MRF USS Colleton fatigue shirt
USN issue o.d. sateen fatigue with all original insignia including Vietnamese made Petty Officer chevron and full color USS Colleton shoulder patch.
Colleton (history below) served as a base ship for the Mobile Riverine Forces 'Brown Water Navy' from 1967 to 1969.
The Colleton arrived in Vung Tau, Vietnam on 2 May 1967 for duties in the Mekong Delta under Commander River Assault Flotilla One (also known as Task Force 117 (TF117)). Elements of River Assault Squadron Eleven, and the US Army's 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division embarked on 2 June 1967. During the remainder of the year, operations began taking the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) further west in the Mekong Delta towards Cambodia, creating longer and delayed aeromedical evacuation support for the assault craft and embarked US Army units of the MRF.
It was determined that the MRF needed a larger medical treatment and patient holding capacity and as a result, the Colleton was refitted at U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines, in December 1967 and January 1968. The refit expanded the sick bay facilities from one level to two levels and installed a rampway system connecting the levels. (Levels are "decks" above the main deck.) The O-3 level was the Helicopter deck and litter storage (port side aft of the helo deck). The O-2 level, connected to the helo deck by a ramp, contained a 6-litter triage, X-ray, blood bank and autoclave. Casualties could also be brought onboard using a hoist for patient transfers from small craft. Another ramp lead from the O-2 level to the O-1 level that contained a two-tabled operating room, recovery rooms, medical supply and storage, 18 bed ward, pharmacy and single chair dental clinic. Arriving in South Vietnam just days before the Tet Offensive, the Colleton handled 890 combat casualties from 29 January 1968 – May 1968, admitted 134 patients to the ship's ward, and evacuated 411 after emergency life-saving treatment and stabilization had been received.
Although there were four APB’s assigned to the MRF, only the Colleton was refitted to provide expanded medical treatment and holding capability. Although her medical staff did not consist of a full-time surgeon, the Colleton served in conjunction with other hospital ships serving further off coast including the USS Repose and USS Sanctuary. The USA Colleton was decommissioned December 1969.