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JDP KIDS: WE NEED YOUR HELP

by Admin

Did you live at the JDP housing compound (or visit is it often) while in Saigon?
If so, we need your help to pin point the exact (or near exact as possible) location on the map below.

One of our Saigon Kids group members will be in Saigon during December and has kindly offered (if time permits) to visit where the JDP Compound used to be; and, take photographs of the area showing what is there now.

Below is a map of the area where JDP Compound was located. The green area marked *Old Golf Course* is were the former Saigon Golf Course was located. It is now a park. The JDP Compound was located across from the golf course.

BUT, the question is: Where across from the golf course?!

What we need you to do is go to Google Maps or Google Earth and provide specific directions of how to get to JDP Compound from Hai Ba Trung street (now Nguyen Kiem street). Then put the *coordinates* (latitude and longitude) in the Comments below, along with turn by turn directions, if possible.

We NEED DETAILED DIRECTIONS going to the exact location (from Hai Ba Trung) of the former JDP Compound. Not stuff like *it was between the golf course and the airport*, etc. — that’s a big area!

Surely, some of you who lived at JDP or visited there often remember how you got there.

So rack you brains and give us some help here!!!

I’d hoped someone would have followed up on Mike McNally’s comments a few months ago, asking for specific location — you can read them here CLICK HERE. But, nobody followed up on his request so we are once again asking for your help.

(Note: If you know how to do a *screen capture* of Google Maps or Earth, it would be helpful if you marked the location on a *screen capture* of the map and sent it to me as a .JPG picture.)

JDP2

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Use your back button to return here from enlarged image.

90px-RockNRollGuitaristRock Onnn …
Bob

UPDATE: November 16th.

Bob,

Here’s an aerial photo of the Tan Son Nhut area from 1968.

Much of the golf course can be seen on the right. Next to it is the Annex area, then some green areas with housing, then the MACV HQ, then on to the Civilian Air Terminal. The annotation “Terminal” is probably a military area north of the civilian terminal.

Everyone should look at this photo and see if they at least recognize the area where the JDP housing might have been located.

Thanks

Mike McNally

Note: I’ve circled (in yellow) the housing area between MACV HQ and the Annex. Saigon Kids does this appear to be the area where the JDP Compound was located? If not, where in the photo was JDP Compound located?

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Use your back button to return here from enlarged image.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Use your back button to return here from enlarged image.

11 comments to JDP KIDS: WE NEED YOUR HELP

  • Mike McNally

    Hi, It’s me Mike McNally again. The modern Saigon confuses even the people who live there. It will be easier for me to pinpoint the JDP housing location if you can remember how you got to it from a nearby location.

    Here are three locations: (1) The American Community School, the building which became 3rd Field Hospital and is now a military museum. (2) The Tan Son Nhut civilian air terminal. Today it handles in-country flights. (3) The Golf Club de Saigon clubhouse building, where fees would be paid.

    If you can’t recall a route from these three locations, give me a different location. Use a downtown location if that’s what you remember.

    Just tell me exactly as you remember it from the old days. Give as many details as might be helpful. No need to link it to the modern map. Stick to your memories.

    Thanks….Mike McNally, Saigon, 1967-1975

    • Mike – Based on information I have so far, JDP Compound ran from the golf course all the way to the airport. There were two ways into the compound. 1.) through the golf course (from Hai Ba Trung). 2.) From the airport road.

      An old survey map I came across of the golf course shows Pham Van road on the northern border of the golf course. When the survey was done there was no circle at the intersection of Hai Ba Trung and Pham Van road. Looking at current map (below) Pham Van road runs through the northern edge of the golf course than on over to the airport at the old civilian terminal.

      I would conclude from this that JDP Compound was located on the south side of Pham Van road bordered by the golf course on the east and the airport on the west. Don’t know about south border, yet. I think there were only about 80 houses in the compound.

      The only time I visited JDP during 1959-61 was to call on 2 sisters I was dating who lived there (and, yes, they both dumped me when they discovered I was dating both of them – lol). But, as I recall there was only one entry gate (guarded) which must have been off Pham Van road. I do remember you turned left off the road to enter the gate. As I recall there was only one road inside the compound which formed a large loop with houses on both sides of the street. I remember some of the houses backed up to the golf course. As I recall the perimeter of the compound had a fence or wall around it (otherwise why have a guarded entry gate). I also recall something about there being a Vietnamese Cemetery some place along the perimeter of the compound.

      So based on the above directions would appear to be 1.) Take Pham Van road (east) from the airport, turn right at entry gate to JDP. 2.) Take Hai Ba Trung from Saigon out to intersection with Pham Van road, turn left on Pham Van road, turn left at entry gate to JDP.

      HOPEFULLY some others will chime in here with more information and clarification.

      Bob

    • Mike while in Saigon would it be possiable to find the american compound known as the PX and commisarry it was located on a street 117 Phong Ding Phone.we lived there in 58 to 63 and was interested in if it was still there what its used for now.Thank you and have a wonderful trip,wish I was going.

      • Susan – Mike is not the one going to Saigon. It’s someone else.
        CLICK HERE to see a picture of your old house over the PX building. Scroll down to the picture titled *LARRY AND CHRYL’S HOUSE ABOVE OLD PX – March 13, 2009*. The building is a hotel now. Picture was taken during the 2009 Reunion in Saigon.

