Ships Exclusive to Vietnam Inland Waterways

Ships Exclusive to Vietnam Inland WaterwaysI.  Ships operating primarily or exclusively on Vietnam’s inland waterways

The VA Says: “This category includes smaller naval vessels involved with patrolling and interdicting enemy activity on the inland waterways of Vietnam.  It also includes ships supplying and supporting those operations.  Examples of such vessels include swift boats, river patrol boats, and LSTs [landing ship, tank].  The inland waterways are often referred to as “brown waters” because of their muddy color and the naval vessels operating on them are referred to as the Brown Water Navy and/or the Mobile Riverine Force.  All Veterans who served aboard these vessels are eligible for the presumption of Agent Orange exposure because their primary service was on the inland waterways of Vietnam.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs places a ship on this list when “documentary evidence shows that it fits into a particular category.” The required evidence can come from an official ship history, deck logs, cruise books, Captain’s letters, or similar documents. A ship can be listed in more than one category, based on its activities.

For a presumptive service connection for exposure to Agent Orange or other toxic herbicides, evidence requirements may vary depending on the dates the Veteran was aboard and what ship activity occurred on those dates.

Below is the current list of ships considered “primarily or exclusively” on Vietnam inland waterways. What if a ship I served on is not on this VA Agent Orange ship list?

  • All vessels referred to in military records as part of the “Mobile Riverine Force”
  • All vessels with the designation AGP [Assault Group Patrol/Patrol Craft Tender]
  • All vessels with the designation LCM [Landing Craft, Mechanized]
  • All vessels with the designation LCU [Landing Craft, Utility]
  • All vessels with the designation LCVP [Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel]
  • All vessels with the designation LST [Landing Ship, Tank]
  • All vessels with the designation PBR [Patrol Boat, River]
  • All vessels with the designation PCF [Patrol Craft, Fast or Swift Boat]
  • All vessels with the designation STABS [Strike Assault Boats]
  • All vessels with the designation YFU [Harbor Utility Craft]
  • All U.S. Coast Guard Cutters with hull designation WPB [Patrol Boat], WHEC [High Endurance Cutter], WLB [Buoy Tender], and WAK [Cargo Vessel] during their Vietnam tours

All vessels of Inshore Fire Support [IFS] Division 93, including:

• USS Carronade (IFS 1)
• USS Clarion River (LSMR 409) [Landing Ship, Medium, Rocket]
• USS Francis River (LSMR 525)
• USS White River (LSMR 536)

All vessels with hull designation PG [Patrol Gunboat], including:

• USS Asheville (PG-84)
• USS Gallop (PG-85)
• USS Antelope (PG-86)
• USS Ready (PG-87)
• USS Crockett (PG-88)
• USS Marathon (PG-89)
• USS Canon (PG-90)
• USS Welch (PG-93)

These additional ships with their hull designations: 

• USS Mark (AKL-12) [Light Cargo Ship]
• USS Brule (AKL-28)

• USS Cohoes (AN-78) [Net laying ship]

• USS Patapsco (AOG-1) [Gasoline Tanker]
• USS Elkhorn (AOG-7)
• USS Genesee (AOG-8)
• USS Kishwaukee (AOG-9)
• USS Tombigbee (AOG-11)
• USS Noxubee (AOG-56)

• USS Montrose (APA-212) [Attack Transport]
• USS Okanogan (APA-220)
• USS Bexar (APA-237)

• USS Benewah (APB-35) [Self-Propelled Barracks Ship]
• USS Colleton (APB-36)
• USS Mercer (APB-39)
• USS Nueces (APB-40)

• Barracks Barge (APL-26) [Sleeping Quarters]
• Barracks Barge (APL-30)

• USS Tutuila (ARG-4) [Repair Ship]

• USS Satyr (ARL-23) [Repair Ship]
• USS Sphinx (ARL-24)
• USS Askari (ARL-30)
• USS Indra (ARL-37)
• USS Krishna (ARL-38)

• USS Belle Grove (LSD-2) [Landing Ship Dock]
• USS Comstock (LSD-19)
• USS Tortuga (LSD-26)

• Floating Base Platform (YRBM-16) [Repair, Berthing, and Messing]
• Floating Base Platform (YRBM-17)
• Floating Base Platform (YRBM-18)
• Floating Base Platform (YRBM-20)
• Floating Base Platform (YRBM-21)

• USN Harbor Tug 84 (YTB-84)
• USN Harbor Tug 85 (YTB-85)
• USN Winnemucca (YTB-785)

Other VA Ship Categories

Ships Operating Temporarily On Vietnam Inland Waterways
Ships Docked to Shore or Pier in Vietnam
Ships With Crew Members Going Ashore in Vietnam
Ships With Smaller Craft Going Ashore in Vietnam