Nha Trang - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 11th April 2012, 17:38
barney b barney b is offline  
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Nha Trang

Hello fellow seafarers,it is 100 years this week since the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg. It is 45 years this week since the Shell Tanker Amastra was sunk in Nha Trang by the VietCong, we are all a very lucky crew from that night. If the limpet mine had been placed another thirty or forty feet closer to the tanks of jp4 we would not be here today. Best of luck to you all,I raise my glass. Barney B
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  #2  
Old 12th April 2012, 18:24
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Best of luck to you Barney, you were lucky that day.

Every trip to Nha Trang with the Mary Else Tholstrup (1969 - 1970) we used to see a couple of masts sticking out out of the water, and I had forgot the name of the ship.

Cheers Frank
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  #3  
Old 12th April 2012, 23:23
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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I too remember seeing the masts sticking out of the water at Nha Trang when upbound for Saigon. It always strikes me how fickle the finger of fate is, and how fortunate some of us are to avoid disaster. Some of my shipmates were not so fortunate. Best of luck!
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  #4  
Old 13th April 2012, 09:19
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BlythSpirit BlythSpirit is offline  
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With all due respects guys, you may have the wrong ship. The Amastra was refloated on the 16th April,1967 and went off to drydock in Singapore. Na Trang is roughly 300 miles north of Vung Tau at the mouth of the Mekong Delta where there was a sunken ship with masts showing back in those days.

Have a look at this:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/page34/

for lots of photos of the Amastra on and around the days following April 12th, 1967.
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  #5  
Old 13th April 2012, 12:17
barney b barney b is offline  
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Quite right ,Amastra was refloated and sailed until I think 1985 and was scrapped. I have often thought was it deliberate where they placed the limpet mine, did someone in local Viet Cong decide to just disable the ship rather than killing all on board as could have easily been done. They think it was ninety pounds of explosives that done the damage. Regards Barney
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  #6  
Old 13th April 2012, 17:54
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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Thanks for the clarification. I recall that we'd turn out of the main river when upbound for Saigon into a smaller river for the last few miles up to the port. There was an ammo and oil anchorage located in the main river at that turn, and there was a vessel that had been sunk with just it's masts visible above the water as I recall. I assumed it was the same ship, but must have been another vessel.
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  #7  
Old 13th April 2012, 19:19
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Last time I was there (2 years ago) Nha Trang is nowhere near the delta,but you are correct it is north of Saigon,and after Nha Trang comes Qui Nhon and then Da Nang. I think the port up the river to Saigon was called Newport back then. The delta is located SW of Saigon near Soc Trang. Not meant to be a geography lesson but I spent a year in that rotten place so I know where the places are located.
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Old 13th April 2012, 23:00
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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John: I may have the names mixed up, but there was an anchorage just downstream from the Port of Saigon where ammo and fuel were handled. It was in the main river prior to turning into a smaller tributary where you proceeded upstream to Saigon. That's where I recall seeing the sunken ship with the masts sticking above the water.

I also remember calling at Qui Nhon, Cam Ranh, and Da Nang up the coast from Vung Tau. And yes, you're certainly right about it being a rotten place!

I also remember being what I believe was the first ship to call at Newport just upstream from the Saigon. That was in 1966 on the Mercer Victory; I was third mate on my first trip out of the Maritime Academy.
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  #9  
Old 13th April 2012, 23:29
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I was there 1965 -1966 not as seaman but as a member of the US Army. I was in a recon air surveillance unit flying in and around various places,and up and down the river to Newport and Vung Tau. Ended my time up on the DMZ at Quang Tri.
Wife wanted to go and see the place so we took a cruise there, hasn't changed much, and better half told me she has seen enough of that place. We went to a couple of my old haunts,nothing changed much,only more beggars on the streets that wont leave you alone.

Last edited by John Rogers; 13th April 2012 at 23:52..
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  #10  
Old 13th April 2012, 23:50
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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John: This site has a way of sparking the memory cells. I also remember seeing a Victory Ship that had been mined and sunk in the river near Vung Tau. We were steaming up the river and passed her where she was sunk up to just above the main deck. This was the Baton Rouge Victory. A couple of my class mates were aboard, but not injured in the sinking. There were some men killed in the engine room in that incident.

I also remember on one trip seeing a US Navy Destroyer anchored in the river and shelling something in the distance. A downbound ship and our upbound ship all passed the Destroyer at the same time and the noise of the 5" gunfire was amazingly loud as it would echo back and forth between the ships hulls.

I remember seeing lots of shooting and bombing in the distance, but fortunately on my many trips to the war zone, never at me!
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  #11  
Old 14th April 2012, 01:47
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Funny you mention the Victory Ship, after my last post I went looking for some old photos I took of Victory berthed on the Saigon River,she was all grey and looked like she had taken a beating, this was in 1965. Also some names are popping in my head after you mentioned ammo dumps,I know some names in my head but I don't know how to spell them,one I remember is Bien Hoa,then Long Bin,the river that forked off from Saigon was named the Nha Be River or something like that.
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  #12  
Old 14th April 2012, 04:21
Wallace Slough Wallace Slough is offline  
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Nha Be rings a bell. I think that was the name of the anchorage where we'd turn into the river bound for the port at Saigon. I also remember docking right downtown near the Majestic Hotel on the Washington Bear. The river current grabbed the ship, and we ended up turning around right downtown, but not where the pilot wanted to. I was on the stern, and could have spit on the houseboats and watercraft on the far side of the river while the bow was on the dock on the other side. In any case, we made it.

I also remember an Army tug with some guy running that had obviously never ran a tug coming alongside with a barge and a terrific bang and put a dent in the ship. All this stuff that's hidden in the gray matter somehow has a way of resurfacing on this site.

Another time on the Washington Bear we had an MP letting folks go into the hold and give away cargo. The cargo was give away clothes for the poor folks, and he was letting them put all the clothes on they could and walk off the ship. His explanation was that it would all end up with the big wigs and the people who needed it wouldn't receive it. He was probably right, but we couldn't let anybody steal the cargo, so we had to have him taken off the ship. The next day, they wanted to know if I'd press charges against him, and I said of course not. Just talk to the guy and set him straight and that was the end of it.
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  #13  
Old 14th April 2012, 07:23
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Wallace Slough keyed:

Quote

an anchorage just downstream from the Port of Saigon where ammo and fuel were handled. It was in the main river prior to turning into a smaller tributary where you proceeded upstream to Saigon. That's where I recall seeing the sunken ship with the masts sticking above the water.

Unqoute

http://brownwater-navy.com/vietnam/Nha_Be.htm

Nha Be

I have a story involving a 50 man motorized lifeboat tied up beneath a Nha Be ill repute house on stilts at the river bank. When the tide came in the sturdy lifeboat lifted and ....

Greg Hayden
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  #14  
Old 17th April 2012, 22:42
Magic Fingers Magic Fingers is offline  
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Nha Be was a Shell tank farm visited frequently by UK Shell tankers and Dutch boats. There was at one time a US intelligence base there with very frequent helo movements. Also remember a pow compound with one pow in it. We were advised not to photograph him. Do not remember any suken ships there and have an aerial photo of the whole area.
Richard.
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  #15  
Old 17th April 2012, 23:58
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On the link posted it clearly shows a sunken ship,looks to be a C-3 or a Victory.
One has to remember that that war went on for almost 10 years so there was a time where no ships were seen sunk and at other times in that time spread there was ships that were hit.Military were rotated in and out after a year and replacement were shipped in.
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