Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here. The Central Highlands area in South Vietnam, consisting of 12 provinces, and the largest of the four corps in size.
Killed in action Monthly average Under whose control? Percentage of total population Desertions. The sixteen southern provinces in and around the Mekong River delta comprise the richest part of all Vietnam, its rice bowl. The government claims to control more than 50 percent of the 6. There are nearlySouth Vietnamese regulars, militia and irregulars operating in the delta, along with 9, U.
The Communists are taking a beating from the American riverine gunboat force that prowls the rivers and canals, and South Vietnamese forces claim to be killing Viet Cong in the delta at the rate of 1, a month. In some respects, paradoxically, the Viet Cong appear stronger in the delta now than ever before. Their numbers have clearly increased.
And they are better armed; all main-force troops now carry Chinese AK assault rifles. But U. This kind of optimism, in fact, prevails not only among U. Aware as they are of the considerable problems remaining in each corps area, most senior U.
So encouraged is General Westmoreland that he is about to launch into what he terms Phase Three of the war. Phase One, according to Westmoreland, involved the initial U. And bythe general says, he hopes to start Phase Four — the gradually phased withdrawal of a significant number of U.
Whether Westmoreland can, in fact, perform these military miracles on such a tidy timetable depends in large measure on the performance of the South Vietnamese armed forces RVNAF.
But, even allowing for continued steady improvement on the part of South Vietnamese forces, most Americans in Vietnam doubt whether they will be ready, when Westmoreland flashes the sign, to assume the heavy military burden he contemplates putting upon them.
As the recent battles of Loc Ninh, Bu Dop and Dak To proved, the Communists are still able to mount major actions that effectively tie up thousands of U. Some U. Others believe that strategists in Hanoi have made a conscious decision to accept vastly increased losses in order to raise the number of American casualties to a point where it may become politically indigestible in the U.
This, however, is merely a continuation of a long-standing trend. As it has become increasingly difficult for the Communists to recruit troops in the south, North Vietnam has felt obliged to commit more and more of its men to the war.
Today, U. Nonetheless, the U. Superficially, that appraisal seemed to be belied recently as officials in Washington disclosed figures showing total enemy strength in Vietnam to beIn November, after months of haggling among intelligence experts, the U. As a result, meaningful comparisons with previous manpower estimates have now become all but impossible. Figures apart, most U.
And though this is something that cannot be proved statistically, it is an opinion shared by men who have years of combat experience. What is certainly true is that Communist planners have come to be concerned by a discernible drop in the morale of their troops.
Yet, despite the savage mauling they have been taking and the signs of flagging morale among them, there is no evidence that the Communist main-force units in Vietnam are about to quit. On the contrary, most U.In AugustMajor Donald G. Radcliff was the executive officer of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, and a member of the site selection team that scoured the countryside in Binh Dinh Province to find the ideal location for the 1st Cavalry Division's base camp. The team was in Vietnam in advance of the Division, who were still aboard ship, travelling across the Pacific.
The site selection team was under command of Brigadier General John M. When it was learned by the team that the 7th Marines were planning a major strike against the enemy, Major Radcliff volunteered to fly a mission in support of Marine troop lifts. Rather than prepare defenses and brace for the attack, the Marines decided to meet the enemy on their own terms and launch a preemptive attack, code named Operation Starlite. At dawn 18 Augustthe quiet shoreline of southern Quang Tin Province suddenly erupted in a volley of explosions from artillery and offshore guns, followed by massive aerial bombardment.
At the Marines hit the beaches while an armada of helicopters swooped in from the west. The Marines encountered little resistance on the coast and started their march inland. The troops arriving at Landing Zone Red met almost no resistance and disembarked without incident. At LZ White the Marines drew fire from a nearby ridge line but managed to land and clear the area quite readily.
Landing Zone Blue, however, was a different story. Unbeknownst to the trooplift, the landing zone was surrounded by the 60th VC Battalion, lying in wait.
As the aircraft arrived at the landing zone, Radcliff realized that the lead troop-carrying aircraft was the target of heavy automatic weapons fire. He immediately pinpointed the Viet Cong position and placed accurate, devastating, suppressive fire on the opposing enemy forces. With his quick reaction, Major Radcliff saved countless lives and enabled the troop transports to land.
As the troops deployed on the landing zone, Radcliff hovered nearby to insure their safety. Heavy fire was directed at the Major's helicopter, and as bullets tore through his aircraft, Major Radcliff was mortally wounded. The gallant, thirty-seven year old officer lost his life at the controls of his gunship during his baptism of fire in Vietnam. In late August of an advanced party of senior NCO's and field grade officers of the 1st Cav Division were sent to the newly selected base camp at An Khe.
General Wright had selected a site in a remote valley in the shadow of Hon Cong Mountain, surrounded by the hills of the Central Highlands, to accomodate the helicopters of the 1st Cavalry Division. The location was ideal because of near perfect climatic conditions for an airmobile unit, and the strategic location allowed for the defense and control of the Central Highlands.
