2017 Reunion Location: Galveston, TXOctober 24-27, 2017


John WingfieldSeptember 16, 2013 at 4:51 amReply


I am a state service officer with the Veterans of Foreign Wars seeking information regarding the Vietnam service of the U.S.S. Small. I am checking specifically to see if the Small served in the areas of Vietnam that qualified as “Brown Water” with regard to an Agent Orange exposure claim from one of your shipmates.

Currently, the listing of ships that are shown to have been exposed to possible Agent Orange, dated July 2013, does not list your ship.

I would like to be able to substantiate, if at all possible, the link between your ships service in Vietnam with this veterans claim for Agent Orange exposure. If any one could assist me with this endeavor, I would be greatly appreciative and I am sure that your shipmate would be also. However, that also being said, if there is no brown-water service while your ship was stationed in Vietnam, I would like to know that also.

John Wingfield
Kentucky VFW State Service Office
(502) 566-4422

Tony ElliottDecember 17, 2013 at 3:50 pmReply


I am the State of Hawaii VSO for the island of Kauai and am seeking the same info. My Vet passed away in Jun 2013 while awaiting a VA decision on his claim for s/c IHD. His widow filed for Survivor’s Benefits, but was denied due to lack of evidence of Vietnam Service. His total active U.S. Navy Service was from 08/1969 – 11/1970. Were you able to locate any information? Thanks, Tony Elliott

Vernon McKinleyJuly 3, 2014 at 9:35 pmReply

My name is Vernon McKinley, I served aboard the Small from 1965 thru 1969. We did indeed enter Na Nang harbor on
our first crusie, 66/67. We took on fuel, movies and supplies. I left the small as an IC2 after returning form a cruise from Alaska performing watch duty for a under ground atomic test. We were home ported in Hawaii from the time I
boarded in 1965 until I left the ship. We maid two west pac cruises, around 5 and a half months and around 7 months
the second cruise. At the time we entered Na Nang harbor, we also engaged in bomb bardment north and south of Da
Nang harbor. The way I understand the Brown water rule, if your ship entered Da Nang harbor for any reason then you should be included as Brown water Navy.
Best Regards

Vernon McKinley IC2, 1965 thru 1969

Susanne DussmannNovember 4, 2014 at 5:50 pmReply

Hello Mr. McKinley,

I just read your comment and am thrilled that I found you. My husband is William C. Dussmann, he to served 64-66 aboard the “dirty ernie”. We have been trying to locate shipmates with any information about entering brown waters. My husband has terminal cancer and we have opened a claim with the V.A. Our advocate said that if we could find fellow crew who served the same time and can remember entering brown waters this would be greatly helpful to Bill. You seem to recall quite a bit. If you would be so kind as to e-mail me any information especially stating entering for supplies, fuel, etc, we would be forever grateful. If you should know of anyone else that could be of help to us also. Dennis Vinson has been so kind to point me in the right directions, as this is all foreign to me. Again, thank you for your response.
Susanne Dussmann