|Occupants||101st Airborne Division|
|Firebase Bastogne, June 1969.|
|Firebase Bastogne from Checkpoint, January 1971. Copyright images from the web site Just a Little Walk in the Woods, dedicated to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), the "Delta Raiders."|
Firebase Bastogne was a U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) firebase, located along Highway 547 halfway between the city of Huế and the A Shau Valley, a feeder route from the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Creation and Early Years
Bastogne was originally constructed in 1968 by the 101st Airborne Division and was named after the Battle of Bastogne where the 101st Airborne and other U.S. units held the town of Bastogne against 7 German divisions during World War II. It was soon closed, but was reopened in August 1969 by the 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry. Bastogne had three artillery batteries: 105, 155, and heavies (175 and 8 inch two of each in one battery). It also had 2 M42 Duster (from D Battery 1/44th Artillery), 2 quad 50's and 1 searchlight.
Easter Offensive and Abandonment
Firebase Bastogne, like most other support bases in Thừa Thiên Province, came under intense fire during the Easter Offensive of 1972. On April 28, Bastogne fell to North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces while bases nearby, including Firebase Birmingham just 4 miles east, continued to repel the offensive. A force of over 4,000 ARVN soldiers of the 1st Division launched a counterattack due to the strategic importance of Firebase Bastogne as it was approximately 20 miles southwest of Huế and within shelling distance. The base was recaptured by May 15, however heavy shelling forced the ARVN troops to ultimately abandon Firebase Bastogne on July 28, 1972.