An Hoa Combat Base
The 8th of March 1965 US Marines landed on the beaches of Da Nang. These were the first official combat units that were sent to Vietnam. Their initial task was to provide security for the Da Nang airbase. Starting out, the Marines established a stationary defense around the base that reacted to threats and attacks. As time went on, it was clear that a more effective way of protecting the airbase was to start patrolling the areas west and south west to clear out any threats before they could reach the airbase.
Over time the need also grew for more permanent presence in order to pacify these areas. The An Hoa Combat Base was first used in January 1966 during Operation Mallard as the Marines needed a firebase in support of the operation. Later during that year, in April, the base was used again and it was at this time it became a permanent installation.
Over the years the base grew and incorporated large Marine units as well as a 1000 meter runway able to take the large C130 transport aircraft. The base was located south of the Thu Bon river which marked the southern border of what was called the Arizona Territory.
The base as such covers a large area, parts of it has developed in to an industrial zone today, but most of it is more or less untouched. The runway is in decent condition and is possible to drive on. Locals use it as a road. At the east end of the runway are a couple of craters and some dug out areas that seem to be from the era. The old chopper pad at about the center of the runway is now covered with trees.
South of the west end of the runway are remnants of concrete structures, perhaps command bunkers. According to some accounts it was here at the western perimeter, that PFC Dan Bullock was killed in 1969 during an attack on the base, making him the youngest American casualty of the war. other accounts have the event at a smaller outpost a bit north west near the river.
The Arizona Territory saw large concentrations of PAVN and Viet Cong troops during the whole war, especially up around ”Charlie Ridge” in the north west part of the area. North of the river are also located Hill 65 and Hill 37 in Dai Loc, the remnants of the Victory Bridge are just a few kilometers north east of the base.
A few kilometers south of the base, across the mountain ridges is the Que Son Valley with plenty of old firebases including LZ Baldy and LZ Ross that are also very interesting to visit. The Antenna Valley is located across the pass to the west from the Que Son Valley.
Driving around these areas will give you a good idea of how the war was fought in this very strategic part of the country. Countless of operations were launched to clear the areas and small firebases were established all across the place. Only in Que Son Valley there were at least fifteen firebases on different sites at some point in time.
For the general traveler there are certainly reasons to visit the area. The My Son temples are located just a few kilometers south east from An Hoa Combat Base. This complex of temples were being built over the course of almost 1000 years. About a third of the temples are still standing in various condition. Time has taken its toll as well as the war. With ready built structures the temples were used by the VC forces as a hide out and served as a launch point for their operations against the An Hoa Combat Base and other targets in the area. This meant that on at least one occassion the area was bombed by US jets as they tried to drive out their enemy.
Overall we really recommend a visit to this old base. We believe it might be interesting also for the general traveler thanks to its proximity to other interesting tourist destinations and to Hoi An. It is one of the most convenient ways to see one of the large combat bases and understand a bit of how the Marines fought during the war.
How to get there
Getting to the base is very easy. Only 25 kilometers west of Hoi An it is a half day trip for those who are interested in discovering a legendary US Marine Corps base. Get on a rented motorbike if you have a driver’s license or take a taxi out here.
Decimal coordinates: 15.787721 108.077795
120 thoughts on “An Hoa Combat Base”
My father was a mechanic in the USAF stationed in Taiwan. He volunteered for a mission at An Hoa for the search, recovery, and repair of a C-130. That base came under heavy fire. My father and his crew were awarded the Bronze Star after that.
Many thanks to all the veterans out there!
Was with MAG (Marine Air Group) 16 at AnHoa April of 70 ’til we abandoned the place in August/September of ’70…
…One of the last Air Traffic Controllers…watched a CH53 hook up to our control tower (actually a box about 6x6x6 feet)
and take off for parts unknown………probably Marble Mountain……that’s where we convoyed to that same day…I believe
there were 6 or 7 of us at a time at Anhoa with the Airwing………3 Air Traffic Controllers and repair/maintenance men for the radar equipment and generators…Normal cleared to land & cleared to take off stuff plus advise the pilots on which batteries were firing & what direction/grid……….Remember the night we were supposed to get over-run….& instead the
NVA went into the orphanage …still can’t believe there were hundreds of us Marines just yards away playing defense while a few NVA killed all those kids!…still my worst memory of my year over there……
As C O of B1/5 I served at Liberty Bridge for combat operations in the Arizona Territory and later out of An Hoa & the 1/5 battles at An Bang 3 in the Arizona territory as we named the VC/NVA location 80 plus days on patrol or fighting from May 15th until July 31st, then because I complained of poor logistic support the 5TH Regt C.O pulled me out of Bn to be the Regt logistics officer S-4 & An Hoa base security officer as a Capt.
