U.S.S. MANSFIELD (DD-728)
FLEET POST OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Most Americans are aware of recent naval participation in events
in widely separated areas of the globe, particularly in Southeast
Asia. The significant thing is that when these situations required
our country to take a stand, there was a military capability at hand
with which to make credible our position. It was no accident that
this military presence was often sea based. Sea Based forces are
unique in this regard --- self-contained, independent, mobile, flex-
ible and self-sufficient. In each case, our Navy was able to perform
its task with precisely the right combination of strength and finesse
required by the existing conditions. It is therefore in times of in-
ternational crisis, such as the United States is experiencing today
in various parts of the globe, that the mission, capability, and ef-
fectiveness of the United States Navy is forcefully brought to the
attention of the American public.
It is in these same critical times that a man's service aboard
ship becomes more meaningful and worthy of remembrance. 1965 is just
such a year. It is a time that should be recorded for posterity,
both for the man serving aboard ship and for his family at home.
I want to take this opportunity to tell you something about what
the USS MANSFIELD (DD-728) has done in the Western Pacific Area and
to point out how your serviceman is making an important contribution
to our nation's defense.
Since the ship's arrival in the Western Pacific we have been em-
ployed as a unit of the mighty Seventh Fleet. This powerful fight-
ing force is an effective mobile safeguard of our liberty and the
primary safeguard of the liberty of so many people in the Far East.
The Seventh Fleet rule as "Ready Power for Peace" consists in
maintaining a feeling of friendship and goodwill while halting the
forces of aggression.
The MANSFIELD, as part of the Seventh Fleet, is in Viet Nam for
three reasons: First, we are here to honor a commitment,a written
agreement. The Republic of Viet Nam has asked for our assistance and
to quote Mr. Rusk, "The integrity of that commitment has a major
bearing upon similar commitments we have in other parts of the world,
and the integrity of the American commitment is the Principal of
Peace in the present world situation". Secondly, we are here to halt
the expansion of communism and to permit the Republic of Viet Nam to
be an independent nation. Thirdly, we are here to prevent the loss
of such countries as Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines
to the communist powers.
As you can see, this is a big job and the Seventh Fleet is play-
ing a major role in the overall effort. Our carriers are providing
half of the strike aircraft being used in both North and South Viet
Nam, while destroyers like MANSFIELD are providing search and rescue
services along with anti-submarine and anti-aircraft protection.
Also included in a destroyer's duty is naval gunfire support to the
Marines, U.S. Army and South Vietnamese forces.
The MANSFIELD'S duty thus far has included assignments to many
weeks of fast carrier attack operations with the USS MIDWAY (CVA-
41) and USS KITTY HAWK (CVA-63) throughout the South CHina Sea,
naval gunfire support, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine patrol.
While assigned to a carrier we act as a versatile support ship
ever drilling at screening the carrier from submarines and air-
craft. During flight operations we are positioned near-by in res-
cue destroyer station as a lifeguard for downed aviators. This
has been a very demanding job requiring high speeds and long hours
for all hands.
During patrol duty, the hours are, for the most part long and
uneventful. However we must remain alert, ready to cope with any
situations which might arise. As this letter goes to press, the
MANSFIELD is completing her six month tour of duty. During this
time the MANSFIELD has visited Subic Bay in the Philippines,
Yokosuka, Japan and Hong Kong. There inport periods are essen-
tial for ship repairs and much needed relaxation.
Hence, the Seventh Fleet today continues its patrol from the
Sea of Japan to the South China Sea, ever ready to protect the
interests of the United States and the security of our friends,
a watchdog of peace in an area continuously threatened by communist
Peiping and its partners in aggression.
In closing, I would like to salute the officers and men of the
MANSFIELD. Since relieving Commander R. C Marshall, I can say
that it is only because of their loyalty and dedication that the
MANSFIELD is able to perform her mission. We have had an exacting
task, our hours have been long and separation from our families
was inevitable. But, you can have the deep pride and satisfaction
in knowing that your serviceman is serving his country in the cause
of freedom to which our nation has been committed since its birth.
MANSFIELD is presently scheduled to depart the Western Pacific
Area on 16 January 1966, spent one day in Pearl Harbor, before ar-
riving in Long Beach on 7 February 1966.
/s/ D.P. NELLIS