Vietnam, Vietnam War, 101st Airborne, 3/187th
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Fire Bases

We spent most of our down time at different fire bases in the northern mountains of South Vietnam.  Although being at a fire base was down time from humping,  we still did a lot of work while there.  We either fortified fire bases or built new ones, as well as maintained them.  Some fire bases we liked and some we didn’t.


Firebase overlooking the A Shau Valley

View from Firebase Bertesgarden overlooking the A Shau Valley

Firebase bunker

Road to Bertesgarden firebase on the eastern side of A Shau Valley

Huey departing mountain firebase

Unknown mountain top firebase.

Lower helicopter landing zone or helipad on firebase T-Bone

 42 Responses to “Fire Bases”

  1. Mark Weston says:

    Welcome home, I was with “E” co 2/501st the night FB Airborne was overrun. I’m looking for photos or info concerning FB Airborne. Thank you much, Mark

  2. Mike Outwater says:

    Hey Mark, this is Mike Outwater send me an email.

  3. Dave Reiley says:

    Hey there,

    I am SSG Reiley Reiley and would love to share your stories and pictures on the 3rd Brigade Face Book page. I am the webmaster for the page and I want to share it all with the young Soldiers and and us old dogs too.

    Huge fan of all you guys that served in Vietnam and since becoming a RAKKASAN I have deeper respect for Hamburger Hill.

  4. Woody says:

    Hi Dave, I would be honored to have you share my stories and pictures. I have a deep respect for all the men and women are serving in the military today, especially those fighting in the middle east. I’m hoping that they can all come home soon. Woody

  5. Guy Hamilton says:

    Have pitcures from 68 69 101 Airborne Co C D E and 70 71 1st Air Cav 1/7 E Co. Dont know how to get them on line.

  6. Woody says:

    Hi Guy, I think I can help you with getting the photos online. With my photos I scanned them using a flatbed scanner and then edited them using a photo editing program. I decided to use a blog to them online, as well as trying to tell the stories behind the photos. I can help you with all phases of the process if you would like. Woody

  7. I’m looking for anyone who might have served with me.

  8. Frank Kelly says:

    Dear Mark,

    Did you get any pictures of Airborne? Please email me.


  9. Mark Thomas says:

    I am trying to find the names of the Army bases in and around the DMZ in 1969. I am a vet who was stationed there and need the info. for a claim. Thank you for any help you can give me.

  10. Frank Kelly says:

    Does anyone have photos of FSB Airborne?
    914 393 1223

  11. Mike Daniel says:

    Frank, have several photos of FSB Airborne taken the morning after. Was with E Co 2/501, and was out on patrol the night it was hit with one of the line companies, D Co. I think but not sure. Can be reached at

  12. Mark Weston says:

    Good evening to all. Great website even for those of us who were Geronimo’s (2/501st). Mike Outwater and anyone else who was at FB Airborne or Hamburger send me an email at I went to wish all a great Thanksgiving as those of us who survived the Ashua have a great deal too be thankful for.

  13. I think it was March 69 arrived in a LOCH w/ radio’s.C engineer’s were grading and we started building command bunker, heavy timber, PSP, bags, situated below 155’s. It was hot from the start snipers in the middle of the day, a lot of activity. I remember it overlooked “the valley”…………………….

    gary d. campbell A 501 101 ABN DIV

  14. Woody says:

    Hi Gary, I have a lot of the same memories of working on building fire bases. Tell us more please! Woody

  15. I’m trying to find out who and what happened to the command bunker below the 155’s on Airborne on 5/13/69,as I helped build and lived in it for 2 months from mid March 69 on…………………

  16. HI Woody,
    It’s been 44 years but I was flown in by LOCH w/ radios on or about 3/15/69.We immediately began construction of bunker. As I remember this was located directly below 155 battery overlooking valley The LZ was to left and elevated. I’ve just started trying to find out what I can, including contacting Fort Campbell archive site, I’m trying to put this all in perspective for a soft landing………………………….

  17. Woody says:

    Hi Gary, you sound like me, trying to remember the places and events of Vietnam after so many years of trying forget. I wished I would have kept a journal of where we were and what we were doing back then. I do have the letters I wrote home to my parents along with the pictures I took, which help me remember. I have talked to some of the guys I was in the Vietnam with, they are like us and don’t remember many details. Let me know if you able to find information in the Ft Campbell archive. Please check out my fire base pictures to see if anything looks familiar and let me know if anything does. I look forward to hearing from you again. Woody

  18. Thanks Woody, I’ll keep you posted. I’ve joined a group of VietNam veterans in Ventura the Vet. Ctr. A couple of the guys were in I Corps and the “Valley”. I just started this entire process and as you know the emotions are very powerful.

    Best Regards,

  19. Woody says:

    Hi Gary, Yes, keep me posted! It is good to get to know other men who served and share “War Stories” with them. My emotions were really powerful, especially the postmortem grieving. I still have periods of depression and feelings of lose, if you know what I mean. Are you reading my posts? Until later, Woody

  20. Jim Miller says:

    Gary Campbell, I was hit on FB Airborne and my Lt., JD Caldwell, carried me into that bunker where the 155’s were. At day break they carried me out and the bunker was still intact. It kept me safe while the final part of the battle was going on. We are having a reunion on May 12-14 in Springfield IL 2/501, 2/319th and 2/11 will be attending.

  21. Jim

    Thanks so much, putting this all together is powerful. Did you go to the 85th Evac. Hospial in Phu Bai?

    Also thanks Woody, I’ve been doing some reading…………..


