Lawrence Mercantile > Vietnam & Southeast Asia > Vietnam Market Time
Operation Market Time was the U.S. Navy's effort to stop troops and supplies from flowing by sea from North Vietnam to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was one of four Navy duties begun after the Tonkin Gulf Incident, along with Operation Sea Dragon, Operation Sealords and naval gunfire support.
When a trawler was intercepted landing arms and ammunition at Vung Ro Bay in northern Khanh Hoa Province on 16 February 1965 it provided the first tangible evidence of the North Vietnamese supply operation. This became known as the Vung Ro Bay Incident.
Navy destroyers, ocean minesweepers and United States Coast Guard cutters performed the operation. Also playing a key role in the interdictions were the Navy's patrol gunboats (PGs). The PG was uniquely suited for the job because of it ability to go from standard diesel propulsion to gas turbine (jet engine)propulsion in a matter of a few minutes. The lightweight aluminum and fiberglass ships were not only fast but highly maneuverable because of their variable pitch propellers. Most of the Ships operated in the coastal waters from the cambodian Border around the south tip of Vietnam up north to Da Nang. Supply ships from the Service Force, like Oilers would bring Mail, Movies, and Fuel.