Danang-Happy Valley-Hill 55-An Hoa Combat Base: Fullday

Danang-Happy Valley-Hill 55-An Hoa Combat Base: Fullday (L).

At 8am, you will be met by our guide at the lobby to drive to Happy Valley, This area was an ancient hiding place for annamites when Chinese invaded from north in ancient times. Was NVA stronghold used for staging attacks on Da Nang, usually with 122mm rockets.  The valley was actually named the Suoi Ca valley for the stream which ran the length of the valley but no one could pronounce the name so everyone referred to it as Happy Valley.

The NVA and VC made this place a very unhappy for ARVN and US Forces. Initially a Marine AO, it later was patrolled by elements of the Americal Division. Spend your time to explore the erea by yourselves.

After Happy Valley, we will drive to Hill 55 known as Camp Muir, The base was named Camp Muir after LTC Joseph Muir, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines who was killed by a booby-trap on 11 September 1965. As the hill was the dominant terrain feature in the area, the 7th Marines, supported by mine-clearing LVTE-1s of the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion and engineers from the 3rd Engineer Battalion took control of the hill, demined it and established a base there in late January/early February 1966.

After Camp Muir, we will drive across the New Liberty Bridge (near the old Liberty Bridge) to An Hoa Combat Base.

The Liberty Bridge was constructed in 1966 and located in Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province. It was built to enable the Marines to move men and material across the Song Thu Bon south to An Hoa Combat Base or to a jump off point for Operations to be conducted on Go Noi Island.

The bridge was constantly under attack and was destroyed several times, either by VC or nature. It underwent several changes but was finally destroyed when the North Vietnamese were victorious over the South. The only thing that remains of this structure are several pilons that project out of the water.

We will have lunch along the way before heading to An Hoa.

An Hoa Combat Base was first used by the Marines in January 1966 during Operation Mallard when the 1st Battalion, 12th Marines established a firebase there while the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and a Company from the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines swept the surrounding area. 20 April 1966 the Marines returned to An Hoa on Operation Georgia, the 12th Marines reestablished a firebase while the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines provided security, the base would become permanent at this time as the Marines sought to pacify the area.

The base is now just a ruin but you still the runway is still there.

Spend  your freetime to walk around the base before we head back to Danang. On the way back we will stop at Marble Mountain Airfield Facility, China Beach and US Naval Hospital.

Back to your hotel late afternoon.

 

 

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Hoian-Danang-Ashau Valley- Hamburger Hill: Fullday

Hoian-Danang-Ashau Valley-Hamburger Hill: Fullday (L)

At 7am, You will be met our guide to drive to Danang. Quick stop for photo at Marble Mountain Airfield Facility and My Khe Beach known as China Beach or R&R Beach for GIs and Nurses relaxed before battlefields .Then we drive north west of Danang to Route 14 or Ho Chi Minh Trails about 160km to ALuoi. We will first visit Ashau Valley.

A Shau Valley is in the northernmost part of South Vietnam. The mile-wide, 25-mile-long bottomland running north-south along the Laotian border was a conduit for the Ho Chi Minh Trail as it bypassed the Demilitarized Zone. Containing an estimated 20,000 NVA troops by 1967 and a massive store of war supplies, A Shau was a painful thorn in the side of South Vietnam. The NVA used the steep mountainous terrain surrounding the valley to launch battles against every major allied position in the south during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

One of the first significant actions in the A Shau Valley was the 1966 battle for the Ashau Special Forces Camp at the south end of the valley just five miles from the border with Laos.   This outpost stood astride the invasion route to Hué and Danang and was a stumbling block to the NVA offensive strategy.   The NVA struck the camp in March 1966.   The defending U.S. Special Forces and Vietnamese irregular soldiers were supported by U.S. airpower and put up a heroic two-day defense.   Bad weather limited the effectiveness of air support, and the numerically superiority NVA forces eventually overran the camp.   The action resulted in the award of the Medal of Honor to Air Force A-1 pilot Major Bernie Fisher for the rescue of his wing man, Major Jump Myers, from the runway at A Shau.

After Ashau Valley, lunch will be at a local restaurant in Aluoi town before Hamburger Hill.

Hamburger Hill or Đồi A Bia or Ap Bia Mountain or Hill 937 is a mountain on the Laotian border of South Vietnam in Thừa Thiên–Huế Province. Rising from the floor of the western A Shau Valley, it is a looming, solitary massif, unconnected to the ridges of the surrounding Annamite range. It dominates the northern valley, towering some 937 metres above sea level. Snaking down from its highest peak are a series of ridges and fingers, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 metres, another reaching south to a 916-metre peak. The entire mountain is a rugged, uninviting wilderness blanketed in double- and triple-canopy jungle, dense thickets of bamboo, and waist-high elephant grass. Local Montagnard tribesmen call Ap Bia “the mountain of the crouching beast.”

We will step up about 700 steps to the top of the hill. Along the way we still see the vestiges of bunker, tunnel and LZs.

The hill is now covered with bushes and elephant grass.

A war memorial built on the top to commemorate the KIA of both sides.

Spend your time to visit around before going down to head back to Hoian.

