Bearcat was located southeast of Saigon and below Long Binh and was initially occupied by Special Forces and was renamed to Camp Martin Cox on July 4, 1965. The camp was named after two soldiers, Martin and Cox, who were killed, the details unknown at this writing. The camp retained both names throughout the war. There are writings of other units (1st Division for example) that refer to this area as Long Thanh as being their base camp or area of operation. The 2nd Bde, 1st Div operated out of here from August to October, 1966 before they moved to Di An. They were in camp when the 2/12th arrived and actually held classes instructing the 2/12th on what to do and how to do it.
The 15th Engineering Bn and 709th Maintenance Bn from the 9th Div arrived in December, 1966 with the mission to expand the area to accommodate 10,000 troops. This would become the first home to the 9th Division before they were relocated to the Delta. But, in the mean time, this was also the first stop that the 3rd Brigade, 4th Division which included the 2/12th made when the unit arrived by boat and landed on the beaches of Vung Tau on October 12, 1966. The unit remained here from mid October until it received orders late November via Operation Fort Nisqually which moved the Brigade by convoy from Bearcat to Dau Tieng. This is where the unit also had it's first casualty, PFC Robert Ehlers who was killed on October 21, 1966, the result of friendly fire and a happy trigger?
USS Walker View of Vung Tau Harbor Vung Tau beach on right
LST's as landing craft Coming ashore Leavinig the LST's
Getting ready to convoy Road to Bearcat
Bearcat around 1966 era
The 12th and the Colors arrive