The Da Nang area, and more specifically the Company C area, had one of the finest - most beautiful - beaches in the world!

It was drop-dead georgous! It was also extremely dangerous!

The Beach at Det C-1 (Danang)


One if by land, two if by sea...

This is a life guard stand -- Vietnam style. A silent sentry, watching for the water-borne invasion which would never come, guards the beach on the Company C, 5th SFG headquarters grounds. Without such reminders beach goers would never guess that they were in the middle of a war zone.

There were no actual life guards here... just miles of beautiful, sandy beach. The beach at Company C attracted mostly the younger guys. But there were no volleyball games, no boardwalks, and certainly no girls in skimpy bikinis. At best, you would find some of the guys 'taking a dip' in the warm water of the South China Sea. Beneath this serene facade, however, lurked a trap as lethal as an ambush.

beach4a1.jpg To the south, Marble Mountain jutted out of the sand like a geological punctation mark.

'Silicon Chameleon'

The angle of the sun made the sand a chameleon spanning brilliant white to muted tan.  In the dry season -- when the sun shone relentlessly -- much of the moisture was baked out of the sand, further bleaching its appearance. The beach, unmarred by people or footprints, stretched to the horizon. As the blue sky faded to white near the beach horizon, the beach and the sky became inseparable... the tufts of beach grass serving as clouds in the sand sky.


When the walls of your room started crowding in on you, the beach was a popular retreat. Here, a group of guys is enjoying the peace and quiet offered by the warm sun and sandy beach. On a nice hot day the beach was a nice backdrop for a pinocle game chased by two or three cold beers.

There were times, however, when the beach was not to be trusted. If you looked at the pictures on the Company C web page, you can see how rough the surf was at times. When a storm lurked off the coast or during the monsoons, the sea and the beach transformed into a salty monster. Even when the surf seemed 'normal', it sometimes was a deadly trap for the unsuspecting. There were many ways to die in Viet Nam!