First in the series of U.S. Navy NASTY Class Patrol Torpedo Fast boats, PTF 3 marked the return of the wooden PT Boats to the U.S. Navy. Commissioned in 1963, PTF 3 was sent to South-east Asia in the fall of 1963 as a "Spook Boat" operated by MAC V SOG, Maritime Special Operations, PTF 3 along with 5 other PTF boats began raids against North Vietnam by attacking shore installations and inserting special operations teams.
Sea - Military - Surface Warfare
It was during a series of raids from 31 July to 4 August 1964 on Hon Mei Island in North Vietnam that the North Vietnamese counter attacked the PTF Boats with their torpedo boats, chasing the PTF Boats away from the coast and into the path of two U.S. Navy Destroyers the U.S.S. Maddox and the U.S.S. Turner Joy. The ensuing naval battle is known to history as the Tonkin Gulf Incident.
Within a week President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the Incident to the American People as an unprovoked attack of U.S. Naval Ships on the High Seas. The Congress of the United States passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, authorizing President Johnson to escalate, what had been a civil war in Southeast Asia into the Vietnam War of 1964-1975.