Ben Luc Bridge(s)
There may be some confusion regarding the "Ben Luc" bridge since there were two bridges near the village of Ben Luc and both were blown and re-spanned at different times.
The bridge most remember as the "Ben Luc Bridge" was the Route QL4 bridge near Ben Luc that crossed the Song (river) Van Co Dong shown in the photos below.
1 - Photo is from "Emily, the Donut Dolly" web site
2 - From the "Bandito Charlie" 5/60th web site http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/bandido1/
here you can see the 150 foot segment that was blown on 30 June 1968.
3 & 4 - Also from the "Bandito Charlie" web site shows the pontoon bridge built in early July 1968 by the ARVN engineers and C Company, 15th Engineers.
Thanks to Bob Fisher, DISCOM, 1969 for sending the web site location info for the photos
The view in the first photo is looking south. The traffic coming from the left would be from Saigon. The right side goes to Tan An. At Ben Luc, QL4 was heading almost due east/west (see map below). The first photo also shows the Ben Luc River, on the left, flowing into the Van Co Dong River.
The other "Ben Luc" bridge spanned the Song (river) Ben Luc and is shown below. The Song Ben Luc was a much narrower river and the painting shows engineers installing (date unknown but most likely late 1967 or early 1968) a Bailey Bridge that allowed Route 224 to be reopened after the original bridge was blown. Route 224 was a road that ran NW of Ben Luc.
This painting is on Page 20 of the 9th ID publication, "Combat Art Vietnam - 1968". The oil painting is by SP4 Edward Rohrbach, 15th Engineers. A number of his drawings/paintings are shown on the "Combat Artist" page of this web site.
Map of the Ben Luc area. Thanks to Robert Fisher, DISCOM, 1969
Old Reliable, 9th Infantry Division weekly newspaper article (24 July 1968) about the "Ben Luc Bridge"
Again, thanks to Robert Fisher, DISCOM, 1969.
What is left out of this "news article" is that B Company, 15th Engineers received the Presidential Unit Citation for keeping the Remagen Bridge operational, first over the Rhine River in 1945. We, the 15th, B Company held the bridge until it's final collapse. The 15th was in the lead during WW II. We lead in Vietnam. Sappers First! Drive On! Lay Hold, Heave!
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