A "Tale" Of Camp Carroll-The DMZ-Vietnam

Camp Carroll-16°45′47″N 106°55′50″E / 16.76306°N 106.93056°E (MGRS 48QYD062545),

The story that I'm emphasizing here is of the Surrender of Camp Carroll.

The "surrender" takes place in 1972.

Camp Carroll was a United States Marine Corps artillery base during the Vietnam War. It was located at 8 km southwest of the town of Cam Lo. Camp Carroll was also at the centroid of a large arc of the strategic Highway 9 corridor south of the demilitarized zone, which made it a key facility.

The camp was named after Navy Cross recipient Captain J.J. Carroll who was the commanding officer of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. He was killed by friendly tank fire on October 5, 1966 during Operation Prairie. The camp was commissioned on November 10, 1966 and became home for the 3rd Marine Regiment. 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. From a tactical perspective, therefore, the 175mm self-propelled gun was the most important weapon at Camp Carroll. The 175mm guns put Camp Carroll on the map, particularly the tactical maps of the North Vietnamese forward observers. The most powerful American field artillery tube, the 175mm could fire a 150-pound projectile 32,690 meters and effectively return fire on any enemy gun that could hit it.

Many of the grunt companies ran operations out of Camp Carroll. The 3rd Marine Division began relying on highly mobile postures rather than remaining in their fixed positions as sitting targets.

Danang, Dong Ha, Quang Tri, Conthein, Cam Lo Rockpile, LZ Stud

Camp Carroll. Five kilometers west of Cam Lÿ, an unpaved road turns left off Hwy. 9 to the old US base at CampCarroll. Four kilometers farther from the paved road lies a bunker foundation and a pile of rocks that marks the spot of the former military base, whose function was to supply the Rockpile and Khe Sanh with artillery.

I obtained much of the above paragraph searching the "web". I knew the area. We drove through Cam Lo often. I was very familiar with Cam Lo. I have no recollection of "Cam Lÿ" at all. It just doesn't ring a bell. So I don't know what "they" are referring to unless "they" are referring to Cam Lo which is the almost exact distance they are stating.

In 1968, I came into the country at Da Nang. We took a C-130 to Dong Ha. From there we were trucked to Camp Carroll.

We were there twice as security and a base camp. I got 2 strains of malaria at a base camp called C-2 which was between Cam Lo and Con Thien. I was at C-2 with malaria for more than four days. We then moved north to Con Thien. Con Thien was the closest point to North Vietnam and the DMZ. I was sick there for a couple days. The two types of malaria I had were vivax and falciperum. I would be sick as the bacteria grew. I would have ague- headache, fever, chills. I would toss my cookies and feel better which was just temporary. The cycle of bacteria growing would repeat. I was finally med·e·vaced by being told to stand on the road and wait for a vehicle going south. First- the road had to be swept for mines. Finally after hours of sitting there with a "repair tag" tied to my flak-jacket, with a temperature of 104, I was given a ride to the Cam Lo River where the truck driver and passenger were to fill the truck's tank with water for Con Thien. So I had to walk across the pontoon bridge and through the village of Cam Lo to the base camp. This individual story is much longer but I'm just pointing out I have no idea where Cam Lÿ is but possibly it's another name for Cam Lo.

Con Thien

Con Thien

Con Thien is famous for a siege it survived in September 1968. Con Thien means "Hill of Angels." It should have been named "Hill of Death." During the siege, 1,800 Marines were killed or wounded.

When I was there Con Thien looked just like this. It was barren like many or all "posts" but very bleak. You never minded getting the heck out of this hell!

I carried more ammo than anyone I saw. I would inherit bandoleers of magazines from parting Marines, those going home.

We had a "target practice" at Con Thien. Most of the magazines were full of dried mud and didn't work! I cleaned them all.

Camp Carroll- I'm pretty sure!

I didn't like Camp Carroll. We were often sitting ducks there. During the monsoons it was particularly bad. The NVA already had their "bead" on us and lobbed their rockets in the clouds and rain. It's one thing to have an enemy so lethal and then to have one that you couldn't reach out and be lethal back to was demoralizing. They wreaked so much havoc and we couldn't return the favor.

It was like Khe Sahn- not as bad -but it was in the open. We were pigeons. That's what Vietnam was about though. We were to keep the casualties "up" for the North Vietnamese. To do that- and in many conflicts -we who are but serial numbers were left out in the open to draw attacks so that superior fire power from artillery and planes could reap the "harvest".

I hated Camp Carroll, C-2, Con Thien, etc. these were big clay open ares where we filled sandbags until we were spent. There is an unmistakable sound of a rocket missing you. It sounds like a rocket.

Toward the end of my "stretch" in Vietnam I was surprised to find out that Camp Carroll was abandoned and imploded like Khe Sahn.

I was doing a "search" on the web Marines I served with and bases a couple years ago.

I "searched" "Camp Carroll". What I got was "Surrender at Camp Carroll"

Camp Carroll

How could a "surrender" be possible? I was "in country" when Camp Carroll was abandoned and imploded!

I would find that Camp Carroll had been resurrected!

It was raised again as an artillery base.

North In South Vietnam

Quang Tri and Thua Thien, are more than 450 miles from Saigon, the capital. These are the northernmost provinces of the Republic of Vietnam, To the north is the demilitarized zone. To the east is the South China Sea. To the south is Quang Nam Province. To the west is the mountainous Laotian border and frontier.

The terrain is dominated by hills and the Annamite Mountains, except for the narrow piedmont coastal plains, The mountains have steep slopes, sharp crests, and narrow valleys. They are covered mainly by a dense broadleaf evergreen forest. Most of the peaks are from 4,000 to 7,000 feet high, but some rise above 8,000 feet. The narrow coastal plains flank the highlands on the east. They are sectioned by rocky headlands and consist of belts of sand dunes.

There is a "divide" at the crests that allow the drainage of streams to flow either east towards the South China Sea or west into Laos or Cambodia.

The streams flowing eastward are swift and follow short courses through deep narrow valleys over rocky bottoms until they reach the coastal plains, where they slow down and disperse over silty and sandy bottoms. The streams flowing westward follow longer traces, sometimes through deep canyons, other times through poorly drained valleys like the coastal plains in the east and are subject to flooding.

"Operations" were most affected by the rugged, forested mountains and hills, and the seasonally flooded lowland plains with various agricultural features. Much of the heavy fighting was to take place in the jungle , dense undergrowth, canopied forest, and steep rugged mountains along the demilitarized zone at the Rock Pile, Khe Sanh, and A Shau.

Weather played a dominant role during the Tet offensive and with operations at Khe Sanh and A Shau. The northeastern coast of South Vietnam and the adjacent Laotian panhandle have distinct wet and dry seasons. The monsoon season is horrible!

From May through September across the mountains to the west in the Laotian panhandle is heavy and frequent rain, high humidity, maximum cloudiness. During the wet season in the northern provinces temperatures often drop to 45 degrees, requiring issuance of warm clothing to the troops. This is an important logistical consideration. I remember being above Khe Sahn on a Mountain we only knew as McClintock, we were cold. We had no warning about where we were going and it was a cold surprise. It was somewhere over here that I first heard banana trees growing. They make a crunching/squeaky sound!

