List of Navy Ships VA Presumptive for Agent Orange Exposure

USS Alamo

The VA just recently added some U.S. Navy ships to the list where presumptive exposure to Agent Orange is recognized during the Vietnam War.

If you have already submitted a claim for disability due to the exposure while serving on board any of these ships, then the date of any approved disability will be retroactive to the date of that claim.

If you have not submitted a claim because your ship is not listed, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so as if in the future your ship is added, this will be the date of any retroactive assistance.

To access this list click on Navy ships:

About the Author

LtCol Eugene B Richardson, USA (Retired) BA, MDiv, EdM, MS

Col Richardson has suffered with severe neuropathy for over 45 years. A 27 year military veteran and veteran of the Vietnam War, he was diagnosed with a progressive chronic peripheral neuropathy resulting in severe disability. This diagnosis has been confirmed as due to exposure to Agent Orange. It was not until 2010, 42 years after his exposure to Agent Orange, that his diagnosis was recognized by Veterans Affairs as service connected.

Author Archive Page


    1. Alvin: No the USS Hassayampa AO 145 is not on the current list. In order for the VA to check on a particular ship not on the list, the veteran must submit a disability claim for AO exposure/illness and list the ship. Only then can the VA look into the ship whether it was in port at any time or in brown water like the delta… etc…. Can you give me some specifics as to when the ship was in Vietnam Waters…. in a port… or in Brown water or a blue waster ship never docked in Vietnam. This way I might be able to advise you. You can do this here or send me an e mail directly to and we will send information quicker in that manner. Also tell me if a potential claim is for Peripheral Neuropathy or some other AO related condition. God bless for your service.

    1. I could not find the USS Saratoga on the list of ships published by the VA. See the list at However ships are added from time to time and if it was in port or in the inland waters that it should be on the list. However, unless you have a claim for an AO related illness approved if you served on the ship that is the only way it will be added to the list. If it was a BLUE water Navy ship, there is legislation before Congress to deal with this issue for many Navy veterans who served off the cost of Vietnam during the war.

    2. “But like the King himself, Elvis Presley, sang,”…”Like a river flows, surely to the sea ….’
      So did Agent Orange…Hellooooooo!!!!

      All ships at sea off the coast of Vietnam were exposed.
      We drank the water.
      Is it that difficult to figure that out.

      1. No. Not difficult unless you are the chemical companies trying to avoid responsibility or doctors who have no clue or their Universities are getting funds from the chemical companies or the government trying to avoid responsibility…. all apply as far as I am concerned… fought the VA for 7 years and finally won with good information… I pray that the legislation before congress on this issue will pass soon.

