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Check Six – 1961: The Air Force Enters the Vietnam War

November 3, 2020
Air Commando Association photograph

From the Air Force Magazine website

U.S. Air Force presence in Southeast Asia eventually reached 95,000 military members and 1,800 aircraft.  Nobody ever imagined it would escalate to that level when the first USAF unit deployed to Vietnam.

It began in November 1961 with a detachment of 151 Airmen and 16 propeller-driven airplanes to the old French airfield at Bien Hoa, north of Saigon. The airstrip was 5,300 feet of pierced steel planking, badly in need of repair.  The Airmen initially slept in tents set up for them by an advance party.  

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