On June 9th ,1968 we caught the 90th NVA Regt off guard, as we had camouflaged so well & moved at night when the NVA lest expected Marines on the move & foufgt a successful battle at An Bang 3 village area killing 80 NVA by body count, & collecting 100’s of enemy wpns. If any of you Marine were with me in 1969, please contact me. Semper Fi, I AM PLEASED YOU SERVIVED. GINOVIET151@GMAIL.COM
I was in An Hoa from 12 /69 to9/70 when we left for LZ Baldy Was radioman for E 2/5 and one of last Marines to leave AnHoa We could hear B52s coming our way on our way out. They left 17 of us to guard what was left on 2/5 base We could hear orphans screaming but could not help. I think of An Hoa every day of my life want to say SEMPER FI to all who served there.
Does anyone recall 1st Lt Paul Bertolozzi of Echo 2/5 KIA 8/2/67 while on the road sweep and know any details of the incident?
I do remember him. I was in E Co. weapons platoon ( guns) I went to graves registry in DaNang to identify his body.
Thomas Krex served with 4 a at fire base Ross 1969 to 1970 was at Jan 6th sapper attack, was sign pearl chest, was on berm watch during fire fight. Anyone remember?
I arrived at An Hoa on 25 January, 1967. I was attached to Echo Company as the 81 FO. However, I served with Fox, Golf, and Hotel companies as well. I have so many memories from An Hoa. My first combat operation was Operation Newcastle in the Arizona in March 1967. I had been wounded on 27 February at our outpost at My Loc 2. Three VC crawled up close enough to fire 3 RPG’s. The last RPG hit behind me just as I was diving into a bunker. The force of the explosion knocked me head over heals, and knocked me unconscious. When I awoke Roger “Doc” Lansbury was at my side. I was bleeding from the ears, nose, and mouth. I had no shrapnel wounds and felt lucky to be alive.
On May 25, 1967, I experienced my worst combat action to date. I was attached at the last moment to serve as Fox 2/5’s 81FO. We swept the Que Son Valley with other Marines from 1/5 for a week, but made very little contact with the NVA. That all changed on the afternoon of June 2nd. I was with the command group, Capt. Janes Graham, a very bold and capable leader. We came to a 1000 meter rice paddy near the village of Vinh Huy. We had two “Chieu Hoi’s” with us for the Op. One of them I knew. His name was Kinh. He had been an NVA machine gun leader and had spoken about the number of Marines he had killed. But Kinh was with us now and was a very good asset. We were ordered by our regimental Commander to enter the huge rice paddy and secure Vinh Huy. Kinh told Captain Graham not to take his company into that rice paddy. He told him that the NVA we in the horshoe hedgerow that surrounded the paddy. Captain Graham attempted to get permission to go around tland llflank the hedgerow on the left. The conversation with the Regimental CO was to the point. Take the village from the front. Captain Graham organized the Company and sent the three platoons in to the rice paddy in skirmishes. As we got 20 to 30 yards into the paddy Kinh and the other Chieu Hoi had killed a half dozen NVA that had dug spider holes in the rice paddy and hid. I heard sometime later that in total they had killed 32 NVA before the hedgerows came alive with automatic weapons fire. Two machine guns on the left tore into 1st platoon. I saw my buddy that I had gone to boot camp with get hit by a burst of machine gun fire. His name was LCpl Billy Daugherty. The bullets tore into his body, and shook him like a rag doll and threw him to the ground. Then the entire hedgerow came alive with NVA fire. To make this long story short, we got our asses kicked that day. In less than 30 minutes, 1st platoon practically disappeared. By days end 36 òof the Marines were dead. Captain Graham took Marines from his command group and rallied the 1st platoon Marines and attacked the two guns causing most of the damage to his Company. He would die, but would be awarded a posthumous MOH. The only officer alive in the fight had us retreat to some high ground behind us where we began our attack. There is where we fought the rest of the day and night. In less than an hour we had air support through the night until early morning. The NVA had escaped into the Que Son mountains. We would be choppered back to An Hoa while other Marines chased the NVA. The ride back to An Hoa was a quiet one. 46 KIA says it all. Additionally, Delta 1/5, which had been on our right flank, was also badly mauled. Our two companies ran smack dab into 1200 to 1500 NVA from the 2nd NVA Divsion. Total casualties between the two companies was 110 KIA and that many wounded.
We left An Hoa for Phu Bai on 16 January 1968. I was short by that time. 24 days and a wake up. I thought maybe I would escape the rest of the War, but that was wishful thinking. On January 31, 1968, South Vietnam exploded from North to South. I ended up in Hue City, where I got hit for the third time during my tour of duty. It was February 13, 1968. I had seven days left in my tour when it happened. I made so many great buddies with 2/5. Lost alot of them also. I don’t know how An Hoa compared to other places in Vietnam
But I can only say, it was more than enough for me. Semper Fi to every Marine who served with 2/5 at An Hoa
Airlifted off the An Hoa airfield matting runway by Air Force C-130s to Phu Bai while with Hotel Co. 2/5 1st MarDiv in Jan 68.
Anyone have photos of the airlift that day?
