Dispatches - News from the National Musuem of Military Vehciles

Published 2023-05-05

A rare Strike Assault Boat (STAB) in the Vietnam War Gallery. This is one of only 22 STABs manufactured by Grafton Boat Company in 1969.

By Staff

Rare Strike Assault Boat (STAB) added to Vietnam Gallery

Check out our new STAB! We've just added a rare Strike Assault Boat (STAB) to the Brown Water Navy section of our Vietnam War Gallery. This is one of only 22 STABs manufactured by Grafton Boat Company in 1969.

The Vietnam War was a challenging time in American history, where the US military faced unique and complex obstacles in the form of guerrilla warfare and insurgency tactics. To combat the enemy's tactics, the US Navy created the Brown Water Navy - a specialized fleet of riverine forces that operated in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. One of the most remarkable assets in this fleet was the Strike Assault Boat (STAB).

The STAB was an innovative boat that was specifically designed for high-speed strikes in areas that were inaccessible by other riverine vessels like the Patrol Boat Riverine (PBR). The Grafton Boat Company manufactured only 22 STABs in 1969, making them one of the rarest boats used by the US Navy during the Vietnam War.

One of the most impressive features of the STAB was its speed. It could go from dead-in-the-water to 40 knots in just 15 seconds, making it one of the fastest boats in the Brown Water Navy. This speed was essential in conducting surprise attacks on enemy forces, where the element of surprise was critical to success.

In addition to its speed, the STAB was also highly maneuverable, silent, and had a shallow draft. Its low silhouette and armor made it difficult for the enemy to detect and engage, and it was also capable of being transported by helicopter, allowing for rapid deployment to different areas of operation.

STABs were operated by STABRON 20 in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam in 1970 as part of the larger Operation Game Warden. This operation aimed to deny the enemy use of the rivers and canals that were essential for their logistics and transportation. STABs were used in conjunction with other Brown Water Navy assets like PBRs and monitors to conduct patrols, interdict supply routes, and perform reconnaissance.

The addition of a STAB to our General Lewis "Chesty" Puller Gallery (our Korean War and Vietnam War Gallery) is a significant event. It provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about one of the most innovative and unique boats used by the US Navy during the Vietnam War. This boat's history is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Brown Water Navy in adapting to the unique challenges of riverine warfare.

The STAB's inclusion in the gallery also highlights the importance of preserving and showcasing historical artifacts. The boat is a tangible representation of the sacrifices and bravery of the soldiers who operated it and the many other vessels used in the Brown Water Navy. It provides a glimpse into the past, reminding us of the challenges faced by the military during the Vietnam War and the innovation required to overcome them.

Overall, the STAB is an excellent addition to the Vietnam War Gallery. It is a rare and unique artifact that provides valuable insights into the Brown Water Navy's operations during the Vietnam War. By preserving and showcasing historical artifacts like the STAB, we can ensure that future generations understand the complexities and challenges of riverine warfare and the bravery of the soldiers who served in the Brown Water Navy.

Regardless of whether you are visiting Jackson Hole, other places in Wyoming or Yellowstone National Park, we would love to see you at the National Museum of Military Vehicles in Dubois. Our museum is rated as one of the top military history museums in the world. Come check out our STAB and the rest of our 500 fully restored military vehicles, including tanks!