ABOUT 458 Click on photo to enlarge image
The 458th Transportation Company arrived in Vietnam in late 1966, operating LARC-V's (Amphibious Craft) engaged in moving cargo from ship to shore.
In 1967 the first River Patrol Boats (PBR) arrived and the 458th began patrolling the inland waterways, harbors, and coastlines of South Vietnam providing waterborne security for ports, personnel, and shipping.
The 458th PBR's units were assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade and they established a headquarters at the Military Police compound located at Pershing Field, near Ton Son Nhut Airport, Saigon.
PBR outposts were maintained in nine locations throughout South Vietnam: Cat-Lo, Dian, Newport, Cat-Lai, Qui Nhon, Vung Ro Bay, Cam Rahn, Vung Tau, and Cogido.
River Patrol Boats were operated by a crew of four: a coxswain (operator), an engineer, and two Military Police. A South Vietnamese Police Officer served on board on occasion.
The 458th was the only PBR unit in the United States Army.
Checking a sampan for contraband, L to R: Frank Seymour, Don Hastings, Mike Hebert, Erik Frolich
"I was the Korean Compound Co-ordinator in 69-70 at the Bay. I had you guys take 6 Korean divers and me out and we dropped 10 concussion grenades and filled five or six 55-gallon drums with fresh fish! We had a great time and the Koreans were very thankful. The Bay was a beautiful area, just noisy now and then. Ha!"
"We initially unloaded supplies by taking LARC's and BARC's out to the ships in the harbor, climbed on board and lowered material to those boats below. Finally, a DeLong Pier was constructed for the incoming supply ships. Memories that stand out include an incident where a LARC passed over a supply line hose that extended from an oil tanker in the harbor directly to the shore. The propeller of the LARC cut the hose and we thought the entire harbor was going to explode as the Bay lit up and the fire spread over the water toward the oil tanker. Several people were killed."
Lt. Bill King (119th Trans. Co.)