20 August 1969
In two more days, River Division 531 will have completed its portion of the task at Tay Ninh and will be returning to Nha Be. Both the effort and the success in Tay Ninh has been one of the most courageous in our Division's history. So successful was the operation , General Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D. C., during his recent visit to Vietnam, Specifically commented on the excellent effectiveness of the operation conducted by your men. Although it was an extremely difficult, tiring and dangerous job, your sons and husbands provided the key to success by their unending determination and courage.
Today I will be relieved of command of the Division, Turning over the leadership to LT T. P. MC GINLEY. The leadership of this group of men has been a wonderful experience as each of them has voluntarily done his best to ensure a smooth running division. This is what has made my job so gratifying and I'm sure the same degree of support and dedication to duty will continue with my successor.
I truly regret leaving the division and the associations I have had with the high caliber of men as these with whom I have served. I am soon to be rotated to the USS WAINWRIGHT (DLG-28) in Charleston, S. C. and I can only hope that in the future I will have the pleasure of again serving with any or all of the people in River division 531.
During the coming months, our division will have yet another challenge. the challenge will be of a different nature than past ones; however, it may prove to be just as difficult. This division will be within one year perhaps, turned over to the Vietnamese Navy. This task will be difficult due to culture difference, language barriers and etc. the purpose, of course, is to provide the necessary assets and training to the Vietnamese as they will take over and our men can come home. I am sure there will be some frustrating times ahead but if our people keep the purpose in mind and deal with the problem with the same aggressive spirit as they have exhibited in the past, the task will not only be accomplished but accomplished right.
At this time I would like to welcome the following new comers to the division and at the same time say good by and good hunting to you all. Welcome aboard to BM1 Bryant A. Hepstall, SF1 Curtis WILLIAMS, BM3 Kenneth L. MORIES, and SN Larry J. BAXTER, and good by to LT Samuel S. HURD, EN3 Carroll S. CATHEY, GMG3 Terry L. MEINKE, GMGSN Anthony L. PAGE and SN Jerry W. NEWMAN.
Again, let me express to you men and your families
that you have my deepest respect as sailors and men and I sincerely thank
you all for the unbelievable support you have given me during the past
year. Well done and God speed.
(Signed) T. K. Anderson