My mom had a vendor shed on the north side of Liberty Bridge selling soft drinks and souvenirs during the period.
She had a jeep willy pulling a trailer to bring the goods out in the morning and bring the unsold back home in the afternoon.
My dad worked in the SVN administration office below the french fort, hill 37. My house is in the front of the district administration build, across the grassy field.
I came to visit the vendor shed sometimes and remembered there were a nice big ship docking near the liberty bridge. The people on the ship had colorful magazines of naked ladies
I remembered some solders didn’t pick up laundry services. My mom kept bringing them out until the last day we were there.
I remembered seeing tanks with flame thrower keep burning the area.
I remembered one time farmers brough young rice plants to wash in the river upstream and the solders fired recoiless canon at them. I didn’t know if there were any caualties and didn’t know why.
I remembered trying to talk to the solders but didn’t do well. I didn’t start learning english until 6th grade.
This web site brought back old memories.
Hello. Thank you for your insightful comment. I really learned something and I am thankful you shared a part of your story. If you want to share more, please contact me on email@example.com
/Jonas, founder of namwartravel.com
I was at An Hoa with India Co. 3/5,from 8/68 to 10/68,I transferred to CAP. SF.
Here’s an aerial view I found on YouTube.
I was on the south end of the runway. First Force Recon. 68-69. Was an artillery battery beside us. We never slept even when not in the bush. So many memories of An Hoa
I was the 2/5 Bn Armorer from May thru December 69 at AnHoa. I remember the constant rocket strikes and the base being overrun on May 7 and F 2/5 Dan Bullock’s death that evening.
I once attended a Catholic service in a bunker by regiment and had this beautiful blond sit down next to me and later discovered she was from the German Hospital outside our wire.
The hospital was still standing when I returned there in 1997. After all of these years I still keep in touch with several Marines from those hedy days.
When I look back I can’t but wonder how we as a countty could have allowed that war to continue. AnHoa served as a jump off point for regions fought over from 66-71. What a dammed waste of America’s finest.
S/Sgt Greg Smith H&S 2/5
THANX for Being there Brother
I was there when Dan Bullock was KIA. First Force Recon. South end of the runway by the artillery battery. High school classmate was Mike 3/5. KIA May 10, 1969 at Liberty Bridge.
My dad was there that night Dan bullock was Kia. He almost didn’t survive that battle and earned his Purple Heart that night his name is Darrel McMaster.
Cpl David Paul Bagwell (rank when i was discharged 1970)
Rock Hill SC
Arrived An Hoa november 7th 1967, assign to 81’s H&S 2/5, First Marine I remember meeting was Sgt Jerdo . L knew the people i arrived with but he was the first to take us and show us around and draw M16 and other gear. Set us up on rifel range to scope our weapon. first of 1968 went to Hill 55 until pulled off for Hue. I’v talked with some of the Marines I was with but most have Passed on. Nice to see a post from you on An Hoa
Took a swim to cool off while on sand bag duty. A bridge guard threw frag at something in the water. Ears still ringing
Liberty Bridge is long gone There in 2000
Hi all. My father, Sgt. Ken Nielsen of the 2/5 (1st Division) recently passed. He was stationed at An Hoa when he was wounded by mortar on July 4, 1967. I’m doing some research on his time in-country and am hoping to find someone who might remember him.
Looking for Marines that serverd at An HOA in May12 May 16 69 My brother L/Cpl George Thomas from VA was kia by rocket fire. There was all so 9 Marines hit by the rocket. Looking for the other guys any help would be appreciated.
I was wounded May 16, 1969 at An Hoa combat base by the rocket attack and, unfortunately, your brother must have been the KIA I never knew. I do have some specifics, but you understand my hesitancy, considering the length of time and the ‘fog of war’ effects on my memory.. I know you still miss him. I’m so sorry.
I was there with 1st Force Recon 1969
I also worked in 5th Marines COC
Not a nice place slept with flack jacket and helmet all the time !
I watched the firefight from our trench line
I too worked in the the COC as a watch sgt for the FSCC. I was there during that time period. Lived in a tent next to the sniper platoon. Still remember all the rockets all too well. Never been so scared in all my life.
I worked the radios in the FSCC on a temporary assignment in late February 1969. I was lucky to be inside the COC bunker on the night shifts when most of the incoming was happening. I remember very well the ammo dump blowing up on Feb. 23. If you read this message, I would like to talk more about the FSCC.
Anyone there July 4th 1966 ? I was with K/3/9/3 survived the ambush. Phil
Was assigned to Bravo Company. 1/5 Third Platoon, USMC An Hoa Base, as A “Grunt” Marine, from October 1968 to November 1969. Participated in many combat operations. Would like to know the name of the area on the map, where Operation Mead River and Operation Arizona Territory took place?? If any one knows. I was there.
