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.

JT

 

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

 

Back to III Corps>>>

570 thoughts on “Lai Khe Base Camp”

  1. Kevin Larkin made comment on June 5 2024 about incident I believe on Thunder Road. I left Co C 1st Engr Combat Battalion on Jan 10 or 11 1969 headed back to the world. Mike Popp told me he left from our unit Feb or March 1969, we don’t know anything after that. W e kept in touch last 15 years but I check every couple of months to see if anyone remembers me

    Bob Hunziker (Fanman)

  2. I would like to contact Harold kuhn Jr. who was in Hq 2nd 28th Inf @Lai Khe in 1966 . I was on a M60 in a line company. I transfered out Nov. 1966. Anyone who has any info in this regard please contact me. I would deeply appreciate any help, Thank You and God Bless you.

  3. I am glade that I found this site. thank you to the people doing it! I looked for names I would recognize, but saw none. Some connections though. In the video tour of Lai Khe the only things I recognized were the cuts downward in the rubber trees bark, where the rubber sap drained to be caught then sent to Michelin tire company; scooters, cloths hanging to dry, vegetation, trees, dogs and chickens running loose and mud puddles. I looked for the old French building that our B Co. Ist Med. converted into a Field Hospital–like MASH the movie. Never saw that. I was assigned there from January through November 68. My first month was in C Co. 1st Med. in Quan Loi. I’m guessing some of the folks in this page went to sick call, or worse, to see us. We were always very busy, especially during Tet. Blessings to you all and thank you for your service! I’m glade you made it and Welcome Home Brothers and Sisters!
    How do I post a picture?

    1. My Uncle Sargent Major Stephen Rabourn was stationed at Lai Khe.
      I am in Vietnam and plan to be in Lai Khe in the next few days. I’m going to find some interesting photos to send to him.
      Me email is dansoldit at g mail . com
      I separated as it said it will not publish email addresses.

      1. Hi Dan,

        I sent you an email about my interest in seeing your current pictures of Lai Khe. Thank you for being there to get current pictures for him and others.
        Best wishes,
        Don

      2. Hi Dan,
        I just sent you an email about your pictures of Lai Khe. I was in Co. C 2nd Bn. 28th Inf. and would also appreciate seeing what Lai Khe looks like today. I’m sure your uncle appreciates your pictures.
        Regards,
        Bob

      1. Tom,
        Then we may have been in Lai Khe for a week or so together before I left in late November. Were you at the new inflatable Surgical Hospital, or the former French building converted to B Co. hospital? I am glad that you made it home. I hope life is good for you and thank you for your service.
        Don

    2. Hello I was there back in 67 /68/ 69 1st inf div 8th battalion 6th artillery in lai khe A btry the 155 Howitzer I went to sick call as we did from that artillery i have a few visit at CO B 1st Med and Co D 1st Med the TET OFFENSIVE i remember well we were still in base camp in lai khe and around 3 am on 1/30/68
      we were hit with rockets and we started a heavy return battle i remember we were getting help from everyone available because as projectiles, powder canister. got dumped we needed help to set up because our crew been firing the Gun so much everyone on the gun was a team I fired the gun for over year
      we became air mobile the battle 3/68 OPERATION BIRMINGHAM THE TET OF LO GIAG just a few days were long and hard base camp had it moments if you got in trouble you had to be on the sandbag detail i was well welcome home

      1. Lawrence, first of all thank you for your service! Like many I’m trying to find information on my brothers time in Veitnam! He was In an Artillery unit from 1967 – 1968, he went to artillery school at Fort Sill Oklahoma to where he deployed to Veitnam from! I remember him telling me he was at a base camp in Lai Khe! He was on the 155 – 175’s SP Guns! His name was James Dennis Eastwood! I have some pictures of him in country at these base camps, but I have no clue of his unit! It’s hard to see the unit markings on the guns but there is one picture where he is standing next to an APC with letters MACV and some numbers! All of the other pictures are of him without a shirt on, the bunkers had charge cans stacked all the way up the sides of the bunkers! It was pretty muddy looking with a lot of water standing on the ground, with views of the SP guns setting on mounds in the background but no unit ID’s visable! Just wondering if his name rings a bell! My brother lost his life in a construction accident in 1998 at 57 years old, and I never got a chance to talk to him about his service time! He was 14 years older than me! You can reach me at [email protected]. Thank you for any information! I’m also a veteran 1976 – 1980 Korea 1977 – 1978 1 Core 38th Artillery Brigade 2/71 ADA Improved Hawks! Camp Irwin, Pobwon-ni Tac-Site 36! DMZ

    3. I was in Lai Khe 3/69 through 2/70 HHC 1/28th. I located two of my friends over the last three years. Both are deceased. Makes me realize at 74 I’m not the young
      19 year old from back in the day.

      1. I WAS AT LAIKHE 1-66—9-66 C 2-28 BLACK LIONS. JOHN PELSYNSKI SGT CLIFTON WININGHAM WAS PLT SGT KIA MARCH 66 RICHARD NUTT KIA MARCH 5 66

    4. Hello Don, Marshall “Duke” LRRP/R.T.O. Call Sign Magician 20—I remember the photo of you holding I.V. taking soldier to dust off. I had sent a photo of myself and a buddy, Esposito. I had asked if you remembered the Mess Sgt mitchell near the wire 121st Sig Batt that was injured by incoming. Can’t remember the date, but was I think April. I was the 1st to get to him and used a belt to stop his leg bleed. I never saw him again and didn’t know how he did. Leg was injured very bad.
      Hope you’ve been well Don.
      If you need or want to contact me :
      [email protected]
      Magician 20 Marshall
      Duty First

    5. July 66 thru july 67, 2nd btn hhc 33rd arty, 1st inf div. Base camp lai khe. Spent most of our time out west of Tay Ninh, or north up 13. Hated being in base camp. The air bursts in the tree tops were special. Who remembers operation Junction City? Who remembers running endless resupply convoys and the stretch from Long Binh to Tay Ninh? The stretch from di an to lai khe? I have wondered what became of Sgt Maj Nobuo Koshiama.

  4. Was a USAF FAC RTO at Lai Khe from March 1969 thru November, 1959. Call Sign “Sidewinder 30”. We we’re direct support for 75th Ranger LRRPS. Also second tour I was a RASH Fac at Phuoc Vinh supporting the 75th Ranger LRRPS. Call Sign “Rash 30”. Both tours spend beaucoup time at various fire support bases. Spent time in Song Be, Tay Ninh East and West, FSB Buttons. That’s all I can remember.

    1. Hey Greg, I was also an RTO at Lai Khe 1/68-12/69. I was a RTO prior to the Rangers, they got there approximately sept/Oct.
      I was an RTO with the 121st Sig prior to lrrp attachment.
      Did you know Mess Ssg Mitchell with 121st Sig ? He slept in mess tent–one night a round came in, and his left left was pretty F’d up. I got there before medics and used my belt as a tourniquet til they arrived. Did you know him, if sj do you know if he survived his wounds ? I lost touch once going to 52nd lrrp.
      Call sign magician 20
      Thank you for your service my brother. Take care

      1. Hi, Sorry for the super late reply. Just stumbled across this site again and saw your post to me. Was Ssgt Mitchell a fairly tall skinny guy? We had an Army mess Sgt live with us, can’t remember his name though. We always had steaks and chicken because he’d rob the officer’s mess and give to us. Nice guy too. Hope he was the same guy you were thinking of. Like to think he made it! Welcome Home Brother!

  5. Wanted to wish all you vets out Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas. I can never replace Christmas 1968 especially being on Peremeter Guard Dec 24th 1968 with Password Silent Night. I was with 1st Engr Combat Battalion Charlie Company 1st Platoon at Lai Khe. To this day I hear song Silent Night during Christmas season I flash back to Nam. I still suffer from PTSD but I thank the Lord I made it back especially all those incoming rounds from Charlie Day & Night.
    Sure was a Great feeling getting on that Freedom Bird heading back to the world

  6. I was in Rocket City from Aug 1969 to early 1970 and was transferred to the 9th INF. Does anyone remember the swimming pool? It was hit by a rocket while I was there and knocked out of service.

      1. We dug that sucker out. It was left over from French time. The day after it opened in 69 we went out and never made it back to Lai Khe. BTW I liked KLIK better than AFVN.

    1. I remember the pool in Lai Khe. I went there a couple of times. I was in Lai Khe most of the time between Feb 69 until Feb 70 with 8/6th artillery.

  7. Next Month Dec 24th 2023 memories of 1968 still haunts me being on perimeter guard duty Christmas Eve with password “Silent Night”. I was with 1st Engr Combat Battalion Charlie Company 1st Platoon. I try to not focus on Nam too much but every Christmas Eve I cannot forget sitting there listing to B 52’s in distance giving Charlie his presents of the bombs going off and seeing the Cobra’s firing their Mini Guns afar beyond the Perimeter. I have support from my Grandkids thanking me for my service which they call the “Big Red One”. Being a 20 year old at the time made me a Man after 1 night in Nam. I do miss some of my buddies like lots of Vets do. But I’m glad lots of U vets out there made it back and whatever issues U are dealing with seek VA Assistance for help. God is good and he will help U just try to talk to him. I’m not ashamed being in Nam I love my Country

  8. Christmas 2023 is coming next month and I still think about Christmas Eve 1968 I was on perimeter guard the Password was “Silent Night”. I was at Lai Khe with 1st Engr Combat Battalion 1st Platoon with Sp4 Pedro Lopez & Pfc Charles Rosenberger on our Bunker on perimeter guard. All I could think was being back in the world with my Family all getting together Christmas Eve. I kind of miss my buddies from Nam but I do not miss Nam especially getting hit day and night with incoming rounds from Charlie. The only one I kept in touch with Sgt Mike Popp last 10 years. We talk now and then and send each other B’Day gifts to this day. I want to wish EVERY VET out there Merry Christmas and hope All of U Thanks for coming back and not punking out deserting to avoid the draft. God Bless

    Bob Hunziker (Fanman)

    1. My Uncle Sargent Major Stephen Rabourn was stationed at Lai Khe.
      I am in Vietnam and plan to be in Lai Khe in the next few days. I’m going to find some interesting photos to send to him.
      Me email is dansoldit at g mail . com
      I separated as it said it will not publish email addresses.