In the mountain plateau and plains of the northeast coast from May through September it is a dry, hot, and dusty. season .

From November to mid-March the northeast monsoon carries the wet season to the coastal region of Vietnam while across the mountains in Laos the weather is hot and dry.

From January through April the mountain plateau and northeast coast are subject to the "crachin," a period of low cloud, fog, and drizzle or light rain which reduces ceilings and visibility. There is a lot of torrential rain and flash floods. Flash floods are many extra problems- even in peace times. Both the northeast and the the southeast monsoons exerted an influence on military operations unmatched elsewhere in Vietnam. This was I Corps Tactical Zone!

The roads in the region were poorly developed. There was only one all-weather road. Route 9, connected the coast of Quang Tri province with the western mountains. In Thua Thien an extremely primitive road, Route 547, ran south and west from Hue into the A Shau Valley. The major north-south road was Highway 1, which ran north from the port of Da Nang in Quang Nam Province through the Hai Van Pass to Hue. From Hue the road continued north through the towns of Quang Tri and Dong Ha to Gio Linh, almost at the demilitarized zone, thence on into North Vietnam.

The war in Vietnam was a fluid one with no front lines. The enemy was tough, versatile, tenacious, and cunning. He possessed strong entrenchments in the villages, mountain hideouts, and jungle redoubts. He was difficult to find and identify.

"Surrender of Camp Carroll"

The North Vietnamese were set on taking CampCarroll. An artillery regiment, along with infantry, from the west easily took Firebase Khe Gio and was to capture Nui Ba Ho and Sarge. The Easter Offensive on 30 March were aimed at CampCarroll.

The bombardment instilled fear and chaos to the South Vietnamese. Disorganized troops from the 56th ARVN Regiment rushed for the relative safety of CampCarroll. This made a mockery of the troop rotation that began at mid-day. 1,800 soldiers poured into CampCarroll. The rest of the regiment just fled. The regimental commander, Lieutenant Colonel Pham Van Dinh, tried to contact his battalion commanders. Very few answered the radio.

Lieutenant Colonel Dinh had been a hero in the South Vietnamese Army. In 1968 during the TET Offensive he had earned the nick-name "Young Lion". He had personally placed South Vietnam’s colors back on top of the citadel in Hue after his unit helped to take the old city back from the North Vietnamese. But Dinh’s leadership abilities seemed to have eroded. He was once a trim fighter in an immaculate uniform. But by 1972 he had become a pudgy man. He was now more a politician than a soldier. Military affairs were left to his executive officer. This was Lieutenant Colonel Vinh Phong, a man known for his dislike of American advisers.

Camp Carroll Artillery Supports Khe Sahn

Lieutenant Colonel William Camper was one of two American advisors assigned to the 56th ARVN Regiment. He was the senior officer. But Camper was probably the most experienced combat adviser on Advisory Team 155. He had first served with the 2d ARVN Regiment in 1964 and 1965. Camper was back in Vietnam again in 1972. Again he was assigned to his old unit. Camper found himself with a green unit caught flatfooted in the middle of an artillery bombardment. They were occupying the most crucial plot of ground in western QuangTriProvince.

He sweated out constant bombardment for two days. This damaged most of the radio equipment and all  generators. Camper had only a backpack radio allowing him to talk with superiors. Even that was undependable.  Artillery rounds shredded his outside antenna on a regular basis. During this time dense clouds kept most of the fighter planes or helicopter gun ships on the ground back in Danang. Air support would be limited to B-52’s. There were not even enough of the big bombers to go around. Because there were no American advisers at the battalion level, Camper had no clear idea of the condition of the 56th ARVN Regiment. Could the soldiers stand up to a concerted infantry assault and would they?

North Vietnamese Artillery

North Vietnamese artillery pounds ARVN positions during the 1972 Easter Offensive. The 130 mm towed field gun had a range of 30 kilometers and played a major role during the offensive.
North Vietnamese artillery pounds ARVN positions during the 1972 Easter Offensive. The 130 mm towed field gun had a range of 30 kilometers and played a major role during the offensive.

Camp Carroll was a formidable stronghold. It was situated in the low foothills on the eastern slopes of the AnnamiteMountains. The firebase controlled the terrain for fifteen miles in all directions. Behind heavy timbers, sandbags, and rolls of razor wire squatted a network of reinforced bunkers and one of the most awesome arrays of artillery in all of I Corps. There was a battery of 175mm howitzers. This was one of the biggest field artillery pieces in the world. The arsenal had been left by the last elements of the 101st Airborne Division when they departed in early March 1972. CampCarroll held twenty-two artillery pieces. Among these were 155mm and 105mm batteries. There were scores of heavy machine guns and small arms positions. CampCarroll was clearly the best hope for QuangTriProvince’s northwestern front. General Giai ordered the 56th ARVN Regiment to hold CampCarroll at all costs.

Camper was more concerned about the fate of his deputy adviser Major Joseph Brown.  Major Joseph Brown, had been with the supply column during the opening salvo on 30 March and he had not been seen since. On the night of April 1st Camper got good news: Major Brown and part of the supply train had managed to evade North Vietnamese units.  They entered CampCarroll from the east. The remnants of a battalion had been overrun at Khe Gio Firebase earlier in the day. They also wandered in. Khe Gio was one of the first defensive positions to fall. The Vietnamese divisions were gathering in the west. The two advisers settled down in their dank bunker lit only by a sputtering candle. They opened a pair of warm Cokes and pondered the future.

The next day was Easter Sunday and the pressure increased at dawn. The 24th North Vietnamese Army Regiment raged against CampCarroll. The enemy found the base was not as easy to conquer as the small firebases they had trampled in the two days preceding. By noon the attacks had died down.

"Happy Easter," Major Brown said dryly during a lull in the fighting. The two officers toasted the Easter Sunday over cups of warm C-ration coffee. Three 130 mm artillery rounds crashed into the compound. The advisers checked the perimeter between artillery rounds. Camper and Brown donned their flak jackets and stepped outside. A light drizzle cloaked the base and shrouded the silent South Vietnamese artillery positions in a ghostly gray pall. Nothing was moving. The South Vietnamese soldiers manning the perimeter had dug in as deep as they could. They were hoping to escape the artillery and the rain. The advisers ran from bunker to bunker, They paused to talk with the frightened soldiers. They were doing what they could to help.

An FAC came up on the radio saying he had two Air Force fighters overhead. Did CampCarroll need them? Camper pondered the offer a moment. Firebases to the southwest were barely clinging to life. Camper told his support, "Send them to someone who needs them more."

The FAC acknowledged, and then the radio went dead. The silence after a conversation with a FAC was always a little depressing. The FAC’s were a vital lifeline between the vulnerable advisers on the ground and the awesome cudgel of American aerial firepower.

Con Thien

The advisers tended to the South Vietnamese. Many were wounded, though none seriously. Brown dressed a dirty shoulder wound on one man. Camper attended to some shrapnel in the leg of another. Then the two advisers noticed that there were no officers to be seen anywhere.

Camper asked the wounded soldier, "Where is your dai uy, your captain?" The man shrugged. He then grimaced as Camper tightened the dressing. He replied that he hadn’t seen any of the officers for hours,  since the last round of fighting began.