That area was known to us as “Dodge City” located about 10-12 miles South of Danang. Harvey 3/5
Operation Meade River was right out side the wire surrounding Hill 55, 7th Marine Regiment Headquarters. This area was patrolled by my platoon during 1967 and 1968. We used to patrol Dodge City day and night with just squad size patrols
Keep in mind in late part of 1968 the 2 NVA Division which hung out on Go Nio island moved a regiment of NVA hard core the 36 NVA regiment into Doge city M¥ bro was with 3/5 Lima company in operation Meade river lots and lots of bunkers
Yep, 3/26 led the attack into the Northern Bunker Complex at the end of Meade River. Alpha 1/7 and Hotel 2/5 were attached to 3/26 for the three-day battle, December 7, 8 and 9, 1968. It was against the 36th NVA Regiment. In the afternoon on December 10th, Hotel 2/5 flew into Hill 55. We landed at the bottom and walked up a path to the top where we caught another chopper and headed back to An Hoa. The Marines stationed at Hill 55 all stood up as we walked past. Not a word was said. Will never forget it. All that could be heard was the clanging of our equipment as we walked along. On December 13th, a Friday, we left for the mountains to begin Operation Taylor Common. No rest for the weary!
My name is Paul Conrad I was there August 1968-November 1969, welcome Brother Marine. I don’t have any of the information you seek but, I would like the same info, if you come across it I hope we can share it. By the way I was: 1st Bn 5th Mar Div H&S Co 81 Mor Plt.
Looking for a Lt. who came to Fox 2/5 2nd Platoon on 11 July 69 And stepped on a box mine less than 12 hours later. He left the field alive but traumattically wounded. Nobody knows who he was. We were told he came from 81 Mortars at Phu Loc and his Father was a navy Admiral.I have no name as only several Squad leaders were introduced and they are either gone or never knew him. His story is out there. firstname.lastname@example.org Would like to find out who he was.
Did you know
Jack L Murduck kia
Hi Boone, This is Doc Vek. It was an honor to be taken in by grunts like you ,don’t regret one minute of our time together. You grunts were everything a Doc could ask for and more. Remember helping me pass out malaria pills. Thanks to you and all my grunts that touched my life.
I was there between July 68 to September 69. I was with”W” 2/11 Mortars. All the area operation data has been unclassified and easy to Google.
I was there with you. Cpl. Lee 704 791 2768 my phone
I was a 2nd Lt, 2nd Platoon Commander, Bravo Co, 1st Tks at An Hoa from Setpember 1968 until April 1969. 4th Plt was also at An Hoa, We had 10 tanks split between An Hoa and Liberty Bridge. Mostly we were on perimeter duty at night and road sweeps during the morning. Did make it to the Goi Noi Island; bad place! Yes, the German hospital was outside the gate on the way up to Liberty Bridge. The doctors and nurses would regularly eat in the 5th Marines mess hall.
I looked in one of your tanks,as you were in the road facing the Que son Mts.
had a Xeon light and 90 mm after seeing how small hot and with the mud
I was glad to be in Force Recon as a Radio man 1969
Mort Hurt here. No mistakes. Still alive at 77. Say, trying to confirm the name of the CO for 2/5. I thought it was Jameson. He is my Stoic Hero. Believe he was from Texas.
Thanks so much.
I was with Alpha Co, 3rd Amtracs… we were all over between An Hoa, Phu Loc 6, Hill 55, Hill 10 and Go Noi Island. We had a Tank crewman with us who was kia by an RPG out on Go Noi… was a direct hit in the chest… was this one of your tanks?
I was a Navy Corpsman with Delta 1/5 in ’68-’69. A platoon corpsman in the field and then at 1/5 BAS Liberty Bridge for 4 months (still remember the night we were overrun) and served last 3 months at the BAS 1/5 at An Hoa.
I often went to W. German hospital many times (the let us use their autoclaves to sterilize our large surgical packs). During an attack on our base two of the German male nurses where driving their white painted (with red cross) jeep near the village and where attacked and one was killed and the seriously wounded. There was a stone monument built at the spot.
I have good and bad memories of my service in the area. The Marines and Corpsman I served with were all incredible men. My best friend (we grew up together and both became Corpsman and went to Vietnam together} was killed while we were on patrols in the valley.
Hey Ronald ( Doc). 19-March-69, FSB Phu Loc 6 . I was with the Engneers that operated the ferry there and was located just across the river from where you were when your position was over run . New one of the KIA ( Gunny, Floyd Keffe) . Also Corpsman David Ray ,also KIA , received the MOH for his actions that night. Bad night at The Bridge. Semper Fi.Doc!
I was at An Hoa for much of 1967. Was part of the LSU (Logistics Support Unit). We were bulk fuel, ammo, radio relay, etc. I was rations. We were near the BAS. Lived in a tent and used tents to store rations for the mess hall as well as C-rats. Had a pet monkey who helped keep the rats off us at night. Not sure why that worked. With all those food stores, the rats were huge. They’d chew right through the tins. We’d pull bunker duty and convoy runs to/from Da Nang over Liberty Bridge.
Will always admire the grunts and docs who did so much!
