Remember the U.S.S. Maddox? The ship – an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer – was laid down on October 28, 1943 and commissioned in the U.S. Navy the following spring. After being decommissioned in 1969 it was sold to Taiwan, renamed the Po Yang – and eventually decommissioned (again) and scrapped in 1985.
Forty years ago, though, this ship was at the center of a global storm – the Gulf of Tonkin incident. This “attack” by Vietnamese torpedo boats led the U.S. Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving then-U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson unlimited authority to act in defense of Southeastern Asian nations threatened by “communist aggression.”