Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967-1968

This post is now the number 1 ‘most viewed’ post on the blog. This incident occurred 46 years ago. Time passes quickly.

Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge


Communal bunker:  Chu Lai, Vietnam

This photo was taken at the Marine Air Base, Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1967.  Chu Lai was my home for 13-months (January 1967 through February 1968).  We lived in these plywood hooches as best we could, and just hoped the flimsy structures wouldn’t be hit with incoming rocket or mortar fire.  When I first arrived in-country we didn’t have these large communal bunkers between the hooches, but in the later part of 1967 we got them dug and sandbagged.  Although they wouldn’t withstand a direct hit, they did provide some protection from flying shrapnel.  On January 31, 1968, at 0400 hours, our attack sirens went off after the first rockets exploded—the Tet Offensive of 1968 has just been launched.  As the sirens wailed we grabbed our rifles and helmets and attempted to exit our hooches and make our way into the larger bunkers for protection…

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