Hey Mark why don’t I remember you. I do remember the monkey but he got mad and ran off to Amtracs across the road🙂. I was there when the CB’s built us a hooch and the tent went away. When Tet began we closed that area and pulled the perimeter back. 2/5 left for Hue and we thought we would be overrun. After that our nights were spent in a bunker on the runway until I left for home in February. Good talking to you,take care and Semper Fi. Monte Fairchild
My father, Ken Nielsen, just passed. I know he was stationed at An Hoa in 1967. He was a Sgt. and was wounded on July 4, 1967 by a mortar. Any chance you knew or remember him? I’m doing some research on his time in-country. Thank you.
I’m sorry Collyn but I didn’t know your father. I am sorry for his passing. God Bless
My father was also corpsman Robert Dymond he passed about 10 years ago. Going though some of his papers and found his Navy Achievement Medal with a V . Never realize what he received it to until I read the write up about the attach on Feb 23, 1969. So proud of my Pop. Thank you all for your service.
Nadine Dymond Trcka
I was celebrating my 1st year in the Corps the night Liberty Bridge was over ran, we had a blonde hair Cor Man who was really good and should be a hero for his actions. Could you be him? Paul Conrad Sr.
I was at An Hoa 69 70, attached to 2/11 Hq, field radio operator. Worked FDC, then sent to 2/5 to work with them at the other end of the base. Then sent to Delta battery hill 65. With recon for 1 month on top of some mountain top with a 1st Lt. forward observer to watch over a big valley that had been cleared out, to call in arty if we spotted anything. Don’t know why I was always sent to odd places, other radio operators mostly got to stay same place the whole tour. Found an old bugle and they sent a chopper to An Hoa to pick me up to play taps at a ceremony for a fallen Marine in Danang. Hard to believe Liberty Bridge, An Hoa look so different, not much left.
I was a Scout Sergeant with various battery’s in 2/11 attached out to 3/5. I spent most of my time with India or Lima Companies but spent some time with Kilo, H&S and the CAP Co. HQ on Hill-37. I became a Cobra pilot and retired as a LtCol in 94.
I guess I spoke to you. I was in “W” battery 2/11, FDC. I was at An Hoa from 68-69.
I was there with you. Harvey Watson was killed there. 704 791 2768
From Jon. The reason you were moved around so much was probably that you were very good at your job (2531) and could be trusted! Good for you! I was a Field Wireman (2512) with 3/1 comm., 1/1 comm. and HQ Co. 1st Marine Regt. comm. from Aug76-Sept1980. Lucky me. Other than boot camp at MCRD San Diego I spent my entire 4 year “tour” at Camp Horno with the 1st Marines. I’m hoping to write a book about some of the area you patrolled in around An Hoa and the Que Son Valley if this Covid-19 “crap” ever tamps down. You can NOT get into Vietnam right now. Thanks for your service Don and Welcome Home Brother !!!
Don, I was FDC 2/11 Feb 70-71, HQ, then Echo Battery, then HQ the rest, AnHoa, DaNang, LZ Baldy. Went back in 2000, nothing leftat all.
Really looking for tower above HQ bunker
Hi. I too was in An Hoa 69-70 I was also with HQ 2/11 assigned to 5 th marines FSCC.
Just found this site and thought I’d say HI.
I was in An Hoa with CBMU 301 from Aug 69 to Aug 70
Hi Jim, I came down with Alpha Co when we first established our camp after being on the advance party at Dong Ha – we set up at the North End of the runway.. There were 28 of us – We built our camp from scratch – replaced the runway and-started with the rest of the base – hospital-chow hall – I extended for 6 month – leaving in December of 68
Can anyone tell me about the disposition of Hill 300.
I was on Hill 300 in 1967. We would rotate there from Mortars 3/11, based at Hill 55.
Once, instead instead of evacuation by chopper we went to An Hoa and caught a C-123.
I was surprised by how many civilians with chickens and pigs got on with us!
I saw a C-123 at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. A docent who was familiar with the history of the air craft told me that the plane had been flown of An Hoa at the same time period that I was flown out of An Hoa!
Hill 300 (Razorback Ridge) was in Northern I Corps West of Camp Carrol and from what I gather, it is nearly flattened due to the Vietnamese mining of the rock for roads and other construction.
I was with Mike 4/11, a 155mmSP battery in late 68 to May of 70. I think we called it the Rocket Capital of the World, lol.
My name is Richard Vesper I was in AN Hoa 69 and 70 untill we turned it over to the ARVNS I believe in Sept. of 70. I was in LSU-1 2\5 . Me and a Sgt. Webster would come up to Mike 4/11 all the time to change the PTO pumps on your turrents. We may have seen each other and don’t even know it. Ha! Ha! I do remember one guy at Mike Battery . He was a Staff Sgt. I believe. Can’t remember his real name but he looked dead on Lee Marven. That’s what we called him. Do you remember him? Let me know OK? Samper Fi !
