Ho Chi Minh Trail at USNA

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by m134128, Jul 16, 2018.

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  1. m134128

    m134128 New Member

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    Looking for what the tunnel system underneath USNA was called before the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Also any stories from your time exploring them. Thanks!
     
  2. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Probably they were just called "the steam tunnels". I figure that if they were named “The Ho Chi Minh Trail”, then that may well be the first nickname ever given to them?

    The only thing I found was an article written by one Bill Campbell a couple of years ago, speaking from his experience as a Midshipman in the early 1980's :

    "There are tunnels running under “The Yard” (USNA lingo for the campus) for steam pipes used by the heating system for most of the buildings there. At the time I was there (early 1980’s) it was possible to access these tunnels from a specific point inside Bancroft Hall (the USNA dormitory). The tunnels led to several of the academic buildings and to a couple of access points outside, in the center of the Yard (Stribling Walk). The USNA nickname for these tunnels is “The Ho Chi Minh Trail”.

    Of course, entering the trail was strictly prohibited to midshipmen. So, we never went there. LOL, just kidding! Midshipmen are young men and women in their late teens and early twenties, and also usually a bit more adventurous than the average person. Anything prohibited must be tested. So we had to take our chances with a random bed check, and go after lights-out.

    I spent enough time on the trail to eventually create a map (by pacing off the segments both above and below ground) which I first posted on a company bulletin board, and which later was published in the LOG, a USNA periodical written and published by and for midshipmen.

    Eventually, we got too cocky and were apprehended. Some friends and I had gone through the trail one night to the International Studies department under Nimitz Hall, and found a TV to watch. In those days we weren’t allowed to watch (much) TV and something was going on at the time… the Olympics, maybe? At any rate, we were surprised by an instructor, a Marine Corps Captain, who had (inexplicably) returned to his office that night. I’m pretty sure he was secretly impressed with our audacity, but he had to put up a show of disapproval and turn us in.

    Of course now, many years later, I deeply regret my irresponsible behavior. No doubt I would have been far more successful in my career and life had I just followed the rules and regulations. Or something. "
     
  3. Nemo567

    Nemo567 Member

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    Been there, done that.....


    Actually know what door in Nimitz he is talking about.
     
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  4. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    I didn't do it,
    Nobody saw me do it,
    you can't prove a thing!
     
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  5. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    "Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter accusations!!"
     
  6. AF6872

    AF6872 10-Year Member

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    DD did Ho Chie Minh Trail for the slupree off the Yard. I helped bomb the hell out of it. Generational difference. We have some pictures somewhere for both. SIL did the flyover in the Ospreys at Padres Stadium. Then they had the Oath of Office for the new marines on the field.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
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  7. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I had to read that twice to get the gist of your post, then laughed. :)