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Menrva

Myth of North Vietnam ABs (info needed)

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Hi, everyone. As some of you know, I am working on a huge revamp of the stock VietnamSEA terrain which is a complete mess to say the least. I have moved numerous airbases and cities to their correct Real World locations, and fixed much of the tiling throughout the various regions.

I found real info about most airfields that TK added (even with some mistakes, there's no such thing as a Hue Airbase, for instance). However, I have been unable to find anything useful on two North Vietnam airfields, which are shrouded in mystery; Khe Phat and Ben Loi.

VIETNAMSEA_screenshot_000.jpg.08df33ea4ed71352c907e46d1f377d48.jpg

By googling Khe Phat airfield, I only found the following: https://books.google.it/books?id=A4W2AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA4&lpg=PA4&dq=khe+phat+airfield&source=bl&ots=IuFDTnJJy5&sig=ACfU3U0Gy-xoTdk9ksldZkzm7oZzBez8_g&hl=it&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiY2cnX3sbnAhUOT8AKHb9xDIkQ6AEwDnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=khe phat airfield&f=false

This confirms that Khe Phat existed, being under construction in 1972. The link also mentions Ha Tinh airfield, but there's no such thing in TK's terrain. Looking for the other "mythological" airfield, Ben Loi, I have found nothing at all. Ben Loi either is invented, or is the Ha Tinh airfield mentioned above, or even is a mis-spelled Dan Loi airfield, as featured in this overview chart I found by chance:

5e32bcfbb7a50_VPAFAirfields2.PNG.a8318a70977c108a7f4bf197b14fb040.PNG

I am aware that most users do not care about details such as accurate target area coordinates or correct runway headings. However, I really want to feature those two airfields (Khe Phat and Ben/Dan Loi). The above chart is not enough for me. Most of the airfields I corrected in my revamp, I was able to find them on Google Earth; wiki gave me correct coordinates for them, so I could easily see where those bases are/were. Even if Quan Lang airfield no longer exists, I was able to find its remains through some photos of the Vietnam War period. But Khe Phat and Ben/Dan Loi are a complete mystery.

I would like to have info on those two airfields, so I can pinpoint their location in the Real World, and hopefully see which heading their runways had. Any help is much appreciated!

Edited by Menrva
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I found the coordinates on Ben Loi, but there's no mention of an airfield. This doesn't mean there wasn't an FOB or some other temporary facility there....but I'll keep looking for more

http://www.maplandia.com/vietnam/ha-tinh/cam-xuyen/ben-loi/

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/vietnam/airfields.htm

http://dictionary.sensagent.com/List_of_airports_in_Vietnam/en-en/

 

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Looks like Khe Phat was a target during Linebacker 

 

5e41a4054bef1_KhePhat.JPG.a5c7e849d061fa5e3be25d5300e76730.JPG

 

Don't seem to have anything on Ben Loi or Dan Loi

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This has been driving us both bat-shit crazy. It's amazing to me, after nearly (or over?) 15 years that no one has caught the innumerable mistakes on this map (don't even get me started on the "straddling the river cities")

all help is deeply appriciated!! The sooner we get these oddities sorted, to sooner we can get it in your hands, and the sooner you get to fly all those neat aeroplanes I've been showing the "French Airpower in Indochina" thread!! :biggrin:

 

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3 minutes ago, Gepard said:

Perhaps this map could help.

Thanks, Gepard, I had this map already. Unfortunately, this map lists Indochina airfields, pre-Vietnam war AFAIK.

The ones I am looking for, Khe Phat and Ben Loi/Dan Loi/Ha Tihn, were only existent since 1972, and most likely were temporary airfields. I managed to find aerial photos of Quan Lang airfield, which nowadays cannot be seen, it's covered by farmlands. This may well be the case for those two mysterious airfields.

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IIRC there were temporary airstrips somewhere in dshungle. The MiG-21 were transported there by Mi-6 helicopters. Take off was made with JATO rockets. I'm not sure wheter this strips were used for landing.

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In addition to what I said, it seems that both Khe Phat and Ben Loi are actually unused by TK. In campaigns there's no trace of them being used.

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That sort of simplfies matters, doesn't it?

Just repave them to match the other tiling, and we'll stick something else in their slot in the _targets.ini. One of the smaller city/villages I've added

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4 hours ago, Wrench said:

That sort of simplfies matters, doesn't it?

Just repave them to match the other tiling, and we'll stick something else in their slot in the _targets.ini.