 

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Hue-Ashau Valley-Hamburger Hill: Fullday

Hue-Ashau Valley-Hamburger Hill: Fullday (L)

At 7.30 you will be met our guide at the lobby and drive to Aluoi Town. We will drive along Route 49 about 60km west of Hue. It is pretty beautiful drive. Then we turn left into Ho Chi Minh Trails or Route 14 to  Ashau Valley. The A Shau Valley was one of the strategic focal points of the war in Vietnam.   The mile-wide, 25-mile-long bottomland running north-south along the Laotian border was a conduit for the Ho Chi Minh Trails as it bypassed the Demilitarized Zone. Containing an estimated 20,000 NVA troops by 1967 and a massive store of war supplies, A Shau was a painful thorn in the side of South Vietnam. The NVA used the steep mountainous terrain surrounding the valley to launch battles against every major allied position in the south during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

One of the first significant actions in the A Shau Valley was the 1966 battle for the Special Forces camp at the south end of the valley just five miles from the border with Laos.   This outpost stood astride the invasion route to Hué and Danang and was a stumbling block to the NVA offensive strategy.   The NVA struck the camp in March 1966.   The defending U.S. Special Forces and Vietnamese irregular soldiers were supported by U.S. airpower and put up a heroic two-day defense.   Bad weather limited the effectiveness of air support, and the numerically superiority NVA forces eventually overran the camp.   The action resulted in the award of the Medal of Honor to Air Force A-1 pilot Major Bernie Fisher for the rescue of his wing man, Major Jump Myers, from the runway at A Shau.   

The Ashau Special Force Base is now almost gone but you still the runway with dozens of bom creators left. Spend your time to explore the base by your selves before we head to Hamburger Hill.

Hamburger Hill or Đồi A Bia or Ap Bia Mountain or Hill 937 is a mountain on the Laotian border of South Vietnam in Thừa Thiên–Huế Province. Rising from the floor of the western A Shau Valley, it is a looming, solitary massif, unconnected to the ridges of the surrounding Annamite range. It dominates the northern valley, towering some 937 metres above sea level. Snaking down from its highest peak are a series of ridges and fingers, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 metres, another reaching south to a 916-metre peak. The entire mountain is a rugged, uninviting wilderness blanketed in double- and triple-canopy jungle, dense thickets of bamboo, and waist-high elephant grass. Local Montagnard tribesmen call Ap Bia “the mountain of the crouching beast.”

We will step up about 700 steps to the top of the hill. Along the way we still see the vestiges of bunker, tunnel and LZs.

The hill is now covered with bushes and elephant grass.

A war memorial on the top to commemorate the KIA of both sides.

Spend your time to explore the hill.

Back to Hue late afternoon.

 

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Danang-An Hoa Combat Base- LZ Ross-Antenna Valley: Fullday (L)

At 7.30, You will be met our guide at the lobby and drive to the My Khe Beach (Well known as China Beach or R&R Beach) where GIs and nurses relaxed before battlefields, quick stop for photos or you can take a walk along the beach, you also see from the beach the former US Navy Hospital which is the TV Series “China Beach” took place. Then we drive to the Marble Mountain Airfield Facility. You still see some hangars still there.

Leaving Danang eara, we drive to the westsouth to visit Liberty Bridge, Football Island and An Hoa Combat Base.

An Hoa Combat Base was first used by the Marines in January 1966 during Operation Mallard when the 1st Battalion, 12th Marines established a firebase there while the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and a Company from the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines swept the surrounding area. 20 April 1966 the Marines returned to An Hoa on Operation Georgia, the 12th Marines reestablished a firebase while the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines provided security, the base would become permanent at this time as the Marines sought to pacify the area.

The base is now gone but you still see the runway. Spend you time to explore around to recall your memory.

After An Hoa, lunch will be along the road before driving to LZ RossAntenna Valley or known as Que Son Valley.

 

The Que Son Valley, during the Vietnam War, lay in the southern part of South Vietnam’s I Corps. Populous and rice-rich, the valley was viewed as one of the keys to controlling South Vietnam’s five northern provinces by the NVA and by early 1967 at least two regiments of the PAVN 2nd Division had been infiltrated into the area.

The 5th Marine Regiment minus its 2nd Battalion, an experienced force that had fought in Vietnam since their arrival in the Summer of 1966, was assigned to the valley in 1967 to support the outnumbered Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces in the area, the 6th ARVN Regiment and the 1st ARVN Ranger Group.

Since mid-January 1967 Foxtrot Company, a reinforced company of the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines (F/2/1), had manned an outpost atop Nui Loc Son (Loc Son Mountain), which dominated the southern Que Son Valley. Although the PAVN and Vietcong forces operating in the valley did not initially take much notice of the Marines, on April 15, 1967 the Foxtrot company commander advised Colonel Emil Radics, the commander of the 1st Marine Regiment, that enemy units appeared to be preparing for an all-out assault on the outpost.

Radics developed a plan for a multi-battalion assault and sweep aimed at clearing PAVN units from the vicinity of the mountain. The plan was approved as Operation Union by Major General Herman Nickerson, the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division on April 20 and was put into action the following morning.

Have amble time to explore the area before heading back to Danang city.

 

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