Red Sky at Night -
Red Sky in Morning - Sailors take Warning
Oklahoma City (CLG-5) spent several years in
WESTPAC as COMSEVENTHFLT and providing Naval Gunfire Support and
Strike operations on North Viet Nam. Many ships served on
deployment there, but few, if any, as long as Oklahoma City.
She fired over 3,900 six-inch rounds on North Vietnamese Targets in
April, 1972 alone.
April 19th, 1972 was perhaps her peak combat
operation during the Viet Nam War. At 1600 that day she
lead a strike force accompanied by USS Higbee (DD-806) and USS Lloyd
Thomas (DD-764) in strike operations on targets in and around Dong
Hoi, North Viet Nam. USS Sterett (DLG-31), equipped with
Terrier missiles, was assigned to monitor and protect the task force
from enemy aircraft.
The task force was under fire by enemy shore
batteries, two North Vietnamese MiG-17s attacked the task force and
four high-speed gunboats (torpedo boats) were moving in.
Higbee was hit in the aft 5-inch mount, Oklahoma City received minor
damage from sharpnel by shore battery fire. Sterett shot
down one of the MiGs, possibly both. Three of the four
torpedo boats were sunk, see "Hard
battle erupts anew" AP story.