Yes and no. I'm really thinking to remove Ben Loi, but Khe Phat is mentioned in some sources, even declassified by the CIA. So I still want to try and find more about it.

I am pretty sure Ben Loi is actually the Dan Loi/Ha Tinh airfield mentioned in a few sources, but it seems it is more difficult to find info about it.

I think the best resources in this regard could be in Vietnamese. The Vietnamese would know more about the VNAF. But I can only understand English.

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As an American, I too have a hard time understanding English (you KNOW is just had too!!!  :lol: )

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Khe Phat may also be named Khe Gat. In the links below you can see that a Khe Gat airfield is mentioned:

http://quangbinhtourist.com.vn/en/package/ho-chi-minh-trail/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Đồng_Hới

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong_Hoi_Airport#History

Now it's a matter of finding it on Google Earth. Hell, I wish I had more references. It's like finding a needle in the haystack.

Edited by Menrva

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What I said about Vietnamese sources... it was the way to go!

Khe Gát (the heavens know why the CIA named it Khe Phat) is documented, here below some links:

http://btlsqsvn.org.vn/Hoạt-động/bai-viet/san-bay-da-chien-khe-gat-va-chien-cong-cua-khong-quan-tiem-kich-bom-5199

https://www.sggp.org.vn/san-bay-khe-gat-290025.html

The articles are in Vietnamese, but you can simply use a translator. According to it, Khe Gat airfield was built during 1969, and used during the Battle of Dong Hoi of April 1972, as Wiki sources also confirm. It was a dirt strip at the time, not a proper airbase as TK added it in his terrain. It's sort of legendary in the history of Vietnam, as from this airbase two North Vietnam aces took off, and damaged two US Navy ships during the Battle of Dong Hoi. Nowadays it is part of the Ho Chi Minh highway!

Here's the area where the airfield used to be:

5e43e8a148c23_KheGat-KhePhatAirfield.thumb.jpg.fa2e0e9b9723567860c82dd64df653f2.jpg

Why I am studying to become an IT engineer, BTW? I'm better at doing deep researches. They should probably enlist me to work for the secret services... just saying :biggrin:

Edited by Menrva
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I just discovered that there is another undocumented airfield, Quang To:

VIETNAMSEA_screenshot_000.jpg.481deb4ffa3c28ed563f11c51af9f745.jpg

A few overview maps on some Vietnam War books call it Quang Ti (not to be confused with Quang Tri). There is absolutely no record of this airfield, the same case of Ben Loi/Dan Loi/Do Khe airfield. I wonder if those airfields really existed or were just American myths. I have not found info about them among Vietnamese sources. I'd be surprised to be proven wrong.

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Nice work and can hardly wait to try use this New Vietnam Terrain.

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Guess what? Another less documented airfield appeared! This time it is Dong Suong airfield. The only info I got was from declassified CIA documents. I was able to track it down via satellite imagery. Even though it's abandoned, its remains are still clearly visible. That gave me info about the runway's heading. The CIA docs tell that it was barely of any use for the VPAF. It most likely was a jet recovery base. It was first observed in May 1969.

Wikipedia was missing such an article, so I wrote it down. Hopefully it gets approved soon. It's a draft for the time being: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draft:Dong_Suong_Airfield

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Will this map be era-specific? I was wondering if you're doing a modern version as well.

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the original plan was 1945-1955, for the 1st Indochina war (well, that was my original plan, at least!). The Vitnam48 map will be seperate from the "standard" VietnamSEA map. It appears that, yes, 2 era specific version will most likely be appearing. the 1956-75 (ish) will replace the stock map, with a huge upgrade in targeting (like, all the fracking railroads!!!) Which means the original campaigns (all the stock ones) will get boned.

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9 hours ago, EricJ said:

Will this map be era-specific? I was wondering if you're doing a modern version as well.

Like Wrench said, two versions, one for the Indochina War and one for the Vietnam War. No modern/contemporary version (a lot of North Vietnam airfields were scrapped after the war, there is very scarce info about such dates, and new airports were built instead).

Edited by Menrva
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9 hours ago, Menrva said:

Like Wrench said, two versions, one for the Indochina War and one for the Vietnam War. No modern/contemporary version (a lot of North Vietnam airfields were scrapped after the war, there is very scarce info about such dates, and new airports were built instead).

There is also a somewhat smaller Vietnam People's Air Force nowadays... mostly Flanker variants with some Su-22 Fitters for frontline fighters.

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