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Long Bình Post and the Vietnam War

The following guest post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division.

During the Vietnam War, Long Binh Post was the U.S. Army’s largest base located in the former South Vietnam. It was situated between Bien Hoa, the location of a large American airbase, and Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. The Geography and Map Division holds a map from the war that was printed and created by the 66th Engineer Company (known as the “Topo Corps”). The likely purpose of the map was to serve as a guide for personnel and others who lived or worked on the base.

During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army used the base as a logistics and command center. It had the unofficial name “Long Binh Junction.” Its initials, LBJ, were the same as then-President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the chief American proponent of the war against the communist insurgency. In 1968, the base fell under attack during the Tet Offensive, and the Viet Cong assault force was repelled by American troops.

The base was a kind of island for U.S. troops “in country,” a phrase used to describe a soldier who was on a tour of duty in South Vietnam. A virtual city of some 60,000 people at its height, Long Binh Post had dental clinics, large restaurants, snack bars, a photo lab, a wood shop, post offices, swimming pools, basketball and tennis courts, a golf driving range, laundromats, and even a Chase Manhattan Bank branch. It had a nightlife scene, as well. Among the offerings were a bowling alley, nightclubs, and other so-called adult entertainment establishments. Several of these places are listed on the map’s index titled “Guide to Important Buildings and Features,” which provides a building number and grid location.

Long Bình Post : [Vietnam]. [1972?] G8024.L6 1972 .L6. Library of Congress, Geography & Map Division.

The reverse side of the map depicts Long Binh Post in relation to Saigon. Early in the war, many American units were dispersed throughout Saigon. However, the American command relocated them to Long Binh Post in order to centralize security, logistics, and communications.

Long Bình Post : [Vietnam]. [1972?] G8024.L6 1972 .L6. Library of Congress, Geography & Map Division.

The base and its facilities were handed over to the South Vietnamese military in 1972, as part of the de-escalation of American forces from the war. Currently, the area is used as an industrial park and shopping center known as Long Binh Ward.

51 Comments

  1. Leslie Wagner
    August 2, 2017 at 10:40 am

    My father was a Lt. Col. when he was stationed at Long Binh, 1966-1967. He retired from the U.S. Army back in 1970, went back to college, and started a new and successful career. He died this past January. I have old reel-to-reel audiotapes that my parents recorded and mailed back and forth to each other while he was stationed at Long Binh. I haven’t attempted to listen to them yet.

  2. Leslie Wagner
    August 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

    For that time period, I would have to say that Long Binh was modeled after most large military bases, containing recreational opportunities to distract you from the fact that you were counting the days until you could return home. Unlike the military bases in Germany, for example, there was no family housing at Long Binh because Vietnam was a war zone. My husband was stationed at Binh Thuy, a much smaller base that lacked most of the niceties of Long Binh. At Binh Thuy, my husband witnessed the prevalence of heavy drug abuse among the enlisted ranks and was relieved to return stateside in 1972 after 7 months in country. The Vietcong hit the base ammo dump with mortar rounds, resulting in the destruction and abandonment of the base.

  3. Ryan Moore
    August 11, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Dear Leslie Wagner,

    Your comments are appreciated. I would like to share with you information about the Library’s Veterans History Project that collects stories about veterans.

    The website is //www.loc.gov/vets/

    Their email is [email protected]

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Moore
    Cartographic Specialist
    Geography and Map Division
    Library of Congress

  4. Frederick Danial Oliver
    September 21, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    My brother was stationed here but would never talk about it. Drafted at 27 finishing up his degree at our university, full time job.

  5. Curt Locke
    September 22, 2017 at 3:48 am

    My father was LT. Gordon L. Locke on base. He was an MP officer If any of his buddies remember him I would love to hear from you.

  6. Jim Haskins
    October 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I was at Long Bing for most of ’67. Never heard the base called LBJ, but the stockade was called LBJ as in “Long Bing Jail”.

  7. Ryan Moore
    November 2, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Dear Jim Haskins,

    The jail was indeed referred to as LBJ. However, different sources, include memoirs by veterans, refer to the base as LBJ or Long Binh Junction. If you are curious about those writings by veterans, please contact me and I can share some of titles with you.

