6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK)
Chu Lai Today

Chu Lai Today

The 6th Battalion, 56th Artillery (HAWK) deployed north to Chu Lai in September 1968. The move was a relief of the 2d LAAM Battalion (HAWK) USMC. The Battalion was no newcomer to Vietnam it had been in country since October 1965. It had withstood all communist offensives, including the Tet offensive in Saigon, Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Bien Hoa Airbase, and Long Bien.

The 6thBattalion, 56th Artillery was the first HAWK missile battalion to be assigned to an infantry Division in combat. The battalion was assigned to the 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL).

The battalion’s mission was to provide air defense protection against low and medium altitude high speed hostile aircraft, by destroying, nullifying, or reducing their effectiveness.

The words “Chu Lai” are not Vietnamese, but a Mandarin Chinese abbreviation for the family name of US Marine General Victor Krulak, who selected the area around Dung Quat Bay for construction of an air field and base to supplement the major facility at Da Nang.  When told by his staff that the area had no name associated with it on the maps of the day, he immediately decided that it would be called Chu Lai. The Vietnamese government has continued to maintain both the facility and its name.

Currently access to the Chu Lai airbase area is restricted.  A picture taken in 2002 shows that the main gate to the Chu Lai airbase is still there.


Chu Lia Beach 


Chu Lai International Airport


Chu Lai Market 
Chu Lai Boad Landing Fishernen
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