Even though Danang airbase was a very large military facility, it was not immune to enemy attack. Given the density of US resources (personnel and materiel), even a small-scale attack could cause significant losses.

Danang Airbase

Even though Da Nang and the associated military complex was quite large, it was not immune from attack. The sheer size of US forces concentrated there did deter direct, large-scale ground attacks. However, the large number of units and their facilities presented a 'target-rich environment' for VC and NVA troops.

Da Nang air base in the mid- to late-60s was the busiest (and possibly the largest) airport in the world. Its two runways accommodated a take-off or landing every 60 seconds. The air base at Da Nang was, therefore, a particularly enticing target. Between missions, many aircraft were hangered or stored there. In fact, most of the aircraft were not housed in hangers. They were parked in 'stalls'... rectangular areas protected on three sides by large walls called 'revetments'. These walls were triangular in shape -- with wide bases tapering to a more narrow top. My guess is that the base of each walls was six feet (6') thick while the top was three feet (3') thick.

Since the considerable size of the US forces at Da Nang prevented direct ground assult, the enemy troops often launched rocket attacks against Da Nang from the outlying areas. One of the main targets of these attacks was the air base. The large concentration of military equipment and personnel was a tempting choice.

While at Det C-1, I heard that the airbase had been hit by a rocket attack. Since I had to go to the PX and/or conduct 'scrounging' mission for food, I decided to take my camera along. The pictures below were taken as we drove along the airbase.


Results of a rocket attack on Da Nang air base: revetment area building

This photo shows the aftermath of a rocket strike in a revetment area. The revetment walls have been destroyed... undoubtedly destroying the aircraft parked inside the stall.


Although this photo would appear to be a picture of the building seen in the other air base photo, I believe these are from two different areas. Since the telephone pole is quite close to the building and since there appears to be another telephone pole (out-of-frame) on the right, I believe this is a different part of the air base.

Once again, the force of the rocket blasts flattened the building and destroyed the revetments (right of center). While discussing the attack with someone, they mentioned that a propeller -- dislodged by a rocket blast -- had been hurled over a half-mile... to the other side of the air base!  I'm not sure, but I believe one of these rockets hits a US Air Force barracks building... destroying it. Am I correct that the barracks blast killed fifty airmen?? Anyone remember??

(Note: The black line diagonally through the picture is the roof support for the jeep.)