A few hours later, Camper was still puzzled at the disappearance of the South Vietnamese officers. The answer would probably be with Colonel Dinh at the regimental command post. After listening for incoming rounds at the bunker entrance, they sprinted across to the command bunker.

Lieutenant Colonel Vinh Phoy was tanding in the covered entrance of the big regimental bunker. This was Dinh’s executive officer. Camper and Brown saluted.  Phoy ignored them. Camper and Phoy hated each other. Phoy despised all Americans. Camper described their relationship as being "like matches and gasoline."

"We’re looking for Colonel Dinh. Is he around?" asked Camper

Lieutenant Colonel Phoy did not answer for a second. He was letting his disdain for the foreigners show clearly. When he spoke, his words were short: "The colonel is in a staff meeting."

Camper and Brown looked at each other. Advisers were supposed to be present at all staff meetings. Phoy blocked the way as they moved for the door. "The colonel does not wish to be disturbed," he said.

The Americans knew arguing was futile. As they turned to go back to their bunker, Camper looked back over his shoulder and said, "I’ll check back later."

The bombardment ceased at noon. This left the South Vietnamese to wonder what would be next. At 2:00 PM Colonel Dinh emerged from the command bunker and strolled over to see Camper and Brown. The advisors saw him coming and went out to greet him.

The two Americans saluted. "Everyone refuses to fight, " Dinh said, gazing down at his feet. "I tried to bolster their spirit, but they want to surrender.

Camper was stunned. In Camper’s wildest nightmares he never imagined anything like this. This was a disaster. He tried to reason with the demoralized commander. He tried to tell him that together they could talk the officers into fighting. Dinh shook his head. "No one will fight. I shot one man to persuade the others to fight, but they will not. I have been in touch with the National Liberation Front Forces and they have promised to treat my men well. This is the only way to prevent more death." Then Dinh asked, "Do you want to surrender with us?"

"NO," was all Camper could say. This was why the enemy artillery bombardment stopped, thought camper. He wanted to kill this coward. Dinh insisted that he had tried to get his men to fight. Camper doubted it. It was probably Dinh’s idea to surrender, thought Camper.

Dinh suggested, "You and Major Brown can hide among our troops as they go outside the gate you can fall into the tall grass and crawl away." Dinh was trying to show that he was not panicking, that the decision to surrender had been reached rationally.

Camper shook his head. It was not acceptable. He and Brown would find some way out of the camp. Then Colonel Dinh made another absurd offer. "If it will save face, we can commit suicide tighter," he offered.

"Americans don’t do that," Camper replied. Camper pointed out there were still a few operational light tanks in the camp. Two of them were mounted with 40mm cannons, called Dusters. These could be used to spearhead a breakout. Maybe they could link up with the defenders at Mai Loc just to the south. Some South Vietnamese Marines and their American advisors were still there. These were not scathed by the NVA yet.

"It will not work," Dinh said.

Camper was furious. However he could not show it now. Rage contributed nothing to the situation. All that mattered was getting out of CampCarroll. He and Major Brown were on their own. "Colonel, we wish you luck," Camper said as he prepared to leave. "Major Brown and I will take care of ourselves from this moment on. We can no longer advise you, and you no longer have any responsibility to us. You must do what you think is best and we will do the same."

Dinh had one request. "Please do not tell General Giai that I am surrendering," he asked.

Camper had to consciously stop himself from aiming his rifle with the coward’s chest and pulling the trigger. But even if the other South Vietnamese officers did not kill him for such an act, he would still have accomplished nothing. Lieutenant Colonel Vinh would surrender anyway.

"I’m not concerned about General Giai. All I care about is us." Camper gestured toward Major Brown as he spoke. "I will call my senior officer and notify him of what is happening."

The gray mist was an appropriate somber backdrop for the incredible events unfolding at CampCarroll. The Americans returned to their bunker to come up with a plan of their own.

http://www.vnafmamn.com/surrender_carroll.html

The Entrance to Camp Carroll as I remember it.
The Entrance to Camp Carroll as I remember it.

Brown destroyed classified documents and gathered up gear and ammunition for the escape. Camper radioed his superiors at the Team 155 headquarters in Ai Tu, the 3d ARVN Division forward headquarters northwest of QuangTriCity. Camper was vague on the radio. He did not want to give anything away to the enemy. They were certainly monitoring the airwaves. Because Colonel Dinh had quietly negotiated surrender with the North Vietnamese was strong evidence that there was American radio equipment in enemy hands.

"The American advisers at CampCarroll are no longer needed with the 56th Regiment. We are leaving the perimeter for Mai Loc at once," he said cryptically. He then waited for a reply.

The call came into Ai Tu just after 3:00 PM. The radioman at the division bunker asked for clarification. "What’s the reason for your departure?"

"Can’t say over the radio," Camper replied.

Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Turley was the U.S. Marine officer suddenly left in command of the 3d ARVN Division forward advisory base at Ai Tu. When he heard the message he was furious. There was a lot to worry about and now a couple of damned Army officers were trying to bug out when the situation got hot. He snatched the radio handset and barked his orders.

"Damn it, Colonel, stay at your post and do your job."

Camper was taken aback but it was an order from a superior. "Roger. Out." Camper put down the radio and nodded knowingly to Brown.

Turley was under great pressure as acting senior adviser and he had made the wrong call. Lieutenant Colonel Turley realized he had violated the unwritten "adviser’s code" by ordering Camper to remain at his post. Only the man on the ground could accurately judge the combat situation. Since there were few Americans left, it was imperative that decisions be left to the adviser in the field.

Neither man was  intending to stay in CampCarroll despite the direct order. Major Brown dumped kerosene on everything that was to be left behind. They Gathered up their weapons and gear and put them just outside the bunker.  Camper then lit several thermite grenades and threw them inside. The explosion set off the kerosene and soon the bunker was burning.

Two South Vietnamese radio operators asked to go along with the Americans. They were assigned to Camper by Dinh. The men had formed a good relationship. The more men the better reasoned Camper, especially if they would fight and he felt these men would.

South Vietnamese officers were moving from bunker to bunker, rousting out the frightened soldiers. They moved toward the center of the perimeter. There they milled around waiting for orders. What a tragedy, thought Camper. CampCarroll was not in bad shape and could probably hold its own against the present North Vietnamese attack. 1,800 soldiers inside the perimeter was a strong force. The artillery batteries could easily batter the enemy, if the South Vietnamese gunners would only emerge from their holes and fire them. They were willing enough to come out to surrender.

The Americans and their two South Vietnamese compatriots were packed up and ready to go. Each shed all but the most essential equipment. They were keeping mostly ammunition and water. At 3:20 PM Camper radioed Ai Tu again. This time his message was more specific. His voice was more adamant. There was nothing to hide. "We’re leaving CampCarroll," said Camper. It was a statement. It was not a request. "The Base commander wants to surrender. The white flag is going up in ten minutes."

Camper had a final word with the regimental operations officer, the only South Vietnamese in the camp who spoke English well. With nothing left to lose, and still insulted at being deceived by Colonel Dinh, Camper spoke his mind. "You don’t know what you are doing," he said. "You are a coward and should come with us and we will fight our way out." The man bowed his head and said he would have to follow orders. Those were the last words Camper spoke to any South Vietnamese officer from the regiment.

