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War Stories

Go Dau Ha

A Heliport/PO point, RF/PF Compound along the MSR between Cu Chi and Tay Ninh and named after the nearby village.

Topo Map, Bridge, Arthur, Marcinkowski, Karn, Lange, Barger, Eastes, Kelly, Rodgers, Jones, Airstrip 2016.

Bruce Powell, Scout and Gunpilot (1967-68): If you flew guns you pulled Convoy standby at Go Dau Ha. If you flew OH-23G Light Scouts you refueled at Go Da Hau with a hand pump from 55 gallon drums. In Jun 67 D Troop established a LRRP support base there; a maintenance section and support helicopters. The Suicide war story occurred there.

In the village was a large French built bridge that led across the Oriental River into Cambodia. We called it "Oriental" because we couldn't remember the real name "Vam Co Dong River". I flew my OH-23 under that bridge a few times and nearly wiped out a UH-1C Light Scout gunship attempting to do the same thing. (Whoever was with me that day should have an indelible memory getting soaking wet when the skids hit the water at around 60 knots). One crewmember was on his last flight before heading home and had requested a wild flight. We climbed as high as that old UH-1C Scout helicopter would climb, then autorotated to the river and the bridge.

I remember being almost bullied into learning to play "Army Pinochle" during Go Dau Ha gunship standby. There were four men in a crew and four were required to play. I learned to look forward to it and also to remember to put my cards in my pocket during the madness of a scramble mission. The game would be finished later.

We spent some time playing with the 40mm Duster at the NW end of the airstrip.


TJ Lange (deceased Crew Chief of gunship 462, 1967-68): has several photos in his slideshow of the gunteams pulling day and night convoy standby at Go Dau Ha.

Lew Barger: Hog Gunpilot, Centaur 21: To see photos of Go Dau Ha (1967-68) go to my slideshow and view slides LB 8, 9, 10, 38, 39, 100, 102, 103, 104.


Pat Eastes: Gun pilot (1967-68) Go Da Hau was where we played with the jungle hoist, doing traffic patterns under a D model. I think Doc Halliday's slideshow has some pictures of us flying around strapped in to the hoist. I don't have a picture, but I remember killing a krait at Go Da Hau. Scary snake

John Kelly: Artillery FO (1967-68) I too flew under that bridge and got soaking wet. I'm fairly sure it was Smokey Burgess flying and he swore me to secrecy. Scared the crap out of me and I thought we were going to flip, but he pulled it out. I remember clearly that we were South bound but that's about it.

Moose Marcinkowski: Opns Officer and XO (68-69): There was a period of time that we had several LOH's try to fly under the Go Dau Ha bridge. Bruce Karn might be able to add more to this but it seemed that even after the SIP would point out the bridge and say "DON'T FLY UNDER THE BRIDGE!!!" Somebody would.

Bruce Karn: LOH Scout Pilot (1968-69) Go to his video from the Nashville reunion and scroll to the 8 minute mark to hear his story of the LOH's that didn't make it under the bridge, and the adventures of he and Bill Blair recovering the downed helicopter.

Jim Rodgers: Armament NCO (1968-69) In looking at the time frame, I believe the OH-6 that was pulled from the river, reference the Bruce Karn Go Dau Ha Bridge story, is the one from my photo album (shown again below).



Gary Jones: LOH scout Pilot (1969) These two shots below are of the Go Dau Ha area including a shot from a LOH cockpit from altitude and the market in Go Dau Ha, along the river.







Bruce Powell: CPT, Scout and Cobra Pilot 1967-68, Go Dau Ha April 2016: On our return to visit Vietnam we were unable to locate the famed Go Dau Ha Airstrip and RFPF compound. Further research on Google Earth provided us with the below Satellite Map showing our best guess at where the Airstrip and compound used to be (compare it to the map above). There is now no sign of the strip or compound at all. Perhaps others, on a trip back, may arrange to talk to the local inhabitants of that area to see if anyone has any memory of the exact location. It may seem unimportant to most, but there are many of us that spent so much time there that we would like to stand on that spot one more time, even if it is now somebody's backyard.