Fire Trucks At War
Vietnam War
US Military Firefighters and their Fire Apparatus
An essential component of every Army operation is Facilities Engineering.  FE covers many
non-combatant tasks from building construction to rodent control.  During the Vietnam War the
majority of the Army's FE components, including firefighters, fell within the Army Reserves.  
Because of caps put on troop strength in Vietnam the Army did not mobilize these reserve units.  
The Army relied on civilian contractors for much of their maintenance and construction projects.  
Pacific Architects and Engineers was one of the prime contractors for Army operations in
Vietnam.  One of PA&E duties was to provide fire protection to the many Army combat bases in

While there were some Army Firefighting Detachments assigned to Engineer Units, the bulk of the
fire protection was handled by PA&E.  Fire stations were constructed, the number at each base
determined by base size and hazards associated at each installation.  Fire Chiefs were recruited
stateside and Assistant Chiefs were often hired from other countries.  The firefighting force
varied.  In Long Binh, there was a mix of military firefighters and Vietnamese civilians.  Dong Ha
firefighters were Vietnamese under the direction of an American fire chief.  Fire protection at
smaller Army bases was often provided by military firefighters assigned to Firefighting

The 530B pumper was the primary fire truck used by the Army.  Most departments also utilized
water tankers, constructed on civilian and military truck chassis to provide water for firefighting as
the 530B held only 400 gals of water.  Many departments modified their 530Bs to meet their
individual needs and many military vehicles were turned into fire trucks.  A great example of this is
the conversion of a armored personnel carrier into a foam unit at the Long Binh Fire Department.  
The department at Soc Trang  acquired an USAF 0-11 to protect it's airfield.

This is just a brief overview of Army fire protection in Vietnam.  There is much information to be
gathered and many stories to be told.  The FTAW staff would like to hear from those that served
as Army firefighters in Nam.  We are looking for pictures of Army fire apparatus, stations and
firefighters from that era to post on this site.
Phuoc Vinh FD
120th Avn Co CFR
Vietnamese firefighters pose for the
camera at Dong Ha, 1970
PA&E fire station located at Dong Ha 1970
Built by the members of the Long Binh Fire Department, this 1962, M-113 armored
personnel carrier became quite an impressive form unit.  The rig was equipped with a
Navy P-250 pump and held 900 gals of water, 110 gals of protein and 200 gals of Hi-X foam.  
Unknown Army firefighter with the
114th Firefighting Det
Long Binh 1967
Engine 5 from the Long Binh FD
Dec 1969
530B in quarters at this former USMC fire
station at Dong Ha.  The USMC moved from
this station in 1969 when they returned to
the world
A Jeep Deluge unit constructed by the firefighters at Long Binh
Army and Vietnamese firefighters hold a hose drill at Long Binh, Dec 1969
Looking like it should be in a SPAAMFAA
muster, this 1942 Mack sits at the Long
Binh FD compound, Dec 1969
Fire Station No 1 at Camp Samas San, Thailand
US Army 1971
The US Army 530B Fire Truck
In 1953 the Army Corps of Engineers began designing a new fire truck to replace the Class 530A.  Because
the front mounted pump on the 530A could not be winterized and it's firefighting equipment was exposed to
the elements.  The new vehicle, Class 530B was built with insulated compartments, midship mounted pump
and provisions for body heaters.  

The first series of 530Bs were constructed in 1954 on the M-44, 2 1/2 ton, 6x6 chassis with single tires on 2
rear axles.  It was equipped with a 500 gpm midship mounted single stage pump and mounted a 400 gal.
water tank and a 40 gal. foam tank.  Foam was supplied from a proportioning system that introduced foam
into the discharge side of the pump.  The pump and booster reels were contained in an insulated
compartment just behind the cab, but it was soon discovered that the pump compartment door hindered
firefighting operations.  The pump compartment was discontinued and the booster reels were located in
compartments above the pump.  The duel booster reels each held 150 ft. of 1 in. hose and a metal rack for
holding ground ladders was mounted over the hose bed.  The bed could carry 1200 ft. of 2 1/2 in. and 800
ft. of 1 1/2 in. hose.  The 530B carried standard firefighting equipment for combating all classes of fires.

The second version of the Class 530B appeared about 1968 and was built on the M-35, 2 1/2 ton, 6x6
chassis.  It was powered by a 140 hp multi-fueled engine.  The body style of the rig remained the same as
the first version.    The two rear axles now mounted duel tires.  The bodies on the 530Bs were manufactured
by Hesse, Firemaster, Ward LaFrance, American Air Filter, Fire Trucks Inc and Loadcraft.  The 530B was
used by the US Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.  

