Lai Khe Base Camp

Lai Khe Base Camp
Lai Khe Gate Foundation

Along route QL13, also known as Thunder Road, there were a string of bases during the war. One of the most important ones was Lai Khe, which served as base camp for the 1st Infantry Division from 1965-1972 along with several other American units over different periods of time. The base camp was the headquarters for the 3rd Brigade with the division headquarters not far away in Di An. The other brigades were stationed at Quan Loi, Phuoc Vinh and Dau Tieng. It was a well chosen site, right on the highway. Together with its large runway and relative proximity to Saigon, supplies could be brought in fairly easily via both road and air. Another 70 kilometers up the road, a Special Forces Camp was located in Loc Ninh.

Lai Khe Base Camp
Lai Khe Bunker

Being located so close to Saigon meant it was an important part of the city’s outer defenses as PAVN forces later in the war would push down QL13 during its attacks. At one point, it was one of the most active areas when it came to PAVN and VC activities. Being so close to the Iron Triangle, it also meant that many operations were launched from the base even as it was a constant target for enemy attacks.

Lai Khe Base Camp
Brigade HQ at Lai Khe

In fact, Lai Khe was probably the most rocketed base camp in the country except for Khe Sanh during the siege. At times, the camp would receive incoming rockets three times per day and twice per night and there was a sign at the main gate reading: ‘Welcome to Rocket City’.

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much left around the old base area, however if you know what you are looking for then you can still find evidence of this massive installation’s existence. Some of the old gates are still there, along with concrete remains of the old walls and the former Brigade administration buildings are still standing. Inside the camp, some of the older trees carry marks of  shrapnel from the rocket attacks. At least a couple of the former perimeter roads are still visible and in use along with the bypass road on the east side of the camp outside the old minefield.

Lai Khe Base Camp
Lai Khe Runway area looking north

Over the years the area has been built up and as you approach the base, there are really no signs of the old base. Only as you get close, you will find old bunkers and the gate on the west side of the road. On the east side there is a rubber plantation which should be more or less identical to what was located there during the war years.

Lai Khe Base Camp
Lai Khe Base Camp rubber plantation

Venturing through the camp area across to the west side, it is clear where the west perimeter was located. There is a road leading north to south and along that road there are multiple old berms as well as remnants from concrete constructions, probably bunkers.

Lai Khe Base Camp
Lai Khe West Concrete Slab

All in all, a visit to Lai Khe is a must for the history traveler. It is fairly easy to get there and it is the southern starting point for the legendary "Thunder Road" which today is the QL13 national main road leading north.



How to get there

Lai Khe is located about 60 kilometers north of Saigon along QL13 towards An Loc and Loc Ninh. It’’s a nice half day visit to go up there and back, or a full day trip for those who wants to venture further north and visit the other bases that were located along the road.

Decimal Coordinates 11.195, 106.617


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284 thoughts on “Lai Khe Base Camp”

  1. Oct68 to Oct69, 1 Inf Div, 1 Med Batt, Alpha Co, Div Optometrist, traveled between Di An, where my hooch was, to Lai Khe and Dau Tien. Spend many nights in each camp and examined eyes for glasses and delivered glasses. Many days, had same day service, due to Dust Off carrying Rx to Di An and returning with completed glasses the same day.
    My only regret of my one year in Vietnam Nam, was not keeping a daily diary. I’d love to go on social media and seeing who I might connect with and ask, “how are you doing”.
    I got prostate cancer from Agent Orange, but at 77 I’m doing very well.

  2. I served with Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 33rd Artillery July 65 to August 66. I received a Purple Heart, date of action July 30, 1966 at the south side of Bau Bang. Also wounded were Robert Knowles, Lyle Hunwardsen, James Balluff, Jose Parrilla-Morales, Joe Kelley (deceased),Frank Mercado, Bobby Bettis, Joseph Poler, Lionel Coleman. Does anyone have any photos showing the results of the mortar attack and following “friendly fire” from one of our sister batteries. Someone showed my a picture of my damaged truck while I was in the 3rd Field Hospital in Saigon. I was medivaced in September 1966 to the Fitzsimmons Military Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

  3. I was with them 168 engineers (cbt) from Mar. 1966 to Feb. 1967. We were at Lai Khe. We did move to Do An, but I don’t remember what mo.

  4. Does anyone know how to contact a listing of all personel who where at Lai Khe? I was told you can look it up on computer. I’ve tried with no luck and want to find names of people I served with, especially 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, Company C, 1st Infantry Division year 1968.

    Does anyone know how to find listings of all Army Personnel names that served at Lai Khe? I was told you can look it up on the internet. I tried with no luck. I’m trying to find buddies names from C Company, 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, 1st Infantry Division year 1968 during Tet. If anyone can assist me I would appreciate it.

    Does anyone know how to look up all personnel who served at Lai khe? I was told you can find listing of names on internet. I tried with no luck. I’m trying to find names of buddies I served with C Company, 1st Engineer Combat Battalion, 1st Infantry Division year 1968. If anyone can assist me how to find names lis

    1. I was with the 4 deuce, heavy mortar platoon of the 2nd/28th, First Infantry Div. – at times attached to the 2nd/33rd Artillery. We spent most of our time at NDPs Sicily 3 and Sicily 6, operating between Phu Loi and Lai Khe. I was in Nam from Jan 1968 to Jan 1969, arriving just hours into the year-long Tet Offensive. It was a memorable year. Tom Gallagher.

    2. I was in the 1st engineer batallion, company C, third platoon. Arrive in Vietnam October 24th, 1968. Medivac out of country May 1st, 1969. Sgt. Warner was my platoon sgt. and Sgt. Booth was my squad leader.
      Spent time thunder road 1&2 and Firebase Riley.
      When did you leave country?

  5. Arrived in Lai Khe at the begining of TET 1968 and was assigned to the 1st Engineers, Combat Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. The first day or two was very confusing, but learned pretty fast the difference between 175 mm shells outgoing located near our area and the mortar/rockets in coming. The accomodations weren’t the best, but in base camp, we slept in our bunker and felt a little safer, better then the LZ’s.
    I connected with squad member Bob Hunziker about ten years ago and we’ve shared our experiences from the many years ago like it was yesterday. My sincere sympathy to all and their families who never made it home. Thank you to all who served. God Bless America!

  6. I previously post a request for information on artillery units at Lei Khe in July 1967. Well, I went to Wikipedia and and it listed two units for July 1967. They must have rotated units. I can only presume the army veteran researcher I hired is not a knowledgeable researcher. He could have looked on Wikipedia for the identical information.

    Please cancel posting my request for the artillery unit’s designation. Thank you.

    1. I was Battery Commander of C Battery, 1st Bn, 7th Artillery who orginally was based in Di An , our permanent barracks, but we ended up frequently in Lai Khe after being in the filed a lot in War Zone D with the Infantry and in NDP’s. Before C Battery, I was in the Infantry for about 7 months.

    2. I was Battery Commander of C Battery, 1st Bn, 7th Artillery who orginally was based in Di An , our permanent barracks, but we ended up frequently in Lai Khe after being in the filed a lot in War Zone D with the Infantry and in NDP’s. Before C Battery, I was in the Infantry for about 7 months.

  7. Does any one know the designation of the artillery unit at Lei Khe in July 1967? I hired a researcher at the National Archives, College Park, MD, but he requires this unit’s official army designation to continue gathering information from official records.

  8. ****** I was the Night Village MP Gate Guard from Mid Oct. 68 until Thaksgiving Day that year just about. SSG was the Night NCO Supervisor. Provost Marshall Chris Hayden was IMHO a Real Strait Laced Bastard. Have Forgotten Who the Asst. PM – Major was (??)

    ******* Vividly recall Lt’s Kott, Anderson,O’Toole, Rohrback, Randolph, Shellenberger Earlier

    ****** Capt Turner was CO , but the Company was in a Constant flux getting situated in LK from Di”a,n SFC Lewis was my last Platoon NCO . I left Christmas Eve 1968 .

    1. Interesting. I’m reading letters from Jim Force from California who was an MP at Lia Khe and transferred to Di An in September 1968. We married after he returned. Nancy

  9. i went to nam nov 66. was assigned to 2/33rd arty, but attached to 1st 16th inf rangers as a rto for foward obsver till july or augst 67 then went to Ben Cat again as an rto with a liaison team and attached to MACV team 70. Why ill never know but stayed ther till dec 68. was overran Tet. a night i will never forget. dec 68 went to lai khe spent las 3 months as nco club manager , april 69 went home. Went home and less than a year in trouble with law, went back in army for 3 more years . and back to nam ,101st air camp eagle june 71 to march 72. I had alot of problems adjusting to the world. im 73 yrs old and never thought id make it past my 30s

    1. I am looking for people that served in nam from Nov 66 to Nov 67 1st light horse battery 8th battion 6th arty 3rd platoon with the 4.2 mortar squad

      1. I was assigned to Light Horse Alpha from January 1967-January 1968. camped in Phu Loi, Alpha company (4 duce mortors)supported 8/6 artillery during Johnson and others. City

  10. I will all ways love this place Lai Khe, I was only 18 years old when I step my feet off of that UH1H in Lai Khe back in 1969 and one more time in 1070 we left
    Lai Khe and went up north with the 554 Engr, I was with the 168 in 1969 ,
    I know you all may thank I am a nut, But I found my first girl friend in that place ,I went back to marry her but I was told she was killed,
    Got run over by a 290 ground vehicle Her name was Houng Lin, so after three years in VN in1971 I went home , But had to go back because I lost something
    there, I married a girl from Lai Khe, for 20 years she got AG and from that area, She passed away, Then I return one more time and married a girl from Hanoi they tell me at the Airport that I am the 2nd American to return back to Vietnam Two years after the War,
    I am also the person that was Solving the MIA mystery Inside the Hanoi’s Secret Archives, And give the DIA 1000’s of photos of missing
    POW’s and MIA’s back in 1994,

  11. It’s been 51 years since I left Lai Khe I still remember some of my sidekicks like S4 Pedro Lopez and PFC Charles Rosenberger. When not on mind sweeps or cutting LZ’s seems like us three pulled Perimeter Guard together. The only thing I liked about Nam was pulling tower guard with a buddy. You were on shift 24 hours rotating then had 24 hours off! Gave you time to get haircut, go to a club on Base, PX or sleep. Sargeant Mike Popp was my Squad Leader and we’ve keep in contact last couple years. He told me day he was leaving Nam while on freedom bird leaving airstrip they were mortard and had to be delayed another day wow! if anyone remembers me I had an AKA FANMAN!! Or leave some contact info for me to contact you

    1. Was there in 1970, and headed home June 1971 with 595 Signal (NCOIC com center).
      595 replaced by 275 Signal, but we all stayed with a new address. Been in contact with a couple guys the last few years. The 3 guys that went missing right before I got there were in the 595 in Di An where our company headquarter was.

