China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War.
The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, nicknamed “China Beach” in English by American and Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. The ABC TV drama aired for four seasons, from 1988 to 1991.
With preparations underway for Boonie’s medal ceremony after Wayloo Marie’s reporting of his heroism, Boonie is subjected to days of questioning by military investigators on what happened during his lost patrol. Wayloo Marie’s father, a sitting Congressman (guest star Kevin McCarthy) visits China Beach, causing old resentments to rise again. K.C. gives Boonie cash and a passport, urging him to leave before the truth of his patrol is discovered. Dodger returns to China Beach after recuperating in Japan and McMurphy returns his pistol. Frankie bonds with Sweetness, brought in for the ceremony from a military jail after deserting. Flashbacks show that Boonie, Dodger, Sweetness, and radioman Whiplash were led on a covert mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail by Bellows, a CIA agent who suffocates Whiplash when he steps on a booby trap. After telling the investigators he believed the patrol was lost, Boonie reveals to them he knew they were in Laos, not Vietnam. In his flashbacks, Boonie and the other soldiers were deeply troubled by Bellows‘s indiscriminate killing of women and children in the jungle. When Bellows tries to kill a child running from the patrol, Boonie kills Bellows, and the three surviving men decide to cover up the truth of the events. Wayloo Marie is questioned by the investigators and prods Boonie, Dodger, and Sweetness for the real story, but the men refuse to tell her and she tries to get the medal ceremony called off. Boonie learns that the investigators were only concerned about covering up the patrol’s presence in Laos and is awarded the Navy Cross, which he accepts with mixed emotions. Dodger returns to combat.
China Beach Series
You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 22 March 1989.
- Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.