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There were possibly some US Navy Auxiliary Support ships sunk by Viet Cong Underwater teams in South Vietnam's main harbors; but NO US Navy Warships were sunk during the Vietnam War. The US Navy Destroyer, USS Higbee was bombed by a North Vietnamese MIG-17 Jet Fighter/Bomber in 1972. The explosion (one 250 pound bomb) destroyed the aft 5" gun mount; there were no casualties, as the turrets gun crew had just vacated the mount prior to the attack. The US Navy's Aircraft Carrier's USS Forestall and USS Oriskany suffered operational bomb, rocket, and fuel explosions on their flight decks in 1967/68. Those explosions and fires killed, together, approximately 200 US Sailors, and destroyed nearly 40 jet aircraft, and came very close to destroying/sinking one or both aircraft carriers. The US Navy's Brown Water Navy (Riverine Forces) lost 10 Swift Boats destroyed (PCF-Patrol Craft Fast), several PBR's (Patrol Boat River), several Alpha Boats (ASPB-Assault Support Patrol Boats), and many damaged Monitors (River Battleships). Most of the Riverine Boats were lost to mines; and the others to firefights in which RPG's (Rocket Propelled Grenades) or small arms fire reached ammunition magazines aboard the vessels, exploding them. Most of the sunk Riverine Boats were salvaged and sent to Japan or the Philippines for re-builds; those that were not salvagable were either dragged into deeper waters as they became "navigational hazards" or were scrounged by the Nationals for their scrap metal value, especially after the war.

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15y ago
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12y ago

The last warship to sink was a ship by the name of Vandenburg, but it was sunk to create an artificial reef. The last one to sink in battle is hard to find, as not many have recently sunk. I would put the time somewhere around World War II. Further research will probably reveal the answer.

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14y ago

EX-USN Aircraft Carrier USS Card sunk by enemy sapper in harbor. Dozens of riverine Swift Boats, Alpha boats, PBRs, were sunk. Unknown numbers, if any, of Monitors sunk in the war.

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Q: What was the first US Navy ship sunk in the Vietnam war?
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Continue Learning about Military History

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