Gulf of Tonkin, 1964

On this date in 1964:

Photograph taken from USS Maddox (DD-731) during her engagement with three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin, 2 August 1964. The view shows one of the boats racing by, with what appears to be smoke from Maddox' shells in its wake.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Photograph taken from USS Maddox (DD-731) during her engagement with three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin, 2 August 1964. The view shows one of the boats racing by, with what appears to be smoke from Maddox' shells in its wake. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

More images, maps, and background at the Naval Historical Center.

Comments

  1. The funny thing about is that even though the Maddox Incident never happened, the Maddox actually WAS attacked by North Vietnamese Torpedo Boats a day-or-so prior — while it was in North Vietnamese waters, bombarding NVA shore batteries, in direct support of an ARVN raid on North Vietnamese soil (all of which cations were in violation of a treaty the US had with North Vietnam).

    That was a fairly routine operation at the time, but had the US Navy and CIA told the REAL story, it would have caused an international political sh**storm.

    Also, consider how fruitless a Torpedo Boat attack against a pair of Sumner class Destroyers in open waters would have been. A 2000-ton Destroyer is like a Battleship compared to a Torpedo Boat, bristling with 5-inch guns, 40mm and 20mm autocannons, 50-cal machine guns, torpedo tubes, and hedgehog mortars. Yet, the Navy claimed the North Vietnamese PTs attempted a *machine gun* attack on the Maddox… and survived!

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