Vietnam War Photos - River Patrol Force

The U.S. Navy’s River Patrol Force (Task Force 116) was established in December 1965 to carry out operation Game Warden, the surveillance and interdiction of Viet Cong activity in the Mekong Delta. To navigate the Delta’s inland waterways the Navy used fiberglass-hulled PBRs (Patrol Boat River), which were driven by two Jacuzzi water jets rather than by propeller. Air support for the PBRs was provided by Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three (the "Seawolves").

In November 1968 the River Patrol Force, in combination with the Coastal Surveillance and Riverine Assault Forces, began operation Sealords, which successfully cut Communist infiltration routes from Cambodia and pacified large areas of the Delta. The new operation received additional air support from the OV-10 Bronco aircraft of Light Attack Squadron Four (the "Black Ponies"). Simultaneous to Sealords, the PBRs were gradually transferred to the Vietnamese Navy until Task Force 116 was deactivated in December 1970.

A U.
A River Patrol Boat (PBR) 31 Mk II operated by the 458th Trans.
PBRs of the Navy's 549th River Division proceed along the Saigon River, approximately 7km southeast of Dau Tieng, during Operation Tom Sawyer.
Three Seawolf helicopter gunships on a search and destroy mission above the Uminh Forest in the Mekong Delta.
Vietnamese Navy (VNN) PBRs head out on patrol.
Landing Ship Tanks (LST) were used to transport PBRs to patrol areas and served as floating bases, refuelling and rearming riverine craft and Seawolf helicopter gunships.
SKSN Ellis Manns of the 549th River Division stands by his 50 cal.
Captain Arthur Price, commander of the River Patrol Force (Task Force 116), confers with a sailor of River Assault Division 54.
Seawolf door gunner Bill Rutledge, on the left, in Binh Thuy in April 1970.
Seawolf George Heady relaxes with a pipe and a beer after a hard day’s work.
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