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How to Apply for the Following Awards if you served in Hancock during
this Important time in the USS Hancock Vietnam Era from

By Michael R. Verville

If you served on Hannah during the final WestPac cruise you may be missing many awards, citations, and medals that you may not even know you were entitled to receive. It took the Navy, the Department of Defense and Congress more than 28 years to finally settle on what awards the crew was eligible to receive, but they closed the books with The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 1 07-31 4 -December 2, 2002), Section 542.

Congress finally gave appropriate recognition to the sailors and marines who took part in the last Vietnam operation. Up until the law was enacted, service members who served on board were entitled to an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for each of the operations listed in the title above.

The new law changed that and authorized the service member to convert one of the AFEMs for the Vietnam Service medal (VSM). The process to obtain the new medal and a new DD Form 215 is relatively simple.

All that is required is for the service member to contact the Naval Personnel Records
Center in writing. The mailing address is:

Navy Personnel Command,
Retired Records Section PERS-313E,
9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

The Fax number is: (314) 592-1151 (attn: D. M. Martin or Ms. Freeman).

    OPNAV NOTE 1650 identifies the below listed awards, citations, and medals that the Hannah crew is eligible for based on the final cruise as:

  1. National Defense Service Medal
  2. Armed Forces Expeditionary (AFEM) (Operation Eagle Pull)
  3. Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Operation Frequent Wind) (This is the one you should request be converted to VSM)
  4. Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
  5. Humanitarian Service Medal (2) (One for each separate operation)
  6. Navy Unit Commendation
  7. Meritorious Unit Commendation

Requests for sample letters and other information can be sent to me at the following addresses:
Michael R. Verville,
PSC 517 Box 5025R, FPO AP 96517 --
Phone number is: 011-63-918-249-1184

Or send me E-mail

Or you can use these Files:

 Revised 6-20-2015


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