Phoenix of Hiroshima Project

Restoring a brave wooden boat to sail for peace again

Phoenix of Hiroshima Project

January, 2018: 50th Anniversary of 2nd Phoenix voyage to North Vietnam

In 1967 Phoenix sailed to North Vietnam, carrying humanitarian aid–nearly a ton of medical supplies–to the Red Cross Society of North Vietnam for civilian victims of the Vietnam War. They sailed right through the 7th Fleet into Haiphong, the harbor nearest Hanoi, the capital. (See Our History.)

!n August, 1967, the Phoenix set out for Da Nang with supplies for the Red Cross of South Vietnam.



“On this leg of the voyage,” writes John Braxton, “the crew consisted of Bob Eaton, 23, the skipper who had been first mate on the Phoenix’ first trip to Vietnam; Beryl Nelson, 22, first mate, who had experience as a harbormaster on the Great Lakes; Kyoko Koda of Tokyo 25, who had some experience with sailing small sailboats, and me. My only experience on a sailboat was a half-day cruise on a small sailboat owned by John Pixton, a Philadelphia Quaker who thought I should have SOME sailing experience before this big voyage!”

On the way they picked up George Lakey, 29, a leader of AQAG in Philadelphia; Harrison Butterworth, a college professor from Ohio in his mid-forties; Marianne McNaughton, a Philadelphia Quaker in her early twenties, and Chris Cowley, an English peace activist who had been living in Japan.

When they reached Da Nang that permission to enter and unload supplies was revoked–Braxton writes, “[The Phoenix, still not allowed to land, was in Cambodia on the way back to Hong Kong when] we got the word that we could go to North Vietnam during the Tet Lunar New Year bombing pause.  We quickly re-supplied, leaving Cambodia on Christmas day, and sailed back to Hong Kong as fast as we could, by way of North Borneo. [They shipped the supplies to South Vietnam by freighter.] By January 24 [1968] we had re-loaded the medical supplies for North Vietnam. . .

They sailed to Haiphong and “having turned over the medical supplies to Red Cross officials . . . we finally arrived in Hong Kong on February 13th, safe and sound, mission accomplished.”


Phoenix of Hiroshima - An Odyssey Interrupted

by Brian Cowden, Producer and CEO of Phoenix of Hiroshima Project Inc. c) 2017


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