The Crows Nest

Most Marines who served in Vietnam have seen or,heard of “The Marble Mountain” located near China Beach and the Marine Air Facility at Da-Nang.Some might not know that there was more than one Marble Mountain.There was the double peaked “Chinstrap”,”Big No Name”, “Little No Name” and “The Crows Nest”. After spending most of my TOD as an 0331 with “Echo” 2/1 and after recovering from an infected “Centipede” bite, I was transferred to the “H&S Co” 2/1 located near the mountains.I had about 5 weeks or so left in country and after an unpleasant encounter with the Company Gunny was sent to the OP at “The Crows Nest”. At least I was ,kinda, out of the fight.After about a 400 foot climb to the top, with the assist of a rope, I was greeted by the NCOIC. I can not remember his name but he was a Staff Sgt. I was assigned to assist the FO for the 81 Mortars based at the base of the Mountain.I still remember the view from top. To the south was the “Dodge City”, Dien-Ban area,My ole stomping grounds, farther south and,on a clear day LZ Baldy could be seen.To the west toward “Four Corners” was “Charley Ridge” To the north was the Marine Air Facility, the Da-Nang Airbase and farther up the coast was the “Hai-Van Mountain”. To the east were the “Barrier Islands” and the “South China Sea” Were not just Marines there.We had 2 Army guys that operated the big search light and 1 Corpsman. As far as the duty goes it was great but it was really hot during the day and cold and windy at night. Oh, forgot about the dogs! don’t know how long they were there or how they got there but there were at least 5 that I remember. Our main duty was to watch for rocket launches at night and try to pinpoint the location and relay the info to arty or mortar units. We also had a Starlight Scope and a huge pair of Navy Ship Binoculars to help watch for infiltrators. During the day if you did not have watch we could go down to HQ and clean up and go to the PX.The only rule was to be back by 1700.About a week before my rotation date I went back to H&S and began checking out then “Homeward Bound” on the big “Freedom Bird” . P.S. Forgot to mention the 106mm we also had. Also had a 40×40 LZ VN July 68–Aug 69

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28 thoughts on “The Crows Nest”

  1. I to had the honor of serving on the OP “Crows Nest” in early 1970. You are right on about the view.When I was reassigned to “K” 3/1 I was a little disappointed and always wanted to go back to The Nest with a camera. The dogs were still there at least 5 or 6 when I was there and the NCOIC was Staff Sgt.Aasen when I was there Thanks for the memory. Paul Ford Nam 69-70

      1. It was what I named my”60″ also my call sign on the late night “B.S. Freq” nothing more nothing less Although,I was voted most likely to shoot someone for no particular reason.Kidding!

  2. As a CAP Marine, was a memeber of the CAP platoon at the foot of the mountain- ville was Nui Kim Son. On a return trip to Vietnam several years ago, had the “pleasure” of ascending one those promontories and enjoying the view. Semper Fi

  3. While serving with the ROK Marines I was posted on a Hill just outside of DaNang near Hoi An and it it was a quite large hill with and old French tower that overlooked the area, during the stay I had participated in the ARC52 raid (B52 bomb strike) what I remember when the strike took place at 1200 hrs it sounded like a big air storm and then …..chaos…many of those 500lbers got very close ……then one day the Army was holding field operations in our area, and unknown to me 105s were going over the top of us and then….one hit on our hill just outside of our ammo dump….blew me inside my hill bunker….and being a radio operator I called back to base and reported the situation……I remained quite calm……..YEAH RIGht!!!!………..Just thought I would share……another little story…….Semper Fi…………….

  4. 68-69..August 69 went to H&S Security Platoon Danang Just next door to Freedom Hill, we worked the the pass at the base of the “Crows Nest” had bunker installations which zig-zagged its way up the mountain side over the pass into the back doorway to Danang. We went out at night and manned the bunkers. We had a “Tiger” Squad” which went out and patrolled beyond the pass for infiltration. September they were over run and the pass was compromised and ALL HELL BROKE LOSE, even the Band was bought up on line. Freedom Hill was shuttered for a few days to complete a sweep for security concerns. And I thought that was supposed to be my wind down. The Gunny said “ I’ve got a sweet Tit for you for the next 30 days till you get Ya Azz on that Bird”. I had spent my entire Southern Asian Vacation with Charlie 1/5 in the Badlands, so I was looking forward to that “Tit”..YEAH RIGHT”. SEMPER FI, LADIES.

