Jun 252019
 
Interview With Commander of 559 division Ho Chi Minh trail and Don Duvall, AKA Midnitemapper

Don Duvall, Midnite Mapper, 2016 in an interview with Dong Sy, during the filming of the Blood Road. Dong Sy Nguyen, “shares Secrets of the Trail” that would later be used in the film, from this interview we learned many previously unknown facts about the trail, Tunnels Caves and transportation routes, that can be seen today.

On of the most memorable parts of this meeting was getting a copy of the Detailed official military map of the trail. Never before seen in public we use this historical artifact for our Tours of the Ho Chi Minh Trail today.

The truck convoy was strong on Truong Son road in the historic Ho Chi Minh campaign

“Since 1967, the 559 Division was assigned anti-aircraft artillery, missiles to deal with enemy bombing, forming a protective fire net on the top of the transport squad, not to drive alone on the road; below, the soldiers were standing by the road, when the enemy hit the shelter, stopped fighting to repair the road, while the infantry continued to open the enemy campaign far away, “said the former Political Commissar of Truong Son Corps. In early 1967, during the Vietnam War, he was appointed commander in chief of Group 559, the transportation and logistical unit of the People’s Army of Vietnam.

The group was established in 1959 to move troops, weapons, and material from North Vietnam to paramilitary units in southern Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which ran along the central region across Truong Son, or the Annamite Mountain Range, and through Laos and Cambodia.

During eight years as commander of the trail until the war ended in 1975, he transformed it from an old low-key covert supply line into a modern, strategic, overt battlefield.

Much of his success is owed to the fact that he converted most of his force, which had previously used foot power or bicycles to carry loads, into vehicle transportation units.

Jul 132014
 

Arclight strike on the Ho Chi Minh trail

Arclight strike on the Ho Chi Minh trail

Ho Chi Minh Trail Ban Laboy Ford by Drone

Ho Chi Minh Trail Ban Laboy Ford. note bomb craters on Eastern bank.

Ho Chi Minh trail Ban Nomai, coblestones laid by the Vietnamese during the war

Ban Laboy, Ho Chi Minh trail Ban Nomai, coblestones laid by the Vietnamese during the war

Ban Laboy ford Ho Chi Minh Trail, Xe Bangfie river

Ban Laboy ford Ho Chi Minh Trail, Xe Bangfie river

Vietnamese truck leftover from the War days Ho Chi Minh trail

Vietnamese truck leftover from the War days Ho Chi Minh trail

Bomb-shardstor

Ban Nomai, scrap metal collector, the pile of rusting metal are bomb shards sold by the Kilo.

F-4- D Over the Dogs Head, Ban Laboy Ford.

F-4- D Over the Dogs Head, Ban Laboy Ford. Submitted by Lt Col Lance DeYoung (USAF, Ret) This fantastic shot clearly shows the shape of the Nam Te Le river in the shape of the Dogs head. The alternative ford and the scarred earth from incessant ordinance strikes. The F-4 has an unusual configuration, carrying an Pave Knife laser designator pod on the left inboard station (the only station wired for this pod), which normally carried weapons (it was not plumbed for fuel tanks). In order to carry its mission load of two, 2,000 pound laser-guided GBU-10s, one went on the other inboard pylon and one went on an outboard pylon. This left the two remaining stations for fuel – a 600 gallon tank on the belly (centerline) and one 370 gallon tank on the other outboard station. Operationally, then, when the inboard bomb is dropped, there is asymmetric weight and drag on the inboard pylon (not as big a problem as the outboard pylon since it’s closer to the fuselage). When the outboard bomb is dropped, the same situation happens but it’s more pronounced than the inboard situation because it’s farther from the centerline. I suspect that outboard 370 gallon tank was used up first so that when the outboard GBU-10 was dropped, there was no longer much if an asymmetric weight issue (but there was asymmetric drag). However, this was somewhat offset by the Pave Knife pod providing drag on the opposite side.