The Class 530B was the work horse of the Army's Fire Service for many years and could be found at Army
post worldwide.
U S Army 530B       Army  Photos
LBFD Rescue 1
1962 Jeep
LBFD Tanker 5
5000 gals water
LBFD Tanker 1
1200 gals water
90 gpm pump
Long Binh FD, 1969
PA&E Vietnamese firefighters
on a call at Dong Ha, 1970
Long Binh Engine 3
One of the most common fires at Quang Tri
involved outhouses
Sent to us with no information
Appears to be Vietnamese firefighters on this
PA&E 530B
Dong Ha, 1970
NVA rockets started this fire at the fuel depot
Air Force and Marine Corps Vietnam Pictures
Da Nang, USAF 1969
Camp Evens, USAF 1969
Bill Nink served as a 51M (fire fighter) with the 114th Engineer Fire Fighting Detachment in Vietnam.  Shown here are several
530 Bs and a water tanker at Fire Support Base Mace.     Bill can be contacted at:
Rigs at the Long Binh Ammo Dump
Nink Photo
Khe Sanh 1971  Nink Photo
On the road again  Nink photo
Bill Nink pictured at Fire Base Buttons
Army fire Station somewhere in Vietnam 1971
No fire station for this 530B, crew
was quartered in the Hootch behind
pumper, Quang Tri, 1970
This Hi-X foam unit from the LBFD was
equipped with 800 gals of water and 200
gals of foam.  1971 photo
Five Air Force firefighters from the 366th CES were killed and this O-11A destroyed when a 500 lb bomb
on a burning F-4 exploded at Da Nang in July 1967
Tom Whiteside served as a Air Force Fire Fighter at Da Nang from April 63 - April 64 and sent in the following photos.
Our thanks to Tom for the photos and for his Service to our country.
Tom Whiteside, Doc, David Watson and
Bob Brunelle.
Tom Whiteside, Bob Burnelle and Cletus Mills
Viewed from the roof of a O-10 is this B-26 with
colapsed nosegear.
Tom Schubert served as a Army Fire Fighter at Camp Haskins during 1971-72 with the 525th Engineer
Detachment which was combined with the 520th & 562nd ED.  Camp Haskins, also known as Red Beach was
located 10 miles north of Da Nang.  Tom has sent along the following pictures from his tour of duty in the Nam.
A big "5th Inf Division, Mech" Thank You to Tom for the info and photos.
Tom Schubert with his water tanker.
George Patzwal & Dave Pulido
Camp Haskins
530Bs & Tanker
Camp Haskins, I Corps
Kramer, Joe Ospewski, Tom Schubert
and Dave Pulido at Da Nang Airport.
USMC crash crew at work on a Ch-46 which has been hit by mortar round.  Khe Sanh 22 Feb 68
Foam is applied to burning C-123 on the
runway at Khe Sanh, 11 Mar 68
PFC Terry L Ewing from MAG 36 mans the   
turret nozzle of the groups crash truck.        
Nov 66
USMC firefighters from the 1st Marine AW,  Da
Nang at the scene of a gound colision between
a C-141 and A-6A aircraft on 23 Mar 67.
Fire in the Napalm storage area at Da Nang.
USMC firefightersprepare to apply foam to the
burning material, 18 Apr 65
USMC Fire Fighters
Foaming the runway, MABS 12,  29 Apr 67
Chu Lai
27 Feb 1968, Marine KC-130 burning on Khe Sanh airstrip.  Plane received small arms fire prior to landing.  When it touched down it
was hit by a mortar.  Two people survived - estimated eight killed.  Crash Truck is the first version of the MB-5.
Class 530B from MAG 35, Chu Lai, Dec 67
Marines of the 1st Marine Air Wing Fire Department
prepare to move down the street of Hoa Vang as the
battle for the Cam La Brige continued.  20 Aug 68
Marine Corps and Vietnamese firefighters training together.
Location & date unknown
Marine firefighters at Dong Ha battle a fuel dump fire started by enemy rocket attack.  
28 Aug 67
Same aircraft fire as above
Robert Clinton served as a USMC firefighter at the Dong Ha Airfield
in 1967 and sent along these photos.  The 530B pictured appears to
be a Ward LaFrance.
Our thanks to Robert for the pictures and his service to our country
USMC Class 530A at Dong Ha, 1967
Webmaster in attendance
530B Ward LaFrance operated
by the 173rd Petroleum
Company, Phu Bai, 1969
John Futch Collection
USN International-Hess pumper pictured on
Highway 1 north of Phu Bai, early 1969.
John Futch Collection
US Navy 530B with Santa
Camp An Khe Airfield, 20 March 1970...
A Class 530B USA 4H1581 stands by in case of
danger as medivac patients are off loaded from
plane.  This safety precaution is taken with all
medivac planes.
Fire fighters engauged in fire operations when a
Air Force C-130 crashed after take-off on the An
Khe East Airfield. 12 March 1967.
Class 530B fire truck.
Cam Ranh Bay, 14 Jan 1970...Vietnamese
firefighters load a ladder on a Class 530B
Ward LaFrance as they prepare to move
out to the training area.  Army personnel
are rapidly being replaced with
Vietnamese civilians under the direction
of Pacific Architects and Engineers.
SP 4 Alan Degistino, driver, 85th Enr. Fire
Fighting Team, 3rd Bdge, 1st Inf Div, wearing
fire helmet, climbs into the drivers seat of a
fire truck, Lai Khe  1 Jan 68
Always Ready
PFC Earnest A. Peterson, sits atop a crash truck
watching an F4B Phanton jet take off.  Peterson,
a member of Marine Aircraft Group 13's crsh
crew section is one of 30 men in the unit that
provide accident and fire protection for the
group.  This unit has a crash truck station along
the runway at all times aircraft are flying. 7 Dec 66
PA & E fire trucks with Vietnamese
firefighters stand by as the remaining fuel in
Tank 843 burns itself out.  Tank farms #2
received a heavy sapper and mortar attack.
Cam Rahn Bay, 31 March 1970
SSGT Lucas at Pleiku AB 1967
Type O-6  64L 681
Jim Carroll Photo
Airman Spencer at Pleiku AB 1967
Type O-11A  54L2776
Jim Carroll Photo
Airman Spencer. P-6 & O-11A
Pleiku AB 1967
Jim Carroll Photo
Pleiku AB 1967
Jim Carroll Photo
R-2 Rescue 53L7434
Pleiku AB, 1969
Roy Mesler Photo
Pleiku AB Crash Station
1969 - 1970
Roy Mesler Photo
Fire Station No. 2 Long Binh Combat Base, RVN,
1968. Rigs include a former Navy Federal-General
Fire Truck 750, two Army 530Bs and a water tanker.
I believe this to be a National Archives image.
Long Binh's M-113 foam unit conducting a
control burn on the combat base. August 1969
PA&E 530B
Phan Thieh