Thursday’s Special: Decaying in Da Nang

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Da Nang sits in Central Vietnam 85 miles south of what was the border between South and North Vietnam. During the Vietnam War it was a major air base for the US and South Vietnamese forces that saw nearly 2,600 air operations per day. This was a greater number than any other airport in the world at the time. Cement hangers covered with camouflage netting  protected the air craft from attack. Many of these remain, disused and decaying around the area of the current Da Nang airport which continues to use the runways that were in use during the war.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Da Nang fell to the Viet Cong on the 30th March 1975.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Da Nang was also the site of China beach where the American soldiers came for the R and R leave. The 30 kms of white sand beaches was a wonderful rest from the terrors of war despite being so close to the action. It allowed the decaying mind to recover before going back into a new style of war where the soldiers did not know who the enemy was and the jungle held terrors for them beyond belief. Many returned servicemen still suffer from the decay that set in  to their psyche as a result of this.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

Prior to the war there were over 70 religious temples and structures near Da Nang  the but many of these were badly damaged from bombing raids during the war and have since decayed. Approximately 20 survived and the site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the Marble Mtns some of the pagodas still survive in this region that is famous for it marble artisans.

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

jupiter-widget_text-e1395873810536-1In response to Paula’s challenge

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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15 Responses to Thursday’s Special: Decaying in Da Nang

  1. Just like Paula’s post this also had beautiful photos and a sad story behind it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula says:

    A site full of opposites and paradoxes. I wonder if these cement hangers will remain there as a monument to the war, or they will eventually get pulled down. Thank you for this carefully thought post, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading Paula. Your post nudged me this way where before reading yours I was thinking decay of a dead tree. The hangers will probably stay until they fall down or another use is found for them and they are repaired. Your buildings are a lot more tragic that they could have benefited so many and yet so much money was spent and wasted as the buildings were never completed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: DECAY | Lost in Translation

  4. My husband (though we hadn’t yet met) spent his 21st birthday on a ship going to Vietnam and the next year of his life fighting in the very area you’re describing. I’d spent the same year here in the State protesting about the same war and US involvement in it. He hated the war and the military but loved the country and its people. Now the vestiges of that war are ugly decaying cements structures only a few miles from the coastline and mountains. Your photos capture so much. You can sense the presence of the people who live there even without a single image of a person. (Maybe one person huddled under an umbrella on the beach?) Great job, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sharon. I hope your husband came home without the problems that many of the veterans here have had as a result. Our Vietnam veterans were treated abominably by the govt and also I hate to say by the public. It wasn’t their fault they fought but you wouldn’t have known it. We must be almost the same age as I remember the protest marches that were held here. The thing that amazed me on our visit there was that they didn’t hold it against us even though they called the was “The American War”.

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      • It isn’t possible to come home from war without being affected because the human heart is vulnerable when witnessing pain and suffering. He seems more even keeled than many other vets, and he has a deep compassion for those in need. He doesn’t let someone else’s anger keep him from being kind or making a donation on behalf of worthy causes, of which he finds many.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No I don’t imagine it would be possible to be unaffected. I know how I feel watching things on the news that I can’t imagine how much worse it would be to be there in person. Your husband sounds as though he has a lovely nature.

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  5. Great photos and very interesting info

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    What a great post and insight to Da Nang. My friend Kate lost her husband to injuries he suffered in Vietnam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear about Kate’s husband. A hard time for a lot of people and continues to be so for many of the Vietnam Vets. It must be hard too for the Vietnamese although there didn’t appear on the surface that they held any grudges although the war was called the “American war” not the “Vietnam War.”

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