The Mayaguez incident is no more than a footnote in most histories of the period. The ship, crew and men who carried out the rescue deserve better than that. At a time when its resolve was in doubt, the U.S. showed the world that it would pay whatever price was necessary to protect its citizens and preserve its national honor.
USS Schofield DEG-3 was there. Positioned between the battle and the Cambodian mainland we were a block to prevent any Khmer reinforcement from reinforcements from arriving. None showed up so either we scared them off or the attempt was never made. We did hear the craziness of ongoing events over the tactical radio net. If only… we wanted to get closer and add our firepower to assist the embattled Marines but the order never came.
Doc Benham was heloed over to assist with the wounded so he was able to do his part. Reading The Last Battle I learned of the horrors undergone by those left behind. I can only wonder if the Schofield and its battle-ready mob of pissed-off swabbies could have saves those Marines from being left behind. Damn.