  9. I was with Hdqtrs & Hdqtrs Battery 1st Inf Div, Artillery, Aviation, Oct 68 – Oct 69. I was crew chief on OH-6 Helicopter. Our hanger was on the edge of the flight line next to the rubber trees. We flew personnel to support artillery units including aerial observers for fire missions. in our unit, the crew chiefs flew along on all missions. Each battalion had 2 helicopters assigned for their use daily. pilots and helicopters rotated assignments daily. One battalion’s hdqtrs was in Di An, so 2 helicopters went to Di An every day and stood by for missions. Our call sign was “Custer”. I got hit with rocket shrapnel Feb 23, TET 69, on flight line getting ready for a mission. Several helicopters were burning yet from rocket attacks during the night. I was out of commission for a while. Had the “Night Hawks”, I believe, next to us that flew support for the infantry units.

  10. I was stationed at Lai Khe with Co B, lst Med Bn from June 1966 to early 1967 when I was reassigned to DiAn to work at the medical facility there until I rotated back to the States in August. Lots of interesting times. I would certainly never recognize either of those areas today even if I had any desire to return. Retired after 20 years. I wound up with heart problems and other medical issues associated with Agent Orange but am still hanging around.

    1. Peter Cutler and Lew Taylor thank you for your service and welcome home brothers. I served in B company for most of 68 and the Tet Offensive. Our French building that was made into the hospital, was hit directly twice during that time by rockets. The first one killed a soldier in his bed about noon. I had just left him to walk over to mess hall for lunch when the rocket hit. The difference of a minute meant that my life was spared–again. I was first assigned to C company in Quan Loi for my first month in country of December 67. My first time under fire was there in that unprotected outpost in the rubber trees. Our helicopter took a direct hit but no casualties that time. I appreciate both of you and what you did for saving others. Thank you!

  11. James Taylor stationed at Lai Khe Dec 3 1966-Dec 3 1967. I was the FDC section chief of Alpha 2/33 FA. looking for any of my men I am in contact with Lt. Dean and John Salgado looking for the rest of the section. I also have individual photos of the different gun crews but do not have any names need some help. Looking for aerial photographs of the airstrip.

  12. I was with 337RRC (ASA) Co from Dec 68 -Dec 69. Rocket City for sure. Our Ops quonset was by a steam and cream house next to arty btry.

    1. Dave,
      I was a 98C30 in the 337th July of ‘69 to April ‘70 when the 1st was handing it over the the ARVN’s. Finished my last 4 months at Bien Hoa. Another world divorced from reality. Extra duty was painting the NCO’s Putt Putt course. Didn’t fair well there. I was part of four man team (LT plus three Specialists) that embedded with the last Search & Destroy mission December of ‘70. They called it s Jump CP as I recall. Can’t find any historical reference unfortunately. Hope all is well. I still struggle with survivor guilt. Name’s Langdon Sproul. Back then it was Lannie Brown. Adopted young, but took my given name back years later. Stay safe and well.

    2. Hey David, loonnngggg time no see. Tewey and Tellin? I remember you both pretty well. You were the two guys who contributed to my R&R disaster in Taipei, Taiwan in late summer of 1969!!! Thanx? I played “Radar” with the 337th from Sept of ’68, until my DEROS in 1969. Trained as an 05H, I worked in the Orderly Room for 1SG Earl Hutton and Co, Commander, Captain James P. McCaslin. I am still in touch with Colonel McCaslin, but not very often. What was your MOS? I don’t recall. I replaced SP5 William Larkins and I was replaced by Specialist Brooks Buderus. I loved my job there. I was there when Specialist George S. Goode committed suicide by overdosing on malaria pills. Do you remember him? He was a cook and he was taking a correspondence course from Indiana University, while in Vietnam. I was in the Army two more times for a total of three enlistments and I retired in 1991. I also worked three times at the local VA Hospital in Marion, Indiana, where we now live. My wife is from Alabama, but when I met her before going to Nam, her family was living near Fort Devens, Mass., a Military Intelligence Training Center. SO, what have you been uP to for the past 55 years??? God Bless you, brother.

  13. Gary, I was there April of 69 to70…701st Maint. Btn. 1st Inf.

    I too was from NJ, raised in East Brunswick, South of Rutgers University.
    Glad you got home and hope in one piece.
    I know this isn’t the country we served for but try to keep the faith. One thing I learned which helped me in life is: it don’t mean nothing.

    1. I too was in 1st Infantry Division 701st maint battalion. 1969, 1970. I left Nov 70 when big red one started pulling out.

    2. My Uncle Sargent Major Stephen Rabourn was stationed at Lai Khe.
      I am in Vietnam and plan to be in Lai Khe in the next few days. I’m going to find some interesting photos to send to him.
      Me email is dansoldit at g mail . com
      I separated as it said it will not publish email addresses.

  14. Memorial Day is tomorrow May 29 2023 and still memories of Tet 1968 haunts me. Try to forget so many incoming rounds from Charlie. The local VA has somewhat assist me with PTSD but still wake up frequently with nightmares I won’t go back to sleep. Seems more I open up with VA more I have to deal with it! Good news is last year or so I have many people thanking me for my service (which I had a custom hat made from Medals of America) couple years ago which reads: Big Red One Vietnam 1968 with 1st Infantry Division Logo in Center of Hat. Hope all U Vets out there are seeking VA assistance for whatever issues U are dealing with. I’m rated 100% PTSD/TBI (had 2 different Concussions while in Country)
    God Bless all U Vets & America

    1. So glad you survived that horror and pray that you find peace. I served in Lai Khe from October 68 to October 69,, so hang in there brother. I saw too many destroyed by that evil that never ends, – do your best to let it go. I feel your pain – be as strong as you can manage

    2. My Husband David L Thomas 1st inf Bravo2/28 Iron Triangle wounded Twice. He has always slept with his eyes open and seldom sleep through the night He did regular Patrols of the QL13 and was there during the Clean up of the Rubber Tree Plantation. He has PTSD, Depression and shrapnel through out his lower Abdomen. He recalls that Agent Orange was dropped many times when he was on Patrol He also has Heart Problems,High Blood Pressure and High Heart Rates ..he has Lung damage as well He wonders if thats also due to exposure to Agent Orange and other chemicals everyone was exposed to while on these Patrols in the Jungles along QL 13..many times they walked with this stuff still on their bodies. Just wanted to chime in and Tell you all we appreciate every single sacrifice you made and WELCOME HOME.

  15. I’ve been trying to contact buddies I hung around with like PFC Rosenberger (from Philly), SP4 Pedro Lopez (from Puerto Rico), PFC Jonathon Douglas (from New Jersey). When not on mine sweeps or building lots of culvert for drainage we hooked up when off duty! We were with Co C 1st Engr Combat Battalion 1st Platoon. We all went through TET 1968 together and I left Company area around 10th of Jan 1969 headed back to the world. If anyone remembers me please leave message for me to contact!

    Bob Hunziker (AKA Fanman)

    1. I was assigned to 5/60 9 ID when I arrived in country. Soon I found myself at Lai Khe with 1/16 Bandido Charlie. I was atop an APC when we trigger a land mine in Nov.

      1. I was in same unit on 3-3 track. Mickey Dalton, I think, drove it. Soon after I left and was sent to Cam Rhan Bay.

      2. 5/60 was at Rach Kien. I spent some time there. Had to visit Battalion Aid to have a hole patched.

    2. Don’t remember but I,am a brother, I missed Tet —arrival was May 68 Co C & D Fist combat Engineers I ran grader on those mine sweeps then later I became a Roam Plow operator .
      They switch me to Delta Co for that.
      Iam from Jersey.

      1. Gary – Did you know Paul Riley and have any idea where he is now?
        jhansen at country lake estates dot net. Jim Hansen

    1. Verdale–Marshall here–most called me Duke. I’m sorry I don’t recall your Brothers name.
      I was lai khe 121 sig Corp A co–Jan ’68-’69.
      Was an RTO, then went with LRRP, 52nd Inf.
      I’m here trying to find O’Conner when I was in A co–he worked Danger Main Switchboard, and trying to find info about mess Sgt, I think his name was Mitchell. Round came in middle of the night, and hit where Mitchell slept at the mess hall. He was the mess Sgt. I got to him 1st–applied tourniquet til aids got there.
      Shortly after that was assigned to 52nd inf LRRP. I could never find Mitchell’s status.
      I wish you much luck with your Brother.
      God Bless You

  16. Was with the 2nd battalion 28th infantry in late 1965 to early 1966 . We lost Sgt janershovits and Sgt Wilson while I was there . They will not be forgotten. Bernard Hargrove if your out there I’ve never forgotten you and hope you are doing well.

    1. I was based at Fire base Lobo while in the 34th Engineer Battalion of the 20th Brigade. 69-70
      We were working on QL13 and one morning we found out the Bob Hope show was going to be in Lai Khe. Twisted on our 1sgt. ear and let me and a couple of buddies snag a 3/4 ton and made it to the show. We burned up the road to get there.

      1. I was there at that show and remember Connie Stevie’s ,I was there with the 595th .Dennis Lawrence from NJ,

        1. i cooked in big red 1 mess hall that’s were we all eat 1969 march to 1970 march i was one of the first cooks

  17. My name is Terry Hileman, Larry and I worked at the aid station together in 1967. We went to Pennang, on R and R.

    1. I have not checked this website in at least 4 years and did so today (17 JAN 23) and was surprised to see a couple of comments from someone I recognized. I took over after you and Gary (Shields??) left for home in early ’67 (maybe March??) and “escaped” myself in March ’68. God bless, Gene Brink

    2. He told me about that trip, not to share too much publically but he talked about an interesting person you met on a beach – you stopped smoking after that. Would love to talk about that.

  18. I Roger Chelberg 1st Division engineers Delta company 1965 1966 our company help build Dion and moved a lhe khe And help to build that base camp airstrip helipads bunkers We were one of the first engineer companies in Vietnam thank you all for serving our first casual day or November 20, 1965 Ron Pete Johnson from Arcadia Wisconsin

  19. Hello, Does anyone remember serving with a medic stationed at Lai Khe, Larry Glock? If so would you have any stories you could share about him? We hope this message finds you are well. God Bless you all.

    1. Larry and I worked as medics at the aid station 1967, it was blood and guts almost every day. I often wondered if Larry went on to be a doctor.