I remember you ,Webster , Star ,Gunny Flanagan and the Lee Marvin fellow but not his name ,he was a kick. Glad to see you are still kicking.
I was a radio relay operator at An Hoa in fall of 69,we were next to the air traffic control tower.I remember those 175mm guns.The mess hall served peanut butter,jelly, bread,and warm goofy grape kool aid every evening!
Hi Marine, I was a radio relay tech at An Hoa from About August or September 1968 to June 1969. It’s been a while and I don’t remember the exact dates but those are approximate. But you were there fall of 69 so we didn’t cross paths but it’s nice to see someone else who was at An Hoa and especially a radio relay man. Semper Fi.
my name is Richard Vesper I was in An Hoa 69 and 70 with lsu-1 2\5 untill we turned it over to the arvins in I believe Sept. of 70. Spent 9 mo. there then went to LZ Baldy LZ Ross and LZ Ryder you could only get there my chopper. At An Hoa we were right down by the wire by 2|5 and the little chopper pad LZ. We had perimitter watch every other night on Brovo and Alpha sector. We were the guys that you may have seen changing the big ass tubes on those big ass guns you talked about. Ha! Ha!
Changing tubes on 175s at LSU 1 in 1970 was the hardest work I have ever done in my life . I think we ran on raw youth.
Tom I First Force Recon and our compound was right by the artillery battery. Those 175’s would rattle our teeth. We never slept when in from the bush. The mess tent was kind of toward the end of the runway if I remember correctly and had lots of dust blow through it
Semper Fi marine
Hi Jonas, regarding the hospital, I read on another site that the hospital was located just south of the compound near a lake,if that helps. The lake might have been called Alligator Lake . There was a refugee camp at Duc-Duc near the river between An- Hoa and Liberty Bridge that was later over run . It was operated by the Maltese and the nurses would visit there from time to time. Wade. E- 2/5 69-71
Alligator lake was over the small ridge to the southeast near Go Noi island. I recall referring to the lake where the German hospital was located as Spider lake. Duc Duc was just outside the west gate of F 2/11 towards the song Thu Bon. I was a Artillery Scout/Sgt attached to 3/5 July 69 to July 70.
Hey John, Go- Noi really brings back some fond memories! Thanx. Wade
Go Noi Island was where Carlos Handcock (sniper-one shot-one kill) was wounded (burned, AmTrac, anti-tank mine). I think he was attached to one of the “grunt” companies at the time?
Semper Fi John, I was with F 2/11, and assigned to M 3/5 from Aug 68 until the end of Aug 69. I returned home sept 6. My memory is bad and getting worse the older i get. Did we meet during the time between your arrival and my departure from An Hoi ?
Simper Fi Leo, I was with F 2/11 1st Mar in the first quater of 69 stationed in An Hoa on the 105’s then we went from hill to hill to support the grunts. Dont remember much about that year my mind must off blocked it off.
I was assigned to H&S 2/5 in An Hoa from July 1967 to December. Colonel Ernie Cheatham was our battalion commander. We moved from An Hoa to Phu Bai in December 67 and then into Hue during TET. I remember going up to Hue in December to visit a buddy and at that time the city was untouched and beautiful. That didn’t last long unfortunately. I do remember the IOWA firing block busters over our heads.
My best friend wound up at Khe Sahn during TET and over the years we had our share of alcohol talking about who had it worst. We always argued that the other guy had it worse.
In An Hoa I do remember seeing the German Hospital from my area. As I recall it was a white building about a mile or so away. One time a few of the nurses walked through our area and I just stood there and gawked.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. If I ever get there, I hope I can figure out about where my bunker was.
Hello Mike. Thank you for your comment. I am happy you made it out. Did you also read the Hue article here on the website? There will be a few places you remember there as well.
I have heard about the German hospital from others as well. I wish I could figure out where it was.
Hey Mike I “Hate” to bring it up but were you guys involved in the Heavy fighting down in the Que Son valley from the end of May through September of 1967? Maybe it was the 7th Marines?Operations Union I and II, and then Swift. 3 MOH (one was a Chaplin, KIA) earned by Marines that were there and 1,000 Marine KIA during that Summer in those battles and Know Body has ever heard of them! Makes me “cry”! That’s the reason DaNang saw “light” fighting during TET of early 1968. You Marines stopped them “cold” before the NVA could “prep” the battle space near DaNang before TET. I’ve seen Colonel Cheatman and you Marines on you tube. You are ALL truly HEROS!! Welcome Home Brother !! Respectfully, Jon. 3/1 comm.
I have spent a few days visiting the various web sights searching for anything I can find on An Hoa Combat Base and yours has been very helpful, I was there in ’69-70. Finally, my image of An Hoa can be put to rest after seeing all the changes to the former combat base. Thanks for posting!