      Glad all you guys stay in touch with old buddies !

      1. I was in the 595th in Lai Khe in in ‘67 and had left on the morning convoy the day before the Tet offensive started to come home. I was at the 90th Replacement company at Long Binh
        next night when the shit hit the fan. I was told there were VC inside the wire that night. When i was there we lived across from the PX.

  12. I was in Lei Khe Nov 1967- Oct 1968 C company 1/16th. Most of the time we were in the field but in between field assignments enjoyed a little rest in Lei Khe
    even though most nights a rocket or two would fly in.

  13. Being with the 1st Engr Battalion at Lai khe Feb 1968- Jan 1969 had good and bad memories. When we would clear the roads outside S. MP check point with our mine detectors sometimes you would see Papa Son riding his bicycle going around certain areas which the GOOKS knew was mined. Once we made a GOOK not to go around and guess what, NO MORE Papa-Son! Being on Perimeter Guard if we saw movement I would fire my M-16 while the Radios would come back saying “Better be a dead Gook” in the morning. That’s why I made it back to the World I didn’t care I fired at anything at night.
    I forgot about the —- — Lizards late at night, as I would laugh to help out with a humor laugh for me

    1. I was with the Rome plow sec. drove the APC ( command track) can’t remember the Lt’s name was there when we cut the 1st ID in the middle of the Iron Triangle We never spent much time at Lai Khe everywhere but. Always First No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great Duty First. Never will forget the fook you lizard. We were there at the same time. Rocket City. Welcome Home

    2. My Dad was stationed there 68-69. I would love to know more about the base. Do you know any books about Vietnam that give info on the base at Lai Khe?

  14. Hello everyone. i am trying to find people that may have been stationed with my dad . he passed away april 19. I was given his service uniform and his dd214 so i know a little of where he was.. I found 300 to 400 pictures and he did not write on the back so i have been wanting to know more about his time there . I am looking for people who knew him as he would never tell me about his time there and he said just google black virgin mountain and go from there. He was there from 69 to 71 on and off and was released from service at Fort Riley ks at the end of 71. His name was Donald Keith Thompson , He lived in jackson ky at the time he enlisted.

  15. I was at Lai Khe 1st Engr Combat Battalion C Company Feb 1968-Jan 1969. Christmas Eve 1968 I was on Perimeter Guard I remember the Password was “Silent Night. Still cannot forget the Rocket/Mortar Attacks day and night all thru 1968 in “Rocket City”. If anyone remembers Tim O’Brien 1st Platoon he was involved as a Fireman in New York during the 911 Attack had recently passed 2 years ago. Wow fighting to times in his career!

  16. I was in lai khe 595 in 69-70 before being sent to dian remember a lt. or capt. patterson and arroyo, randoph, mcgruder and alden. was on cq duty when 3 guys went missing

    1. went back to Vietnam in August 1970 and with the 595LE as a grader operator until about Oct 1970 then was sent to the Delta. I thought the 595th deactivated Welcome Home brother

      1. There in 70 for the 595th engr. Before and after our going to katum for Cambodian incursion. Sfc Ball was our ply sgt, lt. Justin’s put leader

  17. I was a MP in the Big Red One from March of 68 till January 69. Started at DiAn, then Lai Khe and then Quan Loi. I mostly did security at the Lai Khe village entrance, security at the communication center near the headquarters building, a few night convoys and escorted a convoy to see Bob Hope. I’m one of the lucky ones to come home safe.

    1. I was with the 1st MP co until the end of sept 69 mostly w/the 5th plt.,then to DiAn for a month.( my brother Dave was the w/1st s&t ) He said it was good to know some MP’s .

    2. ****** I was the Night Village MP Gate Guard from Mid Oct. 68 until Thaksgiving Day that year just about. SSG was the Night NCO Supervisor. Provost Marshall Chris Hayden was INLO a Real Strat Laced Bastard. Have Forgotten Who the Asst. PM – Major was (??)

      ******* Vividly recall Lt’s Kott, Anderson,O’Toole, Rohrback, Randolph, Shellenberger Earlier

      ****** Capt Turner was CO , but the Company was in a Constant flux getting situated in LK from Di”a, SFC Lewis was my last Platoon NCO . I left Christmas Eve 1968 .

  18. I was in Lai Khe from March 1969 until March 1970. I was in the information office attached to the the 1st Admin Company. Part of my job was as editor of the 1st Division newspaper. The last few months I was there I was busy writing the history of the division, and writing stores for the paper. As the base began to shut down I escorted a team of photographers who were documenting the redeployment I spent my remaining time in Di An. I really enjoyed the video, and recognize several of the spots shown.

    1. I must have passed you on the way out as I moved in with Team 70 at that time. It is really interesting to go back now and see how the area has changed.

      1. I was with Advisory Team 70 with the 5th ARVN when we moved to Lai Khe in April 1970. I was there until Jan ’71. The 1st Division turned the base over to the ARVN at that time and they went home. Your pictures and article are terrific. I went back in 2015, but didn’t have a driver that spoke English so I didn’t know where to look. Now I have a much better idea for the next time I go back. It has certainly grown up a lot in the area in the last 50 years. Thanks.
        Larry G
        Team 70 5th ARVN G-2

    1. Thank you for your article. I know Lai Khê very well because I was an officer of the 1st Intelligent Detachment of the Vietnamese army (ARVN) working toghether with the 1st Intelligent Military of the Big Red One division.
      Now I live in France and I like to have contact with the veterans of the 1 st Infantry Division especially of the intelligent military company of Big Red One at Dĩ An base .

      1. greetings in 1969 beginning in February I was stationed at like a base camp in the photo lab still photos and color slides in February of 1970 I was transferred up to denying the first military intelligence battalion ARS

        1. Thank you very much Dear comrade of the BIG RED ONE heroic division.
          A time we remember and never forget. Especially General Keith Ware, whom I had the pleasure of accompanying you from Lai Khe to Tan First Nhat on your helicopter flight. Meet him for the first and last time. A very simple general that I cannot forget.

  19. Jonas, there is a fairly decent video of the runway, 173rd flightline, and the AF aerial port location.
    This was taken after the old PSP was replaced with the aluminum panels.

  20. Was in Lai Khe December 68. went home in Jan 69. C Company, 168th Engineer BN (cbt) 20 Engineer BG. Moved out of Quan Loi shortly after the 1st Division moved there after the 1st CAV replaced them.

  21. Arrived in November 69 and assigned to HQ Company, Operations inside the secured/fenced area. Reassigned in February 70 when the Division departed South Viet Nam. Served the rest of my time in the 1st Logistics command at Bien Hoa.

  22. A little early November ’65 Highway 13 action excerpted from my forthcoming biography on Gordon Lippman:

    “No one over here thought these choppers could lift those heavy guns until the boys got to experimenting,” said Major Roblie Davis explaining his raid on the tax point.
    He flew in low over the trees and found the three local Communist Commissars sitting at a table near the roadside between a pair of machine guns.
    “They had quite a business-like operation going on there,” said Davis, “sitting right out there in daylight in uniform with web belts on and everything, and traffic backed up for one-quarter of a mile. We swooped down on them and Colonel Lippman let loose with those guns before their machine gunners knew what happened.”
    “We came in so low over the trees, they never saw us coming. On the way out we drew some small arms fire from deep among the trees and a carbine shot the bubble out of my chopper.”

  23. Looking for anyone who knew LTC Gordon Lippman. He was with 3rd Brigade, KIA December 65. He is my cousin.

  24. I served in Lai khe 2nd Platoon Charlie Company 2nd BN 28th INF 1st INF Division Jan 28th 1966 to Jan 28th 1967 i was assigned to the Machinegun Squad as ammo bearer then i was assistant Machine gunner then i was Machine Gunner i was in the Jun 11th 1966 battle at Loc Ninh most of A Company got Killed and the recon Platoon Carlie Company was to secure the Air Strip with B Company MY self and several men from my Platoon sent to get the wonded.

    1. December 1965 to September 1966 3 months fitz Simmons hospital Colorado international squad charlie company march or may 5 1966 6 hour battle I served listening post to battalion promoter 2 o clock by 8 am ran out of ammunition Huey dropped off got shot down I fetched for my company element 20 000 rounds at two runs to dump site twisted bonding with with tup of my m16 by 11 am Emmy abates 500 enemy kill to 190 to american end of note my first major battle

  25. Ernest R. Barnes
    I and 3rd Bde, Co C 2/28 arrived on the USS Gordon, at Vund Tau, Republic of Viet Nam, 9/1965. We were escorted to Lai Khe, Michelin Rubber Plantation, by the 173 AB. The Lai Khe airstrip was operated by the French. The first thing we did was to set up the first defensive perimeter and dig in our 81mm mortars. For each rubber tree felled for the famous Big Red One bunker. The Village of Lai Khe was inside the perimeter. The villagers cut the rubber trees by day and the Cong would shell us at night. Our first convoy went for re-supply a month later. We lost the 1SGT an my driver Thomas W., Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on the way to an IED. Our CO was Captain Tyrone Fletcher, aka Zippo 6. MG DePuy became the 1D commander later, in 1965. We lived in GP Small and Medium tents. We were next to a maintenance company. We went on many search and destroy missions on the Cambodian border. Early in the tour 3rd Bde. was on the air strip to help the First Cav in the ID Valley. We did not deploy. I left Vietnam thru DiAn, in 9/1966. The build up had taken place. I was off to Oakland Army Terminal.