  5. Actually Marble Mountain was the name of the area. It consisted of 5 mountains, each with Vietnamese names. In 1967 we (3rd Amtracs) moved our Bn. CP from Da Nang to Marble Mountain. Yes I remember that recoiless rifle well. I was doing perimeter guard one beautiful quiet night. Luke the Gook down in the valley took some pot shots at Chinstrap. I watched the 50 cal tracer go out then a loud band with white sparks out of the barrel. They went back and forth for about an hour. I left the mountain at the end of April 68 for home. If you watched 60 minutes some years back, they showed the VC had a full field hospital in that mountain.

  6. I was on the flight line in Danang during TET of 68……what fun. I glad this this article give me a chance to say thanks for the great protection my Brother Marines provided from outside that wire surrounding the Marine and Air Force aircraft operations areas. Inside the wire, we often spoke of you guys out there. Marble Mountain, Monkey Mountain, China Beach, etc were mostly places we “Airdailes” on the flightline just heard about. Now I know that there were over-watching warm bodies out there actually looking out for us. Semper Fi Bothers – Glad you made you back

    1. After reading your article and calling yourself an airdail reminded me of coming back from RVN. Dec/1965 We flew into El Toro MCAS CA. what a shock! Nobody was wearing the correct uniform of the day “greens” and no one bloused their utility trousers, and no one saluted officers. Not like when we left Camp Pendleton, Oct/1964 or even at Camp Schwab, Okinawa I couldn’t believe the Corps changed that much or that fast! (it didn’t) My new duty station was MP Co. MCRD San Diego, CA. and while walking to supply the very first day there. Two WM Officers walking towards me, I felt a little salty, we were the first combat ground force Marines back from RVN so I gave them the proper greeting of “Good Morning Ladies”and walked by them, one yelled come back here Marine, they jumped all over me for not saluting them! I told them where I just came from officers didn’t wear rank insignia or want to be saluted, she told me I can see by your ribbons “where you’ve been” but your not there now and we deserve to be saluted which I rendered and learned another valuable lesson.

      1. Gerald, I was in the Corp 64-69. Enlisted Feb. 64 separated Sept. 69. My serv.# 2095, just trying to figure out how a 2097 came to and departed from RVN same time as I did. hyoungsr@hotmail.com Semper Fi brother.

    2. JIM DID YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO WORKED THE FLIGHT LINE IN THE GROUND SUPPORT SHOP???? WE FIXED THE BOMB LOADERS THE 105 ENGINE STARTERS THE UNITS THAT CHECKED THE FIGHTERS ELECTRIAL SYSTEMS ETC ETC, IF IT WAS BROKE WE TRIED TO FIX IT. WHERE DID YOU LIVE??? GO DOWN THE BEER NCO SHACK?? DID YOU SEE THE HILLS OF DEAD VC AFTER TET.THANK GOD FOR PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGION. THAT WAS ONE OF THE NIGHTS OF MANY THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE FOR SURE. PRAYED MY ASS OFF. IF YES E-MAIL ME. BRENDAN MCCARRON@AOL.COM. THANKS.

  7. I was an 0311/OJT radio operator with Mike 3/1 CUPP. We operated in the villages a few clicks around Hill 55 in 1970. Was always so thankful for the support we got from 81’s and Fox 2/11 105’s off Hill 55. Unfortunately I still go there a few nights a week. We used to send a couple of our guys about every other week to Freedom Hill PX. We would hitch hike in and back. One time when I went we saw an Army Huey Gun Ship sitting on the pad. We walked over to look at it as the crew came out. They asked where we were going and they gave us a ride right to the village where our squad was. They wondered why an Army Huey was landing until we jumped out. Sure beat hitch hiking. Semper Fi my Blood Bros.

