Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

USS Forster (DE-334) in Vietnam

During a lull between tours, I was discussing Destroyer Escorts and Vietnam with another docent. DE's in Vietnam was the topic of last weeks blog post. He related the story of the USS Forster (DE-334) that was transferred to the Republic of Vietnam's Navy (South) and, was eventually captured and integrated into the Vietnam People's Navy (North). Another Destroyer Escort, the USS Camp (DE-251) also served in the South Vietnamese Navy but managed to sail to the Philippines in 1975. It appears that both of these DEs are no longer on active duty.

One side story of interest, in 1974 the Forster (as the RVNS Tran Khanh DU, HQ-04) played a major role during the Paracel Island Naval engagement with China. From the account: “.......The battle lasted from 10:25 AM to 11:00 AM. When HQ10 fired on the island, HQ4, HQ5, and HQ16 together fired at the enemy ships. HQ4, with two 6,000-horsepower engines, ran at full speed and fired cannons, heavy machine guns non-stop. Most of the cannons on board were rapidly firing capable. HQ4 was about 1,600 yards from the nearest enemy ship. Therefore, most of its shots hit the enemy ship. The first 5 or 6 minutes of the battle would decide the fate of engaging ships. Enemy ships sank, our ship sank. Two enemy ships and our HQ10 were put out of action during this short period. ......”

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