    1. i remember Zippo 6 the reason he was called Zippo 6 was if we got enemy fire from a village he would burn the Village down

  26. I was with the 121st Signal Headquarters Company 1st Infantry from Sept. 1969 to Feb. 1970 when the colors were being returned to Ft. Riley. I recently googled my old commanding officer, Major Leo Childs who I saw made it to the top of the US Army Signal Corp. as Major General Leo Childs. Way to go!

    1. Hey Steve,
      I was with the 121st from February 1969 to February 1970. I have been trying, for quite a while, to find someone who was attached to my unit. I would like for you to contact me. We could talk about the unit and old friends. I’m also on FaceBook.

      Hope to hear from you
      Gary Achgill

      1. My late husband Greg was with 1/26 D Co. November Platoon from April 1069 to when the colors came home in 1970. Perhaps you knew him.

  27. I helped open the place in Oct. 1965. We got off the trucks and dug in on the NE perimeter. I was with A 2/2 as a grenade launcher man in2nd platoon. My unit was at Ap Bau Bang and Ap Nha Mat battles. I was wounded and evacuated before Christmas in 65. For the record,I would love to go back and tour the country in peace.

    1. Hello John.
      Thank you for your comment. That is some very interesting information. If you have questions about going back, please send me an email on We are happy to give you some advice and point you in the right direction. We have some very good contacts in the country that can help you get around.


    2. I was there 66-67 as an RTO with the 1/16th Rangers. I’m amazed after watching this video that nothing is left from the base, even the air strip is gone and is now just a narrow road.
      I’m still in touch with a number of guys from my outfit and up till last year, we would all meet in Kokomo Ind for a reunion. We were part of a huge gathering of vets each year and it was and always remain as a memorable time in my life.
      Time is going by much too fast but memories do not fade.

      1. Thank You for your service.My husband passed in Jan from AO he was in the Big Red 1 rangers there…His family and I are finally getting to have his celebration of life on the 20th..

      2. I was with the 1st light horse battery 8th battion 6th artillery part of the 25th infantry division of the BIG RED 1. I was a mortar operator with the 4.2 mortar. I was their from November 1966 TO November 1967. my Brother Ralph got KIA on Aug 12th 1968.

        1. I don’t understand. 1st light horse battery 8/6 as a mortar “operator” 4.2′ mortars (in a 155mm howitzer battalion) and the 25th Infantry Division in the Big Red One? The 25th Infantry Division was headquartered at Cu Chi and the 1st Infantry Division (of equal size) was headquartered at Di An. There was a 155 battery at Lai Khe but the rest of this makes no sense.

        2. I was originally assigned to 2nd battalion 16 infantry headquarters company July 1966 to 0ctober 1966, than we were combined with 2nd 28 infantry. We formed 4.2 mortar company with 6 mortars. We were attached to 2 battalion 33rd artillery and called D Battery. We had fire missions when called upon protecting base camp.
          We would go into field when called upon for various operations. I left in July of 67, when my tour was up. I don’t know how long this mortar company lasted.
          Are you aware of this set-up in this time frame?

    3. Hello Jon, I was a machine gunner with A 2/2 3rd platoon from Jan. 66 to Jan. 67. I was one of the replacements for the men killed at Bau Bang Nov. 65. We spent many days around Bau Bang searching the area and for road runners for conveys coming through. It was always a dangerous place. My daughter found a site on line that showed modern day Bau Bang. There is a huge manufacturing complex there now.

  28. Why would I ever want to go back ? I got there Jan.15, 1968, 2 weeks before the Tet Offensive. I was on a 50 cal. On top of a VTR. without a shield. Wounded in a rocket attack, had guys from my unit blown away in pieces, went out with Col. Patten on a search and destroy with 10 days left to go in country. Found 2 tunnels and a land mine. Rotated back home. Proud of all my Brothers. Some PTSD, but I deal with it. Scars on my legs and lungs. I have no animosity towards the people or their country. I don’t need closure, I got that the day I left. Lai khe truly was ROCKET CITY. Why would I want to go back ???? I’ve been around the world at least 6 times, and in the Far East. While there are beautiful places in NAM, there are NONE more beautiful than back here in the USA. Why would I want to go back ????? Bob A.

    1. Thanks for your comment Bob. Going back is not for everyone, some will appreciate it, some won’t.I am happy you’re at peace with this and that you’ve moved on. Thank you for coming to our website to check it out.

    2. My husband flew into that camp as it was being bombed and left 2 yrs later as it was being bombed. He was in the rangers, he passed in Jan. He never liked talking about what he did there. He had heart trouble from AO and PTSD and he developed a lung condition.. I lived and loved him for 22 yrs,, he finally started sharing some things with me and it even brought us closer. Thank You for your service..🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    3. Word up, Bob. I have no interest in going back either. I was in B Co. 1st Avn Bn 1st Infantry Division. I flew in to Lai Khe several times, never spent the night. I also remember the ‘Rocket City’ reference. I do not have an interest in going back to get hot and sweaty – I can do that right here in Oklahoma. No need to go back –

  29. David Tellin- BRO Dec 68-Dec 69; 337th ASA Co; R&R Sidney, Jul 69. It was a different world and beaurful people.

      1. Shawn, I was with the 337th from July ‘69-‘70. Part of the Jump CP to Minh Thanh all of December ‘69. Reassigned to Binh Hoa to finish out my tour. Do you have any contacts with anyone from the company?

  30. Over 50 yrs I’ve been home and I can still see those damn rubber trees!
    Was a door gunner on a slick. Served in 69 there with a co 227th ahb,1st cav. Gonna vist the place this fall. Got to see it one more time

    1. 69 to 70 with D 227, Ellobo would love to go and have talked about returning but how was it, so many memories.

    2. Did you go back, Brother?
      I was in Lai Khe in 1969.
      Senior Radio Repairman, 1/77 Arty. Ist Cav.
      Welcome hone!

      1. Andrew Magnus I also served with the 2/2 1st Infantry HQ Mech recon I was a track commander 1966 thru May 1967.

      2. I was there also in the 2/2 RECON/REACT from April 67-Feb. 68.Being a small unit being a small unit the call sign remember was daring 29.

        1. He is mostly correct. There was a 4.2 mortor battalion called Light Horse. Many of Light Horse missions were attached to the 8/6 Artillery. I was assigned to the Alpha company of this 4 duce unit from January 1967-January1968.

    1. I was in 2/2 alpha in Nov 67 thru June 68

      I was in 1st Platon with Lt Shinske
      I became the track commander for him .
      My last operation was in the Iron triangle
      I am Harold Lampe
      My call sign was 26 golf
      Am interested in finding some who were there also.

      I was transferred from D 2/16 rangers

  31. Gerry Steffen 1/28th inf sept 69 for about 5 months then transferred to I believe 2/28 both 1st inf then colors sent home got transferred to Americal div volunteered for door gunner got into a Chinook company in Chu Lai .Our company suffered the greatest loss of life in 1 crash as they were trying to wind the war down ,I believe 31 guys lost their lives by a miracle one pilot was walking in our company area the next day.You can read about it if you Google Chinook crash Sept of 70 .

  32. ******* I was with the 1st MP Company in Di’an 2.68- 8.68 then to Lai Khe. I was at the South Entrance with SP4/Sgt Ives in Oct. 68, then switched to the Nite Duty at Village Gate util 11.29- My Birthday – previous Guy was Jittery about being alone at Night with 2 Fill in’s from S& T plus one Arvn type. Nearly got Shot by a Drunken Militiaman one night. Went thru a Typhoon one night,. Listened to Election returns from the States there over AF Radio out of Saigon.

    ******* Left to be with B- 1/16th Mechd. on 11/29 at FSB Reilly at Chanh Luu Village South of Bandit Hill. My partner was Bob Gerrish from Upstate NY. Almost bought the Farm one afternoon South of that Hamlet. They had Tunnels Everywhere and some tried to get behind us. Our SVN MP saved us. He was older and more Alert as We got too used to the area. I remember the People, Incredibly Poor. I gave One Bar of Soap to a Woman. She thought it was Gold.

    *****While IN DiAn I made Several Convoys to LK and further North to Quan Loi Where We always stayed overnight. In 9/68 I was at the North End of LK Every day for 10+ hours with Palmeiri from Syracuse, NY- Just South of the old French Block House . One day the Entire 13th Armd Cav came thru down 13 probably via Ben Cat to Bandit Hill area.

    ********1/16th were Reflagged from a Unit in the 9th Div. They came North in Oct.68- I was at the South Entrance when they arrived. Every Day I had to Direct Traffic there and Years later I got Skin Cancer from it- positive. One reason I switched to Nights was that I was Burned from that oeriod. I am of Irish Extraction but could have passed for a Filipno.

    ******** One Night at the Village Gate a Guy who was with Artillary came by. He WAS Filipino but in the US Army- a SSG, He had been in LK in 1965 and had returned after 2 + years. He said He had a Kid now 3 years old in the Village- Against Orders of course, I let him in.

    1. I arreived in Di An in mid Feb 68. They tested their sirens every day at noon. Assigned to the 2/2 I headed to Lai Khe. All the processors in Di An wished us good luck in Rocket City.
      Processing in at Lai Khe one guy’s first question, “Do you test you sirens here?” “No . Our sirens go off a few times a day and they’re all for real. ”
      We were out side Bn S1 being processes when we heard a muffled explosion. The two clerks glanced at each other. A minute latter a loader explosion. One clerk to the other, “That sounded like incomiming?” Other clerk, ” If it were incoming why hasn’t someone blown the siren. ” Just then BLAM, JUST A FEW HOOCHES AWAY. One clerk yelled, “It’s incoming! Our sector! Blow the fucking siren!”
      Sort of shook my faith in the Lai Khe early warning system. I was a lot happier in the bush than basecamp.

      1. I remember getting hit all the time … we came in for a part for our track RECON / REACT Platoon 1968 and went to eat at the mess hooch, we all got up to run for the screen door at the same time and it blew us all out the door and wall at the same time, anyone remember ???

      2. Being at LK from Oct 67 thru Mar 68, it’s been my experience that the siren never went off before a round came in. 🙂

      1. ******* I departed LK on 12/24/68- MedEvac with a Dying Young VC. He expired 4 Minutes out of Long Binh and the 24th Evac. Hospital. I was under 60 Days then. I knew I might not return. 2+ days later I was in Camp Drake,Japan.

