Vinh Long Army AirfieldThe 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. It was probably the largest base north of Dong Tam and supported the smaller bases and MACV camps further north such as Sa Dec and Cao Lanh. A visit to Vinh Long will take you on a journey through time. Although the little town has grown significantly since the war, there are still signs of old times. The old town center still inhabits many of the old colonial buildings such as the French colonial inspector building.
On this site, there is a museum with lots of military hardware on display. They have everything from PBRs to tanks and the most commonly used aircraft such as the legendary UH1 Huey and fighter bombers. At our latest visit, we spent some time on the site to enjoy the museum in the late afternoon after a long day’s drive from Saigon via the battle sites of Ap Bac and Ba Rai.
On the west side of the road outside the museum ground, the two water towers are still intact. Anyone who spent time in Vinh Long during the war will recognize these landmarks which would have been the tallest structures in town.
Venturing further west in town, we ride past the old MACV compound. As far as we can tell, no significant structures are still around although we did encounter some old French colonial buildings. Instead we reach the old airbase which was home to a number of US and later RVN units. Along the main road from town going north towards Sa Dec, we reach one of the old camp gates where a bunker and one of the gate posts are still where they were more than 50 years ago. This is the obvious spot to turn in and start exploring the old base area. Large parts of it is closed off these days and it seems no other structures are around.
Good news though is that today the old runway and some of the taxi ways are paved. This means that the main layout of the base will be easily found for years to come. A motorbike is probably the best way to explore the area due to its size. At our latest visit, we spent about 45 minutes exploring this once impressive base.
On the base area just north of the runway there seems to be an industrial area growing up and there is also a cement plant there. Check out the video below for a better overview of the area around the runway.
We haven’t yet located the old river base with its docks which should be on the east side of the old market according to old pictures. We look forward to come back this charming little town to uncover more of its secrets.
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. 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
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104 thoughts on “Vinh Long Airfield”
I did not serve in Vietnam but I lost my cousin Sgt Terry Clinton Walley who died on 1/6/1968 at the Vinh Long base. He was with the 525th Military Intelligence group. I was 10 years old when my family was told about his death and remember the military funeral we attended. At that age it had left an emotional scar on me. I can only imagine the scars that each of you vets carry from this war. On this memorial day and every Memorial Day I remember him and all of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. To the ones that made it home WELCOME HOME! and God Bless You! If any one on here remembers him please reach out I would love to hear the stories.
I was wondering if any one on here or knows anyone that was with the Black Hawk Division 164th aviation in Vinh Long . I am trying to help my dad look for some of the guys he served with. Around 1970-1971 .
Hi i was there from 70-71 in D Troop Powder Valley Black Hawks
Hello. My father was a Chaplain there and helped build the church. Do you have any pictures of the chapel? Thank you.
His name was Chaplain Alfred Brough
I was with the 114 AHC, 70-71, as a Flight Operations Coordinator. Have authored 5 photo-books containing over 1,000 pics of Army helicopter photos. Have been back to VN twice, 1992 & 2018.
I was in 611th TRANS Oct 70/71. Airplane mechanic, but as only helicopter MOS needed, was assigned motor pool. I could’ve asked for reassignment but who knows where that would have lead. Worked as wrecker driver and rather goopher. Spend fair amount of time running parts to and from Saigon or Can Tho, in trucks or helicopter hops.
I was at Vinh Long with 52nd Signal January 1970 to January 1971.
Feel free to email if you remember me.
I WAS A COOK AT VINH LONG IN 1966 & 1977 .. I KNEW JUST ABOUT ALL THE PBR S & SEALS BEING A COOK EVERONE WANTS TO BE A FRIEND .. WE HAD SOME VERY GOOD VITENESE PEOPLE WORKING WITH US AT THE COMPOUND OUT OF VINH LONG .. I HOPE THEY ALL SERVIVED THE TAKE OVER OF THE V C .BOB NELSON CS 2 .
I left a comment above and forgot to mention that I was with the 346th ADD (Aviation Detachment Division) at Vinh Long. After Vinh Long I was with the 344th ADD at Kontum Airfield, April 72until Oct 72.
I left a comment above and forgot to mention that I was with the 346th ADD (Aviation Detachment Division) at Vinh Long. After Vinh Long I was with the 344th ADD at Kontum Airfield, April 71 until Oct 72.