The four men walked down the low hill from their bunker toward the southeastern edge of the perimeter. They moved through groups of soldiers who were stacking their weapons in piles. Officers stood silently by. Camper did not want to look. Nothing was more discusting to a professional military man than cowardice. At CampCarroll it was especially demoralizing. There was no reason to surrender. It reminded him of a movie he had seen as a youngster about the American surrender to the Japanese at Corrigedor in the early days of World War II. Poor leadership was the only explanation for what was happening. Camper tried to stop thinking about it as he and the other three began cutting through the jagged coils of sharp razor wire.

Fire Support Base Mai Loc was only two miles south of CampCarroll. It may as well have been a hundred miles away. Outside the perimeter lay a network of mines. Beyond that was the enemy. The small group neared the outer ring of concertina wire. The North Vietnamese spotted them. The enemy had refrained from firing on CampCarroll as surrender was proceeding. However, escape was not permitted. Some of the North Vietnamese moved to cut off the escape. As they closed in, Major Brown and the two South Vietnamese radiomen opened fire. Camper reached for the radio and called Ai Tu.

"We’re pinned down just outside the perimeter," Camper yelled over the staccato bursts of his teammates’ rifles. Team 155 operations officer, Major "Jimmy" Davis,   answered the call. By this time, everybody at Ai Tu was aware of the touch-and-go situation up at CampCarroll. The safety of the American advisers was paramount.

Fortune smiled on the besieged quartet. A combination of lucky timing by a re-supply helicopter and quick thinking on the part of the radio operators at Ai Tu intervened against fate. The advisers were snatched from certain death.

"There’s a Chinook lifting ammunition to the Marines at Mai Loc in the air. I’ll try to get him," said Captain Amery. The Captain was one of the Team 155 operations watch team who were manning the radios.

The CH-47 cargo helicopter was going to Mai Loc with badly needed 105mm howitzer rounds for the desperate defenders. It was pure chance the radiomen were able to find the correct frequency.

"We’ve got two Americans at CampCarroll who need your help. The ARVN are surrendering and the bad guys are closing in."

"Roger" The pilot dropped into Mai Loc and released the ammunition pallets slung in a net beneath the helicopter. Instead of landing and shedding the rest of its cargo, the Chinook climbed back into the sky, heeled over, and turned north toward CampCarroll. The Marine advisers called frantically asking why the chopper was not landing. The pilot had already switched frequencies and did not hear the call.

Lieutenant Colonel Camper had no idea what was happening. Coachman 005 was just another straw to grasp at. He was told to switch radio frequency by the radioman in Ai Tu.  He then called the big helicopter.

Coachman 005 replied immediately, "I read you loud and clear. We’re inbound to your position. Give me instructions."

Camper had little time to think. The North Vietnamese were closing in around them. The Chinook could not land outside the wire. They had to go back into CampCarroll the way they had come. "Look for the windsock next to the helipad inside the perimeter," he radioed. "Land there. We’re outside the wire, but will pull back through the wire.”

Camper motioned to the other three men. They were all still firing coolly and deliberately at the NVA. "Pull back. There’s a chopper coming in to get us."

The men ran for the cut perimeter wire. The North Vietnamese stopped firing. They thought the fleeing men had been driven back into CampCarroll with the others. The deep thump of the CH-47’s twin rotors were heard over the treetops, but Camper couldn’t see the helicopter.

The North Vietnamese saw the helicopter first. The pilot was oblivious to the sharp bursts of small arms fire that was targeted at the racing chopper,

"Watch out. That’s the enemy firing at you," radioed Camper. "Must be the same company that pinned us down."

The Chinook came into view. Camper and the North Vietnamese were surprised. Behind the Chinook was a pair of Cobra gunships. It was their job to protect the big CH-47 against this sort of threat. They slashed down and peppered the North Vietnamese with rockets. The North Vietnames scattered. The Cobras continued to circle back and forth as the cargo helicopter swooped in low.

The door gunner in the Chinook saw the wind sock first. He was leaning out of the chopper’s side door over his M60 machine gun. He kept his eyes on the landing pad while calling out directions to the pilot. Then he hammered away at the running shapes of North Vietnamese soldiers below.

The South Vietnamese inside CampCarroll watched the entire episode. None lifted a hand to help. They never fired a rifle to support the advisers as they were attacked. Now, as they saw the helicopter coming in, they sprang to life. Many of soldiers raced for the helicopter. As the wheels touched down they swarmed all over it.

Major Brown and the two South Vietnamese radiomen were the first on the Chinook. Camper turned to climb in and he was almost thrown aside by South Vietnamese soldiers. He sternly stood on the ramp and allowed only the soldiers who were still carrying weapons on to get on the helicopter. The rest were cowards who did not deserve to get out of the base. They decided to surrender. Let them live with the decision, Camper reasoned.

One unarmed soldier tried to slip by. Camper grabbed him by the shirt and flung him from the helicopter. Two more skulked up the ramp. They too were hoping to slip by. Camper forcefully pushed them back.

"Colonel, for God’s sake, let’s get out of here," yelled Brown. The North Vietnamese had recovered and were shooting at the helicopter from just outside the wire. The pilot revved the turbines in anticipation of a fast getaway. The Ch-47 bounced and jigged from side to side as the rotors pulled it slightly off the ground. Finally Camper was aboard. The helicopter roared into the sky and veered hard to the southeast toward QuangTriCity. About thirty South Vietnamese soldiers rode out of CampCarroll with the American advisers. All of them had their rifles.

The helicopter pilot reported over the radio that he saw white flags going up all over. What a tragedy and disgrace, thought Camper.

DMZ Firebases

Some of the South Vietnamese inside CampCarroll did not surrender. One Marine artillery battery that was placed inside the firebase to augment support to the Marine units on the western perimeter, radioed Mai Loc saying they would not surrender. As the North Vietnamese marched through the front gates to accept the 56th ARVN Regiment’s easy surrender, Bravo Battery lowered its guns and fired point blank. They fought to the last man.

All the infantry units did not go along with Colonel Pham Van Dinh’s decision to give up. A battalion of 300 men rallied behind its commander and broke free of the perimeter. After a few days the unit made it east to Dong Ha. They were tired and shell-shocked but most of the soldiers still had their weapons. By mid-April almost 1,000 soldiers from the ill-fated 56th ARVN Regiment had filtered through enemy lines to Dong Ha, Quang Tri, and Ai Tu. Then they were sent south to Danang for refitting and retraining before being sent back to combat in QuangNamProvince.

The ordeal of the American advisers was not over yet. Ground fire hit a hydraulic line running the Chinook’s rear rotors. The engine pressure began to fall. It couldn’t fly to QuangTriCity. The helicopter was forced to land at the first level spot they could find. This spot was right in the middle of Route 1 near the coast. Unfortunately, the enemy was already there. The chopper alit in the midst of an enemy 122mm rocket barrage.

