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Bridge Ramp Rocket Attack February 1969

This is a copy of the memorial service program for the men killed during
a rocket attack on Bridge Ramp on February 27, 1969. Tom Dye attended
this memorial, and provided this information. Tom has contacted most of the
relatives of these men that were lost in this attack.
Thank you Tom for sharing this with us.


**IN MEMORIAM**
I am the resurrection and the Life, he that believeth
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever believeth in me, shall never die.

ORDER OF WORSHIP FOR SERVICE

PRELUDE III Marine Amphibious Force Drum and Bugle Corps
* POSTING OF COLORS Camp Tien Sha Security Department
*THE NATIONAL ANTHEM III Marine Amphibious Force Drum and Bugle Corps
*INVOCATION Father Doyle
*OPENING HYMN no. 301 "Once To Every Man And Nation"
** PRAYER FOR THE NAVY Chaplain Young
RESPONSIVE READING no. 535
*THE DECLARATION OF FAITH no. 77
READING FROM THE HOLY
SRIPTURE OFFERTORY
III Marine Amphibious Force Drum and Bugle Corps
MESSAGE BY THE HARBOR CHAPLAIN
PRAYER FOR DEPARTED SHIPMATES
Chaplain Young
*CLOSING HYMN no. 400
"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
*BENEDICTION
LIEUTENANT SEGAL
*TAPS Bugler
*TWENTY ONE GUN SALUTE Camp Tien Sha Security Department
*POSTLUDE III Marine Amphibious Force Drum and Bugle Corps
*
Congrigation Standing
**
Congrigation May Be Seated

*YFU - 78*
QM1  MILTON SHAPIRO
EM1  EARL THOMAS MOORE
EM2  LYLE DAVID ZACHER
CS2  CHARLIE MELVIN ELLISON
BM3  DANKEL  LEE OVERRIGHT
QM3  EARNEST JACK BUCKELEW
SN  MELVIN LEWIS SELLERS
*LCU - 1500*
BMC   DONALD JAY FISHER
EN1  BERT ELLIS BURTEN
EM1   CECIL FLOYD BUSH
CS2  MARVIN DOUGLAS AVERY
BM2  DAVID WILLIAM HAWRYSHKO
BM3  RONAL PETER YUHAS
BMS  DONALD MALLALY HORTON
CMG3  RONALD JACKSON QEBBIE
SN   CRAIG EVERETT SWAGLER
SN   BRUNO WALTER DEMATA
FN   CHARLES ALBERT TAVARAS
FN   JOSEPH FRANK BURINDA
*BRIDGE RAMP*
BM1   MANUAL MARTINEZ
SKSN   THEODORE SPENCE HAMMER, III
SN   THOMAS EDWARD ADAMS
Update  9/6/01 
Info.  photos supplied by Stanley Houlberg Jr
 
Hello, I accidentally stumbled into it when I  typed YFU 78 into a search engine.  If you type YFU 74 into dogpile, you may find it taking you to The African American Veterans web page where there is a   picture of Ed Head, my then Craftmaster on the 74. I was the Quartermaster on the YFU 74 from July 68 through July 69 and  relieved Milton Shapiro on the 74 when he became the Craftmaster of the 78.  The afternoon of Feb 27 '69 Milton Shiparo offered to take the load of ammo  we were scheduled to pick up at Bridge Ramp.  Our Enginemen were just  finishing up repairs on a steering motor on board our boat, which prevented  us from sailing over to bridge ramp to have the ammo loaded so we could set  sail later that evening.  Because of Milton's volunteering for that load I am  still here.  I would have been in the pilot house at the time of the attack,  preparing for my mid-watch and leaving port.  The attack happened just after  2300 and the fire and explosions lasted close to midnight.  I watched it from  the Lighterage dock, where all the LCU's and YFU's tied up between trips.  I  believe only three men on the 78 survived.  They had just returned from the  EM club at Camp Tien Sha and were in the boat's galley when the attack  happened.  As I was told, there were three rockets fired at the boats.  The  first landed alongside the warehouses along the North side of the ramp,  second landed just behind both the 1500 and 78.  A crew member on my boat,  the 74, told us he heard the man on watch in the pilot house of the 78 asking  the HQ at Lighterage for permission to leave the loading area. That must  have been just before the third rocket hit the 1500 and both boats went up.  Black powder and projectiles were our usual load whenever we loaded up at  bridge ramp and the 78 probably had over 300 tons on board.  The 1500  probably had over 200 tons.  I didn't see the initial explosion, but I felt  it from at least two miles away.  By the time I made it
up into our pilot  house the bridge ramp area was still exploding. My middle daughter, Katie went to Washington D.C. in 1998 for a high school  Outreach trip.  She went to the Wall for me to look up Milton Shapiro's name.  She took a shading and when she brought it home to me and placed it in my hand I had a strange feeling and chills.  Later that evening I looked up Milton's name on the Vietnam Veterans Causality List web site and discovered  that Katie had taken Milton's shading exactly 29 years to the day of the attack. In my prayers I often remember Milton and the others who took my place that  night.  Thanks to their unselfish heroism I have enjoyed a wonderful life and  have a wonderful family. 
Thank you for this memorial to the YFU 78 and the LCU 1500.
They were all  good sailors and fine men.
God Bless our Vietnam Veteran Heroes!
Sincerely,
Stanley Houlberg Jr.  QM3


The pile of metal that you see to the left of the 78's bow was all that was left
of the 1500's hull.  A friend of mine back then was on an LCU 1600 class boat,
several hundred feet behind both boats, tied up alongside a pier next to where
the wharehouses were.  One of the 78's 50 cal machine guns landed in their boat.
Milton Sharpiro

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