OPERATION MARKET TIME
March 11, 1965 to December 1972
On March 11, 1965, Operation Market Time was created by joining the US Navy and the South Vietnamese Navy in an effort to stop the flow of supplies from North Vietnam into the south by sea.
It was a difficult and very tedious time for all the crew members; a boring and routine patrol up and down the coast, stopping vessels, sometimes at random, sometimes because they seemed suspicious. Often times, you couldn't tell friend from foe. Wooden junks were used to smuggle arms and supplies and they looked just like all the other hundreds of junks that had traded or fished along the coast for centuries. Substantial amounts of arms and supplies were confiscated, but some probably made it through the "blockade" despite all the efforts of both navies. It was reported that a craft was boarded about every 15-30 seconds. If they refused to identify themselves or wouldn't stop, they were forced to give way at gun point. If they ran they were sunk.
According to Navy reports, Operation Market Time was very successful, but received little credit. Eventually all the supply routes at sea became non-existent, which forced the North Vietnamese to use the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Those ships involved in the operation were destroyers, destroyer escorts, and MSO's. The MSO's that participated were as follows:
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