Reply with quote #1
This has been discussed on the Division message board in the past but I recently ran across some photos and finally remembered what they were.
Some time in mid to late December 1967 the ammo dump near the South gate in Lai Khe blew up. I am not sure of the exact date and would like to know if anyone has accurate details on the date and reason for the explosion.
The photos are attached. Click on the images for a larger view.
Reply with quote #2
That was before my time, but I heard that not only did the ammo go up but so did Goodaims supply of HATS, TEESHIRTS, SCARVES, etc for this year reunion!!!!!!
Reply with quote #3
If you look real close you might see some of those hats hanging in the tree on the lower photo.
Reply with quote #4
If Goodaim doesn't come through with some QUALITY merchandise, (at reasonable prices) you may find him hanging from a tree too. The natives are restless, Hatless and Teeshirt-less too!
harold w. defibaugh
Reply with quote #5
i didn't get in country until late dec 67 and that was at quan loi, but i do remember a mess hall being blown up by vc sappers at lai khe while i was there in 68, can't remember the exact month.
Reply with quote #6
That I do remember, the Brigade Officers' Club.
It was in Jan or poss Feb 68. I got in country in Feb and that was still being talked about in CIC "Jungle School." One story was a practice patrol form CIC passed the sappers in a swampy area on the Lai Khe perimeter. Some guys from CIC saw Charlie but thought it was to make the exercise more realistic.
I never found out if that was true, but who knows?
Reply with quote #7
The Lai Khe ammo dump blew up on 22 Dec 1967 while I was in the "Junlge School" going on a practice "Cloverleaf" at approximately 1430 hrs when I was the piont man as I looked up and saw a projectile over head enrtering the ammo dump, there was a loud explosion and a bright yellowish flash of light with a concussion knocked me to my feet as I and the four man cloverleaf patrol had just bust the bushes. I still have the scar on my left knee when I crawled to the irrgation ditch along with other soldiers attending "Jungle School". A night patrol was scheduled that night but was canceled because the ammo dump still exploding. I joned the company down in Claymore Corners on 24 Dec 1967, pulled OP/LP in a Vietnamese grave yard as I looked up to see helipcopters flying Bob Hope into Di An for the Xmas show as I listened to a wailing Veitnamese Mama-Son crying with that loud errie schreehing voice that gave my boby the creaps- Merry Xmas Vietnam. The second time the Lai Khe ammo blew is when b 2/2 was building the new Thunder One in mid February -March 1968 when 122mm rockets blew the dump. We over heard the conversation between the 1SG and the rear NCOIC over the company net and saw the silvery residue of the explosion from Thunder One.
Reply with quote #8
Frankly, I don't remember the date the dump blew. But I was with B Co., 2/2. We were back at Lai Khe to resuply.
We put men inside the APC's, which is surprises me to this day, because inside was never a safe way to travel in one of those things. Anyway we rode down to the dump, being stoped on hwy 13 by a Major refusing to allow us through. Orders came over the radio to tell the Major to get out of our way or run him over (He moved). When we got to the dump there were spotted fires still burning. When it was all over we went back to camp. That night everyone went down to the Motor Pool to see the latest movie. Had to be either Batman with Adam West, or some John Wayne western.
Not to change the subject, but does anyone remember or have a photo of the Guard (Check Point) Tower that sat at the end of the bridge on the West end of Lai Khe on Hwy 13.
Reply with quote #9
Here are a couple of photos for those who served in Lai Khe.
I found these on a web page last year. The page is no longer active.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Reply with quote #10
Hi Tom, looking at the Lai Khe, picture the 2/2 in 1965 was on the east side of the clearing, which is south of the mark area on the map (2/2 Area). I remember our 81mm mortars were position on that clearing, the line platoon were east of the clearing, linking with "A & C" company to the south... That photo bring lot of memories. Take care. The Saint.
Reply with quote #11
I am not sure who marked up this photo but I think there are several errors on it. I thought about trying to take the markings off and remarking it but just haven't had the time.
My barracks was in the tree line directly across from the clearing shown in the photo, and not where the area is marked on the photo. I have lots of photos taken around the area to verify the location so I don't have to trust my memory too much.
Reply with quote #12
You got it right, Tom I may go back there in couple years.
