LZ Betty Phan Thiet
Finding and visiting LZ Betty is a nice catch for the history traveler. Thanks to its location, it is certainly one of the most convenient destinations and although there is little left to bear witness to this once strategic base the traveler will find some remaining evidence. The best indicator one has found the correct spot is always the runway. In Betty’s case with some of the old painted markings visible it is easy to find. The chopper pads are still marked and even the old hospital is still standing.
LZ Betty was originally built by the French as the airfield serving Phan Thiet town. During the sixties, the U.S. forces turned it in to a base to serve their purposes. Originally the base was used by Cavalry forces but later other infantry units took over, notably units from the 506th worked out of the base. Helicopter and artillery units also had presence there during its active time.
During the 1968 Tet offensive, the Airborne infantry fought heavy battles in Phan Thiet town in order to clear it from the VC forces. As the VC and NVA stayed on and fought tenaciously for a month before they were driven back, it was clear that Phan Thiet together with Hue, Khe Sanh and Saigon was one of the major targets for the offensive. The base was also the target of a major attack in May 1970 when large VC units attacked and tried to overrun the base.
This site is well worth visiting if you are traveling around in the southern parts of the country. It is a daytrip from Vung Tau and a nice afternoon excursion from Mui Ne. Considering the distance from Saigon we recommend to stay the night in Phan Thiet or Mui Ne, perhaps plan for making LZ Betty the first destination on your journey in the country.
How to get there
Finding the base is very simple as it is close to the town of Phan Thiet and is not located in a restricted area as many of the camps closer to the borders. To get to the base, just follow the main road Tran Hung Dao towards south west which then changes name to Truong Van Ly a few kilometers and you’re there.
Decimal coordinates: 10.908, 108.074