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USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) Battle Ensign and Operation Sea Dragon


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#1 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

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.

 

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  • ddg7_11F.jpg


#2 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:22 PM

The following is the Battle ensign for the USS Henry B Wilson.  Without taking the display case apart, I believe the case contains three items.  The Battle Ensign (only the stars are showing), the pennant and the signal flag for the number seven (broad white and red strips).  I have yet to confirm, but I believe this was the flag that was flying on the WILSON on 3 June 1968.   

 

 

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  • Flag2.JPG


#3 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:26 PM

A close-up of the brass plaque located at the bottom of the display case, which reads as follows:  

 

A Page of History
From the
Henry B. Wilson DDG-7
3 June 1968

WHILE ENGAGED IN GUN FIRE MISSION RECEIVED HOSTILE FIRE FROM VIETNAM COAST DEFENSE SITES.  THE FIRST ROUND SPLASHED ABOUT 25 YARDS OFF STBD SIDE OF WILSON.  SPLASHING BRIDGE WITH WATER.  THE SECOND ROUND, A DIRET HIT, EXPLODED ON IMPACT WITH STBD SIDE OF AFTER STACK.  WILSON MANUVERED SEAWARD AT FLANK SPEED DODGING SHELL SPLASHES WHILE RETURNING COUNTER BATTERY FIRE.  
                                                                  Eugene I. Fink
                                                                  Commander U.S. Navy
                                                                  Commanding

 

 

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  • Flag5.JPG


#4 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:28 PM

Very cool history and item.  Can you share the provenance ?


Edited by aerialbridge, 02 June 2018 - 04:29 PM.


#5 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:30 PM

Photos from the battle action on 3 June 1968.  Photos are from the Wilson's 1968 WESTPACT Cruise book

 

 

 

 

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  • SEADRAGON1F.jpg
  • SEADRAGON2F.jpg


#6 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:31 PM

Additional photo

 

 

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  • SEADRAGON3F.jpg


#7 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:33 PM

A front and back of a piece of the WILSON with shrapnel damage

 

 

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  • Shrap1F.JPG
  • Shrap2F.JPG


#8 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:35 PM

The commanders dress sword

 

 

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  • Sword1F.JPG
  • Sword2F.JPG


#9 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:37 PM

Additional photos of the sword

 

 

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  • Sword6F.JPG
  • Sword7F.JPG


#10 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:38 PM

Additional photos 

 

 

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  • Sword9F.JPG
  • Sword11F.JPG


#11 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:41 PM

The commander of the WILSON, Eugene I. Fink retired as a Navy Captain in 1979.  Captain Fink went on to have a distinguish career as a civic leader in El Paso, Texas.

 

​RIP Captain Fink

 

 

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  • Finke3F.JPG


#12 WAHOOMAN

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 04:44 PM

The Battle Ensign, the piece of the WILSON and dress sword came from the estate of Captain Fink.  



#13 aerialbridge

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 05:06 PM

Congratulations- you have treasures that any Navy collector would be honored to have. Thanks for sharing,




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