Places to go – The PDJ

“Whoever controls the PDJ, controls Laos”                       

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I know… I said I would talk about “The Alamo” next in the series of “Places to Go.” But, I really can’t do that without talking about the PDJ and all that went with it first. Besides, the PDJ would likely be our first stop on the “Northern Loop.” So here we go.

Most aircrews simply referred to the region as the PDJ. The initials come from the name the French gave the region during their colonial reign: the Plaine des Jarres. Hence, the abbreviation, PDJ.

“Plaine des Jarres” translates to Plain of Jars. The name comes from the massive stone “jars” that were either human burial urns… or places to store rice-wine scattered around the region. Depending on who is telling the story, the PDJ is from several hundred square miles… up to 3,000 square miles.

Plaine des Jarres
Plane of Jars

 For this discussion, the importance of the PDJ isn’t the jars. Rather, it is the years of see-saw battles for control of the PDJ. You see… Continue reading