With a self-professed love of ships, Puerto Rico native Jose Antonio Berrios enlisted with the United States Navy after graduating high school in 1965. After completing his training, the Navy assigned Berrios to the USS Ute Navajo, a class tug. Soon after assignment, Berrios deployed to Vietnam.
During his service in Vietnam, Berrios and his fellow sailors patrolled the Gulf of Tonkin. They were specifically watching out for Soviet spy ships. In addition to patrolling the Gulf of Tonkin, Berrios and his crew performed operations in and around Da Nang, An Thoi, and Cam Ranh Bay.
At one point, Berrios and his crew assisted two ships that ran aground on the beach. The rescue operation took 21 days. The majority of the operation occurred under enemy fire. Throughout the rescue operation, incoming fire nearly struck Berrios several times.
The Navy discharged Berrios in 1968 at the rank of petty officer third class. After discharge, Berrios returned to his home in Puerto Rico.
Thank you for your service!
More of his story can be found at: http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/bib/loc.natlib.afc2001001.76580
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This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Editor: Michelle Cannon
Fact checker: Brett Raffish