Need proof that USS Inchon was within 12 NM of Vietnam - Deck logs

Hello,

I am trying to help my father get proof that his ship the USS Inchon was off the coast of Haiphong Harbor 1972 -1973, but the US Navy has no records that the Inchon was there. I have photos, but I need deck logs or something to help my dads Comp Case with the VA.

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  • Apparently the 1973 deck logs are missing.

    https://catalog.archives.gov/id/275896001

    Per the NHHC, that's when they were part of Operation End Sweep.

    https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/i/inchon-i.html

    In February 1973 Inchon was attached to Task Force 78 for Operation End Sweep, the U.S. Navy’s effort to clear U.S. mines from North Vietnamese waters after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. Those operations were suspended from 17 April through 17 June. They resumed 18 June and End Sweep was completed on 18 July.

  • Hi!

    Yes, the only issue is finding the documentation to prove the 12 nm of the inchon. I cannot find anything the VA will accept.

  • Stephanie,

    What was the nut and bolts or reason for denial. You should have received a response. Let me reiterate congressional inquires are not always the best case scenario for veterans. You should really be working with your state/local county veterans service office or (VSO). Please provide us with additional details.

  • Stephanie,

    Please copy and paste case law into your computer. https://www.va.gov/vetapp10/files3/1029247.txt

    Its states that from basically 2004-2008 attempts were made by the VA to obtain those records from NARA. It further states the following from the VA case law determining compensation. Anytime you see (RO) it refers to the VA Regional Office. The information highlighted in bold letters are directly from the particulars of the individuals case.

    "In February 2004, the U. S. Naval Historical Association stated

    that the logs from the USS Inchon had been transferred to the

    National Archives and Records Administration, Modern Records

    Branch in College Park, Maryland.  The U. S. Naval Historical

    Association noted that any questions concerning the existence and

    availability of such records should be directed to that agency".

    "In November 2007 the RO requested the deck logs from the USS

    Inchon for the months of June and July 1973 from the National

    Archives and Records Administration".

    " In October 2008, the National Archives and Records Administration informed the RO that they did not receive the 1973 deck logs when the records were accessioned into the National Archives. The deck logs went missing during the transfer process".

    "The command history for the USS Inchon noted a June 18, 1973

    arrival at Haiphong Harbor Roadstead for minesweeping operations. 

    A June 26, 1973 note indicated that the USS Inchon went enroute

    to an area off Vinh, Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) for

    minesweeping operations. 

    On July 6, 1973, it shifted anchorage to vicinity Hon-La, DRV,

    for minesweeping operations, and then on July 12, 1973, it

    anchored in Haiphong Roadstead for control of C-130 aircraft

    enroute to and from Cubi Point Naval Air Station.

    A command chronology from January 1, 1973 to June 30, 1973 for

    the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, Marine Aircraft Group

    24 1st Marine Brigade, Fleet Marine Force, made no mention of

    coming under fire during that period. The Board notes that

    records for July 1973 were not provided".

    I would re-ask NARA what the basis for the missing June-July 1973 deck logs and if their was an investigation into the missing so called 1973 deck logs for the USS Inchon. Plus I would request other months to determine if the whole 12 months of 1973 for the USS Inchon are missing.

    I would then note and refer to trying to obtain the USS Inchon

  • Stephanie,

    I am sorry that you are having so much trouble with your father’s VA claim.  I have a couple of suggestions to help resolve the problem.

    First, I would ask Jason, Rachael, or Lisha to contact the National Declassification Center (NDC) to see if the Inchon March 1973 logs are in the classified stacks.  The Navy was (and still is) sensitive about mine countermeasures, and they could have classified the logs for Inchon’s participation in Operation End Sweep.  The classified logs were separated from the unclassified ones, and NARA had to accession the classified logs accordingly.  That being said, based on my archival experience in accessioning deck logs in the 2003-2009 timeframe, the Navy did not necessarily hand over all the logs that they were supposed to.  So NARA indeed may not have the Inchon March 1973 log.

    Second, you may be able to use another ship’s deck log to substantiate your claim.  I offer the beginning of the 1 March 1973 0000-0400 log entry for USS Tripoli (LPH-10):

    "UNDERWAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH CTF 78 SAILORD STEAMING IN FORMATION 51A IN COMPANY WITH USS OGDEN (LPD-5), USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7), AND USS INCHON (LPH-12). FORMATION COURSE IS 240 DEGREES T, FORMATION AXIS IS 000 DEGREES T, FORMATION SPEED IS 8 KNOTS.”

    The log page notes the location as Haiphong Harbor with the 0800 position being 19 degrees 30.1 minutes North, 107 degrees 11 minutes East, the 1200 position being 19 degrees 20.4 minutes North, 107 degrees 6.4 minutes East, and the 2000 position being 19 degrees 15.5 minutes North, 107 degrees 10.5 minutes East.  I have not worked claims with the VA before, so I have no idea how using this information will help your claim, but I think it may be worth a try.  It is official, and it places the Inchon in North Vietnamese waters.

    I apologize for the complexity of this post, but this is a complex subject.  I hope you will find this information useful.  

    I wish you the best of luck in gaining a successful claim.

    A. J.

  • Elliot Schneider    Just as a side note  -  It sounds as if the referenced VA claim is related to agent orange exposure.  Presumed AO exposure is only granted by VA if the vessel/veteran was within coastal waters waters of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).  Presence off the coast of The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). would NOT be "presumed exposed" to AO..  It still possible (but much more difficult) to present a  "direct exposure" vs a "presumed exposure" claim.   You would definitely need the assistance of a VSO or VA certified veterans claims attorney. to have a reasonable chance of a successful claim.

    Ernest Davidson

    Former LT USN

    USS Brinkley Bass DD887 1969-73

    8 yrs public service experience locating & researching over 8,000 deck logs

  • I'm still encountering the same issues.  i can place the Inchon at Haiphong Harbor and some other locations, but they are all North Vietnamese waters and the VA does not give us presumption there, only the South Vietnamese waters. I'll keep looking and will update this group if I'm successful, I hope everyone else keeps fighting and let us know if you have success.  Thanks, and again, best luck to your Dad.