Floating Marine Repair Shop
|From Bond Hanson
The FMS stood for Floating Machine Shop. I was engineer on the FMS 811, first. It was located in April 69 when I joined the crew, on the edge of the Rung Sat in a river channel with the outer Vung Tau harbor visible. An FMS was an unpowered barge with either 5 (811) or 6 (789) generators to power the machinery. The 811, built in 1954, had Atlas Imperial diesel engines which were last built in 1956 and parts were no longer available. Finally ran out of parts to scrounge, and workable engines. We were forced to tie up to DeLong pier in Vung Tau, and go on shore power. After a period of time, the FMS 789 came back from Shipyard overhaul in Singapore. We transferred operations to the 789 and returned to former location
About the end of 1969, They wanted our unit to move upriver past Saigon. We were unable to lower our height enough to get under the bridge at Newport, so we moved up to Cat Lai. Incidently, the FMS 789 was at one time at DaNang according to one of our crew who was on it then. The FMS had a complete machine shop, foundry, engine & transmission rebuild shop, welding, electrical, and refrigeration shops, on board. In addition, we had barges tied to us which completely repaired the outboard motors and small fiberglass boats the Infantry used. Also, one barge had a 25ton motorized crane on it and could lift PBR's and other boats for repairs. In addition, on one of the covered barges was a complete marine electronics shop.On top of the FMS was a 10 ton electrically operated crane used to lift engines, etc. out from boats and lower them into one of two large hatches, and into the lower decks. The total crew was about 130, I believe.
One of my buddies recently said he saw the 789 at Ft. Eustis after the war was over.
Our unit was MMAV Det. 2, Detachment 2A was on a covered barge in Dong Tam, Det. 4 was on shore at Saigon, and I believe Det. 3 was at MMAV HQ in Cam Ranh.
Our complex was anchored by Cat Lai in the area where they unloaded the ammo ships. I DEROS'd in Apr. 1970. My orders said that I was part of the 159th Trans