Camper and Brown dashed to the side of the road. They dove into a ditch. Bullets whined overhead. This was punctuated by occasional incoming rockets. They crawled along the side of the road. Finally the Americans ran into a jeep carrying two advisers from a tank unit forging north to reinforce the 3d ARVN Division. Camper was the senior officer. They all agreed to set up a defensive perimeter and wait out the North Vietnamese attack. Meanwhile, Camper radioed FRAC asking for a B-52 strike on CampCarroll. He didn’t care if the surrendering regiment was still there. He wanted the base destroyed before the enemy could take over the base artillery and turn it against the South Vietnamese who were still fighting. The  enemy actually made no attempt to use the big guns captured at CampCarroll. The North Vietnamese knew they would be bombed into oblivion if they remained in the base. CampCarroll was quickly abandoned. A few of the artillery pieces were towed out. Much later a 175mm gun was placed on display in Hanoi as a symbol of the North Vietnamese Army’s battle prowess.

When the firefight died down, Camper called for another helicopter to take them to Ai Tu. The armor advisers continued their drive north. Camper and Brown flew up to the division headquarters in QuangTriCity.

Camper’s boss, Colonel Metcalf, the senior adviser to the 3d ARVN Division, asked what had happened. Camp Carroll was a crucial piece in northern I Corp’s crumbling puzzle but there were other pressing issues keeping Colonel Metcalf busy. He had to know the story.

General Giai too was in the command bunker. Camper recited the story about Dinh’s cowardly surrender. Giai was furious. His anger was directed at Camper, not Dinh. The "Young Lion of Hue’ could not possibly have surrendered his regiment. In Giai’s mind it was Camper who was the coward. He believed that the American advisers had run. He believed the South Vietnamese were abandoned to their fate. But the advisers at Ai Tu knew what had happened. They had radioed QuangTriCity. It was soon very obvious that CampCarroll had surrendered when all communication with the 56th ARVN Regiment suddenly went off the air at about 3:30 PM.

It was the next day, April 3rd, that the fate of the 56th ARVN Regiment became clear to the South Vietnamese general. A radio broadcast was picked up by American monitors. Colonel Pham Van Dinh was helping the North Vietnamese exploit their victory. He was fully cooperative with his new masters. He told his former brothers in arms, "I think that your continued sacrifice at this time means nothing….Find out how to get in touch with the NLF (National Liberation Forces, the Viet Cong) in order for you to return to the people. Your action will effectively assist in ending the war quickly and also save your life." Dinh also confessed that "My personal feeling is that the NLF is going to win the war. The NLF is ready all the time to welcome you back. The NLF is expecting you to return very soon." An orderly retreat was also out of the question he maintained, because "Most of the troops of my unit in all ranks refused to fight anymore."

Major Ton That Man was an infantry battalion commander at CampCarroll. He also cooperated with his captors. In another radio broadcast he recalled that the base "shook and wavered at the very first shellings by PLAF (People’s Liberation Armed Forces)….In such a situation, how could we continue to fight? Our regiment’s commander then summoned a briefing…a meeting of particular significance for it decided on the fate of 600 officers and men in this base. Within only five minutes, all agreed to offer no more resistance and decided to go over to the Liberation forces’ side."

Colonel Metcalf ordered the weary advisers to FRAC headquarters in Danang for reassignment. Later in the day General Giai called and asked Camper to return to Quang Tri to talk. The general sounded understanding this time. He had heard the radio broadcast. He had spoken with some of the soldiers who had come out on the Chinook with Camper. He finally knew the real story. Giai apologized. Colonel Metcalf reassigned Camper as senior adviser to the 2d ARVN Regiment, his old unit. Major Brown was again his deputy.

Cua Viet and Dong Ha

To Lieutenant Colonel William Camper the surrender of CampCarroll was a betrayal honor. He was consulted by his counterpart, Colonel Dinh. And worse, from a tactical point of view, there was no need to give up. They should have continued to fight. The I Corps leadership was stunned at CampCarroll’s surrender. I Corps deputy senior adviser, Brigadier General Thomas Bowen, recalled later that "until CampCarroll was lost we didn’t get too excited."

Camp Carroll was now in enemy hands.  The Ring of Steel was fatally punctured. The big 175mm guns had provided a security for the other bases facing the Laotian border. After April 2nd, only Mai Loc stood. But the loss of CampCarroll robbed Mai Loc of artillery support. This made it very vulnerable to ground attack. The North Vietnamese, smelled blood and quickly attacked.

Camp Carroll’s surrender came as a shock and terrible blow to the Marine advisers at Mai Loc. They knew they were next. Mai Loc could now be easily encircled by North Vietnamese forces. By 4:00 PM, what had been a sporadic enemy bombardment turned into a continuous and crushing pounding. The Marines identified this as the prelude to an all-out infantry assault. The South Vietnamese Marines bravely fired back. Their howitzers were no match for the communist 130mm guns. An hour later the Marines fired their last round. Mai Loc was evacuated on the evening of April 2nd.

NVA Tanks

North Vietnamese T-54 tanks roll into action during the Easter Offensive. Image Credit: NATIONAL ARCHIVES
North Vietnamese T-54 tanks roll into action during the Easter Offensive. Image Credit: NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Who Wrote The "Surrender Of Camp Carroll"?

This is not my document above and the same that is found at the website below.

The dates and figures portrayed here are documented as being factual.

If you follow the link you will find no author.

Still in Saigon -Charlie Daniels

Sam Sanchez

Old Crow Medicine Show - Big Time In The Jungle

I put this video of Sam Sanchez here because he and I were in the Vietnam at the same time and at the same places and took part in the same operations. He and I shared the same MOS. MOS is "your job". This is what you are trained to do.

A rifleman is 0311. A machine gunner is 0331. Mortars are 0341.(if I remember correctly)

Sanchez and I were 0351. We were trained in demolitions, the flame thrower, the bazooka or it's replacement the LAAW-light antitank assault weapon, and the 106 recoiless rifle.

Sanchez and I carried the M-60 machine gun which was not in our MOS but we were trained in all the other weapons as well. Our specific MOS was 0351.

I mostly carried the M-60 on mine sweeps.

Camp Carroll, Vietnam

The fellow above was at Camp Carroll in 1968 as I was-68 & 69.

He will mention Dong Ha Mountain. When I was "in country" we had Marines on top of Dong Ha Mountain all the time. I was there several times. The rats were horrible up there. They were running up my leg one night as I stood watch.

Later a cave was found below the top. Inside the cave there was a false floor. In there was a rocket that was used against us at Camp Carroll.

The videos below are a bit educational about the area around the DMZ as well!

It was recently "pointed out" by an American FOOL here on hubpages that I, being a Vietnam Veteran, should know better than to desire a "communistic health-care plan".

You damn fool- don't get me started! You are a fool!

Jesus gave His health-care away! Done deal-nuff said!

MUSIC OF THE VIETNAM WAR

Unknown Soldier- The Doors

Remembering Vietnam war - Music Video

Rolling Stones - Paint it Black , Vietnam Images

Comments 57 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I am glad to read all the story about this camp. You had success to write about all the Carol Camp history. I read one by one and I am impressed with all the picture. I just say to you. This is totally complete hub. two thumbs up for you. Good work, Micky.

I rate this hub UP!


Rossimobis profile image

Rossimobis 6 years ago from Biafra

Hey! Bro Micky,i have a dedication for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An7IZBBATTM&feature...

