Camp Radcliff

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Camp Radcliff
An Khe airfield 1965.jpg
An Khe airfield 1965
Coordinates 13°59′35″N 108°38′55″E / 13.993°N 108.648498°E / 13.993; 108.648498 (Camp Radcliff)
Type Army Base
Site information
Condition abandoned
Site history
Built 1965
In use 1965–71
Battles/wars Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam War
Garrison information
Occupants 1st Cavalry Division
173rd Airborne Brigade
4th Infantry Division
Airfield information
Identifiers GPS: 13.993327, 108.64846
Runways
Direction Length and surface
 dirt


Camp Radcliff (also known as An Khê Army Airfield, An Khê Base or the Golfcourse) is a former U.S. Army base in the An Khê District in central Vietnam.

History[edit]

1965-7[edit]

Camp Radcliff was established in late August 1965 by the 70th Engineer Battalion as the base camp for the 1st Cavalry Division. The camp was located on the main highway, QL-19 60 km northwest of Qui Nhơn on the coast and 60 km southeast of Pleiku in the Central Highlands. The camp was named after 1/9 Cavalry Major Donald Radcliff, the 1st Cavalry's first combat death, who was killed on 18 August 1965 while supporting U.S. Marines in his helicopter gunship during Operation Starlite.[1]

In order to reduce the amount of rotor-blown dust on the landing zone, the men of the 1st Cavalry were instructed to cut back foliage to ground level by hand giving the base its nickname of the Golfcourse.[2] The 1st Cavalry painted their distinctive insignia on nearby Hon Cong Mountain providing a landmark visible for many miles.[1] Camp Radcliff was the largest helicopter base in the world at the time of its establishment, capable of accommodating the 1st Cavalry's 400+ helicopters. The base also had an airfield capable of landing C-130 aircraft.[3] The base had a perimeter of 26 km known as the Green Line with 3-man watchtowers every 50m.[4]

On the night of 3 September 1966 the Vietcong carried out a mortar attack on the Golfcourse. Starting at 21:50 the base was hit by 119 mortar rounds over a 5-minute period, killing 4 soldiers and wounding a further 76, while 77 helicopters were damaged.[5]

Other units stationed at Camp Radcliff in this period included:

1968–9[edit]

In January 1968 the 1st Cavalry moved to Camp Evans and Camp Radcliff was taken over by the 173rd Airborne Brigade. The 173d stayed at Camp Radcliff until mid-1969.[1][6]:157

Other units stationed at Camp Radcliff in this period included:

1970-1[edit]

The 4th Infantry Division was stationed at Camp Radcliff from mid 1969 – December 1970.[6]:139

Other units stationed at Camp Radcliff in this period included:

Current use[edit]

The base is abandoned and turned over to farmland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–434. ISBN 978-1555716257.
  2. ^ Manick, Jack (2013). Incoming...The Men of the 70th. Author House. p. 175. ISBN 9781481734066.
  3. ^ Ulin, Robert (2011). Witness to History: Reflections of a Cold War Soldier. Author House. p. 25. ISBN 9781456736163.
  4. ^ Powers, Robert (2009). 1966 The Year of the Horse. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 9781608442027.
  5. ^ "After Action Report (3 Sep 1966 attack on Camp Radcliff)" (PDF). U.S. Army. 17 September 1966. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Stanton, Shelby (2003). Vietnam Order of Battle. Stackpole Books. p. 101. ISBN 9780811700719.

External links[edit]