Camp Carroll

Old base road. inside Camp JJ Carroll

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.

Concrete structure with bullet holes at Camp JJ Carroll

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.

Looking west across Camp JJ Carroll

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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10 thoughts on “Camp Carroll”

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Jonas,
    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  4. 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 !

  5. I did read the Mai Loc article. My Battery was located on the other side of the airfield in the District compound.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

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