That's Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu on white then my late dad was among the Biafra marines(CIVILIAN TURNED COMBATS WITH NO MAJOR TRAINING),you carried M-60 but my late dad and his comrades carried, i think they call it "COCK AND SHOOT"...

You always trill me with your hubs!(Peace).


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

I have been here in your hub for the past 25 minutes reading and watching videos. The thought of my Mickydee standing there with rats running up his legs while standing watch--just brings it on home for me.

This hub is so helpful-allowing me a glimpse into your past and just the feelings I had while reading this....whew! My heart is so sad for the men who did not return from this hell. God brought you home--certainly amazing that through all this hell-some were brought home. It hardly feels like a place anyone could survive...but you did.

I want to thank you again-and for all of our Vietnam soldiers-those that left to go to heaven and those who returned to a crummy azz country-with crummy azz disrespect and lack of honor for all of you. I make my apologies for them--ALL of them--all of the American FOOLS that couldn't be in one pinky finger what you and our Vets were back then--and what you all ARE right now..OUR WARRIOR SOLDIERS with COMPLETE HONOR!!!

I love you Mickydee!! I THINK YOU ROCK!!! THIS STORY WAS SAD but truthful and gives many people just a glimse of what they could never imagine in their foolish american minds-nor could they handle if it was them.

Stand up Mickydee and know at this very second--I am saluting you and all your brothers--You all ROCK! ROCK! ROCK!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Prasetio. It's a hub that's overdue. It was pushed by some guy who wants people to think he's a great American. It's a small world Prasetio. We are Earthlings and we should represent ourselves as such. Let's fight the good fight for a worthy cause. Thank you Sir!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you so very much Rossimobis. That was a very inspirational video. I think you speak of a bolt action carbine like the M-1- but it's all weaponry. Usually the most fire power wins. Peace my Brother Rossimobis! Peace!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Ghost. I really appreciate you. I get so weary of the "pretenders", the people who wave that flag and don't really stand for anything but a corporation. God help us. Somebody wants to tell me how to be an American.

I get weary of the propaganda, the hype, the hyperbole, the never-ending rhetoric.

Some have no answer and no reply for the injustice systems- that's with an "S". They say that "communism is coming- look out- communism is coming! Obama is carrying communism". He very well may be carrying some. They say that "slavery is coming- run for your lives -slavery is coming". Get real!

What is the National Debt? Did the future children cause that? Slavery has been here. Every birth certificate has a stock-exchange number on it.

Our children have to accept that some of their lives can only be changed by going to some war these fools promote with lies- and it's never-ending! We're the most imprisoned nation on earth and slavery is coming?

These damn fools!

Thanks Ghost. I just get tired of Vietnam and every other damned ware being trivialized by great Americans!

Thank you Ma'am. I'm just tired. I'm weary. My grand-nephew is in Afghanistan. Will his grand-nephew be in a war? If we keep having the same leaders- yes -probably so. They can't come up with a better plan because these leaders are in it for the money.

It's wealth and power.

It's intimidation. The wrong education. Annihilation! There's no salvation for our nation! We need real conservation and preservation. No discrimination. We don't need an impersonation. We need illumination to meet better expectations. Keep that manipulation. We need information not eradication so that civilization can reach a culmination to the glorification of GOD!

Thank you Ghost!


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

We can not change these things Mickydee-we can hardly make people open their eyes to the illusion they have...you and I both know it is an illusion--so each day we live like it was our last and we love-and we give-and we treat each other like brother and sisters-and we fight the good fight-for one reason only...God. (I loved that last paragraph in your comment to me--you could be a famous Patriotic Vet rapper or something;) I love you! We love you here at the hubdeedubs! Reaching out and giving you a great big hug and then stepping back Sir and giving you another salute!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You're right Ghost. If they could open their hearts- their minds might follow. It's a dead end course that they're "dead-set" on. Thanks for coming back Ghost!


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Very informative read Micky, and I salute you also, for doing my bit in that war. I was a callow youth in the UK whilst you guys were facing off a determined enemy.

Have hope Micky, God rewards when we get home, and you are storing treasure in heaven.

John


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you John. War is hell no matter where it is. I'll be glad when there is nothing to fight over. I'll be glad when everyone praises the Golden Rule! Thanks


hotspur profile image

hotspur 6 years ago from England

This is a big hub Micky Dee with many things to tell. What strikes me most is how your own personal account of the small details feels so much more real and true than the 'historical' account of troop movements (however accurate or not). Think maybe war is easy to get into while you forget the individual, while you depersonalise with objectives and policies....which these days only make sense if you realise the objectives must be about oil and 'power' and arms dealing whatever our leaders say. Nice one Micky Dee!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hey Hotspur! I don't know about what others write.It seems so weird to me. Why aren't we taught more in schools coming up about "saving lives"? Trucks are blown up in front of me and "my job is to cover up and watch and return fire". A claymore mine goes off hitting one of us and I never see the guy again. I can't help him up to the LZ where a chopper will pick him up- I have to "hold this/that position". Other people seem to be able to paint a story of heroism. I wish I could. I wish someone could paint a beautiful picture of me being a hero- even dying -instead of my being here wondering why that didn't happen to me. Why has the horse-pucky in the United States happened to me? Why do I feel betrayed always and is it because another generation is being betrayed?

Hotspur- my story is so long. It is so frickin' frackin' long. People watch dramas- the greatest movies ever- with Leonard de Crapio or Ursela Somebody or whoever it is today. I have no interest. My life is drama. I am overloaded with it. These other stories are usually let-downs.

I'm sorry Brother Hotspur. I need a bike ride. Maybe a hundred miler. With heat and pain and misery to wipe out the pain and misery.

Thanks for stopping by Brother!


prettyunicorn profile image

prettyunicorn 6 years ago from Charleston, SC

I read your hubs and I don't even know what to say... so usually I say nothing. But I see, I feel, I cry... I understand. Thank you for sharing, for opening yourself up... for giving us all just a small glimpse of your amazing vision.

Our hundred mile bike ride was pretty painful yesterday, but not near enough to wipe out such pain and misery as you have witnessed. A good distraction, though.

Ride like the wind, my friend, and be free.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thanks Pretty Unicorn. Did you see any Bicycle Inn Jerseys. I had a friend or two down there. I "missed" that ride.

I've dwelled on this enough for the time being. I have these "triggers" that trigger these hubs and thoughts. Thanks for stopping by. Be safe! Ride like the wind!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Maybe it is Cam lo Mick, And I am so proud of you and all the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam war, the images and the accounts here are so vivid. I can feel almost your words, like when you say you are like pigeon holed? And you had malaria, God knows what are you feeling then, You remember it so well,very vivid, I think that you're the hero Mick, all of you who fought what is right. And this hub is comprehensive, I read it word for word, it is like I am there, I cringe about decriptions about memories of wars, and people, soldiers who left their families. I hope there is no more war like this, lessons learned and all my hats are off to you Mick, take care always, and get rest, Maita


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you for stopping by Maita. We tried to be heroes. We wanted to free the world of oppression. We didn't know where the oppression came from. We still don't know. Thanks Maita.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

it was funny because I went to a Vietnamese restaurant awhile ago and they have the music, I keep on remembering this hub, it is well written and full fo memories, I think a hub should not be well researched only but should have a heart on it, this is one of them, me I write for research at times, my other account alexandriaruth thats the name of my daughter -- should be geared towards more commercial ones, but then I dont think I can ever learn how to sell hehe, take care ok, Maita


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Maita.I love Vietnamese food. Thai food is the best I've ever had. I've had Thai food in the best restaurants in Bangkok and some of the best Thai food was wrapped in brown paper. I lived with a Thai lady for a short while. So I sure like "Down East" cooking.

