Cam Ranh Bay

Photograph of Cam Ranh Bay ca. 1970

Naval History and Heritage Command #NH 106468

Prior to the war, Cam Ranh Bay (109.205E 11.90N) had an excellent anchorage with virtually nonexistent facilities.  The French sited a few 6” and 8” (152mm and 203mm) coastal defense guns here in 1939 in preparation to transform the port into a major naval base, but the war in Europe brought construction to a halt.  The Japanese were quick to realize its potential for projecting power into the South China Sea, and began rapid development of the port after pressuring the French to agree to permit its use on 19 August 1940.

When war broke out in the Pacific, Cam Ranh became a major assembly point. 21 Division was here as reserve for Southern Army and 2 Division was assembling here for operations further south. 124 Regiment was preparing for operations against west Borneo. Submarine Squadron 6 was headquartered here, as was Southern Fleet. The base was garrisoned by 9 Base Force.

The base was raided on 12 January 1945 as part of Halsey's raid into the South China Sea. Two small warships and a cargo ship were sunk.

Rail connections

Bien Hoa

Nha Trang


Cressman (1998; accessed 2011-12-29)

Gilbert (1989)

Hammer (1966)

Peattie et al. (2011)

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