Camp Carroll was a US Marines base located south of the DMZ along Route 9 in Quang Tri province. More than being a launch point for patrols and operations in and around the DMZ area, it also served as an artillery support base. In fact it was for long time the most western permanent artillery base along Route 9. That was due to the fact that it was close to impossible for US Forces to reach further west with large convoys without running in to ambushes. This complicated matters for the American side as it meant they could not reach over the Laotian border with heavy artillery.
The bulk of operations took place in and around the DMZ area so for those purposes Camp Carroll was well suited. Named after Captain James J. Carroll who was killed in Vietnam in 1966, Camp Carroll served as a USMC base during 66-70 and was surrendered by ARVN in 1972 under humiliating circumstances as ARVN leadership had struck a deal with the PAVN commanders, forcing the US Advisers to a very dramatic escape.
On the site is a monument and remains of concrete structures. While enjoying the view overlooking the highly contested central DMZ, one certainly understands the strategic value of this base.
Further down the road is The Rockpile and LZ Stud that can be seen from Route 9. This site should be a must for everyone doing a tour through the DMZ. Although very few remains are around, all the area of the base is accessible and it does have a relatively long and interesting history.
How to get there
The camp is accessible from Route 9 about 8 kilometers west of Cam Lo. There is a small sign on the road leading south up the mountain. Every arranged DMZ tour out of Hue goes by this spot, but to our knowledge they don’t stop by here. If you are on a tour, then ask your guide to make time for this. If you have made your own arrangements then add this to your tour. Most people travel out of Hue up to Dong Ha to travel west along Route 9. All the area is accessible in a one day trip.
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33 thoughts on “Camp Carroll”
“This complicated matters for the American side as it meant they could not reach over the Laotian border with heavy artillery.”
That is not accurate. The 175mm guns could reach out and touch Laos, and did so. No forward or air observers, though, which limited things.
Stationed to Camp Carroll ‘67 – ‘68 with Seabees of NMCB 10. We built medical bunkers, chow hall and a ton of hootches for our buddy Marines. I sure remember those attacks almost every night. Many memories including having my cot rucked by B52’s nearby. Stay safe out there and Welcome Home!
Read “Dustermen” by Joe Belardo
He documents detail Brother.
Or reach out and I can ask him to connect .
I was with the 101st out of Camp Eagle. But while on TDY out of Evans, I had to go and swap out a radio at Carroll. As the Huey came upon the Camp, I was amazed at how some of these guys were living. Some in bunkers, others sleeping in ditches. The chopper disturbed a lot of guys as the air from the blades blew off their poncho coverings. As we landed , the pilot told me that I had 15 minutes to swap out or I would be spending the night there. The sight of the 175mm and the perimeter all gave me the adrenaline needed to get that commo equipment swapped and tested and back on that chopper. Seeing the conditions that these guys were living in made Evans and Eagle look like 4 Star hotels.
I was FDC CHIEF for C Btry 1/39th FA operating out of CC. 8” and 175 mm split battery. Would go on “raids” lasting 3-4 days at a time . 50 years ago. Anybody Out there?
C 1/44 Duster
Remember a support mission past rockpile when big guns needed to reach out and touch…..
Sep 69 into spring range a couple times.
Just met with some Brothers just a few days ago, remembering sleeping in accommodations available. I had a hammock tied to the door on the front on our track, off on a fender. Moved one night about 10 feet to reposition while napped. Saw the pads were clear at least 12 inches, no sweat.
C 1/44 Duster
Sep 69 in spring 70
Remember a raid support west of Stud
175 & 8″ wanted to “connect”
Yup a battery here. 1970, 71
I’m trying to compile information about my father who served in the USMC at Camp Carroll between 1966-1967. His name is Herbert McGee and was 19-20 years old at the time. I have pictures of him while in Vietnam. We found medals he won from serving DECADES later. I’m sure like many soldiers who served in Vietnam, he didn’t speak of his experiences and therefore kept his experiences private and awards hidden. We found them in a drawer around 2010. I believe he was in the 5th Marine Division. I’ve requested information from the national archives and searched on some random data bases, but I haven’t had luck in finding his name. If anyone has any advice or remembers him, I’d be so grateful to receive any information you could offer.