I am trying confirm if the airfield was attack in late Feb or early MAR of 1972. I am work a claim for a Veteran. Does anyone remember an attack on the base in or around this time frame. Thanks.
Gary Davis, Mar 28, 2022
I was an 93H20 Air Traffic Controller at Vinh Long Airfield Oct. 1971 until April 1972 then went up north to Kontum. I was lucky enough to be involved in the Battle of Kontum. In the time frame I was at Vinh Long I do not remember any attack on the air field. The Army Air Traffic Controllers were no longer at Vinh Long Tower.
It is possible there was an attack on the airfield, at some time after as the units were in the process of leaving. As a matter of fact I still have the South Vietnamese Flag that flew over airfield headquarters.
Hope this helps someone.
Gary Davis Spec. 4
I was there from mid year 71′ and when the 611th stood down I went south to Can Tho. I do remember we were on alert a few times, but no attack, at least not the at what I assume to be the east said of the base. We were bunked next to the east perimeter just north of the airfield. We did get hit with rocket fire in Can Tho and a penetration on the west side there. However I don’t remember when we moved to CanTho. I left Nam in May of 72′ . Good luck, God bless.
Was at Vinh Long with 611th late 70 to early 71. Anybody recall the name of the Catholic Orphanage? We always threw a big Christmas party in our hangar for the kids.
Can’t remember it myself. I think I have a few photos on one of the old slides of the place.
I Haven’t looked at it for 45 years. I was with 199th swamp Fox from April to end of year when they broke up.
Also went to the orphanage under armed guard and helped bring back the children with big party at the hangers. Still wonder what happened to them all.
Went a couple of times to use the swimming pool also. Details are vague as the beers kept us foggy. Was very foolish at times.
Once a couple Buddy’s and I went into a bar downtown where several
rvn soldiers were hanging out with the girls. After hearing M16 bolt clicks as we entered we knew we were not welcomed and backed out slowly. Vinh Long 1970
I was in Vinh long in 1968 was with B company 69th construction engineer before the 36th moved in was in earth moving. SP5 Richard Russell
Richard I was stationed in Vin Long 1969-1970 as a crew chief on a UH-1 gun ship were u in Ft Carson in 1971?
Ben St Louis
I remember the Catholic Orphanage. A suspect it was once a French Villa as there was a swimming pool there. When I was stationed at Vinh Long air field (an avionics platoon attached to the 611th), the pool was maintained and on rare occasions, we could swim in it.
I too was at Vinh long 70 to early 72 if I remember right.4th platoon. Was the last American co when they turned the base over to the Arven army the next morning, we went to Can Tho
Great video… but I can’t make “heads nor tails” of the airfield as I remembered it. I was there for my 2nd and 3rd tours… flew with the Outlaws and the Maverick gun team of the 175th AHC, from March 69 until Nov.70. I had a “house” on the left side of the road going into town, just a short ways (1/8th mile+) before the “rotary” as you entered Vinh Long, and where you could go south from, down to Can Tho.
I bunked in the Outlaws 2nd platoon hooch…. just kitty corner across from the Korean owned “Steam Bath”… if any of you guys from that era, remember it…. straight up the road from the main entrance… IF, I remember correctly.
I was engaged to a gal who worked part time on the base, but she was a full time school teacher during their (VN) school year… and I had a contract to go back there to work as a diesel mechanic for the Dynalectron Corp., for as long as possible (their contracts were for 6 month renewable periods for the employees in VN) to build up some good money, then she & I were going to return to the states, and she was going get her masters degree in education.
Very long story, short…. her body was found and identified after a night time rocket attack by “chuck” and the NVA on Cao Lanh, where she was teaching in 1972. I’ve never gone back, since then…. though I had made many Vietnamese friends that I would have liked to seen again.
A few of the girls I knew that worked on the airfield, married some of the guys I knew from various units deployed there… two of them are still here in the US, though one is making plans to head back to VN to “live out her years”,… her husband passed away from “not-harmful to humans” Agent Orange related issues, including cancer.. a year and a half ago….. like most of the guys I was with in my first tour up in the A Shau valley (aka – “death valley”)… who have been dead for many years already, from either that or suicide.
Anyway… thanks for the tour, was great to see Vinh Long has grown and “beautified” (lol) since back “in the day”.
