First airing on Discovery’s Military Channel, Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, tells the story of how the United States Coast Guard took on a little-known, but highly significant combat role in the Vietnam War. Trained for domestic life-saving and port protection, they were repurposed into a fighting force and sent 10,000 miles from American shores.
In Vietnam, the Coast Guard proved an effective tool for every branch of the U.S. military, on water, land and in the air. They worked side by side with the Navy in Operation Market Time, helping to stop the flow of arms by sea to the Viet Cong and providing gunfire support to ground troops including Marines and Special Forces. They flew with the famed Jolly Green Giants to rescue downed pilots behind enemy lines. Working with the Army, they supervised the unloading of explosives and secured the ports, and also headed up a top secret mission to build a strategic navigation system for the Air Force. 8000 Coast Guardsmen served in Southeast Asia and seven lost their lives.
This program features some of the most dangerous untold stories of the United States Coast Guard with rare footage and personal accounts from Coast Guard veterans who were there.