Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

Home Up N0EFD Chu Lai N0EFD 1968 N0EFD DaNang N0EFD_RedPhone N0EFD_Stories USS_George_Clymer



November Zero Echo Foxtrot Delta

1st Marine Division, RVN

March 1966 -

Amateur call N0EFD  is not assigned.

 How Chu Lai Was Named

As U.S. participation in Vietnam increased it became apparent that the air base facilities in DaNang would become over-taxed and that an alternate site was needed to accommodate the Marines that would be coming into the country.  A commander’s conference was called to work out recommendations.  After some discussion Chu Lai was chosen as the site.  The participants of the meeting were not overly concerned that the site they had selected could not be immediately located on maps of the area. 

The plan for the Chu Lai facility was sound, except for the fact that not even the local Vietnamese knew where it was.  The reason was really quite simple.

General Victor H “Brute” Krulak commander of FMF Pacific had previously predicted the need for such a facility and on one of his earlier visits to Vietnam had scouted out a location for the airfield.  Some 57 miles southeast of DaNang on the flat coastal plain area bordering Quang Tin and Quang Ngai provinces he found the ideal spot.  Big enough for an airfield, serviced by a major road and close to the coast, it could easily be reached by air, land and sea.  Told the area had no official name, General Krulak used his prerogative and christened the area Chu Lai, the Mandarin Chinese letters for his own name!   The name remains to this day. 

The base became the first Headquarters for the 1st Marine Division in-country and N0EFD, the division’s first MARS station initially operated from Chu Lai.