My name is Robert (Bob) Garza. I was assigned to the 292nd Finance Section in Vinh Long March 1969 to March 1970. Our Finance Officer was Cpt. Neville Holder (RIP), Disbursing Officer Lt Pearson, NCOIC SSG James Winchester. I handled the finance records for the 114th Aviation, 36th Engineers, 7/1/ Air Cav, that I can remember.
Thanks for your service, and for paying me from March to December, 1969.
I was in D Company, 36th Engineers.
Gordon, it’s been a long time…this is Mark Hoskins, who served with you in Operations, same hooch, in Co. D.
Mark Hoskins from Wisc ? The same guy who went to Saigon and the very alcoholic Purim Party with me?
All the Best,
I was in B company 36th engineers in 1970 . It was a very growing up experience for me. I was with my new family for that year. I wish all who were there the best God can offer.
My name is Dana Douglas I was in B .Co in 1970 I operated a Gradall on Ql 4 and LTL7A , light years ago !
I was in the 36th also there in 1970 🙂
Robert hope all is well with you and your family pal give me a shout and we can catch up !!
Mr. Mike Ford, First of all thank you for serving. Secondly I hope this Memorial Day today has been a good one for you. My name is Tim Eley. I’ve never reached out like this before, so bear with me. I’ll be copying this over to William G. Nielsen. Though, it appears that the both of you served in different companies, if my facts are correct, you did not. When I first landed over in what the poster had described as “The Fun, Sunny Vacation Capital of the World” back in April or May of ’68, I was assigned to B Co. 69th Engr. Bn. Sometime in my 15 months in country we switched with the stateside 36th Engr. Bn. For what reason I have no idea. Nothing changed, just who we were calling ourselves now. B Co. 69th Engr Bn became C Co. 36th Engr Bn. I did get a brand new 5 ton Dump Truck out of the deal though, they said mine had a crack in the frame. Now the only physical description of the Company grounds are I believe; the Company Headquarters ran along the road, the Mess Hall paralled Headquarters, then I believe there were two hootches paralling the mess hall in that roll. The next roll over had three hootches in it. And so on. Now the back of the last 3 hootches bordered a very small creek that we had put a couple 2×12’s over to access the back of maintenance building for the choppers. They used to store the shot up blades of the copters in back of the maintenance building on the ground. On our side of the creek sat also our latrine and showers. Then in front of the showers sat our armory and the NCO’s Barracks with their own wster tower. This lay out left an open space along the roadside in front of Headquarters, the Mess Hall and I forgot to mention the Day Room where we would always assemble. How I ran across you guys in the “58” is; I used to volunteer, along with Jerry Disney, at the Ophange that by jeep wasn’t that far away. I don’t remember its name or the Order of Nuns who ran it. I wore many hats in my 15 months tour and met a lot of good people, maybe seen some things that no one should ever experince. God Bless Those of We who made it home. And God Bless Those 52,000 plus who didn’t. If you have any pictures or recollections, I’d be interested.
Hello Ely , I was B co. 69th,
Out of CanTho. Along with 8
Others there in Vinh long,
Also a dump driver. One of us
( Sp4 Lish) was killed during the battle , & I got a bullet thru left leg ( just a flesh wound)
I had to drive the truck with all the rotting V. C. Body’s.
It was a long time ago & my memory is well , Foggy ?
I rember we just called our Sgt. Joe.
Do you rember JB ( compay mascot ? ) JB is so named for
James B. Summers who was CO when the Navy moved us from Going Tau to Can Tho on
After the 1st nite ( 2 , 3 ) we were on the fence line faceing
The convent . Thought it a orphanage at the time. Anyway , if you are who I think you are would very much like to get in touch. I turned 75 Nov. 11th. You are about the same I’m sure So— let’s talk.
We lived in nice hooches.while the 36th were in tent left in January of 1969 right after the 36th got there
My name is Mike Ford, I was stationed at Vinh Long in the 36th Engr Bn ( Const) from the first of Jan. 1970 until the end of Dec.( Christmas “drop”) 1970. For the first 6 months I was the Bn. Maint. Officer, and for the last 6 months commanded C Company. We built roads, bridges, buildings and other things that improved the Vietnamese peoples lives, in the long run. I am proud the Engineers, all over the country did that.