        Bob

  • Mike McNally

    Bob, thanks for the information. When you say “airport” are you thinking of the civilian air terminal? From 1967-1975, if you went in a westerly direction from the golf course, you would go through the MACV Annex area, then some civilian housing, then the MACV Headquarters compound, then cross the road that led south to town, and then come to the areas near the civilian air terminal, and finally the terminal itself.

    The civilian housing extended south. South of the MACV HQ, the housing went all the way west to the Saigon-TSN road. It extended south in the direction of Pershing Field, which was “across” from the American Community School turned 3rd Field Hospital.

    If the JDP housing area was still there in 1967, then it would have been between MACV Annex and the MACV HQ, and then points south toward Pershing Field. If the JDP housing was gone by mid 1967, then it was probably in the area just west of the golf course where the MACV Annex was built. To me, it would seem unlikely that they would destroy some fairly recent houses, but you never know with the government.

    I’m going to search for some photos which might show these areas. I’ll send them to you…..Thanks…..Mike McNally

    • Mike – Yes, I’m referring to the civilian air terminal. The original airport terminal were all the flights came and went from in the 1950s and early 1960s before the heavy military build up starting in 1964/65.

      I think the housing you mention was probably the JDP housing, as there was no other American built housing in the area.

      I read in some documents some time ago (danged if I can remember where) that after the evacuation of dependents in early 1965 the JDP houses were used by JDP personnel who remained in Vietnam. They (JDP) were still working on building Highway One and several other government and military construction contracts in Vietnam. Also, the houses were leased to other U.S. Government agencies and the military, as well as, U.S. civilians assigned to Vietnam (news agencies, etc.). As best I remember the article, JDP only continued to use a limited number of the houses, and instead of letting them sit there empty they leased them to others who had a need for personnel housing, etc.

      I think I remember reading (but not certain) that the JDP compound was eventually absorbed into military facilities.

      I do recall the JDP Compound wasn’t very far from Pershing Field, as I’d slip over to it after baseball practice some afternoons to call on one of the sisters I was seeing (when I knew the other sister was in town for the afternoon – lol).

      Again, HOPEFULLY some other Saigon Kids will chime in with more information and/or clarifications on the location.

      Bob

  • Wish I could help, but I don’t remember visiting the JDP Compound when we were in Saigon 1963-64. My older brother Mike used go there to visit his friend Jeff. I think they were in 8B together at ACS. Was wondering if anyone would know Jeff. Mike wasn’t in the Gecko 1963-64.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    I’m probably wrong but I opened up Google Earth and compared the airport area with the photo published by Mike McNally and it “appears” that the old JDP compound is now the Gia Dinh Park. As I said before, my family lived in JDP from about 1963-65 or the evacuation time and the houses there were just wooden construction and nothing to preserve. I wish I could remember more about how one got into the compound but those memories are long gone.

    • Ken – The the old golf course was converted into the Gia Dinh Park sometime after 1975. Per an old survey map made during the time the golf course was being constructed, the golf course was bordered on the north by Pham Van Road and on the east by Hai Ba Trung street (just as the Park is today).

      Ken, did you father work for JDP or was he in the military? When you lived at JDP Compound were the house occupied by *only* JDP personnel? Or, did military and other U.S. Government agencies families live there also?

      By the way, good hearing from you – hope all is good with you and yours! 🙂

      Bob

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    @ Bob, When we arrived in Saigon in 61, Dad was in the Army and we lived above the PX/Commissary on Phan Dinh Phung. Dad retired in 63 and took a contract with USOM. At first we had a house on the road into town not far from the school but it was loaded with rats. Somehow Dad got a house on the compound. Not sure if JDP personnel were still housed there or not but I know some USOM folks besides my dad were there. I only lived there for a short period but my folks and sister were there until the evacuation. Unfortunately, my sister wouldn’t remember anything or not much as she was just a little kid, 6 or 7 at the time.

    • Ken – Okay everything ties together.

      According to the granddaughter of George Drake, founder of JDP company, JDP went under in the early 1960s because of massive problems on jobs, mainly airfields in Korea that were wiped out by monsoons. As best I’ve been able to determine (from various sources) JDP went out of business in 1962/63 time frame shutting down there operations in Vietnam in the process.

      After JDP pulled out of Vietnam USOM (later USAID) took over the operation of the JDP Compound until the February 1965 evacuation of U.S. dependents from Vietnam.

      After the evacuation USOM continued to operate the JDP Compound for a short time then began converting the area into U.S. military usage, beginning with the construction of MACV HQ and MACV Annex. Some of the houses were left in between. At least one of the houses was turned into a Quartermasters Hooch.

      The original JDP Housing Compound was from the west side of the Saigon Golf Course (now Gia Dinh Park) to the TSN Airport. The north/south boundaries were from Pham Van Road (on the north) south to a Vietnamese Cemetery. The cemetery was between JDP Compound and Pershing Field.

      The type of construction of the houses at JDP Compound was what the U.S. Military (and U.S. Government agencies) classify as *10 year temporary housing*. It’s been used for decades for facilitates they don’t plan on being at for more then 10 years. It is fast and cheap to construct. Hence, it’s utilization for temporary facilitates.

      Thanks for your input about JDP Compound.

      Bob

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