8 March 1967

Dear Families and Friends of KENNEBEC,

	We have just left Subic Bay after getting ready for a third trip to the
war zone. We will be operating in the Tonkin Gulf' pumping fuel to the many
ships operating in that area, and then we will be moving south along the coast
of South Viet Nam, fueling the ships involved in the Market Time Patrols and
those providing Naval Gun Fire Support to U. S. Army and Marine troops ashore.

	After leaving San Francisco we had near-perfect weather for the long trip
across the Pacific. During that passage, we stopped for most of a day to repair
a leaking condenser. On the 29th of January we sighted the Philippines. The
ship made an interesting passage through the San Bernardino Straits, which was
a fitting introduction to the Philippines. Traveling that route, you see a
variety of Philippine sailing craft, little banca boats, inter-island steamers
(some of them look like "The African Queen") and ocean liners.

	This time of year is the season of the northeast monsoon. The weather is
hot and generally dry, the days are clear and visibility is good. The wind is
almost always from the northeast, although it is steady, it is not too strong,
15 knots would be a good average velocity.

	The first trip we made out of Subic Bay we fueled various ships of the
Seventh Fleet Strike Force, including jet fuel to ENTERPRISE, jet fuel for heli-
copters to BAINBRIDGE and black oil to PROVIDENCE, the Flag Ship for Commander
Seventh Fleet. This was our first wartime operation in several months and we all
worked together very well; the entire operating period went well with the ship
and crew showing real professional ability.

The second trip out we serviced over fifty ships and travelled all the way
from the northern Tonkin Gulf, near Hainan, to the southern end of South Viet Nam
and even worked around the corner into the Gulf of Siam. All of this was 
done in ten days, which obviously means that no one did much sleeping. One of the high-
lights of this period was a verbal "Well Done" from ENTERPRISE passed over her
loudspeaker system as she pulled away from us after her underway replenishment.
"Praise from Caesar is praise indeed". Another high spot was a replenishment, a-
longside the carrier TICONDEROGA while she launched a strike group and recoverad
another group of her planes aboard.

	Our in-port periods have been almost as busy; between maintenance work on
the ship and recreation ashore, the time has gone rapidly. Here at the Naval
Station we have been bowling, fishing, playing golf, swimming, shopping at the
Exchange and even had a few beers at one or another of the Clubs on the station.
Some of us have bought wood carvings and gone out to the town of Olongapo, just
outside the station gate.

	We left Subic on the 7th, refueled an Australian destroyer HMS VAMPIRE, that
morning and then came into Manila in the afternoon. We will stay in Manila until
the morning of the 10th and then sail for Yankee Station to go to work again.

	We are still, as of now, scheduled to return in September. We all hope that
nothing happens to upset this planning, but a schedule is uncertain that far in

    Give your men a boost - write to us often.


                              R. F. Hunt
                              Commanding Officer

P.S. A friendly reminder; please use the correct form of the ship's mailing
address when writing to us. This way you speed up the mail and eliminate
any chance that your letter might go astray. A sample is shown below:

                       SN John A. Doe, 123 45 67
                       First Division
                       USS KENNEBEC (AO-36)
                       FPO San Francisco, California 96601