    Sincerely,

    Ryan Moore
    Cartographic Specialist
    Geography and Map Division
    Library of Congress

  8. Ngo – Gao
    November 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Did anyone in here whose were in LongBinh, BienHoa around 1970 to 1071 or know someone who was there . PLease post . Thanks

  9. Bob Dunn
    November 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I served at Long Binh in 67 and 68. I was in the U.S.Army, 212th MP Co. I was a Sentry dog handler and psyroled the ammunition dump at night. I have photos of the base and dump.

  10. John Wyatt
    December 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I was in long bin in 70 and 71 with 66 engineers. I worked in the map depot. Never saw a bowling alley, wood shop or any of the other things mentioned. There were some clubs to.drink though.
    Never heard post called LBJ. only heard long binh jail. Went lots of other places in country too. Now disabled due to agent orange. Want to say to all that served there, THANKS MEN and WELCOME HOME!!

  11. B johnson
    January 2, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I was a 1Lt stationed at Long Binh 1970-71 at a facility called Inventory Control Center-Vietnam. On the map it was in the lower area about 500 yards east of the Generals Compound. The building next door was the headquarters for the 1st Signal brigade
    I don’t ever recall anyone stationed a Long Binh calling it “LBJ” — that was reserved for the infamous jail. It’s possible that one stationed elsewhere did nickname the base LBJ. There was, however, a civilian contractors billeting area located in the area about the center of the map that was referred to as RMK-LBJ (RMK being the initials of that major contractor)
    I wish the map were larger so that I could locate several of the base facilities on it

  12. L Hafferty
    January 4, 2018 at 4:47 am

    April 1967 to November 1968 Mail address 19 months
    1st Signal Brigade
    44th Signal Battalion
    580th Company (Telephone Company)
    Long Binh Vietnam 96307
    Work as telephone lineman

  13. Richard Becker
    January 6, 2018 at 5:49 am

    How could I get a digital copy of the map? I cannot enlarge the map as it is displayed here so that I can read it.

  14. Rodney Bissey
    January 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I was in the Army signal corp at Long Binh Post Jan. 67 thru Jan 68 soon after tet. Anyone out there who remembers the detained VC lineup outside the main gate by the barber shop the morning after tet? Remember when the VC blew up the ammo bunker? Not sure which company and battalion I belonged to while there, can anyone help?

    Rod
    From Quakertown, PA (30 mi north of Philly)

  15. Bob Koehler
    January 30, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    I was a JAG officer stationed part of the time in 1970 at Long Binh – I had many a “client” housed at the LBJ – a place you did not want to spend any time at – or in it!! LBJ was the major jail facility in Vietnam for military prisoners convicted or waiting for trial.

  16. Al mazzarelli
    January 31, 2018 at 1:59 am

    I was on the North perimeter of 208 facing the cemetery to the left and a village to the right. We were in a fire fight all night. I was on top of a 20ft conax with sand bags for cover as I was being used as a sniper at that time 1968 Jan, I was picking off cong comming out of the tunnels being used in the cemetery.  The head stones were 4 to 5 ft high. I thought I was going to be over run . I was left with no radio but I stocked up on ammo . 7.62 parachute flare s the day before we were told that the enemy was comming in from the east so they took most of artillery and heavy wepons to the east of fire base long benh.  I was the only one there atop of conax.  It was getting so bad I had to start shooting flares directly into cemetery.  I thank God I did, as I caught the attention of an apache and when they saw what was going on they called another apache and 2 smokies, they are 1 man choppers with 2 30 Caleb gatlin guns and 6 rocketes on each side they were 25 yrs in front of me. 2 smokies, would fly low with there lights on and draw the enemy fire, at that sec they would use their jet to shot up with out lights and 2 apaches, would come in and rocket and use their 4 gatlins at the same time. I was only 19yrs old scared and excited and full of adrinilyn at the same time as this went on till the sun came up , the enemy had gone Back into tunnel and then I was blown of of my post. It must have shot me another 12 to 15ft in the air, my ears were ringing I was disoriented and hit the ground all in slow motion, I kept saying to myself when am I gona hit the ground. I hit the ground and still had my m14 auto in my hands. I looked up and saw nothing but 16″ shells sticking have way out of the grond in from of me. Then I looked at the gate to the road it was still chained and saw people running at me. I raised my wepon and was going to start shooting, but something was out of place as they got really close I saw no weapons and then there were woman men and children , I that split sec I said there running away from the cong and looking to take refuge by my gate. I was able to talk with a few with my broken veitmanse and discovered that they were hiding in the village and was all sitting in circles when the 16 inch shells landed all around them. This was one night of many during and after TET Offensive.