Thank you for the nice things you say -to me- and to all of "hub-world!

Speaking of "selling"- I was in retail for 30 years. I only pointed out what my product was about and I gave more than my competitors. My competitors were sly/shrewd. I cannot "sell".

Thank you Maita.


liswilliams profile image

liswilliams 6 years ago from South Africa

you are a hero, Micky Dee :)


alexandriaruthk profile image

alexandriaruthk 6 years ago from US

Hi Micky! How are you Sir, am still your pretty but not a horse any more see -- white beach, hehe, take care!


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

For the TV it ended in '75 for the soldiers going back it ended in '80. A joint effort of all 4 branches returning to clear stock piles of fuel, ammo, helicopters, Hell fire artillery and it's munitions and the list goes on, had to be destroyed, much was taken to the Philippines and Okinawa. Will the names be added to the wall? Those years counted as well!I took discharge in '78 for many reasons, but no respect and failure to honor those fallen in clean up was number one!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Liswilliams. You are so very kind. When I grow up I want to be like 50 Caliber below us here! Thank you Dear Liswilliams!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi there Alexandriaruthk! I'm going to keep the secret of who you really are! That's a pretty beach!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo 50 Caliber Bro! There are still many injuries today from all the leftover weaponry. War just sucks and I say we outlaw it. Jesus would. Thank you Bro. You know I love you Man!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi Mick, a good heart can never be an enterpreneur hehe, I have been to Thailand as well and I love their food, not women, NAH, never hehe, hmm, Thai women are lovely, dont ya think they look like Filipnas as well. I know how to cook beef pho noodles Vietnamese specialty

BTW, my youtube is not working, I like to watch your videos, Night, Maita


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Maita- yes the Thai ladies do look like the Filipinas. The Thais live more off the land, I think, than I "have" as an American. I think they can make the finest meals from the simplest of ingredients. I bet you and other Filipinas are that way! Let's get that youtube fixed. Thank you Dear!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Impressive piece of work, Micky. Ought to be shown in schools. I remember all those songs , every one of them and it seems I was SO young then, but you and your buddies were the same age!!!! It's horrific.. I know it's not healthy for you to dwell too much on the war but I'm really grateful that now and then you can write a hub like this. You keep on cycling, please, and reminding us all of The Golden Rule. What a wonderful world it would be. I'm crying now, so have to get back to you later. xxx


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Dim Flaxenwick- you know I love you! Thank you dear and even though we'll never see each other- don't tell your husband or your cat!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

OK I promise.!!!!!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Somehow we see each other. Maybe in passing. Maybe on another plain. We'll keep a memory of this kindness. Somehow. Thank you Dim. Thank you Dear.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

There you go educating the indifferent, the apathetic, the unknowing and the ones who have no choice but to care when they know the truth of war and its costs. I appaud you professor Mickey D. escellent huband story.~~~MFB III


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

MFB III! I don't know if you're up early or late. This hub was on my mind for years. I guess I should go back and chop the "surrender story" by the unknown author up. and appease the hubpages Gods. It seems reasonable to leave it. It gives me a lower score but ain't running for mayor anyway.

One thing that prompted my doing this hub was another hub chastising me for being a Vietnam Veteran and wanting heath-care reform. I tried to tell him we were approaching "working for the heath-care industry" and other things but you can't talk to the thoroughly convinced about much.

Jesus was a communist. He gave food away and health-care. That's what He did. That Book of book says so.

Hey- I love you too so don't go telling your dogs and cats or anybody either!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

I will bookmark your page to sometime come back and finish watching the videos. I could not watch the music ones - tried a little and shut it off for now.

My brother was there -Purple Heart and others, and still bearing the scars today.

Thank you to all YOU Vietnam HEROES!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thanks Frogyfish. War continues to be hell. The whole world should walk softly. Thank you!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

Your own glimpse of the darkness of war and death leaves me choked up and speechless.All I can say you make me proud to be an American and appreciate all the freedoms I never will take for granted. Please God watch over us as you always do.I have never served in the armed service but I respect everyone who has.What a truthful and moving hub.I know it has brought back sad memories but hopefully all the good people you meet constantly out weigh the bad a million to one.


AAron N. Sumpter, Sr. 6 years ago

Hi Guys:

I arrived at Camp Carroll in October, 1968 and remained there until the base was closed. I was assigned to the Duster Unit up there Batery C 1st BN 44th ADA. We were the last to leave the top of that hill. We moved out base camp to Cam Lo. When I left country in October, 1969, Btry., C was still in Cam Lo, with a 3rd Marine Tank Company and a BN of CBES. I am very aquainted with the rats in the bunker at camp Carroll, the snakes, NVA incoming, especially that damn 122mm rocket, which also followed us to Cam Lo (the 122mm rockets). When I arrived at Camp Carroll, Cpt Floyd Meeks was the Brty Commander. He moved to Cam Lo with us and was later relieved by Cpt. Michaels. Meeks had a slogan "NO GLORY NO BALLS" an don th efront of his jeek was written "WAR LORD". We did not begin to loose guys in base camp, until Cpt Michaels begin to allow the locals to come into the Brty are to collect food scraps for his pigs (guys began to die from the incoming).


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thanks Brother AAron. I got there a few months before you.We were never in the bunkers at Camp Carroll. After we "went on some hikes" we were in "green" tents that leaked when it rained. We had ditches we dove into during the incoming.

I don't remember losing a person at Cam Lo. Yes Sir- I hated that incoming. It seems we were "edgy" from a lack of rest all the time.

Thank you AAron for stopping by. God bless! I'm glad you made it back.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon

Another great Hub, gave me chills when I read it. It is taking me awhile to read all your hubs, the ones that I have read are all very good. Bravo to you.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you Sir NamVetRich. I consider your "letter" more valuable in that those are written "logs" or testaments to your life - a 20th century soldier. Those letters should be cherished in the future but also - today! Thank you Sir!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Just had to come revisit this one. It touches me so much. The final video, Brothers in Arms is awesome. Thank you Micky, for everything....


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Oh Dim! You are so wonderful!


Phu Nguyen 6 years ago

This is a really informative. Thank you so much for Sumpter. I was born after the war, so it's good to learn from the Vets like you ? Have you ever been back to Caroll yet? I am living close to there, so may be i will be of use for you with my limited English.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Phu Nguyen! God bless you! Maybe I should go back to Vietnam to live. I have not been back to Camp Carroll. I love you country. I love your people. I am certainly interested in Vietnam. Please write to me anytime. You can send a starter email from my "profile page" at the top. God bless you and your family!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Both of my brothers served in Viet Nam. One was in the Navy and the one that saw the most action was in the Army serving as a crew chief/gunner aboard helicopters. He told me that the book "Let a Soldier Die" ( I believe that was the title) was the most realistic as to what he experienced. I read it and passed the book on to others. Both of my brothers are now both deceased.

