An overhead shot of Camp Carroll
|Occupants||3rd Marine Division|
Camp Carroll was a United States Marine Corps artillery base during the Vietnam War. It was located 8 km southwest of Cam Lộ. Camp Carroll was also at the centroid of a large arc of the strategic Highway 9 corridor south of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which made it a key facility.
The 3rd Marine Division had overall command and control of the DMZ area. The camp was commissioned on November 10, 1966 (aka Camp J. J. Carroll) and became home for the 3rd Marine Regiment. The camp was named after Navy Cross recipient Captain James J. Carroll who was the commanding officer of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines who was killed by friendly tank fire on October 5, 1966 during Operation Prairie. It was one of nine artillery bases constructed along the DMZ and had 80 artillery pieces including M107 175mm guns from the United States Army; the longest ranged, but least accurate American field artillery pieces, the 175mm could fire a 150-pound projectile 32,690 meters and effectively return fire on any enemy gun that could hit it. The 175mm guns put Camp Carroll on the map, particularly the tactical maps of the North Vietnamese forward observers.
Camp Carroll diminished in significance after the 1968 Tet Offensive. The 3rd Marine Division began relying on highly mobile postures rather than remaining in their fixed positions as sitting targets. The Marine Corps began pulling out of Vietnam in 1969 as part of President Richard Nixon's Vietnamization Policy. In March 1970, the Marine unit that had been stationed at Camp Carroll left Vietnam. Camp Carroll became a South Vietnamese Army base.
On March 30, 1972, the NVA launched the largest offensive so far in the Vietnam War. NVA rockets and artillery shells slammed into Camp Carroll. The base received more than 200 rounds NVA 130mm fire in the first hour of the attack. On April 2, 1972, South Vietnamese Army Lieutenant Colonel Pham Van Dinh surrendered the facility to the North Vietnamese Army. B-52 strikes were ordered against Camp Carroll in an effort to deny its use to the North Vietnamese. However, the NVA removed the 175mm guns from the camp before the strikes could occur. These guns were later used against the South Vietnamese army forces.
At present the land belongs to Xi Nghiep Ho Tieu Lam, the Vietnamese state-operated pepper enterprise.
Camp Carroll also refers to a U.S. Army camp located in Waegwan, South Korea. It is referred to as "The Crown Jewel of Area 4".
- Pike, COL Thomas F. Military Records, February 1968, 3rd Marine Division: The Tet Offensive. Charleston: Creatspace. ISBN 978-1-481219-46-4.
- Coan, James P. (2004). Con Thien - Hill of Angels. The University of Alabama Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-8173-1414-8.
- Brush, Peter. "Big Guns of Camp Carroll". Leatherneck.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.