The Lay of the Land

When you left Saigon you generally headed northeast to Bien Hoa, which by 1967 it was known as the Long Binh area. The highway was Vietnam Highway Route 1 that headed "up country" to Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hue and other points of interest all the way to Hanoi. The south side of Highway 1 was pretty much all built up once you crossed the river as the II Field Force's headquarters had been pretty much transferred out of Saigon to Long Binh.

The lay of the land at the Long Binh detachment was: Along one ridge line was the ammo dump, stretching down the Vung Tau highway (QL 15) from Route 1 and the "Repo Depo" and Hospital area which were the initial Base Camp of the 1st Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade when they arrived in Viet Nam about July 1965. It was smack dab on top of a major VC Tunnel Complex: as, reputedly, was the north end of the Di An base camp on the west side of Highway 1.

The Bien Hoa AFB was the first turnoff to the left (north) as you came thru the City of Bien Hoa. The Highway turned back south for a bit, then headed east-northeast again. At the ridge, just before the curve was the last entrance to Bien Hoa AFB to the north.

Headquarters Battery 6th Bn 56th Air Defense Artillery (HAWK) was located on the south side of Highway 1 east of the airbase and in-between the Prisoner of War Compound and Widow's Village just before you reached the City of Ho Nai. The ground outside our perimeter was not secure and neither were the adjoining hamlets. Groves of rubber trees were growing just outside the perimeter and the trees and along with Widow's Village were often the source of sporadic enemy mortar and small arms fire.

- MSG Larry F. O'Neill

Next:  Tet 1968