Bill. Thank you for you kind comment. I am happy you found also our website. Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about the base and surrounding areas. Email is email@example.com
Served as a Seabee 67/68 served at An Hoa combat and the Liberty bridge. I remember being shot at alot and also having a sense of purpose. I love some Marines (my shortfall lol)
Hey Michael, I served as a combat engineer and was assigned to the Liberty Bridge from mid 68 to early 69 and maintained and operated the pontoon ferry while the Seabees were building bridge #2 . I was there March69 when Phu -loc 6 was over run. The one Seabee Ican remember had handlebar mustache and was nicknamed “Gunsmoke”. LibertyBridge was not a boring place to be. Always busy. Harry 7th Eng. 1st Bridge Co.
I was with the7th engineers 69-70 with Charlie Company
Hey Paul, was C Company CP located on Hill 37 near Dai-Loc?
Liberty Bridge is long gone
I was Army, my 8/4 Battalion of 175mm guns OpCon 3rd Marines up on he DMZ. But my B Battery had been split off from the battalion on arrival in Vietnam and placed in a defensive position near Da Nang. During Tet ’69, my battery split, with two guns staying put near Da Nang and the other two with me, XO, at An Hoa Combat Base. We were positioned at the far end of the airstrip from the ammo dump, that was blown by NVA sappers in Feb (?) ’69. I was great working for the Marines, both in and around Da Nang, An Hoa and at FSB C-1 a few miles south of the DMZ just off Hwy 1.
I’ve been back to Vietnam three times now, easy for me because after the war I worked as a journalist out of Hong Kong for most of 20 years. I did a few weeks in late 2019, treking down through the Laotian mountains bordering Vietnam. Beautiful country Laos.
Google “Guns of the DMZ” for more on my 8/4 Battlion. There are links to other sites there. Click on “Members’ Stories” for a feel of our guys’ lives.
I have a neighbor who fought with the Marines near An Hoa in ’69. He served as a platoon leader
Best to all
I’ll bet that trip down the “Ho Chi Minh” trail in Eastern Lao was truly beautiful, Ashley (was it rainy? I was in Hue around Jan. 2 of 2010 and it was rainy there. Hue would be just East of the A Shau valley border with Lao). Some of the most remote wilderness still left on the planet. I’ve been to Lao about 20 times (visa run, Thailand) but mostly just the Vientiane area. A couple of months in Vang Viang drinking beer. You actually have to walk across the old American (secret, CIA) air-strip there after you get off the bus and walk North 500 meters to downtown tourist area. The airstrip is/was still there (2008) but had grass growing up thru the cracks in the asphalt. Say Ashley, question for you?……where did you start you trek in Lao? I want to cross into Lao from N.W. Vietnam (way remote N.W. Vietnam; Lao, China border area. Yaa, way remote. I enjoy “hanging-out” with Hill-Tribe people) but people say you can NOT because the Lao Government won’t allow it because it is still a “sensitive” area because of the “Hmong” fighters even today, 2021. Even if you try to access that area from N.E. Lao you will be stopped by the Lao police/army from that area? Have any thoughts/advice on that? Thanks, Jon. 3/1 comm plt. 2512
I have a picture of your gun with the round in the air
I took it from the 2/11 chow hall ( I was with 1st Force Recon)
we shared the chow hall when it was in one piece !
I was Alpha Co CBMU301 (Seabees) from June67 -Dec-68 – Our main job was taking care of the Base and Runway at An Hoa – we were located on the South End of the Runway — We replace the runway twice while I was stationed there – Lots of Memories — lots of picture I have – Many convoys to DaNang – and only one time across Liberty Bridge – rest of the times were by Marine ferries –
Thank you so much for the work and pictures you provided — Like I said — a flood of memories —
Bob, thank you for the kind words. And thank you for sharing a piece of your story. I am happy you made it out.
Thanks for the post and pictures, sure brings back some memories for sure. I was there from Oct 76 to Mar 68 An Hoa and Phu Bai untill med evacked out of country. I never made it back still today after all the years wonder what happened to some of the guys I left behind.
Chuck Eco 2/5
Chuck, thank you for checking out the article and for your nice comment. I am very happy you made it out.
Chuck, I should know you. Denny Curtin 60 mortars. Mar67 to Apr68. Semper Fi
As a USNavy physician, I was assigned as Battalion Surgeon for 2/5 and arrived at An Hoa Combat Base July 26, 1970, three weeks after finishing my internship. The Marines were a really impressive group of men. I ran the 2/5 Battalion Aid Station, and I got to do some medcaps in the surrounding villages. One was to a Bhudist orphanage nearby. The children were healthy there and I remember their straight lines waiting to see us. That night the orphanaged was mortared and overrun with casualties and wounded who were brought to our BAS. Also, I could occasionally rotate out to the Command Post to serve with the Marines in the field. On September 19, 1970, we moved to Baldy.
I too was stationed at An Hoa with H&S. from Nov 69 to Aug 70. I left in Aug of 70 as a part of the initial move back to Danang. I recall that orphanage which was in front of Bravo Sector where we had a line of bunkers. I also recall hearing that after we turned An Hoa over to the ARVN’s the VC came right through the orphanage, and attacked the base. We would not have allowed this to happen if we had been there still.
