Q16: For Agent Orange proof, I need to know if my ship, USS Kitty Hawk, an aircraft carrier, had Agent Orange onboard at any time it was the Tonkin gulf or during WESPAC? I also need to know if any of our aircraft might have returned to the ship contaminated with elements of AO on their exteriors. Does anyone have any knowledge of this? I have nearly all the symptoms of Agent Orange. Even though I drank water from the Tonkin Gulf for 2 years, VA still rejects my claims because we were Blue Water Navy.
A1: To date, you are SOA...Blue Water vets aren't figured in as being exposed to AO. As to determining aircraft that were spraying...good luck with that! (DB) 12/12/16
A2: Unfortunately, the Kitty Hawk is not on the VA list of ships that were exposed to Agent Orange. You can Google the list of agent orange missions that were flown and it may tell which ships they were flown from. Other than that, you will have a hard time establishing service-connection. Good Luck! (AP) 12/12/16
A3: The VA has I believe a more current list of ships who sent men shore in Vietnam. If you can prove your boots were on the ground you may have a chance. File your claim, you have a 50% chance of being award some sort of disability. (JB) 12/13/16
A4: Get your ships logs unfortunately you may have to get a Lawyer to help you I had to I was on the USS Coral Sea and the USS Mattapponi AO 41 we had been in Da Nang Harbor you might want to check out the Da Nang Harbor Report to see if that will help also check out the Australian reports on Subic Bay as well. (HA) 12/24/16
A5: A comprehensive digest exists in the public domain listing each and every spraying of AO during the VN War. Coordinates of the beginning and end of each spraying are identified. You may be able to match this with missions off the Killyhawk. Good luck. (NB) 1/2/17
A6: Hopefully the new administration will change the way the VA figures exposure. I had three ships I was on go on firing missions upriver, anchored in harbors and work parties loading and unloading supplies to and from Vietnam. I got Statement in Support Of Claim from service buddies that have some of the conditions due to Agent Orange. Even with the records of the ships being tied to a pier for these procedures and statements that we were in work parties the VA still will not recognize the three ships I was on and put them on the list. You have to fight tooth and nail to get anything from the VA. Search for any other ships that had flying missions and got recognized for exposure due to the flying missions and see if you can get statements from pilots that got exposed by doing so and your exposure by working or being around those planes. That is the best chance you have of getting anything. The government used us and now that we suffer for it they don't care what they did but that is the government so only hope is that the new administration will do something about it. (JRM) 2/27/17