    2. pete as an ambulance driver for c co 1st med bn i was all over that place almost every day!! cant recognize much in this vidieo but i know the place as it was then well there from feb 69 till dec 69

    3. I was a Combat Medic assigned to the 1/16th C – Company (Bandido Charlie) out of Lai Khe. Went back to Vietnam and up to the base in 2005 and took my wife.

  33. I was with the 701st at Lai Khe from August 69 to January 70. Had a 5 man contact team attached to C, 1/16 on and off over the 6 months. In the Fall a Special Forces team discovered a M-41 tank buried in the jungle 8 miles west of Lai Khe. I was the “tank expert” who was willing to see if it could be started. SOP was to haul it out with a M88 Tank Retriever, but CBS was filming and hoped we (my E-6 and I) could get it started, for “ good propaganda purposes”. We suggested winching it out, but the OIC prevailed in convincing us to try. We had no luck after working on it for several hours. It was winched out the next day. My battalion commander chewed me out for not following SOP. I explained that the OIC asked us to try. He yelled, “Who the hell was that?” I replied Lieutenant General Mildren. He looked at my Staff Sergeant who nodded in agreement, said nothing, and dismissed us. In January, I was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry in Phuoc Vinh, and secured a Branch Immaterial assignment operating Sniffer Missions on the Cambodian border. Lai Khe was more visually appealing than Phuoc Vinh, with the French Buildings and architecture. Phuoc Vinh was a dump. Yet of all the rockets while I was in Lai Khe, an hour on the hour barrage in Phouc Vinh in the Spring of ‘70 wounded/ killed 16.

  34. I was not assigned to Lai Khe, but was there TDY, twice for a court martial, I was an Air Force Security Policeman from TN Son Nhut AB. The first time I traveled to Lai Khe was by army jeep up highway 13, a very interesting ride to say the least. My second trip was by chopper also a very interesting trip. I do remember the chow hall and the nearby ammo dump. A SFC with the Big Red One gave me a tour of the base, and asked me if I could get a Chicom SKS back to the states when I rotated, I told him I could so he gave me one. I begged him for one of the 9mm he had with a red star on the handle, but he said he couldn’t give me one. It was a very interesting time and trip for.

  35. I was in Lai Khe from Jan 1969 to Mar 1970. I returned home about a month before the BRO was scheduled to leave. I was with HHSB 2/33rd Arty. I spent the first 6-7 months as Dungeon 52 communicating with various FSBs. I spent my last 7-8 months as AWCC, Lai The Arty. I remember being told that we received the second most number of rocket and mortar attacks.

    My wife and I took a Gate1 Travel tour of Vietnam in 2016 visiting Saigon, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi. It was a very different country than it was on my first tour there.

    1. Jim,
      I served 2/33 HHSB leaving June 1969 as Dungeon 3T.
      Do I remember you as also from Chicago. Perhaps you remember McQueen Stralka or Bartee? Did you visit Lai Khe?
      Did I put you on shit burning detail?

      1. I served with HHSB 2/33 Operations Bunker (Dungeon 52) from 12/67 to 12/68. During Tet we had incoming rockets attacks of varying degrees for 45 consecutive days. There were approximately 150 rocket attacks.

      2. Yes, I was from Chicago. I do remember McQueen. The other names sound familiar. I remember your name but cannot remember your face.

      3. Bill Demko, yes, I was from Chicago. I do remember McQueen. The other names sound familiar. I remember your name but cannot remember your face. We didn’t get to Lai Khe but we did your the tunnels in Chu Che. I was too tall to go through the tunnels but my wife did it. I was really surprised she agreed to go but she really was glad that she did it.

      4. Hi Bill,
        I saw your comments today. My first time on this website. Your mention of “Bartee” caught my attention as Jim was a friend of mine, both at Lai Khe and after Vietnam. I was at HQ Co. 2/33rd Artillery July ’68 – July ’69. My hooch was across the road from the FDC bunker. I have a vague recollection of you, and seem to recall you and Jim were tight from your work in the FDC. I was a surveyor for 2/33rd, but did a little of everything other than survey; worked some in the FDC, lots of tower duty at the Thunder-1 NDP, and convoy duties. My wife and I returned to Vietnam for a 3-wk tour in 2011, including a day trip from Saigon to Lai Khe. The road from Saigon to Lai Khe is now a 4-lane concrete expressway. Could not recognize the place. We did meet a local man who in 1968 was a hooch boy there. He accompanied us and pointed out where my area (2/33rd HQ Co.) and the air strip had been. One day I may visit again with enough time to explore more. Hoping life has treated you well.

  36. My brother was at Lai Khe from 1966 – 1967 with the First Infantry Division, 6th. Field Artillery. His name is George R. Carter and he passed away about two years ago, but I do remember him talking about the ammo dump being burned by some VC terrorists, and him and some of his friends tried to put the fire out and the last thing that he remembered was his being sent home with burns all over the back side of his arms and body. He did recover from his burned body, but never did tell me anymore than that, but he was demoted from Sgt. to Cpl. and I thought that it was kind’ve sad but he never talked much about the Army or Vietnam after that!

    1. My father was with Light horse, 8th bn 6th arty, bro 66-67. I was listening to his recorded letter and he was mentioning phu loi and Lai Khe. He was a 63C20 track vehicle mechanic.
      On one of the reels, he talked about retaliation fire for the 2/2 guys who had been taking a lot of heat lately. Said the 2/2 was 3 clicks away but gave no bearing. Said too the mortars were headed north.
      I am trying to put his tod together for his family, my friend, to look back and remember his service and his life.

  37. I was in Lai Khe Sept. 67 to April 68…………HHC 3rd Brigade…………S-3 Operations Duty NCO and Duty Officer for the Brigade at night ( only Spec 5)…..ran the “Duty” net……..before Tet I used to sound a siren for incoming mortars………….too many and too revealing after Tet……………I never saw any mention of the Officer’s Club bombing until now……….seems to me we lost quite a few officers……….it was handled by MP’s not Operations,……………..had a semi-permanent $2 hooker in the shopping center………… got my first promotion was from Gen. Joulwan in 67 in Phuoc Vinh……….my boss during Tet was Gen Trobaugh……… Joulwan was then Capt. and Trobaugh was a major…………both were good people……… Thanks everybody

    1. Brian, I was in Lai Khe as Asst. G3 operations from December 67 to July 68. Previously, I was the CEO of Darkness Alpha,(2/18 Inf) operating throughout the Iron Triangle, War Zones C and D.

      I vividly recall the rocket and mortar attacks from Tet ‘68 until I left in July. Also, I fortunately left the officer’s club about 5 minutes before the sappers blew it up. After a few minutes I returned to the pile of rubble to help dig out some of the survivors.

      Did you by chance know my good friend Captain Mike Rowland who was 3rd Brigade S-5 during the first half of ‘68?

  38. I was there August 1969-Nov 1970, 701 maintenance battalion. Yes remember the rocket attacks. Pulling guard duty on the back side of the village and seeing those fireballs come in was something. That was the darkest area I can remember. Traveled to Chu Chi and out past the black virgin mountain, to the Cambodian boarder as fast as those tanks would run. But am glad y’all made it home .

  39. Lai khe 68–69 595 remember sg Jackson when he left sg Davis took his spot best I remember. Remember D. Grant al so. Thanks for pictures and comments

      1. We all had our meals in the big red 1 mess hall I had to cook there so the 595 could eat there Had good times at our little beer hall lol

  40. I was with Bravo Co 2/28th Jan 67 to Dec 67. Our home was on west side of Hwy 13 at the far north end of base. Not much time in Lai Khe but in tents first month or so I was there and wooden barracks after that. Lost a lot of good friends. You guys are not forgotten. Have looked for years for Ernie “Chrome Dome” Johnson from NYC. Bless all who served and thanks to you Robin Hood guys for the rides.

    1. Hello Joe Hare,
      Curious if you were at the battle of Ong Thanh 17 October 1967, I was with 2/28, Delta Co, 1st Div. Lai Khe 7/67-7/68 with 3 mo hospital visit at the 93rd Evac hospital and 106th field hospital Yokohama Japan along with about 15 comrades from the battle. I was lucky went back in country 1/68 and seemed like I did not miss much. Had great platoon medic on that day. I thank all my fellow comrades whether mechanized, artillery chopper flight crews or ground pounders like myself. While first in country carried the M90 had 2 ammo carriers with HWY 13 sweeps, great guys. My thoughts go out to all my brothers we lost during the conflict. FYI the 2/28 has enjoyed reunions in honor of the fallen of the Ong Thanh battle
      and to keep in touch with all and those who care to attend. Best wishes to you and yours

      1. Tommie Lee says:
        May 03, 2021 at 10:25 am
        Hello Colonel Fett.
        I came in country on Memorial Day 1969, later was sent to Lai Khe and was assigned to Delta Co, 2/28, I experienced several rocket attacks while there. Later was sent to Dau Tieng. Our unit spent most of our time at Fire Base Mahone almost next to the Black Virgin Mtn. While on patrol Sept. 28, 1969 was struck by a mine, probably a stolen claymore. I was airlifted by chopper back to Lai Khe, to the hospital and later sent to Yokohoma Japan. I am currently serving as Commander of VFW Post 5448 of Griffin, Ga. A fellow Vietnam Veteran named Dave Otto is also in my Post, Dave also served with the 2/ 28 . as the executive officer. Glad to hear of your re-unions.

  41. Hi Jonas. I have numerous pictures of Lai Khe Village and Lai Khe Base Camp on my Facebook Picture albums. I was there in 1967 with the Big Red 1. You have my contact information if you would like to have any of my pictures.
    I hope that you are well.

    1. Thanks Gary. Yes I have gone through your pictures. You have a lot of great pictures there. I will need to work something out how we could make a story out of it.

    2. Hi Gary. I’d love to see those pics. Got there early feb 68. Didn’t have time for pictures. I regret that now Transferred our sep 68

    3. WOW… Please forward me what you have and I will forward you what I have.. I have been writing a book on the RECON / REACT Platoon that started in March 67 and I left End of April 68… do you remember when the mess hooch got hit in 68 ???

