Tan Son Nhut Air Base,
1877th Comm. Squadron, USAF

Post Tet 1968
Propaganda Leaflets

by Dan McKegney
© 1999

Two leaflets I found a day or so after start of TET 1968, as best I recall regarding timing. Many of them floated down into our radio compound, blown a little off course from their intended enemy target outside the Tan Son Nhut Air Base perimeter. By night, flares suspended from little parachutes would sway and slowly drift and finally land nearby; by day, surrender leaflets would flutter to the ground.

Flares and leaflets... in hindsight, now, it seems a little comical. Our small cadre of radio operators one night became convinced at the suggestion of just one person that Viet Cong were marching toward us... hey, just turned out to be moving shadows cast on fence posts along the road by the light one of those swaying flare. We noticed a Security Police sentry at his post to the entrance of an ammo dump across the road---and near "our hoard of marching VC"---seemed quietly undisturbed, we calmed down considerably. The next day, leaflets were dropped, giving us the reassurance the good guys were still winning. Maybe a story there, maybe not. More like several sets of Laurel and Hardy's tripping over one another.

(Click the photo to see a larger image)

Front: Leaflet, TET 1968 NVA-KIAs   Back: Propaganda Leaflet, Appeal to Surrender, post TET 1968

The first leaflet, like most, had a photo (some had drawings) of dead NVA and VC. The back of that leaflet had a post Tet 1968 message probably suggesting the fate of the reader could be the same and to either be a good little commie and go home, or surrender and marry General Ky's sister.


Back: Propaganda Leaflet, Appeal to Surrender, post TET 1968   Front: Leaflet, Tet-68 NVA POWs

The second leaflet seemed clearly, to me, to encourage the NVA and Viet Cong to surrender to friendlies. Optional Captions: You could be having as much fun as these men are-- or --surrendering to the enemy can be fun! Anyway, this post TET 1968 flier fluttered down about the same time as the first. By night, parachute flares slowly drifting---and by day, surrender leaflets would flutter to the ground. That went on for a while during and after Tet.

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