Đồng Tâm Base Camp

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Đồng Tâm Base Camp
Dong Tam Base Camp, circa 1969.jpg
Coordinates10°21′N 106°17′E / 10.35°N 106.29°E / 10.35; 106.29 (Đồng Tâm Base Camp)
TypeArmy/Navy Base
Site information
Conditionabandoned
Site history
Built1966
In use1966–75
Battles/warsVietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam War
Garrison information
Occupants9th Infantry Division
ARVN 7th Division
Đồng Tâm Army Airfield
Summary
Elevation AMSL5 ft / 2 m
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2,300 701 asphalt
USS Hickman County (LST-825) at the ramp at Dong Tam, South Vietnam, circa 1969

Đồng Tâm Base Camp (also known as Đồng Tâm Army Airfield) is a former U.S. Army and Navy and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) base west of Mỹ Tho in the Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam.

History[edit]

1966–72[edit]

Đồng Tâm Base Camp was established on the banks of the Mekong 7 km west of Mỹ Tho upon the U.S. Commander in South Vietnam General William Westmoreland's decision to gain full control over the Upper Mekong Delta Region and he personally took part in site selection.[1] The name Đồng Tâm meaning "united hearts and minds" or "singleness of mind, in thoughts, and actions" in Vietnamese was also chosen by Westmoreland.[2] The total construction price for the Army and Navy ran close to $8,000,000.[1]

Due to lack of available dry land, the base was created by dredging from the river.[3] Dredging work to create the base commenced in August 1966 and involved the reclamation of 600 acres of swampland.[2] The Vietcong attempted to sabotage the base construction sinking the dredgeship Jamaica Bay on 9 January 1967 with the loss of 3 crewmembers.[2]:189 In January 1967 the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry was deployed to Đồng Tâm to provide base and construction security followed in March by Headquarters, 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division which moved from Bearcat Base. In April the US Navy River Assault Squadron 9 was deployed to Đồng Tâm to support operations.[2]:189

On 1 June 1967, the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF) comprising the 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division and the US Navy River Assault Squadrons 9 and 11 was established at Đồng Tâm. By this time the base occupied 12 square kilometres and included a 500m runway and a loading basin for boats.[2]:190[4]

From June–December 1967 base facilities grew providing improved support and rest and recreation for the MRF. The Vietcong regularly harassed the base with mortar fire.[2]:190

Other units stationed at Đồng Tâm included:

1972–75[edit]

Đồng Tâm was a base for the ARVN 7th Division until April 1975.

Current use[edit]

The base was abandoned and turned over to farmland and housing while the harbour area is used for fishing and transport vessels. Harbor area as of Tet of 2018 is government controlled and leases facilities for civilian marine construction purposes. Access to this area requires government approval.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ewell, Julian (1974). Sharpening the combat edge. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 71–3. ISBN 9781508421818.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sherwood, John (2015). War in the Shallows: U.S. Navy and Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam 1965-8. Naval History and Heritage Command. p. 188. ISBN 9780945274773.
  3. ^ Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–156. ISBN 978-1555716257.
  4. ^ a b c Stanton, Shelby (2003). Vietnam Order of Battle. Stackpole Books. pp. 149–50. ISBN 9780811700719.