    1. I was stationed at Lai Khe assigned to B 2/2 Infantry,3rd Platoon, Track B231 from 9 Dec 1967-10 Dec 1968.Spent a lot of time on Highway 13 “Thunder Road, Thunders 1,2,3 and old Thunders 4 and 5..Claymore Corners, TET Offensive 31 Jan-14 Feb 1968, Song Be, Ben Cat, 3 April 1968, Iron Triangle, Rome Plow Operation and Bandit Hill…

  42. I was with 1st AG postal. Our group was responsible for getting all the divisions mail out to the various companies. APO 96345 and 96289. Our postal hooch was across from division hg. My first night in Lai Khe sappers got in and blew up a group of the little spotter choppers. I was in spring 1968 before going to DiAn later. Rocket every day and nite it seemed like. I remember some companies falling out in the morning to police shrapnel. Also remember B-52 bombers blanketing the area constantly at night. As soon as they would finish here would come some more rockets. Slept in our bunker many a night. Terribly hot but somewhat safer.

    1. I was in the 1st infantry div. (mechanized) in 68 Based in Lai Khe when Nixon landed . We had to pour diesel fuel on the tanks to make them shine . No one knew why or what was going on. We had to clear an LZ for a chopper that no one knew who was aboard . It was in the middle of the jungle. If I remember it was Dian (Zee on).. The guy left the presidency in disgrace, but we all loved him that day. He lived 10 mi. From me when he moved to Saddle River NJ .

    2. Dwayne,

      My first time on this site. Believe I have morning-after photos of those choppers, blown by VC sappers.

      From March-October ’68, I was USAF-E4, with FAC team, at LK. We flew O1-E “Bird Dogs” from south end of strip. Our hooch was near HHC.

      Have quite a few photos of LK from air and on ground. A few of firing 122 mm Russian rockets on 4th of July. Someone set up metal folding chairs for MG Ware and officers. When the rockets ignited, they blasted rocks and debris in their faces! All the EM were standing off to the side, behind barbed wire, laughing.

      Requested new assignment as a result of MG Ware’s death, Friday 13th, September 1968. I was calling up TAC air in support of TIC that he was observing when his C&C went down.

      Started going back to VN in March 1989. LK reverted back to the Rubber Research Institute of Viet Nam, a quiet place, even though some things remains from the past.

      The irony: as an American war veteran, I’ve been treated better in Viet Nam than my own country. Go figure.

  43. I believe my grandfather was killed there but am unsure. He was in 2/28 1ID in 65, his name was SFC Jerald Dozier. My family cant find anything about the location other than it was at a U-shaped airfield. Can you offer any information?

    1. Hello Andrew. I could get some information on the but it didn’t say where he was killed. I will see if I can find any other sources. Please email me on Let’s see what we can come up with.

  44. My husband, James H. Mulhern, was in Lai Khe from July 67-Aug 68. He was with the Chaplain’s office then. He passed away from Agent Orange in May 2012. He suffered from PTSD until the day he died. I have two albums of photos from his time at Lai Khe, a lot showing all the rocket damage. Thank you for this site. I wish he could have seen it.

    1. Sure would be nice if you could forward the pictures you have and I will do the same with the ones I have, survived many of those rocket attacks, 67/68 with 2/2 RECON / REACT Platoon

  45. I remember Lai Khe well. I was with the 173rd AHC, Robin Hoods in 68 -69. Call sign Crossbow 33. When I got there we were living in tents and by the time I rotated we had built our own hooches, erected a water tower behind our platoon and had hot and cold running water, flush toilets and a/c. After missions you would see all the helicopters split in different direction to go trading for supplies we needed to build with. I guess if we were to wait for the engineers, we would still be living in tents.

    1. Sorry, but Sherwood Forest never had flush toilets (no water, no septic system) and all the hootches were done by the the Spring of 968 and built with the help of the 168th Engineers. And Bruce Peters was Crossbow 33 the first half of 1968. And I don’t remember you for squat and I was ther from July 1966 to September 1968.

      1. My father was with Light horse, 8th bn 6th arty, bro 66-67. I was listening to his recorded letter and he was mentioning phu loi and Lai Khe. He was a 63C20 track vehicle mechanic.
        On one of the reels, he talked about retaliation fire for the 2/2 guys who had been taking a lot of heat lately. Said the 2/2 was 3 clicks away but gave no bearing. Said too the mortars were headed north.
        I am trying to put his tod together for his family, my friend, to look back and remember his service and his life.

      2. Hey, Bud! Jim Wheeler here. Hope you’re doing OK.
        Didn’t realize how close our tours coincided.
        I arrived in Lai Khe in August 66 and left in November 68.
        Really miss VHCMA reunions.

      3. ‘I agree your facts are correct .I was there 68-69 MOS 68B20 engines ,prop and rotor.put on flight status short time after arriving at Lai Khe with the Robinhoods 173 AHC

  46. I was with HHC 1/28th 1st Inf Div 3/69 to 2/70. I am heading back to Vietnam in February 2020. I have a day trip out of Saigon(HMC) scheduled to visit Lai Khe.

  47. Brings back memories. I was there from March 68 to March 69 withe the 173RD AHC (Robin Hoods) of the 1ST Aviation Brigade (Army for you civilians). Yes, it was definitely Rocket City.

    1. Thank you for your air support . When pinned down and no place to get out of line of fire . The chop chop sound of your gun ships as you flew in firing rockets and mini guns would break the back of the Nva and we would get a new lease on life. . I was in lai khe 68/69 so we had your support as well as sidewinder scout spotter planes who would fly into area we called in and mark with w/p or smoke. The jets with napalm would rain hell on the area. Napalm worked so well. The enemy made it ilegal at end of 68. We lost more men when we stopped napalm

      1. Cali and Iech,
        I was E4, USAF, assigned to the FAC (Forward Air Control) team at Lai Khe, March-October 1968. At the TOC, we operated radios as Sidewinder 30. Our pilots were Sidewinder 31 to 38, I think. When I flew backseat in the O1-E, “Bird Dog,” w/8 WP rockets under our wings, I was Sidewinder 33Alpha.

        Remembered the Robin Hoods buzzing around at times. Our revetments were at the south end of the runway, next to the road, Thunder Highway. These days, elementary and secondary schools fill that space.

        A few photos of LK during the war and after are on my web site.

        It’s interesting to find this site and the memories others bring. Hope all’s well.

  48. OK looks good, I was in Lai Khe in 1969 with the 168 engr and went back in 1970
    The 168 engr had went back to the USA, so I just went over to the 554 engr to stay there till they left to bal loc on QL20 in camp brown ,I was the gate keeper at camp Brown,
    I am also SP5 Brown from NC near Fort Bragg, after camp Brown we went up the hill to camp wood stock, I also was the gate keeper there till Dec 1971,
    a note: I am the Second American to return to Vietnam after the war, I have made some 200 trips there working on the POW/MIA case for the DIA,
    I am also the person who was Solving the MIA mystery inside Hanoi’s Secret Archives back in the 80’s and 90’s, When Our government was trying to get Information for 30 years ,I solve their problem in no time with over 12000 photos
    of missing POW and MIA’s That is about it for me now if you like to see some of the photos just ask. Lai Khe is built up so fast you don’t know where you are when you go back to see the old sites .air strip has been gone for years ,.

    1. My husband Richard Krohn was with 18th and 20th Engineers 1970. So long ago but still seems like yesterday.

  49. My father was Division Surgeon LTC Arthur Buswell , from 67-68. He made numerous photos, recordings, and home movies. I’m in the process of trying to get them transferred, as all his old equipment that he used is now Fubar.

  50. Intersting notes from all of the above.

    I was assigned to Lai Khe as USAF Sgt., with Sidewinders, a Forward Air Control team attached to 3rd Brigade. Arrived March ’69. Requested reassignment in October, as a result of the death of 1st Inf. Division Commanding General, MG Keith Ware, Friday 13th, September, 1968. Spent Oct. ’68-March ’69 with Adv. Team #55 in Rach Gia, Kieng Gaing Prov., west coast, Mekong.

    Our AF hooch at Lai Khe ended up a party hooch for everyone. We built an extension, with the help of Army. The flooring was made up of 4′ sq., interlocking aluminum runway sections (maybe $1,200 ea.), grill, etc. The Black Lions hooch was next door. We faced the open space in front of the stage where Bob Hope played in ’67. Our motto: ” Non Est Prispiro-WETSU” (loosely…”Don’t Sweat It-We Eat This Shit Up”)

    Newly arrived, one night we spent the dark hours in the bunker, hiding from Russian 122mm rockets and mortars. Being an FNG, I asked if the marks on the railroad ties supporting the wall indicated the number of rockets? Nah, the four marks with a fifth crossing indicated the number of attacks, and there were lots of units of fives all over the place. The explained each attack had 50-75 rockets which were too many to count. They just kept track of the number attacks, the number of times they dropped in the bunker.

    After a couple tries, I made a recording of a rocket attack. When we were back above ground, like a dummy, I rewound the tape and played it back to hear what was recorded. All the AF guys were standing around, eager to hear. Army guys were slowly walking past our hooch, back to wherever they had to go. As the tape started, the base camp warning siren came on…a solid wailling….”Rocket Attack!” Through our open screens, everybody outside heard the siren go off, again, and beat feet for the nearest cover. I immediately (and sheepishly) shut off the recorder. Our guys shouted to the guys hitting the dirt, “Hey, it’s all-clear. Just a recording.” The Army guys were not amused.

    First return to Viet Nam (it’s a country, not a war), was March 1989. Been living part-time since, traveling, teaching (in English). Started out in Saigon, then started living in Ha Noi. Been back to LK three times. First time, March ’89, almost stepped on a mortar right where our AF hooch used to stand, which was right across from the HQ building. Until some smart guy built the underground TOC (which flooded one night), the AF radios room was the last office in the “H” of the old building.

    At the southern end of the active runway were the revetments for our tail-dragging, O-1E “Bird-Dog”. The OV-10 Broncos arrived in May ’68, I think. They didn’t stay overnight. (read, “A Lonely Kind of War,” by Marshall Harrison, who flew OV-10s out of LK, ’69). Where our revetments stood is now an elementary school built by the Vietnam Children’s Fund ( Their goal: put an elem. school in every province. Started by former Marine, Terry Anderson, (AP Bureau Chief, spent 444 days captured in Tehran, Iran). There’s a secondary school next to the elem. The runway’s basically gone.

