In 1966 the 25th Infantry Division established its divisional headquarters at Cu Chi, South Vietnam. It was built above the tunnels and was soon attacked from within. I find it hard to believe that they did this knowing what was there? A big blunder on the commander’s part? Guess they knew? None-the-less it was my division and I was and am proud of it.
Comment from Major General Ellis W. Williamson, who commanded the 173rd Airborne Brigade to clear the ground for the Cu Chi base camp.
“What kind of outfit is it that can’t even secure its own headquarters?”
Comment from Lieutenant General Fred C. Weyand, who commanded the 25th Infantry Division.
“We realized that there were tunnels, and gradually we realized the extent of them.”
I was with the 25th Infantry Division and was stationed at Tay Ninh, RVN. I did go through our main base camp at Cu Chi before being sent on north to Tay Ninh. These tunnels were also through out our Area of Operation in Tay Ninh. It seemed that the enemy just lived underground and would come up to attack us and then scramble to hide underground again. We encountered a lot of harassment rounds in his fashion.
They started the tunnels back when the fought the French in the early 1950’s. The French garrison surrendered on May 7th, 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam. When we moved in the just expanded the tunnels.
To give you some perspective of the tunnel complexes see the images below.
We had BRAVE soldiers who would go into and attack the enemy in these tunnels.
Traps were set with spiders, snakes and scorpions to stop the “Tunnel Rats” from doing their job, but without success by the enemy.
Reference info from:
“The Vietnam War” Crown Publishers, Inc. 1979