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Comments from Al Grobmeier

(These comments are related to the confused PTF-3 history - Dan)


(02/23/03) I have no quarrel regarding the identity of ex-PTF 3 now at Fort Lauderdale. However, I question the authenticity of the VN wartime history of the craft as described in the Sea Classics article. I would like to know where author Byron Hartshorn obtained his information. I was assigned to MACV-SOG headquarters at Saigon from 10 Jun 65 to 8 Jun 66, and was aboard several of the PTFs at the Naval Advisory Detachment, Danang on 23 Jun 65. During my year in Vietnam we lost the following PTFs: PTF 4 by grounding on 4 Nov 65. Destroyed by USN aircraft. PTF 9 lost 8 Mar 66. PTF 14 and PTF 15 lost by grounding 23 Apr 66. Destroyed by USN aircraft. PTF 8 on 16 Jun 66 (after I had departed) PTF 16 on 19 Aug 66 (after I had departed) During the year I was in Vietnam, no PTFs were lost due to enemy action. However, several PCFs with same/similar numbers were lost to the enemy during that year. The Sea Classics article claims that PTF 3 was part of the CIA's Sacred Sword of the Patriots League which may have been true until the military took over under OPLAN 34-A in January 1964 but certainly not after SOG's takeover. However, the CIA continued radio physops and may have claimed such, but in my almost daily contact with CIA/CAS Saigon personnel it was never mentioned. The article mentions no service by PTF 3 during the several years while under SOG control which outlasted the CIA SSPL assignment by several years, if such ever really existed. - Al Grobmeier [algrobmeier@cox.net]