Reply with quote #13
When you get back to Lai Khe you will be disappointed with what you find there today. I stopped there for a few hours during a business trip to VN in 1995. There were only two buildings remaining at Lai Khe: The old Rubber Cultivation Laboratory which had been the Hqs of the Third Brigade and the large villa which had served as the Division Cmdr's Office and Quarters. All the rest was gone without a trace. The roads were--in large measure--overgrown and full of pot holes, the PSP was gone from the runway and in many places there were trees and bushes growing on what had been the airfield. The new guys running the show over there were very intent on eradicating every vestige of our presence that was possible to uproot. They missed one thing though. In a shop on Tu Do Street in Saigon I found a cigarette lighter that had the following inscription: "Ten Thousand Marines will s--t today and wipe their ass on a green beret!"
All the Best,
Reply with quote #14
Thank you Mark, If I go I would like to go and visit Tai Ning, Dau tieng, Bau Bang area, Ap-Na-Mat and of course the village of Lai Khie, Long Thang North, long bing, Bung Tau. and other places maybe cau mau in the delta way down south.. Take care and be careful out there.
Roger K Bravo 1/2
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Mark, Can a grunt still get a beer in Lai Khe with rice husks in it ?
I need some directions on that posted picture please..... We had many 'happy'.. 'stand downs' at Lai Khe during my tour, 9/68-8/69 and I was even lucky enough to do a little time at the 1/2 Motor Pool there... When I got 'in-country' I was sent to Lia Khe and was issued my fighting gear there then went to Quan Loi and the next day I was with Bravo 1/2 at Loc Ninh... I remember our battlion area was close to the outer wire at Lia Khe but I have no idea where it would be in this picture... ? Were we close to the 2/2 area... ?
Looking forward to meeting all of you soldiers at Phoenix... This will be my first Div. reunion... Saint, Your gumba speaks very highly of you and I do trust, no,... wait one,... (respect) ole Goodaim...
Good to see Duck made a post here... His reputation proceeds him... A fine soldier and a GREAT golfer....
Reply with quote #16
Originally Posted by
Thank you Mark, If I go I would like to go and visit Tai Ning, Dau tieng, Ap- Bau - Bang area, Ap-Na-Mat and of course the village of Lai Khei, Long Thangh North, long bing, Vung Tau. and other places maybe cau mau in the delta way down south.. Take care and be careful out there.
Reply with quote #17
I will try to get a large print out of the Lai Khe air shot and bring it to Phoenix. Put it under some plastic and let people mark it up with where they think things are located.
Thought you might enjoy some more photos of Lai Khe
Reply with quote #18
I was with B Co 2/34th Armor in 67. I had just over a week or so left when the ammo dump went up. There was one round that came in about 20 yards from our hootch. I think I spent lot of that day in a bunker or very close. Anyhow I like your website
Reply with quote #19
I was at the dump waiting for a chopper to take the Xmas
mail out to our troops in the field. This is the first time I
have seen photos from the "outside". Someone yelled
incoming and everybody on site ran to the outlying
bunkers. It was quite an experience to be so up close
to this event. I'll never forget the sight of the man running
next to me with a piece of shrapnel sticking out of his
upper arm that still had the threads on it. First time I
have visited this site, but I'll be back.
Recon 2/2, Track 65 "Bean's Bandits", 3-67/3-68
Roger K Bravo 1/2
Reply with quote #20
Your home Larry, that's what counts.... We were there together.... All of us...
Reply with quote #21
Just had to post to say thanks! The photos and comments are why I keep coming back to this board. It's filled a hole and brought back a lot of memories. Wish we all could have made it back.
Company C 2/2 (mech)
The Big Red One 69/70
All gave some
Some gave all
Reply with quote #22
I was in the 6th Bn, 15th Arty @ Lai Khe during '67-'68.
It is great to find this site. I was in our radio repair shop when the dump blew. It is still vivid in my minds eye. The Ammo Dump was directly behind the trees in the rear of the repair shop. Myself and the fellow repairman Alan Wiese ducted into the connex right behind the repair shop while the sky was falling.
Hope I'm not horning in on your site.
Reply with quote #23
Welcome home Doug, I was at Lie Khei in 1965 to 1967.
Reply with quote #24
I was so excited I didn't check my spelling. I'll try harder.
Check out the picture, somewhere between Lai Khe and Quan Loi, '67.
Welcome Home, yourself!
Reply with quote #25
Doug, there is a reunion at Pigeon Forge,TN in May--there will be lot of brothers from the 1/2 and the 2/2, I will be there.Check in this web site for the form for the reservations date and times.
Take care and be careful out there.
By the way you spelling of Lai Khe is OK, I am wrong.