Vietnam trip


#1

I am planning a battlefield trip to Vietnam in 2015. If anyone can give me some ideas of the best museums or places for people with our interests I would appreciate some pointers. On forum if it is sufficiently ammo related otherwise by PM
thanks


#2

I don’t think I can be of specific help. I went back to RVN in 1999. It certainly wasn’t the same as it was 30 years before( neither was I). Very little was as I remembered. The jungle had reclaimed many of the area’s up north along the DMZ that I had previously ‘visited’ Hill country around Khe Sahn, 881N & 881S , 689 that resembled moonscapes in '68-'69 were just green lush hills. Phu Bai, Dong Ha, Con Thien, were bustling little cities with small manufacturing. They bore no resemblance to the sand bagged bunkered USMC ‘villages’ That I lived in. The area SW of Danang that I spent so much time in, with the exception of major landmarks like bridges, were totally different. A t-shirt factory occupied the space that I knew as Phong Luc2/ LZ412. After much poking around I found a piece of barbed wire and a small chunk of tarmac that was once part of our perimeter and the LZ. They had a small war memorial/museum nearby. It seemed that every village and city now had numerous small war memorial museums celebrating the great victory over the evil American Empire. Lots of ordinance on display in some of the ‘museums’ Mostly US. The tunnels at Cu Chi are quite fascinating (much further south of Danang). Labels are in many items on display wrong or lost something in the translation. Heavily propagandized. The history related by guides and officials, is their version… It is a beautiful country. It seems to have healed quite well, capitalism is well established. A friend went back this past year for the 4th time (mostly to play golf) There is now a golf resort where 'China Beach" was. I think it is a Greg Norman designed course. Enjoy your trip. Your camera will use a lot of electrons!


#3

I have heard that the Cu Chi visit is particularly worthwhile. In addition, I have also heard that fired 7.62 Tokarev cases, with a 13 headstamp, can be found on the site. If you happen to find any…


#4

There is also an interesting museum in Dien Bien Phu, and also a memorial monument in front to the war cemetery, [b]i]entirely built at his own expenses[/b][/i] by a late good friend of mine, Rolf RODEL, a French Foreign Legion sarge, who fought and was taken prisoner on the so-called “Hughette” stronghold.

He was lucky enough to survive a very hard captivity, as a German born (and strong guy), he was object to the “tender loving care” of Vietminh political officers (and also some French communist deserter…)

He came back in DBP in the 80ies, to find that the French Embassy had not even thought to build a memorial there and did’nt help at all… Curiously, most of the support he got to build his monument came from… the communist government in HanoI…(!) and former Viet regulars…!
When he told me the whole story, he was just disgusted after his “own kind” (or supposed to be…).

To-day, several French Veterans organisations organize trips to Vietnam, with extension to Dien Bien Phu, on request, but unhappily, the candidates are also getting old…

Just let’s have a thought for our men who lost their life there;…just for nothing but some rotten politicians fantasies…

Phil.