      1. Terry! My dad talked about you many times. He spoke of you as a great friend. Dad told me many times after coming back that he had come to the end of his career in the medical field. He thought of you fondly and always referenced you as his friend. I hope this message finds you well. I would love to correspond with you if that would be a positive and healthy thing for you. If not, find comfort in the thought my Dad held you in high regard. Thank you very much for responding! I hope you are well! God Bless, I have included my email if there is any chance you would be ok with some correspondence, I promise you I have no interest in discussing anything in poor taste, just looking for the history of my Dad and also to also share with you some stories that he relayed to me. Thanks for reaching out. Dave

  20. In Lai Khe December 65 – December 66. 2nd/28th Infantry A Company Black Lions. Still mourning the loss of my buddies Charles Burch and Roy Pitt. Roy and I had been in Infantry Training together at Fort Polk October – December 65. We were the only two trainees that were sent directly the Nam right after completing Infantry training. Roy was trainee of the cycle and I was awarded the Good Conduct Medal. We both ended up in A Company, where we remained
    friends. Roy and Burch were KIA’s on June 11, 1966. They will never be forgotten and will always be remembered. Chauncey E Harris

    1. Hello Chauncey,
      Thank you my brother for making Lai Khe a habitable community, upon the arrival of DELTA company, July 67, 2/28th Infantry, most of my buddies had our training at Fort Polk. I and other buddies built the enlisted houch, but as infantry, (ground pounders) I believe we were in our first scrimmage sometime in AUG 67, my buddy Tony was wounded early SEP, from a small firefight, and was never the same after. When doing HWY 13 sweeps, I carried the M67 recoilless rifle (90MM). D company, had a great CO, field promoted, SFC LLRP, 2 yrs in country. I however did forget Lai Khe was known as Rocket City, as I do recall all of the incoming rounds mostly late evening, maybe you recall those times. SEP & OCT 67 were pretty trying times, lots of action, lost lots of buddies on OCT 17, 67, Battle of Ong Thanh, spent time in 93rd EVAC in Long Binh, along with 20 of my buddies, then shipped off the the 106th Hospital in Yokohama, returned back in country late DEC 67 and back to D company and mostly new recruits, a few of the original company who were on R&R out of country and others who survived the battle. Made it back in country for the 68 TET offensive was not a pleasant time, but I made it out of country JUL 68 and was thankful for knowing all of our brothers in arms. I think of all of those that I served with and all our brothers before and after my time in country. Have a great buddy in Albuquerque, we try to make a REUNION every year for the 2/28 Black Lions in remembrance of those fallen and those of us who have survived, Our platoon medic who I thank every day lives in CA, I get to reminisce with. We lose a lot of comrades due to health and age each year. Lost another friend from C/2/28 April this year. At the reunions I have met men from A company also. All 1st DIV, 2/28 are invited to the Reunion which occur during the 3rd week of OCT to honor our fallen brothers and meet and greet those who came before and after. Sure would be nice to see you at a reunion. Several years ago reunion was at Ft. Riley, KS, the home of the 1st DIV.
      Hopefully, this was not to boring for you.
      Have a great evening.

      1. well on a bad note my friend I served with REACT PLATOON and we were called out to go give you all help on that very sad day, we could not get there because we got stuck in mud and thick shit.. we had to stop and I was in the 29er track listening on the radio with our platoon commander, your company commander had said his radio man just got killed and soon after he was killed and all we heard after was the vc squcheing the radio… we were so close to getting there that they had us go on foot and set up an ambush that night in hopes of the vc fleeing on out path >>> I still have a letter dated Oct 17 1967 to my sister that she recently found, Im writing a book and we are putting it in there, so sad of a day we were all sick that we could get there in time… 2/2 inf hc/hc company Recon Platoon in 1967 was changed to an all volunteer Ready Reaction Force REACT .. do you have photos… glad you made it out alive God weas with you that bloody day in history, the enemy posted videos of them ambushing you all

  21. I was with Headquarters 168th Engineers based in Lai Khe from 68-69. I remember building our hooches amongst the rubber trees and later we built a twenty man under ground bunker. Rocket city was right incoming day and night.
    I particularly remember our ammo dump was hit and live rounds we’re firing all around the base camp. I was attached to S4 as a survivor during the day and sitting on top of the TOC at night with my M60 to protect the officers from ground attack. I consider myself very lucky except for being exposed to agent orange which seems to have had and impact on my children.

      1. Hi Ed I arrived in country in Oct 68 as we were originally based at Xeon near Saigon then we moved up to Lai Khe early 69. I remember Charlie gave us a welcome of mortars. Do you remember the new CO who made us made us were wear our brass and spit shined boots to formation and then wondered why his office got blown up.

        1. I’m searching for information on my father
          Stephen R Munsch . He was with the 168th I believe D company. 1969-1970.

      2. I was in 168th Combat Engineers, HDQTR Company. I was there when sappers blew up company headquarters. I managed the Officer’s Club and the EM/NCO Club. We put on good shows. All got Agent Orange dosed and shit-burning detail. R&Rs to Sydney and Hong Kong.
        Some rockets and mortars—–duck&cover

    1. I was in Lai Kai from May 1969 to April 1970. I remembered the ammo dump explosion. I was located at the end of the airstrip. I was the Sgt in charge of the Postal Operations. The explosion shook the ground with such force that it threw me to the ground and I was knocked unconscious. I survived Lai Kai but sadly several of my buddies did not. Thank you for your service.

      1. Hello, I do believe I remember the air strip getting blown up at that time. I had a friend killed there Henry T. Rava, who I had went to High School with that died of shrapnel wounds back in Seattle. I was in the 1st division Military Police in 69 and 70 at that time. Thank you for your service. we all had some rough times.

      2. I just read your post. You must have replaced me. I was SSG Dennis Green. I was in the 1st Admin from 11/68 to 11/69. I was in Di An for a time and then to Lai Khe. I was in charge of the Postal Operations at Lai Khe from about June to November.

      3. My dad, Sgt. Murphy as there in supply with the big red 1. He talked about the ammo dump explosion. I think he was located somewhere off the airstrip.

      4. I was in HHB, div. arty. in the ground surveilance radar platoon. We manned the tower on perimeter where the ammo dump was.I was in the tower the day that the dump exploded. HAD to ride it out in the tower because shrapnel pounded the tower the whole time. First time I’ve seen the explosion mentioned.

    2. Hello sir. Do you recall Norman Dean Graver, “Dino”. That’s my dad. Says he recognizes your name.

      1. Jimmy Hedgepeth, is your family from north Phoenix AZ? There is Hedgepeth hills located in Deer Valley that was farmed by a family with your name. It is an Arizona State University Archeology site now that I volunteer at. Amazing history and energy there!

    3. Hello . I’m trying to find information on my father
      Stephen R. Munsch . He was in the 168th 1969-1970. Any help would
      Be appreciated.

  22. I was stationed at Lai Khe from May of 67 to April 68 with 6/15th arty, HHB and B Btry. Went over on the USNS WH Gordon, landed at Vung Tau. Hard to believe it has been over 50 year ago. We were attached to the 1st Div. Colonel Frank Serio was our battalion commander.

  23. Hello all.
    First and foremost- thank you all for your service. It is so appreciated!
    Secondly; would any of you have served with my dad Col. (Ret) Jesse K Fulfer. He would have been a Captain in Vietnam and was with the 1st Calvary 5/1969- 11/1969 (as best I can tell). He recently passed away and I am going through some patches and medals while wishing he would have talked more about his time in Vietnam.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Denise (a very proud daughter)

    1. Hello Denise. Thankyou for your comment. I might be able to put you in contact with some 1/5 Cav veterans as I have done some work with some of them although they were in country 67-67. However they might know people who were there later.

      If you want me to check this out, please send me an email on [email protected]

      Jonas, founder of namwartravel.com

    2. I’ve been back to Lai Khe and the area several times. Over years. How can I help you? Curtis Gilliland C 2/28 1st Infantry 68/69. You might like to read. Charlie Company and what Vietnam did to us by Tony Fuller.

  24. I guess I should read through these comments before writing anything. Not sure, but I think McPeeks and Faircloth were “Batman” and “Robin”. As a lowly e-4 I was never in direct contact with them. I worked with a supply sargeant named Smith. His claim to fame was a dozen or so sheets of plywood plastered with Playboy centerfolds. Guys would come in to gawk all the time. Imagine that.

  25. Was in Lai Khe from Sept 1966 until Sept 1967. Assigned to 4 deuce mortar unit, but on supply unit TDY to 2/33rd artillery the last six months. Was in an RTO slot. Wish I had the foresight to write down comrades names and being a young kid never did. Only remember a guy named John Teiken (sp) from Texas. Did run into the 2nd lieutenant, who we called Robin, to the Captains Batman a dozen years later in a college commons .Never got his name either. Used to watch Batman and Combat in the tent next to the club we built with material traded for pallets of beer. Pretty non-army at that time. Remember the first Sargeant….guy named Rodke…never a fan after he ordered all dogs destroyed and threatened to put me in the RTO slot in the field when I mouthed off. Made it back and married now for 57 years. Been to the memorial several times and always remember Oona Haynes and Eddie Smith who never made it back. Go if you can! Lan

    1. I was in Lai Khe from Jan 66 to July 66 with the 4 duce mortar platoon HHC 2nd bn. 2nd inf before we were sent to Quan Loy as part of the 8th 6th artillery.

      1. I am Ssg Paul Ray Setzers daughter. My dad was killed(10 altogether) on a mission Feb 4th 1966, killed by 2 mines going off as platoon of 32 headed across the river. You must have known my dad.
        [email protected]. please reply

    2. LAN – can’t believe I found someone who was in my unit d – battery 2/33 arty, Lai Khe. My name is Steve Holesko and I was the company clerk from 10/4/66 – 10/3/67. I remember Sgt Scott Rodke @ 1st Lt Richard Faircloth. I was 11C20 and never trained as Army Clerk. When I reported Sgt asked me if I could type. As a former cost accountant with office exp he made me the clerk. If you remember me would like to reminisce lai khe. Have a lot to talk about. Thanks, Steve H.

      1. This is John Tieken. So good to hear from you. I remember you as the company clerk. We crossed paths on the internet a few years ago but I wasn’t able to get back in touch with you. I was there from early 1966 to October 1967. When I was first in country, I was with mortar platoon Headquarters Company 2/28 Infantry (Black Lion). We merged with 2nd/2nd & formed the 8 4 duce gun positions a couple 100 yards from the air strip, behind the Hueys parked beside the airstrip. We became Delta Battery 2/33 Artillery. I was squad leader (gunner) on one of the gun nearest to the hooches. Hope we can link up & you can help me get in touch with some of the guys. The only one I found was G. Reyna, I think he is retired & lives down on the border near Edinburg, Texas. I came back to the states, Ft. Benning Ga. Got out of the Army Labor Day weekend 1968. Went to work for Houston Lighting & Power, married my wife, we had two kids & in 1974 relocated to Henderson, Texas. Retired from AEP (power company). Retired now, my wife & I travel some.