At the time I was there we had the NVA come on our radio net and tell us they would have complete control of Liberty Bridge and our CO told us we were surrounded by 5000 NVA Regulars. Not sure how true it was, but do know that for the next three days/nights we lit up the valley with air strikes, 175mm Cannon and even the New Jersey firing from the Gulf.
Ahhh the Memories!!!
Sgt T. Golden
Thanks for your comment Tom. It really adds to the historical context of the base. I am happy you made it out.
I remember that like yesterday. We did a Medcap at the orphanage the day before. Went back the next day. Many children killed. I have pictures of the before and after. Visions never leave my Ming. Why an orphanage?
i was on hill 65 when the orphanage was attacked. I watched the whole thing from my foxhole and listened to the Marines crying out on my radio. Didn’t realize until today the toll it took on the kids.
I went on that Medcap with you at the Buddhist Orphanage. Dr Donald Turner DDS and I. I have a pictures of that Medcap. The next day we went back and saw the carnage. Young orphans killed laying out on the front of the temple. I believe one Monk was killed. Vivid image in my mind.
Why? Because us being Americans would Never, Ever do something like that! So the VC took advantage of our way of thinking and they had NO problem doing something like that!! Also, by the time this happen there were NO local VC left because they had been “wiped-out” during TET of early 1968 and I’m sure most of the “VC” were not VC but NVA regulars!!
Dr. Faust, I was with you and Dr. Donald Turner, DDS on the medcap that day. I have pictures before and after. That night the orphanage was mortared and VC in our lines at An Hoa. Went back the next day. So many orphans killed. Forever in my mind
I as with you Dr. Faust that day with Dr. Donald Turner DDS. I have pictures of that day and the day after. That night the orphanage was mortared and VC tried to get through our lines at An Hoa. See so many orphans killed after we treated their smiling faces will forever be in my mind
Where you there when they fragged 2/11’s surgeon’s jeep. They thought some guy was to get General Discharge for drugs when MACV canceled the
He blamed the Doc
I Served at An Hoa with 2/5, in January 1967 to 15 January 1968. From An Hoa 2/5 moved to Phu Bai just on time for Hue City. I was the FO attached to Echo 2/5.
Thank you for your comment Michael. I am glad you made it out. I hope you enjoyed seeing some pictures from the area. Remember to check out the Hue City article on this website also, you might recognize a few places.
I served with CHARLIE 1/5 from 68-69 came away with two Purple HEARTS AND LOST A FEW GOOD MARINES THE AZ VALLEY WAS THE VALLEY OF DEATH SEMPER FI GLAD YOU MADE IT BACK
I was with Echo also 67-68… Oct to March when evaced out of country. Remember the move north quite well.
The many convoy escorts to liberty bridge and back, lost quite a few Marines on those, mines and booby traps,
I remember while serving at An Hoa that 2 nurses were abducted from the Hospital by the VC and when my tour of duty was over in Aug. 69 they had never been found….
I was with the 5th Marines in An Hoa area 11/68 – 4/69. I read years later in a book about Robert Garwood that some nurses and doctors from a German hospital were brought in to the camp where he was being held, just west of the An Hoa base. I read subsequent to that that some made it, at least one died.
The An Hoa Basin, as it was in ’69, will always be with me.
I served with CHARLIE 1/5 during TET 68-69 i was a machine gunner in the AZ VALLEY IT WAS THE VALLEY OF DEATH
I was with Echo during that time frame, 2nd platoon i believe it was. I carried the radio for most of my time there, not exactly a smart move on my part.
Chuck, I was Squadleader/ Gunner in 60 mortars then. I know Like Harris.SF
Chuck, I was Squadleader/ Gunner in 60 mortars then. I know Mike Harris.SF.
I was there when the nurses were abducted. I saw them once in the mess hall. I was with 2/5 Flames August 68-August 69
is the german hospital still standing by the river on the way to liberty bridge from an hoa combat base. it was just down from a fire support base across road from a ville. is there organized travel available to an hoa, liberty bridge area or go noi island.
Hi Leslie. Thanks for your comment. Not sure about the hospital. I don’t know about the hospital building between An hoa and the bridge. The road is still there so possible to travel along. About traveling there. There are groupd travels but they tend to only stay at one location for maximum a day. If you want to travel back and spend some time there, I suggest you arrange it yourself. I can be of help with some suggestions. We have helped, without cost, several veterans and history travelers to find their way around the country. Drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
I spent nearly a year at the Liberty Bridge , Phu- Loc (6) area . Escorted many mine sweeps between Phu-Loc (6) and An-Hoa. Never saw a hospital. I do remember a place that we called the Alamo with a refugee camp near by , but that was it. Harvey Wade. E- 2/5 69-71
Took a swim to cool off while on sand bag duty. A bridge guard threw frag at something in the water. Ears still ringing
Liberty Bridge is long gone There in 2000
Thank you William.