    Second run to LK, May ’03, put under house-arrest a few hours by the local sheriff. He didn’t like Westerners snooping in his village. Returned next day with government sanctioned tour guide to visit the elementary school, as I knew the program staff in Ha Noi. No problem getting access with “authorized” tour guide. The sheriff had a fit.

    In May 2006, met the Vice-director of the Rubber Research Institute of Viet Nam (they spent ’65-’75 in Da Nang). They gave me a tour of the old French lab, used as Brigade HQ and area. Original lab was built by French in 1941. It’s been rebuilt very similar as the original building. I rephotographed the HQ in ’68 (seconds after a 122 mm rocket went through the roof), and the same spot in ’06. In March 2015, I gave a presentation at History Colorado, in Denver, “The American War in Viet Nam: Then and Now,” using ’68 and current photos.

    Quite a few stories about LK and times there, then, and recently. Some photos of LK and other locations during my tour are on my web site,

    Ted Engelmann
    Sidewinder 33 Alpha

    1. Ted,

      Thanks……………our 3rd Brigade Tactical Operations Center was in that Michelin lab …………..we had a small office and a foyer……….a few feet down the hall was a very big room…………in that room were a few desks and radios for the AF FAC operations…………..out the door and a few feet north (?) of the road was the E 5 hooch of about 20 -30 bunks…………next to our hooch was AF hooch-5-6 men……….individual rooms………tvs…………fridges etc…………next to their hooch was the hooch for the Red Cross “Donut Dollies” one night ( just before Tet or introducing Tet ?) we had 3 Russian 122 mm rockets land 100-150 feet away toward the Bob Hop stage…………..1st time for something that big……….sounded just like the 88 German guns on “Combat”…………scared the crap out of me 60 or 82 landed right outside our foyer…… not scared……… pissed

  51. Was with Alpha Co, 2nd Bn, 28th Inf, 1st Inf Div. from Sep 68 to Sep 69. Spent most of my time in the field (Junction City, Aachen, NDP Julie). Was the Alpha Co Forward Observer and then the 2nd Bn Artillery Liaison Officer.

    1. Thank you for your comment Warren and thank you for visiting our website. I am glad you made it out.I have never heard of Aachen, was that an operation? Which other base camps would you also spend time at? We have FSB Buttons, Phuoc Vinh and Quan Loi covered here as well. Cu Chi is an active People’s army base today so no way to get pictures from there.

  52. Stationed at lai khe May 69 to may70. With 595 signal. We operated the site next to the micro wave tower. Like to hear from anyone who remembers sgt. harris. Locals were not that friendly as I remember it.

    1. Bill hooten I was with the 314th as well and got medical April 27th 70, Charles harvey, beau wiseman, sneep etc

    2. Hey Edward Harris. I was a 595 Tel Operator Sept 70-71. I have a friend that might have been there during your time. Steven Teal Sr. He was 595th and one of his good bud was one of the three killed / MIA June 23 1970. Pederson, Rozo, & Phillips. Never found. Steven was there from Sept 69 to Sept 70. I was somewhat his replacement 6 days after he left. A few others were Giles, Albert, Sexton, Fusner, Latimer, Petrecz, McLaughlin, Rebarcak, Rosado. Let me know if you recall any of these Brothers. Thanks and welcome home.

    3. Was in 595 March 69 till March 70 we all eat at the big red 1 mess hall I made your meals first cook ed kurtzner went by dude

  53. Served 314th Avation Support Detachment (Air Traffic Control) May 69 – May 70.

    I was controlling the day all aircraft headed West to invade Cambodia under Nixon authority. Quite a day.

    1. I served in the First Division, 1969-1970. I will be visiting Saigon in November and would love to go see Lai Khe area. Any idea how to get there.

  54. Cooked for big red one in 1969 to 1970 I was part of 595 co have a buddy that was a med in big red one I went by the name duke peace and love to all my Vietnam brothers

  55. My dad was there, April 1967 – April 1968; flew for a short time with 173 Assault Helicopter Company, Robin Hood’s. Major Vic Johnson. I was 13 then, like a lot of Army brats always worried about him coming back home. Dad is 86, 87 next month, and has vivid memories/stories about his time with Robin Hood’s. I would love to one day see where he was, regardless of what remains. Dad did two tours, January -December 1963 was his first. Like a lot of army/military families of that time, Vietnam is a part of us all, whether you still hate it or accept the time and love it. God bless all of us who experienced the times.
    Dave Johnson

  56. Was with C Troop, 1/4 Cav 10/68 to 10/69. First job there would correctly be called “midnight auto supply”. Get the needed materials any way possible. Through channels, through trade, through we don’t know this guy. Didn’t really report to anyone and no one really knew what I was doing but they were all happy that their vehicles and weapons were functioning. Then went to third platoon (voluntarily) and everyone said I was crazy. Then when 1/4 Cav moved from Dian to Lai Khe and C Troop ended up at FSB Doc. Sgt. Herb Rath, Bob Johnson and myself set up a commo base on the perimeter of Lai Khe so we were able to reach the troop and provide logistical support since the rest of the squadron was still in Dian.
    The one night Doc got hit and we were the relay point for artillery and gunship support. Eventually the got a C&C chopper in the air and we were relegated to audio observers. Probably my worst night there. All we could do was listen and pray for the guys out there. At any other time we would have been out there with the rest of the troop.

    1. Thank you for your comment Anthony. You provide some very interesting context to the page. I am glad you made it out.

    2. I was at fsb doc late April 69. Lima plt. B co 1/28. We were pulled out of fb Lorraine and pulled mounted ambush with 11acr . 3 of us were left with a broke down apc out in middle of ground attack. Every time puff lit Ariel flairs I saw Nva drop to the ground when flairs lit the area. I let the Nva drop to ground and fired an m60 machine gun at spot where I saw them go to ground so when they got up to move to another spot. Fighting stopped as sun came up. Spivey and ashline were with me. They were brave soldiers

  57. I was the medic for the 8 inch guns down by the south gate across the airstrip from the ammo dump with D battery 8th bn 6th arty from may 67 to mar 68 a rocket cut my tour 42 days short they always said when you get short is when things happens my name is Donald Boat called Doc Boat

    1. I was with the 8th battalion 6th Artillery D battery, I didn’t get there untill Aug 68, not much had changed.

    2. My father was with Light horse, 8th bn 6th arty. I was listening to his recorded letter last night and he mentioned 3000 meters away was the 2/2 guys and the sounds of mortars leaving the tube could be heard. If possible, I would like to know the location he was recording from. Any information would be welcome.

      Thank you all for your dedication and service.

      Semper Fi
      Paul Folta
      GySgt USMC (ret)

    3. Don,
      I was with Bravo Co of the 168th Combat Engineer Battalion. In country from May 67 to April 68. We moved from Dian to Lai Khe on May 31st, 1967. My platoon was building several hooches for you guys in July-August of 1967. I am assuming you were located on the west side of 13 and on the south edge of the perimeter with the Triple concertina wire. I had my 35 mm with me and took pictures of your track-mounted 8-inches before and when they were firing. Got a picture of several of your men holding up a round over their shoulders.
      Ric Jennings

  58. Steve Christensen inLai Khe Sept 67 to Sept 68 2/2 1st inf div, got to stay for all of tet , my hoch was just east of Robinhood chopper pad, their mess took direct hit during tet, lots of rocket, mortar and some small arm fire. Extended 10 days & got ot of service 6 months early.

    1. I was in the mess hooch that took that hit and we were all blown out the walls and door trying to run at the same time… you wouldn’t have a photo of that would you..

  59. I was stationed at Lai Khe from July 1969 to April 3rd, 1971. My address was: 1st Infantry Division, Headquarters, & Headquarters Company, Commandant Section, Pioneer Platoon. There were around 25 of us in that unit. We were comparable to a building & landscaping maintenance business like back in the states. We maintained all of the Headquarters buildings, inside and out. There were many French buildings in our area. The largest was a huge French Villa used by the 3 generals and chief of staff for entertaining. The Donut Dollies lived in one of the French buildings as did the USO ladies. One of the buildings was converted to a USO Club Center. One of our many job tasks was painting the interiors of the Villa, Donut Dollies and USO French houses. Our billeting area was close to the West Side perimeter. We would look out and see the Hobo Woods, and Black Virgin Mountain about 50 clicks from our location. Also painted the walls in the briefing room housed in DTOC, Divisional Tactical Operations Command. A huge bunker about 50 feet underground loaded with beaucoup radios and other type of communication equipment. The bunker was sand bagged to the max! No rocket was going to penetrate that bunker unless at least 6 rockets hit the same place. The 1st pulled out of Vietnam around April 7th ,1970 and returned to Fort Riley Kansas. I left Headquarters Company April 3rd and was assigned to the 510 Engineer Company Direct Support, 185th Maintenance Battalion repairing fork lifts until I left Vietnam March 5, 1971. I extended my tour, to take advantage of 150 day or 5 month “early out program.” If you left Vietnam with less than 150 days or 5 months left to serve, you would be processed out of the Army. I left with 4 months 19 days to serve. My total time served in Vietnam was 22months and 6 days, but I wasn’t counting!

    1. I was in the Drafting Department, G3, HHC Big Red One from November, 69 thru April, 70. We made maps & briefing charts for the daily 5 PM Briefing. Sgt. James Conti was in charge of our Dept. I use to post Maj. General Malloy’s wall map in his office at night. We moved to Di An then I was re-deployed to the Americal Div. with Malloy at Chu Lai on the So. China Sea where I was exposed to Agent Orange. I extended my tour to get an Early Out but got a Christmas Drop so I only served 1 1/2 years of my 2 year draft. I am 80% disabled due to Agent Orange. The VA here in PA is very good to me.

  60. I was there at La I Ken March 67 til March 1 1968 was with the 595th Signal..our hooch was in front of the Cross Roads next to the PX

    1. My 14 Brothers and myself are 595th Sig members From 69-72 most of us. Welcome home. Need any info contact me.

  61. Interesting vistit to Lai khe May 1968 lasted apox 3 days , learned the name Rocket City was well deserved. After 2 wks in country (3 days in Lai Khe) rocket attack May 6th l ended my tour. I would have been with the 451st sig never did get to say good bye.