My name is Dick Pooley. 1LT, 523rd Port Const. Co. attached to 36th at VL from Sept 70 to Feb 71 driving piles and setting bridge girders on LTL7A and QL4. Have pictures and story would like to share with you of the precast girder we broke on QL4 site . Feb 71- Jul 71 (2month drop) transferred to 36th A Co, rock pier offloading barges of stone from Vung Tau for asphalt plant operations. Recall being at VL ‘O Club’ night you gave your going away speech. Proud to also have done some good things for the Vietnamese during my tour. Living the good life in Falmouth MA.
I was stationed in Vinh Long Jan 71 – Dec 71 when I was first there i got stuck in welding yard as a crane operator working on bridge beam . After about a month I was assigned to the Rock b pier till I left . Did several other things rode shotgun on the convoys moving equipment around , also flew by helicopter to rebuild a bridge they kept knocking down we put it back up . The helicopter was the all silver one used by the Col. that ran the 36th eng. The crew on the rock pier was run by a Big Olde Southern Sargent can’t remember his name . The other crew was run by Sargent Hall. My name is James O’Riley.
Hello brother Engr. I was also there 1970 with the 36th. Company A. Was a bridge beam welder and later drove hot asphalt out to road work crews. Only name I remember was my pet Sgt. Jody. Raines
I was assigned to the 175th AHC in March 1967, after re-enlisting to be a door gunner. Original assignment was with 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Div. at Pleiku, RVN. I served at Vinh Long from Mar ’67 through Apr ’68. and was there for the TET ’68 battle. That was the one that had portions of the airfield overrun, and several personnel KIA. Several
Maverick gunships and more Outlaw slicks were destroyed by mortar fire.
I remember being on the Ready Reaction force, and we actually were hand-to-hand fighting in the revetments that night, into morning. One of the bunkers had been overrun, and SSG Vernon Newton was KIA there. It was probably the big battle everyone refers to>
I was a member of the service platoon,114th As it Hel Co 1967-68. The Dr. who previously posted was correct. I saw the airfield commander (Lt.Col. I believe ) brought by the C P bunker on the hood of his jeep the first night of the Tet offensive. The man and the jeep were shot all to he’ll. He went to recon what was happening as soon as VC small arms fire started.
I remember my Dad telling me the same account of the airfield commander on the hood of the keep when Tet hit at Vinh Long. Sadly, my father passed last year from agent orange related cancer. Might you have ever known or remembered a young Air Force 1st Lieutenant Sisk? Thank you.
I was with the 114th AHC 1967-68. I remember that command bunker .During (Tet) several nights I was on the Knight ramp in a two man bunker with my M14 and a box of ammo.
During Tet we had to drag out a Huey out of the hangar which a mortar went thru the hangar and a slick caught on fire. I was under Major Blubaugh commanded the 544th
Trans. Co. We expended a lot of ammo with flares dropping all night and puff circleing
The perimeter. No fix wing aircraft could land on the airfield .Including C-123’s.But we
We’re running low on back up ammo. Thank god for the gunships.
Hi Bob, I also remember TET all too well. I was a crew chief in the Red Knight Platoon 67-68. lost my aircraft the night of first attack. I remember hunkering down in the bunker under the control tower that night lost my door gunner to mortar round. my aircraft was replaced days later and was back flying until I went back to the states in June. I’m planning to attend next 114th Avn Co reunion June 21-25 2023 in Colorado Springs CO at the Embassy Suites Hilton. Hope you’re well take care
I was only at Vinh long from April til July 68 with the B Co. 69th Engineers (construction). Our biggest accomplishment was the big mess hall.
I think it was for the 1st. Air Calvary.
I just want to thank You all for your Service and Welcome Home.
