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The capital of the Republic of Vietnam from 1954 until 1975. The city contained the largest concentration of REMFs in the history of armed struggle.

Saigon was the location for a large number of U.S. facilities and an incredibly large number of U.S. personnel. The US Embassy was located here. The Military Assitance Command Vietnam Headquarters (MACV HQs) was located at Tan Son Nhut Airbase. The Newport Docks were located on the Saigon River (Newport Bridge is visible in the background). The Saigon Harbor was a state-of-the-art facility for its time. The Headquarters of the United States Army Vietnam (USARV) was located in the city until July 1967 when it moved to Long Binh. This Saigon Area map shows more detail than the chart.

Saigon was the target of several attacks during the 1968 Tet offensive. Some of the targets made sense (the radio station), others did not (the U.S. Embassy and the Race Track). Despite being able to infiltrate large numbers of VC troops and weapons into the city in the months leading up to the Lunar New Year (Tet), the VC attacks were repulsed rather quickly, mostly by U.S. troops, with some assistance from ARVN units located in the city as a sort of palace guard.

The heaviest attacks were centered in the Cholon district, which was home to many ethnic Chinese citizens of RVN. Large portions of the city were severly damaged when the VC choose to hide in civilian structures and became the targets of U.S. firepower. This was a deliberate tactic designed to provide the U.S. anti-war movement with a cause they could whine about.

Over one half of all U.S. troops assigned to the Vietnam theater were stationed in Saigon and Long Binh, a staggering number of REMFs. No wonder infantry line companies were understrength during the entire war.

(All photos courtesy US Army).

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Creation Date: Monday, November 10, 1997
Last Modified: Sunday, July 18, 1999
Copyright © Ray Smith, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999