  17. Ron Kidder
    February 4, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Bob Dunn
    November 11, 2017 at 8:48 am
    I served at Long Binh in 67 and 68. I was in the U.S.Army, 212th MP Co. I was a Sentry dog handler and psyroled the ammunition dump at night. I have photos of the base and dump.xxxxxxxxxxxxx Dear Mr. Dunn, I would love to see your photos. I got to Long Binh October 67 with the 1st Platoon, C-Company, 720th M.P. Battalion. Our company area was directly across the road from the main gate of The LBJ. One of our many jobs was to set up ambush points outside the wire of the Ammo Dump. Have you checked out the web site: 720th Military Police Reunion Association ? There is a page dedicated to and about The 212th. It has photos of the scout dogs and Handlers.

  18. Carl Easley
    February 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    I was with the 261st Transportation Co. in 1968,arrived just before Tet and my 2 years “ETS” was up in late Sept.68. I drove a 5 ton and hauled mostly ammo all over Vietnam. I had my 21st B.D. there.

  19. Dee Evans
    March 9, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    My brother was Spc/4 Russell Holland, MP 212th Sentry dog and Scout dog handler.
    His dog was named Arko. Looking for any info, photos etc. sadly he passed away in 2013. He served ’67-70.

  20. Carl Glenn Selby
    March 11, 2018 at 12:13 am

    My MOS WAS 72B20 Comm Center.
    TET 1968 January 31st.
    We couldn’t keep up with msgs
    EVERYTHING was Flash so that
    Became Immediate then routine.
    Lost most Long Lines 1st Sig Bn.
    Most of us went to bunkers at
    “The wire” near Main Gate.
    About 3AM got pretty wild.
    RPGs Mortors ALso grenades.

  21. Ken Edney
    March 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I served in Long Binh from Mar ’67 to Mar ’68 with 3rd Ord Bn, 60th Ord Co in the ammo dump. I never heard it referred to as Long Binh Post or LBJ. LBJ was the jail. In my time we had no swimming pool, bowling alley, or any of the other creature comfort things listed above. It was pretty wild around there. I lived in a tent my first three months. Never had a hot shower or running water, we pissed in a tube sticking out of the ground and had two hole outhouses. Even potable water was from a lister bag hanging from a tree limb.

  22. Tim Dickison
    March 21, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I was stationed from June 68 to June 69 at 12th Combat Aviation Group, which was located about 1 mile north of
    Long Binh main base. The compound was called Long Binh North or “Plantation Airfield”. I worked in aircraft maintenance section, although my last 3 months in country drove truck back and forth to Ton Son Nhut Airbase to deliver potable water to our unit. Remember “LBJ” as referring to the jail there.

  23. Steve Hodges
    April 1, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    I worked inside the LBJ (Long Binh Jail) every day from mid-September, 1969 through mid-September, 1970. I was nominally the SJA for the 18th MP Brigade, but actually worked most of the time for the LBJ “Correctional Officer,” in other words, the warden.

  24. Lawrence Allen bradford
    April 3, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I was at long bein ,last bob hope show, incredible singing ol holy night with trained killers . 1971. No “nightclubs” dum ass , I did run a pool and used the photo lab .
    It was insane

  25. Lawrence Allen bradford
    April 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    I was at long bein ,last bob hope show, incredible singing ol holy night with trained killers . 1971. No “nightclubs” dum ass , I did run a pool and used the photo lab .
    It was insane. I was a drug counselor , the jail became our center ,typical for nam ,
    I restored and ran a pool , total insanity

  26. John Potton
    April 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Served with #16 Carl Easley at same time and 261st TC May 67 to may 68

  27. Jim Smith
    April 14, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I was stationed at Long Binh from January 1967 through March 1968. I was company clerk and mail clerk for the 624th Supply and Service Company located just inside the main gate off Highway one. Like several others above, I never heard it called Long Binh Junction. LBJ was the Long Binh Jail. Had to transport several prisoners, mostly captured AWOL, to LBJ. Our billets were wooden barracks at first, but later we had metal buildings. At night sometimes we got to watch the choppers making firing runs at the VC on the ground. We would see the rockets fire, then the mini-guns with their tracers, then about two seconds later we would hear the sounds. During Tet we spent many nights in the trenches or in the bunkers. Occasionally whenever a sapper managed to infiltrate the ammo dump, we were given a fireworks show to end all fireworks shows!