  22. Woody says:

    Hi Jim, thank you for your comment. Look at my pictures of fire bases, tell me do see anything that looks familiar. Especially, can you name any of the fire bases in my photos. Thank you again, Woody

  23. Woody,
    Dug up 7 pic’s of FB’s around valley, 2 are definitely the construction of Airborne, the others maybe someone can put a name to. My wife is going to enlarge at work, so I can scan and send in a couple of days……

    Best Regards,

  24. Woody says:

    Hi Gary, I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures. I can add them to this blog with credit for them going to you if that is alright with you. Any information I can get that will help me and others know and remember where we were during our tours is much appreciated. I know that there were only two men in my squad that ever carried cameras, and I don’t believe the other guy ever had film for his.

  25. Woody,
    You’re lucky I wasn’t in your squad as I was only qualified to use a Kodak Brownie camera.

    Let me know where to send pic’s

    Best Regards,

  26. Woody says:

    Hi Gary, LOL, Kodak Brownies were good cameras in their day. I used a little Kodak Instamatic to take my pictures. You can e-mail your pictures to me – I look forward to seeing them.

  27. Stan Smith says:

    After all these years, I am finally trying to remember some of what happened
    back in 1968/69. 196 L I, E was in Nui Loc Son but have never seen anything posted about
    that. Unit went to Dong Ha/above Da Nang in May 1968.

    Any way it is good to see that some of us are still hanging around. Hope Rob Lombard from Indiana is still hanging in there too.

  28. Woody says:

    Hi Stan, I finally got some time to respond to your comment. It is funny how a lot of us Vietnam vets started, after forty or so years, trying to remember what we tried to forget for so many years. I started digging into my Vietnam memories after my father passed away and my mother gave me all the letters I had written to them while I was stationed there. It amazed me of how many memories came flooding back after forty years.

    There are quite a few of us hanging around still. Have you tried to locate Rob Lombard? It is worth a try if you would like to talk to him.

  29. Judith Bachleda says:

    My husband Bruce Bachleda was on a firebase in Dau Tieng (68-69). We are trying to find a location for a firebase named Wood which was supposedly in that area. Can anyone help?

  30. Terry Simmons says:

    Terry, from S.C. D CO. 1/506th, Nov 68 To Nov 69 and was wounded@Hamburger Hill. He was on a 60 with Johnson and MacAckay. Hello to all of You Brave Men… m

  31. Dale Peeps Person says:

    Hello to Mark Weston- I was with 2/501st, E co RECON from March 69 – March 70. Were you with the mortars? I just don’t recall you from our recon platoon. Wish I did! Mike Mann was our Co. Commander till he went to division. Man, e-mail me, please. Peeps

  32. donald stringham says:

    Stationed with C battery, 2nd/33 artillery, May 68 to July 69. 2nd field forces firebase Jack, Bu Dop would love to hear from anyone from my old unit.

  33. Sandy says:

    Hello to Echo Co. 81`s and Recon 1/506, LZ Cuurrahee, 1969 Ashau Valley. TURTLE, FURR, BENWAY, WILSON PICKETT, BEN BODDIE, and all of the rest. Miss all of you.

  34. denny green says:

    I was with a/co. 3/187/101 airborne aug 1968 to aug 1969 was in the 3 plt. I was the sgt, for A co 81 went back to the 3rd plt . firebase long ,rakkasan airborne and others would like to here from others

  35. Christine Crabtree-Stegeman says:

    My father Capt. Michael (Mike) Crabtree Co. D commander 4/503 Infantry Regiment (173rd Airborne). Does anyone remembered him?

  36. clark namias says:

    I was in the 2/319th fa I have pictures of fb jack/ rakasan also alpha one on the dmz showing north vietman it was a old arvn fb we had to take over when they went west imagine only one click from dmz 1970/71.

  37. Woody says:

    Clark, I would like to see your fire base pictures.


  38. Rachel says:

    Hi Woody,

    Amazing photos!

    I’m working on a commercial for Lyrica and I’m wondering if I might be able to purchase a few of your photos for the background of one of our scenes. My email is Please email me and I can reply with more details and specifics.

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  39. steve davis says:

    Can you help? I am writing a memoir to honor veterans of the Vietnam war. I need a picture of a small firebase.
    Like this one:
    “Lower helicopter landing zone or helipad on firebase T-Bone”

    Please tell me whether it is your picture and, if so, whether I may use it. Then I would send a permission form.

    Vietnam Veteran 69-70

  40. Dave B says:

    Wow – So I’m not the only one who is having difficulty remembering what happened in Vietnam. I’m 67 years old, have wanted for many years to write a book about my Army days, but personality disorder has prevented me from getting past the first page until now. I can remember a lot of single events but I’m having trouble sewing them together into a comprehensive story. I’m afraid I’m going to be accused of being a fake because, for instance, I didn’t even know what battalion I was in. I could only remember what the patch looked like (green and white clover) The thing about my experience, or what my book would be about, is mostly funny stuff. We never got shot at. We had no casualties for a whole year while all around us people were dying. The enemy actually shot OVER our heads trying to hit the Green Berets next to us. I mean, come on. Not even worth a bullet? You could have made a sitcom out of our outfit. But I know Vietnam was not a joke to most you guys. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about what others had to go through.

  41. gary d. campbell says:

    May 1969. Special thanks to the 85th Evac. Hospital Phu Bai. Capt. John C. Reilly M.D. and all the nurses who rarely get the recognition so well deserved….

  42. 1971 fire base 5 over dak to over run bad day. looking 4 air crew survivers

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