The Westchester Navy

The “Wesco” and its adventures on the high seas.

A 384-foot tank-landing ship, the USS Westchester County, navigated the waters of Vietnam throughout the ’60s and ’70s. While the Wesco was docked along the Mekong Delta in 1968, Viet Cong frogmen attacked the ship, nearly destroying its hull and killing 26 members of its 132-man crew. The carrier managed to escape to Japan, where it was repaired and received three Navy Unit Commendations, two Meritorious Commendations, and 15 Engagement Stars—a record matched by only two other tank-landing ships. The US Navy later sold the Wesco to the Turkish navy in 1974, who used the ship for more than 20 years. The boat remains the only vessel named after our county.