Gohan's Oklahoma City CLG-5 Collection
QM3 Dave Rice, (Gohan)  USS Oklahoma City CLG-5,  June 1970 - October 1973
Currently a QMCS in the United States Naval Reserve, Fargo, North Dakota
"Sharing an important part of my life with my Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Shipmates."

smoke.jpg (13896 bytes)The following are Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operation notes as listed in the Plan of the Day during April, 1972. I cut these out of the POD's but failed to write down the dates. I've tried to reconstruct the sequence of notes and dates where possible. Hind sight is 20/20, I wish now I would have kept a copy of the entire POD for the entire 24 days of consecutive strikes.

Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Oklahoma City together with Providence, the heavy cruiser Newport News, and accompanying destroyers joined up last night to form what is perhaps the most formidable Naval Gunfire Strike Group since World War II. At the time the Plan of the Day went to press a Naval Gunfire Mission had not been promulgated but it is likely that the task group will be directed to strike targets in North Vietnam prior to daylight this morning. On completion of these early morning strikes, Oklahoma City will probably join the Naval Gunfire Support Task Unit off Hue, South Vietnam, just South of the DMZ.

Combat GearOklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Tuesday Oklahoma city, in company with several destroyers fired on a radar installation, a petroleum storage area and an ammunition cache above the DMZ near Cap Lay. Strikes also included the Dong Hoi Airfield, North Vietnam thirty miles North of the DMZ. On Wednesday, Oklahoma city struck a large coastal defense site at Cap lay and left the Coastal Defense (CD) site burning after a large secondary explosion was observed. The spotting helo from Sterrett confirmed the hit on the Coastal Defense site. Yesterday afternoon Oklahoma City and accompanying destroyers conduced a second strike at Dong Hoi and specifically Surface-to air missile (SAM) sites. During this strike and just as Oklahoma City was completing the mission, intense hostile fire was received from coastal defense sites. Oklahoma city and the destroyers took the CD sites under fire and retired to the East. Shortly thereafter the task unit was attacked by two MIGS one of which was shot down my missiles from Sterrett. During the attack the destroyer Higbee was hit aft and though two personnel were injured, there were no fatalities. This is Oklahoma city's 14th consecutive day on Naval Gunfire Support and Naval Gunfire Strike operations. It has indeed been exciting! UNREP: Oklahoma City will probably refuel from Camden and conduct Vertrep concurrently while alongside late this morning or early afternoon. Vertrep stores held by White Plains were transferred to Camden last night.

Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Thursday evening the Oklahoma city, in company with the destroyers Thomas and Gurke and the Guided Missile Frigate Sterrett proceeded to strike at five coastal defense sites and radar installations in the vicinity of Cap Lay, North Vietnam, approximately five miles above the DMZ. Oklahoma City observed seven large secondary explosions after the strikes at these shore batteries and a series of smaller explosions following. During the past week most of Oklahoma City's strikes have been conducted in the Southern half of North Vietnam between the DMZ and Dong Hoi. This is Oklahoma City's 16th consecutive day on Naval Gunfire Support and Naval Gunfire Strike Operations.

Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Late Friday the Big Gray Ghost of the Vietnam Coast, Oklahoma City struck at enemy radar installation near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. After firing over 100 rounds of main armament into the target and receiving no return fire, Oklahoma City in company with Lloyd Thomas, Gurke, and Sterrett returned to North Vietnam and at a costal trans-shipping point near Dong Hoi. A large secondary explosion with white smoke billowing nearly 150 feet high was observed by the airborne spotter. Last night Oklahoma City with destroyers of the task unit took on the big coastal defense guns at Cap Lay and achieved perhaps some of the best GDA (Gun Damage Assessment) of the past few weeks. A total of 22 secondary explosions were observed indicating a direct hit on the ammunition dump supplying the Cap Lay coastal defense guns. This is Oklahoma City's 17th consecutive day on Naval Gunfire Support and Naval Gunfire Strike Operations -- WETSU (We Eat This Stuff Up).

