Đà Nàng Air Base
Rocket Attack
July 15, 1967
366th SPS
As observed from
Monkey Mountain


by Ralph Manganiello
1966-1967
and
Jerry Sanger
© 2002

Perimeter Security Tower can be seen, grimly silhouetted by bombs cooking off in the ammo dump.

Đà Nàng Air Base, as viewed from Monkey Mountain.

Photo by Frank Lewicki

Monkey Mountain: Photo by: Frank Lewicki
This daylight photo will help orientate you to the following night photos. Note the location of the China Beach coast line on the left, and in each of the following photos.


Stand Off Rocket Attack begins, 0020 hours, July 15, 1967.
83 Rounds of 122mm Rockets, 140mm Rockets, and mortars were received.
USA: 10 Aircraft Destroyed, 49 Aircraft Damaged, 8 KIA, 175 WIA.
RVN: 00 Aircraft Destroyed, 01 Aircraft Damaged, 0 KIA, 0 WIA.

Photographer: Unknown
Da Nang AB rocket attack. Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss

From: Ralph Manganiello
July 15, 1967 Rocket Attack

It is so creepy to have come upon the Đà Nàng AB WebSite. Forty-one years ago I pulled a 90 day TDY at Monkey Mountain following several mortar attacks at Đà Nàng in March, 1967. I was looking for some action as a buck Sgt with the 366th Security Police Sq. Then I came back to Đà Nàng AB only to have Charlie throw a 45 minute attack at us with 122 MM soviet made rockets. They blew the hell out of the base that Saturday night. It's been a tough time for me trying to adjust after the war. Years later a couple punks made the mistake of trying to rob a liquor store that I was in and I shot one of them dead with one shot from a 357 Ruger. Afterwards the FBI agent working on a gang task force on violence asked where I learned to shoot so well. "Đà Nàng", I said. "Yeah, that makes sense", he said. In 1996 I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) from exposure to Agent Orange while there. For those unfamiliar with MM, it's bone marrow cancer. I've already had one stem-cell transplant in an attempt to stay alive. Having this cancer from the Agent Orange makes me feel like I'm still fighting in Nam. After combat you never really ever go home again.



At 0040 hours, the second volley of rounds hit a stack of 250 lb. bombs in the ammo dump which went off like the Fourth of July. Bomb frags everywhere. A brilliant flash turned night to day as if a nuke had exploded. A shock wave swept the base with heat and blast as the bomb dump exploded hurtling fire and debris thousands of feet into the air. Shrapnel rained for several minutes.

Photographer: Unknown
Da Nang AB rocket attack. Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss

 

From: Jerry Sanger
To:
Ralph Manganiello
July 15, 1967 Rocket Attack
Thank you very much, Ralph, you definitely made my day!! I remember a guy that was the lunatic who always used to keep us laughing our asses off telling Dave Gardner Jokes.  The pics were sent to me from a man I made contact with and have since lost his name and address. But I do remember him saying they were of the July rocket attack, they were taken from Freedom Hill 327. I ran across another Fellow in the guest book who was there at the same time and remembers me and has a photo of me, I am anxiously waiting for his photos. His name is Richard Davis we knew him as Gary, He spent most of the time on the mountain at water point.



Aircraft Hangers, barracks, revetments, and countless structures were damaged with gaping holes in walls and ceilings or peppered with shrapnel. The shrill whistling of incoming whining rockets impacted Đà Nàng's dual runways and taxiways. Security sirens wailed. Rockets continued to pound and crater the runways.

Photographer: Unknown
Da Nang AB rocket attack. Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss

Author: Frank Tanner
Subject: Re: July 15, 1967 Rocket Attack

I was on the flight line that night. I was riding SAT with Doc Holiday. Take care and keep the faith.


The following morning, the devastation from the previous night's attack was evident throughout Đà Nàng Air Base. The wing headquarters concrete buildings were heavily damaged with the tile roofs nearly void of tile. The hangars were all a tilt at 30 degrees or more. The new Air Force barracks were blown off foundations and ruined. All living and working buildings were heavily damaged by the intense shelling. 59 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. Of the twelve aircraft destroyed two were C-130 Hercules aircraft, 8 were F4-C Phantoms and two were F-8 Crusaders. A dump was created north of the runways where the smoking hulks were dragged and abandoned. Some were burning or smoldering days later. 83 mortar and rocket rounds were fired in the July 15 raid on Đà Nàng. Eight American military men were killed and 175 were wounded.

Photographer: Unknown Da Nang AB rocket attack. Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss


Đà Nàng's twin runways and taxiways were closed for 12 hours. The Stand Off Rocket attack of July 15, 1967 was the deadliest attack of the war at Đà Nàng Air Base.

Photographer: Unknown
Da Nang AB rocket attack. Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss

Đà Nàng Air Base, AKA: Rocket City, often had more than six Silk-Moons of false dawn orbiting the base. Freedom Hill 327 can be seen beneath the left flare, with convoy lights winding up the perimeter road.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, flight line, rocket crater and debris.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, flight line, debris.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, Gunfighter Village hut takes a rocket.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, Gunfighter Village hut rebuilding from a 122mm rocket.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, SP Post damaged from a 122mm rocket.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, SP Post damaged from a 122mm rocket.

Photographer unknown. Animation by: Don Poss
Đà Nàng Air Base, SP Post damaged from a 122mm rocket.



Two months earlier the Navy had pulled back the fence of the ammo dump to make room for our new barracks. About 20 minutes after the initial rocket impacts, that sudden extremely bright flash allowed us to see the shock wave as it flattened our new barracks. The sandbags that had up until then provided my security were tossed up in the air allowing me to see out for an instant before they collapsed on their self seemingly untouched by the explosion. Every bomb and rocket in that dump which was right next to us went up in a colossal explosion with what seemed to be fire and brimstone rising up from hell. Red-hot shrapnel rained for several minutes after the blast. There was no roof on the bunker then, so we all were burned or wounded by the fragments. I was treated later that night at a Marine chow hall where we spent the night until bomb disposal cleared our area next morning.

Bill Tokarsky (Turk)

 

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