George E. Buker


Geographically Vietnam is half a world away from Florida. Historically over a century and a quarter separates the present conflict in Southeast Asia from the Second Seminole War. In both of these engagements the United States Navy has conducted similar operations of maintaining combat coastal patrols against guerrilla operations. Today the amphibious river assault forces of the navy wend their passage among the tortuous waterways of the Mekong delta in riverine warfare. l The lineage of such naval operations go back to the Second Seminole War of 1835-1842 in Florida. The conflict erupted in December 1835, when the Indians took to the warpath rather than accept the United States’ demand that they leave Florida and resettle on lands west of the Mississippi. Even before hostilities broke out Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson had instructed Commodore Alexander J. Dallas, commander of the West India Squadron based at Pensacola, to render all aid possible to the army forces of Brigadier General Duncan L. Clinch for his task of relocating the Seminole Indians.