  28. H. Gene Owens
    April 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Bob Dunn , I probably met you several times while i was pulling tower guard in the ammo dump , it seemed like i was there every week or pulling bunker guard out between the wires .I was with the 576 ord from Oct 67 til Oct 68 ..I also went to the LBJ riot to operate a R T fork lift to get some of the large shipping containers out while the prisoners were trying to open them and destroy the contents .

  29. Earl Carroll
    April 30, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    How may I obtain 2 of the maps of Long Binh Post

  30. Gene Wickstrom
    May 27, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I was stationed with the 120 Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter) at Long Binh in 1970. Long Binh was never referred to as Long Binh Post or LBJ. LBJ was the term for Long Binh Jail. As the company clerk I can remember processing at least one individual to LBJ to await his court-martial.

  31. Tom King
    June 19, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    To Tim Dickison. I was at 12th Combat Aviation Group July ‘68 to July ‘69. I was In Hhq PIO working for 1LT Amoruso. We must know each other. I appreciated the water you hauled. Welcome home. SP5 Tom King

  32. Tom Gray
    July 11, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I served in Long Binh in 1968 and 1967 I worked at the Com Center on top of the Hill. Was with 1 ST Signal Co. C. Lived in Tents when I first Arrived in Country.

  33. George Davis
    July 16, 2018 at 11:03 am

    I was Station at Long Binh 11/67-11/68. Worked with the Readiness Assistance Teams. Flew a lot around South Vietnam delivering mail and picking up reports. Never saw most of the “amenities” listed in the opening article, must have been available to officers!

  34. Ryan Moore
    July 25, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    The comments from everyone, and especially veterans, are both fascinating and appreciated.

    I have noticed a string of comments about the meaning of LBJ, as it was noted in this author’s blog. I wish to speak to that point. When researching this map, I referred to written accounts by veterans that stated LBJ had the meaning of Long Binh Junction but also meant Long Binh Jail.

    Robert F. Fischer in his book Combat Bandsman: Memoir of a Tour in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division …On wrote on page 40 that: “Our destination encampment shared the same initials with our soon-to-be-relieved commander in chief of the military, President Lyndon B. Johnson, LBJ–Camp Long Binh Junction. It also shared initials with another nearby facility, Long Binh Jail…”

    Similarly, Robert F. Hartley in his book, Gunship Pilot: An Attack Helicopter Warrior Remembers Vietnam, wrote on page 6 that: “Six Army buses arrived to take us all over to Long Binh Junction (LBJ)… It was home to the Headquarters of the United States Army, Vietnam along with many other units including the Army’s jail. The jail, appropriately enough, was called the Long Binh Jail or LBJ.”

    Walter D. Rodgers wrote in Army Green on page 138 that:”…the huge Army post at Long Binh Junction, inevitably shortened to ‘Camp LBJ,’ in honor of our Commander-in-Chief.”

    Anyone who is interested in a scan of the map may contact me directly at [email protected]

    Best,

    RM

  35. Jim Miller
    August 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    I was in Long Binh from july 1968 to july 1969, assigned to 23rd Artillery Group personnel section, attached to Service Battery 6/27 Artillery.

    I remember the Feb 1969 attack on the base and driving to the perimeter the morning after the assault where the 11th Cav was dug in. I can testify that not all nva had been eliminated by that morning, since had ak47 fire go right over my head when an nva soldier popped out of a spider hole. The cav guys scrambled to their apc’s and the cobra went to work on him.

    Would like to find more detailed that would help me find our barracks and other buildings I remember.

    My recollection was LBJ referred to the prison, not the base. Read numerous memoirs of vietnam vets, and found no reference to Long Binh as LBJ, just used to refer to the jail.

    Can you believe we were there more than 50 years ago!!

  36. Ron lungwitz
    August 20, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I was there in 71-72 with the 120th assault helicopter company. We had a pool not far from us that was the most out of place thing I have ever seen. That and Bob Hope were the only good things about the place.

  37. Louis Bradford
    August 24, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I was stationed on Long Binh Post from April 1970 to August 1971. I was in the 20th Preventive Medicine Unit. I was able to visit Saigon and Bien Hao many times. My unit was responsible for inspecting LBJ’s sanitary practices. We also sprayed the areas for mosquitoes.

  38. John
    August 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    What was the disposition of prisoners being held LBJ when we evacuared VietNam

  39. Dick DeHO
    September 4, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    I was an MP @ Long Binh Depot December 1969 to February 1971

  40. Don Blackbourn
    September 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Served at 140th HEM Co. March 67-March 68.
    Don’t recall any luxuries then except seeing Bob Hope at Christmas ‘67.