  62. I was there from Jan. 68 to Jan. 69 in the 121st Signal Battalion. The officers club was blown up right in front of me killing 24 officers and an unknown number of civilian personnel.

    1. Thank you for your comment Bob. I am glad you made it out. Was the officers club close to the white buildings that are visible in the video? I believe those were Brigade HQ buildings, is that correct?

  63. I was in laikhe 67 68 part of 69 I was drafted so I chose to extend my time so I could get the early out rocket city it was for sure I was with the 595 signal corp to my left was the lrrp.s and to my right I had the first infantry I cant remember a lot of the guy.s names but one name I will never forget is sgt Jackson he played a big part in my survival I was a punk kid right off the streets in queen’s ny god bless you sgt Jackson and god bless all our veterans

    1. Thank you for your comment Dennis. I am happy you made it out and that Sgt Jackson was there to teach you.

    2. Dennis, I was at Laikhe 595th Sig. Worked the Swithhboard 3hr per day. Git there Sept 1970 and left Sept 71. I’m in contact with 12 others dating from 1969-1972. I will ask if they recall your name. What did you do in the comcenter?

  64. I was with the 1st MP co there in 1968. arrived in Di-An in December 67 then later transferred to LaiKhe.

    1. Jim!
      Just came across this site and your name a year and a half later!
      Rich Myers here. Hope all is well with you.

  65. I was in Lai Khe in February 1966 to February 1967. 1st engineer battalion A Co. 1st infantry division. I don’t remember much about it but thank you for the video and pics. It brings back a lot of memories good and bad.

    1. Thanks for your comment and for appreciating our work. I am happy we can show veterans like you what some of these places look like today.

  66. Was at Lai Khe in 67-68 with 121 signal. I remember the rocket attacks well. We lost people, vehicles and had sapper attacks. The officers club was satcheled charged. I was walking by the EM club, when charlie started walking the rounds in and everybody was trying to get out of the club at the same time. Now that I look back it was comical, two people trying to get out a window and getting stuck. Another time I was walking down thunder road to catch a hop, when charlie started walking the rounds in. Remember dove in the drainage ditch while watching the explosions.

    1. Irwin, thank you for your comment and visiting our website. I really appreciate you sharing parts of your story here, it must have been tense when the rockets started falling. That is very interesting. I am happy you made it out.Thank you!


    2. I remember that well the officers club was destroyed they had big search lights on all night looking for body’s I was there July 67 – 68

  67. Was at Lai Khe from April 68-Dec 68 got there in the middle of Tet. Served with contact team attached to 701 Maint. Our team was located across street from Cobra gunship pads.

  68. The base was not shrunk; at least at the west side where the 5th ARVN ID headquarters and its supporting units were located. I was with the 8th Regiment located next to the civilian village. After months of long range operations, we were assigned to secure the perimeter. My company covered the North and Northeast of the perimeter.

    1. Michael. Thank you for that information. I was told they had pulled in the perimeter since the ARVN brought in much fewer troops than the US forces had held there.

      1. There was a lot of empty space inside the wire when the 5th ARVN moved in. Advisory Team 70 was located on the west side of Hwy 13. We had our own interior perimeter. Just up the side road from our compound were the ARVN HQ, the TOC, and the offices (G-2 etc.). Yes, the perimeter stayed the same.

  69. There from March 67 to April 28 1968 TET … severed with 2nd of 2nd inf Recon platoon turned into and known as REACT ready reaction all volunteer nine tracks five man crew machine guns mounted on the rear m-60 our track was the Boog a Lou kids … what a name😂 My shield read Vegas Kid aces and eights… looking for anyone that served or remember this group … we came in to help any outfit that needed help and set the med evac area up and get you out to safety … 68 TET was almost a daily occurrence and no one knew who we were when we arrived…

  70. I was there from Aug. 68 to Aug.69, I was assigned to 1st Bn ’26 inf 1st ing div (blue spades) we carried out search and destroy missions and ambush patrols out of Lao the

    1. Hi Cleveland, thank you for your comment. Were you able to recognize anything of the old camp in the pictures and video?

  71. Spent Christmas Eve and New Years Eve 1967 on “interior guard duty” at Lai Khe while most everybody else in our 1st S&T BN detachment was celebrating. 🎉🎊😐😕 Saw Bob Hope Show there about 23 December 1967. 👌👍
    Have been back there in 1997, 2001 & 2011 on battlefield tours.
    Graves Registration Section of 1st S&T BN

    1. Thanks for your comment Jack. I am glad you made it home. I hope you enjoyed your visits back to Vietnam. One of the aims with this website is to show veterans what it looks like there today. For those who are not going back but also inspire some to go back and see the country today. Happy New Year!

    1. Rafael, very interesting. In the pictures and the video, I am going by what I believe is the west perimeter. Is that correct or was it even further from there? I wass under the impression that there were berms there that might have been from the perimeter defence.

  72. Thank You for sharing this information. My father, Ronald W. Wells 1st infantry,(who passed 2 years ago), was stationed there from 1968-1969, during the Tet Offensive. I am trying to learn as much as I can about that area of Vietnam. My father and I we’re extremely close. But he vaguely talked about it to my younger brother and I. I would like to take this time to thank all Vietnam veteran’s for there service. In my eye’s, you are all hero’s to me, and I am extremely proud of all of you, and Love You All.

    1. Ryan, thank you for your comment. I am sorry for the loss of your father. He was there during a very intense period, in one of the most fought over areas in the country. What struck me was how large the Lai Khe Base was. Certainly one of the largest field bases in all of III Corps. It must have gotten a lot of attention from VC and NVA.

  73. I was there in 1970 with Co A 5554th Engr (const) I help build thunder road Layed asphalt and ran a 9 wheel roller……what we asphalt layed during the day have of was blown up at night and we had to in the next day and repair what we did the day before and plus layed more asphalt for them to blow the next night…….

    1. Everette, thanks for visiting our website. Sounds like a frustrating job. Thunder Road is today a main artery for transporta coing down from the mountains with produce and from the rubber plantations. So you were based at Lai Khe? Did you also have to stay over at the bases further north?

      1. Sorry haven’t been back since I posted…..yes I did spend a few night one every now then when we could get back to Lai Khe before dark.

  74. Actually the 1st Infantry Division redeployed stateside in January 1970. In April 1971 a lone Calvary troop left over when the 25th Infantry Division was redeployed stateside, moved into the abandoned airfield on the east side of the highway. There new designation was F-Troop, 4th Air Calvary attached to the 1st Aviation Brigade. Later that summer A-Troop and D-Troops of the 3/17th Air Calvary joined them. An ARVN unit and MACV Team 70 headquarters occupied the portion of the base on the west side of the highway. I was back there in 2008 on assignment with USDA and had a chance to revisit the area. MACV Headquarters is now site of the Vietnam Rubber Research Institute. Parts of our runway are still visible on the east side of the highway behind the commercial buildings where Lai Khe village has expanded across the road. The old rubber plantation containing our hooches has been replaced with younger trees.

    1. Carl. Thank you for your comment and the insights you share. I will do some more research and make sure to update the text. I am happy that our website draws out more detailed information than I have found so far available online.

    2. The 1st Division redeployed stateside in March or April, 1970. I was there in Co A, 1/26, but in the boonies most of the time as a 11B. I had 67 days remaining in country when the 1st Division was redeployed; everyone with 60 days or fewer went home; those with more were reassigned in country. I was sent to the 8th Division in the northern Mekong Delta. Spent much time in FSBs and patrolling Hwy 13 and along the Song Be River.

  75. I was on assignment there in April, 1968 when MLK was killed. That same day a rocket took down the old French Post Office. I had great admiration for the guys in The Big Red One. Love to see a good photo of the old headquarters.
    Liked your video and it did bring back some important memories.

    1. Thank you for your comment Bruce. I was happy to find some of the old buildings at the site. I will spend more time there next time I get back to see if I can find some more of the old buildings. I’ll post any new finds here on the site.

    2. I was the first person to run in the post office after rocket hit to pull out anyone in there
      Thank no one was in side at the time. That was the tet offensive. October 67 joined the LLRP on south west side of camp. Left Vietnam July 68

  76. Lai-Khe was our base camp in ’70 & ’71, 3/4 Cav, Aero-Rifles. Thanks for the photos, although much of it was unfamiliar, but all in all, pretty decent, except, as was mentioned, rocket & sapper attacks. Thanks again, if I had the money, I’d visit V.N. with my wife, especially Lai Khe & Vung Tau, where a couple of us took in country R & R.

    1. Thank you Dave. As I wasn’t there during the war I wouldn’t know what it loooked like except for photos I have seen. Clearly the village is located where the runway used to be. We came up on the west side of it also to what I believe was the western perimeter. We couldn’t move on the east side as it simply was too wet between the rubber trees. There are plenty of buildings on the site that were there when you were there. I will be back one day to look around some more. There is always more to see. I hope you will come back one day, flights aren’t that expensive.

  77. I was stationed at Lai Khe 69’. A Troop 1/4 CAV. Didn’t like coming to base cause of the damn rockets… nothing to shoot back at.

  78. I was stationed at Lai Khe from Oct 68 to Oct 69 with the 1/16th (mech) Iron Rangers. Thank you for this site. Do you know of any maps of the base camp that show where the various units were housed? My company was next to the heliport on the west side.

    1. Hi Marty. Thank you for your comment. I haven’t seen any good maps of the camp from the era. I sure would like to see one as it makes it even more interesting to discover these sites. If you get your hands on one, would you mind letting me know through the site here?

        1. I’m trying to locate any info about my brother-in-law unit in Vietnam. All I know is that he was in Di an and Lai Khe during 1969 -1970. He wore a hat with Delta 1/26 Tigger II on the hat. Any help will be grealy appreciated.
          George Fanning VN vet 1967 1988.

  79. Of my my. The old Lai Khe Rocket City Base. I spent time from 1970-1971. With the 595th Combat Signal Communications company. First couple weeks getting used to the 55 and 105’s firing out bound. And rockets flying over. July 1971 had a Zapper attack that seemed like the 4th of July. We were at the front gate in our bunkers with m-16’s and 60 Cal. Down right a early morning to remember. I am in contact with 10 great buddies from our old platoon. And had lost 5 already. So would have been 15. So good to talk old good times with them. Any one else out there remember us at Base Switchboard / Communication Center??

