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Operation End Sweep

On 27 January 1973, American and North Vietnamese officials signed a protocol to the Paris agreement that called for the United States to neutralize the mines that the Navy had dropped in North Vietnam's coastal and inland waterways.

Veterans: 25
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago

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Comment by Michael Austin on June 8, 2018 at 11:29am

Jeff, thanks for pointing out the incorrect date for the end of VSM eligibility.  You 're right about the date as 28 March instead of 23 March.  Well, hell, after 45 years of neglect, what's another five days, huh?

Also thanks for the website reference.  Should be interesting to look up.

Comment by Jeffrey b puritz on June 8, 2018 at 11:25am
Sorry fellow vets but that would be marMarch 28 as the final date of eligibility it can be very confusing sometimes.
Comment by Dave Worley on June 1, 2018 at 9:55am

I was aboard the USS Vancouver LPD-2 when we relieved the USS Cleveland  for the Endsweep Operation April of 1973 as part of Task Force 78. We worked that operation to around July of 1973. Like others commenting here, I was not awarded the VSM or had the box indochina checked. I will pass this information along to my members of congress. Thanks for everything you are doing!

Comment by Michael Austin on May 23, 2018 at 9:53pm

Thanks Greg.  Hope you find something useful or at least interesting in the files.

Comment by Greg E Allen on May 23, 2018 at 8:58pm

No problem Mike, I figured as much. The messages were in my email, so yes the system does work.

Comment by Michael Austin on May 23, 2018 at 9:16am

My comment two notches down was meant for James E. Flore but I wrote Greg.  Apparently I have trouble with names these days as I've already abused Mike Ayars name and probably others.  Couldn't be an age-related problem ... could it?

Comment by Michael Austin on May 22, 2018 at 9:15pm

For anyone interested, my congressman's L.A. for Vets Affairs turned up some correspondence showing that Admiral McCauley put some notable effort into establishing a campaign medal for Operation End Sweep.  No such luck.  CNO, SecNav and Com7thFlt casually dismissed his request without explanation. 

As I've said to others, this was the first as time in modern history of American warfare that awarding of campaign medals was stopped on the day the cease-fire was officially in effect.  Others, including WWII and Korea granted medals for up to a year, recognizing that follow-up operations such as our End Sweep were ongoing.  I believe the public, media and most importantly the top brass were so sick of Vietnam by March 1973 they couldn't wait to slap a lid on and forget about it.  Then, when someone comes along later to point out the discrepancy, they simply can't be bothered to acknowledge the oversight.  Such is politics.

Comment by Michael Austin on May 22, 2018 at 8:52pm

Thanks for the offer, Greg.  Anyone who sailed into the combat zone of Vietnam on or before 23 March 1973 was already eligible for the VSM.  Some of us didn't join Operation End Sweep or visit the combat zone until after that date, and that is primarily what this whole legislative effort was all about.  If you hit the combat zone for the first time after 23 March and yet were granted the VSM, it would be interesting and maybe helpful for us to learn the background.

Two exceptions: Operation Frequent Wind (evacuation of Saigon Embassy) and Operation Eagle Pull (evacuation of Phnom Pen) were granted VSM much later after going through pretty much the same process we're pursuing.

Comment by James H. Flore on May 22, 2018 at 6:14pm

Thanks everybody for the comments and keeping us all up to date.  I was the first enlisted assigned and accompanied RADM McCauley and his initial Staff of 6 to Pearl and on to Cubi Point to plan Operation End Sweep.  I was originally assigned to the COMINEWARFOR staff in Charleston and the only enlisted out of 200 asked to go.   I stayed with the group onto the USS New Orleans and then the Tripoli.  I just pulled out my DD-214 and noted that it IS checked for Indochina service and I was awarded the VSM as well as the NAVY Commendation medal.  I don't know if I can be of any help but would love to help out where possible..

Comment by Michael Austin on May 22, 2018 at 5:04pm

Greg, I've sent some information that may be of help.  First time I've used the NavyVets site's messaging system, so please let me know if you didn't receive it.

 

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