THE BASE Click on photo to enlarge image
"I was in the 360th Trans. Co. 1966/67. I hauled a lot of fuel and supplies out of Vung Ro Bay. I still remember going down that winding road to the bay at night during the monsoon season. I'm amazed that more of our tractor trailers did not go off the edge. We passed trucks coming up and could not tell how close our right side wheels were to the edge. I guess the Lord was with us."
Rick Parkinson (360th Trans. Co.)
Map of Vung Ro Bay and patrol sectors.
North end of Vung Ro, Echo Beach area
East side of the bay, Foxtrot Beach
View from sea. The large rock on the distant mountain was always reputed to be a Viet Cong hideout
View of the bay & PBR compound from Heliport
Korean guntruck with quad 50-calibers
South Korean White Horse Division soldier
South Korean compound above Vung Ro Bay
Ship unloading at DeLong Pier
The road from Hwy 1A to the bay
Nestled on a ridge high above Vung Ro Bay was a unit of the famed South Korean White Horse Division. The Koreans were a feared unit, apparently, as I heard horror stories about them from the moment of my arrival in Vietnam. They got the job done, though.
There were several Koreans who made a regular pilgrimage to our docks to trade for expended brass shell casings. They sent it all home and made trinkets for tourists, I guess.
On one occasion we traded an M-16 machine gun for a 45-caliber Grease Gun. What a great weapon! It was really fun to shoot. We reported the M-16 as being lost overboard!
overlooking Vung Ro Bay
At the very top of Vung Ro Mountain was the 261st Signal Co. and 362nd Signal Co. We only went up there once, to the best of my knowledge. It was a long, narrow, rocky road up to the top of the mountain. I can't even remember why we went up there, but it was certainly an adventure!
The road to Signal Mountain!
The following information on Vung Ro Mountain provided courtesy of Don Wilts, 362nd Signal Co.
The 261st Signal Company was formed up at Fort Hood and the entire company traveled by ship (USS UPSHUR) and landed at Vung Ro Bay in early 1967. They cleared the area and set up the radio communications on top of Vung Ro Mountain. The 362nd Signal Company operated all of the long-lines tropo scatter systems throughout Vietnam from their headquarters in Nha Trang. The 362nd signal Company motto was "Hang loose with the Deuce". the signal site at Vung Ro Mountain was dismantled in 1970 and the First Signal brigade was deactivated in 1972, in Vietnam.
The South Korean White Horse Division helped provide security on the mountain.
"I was a Lt. with the 119th Transportation Co. We moved up to Vung Ro from Cam Rahn Bay in Sept. of 1966. Things were fairly primitive when we first arrived and we all lived in hootches set atop the sandy beach. During the year there, however, dunnage from the ships coming in to offload was used to put in wooden flooring for the troops in the hootches and a mess hall was also constructed.
On one occassion, our captain was visited by a bird colonel who stood atop one of thills surrounding the camp, disapproving all the construction and work that had been done. The reason? He did not like the way the tents were set up; they were not at the proper angles to the mess hall or to some distant point. Everything was torn down and all was rebuilt, this time at the "proper" angles. This building took place during the rainy season so you worked the 12 hour shift on the ships or at the dock and, when that was done, worked on the hootches and mess hall.... and then tore it all down at the colonel's direction."
Lt. Bill King (119th Trans. Co)
"The South Koreans occupied a hilltop above Vung Ro and guarded us and the area around us. One night we thought we were under attack. After we got the troops spread out and under cover we realized the shooting was over our heads. Turns out there was some confusion between the Signal Company in the hills and the ROKs on the other hills. Each side thought the other was VC and continued shooting at each other for a little while...don't know if anyone got hurt but don't think so.
The other ROK incident involved the occassional pot shots they would take at us as we either took a swim in the South China Sea or walked along the beach. They were not trying to hit is... just have a little "fun."
Lt. Bill King ( 119th Trans. Co.)