        1. I am Ron known as Ski, July 66 to July 67, also with D battery, originally with 2nd Battalion 16 infantry, combined with 2nd and 28th.

          Sgt Kratz was our platoon leader.

          Live in Florida since 2001, went to college in Michigan
          Now 78, widower for 17 years, have 3 adult kids.

          Hope we can touch base.

      2. I went to Vietnam on a ship in October of 66 I was with the 33rd arty on gun anxious we homesteaded in the rubber trees my name is ken Phaneuf and I am from Connecticut but can’t really remember any names would love to hear from you

      3. This is Ron Siekierski, known as Ski.
        Was also with D Battery.
        In nam from July 66/67.
        Now resides in Florida.
        Went to college after service.
        Was married for 35 years, a widower for 17 years now.
        Have 3 adult children.
        Now 78……enjoying old age.

        Wow…a long time ago.
        Touch base if you can.

      4. I am Ron Siekierski, known as Ski in nam.
        There July 66/67.
        Now living in Florida for 21 years.
        Originally from Michigan
        Went to college after service, became an accountant.
        Was married for 35 years, now a widower for 17 years.
        Have 3 adult children.
        Now 78 and enjoying old age.
        Hope we can touch base.

  26. I was in Lai Khe 68/69 8/6th artillery 155’s battery D mostly air lifted to fire bases along hi way 13 our company headquarters was the first one in side the gates going north on 13 I was ammo driver for a our gun also had to get the rounds ready by setting the timers getting the right powder bags & I was the hook up guy for our gun when we airlifted out . Lai Khe really lived up to its name Rocket City we were bombarded every day & night it be routine around our camp anyway I would like to hear from my friends & fellow soldiers that served from May 68 to May 69 8th & 6th artillery 155 ‘s my best memories are the crows nest where orders were given at the entrance of the batteries

    1. Left A 8/6 signed in Sept 66 left June 68. A lot went on my time there, some good some bad, the town Lia Khe was OK, Didn’t spend to much time there. We were split trails, convert to M109 convert to split trail and became air mobile. First time out Chinook lost our gun, had to use crane

    2. I, too, was in Lai Khe May ‘68 – May ‘69. May – Nov with 1st Combat Intelligence Battalion (provisional), east perimeter of base camp; Nov ‘68 – May ‘69 with 121st Signal Battalion (southwest perimeter of base camp. I just do not recall that much incoming over my twelve months there. Maybe I am incorrect, but I thought the base camp was rather smallish and therefore I would have heard incoming rockets or mortars. I can recall possibly ten times receiving only a few incoming rounds. Being in artillery, I understood you were called upon to return fire once given coordinates of enemy location. Based on all of that, roughly how often were you called upon to respond?

      1. Thats another story. There was a n nva 2 ton truck with the missile launcher on it. We landed in a remote area i had never been in. The division hadn’t been in for a long time. We spent night laying exposed to nva in the surrounding tree line. That night in the pitch black we heard a diesel motor moving in our direction up in the trees just directly above us. From rpm being so steady i thought it had to be on very flat driveway or on tracks. The truck stopped directly above and began loading and then the turret turned and lokhed in place and then elevation and azemuth were dialed in. This all sounded like by analog. Two large missile flew over us. And then two more. We stared out into the vast night sky . First two explosions lit up a patch of sky about 10 miles away. Then the other two blew up a few miles away from first. I told the l5 that was lai khe and probably quanloi. This happened in march 1969. I never got to go up the mountain to blow in place. I wondered if the rockets slowed down. We built a fob in spot where we landed in clearing .and i never heard a missile fired over us again.

    3. Hi do you remember me Larry Ruggiero I was there from 12/67 to2/69 I was there for TET I hope we can get to talk
      Take care

    4. I was with A Battery, 8/6th from April 68 to December 69. When I arrived the 1st Sgt asked who could drive a stick shift. I know you’re not supposed to volunteer but I raised my hand and was assigned as duece and a half driver for the mess hall but lived at the maintenance hooch. I don’t remember too many names but I do remember Charlie from Mississippi, Speedy Gonzales from the Los Angeles area and a guy named Jake. I haven’t found anyone who served with me but if anyone was there during 4-68 to 12-69, I would enjoy hearing from you. My email address is: [email protected]. A Battery was at the South end of Lai Khe, 155 towed along Hwy 13 across from where the choppers were refueled.

      1. I arrived at battery A 8/6bn August of ‘69 with a cast on my right arm due to a fractured wrist. I was the battery recorder who worked with Sgt.Jones. He was The Chief of Smoke. Was reassigned to battery A 8/4 at fire base Carroll by the DMZ.. I was the powder man for a crew on a 175mm sp. Everyone coming and going, never made any lasting friendships there.

  27. Wow, I was in Lai Khe Company A, 1st.Bn.28th. Inf. Jan 7th. 1969. Didn’t see much of the base camp, out in the field most of the time.

    1. I was in b co 1/28 68 to june 69. When i was turning my gear inat co. I was talking to clerk. He said A company was on ambush and dinks used a scout dog and hit a co ambush site kia company commander and others. Do you remember that happening ?

  28. Hello, my Dad
    Willie James Hudson aka “Jim” “Jimmy”
    Was at Lai Khe and frequented Di’an and phuoc vinh. August 1967 – August 1968

    He spoke of many memories there and some horrible, many oddly enough seemed amusing and down right enjoyable considering what you men all went through.

    Any how of any of you folks remember please reach out to me, I’m putting together a written memory book of him to go with his personal things. He passed away August 29 2021. He is dearly missed and is/was the greatest father and law enforcement officer ever. He was my true best friend.

    Also I have alot of photos of you guys over there and would love to share them.
    Thank you and God Bless

    1. I was with a Jim Hudson at Lai Khe in 67-8, 595th Signal. We shared a tent if it’s the same guy? I know he was at Dian for a while.

  29. I am writing for a friend of mine sitting here with him in a nursing home and he wanting me to respond finally to this website blog. Mike was in Lai Khe from October 68 till July 69 with the 168 Engineers doing mine sweeping, building bridges and bunkers. Rocket City is what Mike calls this place. After a trip home Mike came back in Aug 69 and left in Dec 69 for Xmas and came back got attached to the 554th Construction Battallion building bunkers around Chon Thanh and wound up as a radio relay operator on top of Nui Ba Den by Tay Ninh. Mike Krutke is his name and he really appreciates reading all of your replies!

    Chris Hunt

    1. Chris, thank you for your comment and for helping Mike. It means a lot for us running the website to know he appreciates our article on Lai Khe. I hope Mike will come back to the site and read more of the comments from other veterans that keep adding information and sharing their experiences as well.

      All the best from us in the namwartravel team.

      /Jonas

    2. Hi Chris
      I was Company B Platoon leader from July 1968 to August 1969 – what was “Mike’s” full name we might have known each other – I do a lot about Rocket City and Thunder Road
      Col. Romanowski was the Battalion Commander
      Gary Ledford

      1. Hi Gary
        Mike’s full name is Michael John Krutke and he does not remember Col. Romanowski he says Col. Roper is who he remembers.

    3. Chris, I was with C 2/28 Ist 11/68 to 11/69, as a 11 B. Since that time I’ve returned to Vietnam around 30 times and visited most of the area we slept and fought in. The countryside is so quiet and peaceful today and the people are so nice, even those we fought against. I’ve had the opportunity to speak and probably eat with many of our former enemy. I’ve also visited, worshipped and spoke in a few churches. (No I’m not a Pastor)
      Today there are four lane and six lane highways all over the country, including to and thru Lai Khe . It’s so comforting and peaceful to sit and look at the rice fields and mountains. And to watch children play. You can watch a video of an interview of me with a Ball State University, by just typing in my name and Ball State. I’ve traveled up to Hanoi a few times and way down south of Saigon. Hope you have a GREAT day.

    4. My name is Ed Griswold and I was with B Co 168 Engineeer BN (Combat) at Lai Khe from Fron Jun 68 to Nov 69. What is Mike’s last name? I may have known him. B Company was right next to the runway.

  30. I was at Ben Cat, hill 29, from October 1965 through the end of the year. Then we relocated to Lai Khe. Our perimeter faced west of Highway 13. Our CO was Captain Yaugo, and our Platoon leader was Lt. Joseph Smith.
    A co 1st Btn, 16th Inf. Mortars

    1. I was with Delta. Company 1st Engineers 1965 66 help build the road from Lhe Khe to bear cat Big Red 1

      1. Hi Roger, we’re you with D. Company 1st Eng Battalion, 1st Infantry Division at Lai Khe? Looking for someone who may have known a Michael Guastella who was there. Thank you.

    2. I am an honorably discharged Army veteran; thank all of who honorably served.

      Does anyone remember my cousin or have information on the battle in which he was KIA?
      SP4 William “Billy” Randall Truett
      Company A 16 INF 1st INF DIV Vietnam
      KIA 2 Feb 1968 (aged 20) Bình Dương, Bình Dương, Vietnam
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/13966707/william-randall-truett

      There is a note from a Karen Larue stating that her husband is alive because of Billy going on patrol. I assume he was killed Binh Duong @ 4:25 am on February 2, 1968 (New Year, 3rd day).

  31. Pretty much just hung out at Phuoc Vihn . Flew a few times . Then went back to the world . Oh yippee Skippy. Left a lot as a back to the world. Had 52 days leave didn’t waste any of it making unfortunately lost time ! Lmmo glad you all made the world . GOD BLESS

  32. I’ve made around 15 or more trips to and thru Lai Khe and up Thunder Road since 1992. It’s changed a lot since then. If you haven’t already find and read the book “Vietnam and what it did to us” by Tony Fuller and Peter Goldman it’s about C 2/28 Ist Infantry.

    1. I was in Lai Khe 68-69 First Infantry Div. 2/28 Charlie Co 2nd Platoons and was one of the Veterans mentioned in Charlie Co What Vietnam Did To Us.
      Kevin Abbott

      1. Hey Abbott,
        Doc Battin from Indiana. We were 1st platoon members under Lt Joe Montoya. I joined the platoon in September 1969 at FSB Thunder I on Highway 13 where we played football with other platoon members. I replaced Doc Becerra. I became Sr aid medic after the Battle of Julie, came down with malaria at Junction City, and then returned to the forward aid station later. I reached out to Montoya in NM and Sgt Rock Johnson in Chicago and Frank Goins, our point man in GA. He was wounded at Julie. Also found Bill “Doc” Johnson, 3rd platoon medic in FL. I read the book “Charlie Company” a few years ago. You were clerking at Manny Hanny. I came home from ‘Nam and went to school on GI Bill and became a CPA working for Price Waterhouse in Indianapolis.

