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.

JT

 

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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46 thoughts on “Camp Carroll”

  1. February 19, 2024
    I was at Camp Carroll with Hq. Co. 4th Marines, Communications. We pulled out of Camp Evans late 1967, and set up at Camp Carroll January 1968. On February 19, 1968 we took over 100 rounds of rockets, and one of our Marines, Richard Roberts, lost his life. That was 56 years ago today. RIP Richard. Semper Fi.
    Cpl. Glenn Janes

  2. I was on Carroll starting in February 1970 till we relocated to Camp Love in Da Nang. Boy after 50 plus year’s ago the vegetation came back after all the Agent Orange was dumped. It was an experience for sure. Lots of rats as bed fellows down in the bunkers at night and in the guard bunkers. Rockets coming in and many other memories.

  3. I was in D Btry 8/4th Artillery at Camp
    Carroll spring of 1970 until I left there for
    home on July 30, 1970. US Army. There was
    no Marine Corp there when I was.. I was at
    FSB Fuller C Btry 6/33 rd Arty til early spring
    of 1970. Unit was turned over to Arvn unit,
    and I was reassigned to Camp Carroll with
    8/4th Arty.

  4. Does anybody remember us getting hit almost every afternoon .A Marine op went out to take out the gun It was made by General Electric in 1943 a Pac75mm F Battery 26th Arty I cant remember the year 68 or 69

  5. “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.

  6. 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!

  7. Read “Dustermen” by Joe Belardo
    He documents detail Brother.
    Or reach out and I can ask him to connect .

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. C 1/44 Duster
      Sep 69 in spring 70
      Remember a raid support west of Stud
      175 & 8″ wanted to “connect”

      1. Rick , not sure but I think I may know you! I just wish I could remember the names of the brothers that I served with . It was my HONOR to have served with you in C BTRY 1-44th ARTY Dong Ha During ( June 25 1969 to June 24 1970 ) SGT E5 ( Squad Leader ) C122 and C142 . Khe Gio Bridge . Any of my crew still out there? would
        be great to hear from you . After 53 years I am finally starting to come to terms with that night of March 12th 1970 at KHE GIO BRIDGE . If you would like to check out ( THE BATTLE AT KHE GIO BRIDGE ) By Don Wittenberger ( [email protected] ) hope you may have any information or someone that may . Welcome Home and GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER

  10. 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.

    1. 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 !

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    1. I remember seeing a convoy ambushed. We were on a hill overlooking rout 9. What a mess.
      Later we found out that some villagers tried to warn the convoy commander. I believe about February of 68

  13. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. Tex,

          That was the day the skipper lost his finger bailing off the tank. Wedding band got it. I was the 2/9 Bn radio operator for grasshopper hotel 6. Captain Hanson I think. Checked in the company Nov 67. Went to battalion and ended up the NCO running the battalion communications. Remember you from bunker living and radio watch with hotel co. And then when we moved up on highway 9 across the mountains from Ka Shan.

      2. I was with India Co. 3/4 and was wounded about 10 meters north of the disabled Marine tank on RT. 9. It was on Jan.25 about noon when the sea knight choppers dropped me off inside the gate of Camp Carroll, as the ambush site on RT was being pummeled by mortars. We were told double time down the access road to RT 9 and make a right turn…when we reached the tank, that is where India Co was located.
        When I reached the tank, my Lt. told me to dig a foxhole about 10 meters from the road. As soon as I took the entrenchment tool off my back, a round landed right next to me and blew me over. It took about an hour for the medivac chopped to take me and a bunch of other Marines to Delta Med in Dong Ha, They immediately sent me to the USS Hospital Ship Repose where they removed the shrapnel from inside my brain. I was also wounded twice in the right arm and twice in the right leg from shrapnel.
        Did you know Michael O’Donnell, or Scozaffava in Mike Company? They were good buddies of mine.
        Captain Prichard of India Co. and Gunny Mikitis were killed on Jan.27, along with the corpsman Ralph Wheeler, III who patched me up two days earlier.
        I was medically discharged on July 31, 1968 due to my brain injury. I was in Vietnam 46 days, Dec.10, 1967- Jan. 25, 1968.

        Please email me…or call me, 570-961-6063 ( Home)
        Thanks,
        Gene Ogozalek,
        Scranton, PA

        1. Semper Fi
          I started out January 5,1968 at Carroll. I remember losing Leautenant John Carson on the bridge on rout 9

    2. 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.

  14. 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

    1. 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

    2. I was with B Battery 6/32 Arty. ( Down South) We went to JJ Carrol, We were assigned to the 8/4. We were called “D” btry. This was about July-Sept. 1971, 8″ & 175mm.

  15. 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.

      1. 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

        1. 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.
          /Jonas

    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.

    3. 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.

    4. Del
      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 [email protected]

  16. 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 !

  17. 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.

  18. 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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