458th Sea Tigers

Dedicated to the  458th Transportation Company

 The 458th Was and Still is The ONE and Only Army Unit to have the Navy River Patrol Boat as Standard Equipment in Vietnam.

The PBR was first used by the Navy to patrol the inland rivers and coastlines of South Vietnam. This boat proved to be very effective in its use. Navy forces carried the fight to the enemy in places that had offered them sanctuary for years; due in large part to the PBR as a effective weapon.

The 458th was formed as an amphibian truck (DUKW) company in 1943. The Unit participated in the Normandy Invasion with campaigns in Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe.       

We are very proud to welcome our newest member, Richard Leibel. Richard, now age 90, drove a DUKW ashore during the D day landing. (PHOTO'S) We are in the process of obtaining Richards story, what is known at this time was that he was involved in transporting troops across a river under enemy fire for which he received a citation. 

The 458th  went to Vietnam (late 1966) as a (LARC-5) Transportation Company to help fulfill the difficult task of helping unload 20.9 million measurement tons of ships cargo to the beaches of South Vietnam. As the weeks and days went by two factors developed that changed the 458th from cargo handlers to warriors. As the stockpiles of cargo grew the resistance from the Viet Cong grew. Beach and ship security had to be improved, 50 cal machine guns were mounted on a few Larcs, instead of unloading cargo these Larcs started providing water borne security day and night. To meet the growing security requirements in August of 1967, the 458th was issued five Boston Whalers.

During this time period, the unloading of ships cargo was improving. Docks were built, barges carried tractor-trailer units to the ships, the full might of our military was being felt.

The 458th was issued five Boston Whalers to help meet growing security requirements. During this same time the Navy was using a new boat, the (PBR) "river patrol boat" to patrol the inland rivers and coastlines of South Vietnam. The PBR had quickly proved to be a effective tool in denying the Viet Cong the sanctuary of inland streams and rivers that they had enjoyed for years.

In Aug. 1967, the 458th was notified that it would be trading its LARC-5s for the River Patrol Boat. A vanguard of twenty four men were sent to Nha Bey to receive training from the Navy on PBR operations.

The 458th was renamed "The 458th Transportation Company (PBR)" and assigned to the 18th MP Brigade. To say the next few months were hectic for the 458th would be a gross understatement. Old equipment was being turned in; new PBRs were arriving; school trained PBR crews were arriving; areas of operation were being assigned; and many of the original 458th officers and enlisted men had or were rotating back to the states. The areas of operation were broken down into six locations: Newport, Cat Lo, Cat Lai, Vung Ro Bay, Qui Nhon, and Vung Tau. The 458th PBRs were detached to the local Provost Marshals at these locations.

As I said before the 458th was a bastard unit ( no parents ). It was formed at the stroke of a pen, issued its gear and left on its own. Being a bastard unit was not all bad, mostly you were left alone by rear echelon nitwits. It didn't even have a authorized unit patch.

As it was attached to the 18th MP Brigade, the MP patch was modified and claimed as a unauthorized patch. Below the 18th MP Brigade Patch are 5 samples of patches made and worn by various 458th detachments.

And out of the past came... Pete McGuirk has sent in a few photos of what has to be the one of the better looking MK 2s in existence today. The original engines and pumps have been removed and a late model inboard-outboard has been installed.

July 2006 members of the 458th Transportation Company  formed a orgaization named "458th Sea Tigers." Officers were elected and the domain name "458th Sea Tigers.com" was registered.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  This website is not officially recognized, endorsed or supported by anyone except it's members.

This site established Dec 1996 and is owned by the members of 458th Sea Tiger Association and as such all material on this site submitted by its members is protected by Copyright.

The 458th Sea Tigers Association may lease the rights to make reproduction patches from copyright protected images to interested parties. for more information contact  .

Original Content by Lee Helle, proof editing by Terry Romine

 

 

 

 

 

 


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