"Lou Meier" <>
Agent Orange Update
Sent date:
04/09/2015 09:36:41 AM
"Sam Villa"<>
"Steve Amos" <>

Sam -
I have an update on your AO article.  Back in 2011 Steve Amos (LT) reached out to me asking if I could help him verify that the Providence was in Cam Ranh Bay in 1968.  Steve Amos has a picture taken in  Cam Ranh Bay.  He was doing this on behalf of a sailor who had contracted cancer.  Steve knows more about the outcome of this case.  I am copying Steve so you can get more details from Him and publish them in the next USS Providence Assn. newsletter.   I am attaching a letter I wrote to Steve in his attempt to help this sailor and his family recover benefits from the VA.
I hope this can help some of our shipmates.
Best Regards,
Lou Meier


the letter follows:


To whom it may concern:
I reported onboard the USS Providence CLG-6 on August 4, 1968.  As a newly commissioned Ensign, I was assigned to Third Division as Junior Division Offices serving under Lt(jg) Dave Ward.   The ship got underway from Yokosuka, Japan on August 8, 1968 bound for Viet Nam. 

As a Weapons Department officer I was assigned to the gun director for the 5” mount where I was trained by Lt(jg) Atkins.  This was the highest manned position on the ship, and from it I had a panoramic view of our surroundings while on duty.  During most days the USS Providence was engaged in close naval gunfire support directed by “in country” spotters near, or North of the NMZ.   For this reason, we usually stationed the ship from 1,000 to 2,000 yards off shore.   In more than one occasion I visually directed the 5” guns against land based targets.  The ship spent most nights in Danang Harbor firing “Harassment and Interdiction” salvos at known infiltration routes. 

Offshore breezes routinely brought smells from the shore to our ship.  I remember Seaman Gary Anderson as a quiet, hard working sailor assigned to 3rd Division.   As a deck division, all the work assignments for 3rd Division sailors were topside. So it is very likely that all the sailors assigned to 3rd Division were exposed to the airborne defoliant, Agent Orange during our multiple visits to the “Gun Line” as we called it.

As a shipboard naval officer I never expected to go ashore in Viet Nam.  However, on my first trip to Viet Nam (August – September) of 1968 the USS Providence anchored off Cam Ronh Bay and we took liberty on the base there.  As proof of this visit, I testify that I recognize the picture of fellow Weapons Department officers, Lt(Jg) Steve Amos and Lt(Jg) John Atkins.  The picture was definitely taken at Cam Ronh Bay in August or September of 1968. 

Third Division was responsible to one of the ship’s 40’ Utility Boats.  They were lowered in Cam Ronh Bay and used as liberty boats to ferry the crew beck and forth to shore.  I cannot testify to a specific recollection of seeing SN Anderson on shore in Cam Ronh Bay.  However, the likelihood if Anderson having been “in country” during the USS Providence’s stop in Cam Ronh Bay is a virtual certainty.  If he was off duty, he would not have passed up a chance to get off the ship enjoy what the base had to offer.  If on duty, as a coxswain for the 3rd Division Utility Boat he would have been ferrying the ship’s company back and forth to shore.  

I testify this 28th day August, 2011, that the above account is true and accurate to the very best of my recollection.


Louis R. Meier, Jr.
Service Number 737058, SSN 455 72 2212


"Steve Amos" <>
CRB Visit 18Aug1968
Sent date:
04/10/2015 09:13:22 AM
"Lou Meier"<>, <>
Hello Lou and Sam, The C7F/Providence visit to Cam Rahn Bay occurred on 18 August  1968 (email from Chief Radioman Paul Dillon also attached) and has been verified by the VA. I sent the VA the attached picture of John Atkins and myself as proof of our visit and several other officers including Lou, Larry Serra, Larry Ziegler, Jim Koemel, Jim Lowe, Dave Ward, and Harry Bennert have verified the picture and the location. If any Providence shipmates are applying for benefits due to agent orange exposure there is clear evidence that this visit to CRB will meet verification requirements. let me know if you need additional info. Thanks, Steve Amos


Privateer in June-September 1972

Click here for Command History of 1972


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