Tomorrow will mark 50 years, when the USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) engaged North Vietnamese coast batteries during Operation Sea Dragon. The USS Henry B. Wilson deployed on their WESTPAC cruise on 9 Feb 1968, with Commander Eugene I. Fink in command.
The following is an excerpt from the USS Henry B Wilson 1968 cruise book:
…..The USS Buchanan relieved the USS WILSON on 26 May, 1968. The WILSON returned to I Corps, where on 30 May she assisted the 1st Cavalry in routing a North Vietnamese Battalion. The same day, she was reassigned on short notice to relieve the USS BUCHANAN, who had been damaged by hostile fire on Sea Dragon. On 31 May, Captain Phillip A. Wilson (COMDESDIV 12) again broke his pennant in the WILSON and this ship resumed her attacks against North Vietnamese territory.
On 3 June, while firing on a truck park near Dong Hoi, the WILSON, was taken under fire by North Vietnamese coastal defense batteries. The first round landed 25 yards off the starboard side, but the second projectile hit the after stack, spraying shrapnel over a large area and into a missile radar room where fragments wounded a crew member of the WILSON. The WILSON subsequently stood off the North Vietnamese coast and opened fire on the hostile gun emplacements from beyond the enemy’s maximum range and neutralized the enemy positions. The WILSON was relieved on Sea Dragon on 8 June by the cruiser USS ST. Paul.