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Chu Lai Air Base 1965-1968: Marines, Seabees, Army & Special Forces

 
Media: Video
Service: Army,Marine Corps,Navy
Theater: Vietnam
Video: Color/B&W  75 Minutes
UPC: 811120010356
 

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This video documents activities at Chu Lai from 1965-1968. Includes the construction of the air base, the Marines amphibious landing at Chu Lai, the Seabees (MCB-10) at Camp Shields, Chu Lai, Marine F4s operating out of Chu Lai, airlifting of a drugged elephant from Special Forces Camp of Trang-Phuc to Chu Lai, and aerial views of the base in 1967, when it was Headquarters for the Army's Americal Division.

Please Note: This video is divided into two parts. Part I (construction of the air base) is narrated. The remainder of the video is not narrated and contains a music soundtrack and actual Armed Forces Radio broadcasts from Vietnam.

 
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Comments On This Video

Harry Pandolfi  December 13, 2011
Kannapolis, N.C. U.S.A.

Seabee Flew Out Of Chu Lai On The Airstrip We Built


I was part of MCB 10 when we were dispatched to Vietnam, and landed at Chu Lai. I started out as a mechanic, then was transfered to the Machine Shop Trailers, where we made parts for the Seabees and also for the Marines. I actually flew out of Chu Lai on the airstrip we built.



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Indepth Information About This Video
 
This video is divided in two parts:

Part I is narrated.

Produced by the Marine Corps in 1965, this video focuses on the construct of a portable combat air base on a remote beach in Vietnam called Chu Lai. Construction was a team effort, employing the engineering skills of Seabees Naval Mobile Construction Battalion-10 with vigilant Marines, who secured the area and patrolled the parameter. The film covers many aspects the base's construction, from the initial grading to the laying of thousands of sectional feet of steel matting for the runway. A mirrored landing system is installed, a portable control tower is brought in and a fuel farm is established. The Marine's provide protection for the Seabees, by searching nearby villages, where they discover and destroy stores of supplies, preventing the Viet Cong from mounting any threat to the base. Even before the base is completely up and running, a Marine Combat Air Squadron begins landing its A-4 Skyhawks on the steel-plated runway. The film also includes scenes of C-130s bring in supplies, replacements coming in and Marines relaxing and tending to their more personal needs.

Scenes from Part II

Summary: Welcome signs. Bulldozer tows jeep over sand. Marines with full packs moving in from beach. Seabees CP on beach. M48 tank drives off causeway. M5O Ontos on beach, ships off shore. LVTP5s move onto beach. M48 tank comes off LCVP in deep water. Marine wades ashore. Marines trudge across sand. LCVPs hit beach. Marines debark, some throw down their lifepreservers, marines on beach. Marine on one knee and holding a rifle. Camera follows a marine smoking a pipe. Marines walk inland. Lt Cdr John P. Byrnes, 2d Bn, 4th Marines, talks to marine officer. LCU off shore. Marine walks in water carrying flags. Viet girl puts floral wreath on marine. Signs on beach: "Down With Red Chinese Belligerents," "Long Live VN - US Friendship," "Welcome US Marine Corps. "Crane bogged down in water in front of LCU. M48 tank drives off LCU onto beach. LVTP5 tries to pull crane onto beach, vehicles and marines on beach. Marines dig foxholes in sand. Bulldozer tows truck with 105mm How, beachmaster holds flag. Bulldozer drives off LCU. Marines trudge over beach carrying their weapons. Two cranes move over beach.

Covers C-130E airlifting drugged elephant from Special Forces Camp of Trang-Phuc to Chu Lai AB. Shows elephant being prepared for loading, onloading and offloading of elephant, and the special cargo being airlifted under USMC CH-53A for final miles of the trip. The elephant is needed by the Tra Bong villagers to continue their only industry, a sawmill. Shows drugged elephant in cargo netting being lowered onto wooden pallet and strapped down, and transported toward aircraft by USA fork lift. Scenes of elephant standing on cargo net weaving from effects of drug, down and trying to get up, and USA Special Forces tying the cargo net up around the elephant. Shows USA Capt Scott Gantt firing a hypodermic dart (M-99) from air gun. Shot of natives observing preparations for loading elephant onto aircraft. Scenes of native riding elephant into camp and elephant being prepared for loading. Scenes at Chu Lai AB of 463L loader rolling up to C-130, pallet with drugged elephant wrapped in cargo net being rolled onto loader and a USMC CH-53A flying in toward special cargo and flying away with underslung load.

Seabee replacing bulb in deck runway light after examining bulb. Man putting in new bulb, then replacing cover plate; PAN up as man leaves area. Blast fence for jet turn-up built by MCB-10 group. Blast fence built by MCB-10. Two small hangars of MCB-10 with A-4E tail section sticking out from hangar. HMS-12 maintanance shop built by MCB-10, gear is stacked outside the building. Hangar, A-4D framed in left and upper part of scene. Hospital built by MCB-10, dirty jeep drives into scene, stops, backs down at doorway. Jeep parked directly outside of doorway of hospital, jeep is ambulance. . Row of reefers near dry stores Butler building. Dry stores warehouse built by MCB-10, supplies are being sent. Two buildings, joined together, supplies stacked in mud. Supply office tent, disbursing tent in left; lone Seabee walks by. Barber shop tent. Barber ship, sign over door reads "The Butcher Shop", sign below it reads "Wait Outside". Disbursing Office tent, protective wiring on side of tent. MCB-10 Delta Company Office. ECU Front entrance to dental office. Medical department tent in compound. MCB-10 embarkation office and photo lab. Same as before with man leaving tent. MCB-10 operations office, Seabee leaving operations tent office. Seabees around large cage-like affair, Malaysian Honey Bear Cub, Mascot of MCB-10 being fed by and frolicking with Seabee, tiny bear comes out of opening, stands on hind feet as Seabee feeds bear. Small black bear sitting, being fed; Seabee snaps candid shots of bear, photographer leaves scene, man continues feeding bear. Bear frolicking with Seabees, group leaves scene at left. Bear frolicking on sand, running toward camera, looking over photographers gear, hands reach in and take hold of bear, bear turns somersaults, another man feeds bear. CB feeding bear, bear stands on his hind feet, surf rolling in; bear runs toward right and up sandy hill to machine gun emplacement. Bear climbing down emplacment over sand, turning around, climbing back up. Seabee playing with bear on hill.

UPC 811120010356

 

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