Thanks so much and thank you to those who served and sacrificed while serving our country.
Most of us Marines that were there were 18 t0 20. I was at Camp Carroll with Kilo 3/4 Oct of 66. There that day Captain Carroll was killed along with his radioman L/Cpl Huffer and others. The red clay & mud and the 175’s are in my mind ever since. We had just came to that area off Operation Prairie and Mutters Ridge. I was an 0331 Machine gunner. We provided base security for the camp. Rain , mud, and cold! Miserable! Living in fighting holes with poncho s for a roof. R.I.P. Brothers! Semper Fidelis !
Does anyone remember my father he was a a tank Sgt. Frank Trejo from San Antonio Tx. He was in charge of a modified quad forty.
Which year was he there?
http://www.ndqsa.com is the site dedicated to our units in Vietnam. Great resource, active association.
Reach out if we can help remember our Brother.
2/9 moved their rear to Camp Carroll around Oct or Nov 1967. Christmas night 67 saw a lot of fire works. We ran some patrols, security for some convoys from Carroll to Dong Ha and stood lines I believe on the northeast side perimeter. Also did some time in the tower out on the point. Jan 68 Hotel Co. 1st plt was the reactionary force that road down on tanks to an ambushed convoy. Not a good day. Remember by Mike’s Hill. Mike Co 2/4. I think it was in Feb 68 at part of 2/9 moved to Vandergriff. Similar routine with 1st plt doing security for an adjacent hill that had some kind of communication bunker. Carroll had many rocket attacks . At the time 12/67 I was a PFC with Hotel 2/9, 1st plt. Time in country 07/67 to 08/68 as a grunt. Semper Fi
was there marine dec 67 -68 wounded below carroll tet jan 24 68 by mikes hill one of 4 survivors,was there 2000-03 4 yrs row and 08 40th tet aniv .i showed viets largest grave site of nva over 600 mias remains area by route 9 .2003 i found mia remains khe sanh and by carroll bpth buired texas.april 6 68 in bush below carroll i got up from fox hole wallked over warned recon team donot go up dong ha mtn an hour later lt motcha mia till 2003. the mtn had 15,000 nva caves and behind carroll then usually 2000 had 465 guys.chaplain geof steiner cushing mn h co 2/9 marines.semper fi billy hill i found i khe sanh sept 21 2003 remains home tx 2015 1968 quang tri 45,000 marines 85,000 nva across ben hai river worst battles war was dmz
I was with Mike Company, 3rd Bn, 4th Marines. We were the 4th reactionary force that responded to the Jan 24, 1968 ambushed convoy (the first was Army Dusters from Camp Carroll, and 2nd & 3rd were from Dong Ha). I have been trying, for 5 yrs, to talk or email any survivors that were in the ambushed convoy. I have last names, but no first names. Since Mr. Steiner was one of 4 survivors, was he in the ambushed convoy? Our unit, 3/4 lost 23 Marines in the following 3 days on Mike’s Hill. I am corresponding with members of the first 3 reactionary forces. It would be God sent if I could communicate with anyone that was on that ambushed convoy on 01/24/68. Thank you.
Del, I was withthe Duster unit you refer to, but arrived in July 1969, well after that incident. If you go to FB and locate the page “DQS Historian” and post this request, I know several of the men involved are members of our association and follow that page.
And welcome home Brother.
I was shot off a tank that day. 2/9 hotel grasshopper 64 ,forward observer ro.
I served in the Marine Corps 1975-79. Capt. Daniel Wilder Kent, 3rd Tank Bn., was commanding the first relief column from Camp Carroll. He was KIA and is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery, Leicester, MA. We clean his headstone every year and decorate his grave with a flag every Memorial Day.
