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The logo of Gunboat Press is a Vietnam-era River Patrol Boat (PBR).


During the Vietnam War the United States Military employed heavily-armed high-speed gunboats to intercept and disrupt enemy travel on the waterways of South Vietnam. These nimble craft were called PBR's (Patrol Boat, River). They were operated by both the US Navy and US Army, although the Navy counted over 250 of them in their inventory and the Army had only 39.

The PBR Mark II was 32' in length wide a beam of 12'.  Powered by twin 220hp Detroit Diesels driving twin Jacuzzi water jet propulsion pumps, the craft had a top speed in excess of 25 knots. Armament consisted of a twin .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the bow, a single .50 machine gun mounted on the stern, an M60 machine gun mounted amidships, and a Honeywell Mk-18 40mm grenade launcher, also mounted amidships. Additional weapons included various small arms: a M-79 hand-held grenade launcher, four M-16's, a 12-gauge shotgun, and .45 caliber sidearms.

US Army PBR's were manned by a crew of four: a coxswain, and engineer, and two Military Police officers. US Navy craft were crewed by a 1st Class Petty Officer, an engineman, a gunner's mate, and a seaman.

With the ability to operate in only 9 inches of water at full speed, the PBR's quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the shallow waterways of South Vietnam. On average, PBR's logged over 70,000 patrol hours a month and engaged in more than 80 firefights per month. At one time the casualty rate was as much as 6% per month, meaning that, over a one-year tour, nearly three out of four PBR crewmen could be expected to be killed or wounded.

US Navy PBR sailors became the most highly-decorated command in the war, with two sailors awarded the Medal of Honor, fourteen received the Navy Cross, and an untold number were awarded Silver Stars and Bronze Stars. The 458th Transportation Company (PBR), the only river patrol boat unit in the US Army, was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.

The men of the US Army and US Navy River Patrol were authorized to wear the coveted Black Beret.

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PBR 721, owned & operated by Dennis Ambruso
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