SEA TIGERS OF VUNG RO BAY
US Army 458th Transportation Co.
US Army 18th Military Police Brigade
During the Vietnam War the United States Military employed heavily-armed high-speed gunboats to intercept and disrupt enemy travel on the rivers and bays of South Vietnam. While the US Navy operated over 250 of these specialized watercraft, the US Army had less than 40.
Vung Ro Bay was one of nine outposts of the US Army 458th Transportation Company (PBR)
The United States Army closed Vung Ro Bay in November of 1970. Most units and personnel were transferred to Qui Nhon, the majority by truck convoy. Some of the 458th Transportation Co. and 127th M.P. Co. personnel who were assigned to the PBR's took them by water to Qui Nhon.
Vung Ro was largley forgotten until 1979 when a farmer named Chau Dinh Khang brought his family of 13 and began farming in the area.
Today, there are about 200 families living in Vung Ro. Most moved there in the early 1990's when a lobster breeding program was introduced to the bay. The entire north end of Ving Ro bay was devoted to lobster breeding as the environment provided good conditions for the growth of the profitable crustaceans. The boom was short-lived, however, as the industry collapsed due to environmental degradation due to poor planning.
The Delong Pier has been replaced by a shorter, wider pier that can accommodate up to 4 ships at a time, while the PBR area has been transformed into a storage facility for fishing nets and equipment. The PBR beach is gone, having been replaced by a concrete area with a bulkhead.
There is now a road going from Vung Ro all the way around to the the cove area, or Echo Beach. The road continues over the small mountain at Echo Beach and on to Tuy Hoa.
Today, Vung Ro Bay is considered one of the most appealing bay areas in the coastal region of Vietnam. In 2007, the Vietnamese government authorized an ambitious project to build an oil refinery and seaport in Vung Ro.
The Vung Ro Refinery was constructed at the south end of the bay and has an annual capacity of 4 million tons, with the ability to increase production to 8 million tons per year. The refinery operates 337 days a year
It is interesting that the board of directors of Vung Ro Petroleum appear to be all Soviets: Korolev Kirill (CEO), Buzov Alexander, Karataiev Vladimir, Pastuhov Nikolay, and Umarov Rezvan.
Vung Ro is planned to become an important deep water port with terminals for LNG tankers, oil tankers, and general cargo piers.