U.S. Naval Support Activity My Tho (1966-1969)


This strategically placed city in the republic of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region was the home for several river patrol boat (PBR) units from the U.S. Navy’s River Patrol Force during the Vietnam War. Naval leaders chose to develop a base there because My Tho lay at the junction of route 4 the only relatively good road traversing the delta—and the My Tho River. This river was important for the Navy’s conduct of the Game Warden waterway interdiction operation, an it provided easy access for logistic ships deployed in the South China Sea. Another factor in it’s selection was it’s proximity to Kien Hoa Province, purportedly the birth place of the Viet Cong National Liberation Front and long a communist stronghold. The subsequent enemy mortar and rocket attacks on the U.S. naval Installations certainly attested to the validity of this assessment. Finally, location of American naval units at the Vietnamese Navy River Assault Group base, it hoped would foster allied cooperation and make use of existing facilities.

In June 1966 a ten-boat section of River Division 53 began patrol operations from the My Tho base, which hardly warranted that description. Repair, spare parts, and ammunitions were stored in tents or rudimentary shelters. Personnel were quartered away from the waterfront in based buildings, including the less than sumptuous two-story Victory Hotel. To alleviate these problems construction began in November on new structures at a nearby Site. Although the base was fully operational by March 1967, with establishment of the Naval Support Activity Saigon, Detachment My Tho, additional construction provided helicopter facilities at the existing 1,600 foot airstrip, a 1,000 barrel fuel tank farm, and a mine defense net upriver. As part of the Vietnamization process, the My Tho base was turned over to the Vietnamese Navy in November 1969.