I arrived at Vinh Long about 2230 on May 5th 1969. Flew from Saigon to 164th Hq and then went A troop to fly Loaches. Had to fly Cobras till I transitioned to loh’s 6 weeks later. Rode in a Caribou for those 2 flights. About midnight that first night we were mortared, Shrapnel on the roof and the next couple were toward the mess hall. Never forget following our ground pounder Lt to the bunker. He went in and I waited for the booby trap to go off before I went in ( of course no flashlight and no snakes or spiders) I Bunked with 2 warrants cobra pilot and copilot both died 5 days later when the blades came off 200 feet up in the traffic pattern at Vinh Long. We were mortared many times, plus saper squads and the ammo dump going off. I left in Nov 1970 . I was in my first cobra crash about 0930 on the 6th of May and after that it was off for a day and then fly and learn as much as I could and never trust info from Saigon. I still live in Alaska! About 35 miles from North Pole
Bill Sewell; you mentioned you where with A troop at Vinh Long. I was with A company from April 1970 to March on 1972. I was one of the radio operators in the communications bunker. My first CO was a warrant Officer, great guy to work with. Don’t remember what happened to him but he was replaced by a gun-ho-by-the-book captain. It just wasn’t the same after that. I think I was the only Mexican-American in the radio group. Don’t recall your name but don’t recall the names of much of the guys. Joe Ruiz Spech 4.
I was on MACV Team 68 in Vinh Long city in 71 and 72, working Phung Hoang program all over the Province out of the Chau Thanh district HQ on the river in the City. All my Cav Packs were flown by 7/1 Air Cav from VL airfield. Great pilots and crews and since I was on a two man advisory team working with RF and PF troops, those guys in the Slicks made us feel a while lot safer. One pilot who flew a lot of our missions would come into hot LZ’s if I asked for Medevac, instead of making us hump out with our wounded. He could Always sense when we were in a mess. Always wanted to thank him, but never got around to hunting him down. My hat is off to all those pilots and crews, as well as the LOH and Cobra teams who were so awesome.
Bob, thank you for your comment. It really adds historical context. I have been trying to locate the old MACV HQ in Vinh Long, do you remember where it was? I have an idea that it might have been across the canal from the old town where the water towers are located. Is that correct?
I am happy you made it out.
I’m going to get out my old album with some pic’s. I believe I have an aerial of where MAC V was. I was living with a chick just a few houses away. I’ll let you know when I find it. I assume I can post it here somehow. I just found this site today.. God Bless..
Hi Dan. Thank you for your reply. I would be thrilled to see it. You can contact me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk there.
I was with the 36 engr in Vinh Long , I remember the Macv in Vinh long they had good food in their mess hall, would eat there when possible, no bugs in the bread !
Bob, i think i flew Loach,s with you, i was a a slick pilot for a while and got influenced one night at the Club by the CO to start flying the OH6. with Apache Troop. If you are the pilot i ‘m thinking of, we flew a few missions together.
Love that Aircraft, many memories.
Mr. Taylor ,my name is Wayne Condon I was there from July 69 to July 70 . there were several attempts to infiltrate the base one incident left several choppers blown up along with there crews,there was a mortar attack that left the air field riddled with holes .I hope this helps you. I was with the 611th Transportation Co. in communications.
I was there 71,72. Long time ago but had to forget.
The 611th Trans… The Delta Tailboard. There in 71′. They hit our supply bldg that was ALMOST completed. They decided ( the powers that be…) to build it out on the tarmac just the other side of the runway, on the southeast corner. One rocket, came out of the west and landed feet 15 feet from the bldg. Destroyed everything inside. Now that’s accuracy.
First tour with 196th ASHC at Lane AAF January/68 till May/68 then went to Vinh Long and was crew chief with the 611th “Tailboard” recovery crew. Great crew great friends! Left in July 69.
I lived in Vinh Long as a young girl with my brother in law ,sister and there children, he worked for MKI on the Vietnam hosp ,we could go on base but has to live off, I had a motorcycle accident and was taken to the base. I would like to go back for a visit
Hello Brenda. Thank you for your comment. Vinh Long is a very nice town today with lots of the old buildings left. I can truly recommend a visit. Drop me an email on email@example.com and I will be happy to help with dome recommendations.
I was part of s small USAF contingent of the 8th APS assigned there from Feb 71 until Sep/Oct when we were sent to Vung Tao. As I recall there were a few other USAF folks as well. Some combat weather troops and possibly some ATC’s. Those were experiences I will never forget
Hi Barry, I was also with the 8th APS OLAJ (it was Det 11 when I first got there) …… I was the Aug ’67 to Mar ’69
I WAS THERE AT VIHN LONG FROM 1968 TO 1970 WE HAD JEEP AN I WAS
A 50 GUNNER ON THE BACK OF JEEP.
