Photo Above Courtesy of Scott Baker
A1C Bob Woodsen and his dog at Phu Cat AB, January 1967

VSPA K-9 Sections

"First Line of Defense"

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 squadron.    

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

“From the coming of the first sentry dog teams in July 1965 until 4 December 1966, no known penetrations took place in areas patrolled by dogs. But on the 4th of December, sappers aided by good weather and the terrain slipped through a sentry dog post at Tan Son Nhut. The infiltrators were spotted when they tried to penetrate a second (backup) post. The alarm voiced by the handler at the second post alerted the air base, triggering a defense force counterattack that staved off major damage and wiped out the enemy raiding party. During the fighting, sentry dog forces in South Vietnam sustained their first casualties: one handler and three sentry dogs killed, two handlers and one sentry dog wounded.  In the ensuing years of the war, the sentry dogs saw no combat of this size. Nevertheless, they quietly showed their value as sturdy, versatile, detection devices. Their worth sparkled at Binh Thuy, Phu Cat, Pleiku, and Phan Rang where again and again they gave warning of enemy probes and penetrations. The last, sentry dog to be killed in the war fell during the 29 January 1969 attack on Phan Rang Airbase.”

Above from History of Air Base Defense of Vietnam  1961-1973

By Roger P. Fox



The author, Lt. Col. Roger P. Fox, USAF (Ret.), wrote this volume while assigned to the Office of Air Force History. He brings judgments to his research based on his personal experience as a base security officer during the conflict. Thus, early on the morning of 4 December 1966, he rallied Air Force and South Vietnamese security forces to repel an enemy attempt to penetrate Tan Son Nhut Air Base, the center of Air Force operations in South Vietnam. For his gallantry in action on this occasion, he was awarded the Silver Star.


USAF Bases in SEA
(Southeast Asia)

Homepage VSPA



Bien Hoa Air Base Don Muang RTAFB
Binh Thuy Air Base Ko Kha RTAS
Ban Me Thout AB   No AF Dogs Korat RTAFB
Cam Ranh Bay AB Air Base Nakhon Phanom RTAFB
Da Nang AB Air Base Takhli RTAFB
Dong Ha AB  No AF Dogs Ubon RTAFB
Monkey Mountain, No AF Dogs Udorn RTAFB
Nha Trang Air Base U-Tapao RTAFB
Phan Rang AB Air Base  
Phu Cat AB Air Base Special Gift To Thailand
Pleiku AB Air Base  
Qui Nhon Air Base, No AF Dogs  
Tan Son Nhut AB Air Base  
Tuy Hoa Air Base Non-VSPA Websites
Project Safeside USAF History


Natural Balance Rose Parade Float  2013

    First parade float to honor military working dogs!

VSPA K-9 Memoriam

Military Dog History

History WWI & WWII

Pacific Theater

Vietnam To Present

Top Dog

National Geographic Story

VFW Story

Super Dogs

Soldiers' Keepers:
 Dogs of War
Patrol  Ver. Sentry

Your dog's fate.

Steadfast Sentinel

Dog School

1st Patrol Dog Class

Last Sentry Dog

Why Dogs? K-9 Replacements Missing in America Project! Death of a Warrior
Stories of SEA
(Southeast Asia)

Blackie # 129X

Dusty #770E King #326F 35th ISPD
Stories: Da Nang AB Stories: Da Nang AB  2 Stories : Phan Rang AB Story : Pleiku AB
Snake Stories! Barracks of SEA Sugar Comes Home GI Named K-9
Ubon - Story Story of Lex Loci Dog Training Attack Training
U-T  Stars & Stripes Another Warrior Veterinarians Rex's Dentist

Cold Nose-Brave Hearts Legendary War Dogs 

from Elks magazine Courtesy of  Don (Jack) Kelly Korat RTAFB 'Nov 71-72'


Nemo - Hero of Tan Son Nhut AB

Attack on Bien Hoa, AB, RVN


Attack on Phan Rang AB, RVN

Attack on Ubon, RTAFB


Attack on U-Tapao

Attacks on Da Nang AB, RVN


To submit stories or photos.

Download PDF Files

  1. The Handlers of South-East Asia (SEA) worksheet list all Air Force handlers assigned to Vietnam & Thailand Bases. Also listed are known US Navy handlers at Naval Support Activities Da Nang AB & Cam Ranh Bay are listed. Over 4,000+ Tour Assignments for handlers are listed.

  2. The Dogs of SEA Worksheet list all known dogs assigned to Vietnam & Thailand Air Force/Navy bases and some Army dogs used in Vietnam and Thailand. The list also specifies the dogs that were returned in 1975-76 to the DOD Dog Center, Lackland AFB, Texas.    Over 1,600 + dogs are listed by name, brand number, and bases assigned.  Army sentry dog handler list in progress.

  3. Both worksheets show multiple tours/assignments of handlers and dogs.  Please send me any additions to our records. If you want a copy but do not have Excel, send me a e-mail and ask for a PDF copy.

Deadly Disease for Military Working Dogs in SEA (South East-Asia)

The United States employed large numbers of military working dogs as sentries, scouts, trackers, and mine detectors in Vietnam. In mid-1968 an epizootic occurred which threatened the working dog program and led to 250 canine deaths. Military veterinarians launched an extensive effort to control this disease and to determine its cause. This study, using primary and secondary sources, describes the epizootic, the identification and control of the disease, and its implications for the future use of military working dogs. Canine ehrlichiosis, a highly fatal tickborne rickettsiosis caused by Ehrlichia canis, was identified as the cause of the epizootic. Clinical and experimental experience proved that canine ehrlichiosis can be successfully treated with tetracycline; this treatment and serologic testing to detect infected animals brought the epizootic under control, although ehrlichiosis still remains a problem among military working dogs. This study concluded that the future control of canine ehrlichiosis and related diseases requires: serologic screening of prospective and active duty military dogs, rigorous tick control, evaluation of the disease threat in areas where military dogs are employed, disease education of personnel who deal with military dogs, and additional veterinary research.

Air Base Defense of Vietnam, including attacks on bases

Complete Lists of attack dates for RVN & Thailand,  needed for VA Claims!

Adopting of Military Working Dogs or Contractor Working Dogs

Supporting Deployed Troops

History of Vietnam

Vietnam The Country French Legacy Dien Bien Phu
RVN Military   Who you calling Ho?

Issues !

Missing In America

Attack on America

War Crimes

Tibet's Gamble

Do you have health problems?

Chemical Exposure or Cancer Risk!   

Testicular Cancer Study ?

Agent Orange in Thailand ?




Malathion Exposure


Bulletin Boards

K-9 Bulletin Board  Chemical Exposure

K-9 Reunions

Texas Handlers Da Nang AB Handlers U-Tapao Handlers
  Korat Handlers  PACAF Reunion at Branson

Photos Above: Safe Conduct Passes, Courtesy of Bruce Pritchett  

Links of Interest