      2. Kevin, I just found this site. We were in Charlie company at the same time. I remember you. I was there 3/68-3/69 in 1st platoon and I have the book. Also I remember you, Skeels, Harris, Selig and others. I really appreciate it that the authors told the story like I know you told them about the life of a grunt in C 2/28. I got pulled out of the field after about 6 months for a foot problem. I built the supply shed annex and then got a job in the mess hall where I eventually became mess sergeant.

    2. Curtis, I was in C 2/28 from 3/68-3/69. Goldman & Fuller started interviewing soldiers from our company in 4/69. I have the book “Charlie Company What Vietnam Did To Us”. It is a factual story of the life of a grunt in Charlie Company 2/28. I knew the soldiers that they interviewed so I know they were telling the real story.
      Curtis what do you do that you’ve made so many trips up Thunder road in recent years.

      1. Bob, in 1975 a Catholic nun friend of mine asked me to help 4 men who were former Vietnamese soldiers during the war. She knew I had been there during the war. My family and I got very close to them and then as other Vietnamese came here I got deeper involved. One lady wanted to go see her family in “92, so with the approval of my wife and her husband we took off to Vietnam. Since then I’ve been deeply involved as a fill in grandpa, brother, uncle, father, etc……. 30 return trips. I’ve eat with their ambassador, escorted a young lady who worked in the White House, escorted kids to visit their family there, eat with former enemy and , etc………. Vietnam and the people have been very close to me.

      2. Just returned from Vietnam after spending about a month there. The country and cities are expanding big time.

  33. I was in Lai Khe from December 1968 to March of 1969. I was with the 1st inf S&T. Pol unit. Looking for Sgt Green E-5.
    He was from the Pittsburgh area. He left Vietnam around January or February of 1969.

    1. I served with a Sgt Green, E-5, in Lai Kai. I replaced him after he rotated after his tour. We were assigned to the 1st Infantry Div Admin Co- Postal Service. Could it be the same Sgt Green?

  34. My dad (Merrill Miller) never talked about the war and it wasn’t till after my last Afghanistan ground tour that I felt compelled to look up his tour info. He was in the 121st Signal Battalion, Alpha Company, Lai Khe starting in March 69. I just didn’t appreciate what he went through until I experienced it, and makes me miss him even more. I’m really happy that people have places like this to connect and share stories.

    “As is this country’s debt to all who serve, and pay the price for freedom in this land.”

    1. I got on the trunk at the 90th replacement and the driver Hagan started driving. I thought I was being driven so far into the jungle I’d never get back. I arrived in Lai Khe in April of ’70 and assigned to the 554th engrs who were building Thunder road, QL 13 up to An Loc. While at Lai Khe they found out I could cut hair so amoung all the other jobs I became the Bn. barber. I didn’t mind till they sent me up to one of the support bases Thunder one, and Doomsday to cuthair.. I asked why it was called Doomsday and they told me the base got over runned a month before I got there . Back at Lai Khe, I learned why there was a sign at the main entrance proclaiming Lai Khe as Rocket City. A couple rockets during the day and more at night. The perimeter bunker became our second home. I pulled tower guard one night during a good rain . There was one tower and five bunkers. Lighting strike the tree behind the tower and all 24 claymore mines went off at once. Took out all the wire. I went on R&R in Nov. Only to return to an abandoned camp. They had moved east to Bao Loc on QL20 up in the central highlands. I caught a convey headed that way and joined them. Stayed till April of of ’71 and deros Some Fun times.

      1. This is Carlos leos. I was at lai khe in 1970 with the 554th engineer battalion. I was on bunker guard also on that day when the mines went off. I had night mares about that when I came home. Didn’t it become a firefight also. I’m glad you made it home and it was nice hearing from you God bless.

    2. I to was at Lai Khe with Co.A, 121st Signal Battalion and was assigned to the Division’s Communications Center. Got there around April 1968 and left around March 70 and went straight to the 25th Infantry Division at Tay Ninh. I might have even run into your Dad at one time or another.

      1. Thank You For Your Service! Maybe you knew my Father ( Wayne Allan Huffine ) he was assigned to Company A, 121st Signal Battalion, First Infantry Division. I know he was there in 68 and received The Army Commendation Metal With “V” Device for his actions in a rocket attack on 26 August 1968, unfortunately he is gone now and Never talked about his 3 tours in country. I have a few pics to share of what I think is Lai Khe Village, any information would be greatly appreciated

      2. Right after the Big Red—1st Infantry pull out of Lai Khe, our unit 595th LE moved into the compound and stayed until Dec 1970 when we demob and sent home. We worked the road up to Ann Loc and beyond when we were not being sent elsewhere—Song Be—-Trang Bang—-The Black Virgin Mountains into Cambodia at Tay Ninh.

      1. Gary, i was at Laike working in comcenter most of the time on Switchboard. I got there Sept 1970-1971. I am still in contact with 12 former 595th sig brothers. Some were there 1969-70 and even till 1972 or 73 at closing point. I would love some photos from time before me. Thanks and welcome home.

        1. SPENT TIME THEIR FROM FEB-71 TILL FEB-72. CHANGED NAMES ALL THE TIME. 595TH-525-550TH AND MORE ALL SIGNAL. YOUR NAME SOUNDS FAMILAR IM MANCLE G. KINTNER,JR. RADIO-TELETYPE. [email protected]

          1. Hey Mancle, Doty Here. Do you remember Brother Freddy West. I am in contact with him almost monthly. He lives in N.J. States. He has been ill off and on, but hanging in there. I have more names to. Contact me ASAP

        2. I believe my dad was there around that same time with 595, Robert LaFargue. Two tours, last one ending in 71.

          1. Benjamin i don’t recall that name. I have a list of 42 names. Most were there from 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971. I got there Sept 1970 and left Sept 1971. So he might have came in as a replacement after i left. Out of the 24 guys i have located, 11 have passes away already. Message Me, Thanks

          2. I was with the 595th in 1970 at Lai Khe. Do you remember what platoon he was in……I was in the heavy equipment platoon, Platoon leader was Lt. Justice and the Platoon Sgt was SFC Williams and before him was SFC Adams.

        3. was there in 69 to 70 595 sig co cook we all eat in the big red one mess hall i was put in charge of one of the two shifts hung out with most of the cooks they were in the big red one well come home ed kurtzner e 4 cook

          1. My dad (Robert LaFargue) was in the 36bn with the 595th sig, last tour was 11 Nov 70- 11 Nov 71, he came in as a tele switchboard operator. He passed away 11 years ago. Trying to place him in where all he might have been during Vietnam has been more challenging than I realized.

          2. I remember eating there I was there jun 69 to 1970 at that place,I was with the 595 ,my name is Dennis Lawrence.our hooch was not far from the medics tent, and all the rubber trees around us ,

      2. Gary, I was the forward platoon leader , 121st sig at Lai Khe in 1966.
        Most of the time I was in the field following the infantry S/D operations.
        Sgt Arnold was my platoon Sgt who stayed at base while I was on the move. Left in October 1966, but we got mortared on my last night. Spent that night in the bunker.

  35. This Christmas Eve still brings back memories from Lai Khe while with 1st Engr Combat Battalion Charlie Company. I was on Perimeter Guard with the password “Silent Night” the year 1968. Still dealing with Tet Nightmares as hundreds of other Vets are also. To this day I get nervous walking at night and and thinking all the incoming mortars hitting Lai Khe Day & Night. I been trying to get ahold of people I ran around with like PFC Rosenberger, SP 4 Pedro Lopez. I’ve kept in touch with Sgt Mike Popp last few years as to this day we exchange B’Day Gifts
    Bob Hunziker AKA Fanman

    1. Hi Bob, I was also on perimeter guard duty Christmas eve 1968. My unit was 2nd battalion 2nd infantry 1st Infantry Division. I arrived at Lai Khe the first week of September 1968 PFC 11 bravo. I was walking a dirt road to my assigned line company when the HHC company clerk came running after me and took me and three other men back to HHC and reassigned us to company D of HHC. I was issued an M14, 1 mag. and 1 can of ammo ( no M16 in supply). I was taken to the motor pool and issued a military drivers license and spent the next three days on perimeter guard duty. Your post brought back memories.

      1. Hello. I purchased a black jacket around 1998 with white satin lining inside. It’s embroidered and says LAI KHE 337 RR CO. Last name SPENCE also embroidered.

    2. Hey Bob. I hope you are well!
      SP4 Mike Vazquez here. I was the generator repair guy for our unit in Lai Khe from March of 68 to Feb of 69. I remember your name but can’t place your face. I hung out mainly with Paul Riley from Calif and Paul Miller from NY.
      You were there on May 13th when we lost 7 guys to an early morning rocket attack right? I’m writing a book and would like to talk to anyone who remembers what happened that am. I was one of the guys who helped the medics with the wounded. I have been a Veterans PTSD Counselor for many years so I’d also be happy to share some of the techniques that helped me resolve my long term PTSD. Would love to chat and interview you for my book, if you’d like. 626-617-6347.
      Six two six, six one seven, six three four seven.

      1. I was there from July 1968 to August of 1969

        I was incharge of building Thunder Road north for about 1/2 of that time – I have pictures and lots of thoughts

        1. Gary, any chance you were at Thunder 1 in August 1969? Did you know anyone from C Co. 1st Engineer Bn?

    3. Did you know Paul Riley and if so, do you know how to get ahold of him?
      jhansen at Country Lake Estates dot net.
      Jim Hansen

  36. Early April 68 was with 34th eng then try to 168th I think we were removed a fight broke out when some Australian girls arrived for a show . I remember sgt boatright I think he was from Kentucky, then there was sgt upchurch. I was promote to e-5 and and sent to phi loi s-4 duty. Later to return to lie khe. We were down the road begin the med dust off. I had many different assignments with the 34th unit armor, supply sgt. And did 30 days guard duty on liekhe village gate. I extended my tour to get out of the army 5 months early. I remember lie khe, unfortunately many times while I’m asleep, no other 15 month period in my life effected me more then rocket city😤

  37. Anyone who was with the 595th Signal Company can view a 68-69 yearbook by searching ( Bob Craft/595th). The book is online and has pictures of the radio site and Red Platoon, Blue Platoon, White Platoon and others. I was thrilled to find pictures of myself and friends at Lai Khe.

    1. Yah Richard. Me and 12 of my 595th brothers 1969-1973. We worked in comcenter different jobs. I was there when we had the Sapper Attack July 1971. Pretty Wild. I don’t recall a Bob Craft all my paper orders has a lot of names but don’t see that one. He must have been there before Sepr 1970 when i arrived.