6-inch.jpg (40345 bytes)Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations - April 17, 1992
The Gray Ghost of the Vietnam Coast had a much needed rest during daylight hours yesterday; however Oklahoma City and destroyers of the task unit went back to the business of conducting Naval Gunfire Strikes as darkness fell. The Strike Unit hit fuel storage areas and troop barracks in two swiftly conducted gun actions both within two hours of each other at locations 20 miles North of the DMZ. This is Oklahoma City's 17th consecutive day on Naval Gunfire Support and Naval Gunfire Strike Operations.
Congratulations from the Air Force
The following message was received yesterday from the Commanding General 7th Air Force and makes reference to a naval Gunfire Strike conducted by Oklahoma city and destroyers on the Dong Hoi airfield on the night of 16 April: "Greatly appreciate your prompt response to our request for Naval Gunfire Strike on Dong Hoi airfield last night. The five large secondaries indicate a highly accurate and successful strike. Congratulations. Signed General Vogt."

Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Monday night and Tuesday Oklahoma City together with the Guided Missile Frigate Sterrett and destroyers Gurke and Richard B. Anderson continued to strike swiftly at various military targets in North Vietnam. Last night the task unit unloaded on a Highway Bridge and Communications Station just south of the 20th parallel. This was the furthest North Oklahoma City has operated since the big strike in the vicinity of Hai Phong on the 16th of April. Today is Oklahoma City's 19th consecutive day on Naval Gunfire Support and Naval Gunfire Strike operations.

talos2.jpg (19672 bytes)Oklahoma City (CLG-5) Strike Operations
Yesterday, on short notice Oklahoma City moved swiftly down from the North to conduct Naval Gunfire Support against a renewed North Vietnamese offensive in the vicinity of the DMZ. The gunfire strikes conducted by the Oklahoma City late Thursday night and early Friday morning DEEP into North Vietnam achieved a great measure of success an apparently caught the enemy by surprise; no hostile fire was directed against Oklahoma City nor the destroyers in company. Oklahoma City's presence just South of the DMZ is required to support the 1st ARV (Army of Vietnam) Division which is engaged in defense of Qiang Tri about 18 miles South of the DMZ. The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) has committed considerable armor to the current offensive. Oklahoma City's guns and those of the destroyers of the NGFS task unit are being brought to bear in order to turn the tide of the offensive in the favor of the ARV. Yesterday Oklahoma City was required on short notice to move quickly into another type of Naval Gunfire role, one primarily of support rather than the purely offensive operations of gunfire strikes of the past couple of weeks. She responded again as she has done before with a sense of dash and a sense of "being on the way." Today is Oklahoma City's 22nd consecutive day of Naval Gunfire Strike and Support Operations.

plywood.jpg (20983 bytes)Oklahoma City Naval Gunfire Operations
On completion of fueling this morning Oklahoma City will depart the waters off the DMZ and will proceed to station in the waters off North Vietnam. Oklahoma City has been directed to join a task unit of destroyers and to conduct combined Cruiser/Destroyer Gunfire Strikes on North Vietnam military targets. For the past two weeks we have been operating in a Naval Gunfire Support role in direct support of Government Forces of South Vietnam. Gunfire Strike Operations during the next twenty-four hours differ from the Gunfire Support Operations in that these strikes are purely offensive in nature and conducted at high speeds whereby Oklahoma City will run in...shoot...and run out. The period of shooting will be for only 15 or 20 minutes, just long enough to get our rounds accurately on target. Another big difference in our gunfire operations tonight will be that the striking task unit will be in range of enemy Coastal Defense Guns during the run in, while shooting, and during the run out. Hostile fire from these Coastal Defense Guns can and should be expected, and preparations made accordingly; also the possibility of attack by enemy aircraft cannot be discounted. Extra precautions then must be taken during Darken Ship to show no lights topside; during the strike, condition Zebra will be set and Zebra fittings are not to be opened without first obtaining permission from Damage control Central (phone 888) ; personnel are to remain off the Weather Decks unless specifically assigned Gunfire Strike Stations on the Weather Decks. As you can tell these strikes are dynamic in nature and although the risks are greater, Oklahoma City was designed and built for just such missions. She is big, fast and well armored and complete success of these strike missions can be expected so long as every one of us does our job with dedication and absolute attention to detail. These are exciting times and again we in Oklahoma City are a part of it.


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