Bill Lescher

Keeping the peace was a big job for the U.S. Navy during the Cold War. They did many different things, like blockade the ports of North Vietnam, the "Tanker War," and Operation Koh Tang.

During the Cold War, the U.S. Navy stopped North Korea from getting to the port of Wonsan. The North Korean Navy couldn't use the port during this siege, which lasted 861 days. It lasted longer than any other naval blockade in recent times.

At dawn on January 1, 1951, enemy forces attacked. After the stubborn defence, a task force made up of units that helped the 24th Division had to pull back. A North Korean division with 30 tanks joined the enemy and made them stronger. To stop U.N. patrols, the enemy also used artillery fire.

The enemy attacked the U.N. position at Chip'yong-ni during the attack. The enemy then moved south along the Changjin Reservoir and attacked the first Marine Division. By May, the enemy's attack was getting worse. Far to the south, the enemy also attacked.

The enemy's counterattack was stopped quickly, but many people were killed. The enemy then attacked the outpost line of the Eighth Army again. Along the west coast, the enemy also attacked. On the sea, there were several fights with Communist naval forces.

Marines and Air Force helicopters landed on Koh Tang in the Gulf of Thailand during the Cold War. Dozens of Americans were killed during the 14-hour operation. Three Marines were killed because the Khmer Rouge left them on the island by mistake. 54 Americans were split into two groups during the attack.

As soon as the Marines got to Koh Tang, they ran into a lot of trouble. They were told that 20 to 40 old farmers and fishermen lived on the island. They were told that the first wave would come after an attack on the island's defences before the main attack.

But mechanical problems made it take longer for the second wave of Marines to arrive. The third wave didn't happen. About half of the Marines who were supposed to be in the third wave were not there. While waiting for the helicopters to arrive, the Marines had to fight through a lot of trouble.

As the helicopters got closer to the island, a large group of Khmer soldiers opened fire on them. Three of the eight assault helicopters that were used at first were destroyed. Two more were very badly hurt.

During the Cold War, the U.S. Navy could block North Vietnam's ports by dropping mines from the air. The goal of these attacks was to get the North Vietnamese to give up their plans to invade the south and instead agree to a diplomatic solution. There were a lot of effects from the campaign.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the U.S. Navy's Air Force TACAIR (Tactical Air Command) was sent to Southeast Asia to fight enemy forces from the air. Air Force tactical air units from Korea and the United States joined these air power assets.

The most important goal of the Rolling Thunder attack was to show the North Vietnamese that the United States cared about South Vietnam. This was even more important after the South Vietnamese military made big gains and the Viet Cong lost ground.

The Navy ship Coral Sea put 36 Mark 52 mines, every 1,000 pounds, in the water near Haiphong. As part of the Paris agreement, which called for removing mines in the area, these mines had to be destroyed.

In the late 1980s, the United States was a major player in the "Tanker War." Attacks were made on ships carrying goods in the Persian Gulf.

During the war, Iran and Iraq tried to attack ships from the U.S. and other Gulf states. Several Gulf states thought they could be attacked by Iran at the time, so the Soviet Union sent several Soviet tankers to Kuwait in early 1987.

The U.S. Navy helped tankers get through the Strait of Hormuz as part of the tanker war. It also worked to get rid of mines in the Gulf. In the summer of 1987, the Navy began using helicopters to clear mines.

Each side spent billions of dollars on the war, which went on for eight years. In the end, in 1988, the U.S. forced Iran to end the war. But the war made people worry about a new tanker war, which would be harder.

The U.S. Navy accompanied tankers in the Gulf of Mexico and the Strait of Hormuz. They also helped clear mines that Iran had put in the water. In July 1987, the Navy began to protect Kuwaiti tankers that had changed their flags. This kept Iran from attacking.

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