Long Binh and Bear Cat
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Long Binh was the home of the largest supply and administrative post in the world, probably.  If it came to Vietnam, chances are it either arrived here or was certainly processed here.  I know of many folks at the Capital who were stationed here.  John Allison with the Banking and Consumer Finance Agency, Mac Gordon, the House of Representative's Public Information Director among them.

Long Binh is now a small Vietnamese army installation and a large Industrial Park, including a High Tech Park.

Bear Cat, was one of our two primary spots to locate.  Bear Cat was the home of the 9th Infantry Division and its many supporting elements.  Rep. Mac Huddleston flew helicopters out of here for a while.  This was my initial and final home. More than 10,000 soldiers were located here at one time.

Today, Bear Cat is an Army Officer's School for the Vietnamese Army, a mangrove plantation, and a rubber plantation.  Besides the base itself, about 2 miles long and a mile wide, we cleared an area out from the perimeter of about 1,000 meters to give us a clear line of sight and fire.




Well, by the first picture, you know you are at Long Binh.  The remaining pictures are original buildings to the base from more than 40 years ago.

Thousands upon thousands of military people of all types and Vietnamese laborers, office workers, professional worked here.

I have an old picture taken from some 15 miles away, but one night, VC sappers snuck into the Ammunition Supply Point and blew most of it up.  The explosions and fires lasted for days. No one was hurt as it was spread out, but most of the multi square mile base was evacuated to prevent injury.

I was pay officer for our battalion for one month and actually drew my money from John Allison's unit.

The picture with the Vietnamese flag is actually a plant for a foreign corporation.  You can probably name many US top 500 and find many here.

Nike has 38 plants in Vietnam...and you thought they were made in Oregon or wherever.  The Vietnamese make very low wages, Nike sells very expensive sneakers.  



We landed by ship in Vietnam in October of 1968.  Got on a plane and flew onto a dirt strip in the middle of a jungle.  This was a Special Forces outpost northeast of Saigon.  Our job was to expand this small encampment into a base large enough for 10,000 soldiers.

We further widened the perimeter out some 1,000 meters for fields of fire.  The top picture is what we determined to be what was left of one side of the perimeter berm.  It would have been two or three feet higher, high enough to prevent direct rifle fire from coming into the base.  We felt this was the berm because there were some fairly old trees growing on it.

Behind the berm the trees you see are part of a mangrove plantation.

The next picture are the tents we lived in.

An Army Officer training facility is all that is left of our base.  We had to take this picture from the van.

The next is part of a huge rubber plantation.  One side of Bear Cat was in fact a rubber plantation and that has been expanded to take in the area we had cleared out 42 years ago.  That's me next to a rubber tree.

Shops line the road into the camp.  I could print 100's of these kinds of pictures.  On our trip into the delta, shops lined the road just like this for nearly 100 miles.  I wish I were exaggerating, but I am not.

Note how narrow they are.  The two story shop/apartment would sell for $1 million USD in Saigon.  There are 10's of thousands of such shops in Saigon and environs.  How they can make money with so many competing was beyond me.

I left Bear Cat to move into the Delta in late January of 1967 to go to Tan An and then Tan Tru, home for my platoon supporting the 2nd/60th Inf, 9th Inf Division.





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