Loc Ninh Special Forces Base

Gate at Loc Ninh Special Forces Camp

In the small mountain town of Loc Ninh, about 120 kilometers north of Saigon and 70 kilometers north of Lai Khe, a legendary Special Forces camp was located. It was the scene of many fierce battles due to its strategic location just inside the Vietnamese border.

Looking down the Loc Ninh runway

In 1967 the camp was attacked by a significant VC force reinforced by PAVN forces including anti aircraft units. Defending the camp were U.S. Special Forces together with South Vietnamese CIDG troop The battle went on for a week and only after reinforcements from the ARVN and U.S. units came were they able to force the VC and PAVN troops to retreat, leaving more than 800 dead.

Artillery at the Loc Ninh museum

As the narrative goes about the 1967 attacks on remote bases such as Loc Ninh, Dak To, Song Be and others, General Giap was trying to make the Americans pull forces from the populated areas in order to weaken the defence before the 1968 Tet offensive. Prominent historians will argue against this theory. It wouldn’t have made sense to sacrifice thousands of soldiers ahead of an important offensive.

The camp was eventually turned over to ARVN forces and in 1972, during the Easter Offensive, Loc Ninh finally fell in to the hands of PAVN and VC.

Sign at the entrance to the Loc Ninh Special Forces base

Then home to tribal groups it is today a town where a fairly large population of ethnic Vietnamese lives, serving the trade in the area and the vast rubber plantations. The base was used as a staging and launch point for Special Forces going off on missions around the border areas towards Cambodia including the Fishhook region. This is certainly a very exciting place to visit considering its history and location. Caution should be exercised though as this is an area which during periods of time is restricted due to its proximity to the border areas. We suggest checking in with authorities in either Saigon or An Loc before attempting to reach the site.



How to get there

Visiting the base going from Saigon is a full day trip. Follow the old QL13 also known as Thunder Road, go through An Loc and perhaps take a look at the old battlefield there. When you reach town, the old base is off to the left with a museum adjacent to it. Walking down the old runway you will also find traces of the berms at the SF Camp on the west side.

Back to III Corps>>>