864 – Georgia Vietnam Vets sought for a special event in their honor

USS Rochester (CA-124), vietnam veteran news, mack payne

USS Rochester (CA-124), the ship Willie Troupe and his 1141 crew mates sailed in up the river to Saigon in January of 1954.

A special event will take place at the College of Coastal Georgia on March 23, 2017. The Georgia Department of Veterans Service will conduct a ceremony to honor Vietnam Era veterans for their service to their country with the presentation of a Vietnam War Certificate of Honor and a lapel pin issued by the Defense Department. The upcoming event was covered in a story in The Golden Isles News titled:  Vietnam-era Veterans sought to be honored for March 23 ceremony that was submitted by Larry Hobbs (lhobbs@goldenisles.news).

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the campus’s Southeast Conference Center. According to Tina Herring, office manager of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in Brunswick, 35 local veterans have indicated that they will attend the ceremony. There are 70 other local Vietnam War-era veterans the office is inviting to attend. It is hoped they will respond so officials will be prepared to honor them at the ceremony. Anyone interested in attending can call Herring at 912-262-2345.

The Golden Isles News article highlighted Vietnam War Era veteran Willie Troup. He served on the USS Rochester when it sailed up the Saigon River to Saigon in January 1954 as a show up support for the French who were battling the Communist forces led by Ho Chi Minh.

The ship was the largest ship up to that time to sail up the Saigon River. It was an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser that displaced 13,700 tons, was 675 feet in length and carried a complement of 1,142 officers and enlisted personnel. Apparently the mission did not succeed. In 1975 Vietnam became united under a Communist government and there is a memorial wall in Washington DC with 53,315 names of Americans who died in the war that followed Troup’s cruise up the Saigon River.

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