My uncle, Ronnie Roush, was with MACV Advisory Y2eam 60. He was stationed there and was KIA on 1.31.68. He was called back to the base because they heard there was an attack being planned.
He is buried at Arlington. I was 15 when he was killed.
It would be great to hear from anyone who served with him.
I have photographs of Vinh Long airfield Nov 67…..
Interesting. Are you on Facebook? There is a very good group called Vinh Long Army Airfield there which is run by veterans from Vinh Long. You could share them there, I know it would be appreciated. Or if you would like to email a few for us on firstname.lastname@example.org it would be very kind. We are preparing a page with photos from the war with oictures we have received.
I was stationed in D TROOP 7/1 air cav Blackhawks in 1969. I was injured on a convoy run from Cantho to the Cambodian border. One of my 106 jeeps was blown up and mine was turned over after hurrying through a bomb crater. I need any information on this jeep accident , for the VA. I had the barrel of a m-16 pierce my side and am having difficulty proving it. I was air lifted to Cantho medical unit.
James. Do you use Facebook? There are some groups there with thousands of veterans. You could post there and ask. I often see these types of questions coming up. Then try to obtain official records from that day. I think you could find them in the national archives
I WAS AT VINH LONG FROM 1968 TO1970 I WAS A GUNNER ON THE BACK OF JEEP 7/1 AIR CAV
Was you on med evac there is information ask for all your medical from Vietnam to present time they have to give it to you
I was in Can Tho and flew with HHC 164th…1st Aviation Brigade
Also ran convoys to Saigon thru Vinh Long…My Captain in Can Tho transferred me (on paper) to Vihn long where I got promoted to Sargent ( he had a Buddy there with extra allocations) Then transferred back to Can Tho 69/70…Me and couple buddies have talked about going back
Good luck. I was there June 68-june 1969 7th first company c . was on rover patrol when we were hit pretty hard. I was hit minor with scrap metal in the left hand and wrist. Of said don,t worry about it. So I took care of myself. Dumb thing to do. Now no records
I was a gunner on lt jeep lt wager my name is jack wiest I was in that convoy
For anyone who is interested, I am currently reading Triumphant Warrior (by Peter Shay) about LC Allen Weselesky’s tour with (HA(L)3 based at Vinh Long from ’67-68. Its a very detailed read focusing on one extraordinary hero among many. Highly recommend.
This is a great book. I was with wes at Vinh Long and served there with the Seawolves until October 68.
James Mulin, your account of the Jan 68 TET offensive sounds just like my husband has told me. He doesn’t recall all the names of guys he served with for obvious reasons. I’m sure a lot of you pushed these memories so far back it’s hard to recall everything. My husband is Arvin Freed and he repaired the prop and rotors on Hueys. He also served as a gunner if no one else was available. He wasn’t a big man and he qualified firing a M16, I think. His recall of that time is horrific and it’s a miracle any of you came out of it alive.
I arrived Jan 3rd 1970 after spending a week at Vung Tau making friends with the Aussies. The hooch was directly across from the west side of the orphanage 2nd floor. The north end of our hooch faced the road jnto town. A MG tower was there as well. You could see a small tow of huts n a pond with an open shitter on a long boardwalk into the heart of the pond. My year I faced several motar attacks. I drove to Sadec, Soctrang n Cantho cross the ferry many times. The 175th n 114th took me out to smaller base camps to resolve pay issues. I was assighned to the 292nd Finance Section. In September I was flown all over Delta for 3 days with little sleep collecting MPC n issueing new MPC it was operation C Day. I was wounded in May 1970 when a mortar round hit the bunker along the perimeter near the end of the runway. Lots of Memories of VLAAF.
Thanks for your comment Dennis. And nice to see you come and visit the page. I enjoy your FB group very much I hope to visit VLAAF quite soon again and will post a picture or video in the group. I am happy you made it home.
My Name Is Mitch LeFevre ( Mekong Mitch ) I am about two years too young to have served in VN. But my Father served with the 15th SOS out of Nha Trang as RO on C130 rescue planes. I started going to VN in 2016, with a local barber here in America that is from Vinh Long. I have been to VL 6 times since then and have a girl there. I have been on the runway at VLAAF many times, now called Duong ( Street ) Vo Van Kiet. I actually have a house in VL now. I would love to help find information for those who want it in VL and surrounding areas. I know the area very well now. Thank all of you men for your Service ..Contact ENTRPNR56@gmail.com
Hi Mitch. I have sent you an email.
during a mortor attack summer of 68, 1sgt garcia of A troop/7/1 cav was leaving his room to go to a bunker. a vc mortor round landed near him. it was a dud. i remembering seeing it on his desk.
