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Middle Tennessee State University

Tour Reference: VN-14036

15 Days

7 March - 21 March 2014

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: (Friday - Saturday , 7 - 8 March) – Enroute

Report to Los Angeles International Terminal by 8:30 p.m. and proceed to ticketing counter.  Depart for Taipei and lose one day crossing the International Dateline.

Day 3: (Sunday, 9 March) – Ha Noi

After a short layover in Taipei, we depart for Vietnam.  At Ha Noi's Noi Bai Airfield, we proceed through immigration, retrieve our bags, clear customs, and board our motorcoach and cross the Red River and its dikes to explore the Ha Noi environs.  We visit the fascinating War Museum, the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), and the John McCain Monument.  This evening we enjoy a visit (mission permitting) to the Marine House, home of the U.S. Marine Corps Security Guard responsible for the protection of the U.S. Ambassador and the American Embassy.  This evening we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
Meals: B (in flight) /L/D          Hotel: Gondola

Day 4: (Monday, 10 March) – Ha Noi to Qui Nhon to Quang Ngai

This morning we have an early morning flight from Noi Bai Airfield to the coastal town of Qui Nhon.  Upon arriving in Qui Nhon, we travel north on Highway 1 from the Qui Nhon airport towards Quang Ngai.  Arriving in Bong Son, we pay our respects to 2nd LT John Fuqua, an infantry unit commander with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary, 1st Calvary Division.  Lt. Fuqua was from Nashville, TN.  At this place on January 31, 1966, he was killed by an enemy gunshot to the neck.  He was married and had a young daughter.  John was 22 years old.  Continuing north we visit sites around Duc Pho and Nui Dau Hill.  Our last stop is the infamous village of My Lai.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Petro Setco

Day 5: (Tuesday, 11 March) – Quang Ngai to Hoi An

Today we travel north on Highway 1 to the Operation Starlite area.  We then visit Chu Lai, Crescent Beach, and Ky Ha.  Before reaching Hoi An, we stop about six kilometers west-northwest of Tam Ky at the site where CPL James Howard gave his last full measure.  James was an infantryman with F Troop, 17th Calvary, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division.  He was single and from Madison, TN.  At this place on October 30, 1968, he was killed when the ACP on which he was riding hit an enemy mine and overturned.  James was 21 years old.  This evening you are free to roam the streets and shops of this ancient port city (formerly known as Faifo) where Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese traders once walked.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Green Heaven Hoi An Resort and Spa

Day 6: (Wednesday, 12 March) – Hoi An

Today we head south on Highway 1 and cross the Song Thu Bon.  Turning west, we parallel Goi Noi Island.  We climb to the Recon outpost on Hill 119 before heading to My Son Holyland which is located deep in the foothills of the Que Son Mountains.  My Son is the site of Trakieu, the ancient capital of the Cham Kingdom and contains ruins dating back to the 5th Century.  We then visit An Hoa Combat Base and Liberty Bridge.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Green Heaven Hoi An Resort and Spa

Day 7: (Thursday, 13 March) – Hoi An to Hue

Departing early this morning, we make a special stop to stand on the east bank of the Song Vinh Dien at the Cau Do Bridge.  Here we pause to remember 2nd LT Kenneth Kirkes, an infantry officer with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment, 1st Marine Division.  Lt. Kirkes was from Tullahoma, TN.  It was here on February 9, 1968 that he was killed by an enemy gunshot to the body.  He was single and 23 years old.  We then climb Marble Mountain to explore the VC hospital area located within.  After we drive through the MMAF (Marble Mountain Air Facility) area, we make a quick photo stop at My Khe Beach (a major in-country R&R center during the American War), better known as China Beach on the South China Sea.  We pass through Dog Patch as we depart Da Nang City and stop at Red Beach 2 (where the Marines made their amphibious landing in 1965) and Nam O Bridge, before heading up the Hai Van with a stop at the Pass to explore old French bunkers and take in a parting view of Da Nang and the bay.  Continuing down the Hai Van, we make several interesting stops along the way at Lang CoPhu Bai, and Camp Eagle.  We then enter Hue (the old Imperial Capital of Vietnam) and begin our study of the 1968 Tet Offensive battle for the southern city.  We follow the actions of 1/1 and 2/5, covering, among others, the Shell Gas Station, the former MACV Compound, Tran Cao Van Street, Joan of Arc Girl's High School, Hue University, Treasury, Public Health Building, Provincial Capital Building area, and the Church of the Redemptress.  After dinner, you can roam the fascinating shops on Le Loi Street until late at night. 
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Moonlight

Day 8: (Friday, 14 March) – Hue

This morning we take a relaxing cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc Tombs.  After lunch we visit the Citadel, with its ramparts and towers, and visit sites specific to the northern battle, including the Chuck Meadows and Dong Ba Gates and Phase Line Green.  We finish at the Imperial Palace gate blown by 1/5, which allowed the ARVN to enter and lower the NVA flag that had flown from the main flagpole for 24 days.  We then visit the Forbidden City, home to the ancient emperors.  The balance of your day is free.  Dinner is on our own tonight.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Moonlight

