine room flooded and the ship continued to flood to the point of your flight deck being covered with water and the bow completely up in the air out of the water. I was aboard the U.S.S. DULUTH (LPD-6), also member of TG 76.4 Alpha, and was sent over to the LSD-34 as part of the rescue and assistance detail. I was assigned to dewater compartments on the port side and got trapped when someone slammed a scuttle shut and I couldn't get out. I am now looking for info to substantiate that incident to satisfy a V.A. claim. Do you or anyone you know have any information, pictures, documentation regarding that incident thay you would be willing to share with me? Sadly, DULUTH's record keeping was and is sorely lacking records for that '67 cruise. Consequently, archives and records are not readily available. Any help you could give me in this matter would be greatly appreciated. page30_7 page30_8 Bill Grubb who as A Division Officer gives the following account of this event. He places it at 5 September 1967: I was on that deployment and myself and another officer have spoken today about this event on September 5 1967. Right now I am looking at pictures of the ship [from the cruise book] from that day and while the ship did list to port, the name HERMITAGE is still visible above water. The flight deck was never covered in water and the bow of the ship did not rise out of the water as we stabilized. Neither of us recall anyone being trapped or anyone from another ship being sent to help. We had our own divers on board for the underwater work. The pictures we took show a Mike 8 boat that we had launched before we began taking on water and no other vessels. I was the A division officer on this trip and our engineering team was able to patch the broken gasket and we pumped out the water. We then went to Subic Bay for repairs. This is as we remember it 42 years later and we are not saying that something we were not aware did not happen. It is just that we don't remember any injuries or anything unusual other than we flooded. We fixed the leak and moved on all in 24 hours. We would love to hear anybody else's memories of that day. page30_9 Thomas Dougherty says he "had the Conn on the Bridge when this happened. When relieved I and my Repair party (Rep Two) went to the Port wingwall and worked from there until the flooding was controlled." page30_10 Upon arrival in Subic bay on 10 September, all hands assisted the ship repair facility personnel to return HERMITAGE to the Amphibious READY Group as quickly as possible.  On 6 October, HERMITAGE, fully repaired and ready for sea, departed Subic Bay enroute Vietnam as a member of Amphibious Ready Group BRAVO (TG 76.5).  HERMITAGE then began her last combat operation, FORMATION LEADER.  On 8 November she was relieved by a Pacific Fleet LSD and proceeded to Hong Kong for liberty.  After five days in Hong Kong, HERMITAGE sailed for Yokosuka, Japan, but was diverted two days for typhoon evasion.  HERMITAGE arrived in Yokosuka on 21 November for a restricted availability.  HERMITAGE departed Yokosuka enroute Peal harbor, arriving 3 December.  The ship stayed long enough for refueling and sailed for Panama.  After transiting the canal, HERMITAGE set course for Little Creek, Virginia, arriving on 19 December. From scrapbook compiled by Michael Sheehy. Courtesy of C.J. and Julene DeHart. page30_11