Everett Charles of Vizcaya Lakes mobile home park in El Jobean skippered a PBR (Patrol Boat River) craft that prowled the Upper Saigon River hunting for North Vietnam Army regulars and Vietcong irregulars moving enemy supplies into South Vietnam. He made 216 combat patrols as captain, plus an additional 89 patrols into enemy territory as an adviser aboard South Vietnamese gun boats during the three years he served over there from 1969 to 1972.
The firefight Charles recalls most vividly happened in January 1970, while he was skippering a PBR on the Upper Saigon. Three PBRs left their Bhu Cong base camp for a five-day combat incursion up the river. These boats were heavily armed with multiple .30- and .50-caliber machine guns and five different kinds of grenades. They could reach speeds of 36 knots, run in 6 inches of water and turn on a dime.
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