An Khe Pass

Looking down the road from the An Khe pass

Currently QL19 is a beautiful route from the coastal town of Qui Nhon west over the “Dragon’s Back” to the western part of the country all the way up to Pleiku.  A part of this route is the An Khe pass, which for US forces during the war was one of the most dangerous chokepoints for supply convoys.

The pass was an essential convoy route from the coastal port of Quy Nhon to the US bases in An Khe and around Pleiku  The route not only provided the topographical challenge of steep and winding mountain roads, but also provided the PAVN and VC forces ideal ambush locations. These forces were determined to cut off this critical supply route.

View from the An Khe Pass

Various iconic markers remain to this day. A tower of most likely French origin, sits on top of the pass on the southern side of the road.


How to get there

Driving along the QL19 one will go through the pass. It starts about 55 kilometers west of Quy Nhon and the drive itself is about 5 kilometers from the foot of the mountain ridge to the top of the pass.


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14 thoughts on “An Khe Pass”

  1. I know this pass very well. Was with the 88th trans. Company in Ankhe from June 69 to Sept 70. Drove gun truck along with John Kaufman and Bobby Ray Smith. John drove “PANDEMONIUM”, BOBBY drove “SATAN’S CHARIOT”, and I drove “LIME FIRE”..

  2. I moved along hwy 19 through this pass many times. Came so close to becoming a KIA in the pass by friendly fire while trying to help the USMC in Oct 1965.

  3. Was on gun trucks snoopy with 444 Trans. What is your Nam from July 70 to February 1972 made many trips up AN KHE AND MAG YANG PASS. They could’ve hit us every day if they wanted to pull them big tankers around a hairpin you’re lucky if you’re doing five or 10 miles an hour. A friend of ours from Brutus was killed 23rd of February 1971 Larry doll DEHL he was a water the medal of honor for saving the lives of the rest of his troops on the gun truck met a lot of good guys over there it’s a shame a lot of them didn’t come home !!!!! It was a political war. And the young soldiers died And the young soldiers died. RONALD ROESER. ST LOUIS MISSOURI. ☮️🇺🇸

  4. I ran the pass in 66-67 5 ton tankers then 2.5 trucks

    The road was not paved and the hair pin was a bitch in the rain pulling a load

    My truck broke down and I spent a night with the Koreans who took me in

    We ran many runs at night one to five unescorted so we
    Enjoyed the Cabernet down on the flat before the climb

  5. I rode shotgun on a duece &1/2 thru the an khe pass in 1968. The 3rd brigade of the 4th Inf Div moved from LZ Baldy to Pleiku and I was lucky enough to be along on the adventure. It was scary and hairy! Just glad to know that some of us still think about it.

    1. Sept. 22, 1967 we were going back late 17 KIA one was my shotgun rider in AIT and a few trips on hwy 19 we had over 150+ 5-ton trucks. We only had a Jeep
      in front of convoy and one in the rear so it took some time for the help to come. After that we got gun trucks as lot of different tran. co. were in the same convoy.
      The length of convoys was reduced to about half. I was in the 57th trans. Later in the 563rd.

  6. My uncle, a Korean veteran of the Capital ‘Tiger’ Division was stationed there during the battle of April, 1972.

    1. I ran convoys on the pass in 1971 and I had great respect for the Tiger Division. They had a fire base on top of the pass and after they established it the action of ambushes decreased tremendously.

    2. Just got back from a wonderful trip to Viet Nam. I ran convoys on Highway 19 thru the pass in 1970. The Tiger Division had a fire base on top of the pass and when they established it the rate of ambushes decrease substantially. I had great respect for them. It was hard to recognize the pass now with clear cuts and power lines running through it.

      1. Thank you for your comment David. I am happy you enjoyed your trip back to Vietnam. Did you recognize the French bunkers and watchtower on the top of the pass?

  7. I was with the 1st cav in 66 and 67. We maintained a fm radio relay station on the top of an khe pass. Perhaps in the same location of the radio tower, although I do not remember a radio tower.

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