There was a Army Artillery base at JJ Carroll in 1971. We came from the south. There is no mention of D btry 8/4
i was at camp jj carroll 1966 until may 1967 i was in charge of the otters the 175 artys was there at that time droping rounds accross the dmz on the ho che min trail
In the video, at the 5:34 mark, you are crossing over what we knew as “Khe Gio Bridge”. Hollowed ground to the Dustermen of C Battery, 1/44 Air Defense Artillery.
Thanks Rick. I am glad we caught it in the video since you have told me so much about it. Next time I get up there I’ll stop and take a few pictures also. I am happy you made it out.
Jonas how do we Marines that were at the Khe Sahn 881 Hill Fights get to go back to the site?. I would be interested in going back with a couple of my Marine brothers that were there In April, May, 1967. We were overrun on May 3rd. by the North Vietnamese, and 31 Marines were killed, 5 in my squad. You can call me at: 330-303-0715. SF
Hi Dick. That sounds very interesting. We do have some contacts in the area, especially Mr Vu who runs a small tour operation out of Quang Tri. He is very knowledgeable and took Stephen, who wrote the article on 881S https://namwartravel.com/hill-881s/ , there on his first visit to the hill. I am based in Sweden, but Stephen is currently in US. I will introduce you to each other and maybe he can give you a call.
a message came across my tv at the bottom of the screen with the name Camp Carroll. It instantly triggered a memory. I was up at the “Z” as a radio man with the 3rd Battalion, First Marine Division. Wounded Sunday night, July 14, 1968. God Bless those who sacrificed their lives so we can live free. We love you and we miss you everyday.
My Stepdad is Wayne Mitchell. He was there in 66/67 According to his DD214, his assignment was “BTRY C 1st 44th ARTY APO SF 96269 USARV. He was stationed at Camp Carroll as well and drove a Duster. He also talks about the Rockpile.
Thank you for your service Sir.
My name is Mike Stergio. I was a Cpl with India’s 1st platoon. On January 25th we came down from A3 and west on highway 9 towards Mike’s Hill. My squad rode atop two Army Ontos (dusters) at the head of the rest of the Company who was on foot. As we approached Mike’s Hill we were ambushed. Mortar, small arms and rockets struck the front of the company advance. I got hit along with 4 members of my squad..two were KIA. I was flown out on the first medevac chopper and sent to CamRahn Bay. I rejoined the company in April and rotated in July.
I can be reached at Mikesterg47@gmail.com
WE were perimeter security for Carroll and the initial bunker builders…that’s “construction Charlie ” One time we all had been building all day when our Captain lowered the bum on us….Thanks, he stated then it was the OFFICERS will appreciate that. Morale went through the floor and when I told them, they were ready to hang me. I swore zero knowledge ..then it hit me….football…let’s go north to the field. Many wanted to hit me…i figure why not ‘hit someone’..? NVA on Dong Ha mountain sent in rockets to trash it !
I did read the Mai Loc article. My Battery was located on the other side of the airfield in the District compound.
Truman, thank you for the comment. I find it interesting to learn about unit movements during the war. Although it is only a short bit between Mai Loc and Rockpile i assume it was a dangerous ride.
I commanded Battery C, 6 Bn 33rd Arty in Mai Loc and we moved to LZ Fuller (next to Rockpile) in September 1969. We replaced the last Marine 105mm battery , when they withdrew, and became the westernmost artillery unit in I Corps. We were at about the same height of the Rockpile and could see what looked like PSP (perforated steel planking) on top that was used as a helipad. We successfully defended against an NVA ground attack in November 1969. The Battalion was inactivated in February 1970 and Fuller was turned over to the ARVN. About May 1970 is was over run by NVA.
Thank you for your comment Truman. And thank you for sharing part of your story here, it really adds to the history of these places. Did you notice the page we have about Mai Loc also? It is under the Stories from the war section. Rick who shared the website link in the I Corps group has written an article from his time there and from when he re-visited Mai Loc last year.