Day 9: (Saturday, 15 March) – Hue to Dong Ha

This morning we have an early morning departure and head north on Highway 1 toward the DMZ.  We stop to pay our respects to SGT Ned Brown, an infantryman with Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Calvary, 1st Calvary Division.  Sgt. Brown was from Columbia, TN.  He was killed on February 24, 1968 by enemy rocket shrapnel.  He had been listed as Missing-In-Action until his body was recovered on March 3, 1968.  He was single and 25 years old.  Our next stop is Camp Evans to remember CAPT James Luscinski, from Murfreesboro, TN.  He was killed October 10, 1969, flying as co-pilot, when his Cobra helicopter crashed during a Search & Rescue mission.  He served with Delta Company, 158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 101st Aviation Group.  James was married and had a son.  He was 30 years old.  We then enter Quang Tri City and visit the Long Hung Church and Bo De School, both of which depict the extreme violence suffered by both sides during the 1972 Easter Offensive.  Farther north in Dong Ha, we visit the Lew Puller School and the EOD Museum.  At the Song Bo Dieu we walk over the Dong Ha Bridge (destroyed by John Ripley which stopped the initial NVA advance during the 1972 Easter Offensive).  Continuing north on Highway 1 we pass Gio Linh FSB Forward (Alpha 2) before coming to the Peace Bridge over the Song Ben Hai, the river that was the only true physical demarcation between the North and South.  We then explore the tunnel complex in the NVA artillery village of Vinh Moc.  We return to Dong Ha and our hotel. 
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Saigon Dong Ha

Day 10: (Sunday, 16 March) – Dong Ha to Lao Bao

Departing very early, we head west on Route 9.  Our first stop will be Cam Lo Bridge.  Next we visit Con Thien (the Hill of Angels).  Heading south, we make our way to Hill 70.  This is where CPL Prentice Bennett, from Hohenwald, TN was killed on July 17, 1968 by shrapnel wounds to the face and body during an enemy attack.  He served as a rifleman with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, aka “The Walking Dead.”  Prentice was single and 23 years old.  Returning to Route 9 we continue west to Camp Carroll, the Marine artillery plateau.  Next is the Rockpile and the Razorback.  We will come upon other sites that were of military importance during the war, including the Khe Gia Bridge, Vandergrift Combat Base (LZ Stud), and Ca Lu.  After lunch in Khe Sanh village, we head north to the Khe Sanh Combat Base where we will spend ample time exploring.  Next is the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp, overrun in the first ever NVA tank assault.  Co Roc Mountain soars to the heavens just across the border.  Tonight we stay in the Laotian border town of Lao Bao in somewhat Spartan accommodations.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Sepon

Day 11: (Monday, 17 March) – Lao Bao to Hue

This morning we head east on Route 9 until we come to the Da Krong Bridge.  From the bridge, we venture south deep into the Da Krong and A Shau valleys.  We stop in A Loui to remember SP4 Jerry Lovell, a mortarman with Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.  Jerry was from Shelbyville, TN.  He lost his life on Hamburger Hill from multiple fragmentation wounds.  Jerry was listed as Missing-In-Action on May 18, 1969.  His body was recovered on May 24, 1969.  He was married.  Jerry was 22 years old.  We then turn east as we make our way back to Hue City.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Moonlight

Day 12: (Tuesday, 18 March) – Hue

Today is a well-deserved free day devoted to shopping, exploring on our own, or for relaxing.  Lunch is on our own, but since we are losing three of our group tomorrow, all hands gather for our very special Farewell Dinner tonight
Meals: B/_/D           Hotel: Moonlight

Day 13: (Wednesday, 19 March) – Hue to Ha Noi   (Group 2 - Hue to Ho Chi Minh City)

This morning we head to Phu Bai Airfield and catch our flight to Ha Noi.  The afternoon is free for shopping, exploring on our own, or just relaxing.  Tonight dinner is on our own.
Meals: B/L/_           Hotel: Gondola

(Group 2)  This morning we head to Phu Bai Airfield and catch our flight to Ho Chi Minh City.  Landing at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, we collect our bags and board our waiting transportation.  As we leave the airport, we pass by the old MACV HQ, the U.S. Army's 3rd Field Hospital, and the ARNV HQ and head into the center of the city (still called Saigon by most Vietnamese).
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Palace Hotel Saigo

Day 14: (Thursday, 20 March) – Ha Noi   (Group 2 - Ho Chi Minh City)

Today we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh House, the One Pillar Pagoda, and mission permitting, we head to JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) for a command briefing on their efforts.
Meals: B/L/D          Hotel: Gondola

(Group 2)  Today we visit Cha Cham Church (where President Diem fled during the 1963 coup and was captured, removed, and murdered).  Next is the War Remnants Museum.  After lunch we tour the old Presidential Palace (now called Reunification Hall), Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office, and the US Consulate located in the former U.S. Embassy compound.  Tonight we take a dinner cruise on the Saigon River.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Palace Hotel Saigo

Day 15: (Friday, 21 March) – Departure   (Group 2 - Ho Chi Minh City)

After breakfast, those heading home transfer to Noi Bai Airfield for the flight to Taipei.  Departing from Taipei, we gain a day enroute to the continental United States by re-crossing the International Dateline, arriving in Los Angeles at approximately 3:00 p.m. this same day.
Meals: B/L/D (in flight)

(Group 2)  We rise early and head to Tay Ninh Province to visit the great Cao Dai Holy See Temple and observe the Noon Ceremony.  Our next stop is the Cu Chi Tunnels where we explore this amazing tunnel complex.
Meals: B/L/D           Hotel: Palace Hotel Saigo

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