USS CANON (PG-90) was built by Tacoma Boatbuilding Company of Tacoma, Washington. The keel was laid on 28 June, 1966 and the ship was launched on 10 June, 1967 and commissioned on 26 July, 1968. She was decommissioned at U. S. Naval Station, San Diego, CA. on 31 January, 1977.
CANON was named after two cities, the old mining town of Canon, Colorado, and the city of Canon, Georgia, a small farming town in the states northeastern foothills.
Each command within the U.S. Navy is authorized to display an emblem and motto symbolic of its mission. The officers and men of CANON have selected a crest designed by Miss Arlou M. Hunter of Seattle to carry on this tradition. The oval design is intended to focus on the three symbols therein. The naval cannon represents the firepower and might of this class of gunboat as well as illustrating the ship’s name. The winged Mercury typifies CANON’s speed and flexible maneuverability, and the lightning bolt ties together these two attributes of power and speed. The three cannon balls stacked accessible to the cannon show CANON’s ability for quick reaction and being "at the ready." The encircling design in rope shows that these attributes are working nautically to enforce Naval Seapower. The motto "In Harms Way" is taken from a quote by John Paul Jones to M. de Chaumont on 16 November 1778 when he said "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go In Harm’s Way." CANON was built to be a fast ship, and she stands ready to go In Harm‘s Way to preserve peace in the world.
In company with USS MEEKER COUNTY (LST-980), CANON deployed for the Republic of Viet Nam on 15 June 1971. As on the previous transit of the Pacific, most of the crew's time was spent in the exercise of General Quarters drills, board and search drills, and weapons system drills. CANON chopped to CTF 115 on 24 June and the next day arrived in Cam Rahn Bay for two days of briefing and replenishment. On 28 June, CANON relieved USS READY (PG-87) and commenced Market Time Operations in Area 9B.
From 28 June to 14 July, CANON patrolled its designated area. Ship operations during this period involved the usual Market Time routine of board and search coupled with a few instances of harassment and interdiction gunfire. On 9 July, CANON patrolled the Bo De/Cu Lon Rivers for the first time. Five days later, on 14 July, while on patrol, CANON was ambushed by enemy forces near the mouth of the Bo De River. A rocket hit in the port engine room placed the hydraulic system out of commission, rendering the pitch system inoperative, and CANON drifted aground on the river's right bank. Accomplishing emergency repairs, CANON was dislodged with the assistance of two PCF's and its own starboard shaft and returned to Sea Float. Ordered to Cam Rahn Bay for repairs, CANON proceeded to that port under its own power.
With repairs completed by 27 July, CANON returned to its patrol duties, this time to Market Time Operation Area 8B. Again, routine operations were a matter of course with escort duty serving as a secondary responsibility. On 9 August, CANON returned to the Bo De/Cu Lon Rivers and the next day escorted USS BRULE (AKL-28) to Sea Float. After spending the night as naval gunfire support ship for Sea Float, CANON returned to the river to conduct routine patrol. At 0920 CANON encountered hostile forces for the second time and received fire from both banks of the river. The crew responded quickly and inflicted heavy damage on the enemy, employing both the ship's main armament and small arms fire. This action by the enemy resulted, in part, in the following:
For this action, members of the crew were rewarded for their heroism with three Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars.
If anyone has any additional information about the ship such as, what operations she was involved in while in Vietnam, I know most of the boats that deployed to Southeast Asia were involved in SEAFLOAT and MARKET TIME, please let me know. I would also like to know what awards the ships received ie. MUC, NUC, PUC, Combat Action, Battle "E"... I also know that most of the Guam Boats did Trust Territory Patrols of the Marianas Islands. I have no idea what they did when they were in CONUS. Can anyone provide me any additional information.
Narrative and photos provided by Dave Donaldson.
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Muster list updated by Terry W. McManuels
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