  38. Good evening
    My dad Bill Dunn
    Was 1st infantry
    8th battalion
    6 artillery
    Big red one
    He was stationed in lai khe between 1966-1968
    He’s looking for any of his brothers during this time

    1. Michelle:
      Was your dad familiar with any Soldiers from:
      Troop C, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division.
      Was he involved in a search and destroy mission on the on the 25-26th August 1966 where radio comms were down throughout the armored Calvary platoon.

      Looking for anyone that might remember this and a First Lieutenant named John Johnston Jr. that was a part of it.

      Any first hand knowledge that anyone can provide about this mission would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Joe

      1. Joe you must be John’s son. My name is Don Gill and I assumed command of John’s platoon when he became a Generals aide. In fact ,I remember him boarding the Generals chopper and flying off. I also was Norwich ‘65. I was not there during his time at C Troop but, everyone I’ve talked with say he was exceptional. You should be very proud!

        Don Gill
        Norwich ‘65
        [email protected]

      2. Thank you Joe for your service
        My dad says d he didn’t know any soldiers from the ones you mentioned, I’m sorry
        I hope you find the answers and find the soldiers you’re looking for though

    2. Please ask your father if he remembers Sgt. James Ronnie Mollett. He was in 8th Bat. 6th arty. b battery killed in april of 66 at Lai Khe

      1. I was at lie kai in 65 to 66 and a guy I knew can’t rennet his name but was a motor Sargent in the 6 of the 8th it was a 8inch s/p unit that got killed I don’t know if it is the same person I was in the 28th infantry

  39. 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.

    1. Barry Edewaard, thank you for your service and welcome home brother! I wish you improving health. Our paths may have crossed in late November 68 when I rotated out to Di An, then Long Bin for a Freedom Bird. For my in country of 68, I was mostly assigned to Ist Med in Bravo company, Lai Khe Field Hospital in the old French building that was converted. I appreciate you and your service to the people needing vision care. Thank you! I agree with you on the diary that I never did either.

    2. Barry, are you in contact with any of the Docs that worked in the Lai Khe hospital (2nd Surg?) in August of 69? Trying to research an incident that happened on Thunder Road, persons involved were Dustoff to Lai Khe.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

      1. Hello Tom, Initially I was with Co B 1st Bn 16th Inf. Got there just in time for the battle of Bong Trang, aka 25 August. Shortly afterward I was attached to 2nd Bn 33rd Arty along with Lt. Richard Faircloth fron2nd/28th. We had eight 4.2 mortar platoons and operated as Delta Btry 2/33d Arty until August 1977. I have several photos but don’t know how to share them here. When you were there did the compound entry sign still have the Hallmark motto “We care enough to send the very best”? I share some photos in a private group “Vietnam Veterans the best of the best of the baby boomers” It is a pretty informative site dealing with Agent Orange and VA issues.

        1. My name is Steve Holesko. I was your company clerk. Have many memories of our bastard outfit, with no formal organizational system. I was 11C20 not an Army clerk. Had to learn everything from the 1/16 @ 2/28 clerks. I said I could type being a Cost Accountant before Uncle Sam called, that made me the clerk. I remember Lt. Faircloth, Sgt E-7 Rodke and you. You being a enlisted man before you were a officer? Have many stories to share with good and bad memories of our unit. (1/16 @ 2/28 Hv Mortar Platoons) known as DBtry 2/33 Arty. Thanks Lt. McPeeks. Steve H.

          1. Sent you a few messages along the way.

            My name Ron Siekierski
            There known as Ski
            I am sure you will remember.
            Hope we can touch base.

        2. I was with headquarters company 2nd battalion 16th infantry than attached to 2nd 33rd artillery as originators of D Battery. 2nd battalion 28 infantry army personnel was combined with 2nd battalion 16 infantry army personnel to form the 8 gun 4.2 mortars company. I served in Vietnam from July 66 to July 67.

          We would go out on various missions, but normally with 2 mortars, the rest stayed at base camp, Lai Khe to protect with fire missions at anytime, day or night. Sgt Kratz was in charge, of our squad.

          Ron

      2. I was a 4.2 mortar man in Dec 68-69 and attend reunions with the 1st I’d society. Can you text me 414-721-8696

    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?

      1. I Was In Third Platoon Also. Aug. 68 \ Oct. 69. I Remember Both Sgts Warner And Booth. Henderson Was My Squad Leader When I Arrived An Flanery When I Left. Your Name Does Not Sound Familery But I Am Sure We Crossed Paths At Times. I Remember Both Thunders 1 An 2 Well.. I Hope The Years Have Been Good To You Since Then.

        1. Assigned to 2/33rd Arty from July’68 and July’69. I spent many weeks, on and off, living in the observation tower at Thunder-1. The duty required staying up all night watching for rockets being launched toward Lai Khe and other targets. I don’t remember the road clearing people I met. I do remember the mess tent put out some of the best meals I ate while in VN.

      2. Francis, did you know Berry and Krolikowski, who were with C Co, 1st Engineers at Thunder 1?

  43. 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!

    1. Mike, do you or Bob Hunziker know anything about an incident at Thunder 1 in August of ’69 involving C Co soldiers from the 1st Engineers? I’m trying to research the story.

  44. 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.

      1. ken podobensky is my husband he died last year i would like to know if anyone knew him from lai khe 67-68

      2. We must have met. I was a 1/7th FO while 1/7th was in DiAn. Short stint in FDC. Went to Divarty as an AO callsign 50Delta. Moved to Lai Kai and spent the rest of my tour there.
        Was flying out of Quan Loi overhead FSB Rita during the siege and worked with Lt Col Charles Rogers.

    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.

  45. 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.

    1. Hi Norman, The artillery unit at Lai Khe was 2nd Bn 33 Arty. I was the 4.2 mortar platoon leader of 1sst Bn 16th Inf and was attached to them as Delta Btry 2nd Bn 33d Arty until August 1977.

  46. ****** 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

      1. i was an mp in lai khe and transferred to di an did mobile resource control with the qc and national police

    2. I was stationed at Lai Khe for almost all of 1968. Had KP at the General’s Mess the day Tet started. Went to KP wearing a baseball hat like everyone else. Had to walk about 2 blocks after dark to my tent. The MP’s stopped me and everyone else and told us to put on the steel pot. It was at night so I don’t know who was the Full Bird Colonel, but he was giving an MP grief about having to wear a helmet. Up walked a LTC with his MP arm band and lit into the Colonel. And as I was walking by he told him, if you ever give any of my men trouble, you and I will have a visit with the Two Star.

      1. Eddy I was stationed in the special intelligence compound next to the general’s compound. Remember that night vividly. The two star was General Ware and The Bird was a pain in the butt. I knew them well. Prepared their special intelligence briefings every day. General Ware was KIA in September 1968. I was at Lai Khe Dec 67 to Dec 68.

        1. Donald, my name is John “Chris” Christiansen. I was stationed in Lai Khe, May 67-May 68. I was the NCOIC of the Medical Go Team, HHC Aide Station. LTC Arthur Buzwell was the Division Surgeon and I worked directly under him and our doctor CPT Clark C. Lipe. I was in the Color Guard for the CofC for Gen Hay & Gen Ware. Perhaps we knew some of the same folks. I hung out with some of the guys in G2 & G4. You can text me if you would like (360)451-1761

          1. Hi John. The only names I can remember are Joe Cantone and Major Harnish . Terrible with names. I was assigned to first MI detachment but worked with USSG. My job was preparing a briefing for the division commander and the two one stars every day. Very interesting job. I interacted with many intelligence people, wish I could remember more names. Will text you maybe the names of some of the people you knew will jog the memory.
            Don

        2. Don, you were w SSD, doing briefs. I covered for you when you went on R&R. Did briefings w Capt Corinne. I was with the 337th RRC in the BIC tent behind your building, think it was a building or some sort of structure. If I remember you were from MA. I was from CT.
          Did a second tour 70-71, up country, since 1st Infantry was leaving. Moved west after my ETS and am retired from the VA.
          Jack Lenihan

          1. Hi Jack. You have to forgive me I am terrible with names. It is amazing to hear from a person who actually covered for me. We had the metal building in the compound surrounded by barbed wire with armed MP guards. My original CO was Major Harnish and the only other name I can remember is Joe Cantone. There were two guys from Hawaii, whose names I cannot remember. I enjoyed my job and would have stayed if I was not married. We left MA and currently live in Danielson, Connecticut and I am a retired teacher.
            Don

        3. He was the one that gave orders for the all volunteer platoon called REACT to start up.. the captain in charge of seeking men to join we called THUMPER .. do you no anything on this ?? 2/2 inf mech HC/HC company recon mar 67 t0 apr 68 i was the last of the ones to go home

    3. Peter Conlon, you and I likely met one of those nights in early November 68. An MP caught me in the Lai Khe village after hours and took me to the gate for processing. He and the other MPs were friendly and just doing their jobs. The citation I got, was later dealt with by just a verbal reprimand by the CO. Ironically, as I left B Company 1at Medical Battalion Ist Inf. Div. in late November 68, to DEROS, the CO calls me in to get my papers and reprimands me for being caught in the village at night. Right after that he then praises me and presents me with my Bronze Star. Crazy war, full of ironies. I am glade you made it home brother. Welcome Home and thanks for your service!

  47. 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

      2. I was with Lighthorse 4.2″ mortar Bravo then Charlie February 1968 – December 1968. FDC Section Sgt. 1St at Di An then Lia Khe and several NDP’s

        1. I was a 4.2 mortar man in Dec 68-69 and attend reunions with the 1st I’d society. Can you text me 414-721-8696

      3. I was with the light horse battery when it was formed in July 1966 I was with hhc 2nd 2nd inf from Jan to July 66.

  48. 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,

    1. I’ve made around 30 trips to Vietnam since “92.. traveling with Vietnamese friends and others. It’s a beautiful place to visit and plan to return maybe in the few months.

  49. 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 ate your food a few times. I was humping most of the time. I was there Oct 1969 until March of 1970 and was shipped to the 199th Light Infantry Brig.

      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.

  50. 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.

    1. My uncle Allen Bodven was in the 1st infantry/16th from 2-68-2-70 he Passed November 2020 Covid related do you know where I may find any photos of him and the unit I am trying to put together a life scrapbook of him for his son

  51. 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

      1. Might have been me. I led a Rome plow team and we had a cav platoon – I rode on the tank dozer named Charlie Brown. Ended up north of Ben Suc. Prolly have some photos somewhere. Bob Camors, a Google search bring me up.