I was in A troop Vinh long 1968 when one night we were hit with mortars and rockets I hurried to the nearest bunker and saw top Sargent Garcia come in with blood streaming down his face. We thought he was hit by a shell fragment until he told us he had run into an open wall locker while running out of the hooch. We were relieved but broke into a laugh.
My post about Sargent Garcia and the wall locker incident was mistaken it happened to Top Sargent Carrara’s (sp) A troop not Sargent Garcia. Being 72 my memory sometimes slips a cog. Please for give me.
I can confirm the commanding officer was killed in initial moments of Tet. Brought his body to me, as was executive officer’s as well. I was told a machine gun dad been set up across from his sleeping quarters knowing he would be exiting there when attack began, gunned down.
The bodies were piled high outside my dispensary.
Do you remember what his name was and the date? My husband served his Vietnam time at Vinh Long late 67 into 68. He was a prop & rotor repairman but as you are aware the men did more than their specialty. We’re trying to put some of his memories together for the VA. He remembers an attack similar to what you spoke of but can’t remember the man’s name. My husband’s name is Arvin Freed & he was Army.
I was employed by Page Communications Engineers in Vietnam from February 1966 until March 1968. On January 30, 1968 I was transferred to Vinh Long and that afternoon moved into a house that was occupied by four Page employees, three Vietnamese people and one man from Lear Siegler Inc.
The Page house was one of four adjoining 2-storey houses that formed one building with a common rooftop. The house next door to ours was occupied by Derek King a former Australian WW2 military man working for the Chieu Hoi programme, another house was occupied by two USAID men, one was vacant.
Our building was located on the north side of a traffic roundabout; it faced south down the road to Can Tho. On the corner across the road to our right was an Esso gas station with a market area behind, and on the corner to our left was a bus station with a row of two-storey shop-houses lining the east side of the Can Tho road. At the rear of our house was a small Vietnamese naval base on the banks of the Mekong. Immediately in front of our house a narrow road ran east-west. Vinh Long town proper was about 600 metres down that road to our east. About 200 metres to our west the road crossed a small bridge over a drainage canal. A little further to the west was MAC-V headquarters and the US airbase was about another kilometre out along that road.
At about 2:30am on January 31 we were woken by the sounds of an attack on the airbase. When we gathered on the rooftop in the dark we saw small groups of armed men running down the Can Tho road towards Vinh Long. We suspected that they were VC. Derek King had stored in his house many weapons, ammunition and grenades assigned to his Chieu Hoi unit. When these were distributed amongst us we had several weapons each, including a M-60.
When three armed men stopped on the corner outside the Esso station, Derek King shot them. The VC behind them scattered on both sides of the Can Tho road into the market area and the bus station. We kept them pinned down all night; several of them were killed but none of us were injured. We were told next day that we had prevented about 30 VC from advancing. They had intended to take our house because of its strategic location, blow the bridge between us and MAC-V and attack the Vietnamese naval base behind our house.
In the morning of January 31 we moved out to the Page construction site, which was adjacent to the air base, and dug in there. When the VC attacked the air base during the afternoon of February 1, we were evacuated to the USS Garett County which was anchored in the Mekong, and that night it took us to Dong Tam.
I was with LSI and got to Vinh Long in April 1968. There were multiple tales about you and your buddies that night. Hail to the conquering heroes! We were required to have living quarters on base but 8 of us live just down the road from you toward the base. We felt it was safer than the base.
In the Summer 1973 issue of Wanderlust magazine was an article about our experience that night titled “Without guns, ammunition and dark clothing it was a …LONG NIGHT FOR CIVILIANS”. In contradiction, the photo next to that heading showed four of us with weapons and two of us in dark clothing, and the article went on to describe the the cache of weapons and ammunition we were armed with that night. I’m not sure about the others but my ‘heroics’ were nothing but survival instincts.
