Ben Luc Bridge, Keaton and the other FSB in Ben Luc

Jerry White toured various sites in Vietnam of historic importance to the 6/31st.
Feel free to post additional new posts about Vietnam then and now or comment on anything posted. Check out the same photos in the album with comments by Jerry under each image. http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19416
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Ben Luc Bridge, Keaton and the other FSB in Ben Luc

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:19 am

Ben Luc bridge. The Navy base was just to one side of it once upon a time.

Robert...like I said in my summary...previously sent...I saw little if any evidence that we were ever there. I saw no remaining "pill boxes" that I had seen at each corner of the bridge as I had seen on my past trips to Vietnam. I did see one guard post, but not sure that it is from the war. On one of these pictures, you will see, in the far distance, the new Ho Chi Minh (modern highway) bridge. I will try to get pictures of this highway on my return to the airport to return home. It is very impressive...new four laned modern highway, with overpasses over the intersections....thus no waiting for lights...like on QL04. They will soon restrict this highway to cars/trucks only...no motorcycles. This highway was not here on my last trip to Vietnam three years ago, now it goes from Saigon almost to My Tho

I will attach the pictures that I took.

Jerry



All Ben Luc pictures of the three locations are now in the Album here:

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19924
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Ben Luc Bridge 6.jpg
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Re: Camp Keaton. Ben Luc

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:17 am

These photos are of Camp Keaton



Robert,

As I said in my summary...previously sent.....Camp Keaton was a challenge to locate. Only via Google Earth landmarks did I find it, and even Google Earth caused some problems...it shows a Hwy 824 that is not known by locals as such. Luckily it also showed a "street" name that we were able to locate...but....then again Google Earth had the wrong names assigned to the road that both Keaton and the FSB were located on. We spent at least 2 hours...maybe move in Ben Luc trying to find these locations. Once we located them, both locations were confirmed by people working in the field where Keaton had formerly stood. The funny thing about this is that my son and I were sitting at a "snack" stop talking to some men who were telling us that the FSB was where Keaton was and that Keaton was downtown. I had a hand map that I had drawn from Google Earth, and I told my son.."If only I could find this wide dirt road with this small grove of trees". Frustrated, I stood up and walked toward our motorcycle, then I looked to the side of the "snack" stop, and what did I see? A wide dirt road. I looked down the road and said.."But there is no small grove of trees that I saw on Google Earth". I then looked again and saw that what I had thought had been a "grove of trees" was actually a small "pond of water". Once I realized that this was the dirt road that I was looking for, finding Keaton and the FSB was easy...again...their locations were confirmed by locals working in the fields where Keaton had stood.

I don't know what there is about former firebases...all that I have located so far (Moore, Vinh Kim, Ben Luc, Smoke, Can Giuoc) show no visible signs that we were ever there, at the same time several (Vinh Kim, Ben Luc, Smoke, and Can Giuoc) have, to a large degree, not been built upon. I asked my wife if they were considered as "forbidden" plots of land, and she said "no".
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The other FSB in Ben Luc

Postby Niner Alpha » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:24 am

The other...probably earlier US base in Ben Luc.

Robert,

As I said in my summary...previously sent.....Camp Keaton was a challenge to locate. Only via Google Earth landmarks did I find it, and even Google Earth caused some problems...it shows a Hwy 824 that is not known by locals as such. Luckily it also showed a "street" name that we were able to locate...but....then again Google Earth had the wrong names assigned to the road that both Keaton and the FSB were located on. We spent at least 2 hours...maybe move in Ben Luc trying to find these locations. Once we located them, both locations were confirmed by people working in the field where Keaton had formerly stood. The funny thing about this is that my son and I were sitting at a "snack" stop talking to some men who were telling us that the FSB was where Keaton was and that Keaton was downtown. I had a hand map that I had drawn from Google Earth, and I told my son.."If only I could find this wide dirt road with this small grove of trees". Frustrated, I stood up and walked toward our motorcycle, then I looked to the side of the "snack" stop, and what did I see? A wide dirt road. I looked down the road and said.."But there is no small grove of trees that I saw on Google Earth". I then looked again and saw that what I had thought had been a "grove of trees" was actually a small "pond of water". Once I realized that this was the dirt road that I was looking for, finding Keaton and the FSB was easy...again...their locations were confirmed by locals working in the fields where Keaton had stood.

The site of the FSB Ben Luc was difficult to take pictures of, because it is pretty much surrounded by houses. On the road, for example, there was only one place where we could get off the road. Our pictures, therefore, were restricted to pictures taken from the previously mentioned dirt road..looking at what would have been the East side of the FSB, and from a single trail on what would have been the West side of the FSB. The shots of the road are what the north side of the FSB looks like today.

Ben Luc also has a great deal of industry along QL04 (plastics, shoes, clothing, metal, etc.); however, Ben Luc still has that "dirty" look to it, and is no way as "modern" looking as Tan An.

Jerry
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