        1. I remember the Charlie Brown dozer. I was Diehard Charlie November, 3Rd Platoonleader, C Co, 1st BN Lai Khe July 67 to Jan 68. Spent a lot of time on Thunder Road We shot down a helicopter with a Dump Truck on election day, fall 67

          Bob Buhl

    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?

    3. My dad John Schriner was with the Engineers at Lai Khe June 68-Feb 69. Not sure which unit he was assigned to. Did you know him? He had a buddy named Horace Wiggins, nicknamed Slim.

      1. Shannon do you know where Horace Wiggins was from in the states, I knew a Horace Wiggins from Alabama and he would be this age group. Not to many with that name I do not think. I was at Lai Khe in 1970, but with the 595 LE and our company demob and left in Oct 70.

    4. Thank you! cuz I used that road often and never got blowed up. Spent too many nights on perimeter guard and rocket towers and days driving the agent Orange paved ne bypass road hauling 105mm rounds for 1st Inf 2/33 arty! Much better weather than MI!

  52. 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.

  53. 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!

  54. 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

        1. Same company, different platoon—–SFC Williams, Platoon SGT——Lt. Justice, Platoon Leader—was in Lai Khe with you and went to Cambodia with the same. Had a floor show at Tay Nihn when we came out of Cambodia before going back to Lai Khe. Hell of a time, would do it again.

      2. I must have been in the same platoon, I was a 10 tractor operator and a 290 m scraper operator in SFC Williams platoon—Platoon leader was 1st Lt. Justice. You may have been in a different platoon. Your name sure sounds familar. Hope to get a reply………..take care.

      3. Was you in SFC Ball’s Platoon or SFC Williams, we had to work together in that time frame. It was a good company to be in……we had a good 1st Sgt, but tough, a little Puerto Rican and a good Company Commander. Can not remember either’s name. The company–595th LE did deactivate in Dec 70.

    2. Cliff, check out Bob Craft/595th Vietnam on Google. You’ll see pictures of SSgt Alden, Randolph at the radio site. Take Care buddy. God Bless. Richard C Arroyo

  55. 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 .

      1. I was with 1st Mp co until Oct 69. Slept in 5th platoon hootch (Big Al, Hayden, Bartlett, Smalls, Panozzo). I don’t recognize your name.

    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 .

  56. 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. There was a book published, “The History of The First Infantry Divison 1969”. I found it on Amazon, but there very copies around.

    2. I left about 4 months prior to your arrival. The PIO was next door to our G-1 tent. Cute story. We were both moving our office around Mid-1968, These office tents were right behind the General’s Chateau. We were to dig a huge bunker prior to the office being set up. I bribed a clam shell operator with a case of beer to come over and dig the bunker for us. He went down on his second or third shovel and dug up the General’s water line. We all took off running leaving the poor operator to sit there. Well, it seems we were in the wrong location, and it was where the PIO was to dig their bunker. So they caught all the flack for ruining the General’s dinner.

    3. Wain…I was with 2/16 of the 1st from March 69 to March 70. Was an RTO with the Battalion forward CP. FSB Lorraine, Dominate and Thunder I til early ’70 when our AO changed and we headed further south and built FSB Rhode Island. Battalion transferred Rhode Island to, I think, the 25th Division and headed back to Di An to prepare to go home in April. My Deros was in March, so I missed all the preparations for departure.

      Do you recall anything about an incident in August of ’69 involving soldiers from C Co. 1st Engineers at Thunder I? Any chance you, or anyone reading this know what artillery battery was at Thunder 1 at that time?

      Would love to hear from anyone who would like to reminisce about 2/16 during that time, I’m open for discussion.

      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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.”

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

  62. 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

    2. I was in charlie co. 2nd and 28th. I too was at loc ninh june 6th. I was there from 3 mar 66 to 3 mar 67. I got hurt in dec 66 and ran the company bar till I left. my squad leader was sargent fair. he was killed at loc ninh.

  63. 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

    2. Alpha Co. 1/16, FDC 81 mm Mortar Platoon from late December 1965 to DEROS. Arrived in Vung Tau on Oct. 7, 1965, via the USS Mann. Basic and AIT at Ft. Polk, then Ft. Carson, and Ft. Riley.

      1. I was FDC in your platoon after being transferred from 3rd platoon I cannot remember a lot but it was good to know some are still alive

  64. 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.

        1. Ms Houston, do you mean 1/28 rather than 1/26? I was also there until 12/69 with D company but Lima platoon. Can you provide more information about your late husband? If we were in Delta company, we may have known each other!

  65. 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 [email protected] 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.

      Jonas

    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.

          1. Hi,
            I was in HHSB 8/6 Arty in Lai Khe when they moved the Arty HQ from Phu Loi to Lai Khe in…about Aug/Sept 1968…I was there til May 69. The 8/6 had the Lighthorse Mortar Platoon attached to us. We had 4 main batteries…A,B,C,D…..two were 155 towed Howies, one was 155 Howie SP and one was 8″ SP Howie (M110). Lighthorse was attached to us yet I seldom saw any of the platoon members. They were sent all over the place and did an amazing job being like orphans in artillery units. We kept 1-2 batteries in base camp….sometimes only one….while Battery C was all over the place (FSB Rita was their gig), B moved about but I thin batteries A & D stayed closer to Lai Khe and on the perimeter. I have photos of them near our sleeping area, which was on the edge too. Again, only going by memory. I have no photos of Lighthorse except for their unit sign in base camp and maybe one other photo I got online. Hope this helps or offers any info to help things along.

          2. I was with a battery, from September 66 to May 68 go to clock. We were in the Iron Triangle we were up at phone Nin, Phu Loi, An Koc Quan Loi, black virgin Mountain North Firebase Rita Bau Bang. When I left I had to go to Phu Loi to sign out of battalion I don’t remember but I am being up at Lai Khe. I do remember a, B, and C batteries rotating in and out of a number of towns. The only time 8th Battalion 6th artillery was together was in operation Cedar Falls Hub to Hub.

          3. I was in Battery B 8/6 Arty from Feb-Aug 1969. We were at Thunder II mostly, but also did operations at the Michelin Plantation’s FSB Doc, as well as FSB Holiday Inn and several Remagen FSB’s on the highway to Song Be. My Battery Commander was CPT Calvin Fore. I was in Gun #5 and usually operated the M548 ammo carrier.
            I remember watching the Air Force C-123’s spraying Agent Orange . My 1SGT said that they were spraying for mosquitos.

            Greg Martin

          4. My name is Joseph Rodriguez, I was a SGT-SSG assigned to A Battery 8/6 Artillery from November 1968-1969. My crew was the base piece on the 55mm Howitzer unit. We were air mobile, Lai Khe was our base camp, our battery was usually three guns, we spent most of the time on Fire Bases. The only time we had all six guns together was at Lai Khe. It’s been more than five decades since I left Lai Khe, sometimes it seems like yesterday. I am proud to have served with all my gun crew members, along with all the members A Btry. As a twenty-one year old, it was best of times and also the worst of times. We were young and we soldiers, our tour of duty!

        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?

          1. Hi Ron, don’t recal your name. I’m Steve Holesko, I was your company clerk from 10/66 until 10/67. I was 11/20 from 2/28 inf assigned to 2/33 arty. When they found out I could type they made me the clerk. I had no training as an Army clerk. Has to learn from 2/28 and 1/16 Co. clerks. Lots to share? Steve H.

          2. Had party in their bunker in Lai Khe and left for home Xmas day ’69 after 396 days of fun in the sun dodging rockets and breathing Agent Orange!

        3. My dad John Schriner was with the Engineers at Lai Khe June 68-Feb 69. Not sure which unit he was assigned to. Did you know him? He had a buddy named Horace Wiggins, nicknamed Slim.

    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.

      1. I got to Lai Khe just before you in December. I was also a replacement assigned to A Co. 1st platoon. We could only man every 3rd bunker with 2 men trading off every two hours. We didn’t get much rest back in those days. I too was assigned as ammo barrier for an m60. Should have been nicknamed “Mule” I guess. Met a lot of good people during my time. I was very fortunate to get out alive and in one piece. When I got home, I basically never looked back. I’ve had a good life and have a great family. It could have certainty gone differently.

        1. I too have had a good life after Vietnam. I had been writing to a girl in the states when I was over there. I married her a year after I got back and tomorrow will be our 54th anniversary. When I came home I had suffered a concussion and loss of hearing in my right ear from a mine blast and felt fortunate to be alive. The last few years the
          effects of exposure to agent orange have shown up and I am now rated at 270% disabled.

  66. 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 –

  67. 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?
        Lannie
        98C

      1. Jonas, is there anyway or a site that shows who served in the 1st Infantry in Lai Kai? I was there from May of 69 to April of 68. I was with the Postal Operations (1st Admin) at the airstrip.

        1. Hello Otis.
          Sorry we don’t have that information on this website. I believe official sites in US should be avle to help you.
          /Jonas

  68. 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!
      Howie

      1. Howie….did you ever encounter a 1st Inf Div radio repairman in Lai Khe named Bob Brubaker (Brubacher) ? I think he was from Western NY.

    3. Well, hello.
      I was there from August 69 to October 1970. I was a door gunner/crew chief on a slick with CoA 227th AHB., 1st Cav. We were known as Chicken Man… He’s everywhere!
      While I have been half way around the world and back since then, I haven’t felt the need to return to Viet Nam. But, it’s good to see a post
      from the 227th.

      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

    2. Alfonso Guevara, 1968/69 2/2 H&H Co. Recon Platoon
      APC MECH.Infantry. Track 69 War Lord’s was our Handle. Spent a lot of our time in the rubber trees, then went to Dian by the black Vergin Mountain.

    3. I was there Jan 1967 to Jan 1968. With the 1/4 arm cav, I was driver and gunner on p.c. my is James cox(aka short round).

  69. 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 .

  70. ******* 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.

  71. 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.

    1. I was with C Co. 701st Mnt Bat at Lai Khe June 68 – Jun 69. Spent most of my time at NDP’s and jockeyed back and forth to Lai Khe. Some might remember my Ground Surveillance Radar a one of a kind experimental unit be tested around heavy vegetation. Couldn’t miss it since it stood on a 100 ft tower and a 30’ round mass at the top. It was at Lai Khe for 3 months and then followed the action around at some NDP’s. One I remember well was Bandit Hill where it was shot down and the NDP was nearly overrun. Bad night.

