Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Presidential Unit Citation Awarded to Detachment ALFA, Mine Squadron Eleven, USN.

October 09, 1967

THE PRESIDENT of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the



for service as set forth in the following


For exceptionally meritorious and heroic service from 1 June 1966 to 18 February 1967 while conducting minesweeping operations in the Rung Sat Special Zone of the Republic of Vietnam. During this period, Mine Squadron ELEVEN, Detachment ALFA was responsible for keeping the Long Tau/Saigon shipping channel open to Military Sea Transportation Service and friendly merchant ships delivering large quantities of vital supplies to the Saigon port complex. As a direct result of the efforts of Mine Squadron ELEVEN, Detachment ALFA, only one merchantman was lost to an enemy mine. This superior operational record was achieved despite the fact that U.S. Naval Forces had not previously engaged in Riverine Warfare of this nature. Under the constant threat of mines exploding under their small craft, and ambushes by Viet Cong insurgents, Detachment ALFA personnel developed new concepts and tactics to carry out their hazardous and extraordinarily difficult mission. Enemy ambushes, launched from well-concealed positions on both river banks, brought units of Detachment ALFA under withering fire from automatic weapons and large-calibre recoilless rifles. Disregarding these perils, personnel of Detachment ALFA on numerous occasions maneuvered their lightly armed and armored craft to within point-blank range of enemy fire to conduct their highly effective minesweeps. After conducting their dangerous minesweeping throughout the day, Detachment ALFA personnel returned to work long and arduous hours at night, performing virtually all maintenance on their craft, including extensive hull repairs and engine replacements. Through supreme dedication and motivation, they maintained the exhausting tempo of daily operations. Their outstanding performance of duty, indomitable courage, and heroism, in the face of a determined enemy campaign to stop river traffic by destroying the United States Minesweeping capability in the Rung Sat Special Zone, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Lyndon B. Johnson, Presidential Unit Citation Awarded to Detachment ALFA, Mine Squadron Eleven, USN. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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