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CAMP EVANS aka LZ Evans
Located on a coastal plane along Rte 601, approximately 2.5 km SSE of Phong Dien, 11 km WNW of LZ Sally and 24 km NW of Hue in Thua Thien Province, I Corps. Laos was beyond the mountains to the west. The DMZ, which separated North from South Vietnam, was just a short flight to the north. Initially a USMC position, then 1st Cav HQ, followed by 101st Abn Bde HQ in 68-72.
In 1970, 101st Abn moved its incountry training facility here from Bien Hoa AB. 101st Combat
Leadership School was also based here. Per Mar 98 ARMY magazine, Evans is now being farmed and not a trace of it remains.
Photo courtesy of Bob Snow
Camp Evans was named to honor a Marine named Paul Evans, who was KIA on 22 Dec 66. According to Steve Sunwall, a C-130 pilot, Paul Evans was Steve’s roommate at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. In his junior year of college, Paul enlisted in the Marines and was sent to Camp Pendleton. Steve believes he graduated first in his class. He was sent to Viet Nam and eventually took a mortar in the vicinity of Camp Evans. Steve was a pall bearer at his funeral and he recalls the military honors and meeting the Marine squad attendants. According to Steve, Paul was an incredible person. He was a starting lineman on the college football team and also a gifted artist. Steve says Paul was a great friend and came from a very nice family. His mother and father worshipped the ground he walked on. Several months after the funeral, Steve recalls that Paul’s parents were invited to a ceremony when the Marines announced that Camp Evans to be named in his honor.
HOUSE COMMEMORATION NO. 1007
Introduced by: Representatives Williamson and Smidt
A LEGISLATIVE COMMEMORATION, Honoring the memory of Lance Corporal Paul Evans of Sioux Falls for whom Camp Evans
in Vietnam was named.
WHEREAS, Marine Lance Corporal Paul Evans of Sioux Falls was killed in Vietnam on December 22, 1966, while serving as an infantryman with the 26th Marine Regiment in Quang Tri Province at age 21. L/Cpl Evans grew up in Sioux Falls and attended Augustana College. He was a member of Augustana’s football team and a talented artist. He left behind his parents and his sister, Jane Evans Nielson, of Pierre; and
WHEREAS, L/Cpl Evans was killed while participating in Operation Chinook defending a small, temporary compound against a North Vietnamese Army ground attack. Firing the 3.5 rocket launcher, a heavy and unwieldy weapon, he repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire and was killed by enemy small arms during the night. The Marines had called their small base “the Operation Chinook Perimeter,” but after the battle of December twenty-second, they named the position “Camp Evans” out of respect for their friend Paul Evans, a six foot, six inch gentle giant who had the gift of being able to make everyone laugh during difficult situations and who was not afraid to risk everything for his fellow Marines; and
WHEREAS, Camp Evans, located midway between Quang Tri City and Hue on Highway 1, was expanded a number of times and continued under Marine control until 1968 when it became the headquarters for the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division for a time. It continued to expand and became one of the most important U.S. combat bases in I Corps, housing major units of the 101st Airborne Division, the 18th Evacuation Hospital, the 158th Assault Helicopter Company, as well as numerous other aviation, artillery, transportation, communications, and supply units. Camp Evans was in continuous operation for nearly six years; and Camp Evans, named for a Sioux Falls Marine, colors the Vietnam memories to this day of thousands of U.S. soldiers who passed through it:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT COMMEMORATED, by the Seventy-eighth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that the South Dakota Legislature honors the memory, dedication, humanity, and sacrifice of Marine Lance Corporal Paul Evans of Sioux Falls, for whom Camp Evans in Quang Tri Province was named, who gave his life for his country and for his fellow Marines. His life and his actions represent the finest that South Dakota has to offer, and his service is representative of the many other South Dakotans who gave their lives in Vietnam and in the other conflicts in the history of our nation.
Thanks to Steve Sunwall, C-130 pilot, for sharing the information about Paul Evans.