Skunk Alpha
The Saga of Swift Boat PCF-79
Operation Market Time Vietnam

By Raul Herrera

On 15 July 1967, the infamous Batangan Peninsula in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of South Vietnam, plays host to the historic Sa Ky River Victory.  Swift Boat PCF-79 fulfills the mission of Operation MARKET TIME that day.  On a moonless night, a quarter past midnight, the crew of PCF-79 engages a North Vietnamese gunrunner, code-named Skunk Alpha.  A ferocious battle ensues and terminates with the Communist trawler forced aground, depriving the awaiting Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Regulars of its cargo – 90 tons of munitions and supplies.

The Swift Boat picket-line along the 1200-mile coast line remained impenetrable, forcing North Vietnam to expand its Ho Chi Minh Trail campaign.  The U.S. Navy logged its share of Brown Water victories during the Vietnam War.  Little has been said along those lines and none has reached national attention…SKUNK ALPHA will fill that void.

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