Cool story…well done …welcome home
I was assigned to Vinh Long TM 52 in 66-67. Took part in what is or was the largest battle in the Mekong Delta on Easter Sunday,March of 67. Charlie was dug in at Minh Duc when our guys made contact and called in reinforcements landed and they landed right in front of 2-3 Btns of VC. 142 VC KIA, 4 Advisers KIA, 3-4 Choppers shot down.
I was flying in Cobra 6 as a doorgunner in that battle. Received my 15th Air Medal with a V. Have many photos of the downed ships and the battle. Big day as everyone from Vihn Long turned up on the flight line to assist faster rearming and refueling….
My husband, Arvin Freed was in Vinh Long and repaired the prop and rotors on the Hueys. He also helped bring the Cobras inland off the ship . Does anyone remember the Cowboys or the White Knights?
I just posted elsewhere on this page regarding the book Triumphant Warrior by Peter Shay about Vinh Long AAF from 67 to 68 and he writes extensively about all of the units stationed there.
my name is Jack Moe and was a crew chief with the Red Knights 114th 67-68 hung out in the maintenance hanger many times doing scheduled repairs and bullet hole patch work. my first huey from Vinh Long
is now on display in Cordell GA Air museum. the members of the 114th Avn are having their next reunion in Colorado Springs CO June 2023. Check out our web site 114th Avn Co.
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.
Interesting, Jim B.
I was the flight surgeon (only doctor on base) Tet Offensive. Any recollections? I remember the heroics of our troops.
I was with the 114th AHC In Vinh Long 67-68 during Tet. Engured during a mortar attack. had to go to the medical for treatment. ETS March 31, 1968.
Thanks for your comment Walter. I am glad you made it out.
I was with the 114th 1966 to 1968 with the cobras
I served at Vinh Long Airfield from January 1968 until January 1969 with the 611th Transportation Company ADS. I arrived there around a week before the 1968 TET Offensive. Vinh Long was under a withering mortar and rocket attack , and ground attack from Viet Cong forces. It was an experience I will never forget Vinh Long was attacked a lot during my tour there it was a strategic base in the delta Several Assault Helicopter units from 1st Aviation, 611th Rigger, Blackhawks Air Cav Unit, 114th and 175th Assault Huey Companys, 52nd Signal , Millitary Police Unit , and the Civillian guys that worked on the Hueys a few more units there I cannot remember we lost the Base Commander during the TET attack, VC blew the ammo dump and a bunch of aircraft were destroyed the base lost a few people that morning
the 7/1 cav, blackhawks, moved from di an to vl in may 68. we were on a troop ship during tet.
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.
Mr. Taylor my name is SIPPY JOLLY I served in Vietnam from July 1969 to January 1972 in the 36 engineer Battalion station on Vinh Long Airfield. My question to you is do you have any information reference mortar attacks ,rocket attacks or VCs trying to infiltrate the parameter?During this time frame. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give me on this matter or articles that you may have referenced this. Thank you for your time. My email address is Sippyrjolly @gmail.com
I am Mark Hoskins. I was in VN, at the Vinh Long Airfield, Co. D, 36th Engineers, from early April, 1969 to early June 1970. My email is email@example.com. OK to send me a message.
i was stationed in vinh long with 36th co d from april 1969 to march 1970 . i drove the fuel truck and volunteered for security platoon my last three months.i was in the tower at the end of the airfield. the airfield at the time was psp. i hung out at the water purification trailer at the airfield.
I was there in 71 and can’t quite remember when the base stood down and passed it on to the ARVN’s, but nothing major ever happened while I was there. Folks need to remember that it was a loooonnng time ago, and memories fade. I don’t think anyone here intentionally makes false statements. I went to Can Tho from Vinh Long and that may have been in the beginning of 72′. But I do remember a story about a heavy assault on Vinh Long one guy talked about. He said the base came under attack and they lost ground, all the way to the east end of the base. He was saying the east side of the base was the only portion left held by the US, but it’s not my story to tell. I know we had a minor skirmish late one night but it fell away quickly.
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
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.
I was with B Troop 7/1st Air Cav from Aug 70 to March of 72. Two NVA or VC tried to penetrate the perimeter by our bunker but were killed when the Firefly ship picked them up. I don’t remember any major attacks other than that. B Troop was moved up to Quang Tri for Lam Son 719 in Laos for 3 months. Unless something happened at that time no major attacks happened. I know a major attack made in through the perimeter during Tet of 68. But not when I was there.