Photos Of Saigon From Alfred Krabbenhoeft - Taken Feb 68 - Sept 68
While stationed at Newport Army Terminal, I had the opportunity to visit the city of Saigon and surrounding areas. Leaving Newport, you would travel west on Highway #1 to the first intersection which was about a quarter mile
away from Newport. At that intersection, you would turn south and follow that road through a small village area, then over a small bridge. Just past the bridge, the Saigon Zoo was located on the east side of the road and not far
south of the same road, AFVN television and radio stations were also located on the east side of the road. Being an older building with a large exterior wall built around it, a large amount of activity always made this place quite
noticeable. Continuing down the road for a short distance, you would run into the main street in Saigon where you would turn right.
Along this street were located many large and impressive buildings, the first of which was the massive American Embassy. My photos of the American Embassy were taken shortly after TET and after completion of the damage
done to the building and surrounding wall. Across the street from the Embassy were the headquarters of Shell Oil-quite an impressive building, as were most of the buildings located near the American Embassy. Located directly
west of the American Embassy was the French Embassy. Traveling west on the main street, the Presidential Palace stood directly at the end of the street-a very large and impressive building with a massive courtyard and
surrounding grounds. This place yielded large security forces and travel was limited to within a block or two of the Palace.
This is where you would turn left at the location of The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, or the John F. Kennedy Memorial, and travel along a two lane street towards downtown Saigon, passing the Continental Palace Hotel, the
most luxurious hotel in Saigon.
|Front Of The National Assembly Building
Just past the Continental Palace Hotel was The National Assembly Building and then The Caravelle Hotel. Continuing south on this street, known as Tu Do Street, you would encounter many bars and nightclubs where some of
the most beautiful women in Saigon would attract about every soldier walking down the street. Backing up to the location of The National Assembly Building and looking southeast from in front of that building was a divided
street that ran through downtown Saigon and into the Cholon Sector of the city.
The Marine Statue stood about two blocks down this street which was destroyed upon the fall of Saigon. Located in this area were many shops, bars, hotels, flower market, the USO, and hundreds of motorcycles parked in the
middle of the street. Just about everywhere around Saigon were Black Market Vendors; if the PX didn't have it, they did. Traveling on into the Cholon Sector of Saigon still showed signs of heavy fighting and one didn't feel very
comfortable in this area.
|Taxis Lined Up Outside The Commissary In Cholon Sector Of Saigon
| The Marine Statue - Destroyed During Fall Of Saigon Park Downtown Saigon Next to Presidential Palace
My travels to Cholon were to visit the Army Commissary where stateside food items were plentiful and reasonable in price. Most trips to this area were quick and short. Upon returning to the city, we would go through the
central market, past the Saigon Post Office and City Hall and drive through some of the upper class neighborhoods of Saigon. Some of the old Chevrolets were quite a sight as were some of the primitive modes of transportation.
One day traveling from Saigon to Ton Son Nhut through an upper class sector, I noticed a 1959 Chevy Corvette sitting in the driveway of a well-to-do residence.
Vietnamese Police (White Mice)-Check Out The 55 Chevy Saigon Post Office
Upper Class Housing Near The Heart Of Saigon Downtown Saigon
Ton Son Nhut air base was another place we often visited for PX supplies. During one visit in early 1968, a few of us from Newport waited in line at the theater in Ton Son Nhut to see the first movie released about Vietnam, The
Green Berets, with John Wayne. This show really captivated the crowd, which was mainly soldiers. At times, the reality of parts of the movie brought some strong response from many. Leaving Ton Son Nhut, the trip back to
Newport was only a 15-minute ride, depending on traffic and if you avoided the main part of Saigon. My travels through and around Saigon were something that many of the soldiers from the 71st never experienced, but to those
who did get to spend some time in Saigon, I hope my photos bring back some memories.
|Store Front Across From Main Gate Of Ton Son Nhut
|Flower Market Downtown Saigon
Horse Drawn Carriage
|7 O'Clock News (Silent Night) - Simon & Garfunkel - 1966
|The National Assembly Building
Intersection Of Tu Do Street And Continental Palace Hotel
|One Of The Many Modes Of Transportation Around Saigon
|Shell Gas Station In Saigon
|The Basilica Of Our Lady Of Peace (JFK Memorial)
|Back Gate Of Presidential Palace
|Traveling The Streets Of Saigon
|Street Vendors During Lunch Time In Saigon
| Vietnamese School Girls In Traditional Dress