Raúl is a decorated Vietnam War Navy veteran who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He served on Swift Boats, PCF-79, in Operation Market Time (Task Force 115), 1967-68.
Via a Power Point presentation, he shares an eyewitness account of the capture of a 120-foot North Vietnamese steel-hulled resupply trawler, carrying more than 90 tons of weapons, ammunition, and explosives to an awaiting contingency of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops at the mouth of the Sa Ky river on the Batangan Peninsula in Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam on July 15, 1967.
Operation Market Time was the U.S. Navy’s picket line of defense along the 1200-miles of coastline. The Vung Ro Incident was the catalyst that brought about the coastal surveillance force concept. It was a chance discovery of a steel-hulled trawler, camouflaged with potted palm trees and shrubs, in a well-hidden bay that gave birth to the pudgy grey ghosts of the Vietnam Coast – Swift Boats.
Herrera speaks from firsthand combat experience. He knows Swift Boat history well, from the government’s authorization and procurement of 104 Mark I PCFs (Patrol Craft Fast); the manufacturing of these tiny man o’ war by Sewart Seacraft of Berwick, Louisiana; to the establishment of Coastal Squadron One and its six coastal divisions and the trans-Pacific delivery of these fighting patrol craft.
He is experienced in speaking before a camera, two television interviews, and four oral history tapings. Five radio stations in Houston have aired his interviews as well. His membership with the Sugar Land Toastmasters enables him to maintain professional public speaking skills.
Raúl retired from Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation where he was a computer design technician. He and his wife, Luz Analida, live in Richmond, Texas.