Tuy Hoa Air Base,
Republic of Vietnam

During the Vietnam War, the defense of Air Force bases mirrored the conflict itself: There was no rear echelon once the entire country became a battlefield. Air Force 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 Force 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

Tuy Hoa Air Base was one of several air bases built by the "Red Horse" Civil Engineer Squadron. Located on the coast , 285 miles northeast of Saigon. Under Project Turnkey" During the period of 1 August through 30 November 1966, a C-130 TDY from the Alaskan Air Command transported personnel and cargo. Aircraft landed on a 3500' runway at Tuy Hoa. Later, the base would have two all weather runways capable of handling most aircraft used in the war. The base flew C-130s and a variety of fighter aircraft. The first fighter aircraft assigned was the F-100 Super Saber.



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