1st MIBARS In Vietnam!


The I Corps Compound


And

 "B" Detachment's Operations Area

Working With the ARVN

The Tet Offensive 1968

 

Photo Credit: MIV

Camp Phuong Tri Nguyen.  The sign says that this was Camp Phuong T. Nguyen, but the 1st MIBARS knew it simply as the "I Corps Compound," headquarters of the 1st Corps, Army of the Republic of Vietnam.  In July 1967, having been awakened by explosions from a Viet Cong rocket attack on DaNang Main Air Base at 0130 hours, "B" Detachment's officers piled into jeeps and rushed to the Compound.  Although the drivers had switched to the vehicles' black-out lights before approaching this gate, the ARVN sentry stood his ground with a World War II-era Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) -- slowly moving it back and forth and pointed at the MIBARS personnel's mid-sections before opening the gate.  It was a feeling that was not soon forgotten.  


Headquarters of The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 1st Corp

Northern Vietnam was the province of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) 1st Corps.  The four ARVN army corps areas in the wartime Vietnam were represented in Roman numerals as I Corps, II Corps, III Corps and IV Corps.  Because of the Roman numeral, which looked like a capitalized letter "I," the northernmost zone of operations would come to be referred to commonly -- not as the "First" Corps -- but as "Eye" Corps.

The headquarters of I Corps was located in a military compound on the outskirts of the city of DaNang, not far from DaNang Main Air Base.  Most G.I.'s never knew what the writing on the sign meant or who the memorialized Mr. Phuong was.  In addition to ARVN personnel, some U.S. Army Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV ) advisors, who coordinated closely with the ARVN, were located on the compound, as was Detachment "B" of the 1st MIBARS.

Photo Credit: MIV

The I Corps Compound in 1967.  The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) headquarters for I Corps was located in the offices surrounding the parade ground at the upper right corner of the photograph.  Subordinate offices were located in other buildings in the complex, which was surrounded by a masonry wall.  The main gate, not visible here, was opposite the flag pole on the parade ground.  The traffic shown on the street running diagonally across the lower portion of the photograph is pointed in the direction of the Han River Bridge, the crossing to military facilities on the Marble Mountain side of the river.  "B" Detachment was located right inside the corner of the compound, at the intersection of the two roads, in the center of the photo.

Photo Credit: Ronnie D. Foster

Left:  Close-up view of the main gate to the I Corps Compound.  The sentry stood fully exposed between two vehicle gates while on duty.  There was no concertina wire or other barrier besides the gates.  Upon entering, personnel could either proceed directly forward to the parade ground or turn left on an interior road that ran parallel to the main street and led to the side of the Compound and "B" Detachment's operations area.  The building in the background of this photograph is the same building pictured beyond the massed formation below. 

 

Ronnie Foster is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran who served in DaNang in 1968.  Visit his web site at www (dot) ronniefoster (dot) com. 

The Massed Armed Forces of the I Corps Tactical Zone

Photo Credit: MIV

Photo Credit: MIV

Left:  ARVN flag detail raises the colors in the I Corps Compound.  Right:  Combined formation of the Republic of Vietnam army, navy  and marines on the parade ground in late 1966.  One of the buildings in the main headquarters area is in the background.


"B" Detachment Operations Area

Working With the ARVN

The Tet Offensive 1968


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