  41. Jeffery Pappas
    September 15, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    F CO. Troop Command Army Depot trk driver delivered water and fuel to sister companies and the army depot 1971- 72

  42. Bob Dunn
    October 6, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Was at Long Binh in 67. Served as a dog handler patrolling the ammunitions dump, the largest in the world at the time. The post, back then, was very rugged, with wood and tent structures.
    The kennels were on a tree lined rubber plantation.

  43. Dean Allman
    October 17, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    I was with 45th Dustoff at Long Bien from Dec 68 to Jan 70. Was a Huey mechanic for a while, then was in an office with air conditioning most of the time. Couldn’t have asked for a better deal after being drafted.

    I wonder if we were sprayed with agent orange. I remember nothing seemed to grow on the bare dirt there. I remember the C123s would fly over spraying something. I thought it was for mosquitos. Hope all are doing well after all these years.

  44. Joe Sherman known as Sherm
    October 19, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    I served with the 615 Th MP company from Nov10, 1967 to Nov 1968 based at Long Bình. Our Company did Highway patrol and village patrols. We also from time to time escorted Convoys and did parimiter security and Long Bình base camp patrols. Our unit worked side by side with the South Vietnam Quan Sats ( their military police ). During the TET offensive we helped defend the ammunition dump as well as highways and villages in the Bien Hoa area.

    LBJ was the Long Bình Jail which we helped guard after the 750 inmates revolted and burnt down their billets in early 1968. LBJ was built as a temporary facility to accommodate about 350-450 prisoners, then became a more permanent jail.

  45. Frank koelsch
    October 24, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    I was at Long Binh from Feb 67 to mar.68. I was with the 483rd field service co. We had a shower and laundry platoon, an engineering platoon, a graves registration platoon plus headquarters platoon. The engineer platoon were combat engineers.
    When i first arrived i had the pleasure of guarding that ammo dump thst has been mentioned above. I think i was there every night for several nights. I started out in the engineer platoon. We were sent out to the ammo dump at least once a week for severa months??? I was reassigned to the graves registration platoon for the last 5 mos or so.
    On the night of the start of Tet,i was on guard duty at the fuel dump and witnessed the battle of cemetary mentioned above.
    Graves Registration was obviously very busy during Tet. During that period ee eere sent to the ammo dump as a guard. Remember seeing many mp’s with their dogs.The ammo dump was infiltrated that first night and some of the ‘ammo pads’ were blown up.
    I do not ever remember long bihn being refered to as lbj. Only the jail.
    I also never saw a swimming pool or bowling ally there. Met a lot of good men there.

  46. Chuck Pollock
    October 25, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I was assigned to HHC, Long Binh Post, S-2,3. I first we worked out of an old farm house which had the Tactical Operations Center in a bunker in the basement. It was rather primitive but suitable. During the last part of 1971, post headquarters was moved to a new building high on the hill next to US Army, Vietnam and the TOC was located in a bunker about 15 feet below the new building. The complex was called “Pentagon East” and was probably the safest place in the entire country.

  47. Larry Story
    October 28, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I was at Long Binh from June 1969 to March 1970.I was with the 54th Ordnance 3rd Battalion. I worked in the ammo dump and pulled guard duty at nights.

  48. Jim Roach
    October 29, 2018 at 1:40 am

    I was stationed in Long Binh, until Nov 17th, 1967, with the 14th.ICC, and we referred to it as LBJ.

  49. Ross Srmy
    November 9, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Does anyone rememder part of Long Binh called Long Binh Plantation. It over looked the ammo dump one side and rt.1 on the other side

  50. Dean Allman
    November 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    They built a swimming pool at 93rd Evac Hospital in 1969. It was right next to where I was at 45th Dustoff. I went swimming in it several times. What a luxury to have that in a war zone. I wonder if it’s still there. I guess I could check on Google satellite images. I never dreamed of anything like the internet back then.

  51. john cawly
    November 12, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I was stationed at Long Bihn (Plantation – Field Force II HQ) from Feb 71 till September 71. Served at Di An with 11th ACR from 9/70 till 2/17.

    Am making trip back to Saigon in December. Will try to find the locations. I realize much has changed, but that time was among the most memorable of my life–both good and bad. Have made life-long friends and we still communicate.

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