South Vietnamese Navy Crewmembers on PCFs
Vietnamese Navy Petty Officer
Many Swift Boat Crews had a Vietnamese Navy Petty Officer (VNPO) as part of their crew on an either regular or occasional basis. The VNPO:
- Advised the Officer in Charge regarding where/when/how to patrol
- Helped in the review of papers involved in board & search
- Provided interpretation services
- Perform initial interrogation of detainees.
Vietnamese Navy Counterparts
In 1969, as the American people tired of war in Vietnam, Commander US Naval Forces, Vietnam, initiated a plan for Accelerated Turnover to Vietnam (ACTOV) of US Navy assets in Vietnam including Swift Boats. As mentioned above, the last US Navy Swift Boats were turned over to the South Vietnam Navy in December of 1970. During ACTOV, US Navy Swift Boat Crews embarked their counterparts either as individuals or complete crews. The formal job description for these counterparts was controlled by the South Vietnamese Navy. From the perspective of US Swift Boat Sailors, the job description of their counterparts included:
- Learn your job as an individual
- Learn your job as a crew
- Serve effectively while on patrol in a US Navy Swift Boat prior to turn over
- Achieve relevant turn over milestones
- “Relieve the Watch” at the designated time.