Operation Lion's Den
Prior to steaming northward for another
attack on Haiphong Harbor, NEWPORT NEWS refueled from the USS WACCAMAW (AO 109) at
0819 on August 27th. Early in the afternoon, Vice Admiral James L. Holloway III,
COMSEVENTHFLT, arrived onboard by helicopter. With Commander SEVENTH FLEET embarked, the
ship participated in Operation LION'S DEN, a naval gunfire strike against targets in
Haiphong, Do Son Peninsula and Cat Ba Island, with:USS PROVIDENCE (CLG-6), USS ROBISON (DDG-12) and USS ROWAN (DD 782) in company.
Upon commencing retirement after firing at
10 targets, three NVN torpedo boats closed to attack. Initial NEWPORT NEWS' salvos
appeared to damage one torpedo boat which slowed and retired from the action. A second was
sunk, and after NEWPORT NEWS was joined by the DD, the third was damaged and set
afire, and subsequently sunk by tactical aircraft.
During the 33 minute raid 433 8-inch, 532 5-inch and 33
3-inch roundsr were fired. Two secondary explosions had been observed and ammunition was
seen "cooking off" at a coastal defense site. Seventy-five enemy rounds were
counted. Shrapnel was found around some of the weather decks, but damage to the ship was
negligible. VADM Holloway departed by helo at mid-day on the 28th and the NEWPORT NEWS
returned to TU 70.8.9 at 1810. During the fire missions of the day the ship fired 21
5-inch rounds in a single mission. The ship rearmed from the PYRO at 1237.