Vinh Long Airfield

The Vinh Long Airfield was one of the strategic bases in The Mekong Delta during the war that carried out operations in the delta with troops and air support. With its proximity to the main flow of The Mekong River, Vinh Long also had a base for PBR’s and other river vessels. During the Tet offensive in 1968, this base, along with many others, was heavily attacked by VC units.

Please click images for slideshow

What makes this place so interesting to visit for history travelers is its accessibility. It’s easy to find and more importantly, you can actually visit it. Many of the old bases today are now being used by the People’s Army and so are off limits. The Vinh Long airfield, however, has turned into an expansion area for this growing town. The former runway and the taxi ways have been paved and are now the main streets.

It seems that an industrial zone is now being built across much of the old base area, especially on the northern side where much of the base was located.

We haven’t yet located the old river base with its docks, but hope to do that at our next visit. If there are any remains we will make sure to take pictures and publish here.

We strongly recommend staying over in Vinh Long as the town offers a more genuine experience than some of the more tourist-intensive places in the delta. Beyond visiting the base, one can enjoy the town itself with its old market and take a river cruise. From Vinh Long it is only a short drive north along the river up to Sa Dec and Cao Lanh, both places worth a visit as such but they also had important military installations during the war. We recommend starting early in the morning as the scenery is outstanding when the sun rises over the flat delta landscape. Great genuine Vietnamese food is available in abundance. Hotel offerings were very basic last time we stayed over, but since then there seem have been a few new ones built.

How to get there

Vinh Long is  about 130 kilometer south west of Saigon, in the heart of the delta. The base itself is located in the western part of town and is only a couple of kilometers off the Highway 1. Going to Vinh Long is easy, there are regular buses going there daily. One can also drive motorbike there which takes a few hours or rent a car with a driver in Saigon. As mentioned in the text above, we do recommend travelers to stay over in Vinh Long for a genuine experience. Hotels are available at very reasonable prices as well as fantastic local food.

Decimal coordinates: 10.251, 105.947

Back to IV Corps >>>

4 thoughts on “Vinh Long Airfield”

  1. Your statement about an assault on the vinh long base March 1972 Is false. I was there at that time with 3/17 1st air cav. I was a helicopter crew chief. I left VM in April but 1972 . I f any attack came it was later after we stood down and turned the base over to the South Vietnam army

    1. Roger, thank you for your comment. Saying it is false is quite a statement as that implies we have done it intentionally. We have used sources we have found online as we did the research for this article and unfortunately that isn’t always enough. Without looking in to sources, would we have maybe referred to the Easter Offensive? What we will do is to check in with the Vinh Long AAF Facebook group to get a final answer and we will correct the article accordingly. We are thankful for the correction from you.

  2. Saying it is false is indeed a strong statement, but Roger Wilbourn was at VLAAF until April, 1972. He should know if there was a large VC attack. I was there from July, 1970 thru August, 1971 and have studied all the info I could find about Vinh Long both before and after I was there. Your statement about the large VC attack in 1972 is the first have heard of it. You probably have the date wrong and it probably happened after the Americans turned the base over to the South Vietnamese military. BTW, thanks for the video even though there is nothing recognizable from the old base. The “runway” is even much wider that the old base runway.

  3. Thank you So much for this video… and just noticed you have another one up about driving north to, or through the Ashau Valley (aka “Death Valley”)… which is where I was during my first 13 months over there (I re-upped from Germany to Go There, that’s how crazy I was. : )

    Anyway, I arrived “in-country” the week prior to the 1968 TET, and left (shipped home from the hospital before I was actually due to be discharged!) on Nov. 18th 1970, and flew with both the Outlaws and the Maverick Guns from March, 1969 until the 3rd week in 1970, when I was “mysteriously” (never did find the cause of it) stricken with a very high fever (they later told me it ran from 104.2 to 106 for over two weeks), and they put me on the very next flight (Literally!!) leaving Nam when they signed me out of the hospital…. and after discharging me I found out that they had “lost” all my medical records from the time I spent with the 175th in Vinh Long, up to my time of discharge. How “Convenient”!!

    Sorry for the rabbit trail…. anyway, I really appreciate watching this video, but the ONLY thing I recognized was “Just Before” it ended, and I recognized the light blue and white “house” on the right….., it was a rather “frequented” house, for a period of time. ; ) Would have like to have been able to see the whole road back to town…. I had a house on the left, just before the “rotary” where you could go south to Can Tho…. I wonder if it’s still there(??), probably not considering all the changes in that country.

Leave a Reply

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