    2. Hey James….I was with 2/16 when the tank was discovered. One of our officers was with the group that found it. I believe it was a combined group of Special Forces, a platoon from 2/16 and South Vietnamese irregulars – RF/PF or “Ruff Puff” as they were “affectionately” called. You’re the person I’ve encountered in the 55 years since I left the Nam that has referred to the discovery of the tank. It was a Big Deal when it happened. I know you know, cuz you were there! Regards, and Best to you, Bro.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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?
      Echapin

      1. ED
        I was at Lai Khe from Dec 67-Dec 68. Worked ACC in the G# underground bunker contolling all trrop supply movement and Gunship support. I also remember the Officers Club bombing by the sappers. Lost my Major (dont remember his name) and others officers as well. Remember the rocket attack in the barracks tent area during TET, Contact me thru email

  76. 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 .

  77. 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

  78. 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.

  79. 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…

  80. 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.

    3. Dwayne, I arrived in Lai Kai in May 1969 to April 1970 and was assigned to Postal unit. I was near the airstrip where the planes delivered the mail and my unit sorted the mail for each unit on the base to pick up the mail. I remember that the units names were nailed to the trees and mail was stacked on the pallets underneath the signs. The main post office was in the center of the camp. I was in operations on the airstrip. The first night I arrived in Lai Kai, enemy rockets poured in and for the next year I endured those rocket attacks, day and night. At one point taking a direct hit from a mortar round on the bunker we were in. That was when I thought I was dead. Still have hearing problems as a result.

      Thanks for your service and welcome home.

      1. Otis…..Thanks for what you and your fellow Postal Unit members did. Letters from home were the one common denominator for all of us. We all liked getting mail.

        Kevin Larkin, 2/16 March 69 to March 70. FSB Lorraine, Dominate, Thunder 1 and down to FSB Rhode Island at the end of my TOD.

  81. 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 virtualwall.org but it didn’t say where he was killed. I will see if I can find any other sources. Please email me on [email protected] Let’s see what we can come up with.
      Jonas

  82. 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

  83. 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

    2. I remember flying on Robin Hood’s out of Lai Khe. I served with C 1/16th from March 68 until September 68 when the battalion was transferred to 5/60th of the 9th division. Didn’t like the rides out but loved the rides home.

      1. I served in B 1/16th from Oct 67-68, starting as pointman until Tet 68. Remember walking down a trail that day with my sgt Steph Raptoulis, following a comm line from the rocket launch burn west until realizing that we were all alone by ourselves. We came back to the company and started to go back to Lai Khe Base. Unfortunately, our machine gunner, who was acting as a pointman, took a few swings at a tall hedge and setoff a claymore. Wounding five of us and sending me all the way to Okinawa for recovery. After returning, I was promoted to company clerk because I could type, thanks to my mom. I went on R&R in Sept 68 to Australia for a week and was sent down to 5/60 9th Inf Div as the switch with the M113 track unit had been done. Missed Lai Khe but I was short by then. Good friends were made.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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. Hi Gene. Thank you for your comment. I would be very interested to learn more about your work on POW/MIAs. And of course see some of your pictures. If you wish, please send me an email on [email protected]

      /Jonas

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

    1. Bob…..do you recall any radio traffic about an incident at Thunder 1 in August 1969 involving 1st Eng Bn soldiers?

      I was with 2/16 at the time. Looking for details of the incident.

  87. 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.

    1. Brian, I served with your dad in Lai Khe May 67-May68. My name is John “Chris” Christiansen. He was a LTC at that time. I was his NCOIC of the HHC Aide Station. I don’t have many pictures, but I have many stories I’d like to share with you. LTC Buzwell got me thru that year and was the finest soldier I ever served with. You can text me at 13604511761 or email me at [email protected]

      1. John Christiansen, where was the HHC Aide Station? I was assigned to the Field Hospital, B company 1st Med. located in the former French plantation building for most of 68. Mid year I did a delivery to a new inflatable surgical hospital unit that set up to help with casualties. What a difference in equipment and conditions!

  88. 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 (vietnamchildren.org). 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, http://onesoldiersheart.com/Photographs/Photographs.html.

    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

  89. 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.

  90. 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

  91. 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.

    2. Hello Bill,
      I was reassigned from the 101st to the 314th in May , was there until deactivation in Oct 70. Must have been one of your replacements.

      Henry King

  92. 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

  93. 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

  94. 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

  95. 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.
      fyi,
      Ric Jennings

  96. 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..

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

        1. I remember Rozo but don’t remember Phillips or Pederson. Google Bob Craft/595th to view a yearbook of all the platoons at Lai Khe. Pictures of 595th radio site.

  99. 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.

  100. 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?

    2. I am Richard Ayeroff in Lai Khe Dec 67-Dec68. Worked in G3 Ops underground bunker with ACC controlling all helicopter sorties, Gunships etc. Totally remember Officers Club being blown up in Jan68. Lost the Major who I worked for. Remember digging the bodies out. Also remember the Officers Sleeping quarters being robbed by some members of the Signal Battalion while on guard duty. Got called to AG’s office and questioned about robbery. If you would like you can contact me at [email protected] welcome home

  101. 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?

  102. 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.

    2. Jim, did you ever bring the Mars station to FSB Lorraine when 2/16 was out there…..would have been after early April 69?
      I was an RTO in the Battalion CP at Lorraine, and very impressed by the Collins gear in the 3/4 ton truck the station traveled in.

      When I asked one of the ops how he got assigned to the Mars station, he said that when he arrived to the Division someone asked if any of the FNG’s knew anything about amateur radio. This guy said he had a neighbor who was a ham, so he raised his hand. Bingo….it bought him a ticket to be a Mars station operator. Right move, right time, right place.

      Could it have been you?

      Kevin Larkin 2/16 March 69- March 70 Lorraine, Dominate, Thunder I, Rhode Island (also was WA2PLR, WX3Y, currently KW4PI)

    3. Jim, were you still working in Mars in April of 69? I was at FSB Lorraine with 2/16 Rangers when a 3/4 ton truck came out with a Mars Station in the shack on the back of the truck. The two ops were very cool and one had an interesting story on how he became a Mars op.

      KW4PI

  103. 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.

  104. 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!

      Jonas

    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

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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…

  108. 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?

  109. 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.

      1. The perimeter faced West to Southwest with a 155mm battery to our left. About half a km there was a river and a small sandbar that we would use to cross over to the other side of the river. I think the berms were just south of our position. Lai Khe 1966

  110. 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.

      1. Lai Khe was large looking because we had a village in the middle and the east side was rubber plantation, both were not access to us for the most part. I was the OIC of the S&T unit.

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

      1. I was in that unit, but don’t recall your name. Was In Nam 1/30/69 to 1/30/70. They put me in a transportation company the 1st couple months, working in Newport, unloading ships. Then in April/69 got sent to 1/26,Alpha co. & spent rest of my time there. Got Malaria in December & was medicated to Cam Ron Bay. I recall us spending very little time at Lai Khe base camp. In the boonies most of the time. Would like to hear any recollection of your time there.

    3. the First left Nam in April, my battery , B , 2/33rd , fired the last round. We were still engaged in operations prior to April.
      Dungeon B6

  113. 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.
    Thanks.

    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

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. 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.
    Thanks!

    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.

  117. 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

        1. John, were you with 2/16 up at Thunder 1 in August of 69? I was with them then. Returned to FSB Dominate until the big shift of AO and battalion went south to FSB Rhode Island.

      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)

        1. Any dates?? I was in Lai Khe from moving from Phu Loi with Div Arty HQ…..around August (or so) of 68’….I left Lai Khe in May of 69’…..A Lighthorse Platoon was attached to our 8/6 Arty unit. I have had a bit of contact with a wife of a deceased Lighthorse Vet trying to find any info. I have a couple of photos and lost her contact but Lighthorse was around for a few years so it depends on the tour dates of your father to get more accurate info during those dates…..Let me know when you can.

  118. 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 !!!!

  119. 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 .

        1. Hi Jerry, just read your post to namwartravel, perhaps you shipped from Oakland on the ill-starred Blatchford, that lost an engine in a storm and took 21 days to get to VN. There were nearly 500 troops on board, and the deck was filled with trucks and equipment pallets. We were allowed 1 hour on deck daily, and slept 4-deep on chain litters that must have been meant for cadavers.
          I was fdc for 4.2 mortar platoon, HQ co 2/2, reassigned from 5th div at Ft. Devens to 1st div USARPAC. We dug in at the Michelin plantation at Lai Khe, with a mission to control Hy 13 and to win hearts and minds in the area.
          Too many good men were lost around me, I don’t think I would want to revisit the scene.

          1. Hi Leo, the ship could have been the name you said, the number of troops on was a lot ,I was sleeping on a hammock hung from the top , the showers were fresh water which only lasted a couple of weeks and then we had to use salt water which was a mess. Had to eat in a mess that when the ship swelled the food was messy , we had turns going up on deck to see all kinds of fish and dolphins. It took us 21 days to get to Vietnam and unload and move to our base camp at Lai Khe.

    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.

          1. Hi, I’m Art Kovolesky but everyone called me Ski. I was there 1/67- 1/68. My slink was directly across from Gary chopper in that LZ. My chopper had “ King Arthur” on the doors.

      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.

    3. JERRY ROBERTS I WAS IN LAIKHE FROM MAR 68 TILL OCT 2 9 NOT SURE 0F LOCATION WAS DOWN ROAD FROM 1/4 CAV DIVISION SURVED AS A COOK IT SURE DESERVED THE NAME REOCKET CITY

      1. Hey Jerry, I worked in DTOC as switch board operator (danger main) before becoming 121st RTO.
        Name : Marshall, (Duke) in tent with O’Connor, Fuentes, Esposito–tent next to shower. Do you remember mess Sgt Mitchell ? He was injured by incoming where he slept at the mess tent. I got to him 1st–leg was F’d up–applied my belt as tourniquet til medics got there. Do you have any idea if Mitchell survived. I lost contact when I was reassigned to a lrrp unit for remainer of my tour.

        Btw–Ssg Clark was platoon sgt–he never went outside the wire, but like our commanding officer Reynolds which dud the same–Reynolds would volunteer us for a lot of outside the wire ops, but he never went either.

        Thnx Jerry. Thank you Brother for your Service

  120. 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.

        1. I was the G4 advisor to the 5th ARVN Division that took over Lai Khe in 1969. The fifth ARVN Wasn’t a large enough unit to handle security for the entire base so they took over the west side of the base. We used to laugh about how we owned the west side and the VC owned the east side. We caught a few rockets but not as many as the 1st Div did evidently.

      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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *