Gulf of Tonkin Incident (The
What do you know about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Try this quick
and easy Vietnam War trivia quiz. (Answers at the bottom of the page.)
1. Who was on duty in the Pentagon the night of August 4 receiving
messages from the ship, reported that the ship was on a secret
electronic warfare support measures mission (codenamed Desoto)
near North Vietnamese territorial waters.
- Dick Cheney
- James Rumsfeld
- Daniel Ellsberg
2. On July 31, 1964, the Maddox had begun its intelligence
collection mission in the gulf. Admiral George Stephen Morrison was in
command of local American forces from his flagship. What was the name of
- USS John Paul Jones (CV-32)
- USS John Henry (CV-33)
- USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31)
3. On August 2 Maddox claimed it was attacked by three North
Vietnamese P-4 patrol torpedo boats 28 miles away from the North
Vietnamese coast in international waters. The Maddox claimed to
have evaded a torpedo attack and opened fire with its five-inch guns,
forcing the patrol craft away. U.S. aircraft launched from a aircraft
carrier. Name the aircraft carrier?
- USS Ticonderoga (CV-14)
- USS Ranger (CV-13)
- USS Home Town (CV-75)
4. The U.S aircraft attacked the retiring P-4s, claiming one as sunk
and one heavily damaged.
5. An official 2005 NSA declassified report which stated on page 17:
"At 1500G, Captain Herrick (commander of the Maddox) ordered
Ogier's gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten
thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to
warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by
the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats
6. On August 4, another Desoto patrol off the North Vietnamese
coast was launched by Maddox and the C. Turner Joy, in
order to "show the flag" after the first incident. What was
the distance from the coast of North Vietnam, their orders indicated
that the ships were to keep?
- 11 miles
- 22 miles
- 33 miles
7. At 0127 Washington time, Maddox's captain, Herrick sent a
cable in which he admitted that the attack may never have happened and
that there may actually have been no Vietnamese craft in the area:
"Review of action makes many reported contacts and torpedoes fired
appear doubtful. Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonarmen
may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by Maddox.
Suggest complete evaluation before any further action taken"
8. When did President Johnson, who was up for election that year,
launch retaliatory air strikes and go on national television?
- August 4
- August 6
- August 8
9. As a result of his testimony, on , Congress passed a joint
resolution (H.J. RES 1145), titled the Southeast Asia Resolution, which
granted President Johnson the authority to conduct military operations
in Southeast Asia without the benefit of a declaration of war. When was
the resolution passed?
- August 10
- September 10
- October 10
10. According to the Pentagon Papers, who said a few days after the
incident, commented privately: "For all I know, our Navy was
shooting at whales out there."
- President Lyndon Johnson
- Vice President Hubert Humphrey
- Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara