Guy Griffiths - Captain of HMAS Hobart in the Vietnam War
We were the first naval ship to be deployed to Vietnam. We arrived up there in March for a six month deployment having commissioned in Boston, Massachusetts, done our trials in America, came back to Australia and arrived in Hobart City 1 September '66.
Then, we did an exercise with a Royal Navy team off the east coast here and showed them what we could do.
Then, of course, in January and February we were going through trials again, sharpening everything up, the weapons systems, et cetera. Then, we deployed to Vietnam, got up there in March.
We immediately, two things we did. We supported the ground troops ashore when they were operating within range, and then we also did the, covered the coastal traffic on the north side and that was known as Operation Sea Dragon. Initially on our first op, we did the ground support role, firing, interdiction firing, and then we also escorted a carrier, the Kitty Hawk.
Then, after that, I think the second time out, we went on to Sea Dragon and we basically carried out Sea Dragon operations each time we went out, which was out for about three to four weeks. It was fairly intense. We didn't suffer air attack. That was one thing, but nevertheless, you had to be alert for anti-submarine and air attack. But basically, it was a surface action with our guns and not with the missiles.