Ho Chi Minh trial

Coblestone road the real Ho Chi Minh trail, a discarded bombie casing lying along the road, Ban Laboy

Scrap metal hunters on the Ho Chi Minh trail, Ban Laboy Ford

Scrap metal hunters on the Ho Chi Minh trail, Ban Laboy Ford

Customs officer Ho Chi Minh trail border crossing

Customs officer Ho Chi Minh trail border crossing

May 112014
 

Long Cheng Airstrip

Long Cheng Airstrip

long cheng pano

Long Cheng Panorama

Long Cheng airstrip

Lone umbrella, Long Cheng airstrip

Sam Thong war scrap is used for houseing and to mount the TV satalite dish

Sam Thong war scrap is used for houseing and to mount the TV satalite dish

Airplane door being used on a shed in Xam Thong village a relic from the secret war

Airplane door being used on a shed in Xam Thong village a relic from the secret war

Cliff road on the Karst mountains surrounding Long Cheng

Cliff road on the Karst mountains surrounding Long Cheng

ls-20-Xam-Thong 1966

ls-20-Xam-Thong 1966

Miltary Map of Sam Thong valley and LS 20

Miltary Map of Sam Thong valley and LS 20

Xam Thong Valley and airstrip Ls 20

Xam Thong Valley and airstrip Ls 20

Air America, C 47, taking of from LS20 Sam Thong, 1966 (File Photo)

Air America, C 47, taking of from LS20 Sam Thong, 1966 (File Photo)

Fuel drums LS 20 Air strip

Fuel drums LS 20 Air strip

Cbu bomb container from the secret war era

Cbu bomb container from the secret war era

Truck convoy Long Cheng loaded with CBU containers

Truck convoy Long Cheng loaded with CBU containers

Road to Long Cheng

Road to Long Cheng

rare find, zippo-lighter-long-tieng

rare find, zippo-lighter-long-tieng

Minerals Patina copper ore, on the Karst mountains

Minerals Patina copper ore, on the Karst mountains, this rock is 2 meters tall!

Phou Kham Copper Gold mine, new to the neigborhood

Phou Kham Copper Gold mine, new to the neigborhood

Copper concentrate going 24/7

Copper concentrate going 24/7

Pou Bia mining truck

Pou Bia mining truck

Pou Bia Mine site

Pou Bia Mine site

Road Marker on the way to the Secret War road

Road Marker on the way to the Secret War road

airstrip-fuel-drums

Rusty fuel drum on the site of the old LS 20 Airstrip

Re-Fueling XAm Thong Ls 20 (File Photo)

Re-Fueling XAm Thong Ls 20 (File Photo)

Xam Thong house with memories of the War days

Xam Thong house with memories of the War days

Hmong Villagers Long Cheng

Hmong Villagers Long Cheng

Traditional grist mill ,man powered in Hmong village on the Secret war road

Traditional grist mill ,man powered in Hmong village on the Secret war road

Hmong villagers in the jungle with lunch!

Hmong villagers in the jungle with lunch!

Secret war road passing through jungles

Secret war road passing through jungles

Russian Kamaz River ford

Russian Kamaz River ford

Digging out the pressure tunnel

Digging out the pressure tunnel

dam-site1

Dam Site excavation

New boys in the nieghborhood, development taking off in Xiasombone

New boys in the neighborhood, development taking off in Xiasombone

Oct 072013
 

Abandoned hotel

Abandoned hotel

Casino closed

Casino closed

New inhabitants

New inhabitants

Buffalo's roaming on the casino floors

Buffalo’s roaming on the casino floors

Chained up doors

Chained up doors

Ghost town

Ghost town

Chains

Chains

Louang Namtha

Louang Namtha

Casino panorama

Casino panorama

Salt drying pans Boten what a contrast to the Casino SEZ just a few kilometers away

Salt drying pans Boten what a contrast to the Casino SEZ just a few kilometers away

Hot smelly work at the salt pans

Hot smelly work at the salt pans

salt pans

salt pans

Customs checkpoint Boten

Customs checkpoint Boten

Boten international border checkpoint

Boten international border checkpoint

Security officer Chinese

Security officer Chinese

border post

border post