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Polei Kleng Camp

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Type  Army Base
Identifiers  IATA: none, ICAO: none
Province  Kon Tum Province
In use  1966-72
Elevation  570 m
Year built  1966
Polei Kleng Camp
Battles/wars  Vietnam War Battle of Kontum
Occupants  5th Special Forces Group, Vietnamese Rangers


Polei Kleng Camp (also known as Camp Le Vanh, Firebase Bass, Landing Zone Bass or Polei Kleng Special Forces Camp) is a former U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) base west of Kontum in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Contents

History

The base was established in June 1966 approximately 16 km west of Kontum by the 5th Special Forces Group, Detachment A-241.

In March–April 1969 the base was used as a staging base for Operation Wayne Grey an operation against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) 24th and 66th Regiments in the Plei Trap Valley.

The base was transferred to the ARVN 62nd Border Rangers in August 1970.

In May 1972 during the Battle of Kontum after overruning the ARVN bases at Tân Cảnh, Đắk Tô and the firebases along Rocket Ridge the NVA turned their attention to the base and to Ben Het Camp, which blocked the avenues for attack on Kontum. The base had been subjected to artillery fire since 24 April, but from midday on 6 May the volume of fire increased dramatically with more than 500 rounds systematically destroying the base bunkers and an infantry assault by the NVA 64th Regiment penetrated the perimeter. At 19:00 the two U.S. advisers at the base were evacuated by helicopter. The attack was repulsed and the ARVN continued to hold for a further three days during which time U.S. airpower, including gunships and 16 B-52 strikes, was concentrated on the attacking NVA. On the night of 7 May the NVA attempted another assault, but were again repulsed suffering 300 killed. On the morning of 9 May the ARVN abandoned the base in the face of an NVA tank and infantry assault, only 97 ARVN and their dependents reaching safety in Kontum.

Current use

The base has reverted to housing and farmland, the airfield is still visible on satellite images.

References

Polei Kleng Camp Wikipedia


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