During the Vietnam War, the defense of
Air Bases mirrored the conflict itself: There was no rear echelon once
the entire country became a battlefield. Air Bases relatively,
unaffected by ground forces in past wars, were no longer considered safe
havens. They, too, suffered from costly ground assaults and mortar shelling.
Within easy reach of North Vietnamese troops, Air Bases in Vietnam and
Thailand were attacked 478 times from 1964 to 1973. One hundred and
fifty-five Americans were killed and 1,702 wounded, along with 375 allied
aircraft being destroyed and 1,203 damaged. In fact, more U.S. planes were
lost in ground action (101) than in dogfights with MIGs (62).
Bien Hoa Air Base, located 15 miles north of Saigon, was the first U.S. air
base in Vietnam to taste the damage a small, well-trained force can inflict.
A hit-and-run mortar attack destroyed five B-57 bombers and damaged 15
others. The Viet Cong, in less than five minutes, wiped out an entire
The attack hammered home a hard message. To fight in the air, the Air Force
had to be able to fight on the ground."
Above Published in AF Times
Dong Ha, the capital of Quang Tri province, is at the
junction of Highway 1 (which runs north-south) and Highway 9 (which runs
east- west). The latter provides landlocked neighbor Laos with one of its
several trade routes to the sea. The base was only a few miles from the
DMZ that separated North and South Vietnam. Dong Ha was a permanent
helicopter and major logistics base supporting the northern area of South Viet
Nam. It was the location of northernmost aviation unit in Vietnam.
Primarily a Marine Corp base, the Air Force had Forward Air Controller
assigned and C7a's Caribous flew in & out. A Radar Control Center (Skyspot)
supported support of U.S. offensive actions in the DMZ area. The Navy unit
at Dong Ha and Cua Viet on the Cua Viet River pushed supplies and
ammunition through to the 3d Marine Division on the DMZ and elsewhere in I
A Security Police unit was assigned to the installation. If you have any knowledge of Air Force dogs used at Dong
Ha please contact the Webmaster by E-Mail .
At the end of the American cavalry era, the Army disposed of its
horses by machine gunning them to death. In our war, the dogs were treated the
same way. Only it was done in a more “humane” manner. Some excess dogs were
reassigned to other bases in the Pacific but most were killed. The US Military
has pledged not to dispose of military working dogs in such a manner again.
Death of a Warrior.