New Swift Boats at War in Vietnam Exhibit Opens at Maritime Museum of San Diego April 29
Immersive Exhibit of Survival Stories, Photographs and Swift Boat PCF 816 San Diego Bay Tours Recognizes Those Who Served
San Diego, CA (March 8, 2017) — Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s finest collections of historic vessels, announces the opening of the new Swift Boats at War in Vietnam exhibit and book release in the steam ferry Berkeley Compass Gallery Saturday, April 29. The book edited by Guy Gugliotta, John Yeoman and Neva Sullaway is a compilation of 38 firsthand accounts of men who served on Patrol Craft Fast (PCF), also known as Swift Boats. The exhibit expands the narrative with official and candid photographs. It also includes paintings by combat artist John Steele, on loan from the Navy Art Collection in Washington, D.C. Dr. Ray Ashley, President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, said “We are honored to offer visitors this new educational immersive journey commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.”
The exhibit, open through Veteran’s Day, is included with general admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. On weekends, for an additional $10, visitors can board the Museum’s PCF 816 and feel the power of its twin 12-cylinder Detroit engines on a high-speed 75-minute Naval History Bay Cruise.
The authors of Swift Boats at War in Vietnam are donating all proceeds from book sales to support PCF 816.
About Swift Boats and PCF 816
Swift Boats acted as an inner barrier of the naval blockade of South Vietnam to prevent the infiltration of weapons, ammunition, and war matériel from North Vietnam via sampans, junks, and trawlers. In July 1968, U.S. Swift Boats shifted to patrolling rivers, canals, and the Mekong Delta’s 3,000-mile labyrinth of waterways. Not since the Civil War had the U.S. Navy combat vessels fought in such close quarters with naval blockades, upriver and in narrow canals. From 1965 through 1970, about 3,600 men served on and supported Swift Boat operations in Vietnam. Four hundred were wounded; 50 died.
In 2012, PCF 816 made the long journey from Malta to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Volunteers including Vietnam veterans helped restore the vintage vessel, which now thunders across San Diego Bay on weekends. Guests on PCF 816 hear the story of the U.S. Navy in San Diego and Naval Base Coronado, the training station for Swift Boat sailors, where PCF 816 and the Swift Boat stories began.
About the Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India. The museum is located at Star of India Wharf, on the embarcadero in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The telephone number for general inquiries is 619-234-9153 ext. 101.