I found this site many years ago when trying to figure out where I got the silver BB that rainy monsoon September morning during Operation Leapfrog/Forward Thrust. Truth be told, I can’t say where it (the internet site) was but it may have been the Ravens site known then as the Edgar Allan Poe Literary Society (EAPLS). I don’t see this one listed there anymore but its value is immeasurable.
This is gold when you are trying to research a PTSD claim. Far too often we forget the AO and the names of towns or provinces we were traveling through. 45-50 years can take a toll on our collective memories. Knowing many of you were brought in as replacements to replenish casualties, and the added effect that no one wanted to develop close ties due to the pain of losing them abruptly to an errant bullet or B 40, we often have no collective resource to turn to in the form of buddies.
Place names tend to stick in our minds more than nicknames. I always remembered Ban Moung Soui (Lima 108) as being close to where I almost got immortalized on the Wall but I was wrong. Ban, in both Thailand and Laos, means home. It also connotes a collective noun meaning village. Thus you can see why every large bump in the road began with it.
These maps were used by air crews during the war because they were a) there; b) fairly accurate and c) we needed them pronto. The French did a magnificent job of cartography during their one hundred plus years of colonial rule. Our military used their own maps in Vietnam but they still were based largely on these earlier ones. Since we were not “in” Laos in the military context, we used these. They listed all the Lima sites which were generally villages that had a short airstrip. Some folks can’t conceive of there being no roads. I liken the analogy to Alaska.
The author of the map site, Jim Henthorn, has no idea how valuable this trove of geographical detail can and will be for Veterans working on their VA Claims. Here’s the link to his site. http://911gfx.nexus.net/vietnam.html
I will put this post up as a widget for your easy reference in the future. It’s now up at the top in the black widgets section under SEA maps.