1970 HUMPHREY LARRY D.
[ESCAPED CUSTODY TO JOIN VC COLUMBIA EAGLE MUTINEER USA TODAY STORY 20 FEB 86]
Well my curiosity was peeked as I'd not heard of anything about this, so...
Page 58 from the BOOK My war with The CIA
two U S sailors 'mutinied' and imprisoned the whole crew. Shades of Captain
Bligh and the Bounol Ostensibly these men were war protestors who sailed the
Columbia Eagle into sihanoukville harbor because they objected to carrying
napalm bombs to Bangkok. It so happened that some French secondary-school
teachers at Sihanoukville took photos of the 'hijacked' ship when it
arrived, and again when it left. They noted that it had been very low in
the water on arrival, and very high on departure.
And, after dark on the day when the Columbia Eagle dropped anchor, the
Sihanoukville-Phnom Penh road was suddenly closed to civilian traffic -
something without precedent - and convoys of GM C military trucks from the
Sihanoukville docks passed along the road to Phnom Penh until the next
morning. On the day of the coup, Western correspondents noted that the
troops massed outside the national Assembly were armed with brand-new, Mi6
rifles, weapons our army did not possess. It seems the Columbia Eagle was
one of the C I A's responses to Lon Nol's request, delivered via Son Ngoc
Thanh, to help in case of a'Vietcong' coun ter-attack. What they really
feared was the response of the Cambodian people.
While it is conceivable that Lon Nol and Sirik Matak were too dense to
foresee the dire consequences of their actions (their main concern being to
get their hands on as many dollars as possible), the United States,
consciously and deliberately, exported the war in South Vietnam to
Cambodia. -They made their usual miscalculations, however, as to the
In March 1970 the SS Columbia Eagle was seized by mutineers, the crew set adrift, and the ship taken into Cambodia. Mellon and Chase resolved the situation, and Chase transported the shipless crew home. The Coast Guard cutters remained in the Gulf of Thailand and gathered considerable knowledge about the area which they passed on to arriving Navy ships. As the cutters normally returned to the area after an R & R port, they frequently took in-country personnel with them on these port visits which proved to be a tremendous morale booster for the in-country troops. Vietnamese naval personnel were also taken along, and on some trips it was standing room only. http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/h_tulichvietnam.html
I've been doing some reading up on the political background to the
Vietnam War, and came across a footnote mention of an American munitions
ship, "Columbia Eagle", which was "hijacked by two American hippies" and
taken to Cambodia (the book is Sideshow, by William Shawcross, if
anyone's interested). http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=Kv9SeMAij8R3EwO9%40rat-cage.demon.co.uk&output=gplain
Gotta love google!
Thanks Valin. Learned something new today. Never heard of this incident.