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Excerpts from the book "Not A Hero" by Ron Fitts, LT.

Excerpt from Chapter Seven: Daily Patrols

We had some of the finest men in the U.S. Navy in our division. In addition to patrolling at night, they had to clean and repair the guns and engines, even if it was raining. They were very good at this and did it very quickly. Our boats and guns were always in excellent condition.

Our boats were thirty-one feet long and were made out of thin fiberglass so that they would be more lightweight. We had two 220 horsepower engines that could pump out as much as 1000 gallons of water per minute from each engine. This water was shot out in a rooster tail about seventy five feet in length. To throw the boat in reverse all you had to do was drop a deflector shield down to deflect the stream of water under the boat. The boat could turn 180 degrees in its own length, if every one was holding on tightly and all the guns and ammunition were properly secured. It could also make a 90-degree turn so quickly that the bow has now turned 90 degrees, but the momentum is still carrying you forward. At top speed of thirty knots the boat would hydroplane and only about the back one half of the hull would be in the water.

Our guns were twin 50 caliber machine guns on the front and a single 50 caliber in the rear. The rear gunner also had a mortar or an automatic grenade launcher mounted above his machine gun. Mounted on each side above the engine covers was an M-60 machine gun. We also had an M-16 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun. We had several different grenades, a single shot grenade launcher and I also had a 38-caliber pistol.

Our goal was to try and take possession of the many different waterways in South Vietnam as much as possible. We were kind of like the local bully trying to intimidate the kids in his neighborhood. We wanted the people to see all these guns and speed in the daytime and to be able to defend ourselves well and attack quickly and ferociously. It worked for us at times, because the VC did not like 1000 or more bullets shot at them in a minutes time.

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