USS Newport News CA-148 Naval Research - Agent Orange Brown Water Operations
"Thunder" USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam October 1967 / image adapted from photo by John Glass  
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USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam
( image from photo by John Glass October 1967 )

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Agent Orange
Inland Waterway (Brown Water) Operations

The Veterans Administration excludes blue water Navy Vietnam veterans from presumption of Agent Orange exposure unless the ship also operated in inland waterways (brown water).  This page contains documentation of such inland waterway operations by USS Newport News CA-148.

Shipmate Chuck Preston reports that his claim for inland waterway service was approved based on the 1969 deck log pages listed below.  An excerpt from Chuck's rating decision is posted below.

Shipmate Joe McCoy reports that his Agent Orange claim was approved based on service on the first and second deployments.  An excerpt from Joe's award letter is posted below.

Shipmate Billy Shackelford won an appeal on his Agent Orange claim was approved based on service on the first and second deployments.  Billy's appeal decision letter is posted below.  Note that the VA specifically referenced the first deployment entry into Danang harbor to deliver POW's and his Combat Action Ribbon award.

I think that first deployment shipmates may have successfully claimed inland waterway service based solely on the 1967 deck log listed below but I don't have confirmation of that.  If I get such confirmation, I'll post it here.

Chuck has also expressed a willingness to be contacted by other shipmates.  Drop me an email and I'll get you in touch with him.  You can also contact other shipmates about this topic on the Newport News Special Actions Group.

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First Vietnam Deployment 1967-1968

More first deployment deck log pages here

More deployment report pages here

Second Vietnam Deployment 1968-1969

Third Vietnam Deployment 1972

I don't have any documents relevant to inland waterway operations during the third Deployment but it occurs to me that the T2 explosion occurred while the ship was conducting naval gunfire support off Cua Viet so that it may be possible to document such service in the third deployment.

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Carl W. Cole
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