Gulf of Tonkin Incidents
A second incident was reported on the night of 4 August. The men on the destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy who described torpedo boats attacking them certainly believed this at the time. Many later decided they had been shooting at ghost images on their radar. Many others who were there, and some later historians like Marolda and Fitzgerald, believe there was a genuine attack. The preponderance of the available evidence indicates there was no attack.
In retaliation for the supposed second attack, U.S. aircraft attacked North Vietnamese naval vessels at several locations along the coast 5 August, plus a fuel storage facility at Vinh. On 7 August, the House of Representatives passed 416–0, and the Senate 98–2, the so‐called Tonkin Gulf Resolution, giving the President Lyndon B. Johnson a blank check for further military action in Vietnam.
[See also Commander in Chief, President as; Vietnam War, U.S. Naval Operations in the; Vietnam War: Causes.]
Edward Marolda and and Oscar Fitzgerald , From Military Assistance to Combat, 1959–1965, 1986.
Edwin Moise , Tonkin Gulf and the Escalation of the Vietnam War (1996).
Edwin E. Moise
"Gulf of Tonkin Incidents." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gulf-tonkin-incidents
"Gulf of Tonkin Incidents." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved July 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gulf-tonkin-incidents
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