Firebase Bastogne

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 Sầu Valley, a feeder route from the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Firebase Bastogne
Firebase Bastogne, 15 July 1968.jpg
Firebase Bastogne, 15 July 1968
Firebase Bastogne is located in Vietnam
Firebase Bastogne
Firebase Bastogne
Coordinates16°21′20″N 107°26′55″E / 16.35556°N 107.44861°E / 16.35556; 107.44861 (Firebase Bastogne)
TypeArmy
Site information
ConditionAbandoned
Site history
Built1968
In use1968-75
Battles/warsVietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam War
Easter Offensive
Garrison information
Occupants101st Airborne Division

Creation and early yearsEdit

 
M113s move up the road outside the camp perimeter for escort duty, 16 April 1968

Bastogne was originally constructed in late March 1968, by the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Carentan and was named after the Battle of Bastogne where the 101st Airborne and other U.S. units held the town of Bastogne against seven German divisions during World War II. The base was then used to support Operation Delaware, following which it was closed, but was reopened in August 1969 by the 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry.[1] Bastogne had three artillery batteries: 105, 155, and heavies (175 and 8 inch two of each in one battery). It also had two M42 Duster (from D Battery 1/44th Artillery), 2 quad 50's and 1 searchlight.

Easter Offensive and abandonmentEdit

Firebase Bastogne, like most other support bases in Thừa Thiên Province, came under intense fire during the Easter Offensive of 1972. On 28 April Bastogne fell to People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces while bases nearby, including Firebase Birmingham just 6km east, continued to repel the offensive.[2]: 308  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 32km southwest of Huế and within shelling distance.[2]: 311  The base was recaptured by 15 May, however heavy shelling forced the ARVN troops to ultimately abandon Firebase Bastogne on 28 July 1972.[2]: 318 

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kelley, Michael (2002). Where we were in Vietnam. Hellgate Press. pp. 5–44. ISBN 978-1555716257.
  2. ^ a b c Bowman, John S. (1985). The Vietnam War: An Almanac. New York: World Almanac Publications. ISBN 0-911818-85-5. OCLC 14098994.