USS Newport News CA-148

"Through The Years 1949-1975"



Operation Lion's Den

Attack on Haiphong Harbor

Operation Lion's Den

"Operation Lion's Den"
This outstanding addition to our history was given to us by
Captain Charles Farnham then Flag Officer USS PROVIDENCE (CLG-6)

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.