Page 163

[Image 1: Marine
Corps Historical
Collection. USS
Dubuque (LPD
8) steams toward
Vung Tau and
the South Vietnamese coastal waters.
The Dubuque served
as the headquarters
ship for 1st
Battalion, 4th
Marines during
Operation Fortress
Journey; for
the Amphibious Evacuation RVN Support Group;
and for the Amphibious
Evacuation Security
Force during
Operation Frequent

Page 163(The Bitter End)

R. Page and his Detachment Foxtrot landed along with the control group. Without even unpacking, the detachments deployed the next morning (18 April). They departed Cubi Point on Navy C-2 "Greyhounds" destined for the Coral Sea (CVA 43). From the Coral Sea, they transferred to the guided missile frigate Grid-ley (DLG 21), which took Reuier and his detachment to their Military Sealift Command (MSC) ship, the USNS Sergeant Kimbro, and Page and his Marines to their MSC ship, the USNS Greenville Victory*

That Friday, after seeing off Captains Reuter and Page, Major Quinlan made his way to the Blue Ridge where he met with the commanding general of the 9th MAB, Brigadier General Richard E. Carey General Carey advised Major Quinlan thai the Dubuque would serve as his command post, and stressed the need for rapid embarkation of his forces in anticipation of immediate orders to get underway. Major Quinlan assured General Carey that his detachments would embark on the Dubuque as quickly as possible after their arrival from Okinawa.

The AESF commander next met with his predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel Hester, and his staff. Quinlan received an invaluable briefing from them on their experiences and the unusual requirements involved in this type of mission. Major Quinlan later related, "Lieutenant Colonel Hester's staff told us that the best way to prepare rice for thousands of people was to place the rice in large barrels, connect a hose to the ship's steam line, and hit the rice with a blast of the ship's superheated steam, and in a matter of seconds, you had hot, cooked rice ready to eat."5

This simple expedient provided quick nourishment for the starving evacuees and possibly prevented deadly riots over the distribution of food. Additionally, Hester and Colonel Alfred M. Gray, commander of the newly activated Regimental Landing Team 4, advised General Carey to assign the majority of his military police, interrogator-translators, and counterintelligence people to the AESF. This advice also proved invaluable.

General Carey's decision to include all of these specialists in the AESF, especially the interrogator-translators, paid dividends throughout the deployment. Nothing, not even the show of deadly force, meant more than the ability to understand and communicate with the refugees. Captain Cyril V. Moyher, the India detachment commander, said, "Without the translators, we would have never been able to pick out the leaders and communicate to them our intentions


Page 163(The Bitter End)