Untold Story

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HaiThuyen

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JUNK FORCE

       Hai Thuyen (Junk Force) has been rarely mentioned in Vietnam war. By looking at the photos below, you notice that the members of Junk Force are ill-equipped and self-reliant, but they were one of the most effective counter-insurgency units in South Vietnam Armed Forces because the way they dressed, maneuvered, and fought fiercely just like the Viet Congs. After April, 1975 they seemed to "disappear" into the water; no one hear about them or knew what happened to those warriors.

Thank you, Van Quang Truong for the contribution of such many rare photos of Junk Boat Force's activities. More materials and pictures will be added when available.

(Added 10 photos) SAIL JUNKS & YABUTA JUNKS
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
COMMAND JUNKS
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Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
JUNK FORCE INSIGNIA
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JUNK FORCE

        When the South Vietnamese Navy took on the task 0f patrolling the coast in 1956, it soon realizes that it had neither the personnel nor the material resources to perform satisfactorily. Accordingly. it proposed to the U.S. mission in Saigon the organization of a force of junks to conduct inshore patrols in sensitive areas. The idea was that junks manned by locally recruited civilians, trained by the navy and working in coordination with the national police could easily mingle with local boat traffic to observe and report on maritime activity in designated key locations. This proposal was eventually adopted in 1960 and by 1961 there were 80 sailing junks operating off the coast of the I Corps area below the 17th parallel.

In 1962 the U.S. mission proposed an expansion of the Junk Force to include 84 command junks, 100 motor-sail junks, 140 motor junks and 320 sail junks. Plans were also made to establish five coastal repair facilities and assign responsibility for the defense of force bases to the Regional Forces. The plans were implemented in 1963. Then, in 1964, when relative ineffectiveness of the sail junk had been demonstrated, the U.S. - Japanese designed Yabuta was introduced as a replacement.

At the time the Americans organized their coastal surveillance for 'Market Time'. the Junk Force was integrated into the Vietnamese Navy as the Coastal Force. When on July i, 1965 this new designation became effective, the Coastal Force numbered 4000 personnel and had 389 motor junks and 95 sail junk organized into 28 groups based at 22 locations. While the force was to grow to include over 600 junks, it remained plagued by shortages of personnel and supplies. The Vietnamese Navy supply organization was centered in Saigon and was ill-equipped to support an organization as widely dispersed as the Coastal Force.. This dispersion, moreover, made the bases particularly vulnerable to the Viet Cong attack. The problem of base defense was yet another difficulty that was never satisfactorily resolved.

Typical coastal groups of the 1965-66 period operating in the north generally consisted of three command junks and sixteen sail junks (gradually replaced by Yabutas). In the south, the typical group had three command junks six motor-sail junks. This organization varied from group to group and changed as additional boats entered the inventory.Such variation also found in various types of junks used. These other than for the Yabutas, were locally manufactured and varied accordingly. In general, the five types of junks used by Vietnamese Navy Coastal Force had characteristics as follows:

• Command Junk length 17m, beam 5m; armament: one each .30 and .50 caliber machine-guns, plus crew weapon.
• Motor-Sail Junk length 13m, beam 3.7m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Motor Junk length 11.5m, beam 2.6m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Sail Junk length 9.7m, beam 2.m; armament: crew weapon only.
• Yabuta Junk length 16.9m, beam 3.4m; armament: one each .30 and .50 caliber machine-guns and one 60 mm mortar plus crew weapon.

(Excerpt from Vietnam River Warfare 1945-1975, by Lt Col Victor Croizat USMC)

KIEN GIANG & MANH KHOI JUNKS
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat
Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat Junk Boat

Ship silhouet

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