I watched all the videos until the last 4 and decided to take a break. Will come back...

This is the type of real life experiences that should be shared with everyone to show the ugliness of war. Who wins in the end? Enemies/friends...all transient. Like the stock market. Up today/down tomorrow. What matters is people and as you so nicely reiterate...THE GOLDEN RULE.

Too bad that simple message takes so long to sink in to people's minds and hearts.

Rating this everything across the board except funny.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless your brothers Peggy. God bless Peggy! I love you Girl!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Both of them are now gone as are my parents, my mother dying just this last year. Now all I have are memories and pictures and many stories that can be shared with others. God bless you too, Micky!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

This was a very difficult Hub to read, not because of you, my dear brotherman, but because of the futility of it all, because of the lies, because of the deaths, too many deaths, both physical and spiritual.

It is sad because so many good, brave people like you risked so much, put your lives on the line, and in the end, what for?

It seems for the fat cats who never risked their butts, who never were knee-deep in the shit of war, who never sat on the roadside with a 104 temp waiting for a lift to somewhere where they could be taken care of. It makes me feel sick, really sick.

This Hub is also brilliant in that it brings home the grit, the dust and pain, the mud and blood, of fighting. I have never had to do that, I have never been there, and I know that I would have found it almost unbearable.

I salute you, my brotherman, I salute you and I love you!

Micky Dee is a very special person and I'm honoured to know him, even if only in a "virtual" sense here on HubPages. You are a treasure, sir! Don't ever stop telling it like it is, please. We need to hear these things. We need to learn from you.

Love and peace, my brother,

Tony


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless you Tony brotherman. I'm a bit speechless just now. When I see compassion like you show, it stops me in my tracks. It's such a weird bad dream Tony. We went to Vietnam for damn BUSINESS! I can't stop hating big business because nothing is sacred to business. The intent of business is to enslave. I hate big business. They murder. In the name of God, country, and family they murder. They put us all against one another. There will be a day of reckoning Tony. There will be a day. I love you Tony! God bless you brother. I need you and words like this from you as always. Thank you for lifting us up Tony. God bless you!


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

As I read this, I thought... and this is only some of the memories you carry with you. I am sending you a hug Micky!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago Author

God bless you toknowinfo. Thank you for your wonderful kindness.


Doug 4 years ago

The evacuation of the advisors at Camp Carroll didn't quite go as this story is written. I was the Flight enginer on the CH 47 that recovered them. Doug

kasiai@msn.com


stump 4 years ago

I was with the first unit to move from just west of Cam Lo to "Arty Hill", later named Camp Carroll. We were the 105 battery called Golf-3-12 best damn unit in Nam to support Operation Hastings and Prarie. Carroll was were I turned 19 years old, 21 on LZ Cates in 68, 2nd tour.


Raymond 3 years ago

I was at JJ Carroll with 8/4 arty and no one mention D- Btry 8/4th with 108 artillery 24th corp.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 3 years ago Author

God less brothers.

Hey Doug. I question writing if it seems too much like a novel.

The truth is hard enough.

God bless all.


GEOFFREY T STEINER 19 months ago

Oct 67 home usmc leave turned 18 ,dec was nam dmz Camp jj carroll our rear area when not in bush,Jan 24 68 our tet 68 started 14,000 nva 320th nva div and 2 regiments sent by General Giap to wipe out Carroll this day (465 army and us few Marines we did patrols around Carroll) was told usually 2000 army etc on base there. I was one of 4 survivors below carroll on Natl route 9 below the mountain a one lane dirt road goes to khe sanh. when NVA attacked convoy by Mikes hill,Carroll this day took hell of a lot rockets mortars artillery,i was with H company 2/9 third marine div 1rst plt 1rst squad. b52s hit dong ha mountain on the 28th us 4 marines got 3 or 4 new guys hiked all the way down the mountain to mikes hill with over 600 plus dead nva.(2000 my first of 5 trips to Nam i showed viet officials graves sites ,many not buried,they dug some up moved to cam lo cemetery (NVA Mothers Hanoi now learned where loved ones died. i was in bush there till april 68,.this day the 29th the 4th usmc who fought since 25 26, 27, 28, lost 22 kias horific battles there Mike co hill named after them, they got on convoy left,my best friend was with 4th later may by Qua viet 4th again fought same NVA unit. mpls 1972 my best friend got out of va hosp. commited suicide (i attempted 1969 and 81 also) Nam vets by the BBC documentary in 1984 called us HAUNTED HEROS,FACT usmc Quang tri battles the worst of the 10 year war the DMZ ....ON mikes hill after a week the dead not buried nhapalmed etc on top of this basketball court hill with temps up to 120 wafted the scents to us ,i almost went crazy ,if we tried moving out to bury we got mortars rockets from NVA on Dong Ha mountain above us so......i have researched 15 yrs my time viet nam dmz area battles etc. see Viet nam vets magazine story of my 1rst trip.2000. Our time in the bush those months were lps in the dark sneaking out nightly ,patrols, ambushes leave lines in the dark to set areas till am back to lines then daily patrols.Pres Johnson letters showed if Camp carroll fell khe sanh seige may have been 2nd dinh binh fu . capture of the 6,000 usmc + taken 6 clicks by NVA into laos.Carrolls 175 big guns kept nva back at khe sanh when till afternoon fog every day no jets planes choppers,as NVA 20-40,000 surronded the beseiged base, as the army 175s fired plotted areas wiped out advancing NVA on one side of Khe Sanhs lines.I met former NVA my 5 trips back to NAM ,learned of their stories,2008 trip was in honor of the 40th anniversary tet 68. also at 2000 grave site with former NVA and gov officials i planted pine tree at NVA grave site in the yard of 2 star NVA general ,by 08 i visited MR Chuc was told every year Christmas TET thousands viets come to the pine tree 20 ft now as remeberance.this tree i dedicated to the 4 million viets killed during war civilians too, here in Cushing minn on my 100 acres i have the 2nd Nam memorial after angel fire New Mexico.april my 35th year when i plant a tree ,planting the over 60,000 for every kia mia nam war. i also 2003 found MIA remains khe sanh town,and indirectly a 2nd remains MIA below Carroll April 5 68 i was there when recon team fought in front of my fox hole on dong ha mountain he was LT motcha buried tx now.jan 21 68 case 1000 jtf or cilhi now 2 mia pathfiinders ku buc hill out of khe sanh town. boots size believed to be BILLY D HILL? Chaplain Geoffrey T. Steiner Cushing mn .livemem@brainerd.net THE VETERANS NATIONAL LIVING MEMORIAL,MY YEARS OF PLANTING THIS FOREST WAS MOSTLY WITH MY VA DISABILITY MONEY .1980 for years $234 per month. SEMPER FI MARINES.


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Micky Dee 19 months ago Author

God bless, God bless, God bless!

Thank you so much for doing all you do - and did!

God bless!


Richard hall 16 months ago

looking for information on Joesph Zablocki 1967 to 1968

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