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  U.S. Navy Museum Cold War Gallery Vietnam War: Afloat and Ashore
Tonkin Gulf Incident

On August 2, 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked USS Maddox (DD 731) in the first naval engagement of the war. American leaders also believed a second attack took place on the 4th, later disproved. On the 5th, planes from U.S. carriers hit North Vietnam. Two days later, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution giving President Johnson authority to take military action in Southeast Asia.
 
 

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