  8. TWO COMMENTS ON YOUR COMMENTS. NO MARINE I KNOW OR KNEW WOULD HAVE ALLOWED TWO DIKE WOMEN WHO CALLED THEMSELVES MARINES DO THAT TO THEM. MYSELF WOULD HAVE DROPPED TO THE GROUND AND BEGGED FOR FORGIVNESS. THEN I HAVE LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. MARINE DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE MIDDLE FINGER AT ATTENTION MEANS? YOU SURVIVED VIETNAM. WHY TAKE CRAP FROM MAKE BELIEVE MARINES WHO NEVER SAW COMBAT AND JUST WANTED TO ORDER MEN AROUND. WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO HAVE ONE OF THEM OR ANY FEMALE IN CHARGE OF YOUR PLATOON=== COMPANY OR ANY PART OF COMBAT MARINES??? FROM MY EXPERIENCE EVEN NEWBE MALE OFFICERS WHO PULLED THAT GRAP. THEY HAD A VERY SHORT LIFE SPAN IN COMBAT. YOU SAID YOU RETURNED FROM NAM DEC1965 SO YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGES OF MARINES RIFLES SINCE WE ALL CARRIED LOADED RIFLES ON SAFTY OF COURSE THERE WERE ACCIDENTAL DISCHARES MOST IN CHOW LINES. YOUR CORRECT. I AM A MARINE WHO SERVED IN NAM 1966, 67, AND PART OF 68. TET SURVIVR. SAFE AT DANANG—-NO FEMALE MARINES IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING. THANK GOD. I AM ALSO A MAN WHO BELIEVES THERE IS NO PLACE IN COMBAT FOR WOMEN. I AM ALSO A CHOVINEST BIG AND BAD SPELLER. FINAL COMMENT ON SALUTING FEMALE MARINES. THE CORRECT ANSWER——I ONLY SALUTE REAL MARINE OFFICERS. SORRY JUST PUSHED MY PISSED OFF BUTTON ON THIS MILITARY WOMEN SHIT. BRENDAN 1ST MAW DANANG.1966, 67 SOME OF 68. MARINE THANKS FOR THE MEMORY AND SORRY IF I OFFENDED YOU..

  9. Mr McCarron, Suggest u read the book “shoot like a girl”. It may change your view on women in combat. Danang, Phu Bai, Dong Ha ‘67.

    1. TONY NEVER READ THE BOOK OR HEARD OF IT. NOT SURPRIZING SINCE I DON’T READ FICTION.YOU LIKE WOMEN MARINES GOOD FOR YOU. HOPE YOU MARRIED ONE. SEMPER FI MARINE. HELL I DIDN’T MARINES READ ABOUT MARINES. THEY LIVED IT.

  10. I encountered many “butter bars” in Vietnam – none of them women- who knew it all and that “knowledge” got Marines killed. While I never took part in any “accidental” discharge or “sh1tter fragging” ,it did happen. As far as saluting an officer, you are not saluting the person, no matter the gender, you are saluting the rank. 3/5 1stMarDiv. RVN ’69-’70 An Hoa.

  11. HEY SGT GRIT, HOW THE FUCK YOU BUY THE HISTORY OF CAMP PENDLETON MOVIE !!! YOU OFFER IT BUT NO WAY TO BUY IT.

  12. I also was with the 1st Marine Division in Korea in 1951. Don’t see many stories for that operation. Guess most have retired to the golden gates except for a few. I’m on the list soon. 88 years old. Scheduled for the great beyond before too long. Semper Fi.

  13. 1966-67 was at DaNang ACo 9th Engnr. Bn attached with 7 th Engnr Bn. Was in charge of two mine sweeps at Marble Mountain area. I remember several incidents radioing the Crows Nest at Marble Mountain for assistance. Experienced a couple close calls only God was with me.

  14. Served with 1/7 Bravo and H&S companies as field radio operator. Served in the areas you describe that you could see. From hill 10, 55, 37, 65 and LZ Baldy. Was also in Dodge City, Arizona territory, Charley ridge, etc. 68/69

  15. I was with 1/5 in An HOA in ’70. Never saluted an officer while in country and never had a Butter Bar platoon commander. As for Marble Mountain, I only know of it, not been there. Freedom Hill was the place for the trip back to the world.

  16. You’re one of the “real” ones Paul, talked the talk and walked the walk. lol. If you remember 10, 55, Dodge City, Charlie Ridge…then you remember Happy Valley. Semper Fi.

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