FANDOM

256,039 Pages

</td></tr></td></tr>
RVNS Ly Thuong Kiet (HQ-16)
Career (South Vietnam) Flag of South Vietnam.svg
Name: RVNS Lý Thường Kiệt (HQ-16)
Namesake: Lý Thường Kiệt (1019-1105), a Lý Dynasty general famed for repelling a Chinese invasion in 1075
Builder: Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Washington
Laid down: 23 July 1941
Launched: 15 April 1942
Completed: April 1943
Acquired: 21 June 1972
Fate: Fled to Philippines on collapse of South Vietnam April 1975
Formally transferred to Republic of the Philippines 5 April 1976
Notes: Served as U.S. Navy seaplane tender USS Chincoteague (AVP-24) 1943-1946
Served as U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375), later WHEC-375, 1949-1972
Served in Philippine Navy as patrol vessel BRP Andres Bonifacio (PF-7) 1976-1985; sold for scrapping 2003
General characteristics
Class & type: Tran Quang Khai-class frigate
Displacement: 1,766 tons (standard)
2,800 tons (full load)
Length: 310 ft 9 in (94.72 m) (overall); 300 ft 0 in (91.44 m) waterline
Beam: 41 ft 1 in (12.52 m)
Draft: 13 ft 5 in (4.09 m)
Installed power: 6,080 horsepower (4.54 megawatts)
Propulsion: 2 x Fairbanks Morse 38D diesel engines
Speed: approximately 18 knots (maximum)
Complement: approximately 200
Armament: 1 × 5-inch/38-caliber (127-millimeter) dual-purpose gun
1 or 2 x 81-millimeter mortars in some ships[1]
Several machine guns

RVNS Lý Thường Kiệt[2] (HQ-16)[3] was a South Vietnamese frigate of the Republic of Vietnam Navy in commission from 1972 to 1975. She and her six sister ships were the largest South Vietnamese naval ships of their time.

HistoryEdit

Construction and United States Navy service 1943–1946Edit

Tran Binh Trong was built in the United States by Lake Washington Shipyard at Houghton, Washington, as the United States Navy Barnegat-class seaplane tender USS Chincoteague (AVP-24). Commissioned in April 1943, she operated in support of the New Guinea campaign and in the Central Pacific during World War II and operated at Okinawa and in China after the war. She was decommissioned in December 1946 and placed in reserve.

United States Coast Guard service 1949–1972Edit

In 1949, the U.S. Navy loaned Chincoteague to the United States Coast Guard, in which she was commissioned as the Casco-class Coast Guard cutter USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375). She was reclassified as a high endurance cutter, redesignated WHEC-375, and transferred permanently from the Navy to the Coast Guard in 1966. Her primary duty was to patrol ocean stations in the North Atlantic Ocean, providing weather data and engaging in search-and-rescue and law-enforcement operations. The Coast Guard decommissioned her in June 1972.

Republic of Vietnam Navy service 1972–1975Edit

Acquisition and operationsEdit

After her antisubmarine warfare equipment had been removed, Chincoteague was transferred to South Vietnam on 21 June 1972 and was commissioned into the Republic of Vietnam Navy as the frigate RVNS Lý Thường Kiệt (HQ-16)[4] By mid-1972, six other former Casco-class cutters also were in South Vietnamese service. They were the largest warships in the South Vietnamese inventory, and their 5-inch (127-millimeter) guns were South Vietnam’s largest naval guns. Lý Thường Kiệt and her sisters fought alongside U.S. Navy ships during the final years of the Vietnam War, patrolling the South Vietnamese coast and providing gunfire support to South Vietnamese forces ashore.

The Battle of the Paracel IslandsEdit

Possession of the Paracel Islands had long been disputed between South Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China. With South Vietnamese forces stationed on the islands drawing down because they were needed on the Vietnamese mainland in the war with North Vietnam, China took advantage of the situation to send forces to seize the islands.

On 16 January 1974, Lý Thường Kiệt spotted Chinese forces ashore on the islands. She and the Chinese ordered one another to withdraw, and neither side did. Reinforcements arrived for both sides over the next three days, including Lý Thường Kiệt’s sister ship RVNS Tran Binh Trong, which appeared on the scene on 18 January 1974 with the commander of the Republic of Vietnam Navy, Captain Hà Văn Ngạc, aboard.

By the morning of 19 January 1974, the Chinese had four corvettes and two submarine chasers at the Paracels, while the South Vietnamese had Lý Thường Kiệt, Tran Binh Trong, frigate Trần Khánh Dư, and corvette Nhật Tảo on the scene. Tran Binh Trong landed South Vietnamese troops on Duncan Island (or Quang Hoa in Vietnamese), and they were driven off by Chinese gunfire. The South Vietnamese ships opened fire on the Chinese ships at 10:24 hours, and the 40-minute Battle of the Paracel Islands ensued. Not equipped or trained for open-ocean combat and outgunned, the South Vietnamese ships were forced to withdraw. Trần Khánh Dư was sunk, and the other three South Vietnamese ships all suffered damage, Lý Thường Kiệt being one of the most heavily damaged ships; Chinese losses were more difficult to ascertain, but certainly most or all of the Chinese ships suffered damage and one or two may have sunk.

The Chinese seized the islands the next day, and they have remained under Chinese control ever since.