The general knew that a dirt airstrip would create dust storms during takeoffs and landings, so the underlying grass and brush would have to stay, but be cut close to the ground. General Wright, not anticipating that the advanced party would only include personnel of mostly upper ranks, called a formation shortly after their arrival. We are going to cut brush until we have a 'golf course' here.Note that some locations have more than one grid due to either being large, or having certain unit sections at one area in a Landing Zone.
ZA Grid is W. Tea Plant. Barbara 3km E. YA Grids: Same area N. Forces Camp A Plei Me. ZB ? MangYang Pass, 3km N. LZ Action.
Mapping the War
Mobile - 25 June AO also: BR Bong Son, 9km W. Phu Cat AF. LZ UpLift. Cam Ranh Bay. Qui Nhon Aug. By Dave Holdorf. BUT you must take this into consideration: The locations in the grids are found using imaginary boundaries as IF they were the same as all the rest in Vietnam.Battle of Khe Sanh Then & Now US Marines Vietnam War 1968
Without going into detail, just think of them as normal kilometer girds overlapping without being able to see the entire grid. Those range from for instance, ZA??? Imagine the width of that zone as 3 three digits wide vs 10 as the others are. Those range from for instance, AR???
Again, imagine three digits wide.
Military bases of the Vietnam War
You can use the other maps in the map room to help locate specific areas. Just read the how-to on using Grid Line Coordinates, and go from there. LZ Oasis area of operations.
Map credit: John McCarthy, Jr. Click thumbnail image of map to enlarge. Trying to find that LZ or exact location you were in? Keep in mind that the grid lines are NOT the normal longitude or latitude lines that normally appear on maps. So let's find the exact location of An Khe using a Military Grid over-lay. Notice that there are two vertical and two horizontal red lines on the map.The most effective approach to sharply reducing the legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam is to focus assistance to health and disabilities services in the provinces which were heavily sprayed with dioxin and on clean-up of dioxin hotspots at former U.
We encourage you to explore the following maps using Google Earth. To use this mapping tool, you will need to download a file that will open on your own computer using Google Earth. There you will find an interactive map like the maps below, where you can learn about specific locations by zooming in and clicking for more information. Google Earth image of heavily sprayed provinces in Vietnam outlined in blue and purple.
Dioxin hotspots become visible on the map by using Google Earth to zoom in on provinces. One of the two principal dioxin hotspots is located inside the Da Nang Airbase. This is the second principal dioxin hotspot; it is located at the Bien Hoa Airbase. Google Earth image of central Vietnam. Two heavily sprayed provinces—Binh Dinh and Kon Tum—are outlined in purple above.
Ten of them cluster around one of the three air bases that became the most contaminate with dioxin: Da Nang, Phu Cat and Bien Hoa. Today these ten provinces are home to over 12 million Vietnamese.
These provinces need assistance for individuals and families burdened with disabilities and to restore forest cover and the productivity of farming soils in ways that create jobs and lead to higher incomes. The photo below shows Ly at school. Catherine Karnow.
Nearly 11 million liters of Agent Orange were handled on the base. Today, several areas on the Da Nang Base including the loading, storage and mixing areas and Sen Lake to the north and the Pacer Ivy area at the south of the base have been confirmed to have high levels of dioxin. Levels of dioxin have been found to be as much asppt TEQ, more than times the Vietnamese standard for soil.
The contaminated soil and sediment will be placed in a closed structure which is being built at the airbase.
The soil and sediment will be heated to a minimum of degrees Celsius degrees Fahrenheit and held at that temperature for 28 days to break the dioxin into non-toxic compounds. The project was officially launched on August 9, and is expected to be finished in Over the last decade, scientists from the government of Vietnam working with international experts have identified soils contaminated with dioxin. In early the Ministry of Defense and USAID will begin more detailed studies leading to the full remediation of the contaminated soils over the next several years.
Dioxin is toxic to human health and exposure to it has been associated with numerous specific disabilities. Highly contaminated soil from the former storage area has been contained in a landfill, however there are other sites on the base including lakes that are in need of clean-up.
Phu Cat Airbase Over 3. Several areas of the Phu Cat base were found to have elevated levels of dioxin requiring remediation above ppt in soil or ppt in sediment. The Government of Vietnam has now removed Phu Cat from the list of dioxin hot spots. The best of the Institute, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter.Being one of the earlier bases, established already inPhuoc Vinh Base Camp was an integral part of the build up of U. The base was located along the main road between Saigon and Dong Xoai about 70 kilometers north east of Saigon.
Initially it was a base for the 1st Infantry Division and later in November the 1st Cavalry Division moved in and had its rear here as well as up in Quan Loi.
