Navy Equipment Operator 2nd Class "SeaBees" Joseph A Protzman

Joe was drafted for Vietnam, like his father and joined the Navy SeaBees as a Heavy Equipment Operator. At San Diego Bootcamp, he became Outstanding Recruit. Then sent to Adak Alaska for 2 years unloading huge cargo ships. While there they trained him in martial arts. He was then send to Da Nang, Vietnam. Charged with building the deep water piers for large ships, then assigned to Public Works, he train a crew to off-load ships. Da Nang was bombed daily and he drove a D6 cat most of day clearing brush from the edge of the base, filling in tunnels from Viet Cong and pulling loads of metal to the scrap pile. His Cat was armor plated and snipers tried to take him out everyday. He did 2 tours there and survived 3 different Tet Offensives, some lasting as long as 6 days. Agent Orange finally took him in 2005.

Adak, Alaska
Da Nang, Vietnam

Awards and Citations

National Defense Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with 2 stars
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
Pistol & Rifle Expert

Navy Equipment Operator 2nd Class Joseph Protzman

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