The Special Forces camps in Viet Nam were maintained principally for training CIDG and gathering of intelligence. Some of our camps were hand-me-downs,
so to speak. The camp at Gia Vuc (A-103) was a remnant of the French occupation days. Other camps were built as needed. Some camps,
such as the camp at A Shau Valley, we lost to enemy action. (The battle over the Special Forces camp at A Shau resulted in the
Congressional Medal of Honor for Capt. MacDonald.)
The camp at Thuong Duc lay just east of A Shau Valley -- the route of the Ho Chi Minh trail. During our orientation upon arrival at
Thuong Duc, we were provided E&E instructions. (E&E referred to Escape and Evasion -- 'plan B' if the camp were ever overrun.)
Basically, we were told to E&E (make our way) east and try to establish contact with friendly forces. E&E south? That was okay,
too. E&E to the north? Not a problem. But don't EVER E&E west! Once across the ridge to the west, we counted the NVA in division
strength -- not company strength! In the event our camp (A-109) was about to be overrun, the last person out was supposed to radio Da Nang
for 'neutralization fire'. "What the hell is neutralization fire?" I asked. The captain smiled and said that the big WW II battleships
lay literally right off the coast. "You know, these are the ships with the sixteen-inch guns!" These ships will lay on a fire mission for
our camp's map coordinates and put a barrage of 16" shells right smack in the middle of our compound. "That means it will rain 1-ton shells
right where we are standing." Thankfully... we never had to test this part of our evacuation plan.
Sorry... I got a little distracted there. Back to the subject of A-Team camps.
In order to gather this intelligence they positioned our camps at remote sites near strategic travelways. (Like A Shau Valley) The only
way in or out of these camps was by air. Many times the choppers would leave Da Nang and stop at several camps, dropping off men, mail,
and small supplies. The stops at other camps provided a quick opportunity to snap one or two photos of these camps. Therefore, I present
my quick photos of Special Forces camps A-107, A-104, and A-108.
Well... you've gotten a quick view of several other Special Forces camps in I Corps. For a peek at
a III Corps Special Forces camp (A-342), go to the III Corps page in the
Vietnam Info section of SouthEast Asia menu.
You will be able to contrast their camp (and terrain) with that of the I Corps camps.