FSB Bastogne

FSB Bastogne
FSB Bastogne Command Post

Along and north of what is now QL49 between Hue and Aluoi there were a number of Fire Support Bases established in order to monitor and stop the infiltration of PAVN troops from the Ashau Valley towards the lowlands where Hue is located. These bases also served as artillery bases as well as launch points for operations in to the Ashau Valley and Dakrong Valley.

FSB Bastogne artillery position

You can follow our drive there from Hue in the below embedded video:

Although the sites are abandoned since long, they have a lot to offer the history traveler. Walking around the site of FSB Bastogne, we uncovered plenty of items from this once so important artillery base, pieces of Claymore mines, jungle fatigues, soles of jungle boots, sandbags and much more. And although the base area is partly cultivated, there are also clear traces of artillery positions and other installations. We also assume that the roads used to be the old base roads.

Base road at FSB Bastogne

Traveling through this area, another interesting insight for the history traveler is understanding where all these bases were placed in relation to each other and how the terrain looks like together with the overall geography of the area. Looking south from up on the Command Post area, the former base FB Checkmate is well visible.

FSB Checkmate seen from FSB Bastogne

Even so close to Hue and the large camps of Camp Eagle and Camp Evans, this was considered hostile territory through the war due to the location right on the PAVN infiltration routes.

Looking west from FSB Bastogne

The rivers in the area such as Song Bo and Song Huong were frequently used by PAVN troops for transport of men and material. The returning veteran should be able to seek out his old location at least at Bastogne which is more open and accessible than Birmingham.

 

How to get there

Travel south west along the QL49 towards Aluoi and you will shortly arrive at the sites. The coordinates below gives a spot of where the bases were located, but remember that they often stretched over hundreds of meters across several hills.

Decimal coordinates for FSB Bastogne are: 16.3555556 107.448611

Decimal coordinates for FSB Birmingham are: 16.363 107.533

 

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6 thoughts on “FSB Bastogne”

  1. I was the Chaplain for the 27th Engineers in ’68 to “69. We had Companys at Bastogne, Blaze and on the Easternmost rim of the Ashau while building a road for heavy armor to the valley. We also had troops at Gia Le, Sally, Boyd and Birmingham. I was at Blaze when Hamburger Hill was hot. conventional thinking about our engineers, who did not have the heavy casualties of the fighting units, was that we were building a road for our troops during the day which was used by the enemy at night. Reference Angelo’s comment above, I may have conducted a memorial service for Fred Paddleford, RIP.

  2. Thanks for the detail in your website. I had questioned Your YouTube post of a trip to Bastogne previously, because it didn’t look anything like I remembered. But I used your map coordinates on google maps satellite view and it all seems to match up. I do recall the small stream that flowed on the westerly edge of the base that shows clearly on google maps. Once you crossed that stream, the jungle quickly enveloped you, and you were on “alert.” Now there is a row of houses on the other side of the stream. Anyway, thanks much. I doubt I’ll ever get there again, but it’s nice to know life has returned to what was such a violent place.

    1. John, thank you for your comment. I think the video shows just the outside of the old base just like you point out, the pictures on the website are from a later visit that I did last year where we were on top of the old base. All feedback is good as our aim is to make sure we publish the correct information here on the website.

  3. SPENT MANY MONTHS ON BOTH FIRE SUPPORT BASES IN 1969 , WOUNDED ON BASTOGNE 5-12-69 , RPG AND ROCKET ATTACK 2 AM . FIRING SUPPORT FOR HAMBURGER HILL . THEY TOOK OUT OUR 175 . LOST MANY GUYS THAT NIGHT.

    1. Mike, thank you for your comment and I am glad you made it out, The whole Apache Snow operation sure demanded a lot of resources and support from the bases in the area. It wasn’t much to see at the site. Perhaps if I had had more time and more detailed information I could have found something. As for Birmingham, I understand the bulk of the base was around the hill by the road and I couldn’t get up there this time. Perhaps there is more to see on the site.

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