Just outside the Ho Chi Minh diorama, the Armed Forces History Museum has a recreated display of a firebase similar to those used during the Vietnam War during the Battle of Khe Sanh.  Inside the firebase is an 81 mm M1 mortar and armed marines in authentic field gear   Also included in this area is a visual and audio recording by one of our own volunteers recounting his experience during the Vietnam War in the Battle of Khe Sanh. 

A Brief Look at the Vietnam Firebases

During the Vietnam War, Fire Support Bases were set up to support infantries in areas that extended beyond the normal range of their own base camp’s direct fire support.  These Vietnam Firebases were generally a permanent encampment, which would be dismantled and moved as the units they protected moved.  Generally, these firebases consisted of six 105 mm or 155 mm howitzers, engineers (platoon members who would remain with the base), a Landing Zone, a center set up for Tactical Operations, a staff of medics and aid station, a communications bunker and a company of infantry.  Some of the larger Fire Support Bases would also have – in addition to the above – two artillery batteries and an infantry battalion.