  1. As LATE as Oct. 2015 (yes, as late as 2015) , the DVA’s ships list did not acknowledge The USS Newport News CA-148 for operations in Song Huong “ESTUARY” as EARLY as February 1968. As LATE as December 10, 2013, the Buffalo DVA denied my claims for paid heath care and compensation. The Buffalo DVA claimed that of their INtraNET and other Government resources, The Buffalo DVA claimed it could not find my service in Vietnam exposed to agent orange. However, I found on the INterNEt:
    The DVA’s January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) provides the crew of ships that operated in “rivers” and “deltas” the presumption of exposure to herbicides… without further development: The history of the USS Newport News includes operations in the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong ” DELTA” in December 1968. And, the June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) ships list- Received by the Senate Committee on Vietnam Naval Affairs- lists the USS Newport News for operation(s): Cua Viet “RIVER” in April 1969. The June 2010 C&P Bulletin includes itself to be part of the Jan. 2010 C&P Bulletin (Ships1 / list), clearly indicates: The VA has No Reason to hold the claims of anyone that served aboard the above listed vessels during the indicated time frames. The VA training Letter 10-6 ships list includes also ships of the Mobile “RIVERINE” Forces; the USS Newport News call sign was “THUNDER”.
    The DVA’s October 2015 Ships List should have included: Song Huong Estuary February 1968; Mekong “DELTA” 1968; Mobile “RIVERINE” Forces; and Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969.
    Congress’ Intent, Congressional Research Services / statutory Presumptions ( by law clerk Nichols October 2010) includes that the VA must consider Incubation Periods in compensation awards; see Title 38 CFR 3.03 (d). The Nehmer Court Order – The Nehmer Training Guide (211A) 2010 / The Nehmer Training Guide February 2011 (yes, 2011) provides for awards to of claims without a formal claim ever being made; For example, it was as LATE as the VA’s October 2015 Ships list that the VA acknowledged the USS Newport News operation(s) Song Huong “ESTUARY” in February 1968… a NEW service – connected presumption added.
    … The anchorage area within Da Nang Harbor is within the “estuary” made up of the Han “RIVER” and the Cu De “RIVER” (s). The up-river land mass runoffs drain in to Da Nang Harbor in which the drainage focal point of both rivers is the anchorage area, ditches drainage from nearby Da Nang Airport ; the anchorage is surrounded by 3 shorelines drainage, well within Vietnam’s Territory; well sheltered from the open sea.
    Judges , in the past, has ruled in such a manner, the crew of some ships in the Da Nang Harbor inland waterway “ESTUARY” have already been receiving health care and compensation. Recent Judges seem to indicate The VA decisions are irrational, capricious, arbitrary, inconsistent, and without good reasoning. Hence, such meets the NEXUS requirements to of Congressional Research Services / Statutory … that the crew of all ships that were in the Da Nang Harbor inland waterway “ESTUARY” should have to be adjudicated / re-adjudicated to The Nehmer Court Order / The Nehmer Training Guide 2011; and, Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions (Oct. 2010). Yes, I have the illnesses and secondary illnesses listed in The Nehmer Training Guide February 2011.
    Of the above, I appealed to the Board of Veterans Appeal (board). The Judge ruled July 2015: remand to the Buffalo DVA to provide an “Instant Appeal” and ” Expeditious Treatment”. The cover letter was made by VA’s Manager / Analyst; a survey within the time frame of 30-60 days, J.D. Power (and associates) were to call; as to my experience with the Board of Veterans Appeal (board). However, J.D. Power( associates ) did not call until about the first week of Nov. 2015. So, I filed an Appeal with COURT for VETERANS ( for $50)that I have not recognized anything by the (Buffalo) DVA as being to of an “Instant Appeal” and “Expeditious Treatment”. And, Despite the above mentioned documents, The DVA is not suppose to be using The Tradition Process , The COURT for VETERANS Judge ruled” If and When a final board decision is issued on remand, any adverse findings in such a decision may be appealed to this Court.
    Perhaps, file appeal with:
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    Compensation & Pension Service (211A)
    Attn: Nehmer Working Group
    810 Vermont Ave. NW
    Washington DC 20420
    In my opinion, both documents are a must read.

    1. I will respond by E mail as I must look through your situation and determine how you might appeal. God bless for your service.

  2. Dear LtCol,
    USS THEODORE E Chandler DD 717 was in Vietnam water when I was serving aboard from 1966 to 1970. We were in CamRah Bay to load supplies and ammunition several times. We put out fire in Na Trang too. I went to DaNang airbase to be transported to Clark Air Base in 1968 but unfortunately this was not in my record. All the three (3) sister ships in my squadron are listed and getting the benefits except for USS Chandler and we all did the exact same thing in Vietnam. Can you help. The archives want me to send them $2000 to $2400 for the ship log but I cannot afford that.
    Thank you in advance.

  3. Dear Colonel Richardson,
    I now have the exact date when I was pick-up off the USS Chandler while in Danang Harbor so I could fly out of Danang Airbase. It was on December 15, 1969. Is there anyone who can verify this and if the ship log had me listed when I was sent to Danang Airbase? Please help

    1. Rod Will check and see and reply by e mail. A bit behind in responses!

  4. My brother was on the USS Mullinnex DD 944 and is on the list. He is all broken out with they say is Psoriasis. Can that have anything to do with the Agent Orange? A team of them even got off the ship to go on shore to pick up someone in the little boat. He really hurts. It is all in his hair and just all over him.

    1. Jannie: I will check with our medical experts and get back to you by E mail.

  5. I was on the U.S.S. kitty hawk cva 63 from aug.1969 to may 1971. My daughter was born aug. 1979 with spina bifada and received a pension from the government until she died oct. 2005 after her 37th. operation. She has been treated at Wright Patterson Air Force base. I’ve tried for one but keep getting turned down. I’ve talked to the VA.

    1. David Will respond by E mail after I check some information. I believe that the last report from the VA they were backing off from spina bifada as related to AO… OR at least downgraded the connect…. Gene

    1. I will reply by E mail directly to you… and your full address did not come with your comment? Col Gene

    2. No naval list of ships exposed to agent orange in the gulf of tonkin in the period starting Aug 1964 when the Turner Joy and Maddox were fired on.I was stationed on the USS Columbus CG-12 and was called upon the day after the attack. WE were getting ready for a 6 month wes pac cruise when they headed to the Gulf of Tonkin. We patrolled on and off for 5 months.Who do we contact to get added o the list?

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