The location meant this large installation was isolated in a very hostile area with no larger bases in its immediate vicinity. Convoys used to come up from Bien Hoa with supplies, meaning they had to cross the Song Be river and the old blown up bridge. The Song Be Bridge itself is an interesting destination which has its own page here on the website. Base area at Phuoc Vinh Base Camp. Convoys would also continue north to Dong Xoai and further up to Quan Loi.
Besides of the runway, there really isn't much left of the old camp that we could discover. The only building of significance we could find is a church like building that is clearly visible in old pictures of the camp, it was white then.
Now it is painted in a yellow cream color that seems to be popular on many Vietnamese government buildings. Phuoc Vinh building inside the old camp area.
We decided to drive around the camp to enter from the south on the main road from town. There we asked someone who seemed to have authority if we could drive the runway and it seemed to be O. We rode along the runway that stretches more than meters. We had no time to go in this time but will make sure to pay a visit next time we drive by.
Our position on this website is to show our respect for both sides. The cemetery is located on the site of where the base camp itself was. In the video above we are driving around the former camp area. There are mostly Army and other Government installations there now.
Instead we would recommend it as a secondary site for those who are visiting other places in the area. But as we got there, we were very pleased to see the runway and the surrounding areas and we will go back with the ambition of spending more time on the untouched scrub area adjacent to the runway as we believe there will be remains of the old camp there.
The road is in good condition and it is a couple of hours drive from Saigon. That was a shocker, they were hidden by the berm. After that introduction it seems like we got incoming almost nightly. Someone questioned sappers. Yes I remember the night. Lots of flares and Cobras along the perimeter. When we first moved in the FDC houch was slat sides and tin roof.By Kieran Corcoran For Dailymail.
These candid images show life on the front lines of the Vietnam war through the eyes of a young soldier, who rediscovered the collection decades after the conflict ended. In the images by former artillery officer Christopher Gaynor, helicopters swoop down in high-risk troop deployments, convoys rumble through the booby-trapped countryside and infantrymen make tense dawn patrols. Gaynor, now 70, spent more than a year in Vietnam between andtaking photographs as he went.
As well as showing scenes of battle-ready soldiers and equipment, he also showed his war buddies in their down time. Scroll down for video.
Batter up: Vietnam veteran Christopher Gaynor recently uncovered a trove of photographs he took during the war. In the above image, members of an infantry division play baseball at Dau Tieng base camp innot far from a Huey transport helicopter. Shelter: Soldiers are pictured above in cramped conditions near a battery of Howitzer artillery units in Loc Ninh. Thomas Corbin, bottom left with a bandaged finger, was one of Gaynor's war buddies.
He died in action a year after this photograph was taken in Down time: Dick Jackson, another of Gaynor's friends, is pictured shaving in the open air. He too was killed in action inaged Images, which Gaynor shares on his Facebook pageshow fellow soldiers relaxing between missions, and even playing a baseball game at Dau Tieng base camp.
Gaynor notes that several of the young men he pictured were killed in action not long after. He told TIME magazine that the thought of being reminded of his war days led to him keeping the photos locked away until - nearly 40 years after his deployment.
Of looking back on them for the first time, he said: 'I looked at them and they all came alive again. It was completely overwhelming. The experience also kindled a desire to start reconnecting with old Vietnam comrades and working with veterans, and also to become a consultant for In Countrya re-enactment film about the war.
Getting ready: Pictured are a members of a mechanized infantry battalion riding on top of an armored personnel carrier ahead of a combat mission. Gaynor said the men rode on top because they feared being cooked if Viet Cong rocket pierced the armor and exploded inside. Landing zone: Pictured above is a Huey transport helicopter making a 'quick drop' in the field - where the chopper would unload men and supplies without landing so it could escape quickly.
Gaynor described rides on the Hueys as 'white-knuckle scary'. Gamblers: Gaynor also included this photograph from a basic training camp in Fort Riley, Kansas, taken before the men were deployed.It is a work in progress so if your base is not listed, please inform the website owner to get it added. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Should you have a question or comment about this article, then scroll down to the comment section below to leave your response.
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Category:United States military bases of the Vietnam War
John, unfortunately, we are unable to contact the author of this project to add bases or ask questions. Sorry brother! I looked at two bases and found crap about Marines that served on them I was Army that served on them at a different time. But was discussed by what was written about the Marines. Not worth my time! I got your email reply about some revisions so I came here to see them. Unfortunately I am not all that computer savvy so I am having a very hard time finding anything that might be changed or updated to reflect the true story about the area south of the DMZ.
I tried to mark the map somehow but could not do so. That ville is built upon our old firebase. By the way, OP Falcon was on top of the west end of that last set of hills I mentioned. Thank you sir for the information. I have been researching for 20 something years. In looking at the emails some of you guys need to contact me. My list is over pages. Have tried for some time to find the location of the base. If you can give me an idea where it was would like to know.