    1. Len, thank you for coming to our website and sharing your story. Did you watch the video from where we drive around the old base area? Anything you recognize?

      1. Yes i watched it. Some looked familiar. But changes for sure from my days. I do calendars and music every year for my Brothers and they love it. But running out of old pictures to put in the calendars. Some guys sent me some that helps. But after 30 years doing them not much left. Been getting some from magazines. I shot 200 feet of 8mm and added a soundtrack of songs from 1969-1971. They were blown away. Thanks

        1. Len, thanks for your reply. Yeah, not much to see, especially since they have built over the old runway. There are remains of old berms and such, a few of the houses are still there. Otherwise I believe there is not too much to see. I’d like to walk about the eastern perimeter to poke around in the dirt a bit. I am certain there is a lot to find there. They haven’t really built anything there so still quite untouched.

    1. Thank you for your comment and for visiting our site Wayne. I hope you appreciated the pictures and video. I have wondered where the chopper pad was. Was it on the west side of the runway?

      1. The choppers as I recall were parked on the east side of the runway and the POL dump on the west. I have pictures of the dump as it was hit by rockets and caught fire which burned for several days.

        1. Thank you Steve. I understand better now how it would have looked. I have seen several pictures of the runway but never really understood in which direction they were taken. Are you a member of any of the larger Vietnam war history groups on Facebook? I would love to see your pictures frmo then.

    2. Hi Wayne, my uncle was at this base in May of 1969 and there was an ambush. He was driving a truck and ran over a mine. The explosion killed everyone in the truck but him. He served 1st Infantry 8th Battalion 6th Artillery. He is looking for the helicopter crew that came in under fire and picked up the wounded. He wanted to thank them and I was hoping that maybe you had some information.

      1. Was your uncle in a nat.guard unit?In august 69 I was at a fire Base north of lai keh.A 155 mech unit was going back to laikeh.One truck ran over a mine and all the men died.
        The next day I was injured and spent time at their evac till I went to longbinh.Then I went to camranhbay before going back to abase called venerable heights overlooking ben wa.
        I have no interest of going back but I would like to see a democratic vietnam before I go,lol

      2. My father was with the 8th bn 6th arty 1st inf. I heard him say he was with Light horse. I’m trying to get things figured out for him and my family so my kids and beyond will know that he did, remember him and his service and celebrate his life.
        Thank you for your assistance.

        Semper Fi.
        Paul Folta
        GySgt USMC (ret)

  80. Spent most of 1969 at Lai Khe with the 168 Combat Engineers. I was lead platoon when my company moved from Di An in February (2nd Pltn A Co) and we built up our company area in the rubber trees on the east side of the camp. Had a map of which trees we could cut down as every tree cost Uncle Sam a payment to Michelin.

    1. Steve, thank you for your comment and the interesting extra information you provided. I knew about the cost for rubber trees that had to be paid when battles took place in rubber plantations, but this is very interesting additional information. We didn’t get much material from the east side this time. That is due to it being too wet there. Even the small road was soaked. However, the video starts there before we drive over to the west side and there are a couple of pictures of it. For reference, we went in on the east side about 100 meters south of where we entered the west side just by the water facility and the bunkers at the gate.

      1. Our company area was on the east side about midway between the north and south gates just inside the perimeter road. When our platoon first moved up we were in tents, so I had the trucks parked between us and the perimeter as fire fights were going on every night and we’d occasionally see tracers going over our heads. One night a pair of F-4s came in dropping napalm right in front of us just outside the perimeter. It was like a fireworks show and we climbed on the trucks to watch. Beautiful and frightening at the same time.

        I have a picture of the perimeter that I took at that time looking out through the concertina and the land is barren. I didn’t realize then, but now know the area was denuded of all plant life with Agent Orange. It’s reassuring to see from your photos and film that everything is green and lush again.

        1. Steve, thanks for the additional information. So as the small bit I filmed and those pictures from the east side are about in the center, it means your company area would have been just a bit further east from that point, I believe from other pictures I have seen that the larger road between the rubber trees was a main road inside the camp when it was active. I believe it is still possible to drive the east perimeter road, there just wasn’t time when we went this time. However, this is a place I am certain to come back to. There is still so much to discover there.

          Yes it is green and lush now, the damage of Agent Orange is not visible in nature.

    2. I also was there in Lai kWh in 69 with the 168 engr and went back in 70 but the 168 had departed to the USA so I went with the 554 engr after sometime we went to camp brown near boa loc I was the gate keeper at camp brown. Sp5 brown. Been back to lai khe two years after the war to look around had a hard time getting a visa back then as they told me I am the 2nd person from the USA to enter Vietnam !!!!

    3. I also was there in Lai khe in 69 with the 168 engr and went back in 70 but the 168 had departed to the USA so I went with the 554 engr after sometime we went to camp brown near boa loc I was the gate keeper at camp brown. Sp5 brown. Been back to lai khe two years after the war to look around had a hard time getting a visa back then as they told me I am the 2nd person from the USA to enter Vietnam !!!!

  81. I was there in Nov 1968-Dec 1969 1st Infantry Division C company 701st Maintenance 81 st Quartermaster. I got knocked on my ass during a rocket attack on the air strip. We had a little village inside the base camp. The people in that villages loved AMERICANS

    1. Charles, I am happy you found our website. Thanks for the information. I*m glad you made it through the rocket attacks. Did you have a look at the video? I am driving around the village that I believe is the same but it has grown. Also main part of it is now on the former runway.

      1. I was with the 2/2 in 1965 when we arrived in either late August or early November after getting to Vietnam on a troop ship and a long voyage at sea. We put up all our tents and built our bunkers by filling sandbags with sand which was plentiful in that area. The village consisted of buildings that are not there anymore it seems like from your photos. The main French buildings and the swimming pool was used as a break area for all the troops and the Officers club was there also and our platoon leader could get us anything we wanted in an alcoholic beverage. The runway was in constant use by helicoptors and cargo airplanes . Highway 13 had a bridge that was destroyed probably in the war with the French and we could drive down to the river to wash our jeeps and vehicles ,you could still drive over that bridge but it was a twisted wreck of steel .

    2. my name is Edwin albizu I remember you Medeiros I was there in 1969 in your platoon when nva soldiers in a morning near laikhe in road to qualoi we recived a ambush attack and we lost 12 friends includynd the name stg William and pfc cruz sorry that close friends my

    1. My Dad, Terry Kalber, was also stationed there during some of the same months. We lost dad in 2008, a month shy of 61. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

      1. My condolences to you and yours.
        My father passed away 2006, also a few days shy of 61.

        F battery 8th bn 6th arty 1st inf 1966-67.

    2. I was there from May 67 to June 68, stationed with the Robinhoods 408th TC Detachment. It was one hell off a ride and lost my best friend the morning of the Tet offensive. William Glexner was a mechanic and a very good one. I was in tech supply but was on a parts run to PhuLoi when the attacks started. Dave Childress was a very close friend and my immediate supervisor at the time. Was also there when the VC blew up the ammo dump. Thought the rocket and mortar attacks would never end.

      1. Was there also when Gary Wetzel who was a crew chief for one of our gunships was wounded and damn near killed defending his Huey and helped save lives
        He won the Congressional Medal of Honor and is the only crew chief who did during that time if memory serves me right. The 2/ 28 A company took a major loss as well, a platoon was ambushed while on patrol and I can’t remember if any survived.

        1. Does anyone from Robinn Hoods or 408th TC Detachment know about Richard Wells, Jain Carmona, Dave Childress, Spec.4 Ashton, or Staff Sargent Sanford, Spec, Purcevell, Bryant or Rick Hasladen?

        2. Gary Wetzel was a Gunner on a slick from the 1st platoon. My oldest son is name after my classmate, CWO Tim Artman who Gary was trying to save.

      2. Gene,
        Your tour almost matches mine. May 67 to April 68. Was with Bravo Company 168th Combat engineers just north of you. We built your revetments and repaired the airstrip. My hooch was hit with a rocket in late February or early March during the Tet. Thank God, my squad made it to the bunker. Lost hearing for about an hour though. It was our “home” from January 30th till early April. ETS was the 16th. One of 173rd commanders (Johnson) was from Iowa like myself and we both worked for the Iowa DOT. I spoke with him several times and he said that he left the 173rd to go train the Aussies how to fly down in the Mekong Delta.
        My platoon spent Most of September through the 1st week of November at Tong Le Chon SF camp. You were there when the 173rd provided fire support for TLC on August 5/7 when they were attacked by the 165 NVA regiment. We flew back to Lai Khe while the Battle of Loc Ninh was going on. When you mentioned the ammo dump blowing up was it the south one which occurred about 1.5 hours after the Bob Hope show on December 23, 1967? Or the ammo dump we had just completed located across from both us to the West when it when up on January 8th, 1968? I happen to going to post a 2.5 audio of a 30-minute tape I took of the January attack on my personal FB.

      3. I too remember Bill G. Was only about 10 feet away when he got hit. Can’t remember if I was still in 408th or had already moved to 173rd. I do remember CPT Hester and CWO Charles “Cryin’ Charlie” Larkin. Can’t recall the name of the SP6 tech inspector, but he really helped me along. Finally left in November 68.


  82. I was there in 1970. 1st infantry division. Seen the ceremony when we turned over to the south vietnamese army. I was transferred to the 25th at Cu Chi for the rest of my tour. Love to see the base camp more. Hoping I may have seen myself.

    1. Thank you for your comment and for visiting our website. I understand they shrunk the camp after the ARVN took over. I hope to get back there next time as there is sstill so much to explore in the area.

      1. The base was not shrunk; at least at the west side where the 5th ARVN ID headquarters and its supporting units were located. I was with the 8th Regiment located next to the civilian village. After months of long range operations, we were assigned to secure the perimeter. My company covered the North and Northeast of the perimeter.

      2. Thanks for your comments I was there in 66 & 67 with 2/2sd would like to meet anyone there during that time period

          1. I worked at the radio site at Lai Khe, 595th Signal Company 1968-1969. My brothers in arms, Sgt Randoph, Sgt Mcgruder, Kruchinski, Goff, SSgt Alden served proudly as did I. I remember these soldiers as if it were yesterday. God Bless you all.

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