5/8/1964: celebrate the day of our navys golden victory

Most agree the infamous and much disputed 'Gulf of Tonkin' incident was used as a pretext by President Lyndon B Johnson in August 1964 to trigger a major escalation in hostilities between the US and North Vietnam. In turn, this led to an open conflict, yet one that always, under the US Constitution, remained an undeclared war.

Much has been written about the polemic ridden incidents that occurred when the destroyer, USS Maddox, may or may not have been fired upon by North Vietnamese vessels, either in, or not in, North Vietnamese territorial waters.

Recently released classified Johnson era - Whitehouse recordings say that the USS Maddox was engaged in direct support of Southern incursions into North Vietnam as part of the covert operation '34 Plan A'. It has been commented upon by various researchers of the incident that it was 'no surprise that the Vietnamese opened fire'.

The events of August 1964 are reflected in the images above and below as Northern victories over US aggression in circumstances still hotly disputed. Although there was a relatively limited action at sea during the Vietnam - American war, guarding the long coastline of North Vietnam was an essential priority for the North Vietnamese Government in order to prevent the highly classified operations being orchestrated by the US. These operations usually involved raids conducted against the North, by US