D.V.A. issues list of ships with Agent Orange Exposure

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The Retired Enlisted Association Newsletter is running a listing it has recieved from the Department of Veterans Affairs this week outlining which ships are now considered to have been exposed to Agent Orange during Viet Nam.  Here is the listing taken directly from their newsletter today.

“VA Issues List of Ships with Agent Orange Exposure-The Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) Service has initiated a program to collect data on Vietnam naval operations for the purpose of providing regional offices with information to assist with development in Haas related disability claims based on herbicide exposure from Navy Veterans.

To date, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) received verification from various sources showing that a number of offshore “blue water” naval vessels conducted operations on the inland “brown water” rivers and delta areas of Vietnam. The VA also has identified certain vessel types that operated primarily or exclusively on the inland waterways. The ships and dates of inland waterway service are listed on the Compensation & Pension Service Bulletin [PDF]. For your convenience, we also have listed the ships and dates below.

If a Veteran’s service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents can be presumed without further development.

All vessels of Inshore Fire Support [IFS]
Division 93 during their entire Vietnam tour
USS Carronade (IFS 1)
USS Clarion River (LSMR 409) [Landing Ship,
Medium, Rocket]
USS Francis River (LSMR 525)
USS White River (LSMR 536)

All vessels with the designation LST [Landing
Ship, Tank] during their entire tour
[WWII ships converted to transport supplies on
rivers and serve as barracks for brown water
Mobile Riverine Forces]

All vessels with the designation LCVP [Landing
Craft, Vehicle, Personnel] during their entire
tour

All vessels with the designation PCF [Patrol
Craft, Fast] during their entire tour
[Also called Swift Boats, operating for enemy
interdiction on close coastal waters]

All vessels with the designation PBR [Patrol
Boat, River] during their entire tour
[Also called River Patrol Boats as part of the
Mobile Riverine Forces operating on inland
waterways and featured in the Vietnam film
“Apocalypse Now”]

USS Ingersoll (DD-652) [Destroyer] [Operated
on Saigon River, October 24-25, 1965]

USS Mansfield (DD-728) [Destroyer] [Operated
on Saigon River August 8-19, 1967 and
December 21-24, 1968]

USS Richard E. Kraus (DD-849) [Destroyer]
[Operated on coastal inlet north of Da Nang,
June 2-5, 1966, protecting Marines holding a
bridge]

USS Basilone (DD-824) [Destroyer] [Operated
on Saigon River, May 24-25, 1966]

USS Hamner (DD-718) [Destroyer] [Operated
on Song Lon Tao and Long Song Tao Rivers,
August 15-September 1, 1966]

USS Conway (DD-507) [Destroyer] [Operated
on Saigon River, early August 1966]

USS Fiske (DD-842) [Destroyer] [Operated on
Mekong River, June 16-21, 1966]

USS Black (DD-666) [Destroyer] [Operated on
Saigon River, July 13-19, 1966]

USS Providence (CLG-6) [Cruiser, Light,
Guided Missile] [Operated on Saigon River 3
days during January 1964]

USS Mahan (DLG-11) [Guided Missile Frigate]
[Operated on Saigon River October 24-28, 1964]

USS Okanogan (APA-220) [Attack Transport]
[Operated on Saigon River July 22-23, 29-30,
1968 and August 5-6, 1968]

USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) [Combat Stores
Ship] [Unloaded supplies on Saigon River and
Cam Rahn Bay, April 22-25, 1968]”

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

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