Flight to the PhilippinesEdit

When South Vietnam collapsed at the end of the Vietnam War in late April 1975, Lý Thường Kiệt became a ship without a country. She fled to Subic Bay in the Philippines, packed with South Vietnamese refugees. On 22 May 1975 and 23 May 1975, a U.S. Coast Guard team inspected Lý Thường Kiệt and five of her sister ships, which also had fled to the Philippines in April 1975. One of the inspectors noted: “These vessels brought in several hundred refugees and are generally rat-infested. They are in a filthy, deplorable condition. Below decks generally would compare with a garbage scow.”[5]

After Lý Thường Kiệt had been cleaned and repaired, the United States formally transferred her to the Republic of the Philippines on 5 April 1976.

Philippine Navy service 1976–1985Edit

The ship was commissioned into the Philippine Navy as frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio (PF-7)[6] on 5 April 1976. She was decommissioned in June 1985,[7] although she was still listed as active as of June 1993. She was decommissioned at around 1993-1994, and sold for scrapping in 2003.

NotesEdit

  1. Sources do not specify which ships of the class mounted mortars or how many they mounted; see Jane's Fighting Ships 1973-1974, p. 592.
  2. An alternative spelling encountered widely among this article's sources is Ly Thoung Kiet.
  3. This article assumes that the authoritative Jane's Fighting Ships 1973-1974, p. 592, is correct about the ship's lineage (i.e., that she was the former USS Chincoteague (AVP-24) and USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375/WHEC-375) and was designated HQ-16 in South Vietnamese service. However, extensive confusion exists on these points in print and on the Web. The Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images entry for Chincoteague (see http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-c/avp24.htm) and the United States Coast Guard Historian's Office (see http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Chincoteague1949.asp) both agree that Ly Thuong Kiet was the former Chincoteague, but neither site mentions her South Vietnamese "HQ" designation. NavSource.org in its entry on Chincoteague (see http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/43/4324.htm) states in the ship's history that Chincoteague instead became the South Vietnamese ship RVNS Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05), but in photo captions posted below that in the Chincoteague entry states that Chincoteague became both Ly Thuong Kiet (HQ-16) and Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05). (Meanwhile, NavSource.org's entry for USS Castle Rock (AVP-35) and USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383/WHEC-383) (see http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/43/4335.htm) states that it was also Castle Rock that became Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05)). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1982 Part II: The Warsaw Pact and Non-Aligned Nations, p. 369, agrees with Jane's that Ly Thuong Kiet was the former Chincoteague, but also states that Ly Thuong Kiet's designation in South Vietnamese service was HQ-05, a designation that Jane's, p. 592, and NavSource.org (in both its Chincoteague and Castle Rock entries) state was the designation for Tran Binh Trong. To complete the confusion, the Inventory of VNN's Battle Ships Part 1 (see Part 1 at http://www.vnafmamn.com/VNNavy_inventory.html) claims that Chincoteague became Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05) and in its Part 2 (see Part 2 at http://www.vnafmamn.com/VNNavy_inventory2.html) contradicts all the other sources by stating that it was yet another ship, USS Bering Strait (AVP-34)/USCGC Bering Strait (WAVP-382/WHEC-382), that became Ly Thuong Kiet (HQ-16). The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for Chincoteague (see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/c8/chincoteague.htm) apparently was written before the ship was transferred to South Vietnam and has not been updated, and therefore makes no mention at all of her South Vietnamese service.
  4. Per Janes's Fighting Ships 1973-1974, p. 592, "HQ" is an abbreviation for "Hai Quan", Vietnamese for "Navy", used for all Republic of Vietnam Navy ships.
  5. This quote, from the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office at http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/McCulloch_1946.pdf, is unattributed.
  6. This article assumes that the authoritative Jane's Fighting Ships 1980-81, p. 370, is correct about the lineage of Andres Bonifacio (i.e., that she was the former USS Chincoteague (AVP-24), USCGC Chincoteague (WAVP-375/WHEC-375), and RVNS Ly Thuong Kiet (HQ-16). However, just as with her lineage as an American and then South Vietnamese ship, extensive confusion exists in print and on the Web about her lineage as a Philippine Navy ship. The Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images entry for Chincoteague (see http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-c/avp24.htm), the United States Coast Guard Historian's Office (see http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Chincoteague1949.asp), and Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1982 Part II: The Warsaw Pact and Non-Aligned Nations, p. 356, all agree that Andres Bonifacio was the former Ly Thuong Kiet and Chincoteague. However, NavSource.org in its entry on Chincoteague (see http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/43/4324.htm) states in the ship's history that Chincoteague instead became the South Vietnamese ship RVNS Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05) and that Tran Binh Trong became Andres Bonifacio, although in photo captions posted below that in the Chincoteague entry it also states that Chincoteague became both Ly Thuong Kiet (HQ-16) and Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05), raising the possibility that either Tran Binh Trong or Ly Thuong Kiet became Andres Bonifacio. (Meanwhile, NavSource.org's entry for USS Castle Rock (AVP-35) and USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383/WHEC-383) (see http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/43/4335.htm) states that Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05) instead became the Philippine Navy frigate BRP Francisco Dagohoy (PF-10)). Adding to the confusion, the Inventory of VNN's Battle Ships Part 1 (see Part 1 at http://www.vnafmamn.com/VNNavy_inventory.html) claims that Tran Binh Trong became Andres Bonifacio and in its Part 2 (see Part 2 at http://www.vnafmamn.com/VNNavy_inventory2.html) contradicts all the other sources by stating that Ly Thuong Kiet became yet another Philippine Navy ship, BRP Diego Silang (PF-9). The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships in its entry for USS Bering Strait (AVP-34) (see http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b5/bering-strait-i.htm) states that Diego Silang was the former Tran Binh Trong.
  7. Per NavSource Online at http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/43/4324.htm.

ReferencesEdit


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.