The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
Bell Huey family
The Bell Huey family of helicopters includes a wide range of civil and military aircraft produced since 1956 by Bell Helicopter. This H-1 family of aircraft includes the utility UH-1 Iroquois and the derivative AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter series and ranges from the XH-40 prototype, first flown in October 1956 to the 21st century UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper. XH-40 The initial Bell 204 prototype. Three prototypes were built. YH-40 Six aircraft as XH-40 with 12-inch cabin stretch and other modifications. Bell 533 One YH-40BF rebuilt as a flight test bed with turbofan wings. HU-1A Initial Bell 204 production model, redesignated as the UH-1A in 1962; the HU-1 designation gave rise to the popular but unofficial nickname "Huey". TH-1A UH-1A with dual controls and blind-flying instruments, 14 conversions. XH-1A A single UH-1A was redesignated for grenade launcher testing in 1960. HU-1B Upgraded HU-1A, various external and rotor improvements. Redesignated UH-1B in 1962. YUH-1B UH-1B prototypes NUH-1B A single test aircraft, serial number 64-18261.
UH-1C UH-1B with improved engine, modified blades and rotor-head for better performance in the gunship role. YUH-1D Seven pre-production prototypes of the UH-1D. UH-1D Initial Bell 205 production model. Built under license in Germany by Dornier. HH-1D Rescue/fire fighting variant of UH-1D. AH-1E 98 production Cobra gunships with the Enhanced Cobra Armament System featuring the M97A1 armament subsystem with a three-barreled M197 20 mm cannon; the AH-1E is referred to as the "Upgunned AH-1S", or "AH-1S" prior to 1988. UH-1E UH-1B/C for USMC with different avionics and equipment. NUH-1E UH-1E configured for testing. TH-1E UH-1C configured for Marine Corps training. Twenty built in 1965. AH-1F "Modernized AH-1S", with upgraded avionics and defensive systems. UH-1F UH-1B/C for the USAF, with General Electric T-58-GE-3 engine of 1,325 shp. TH-1F Instrument and Rescue Trainer based on the UH-1F for the USAF. UH-1G Designation given locally to UH-1D/H gunships operating with the Cambodia armed forces. AH-1G Initial 1966 production model of the Cobra gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400 shp Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft.
JAH-1G One Cobra helicopter modified for armament testing, including Hellfire missiles and multi-barrel cannon. TH-1G Two-seat dual-control Cobra trainer. UH-1H Improved UH-1D with a Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp. Built under license in Taiwan by AIDC. CUH-1H Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1H utility transport helicopter. Redesignated CH-118. EH-1H Twenty-two aircraft converted by installation of AN/ARQ-33 radio intercept and jamming equipment for Project Quick Fix. HH-1H SAR variant for the USAF with rescue hoist. 30 built. JUH-1 Five UH-1Hs converted to SOTAS battlefield surveillance configuration with belly-mounted airborne radar. TH-1H Modified UH-1Hs for use as basic helicopter flight trainers by the USAF. AH-1J Original twin-engine SeaCobra version, subsequently upgraded and exported to Iran as AH-1J "International" UH-1J An improved Japanese version of the UH-1H built under license in Japan by Fuji was locally given the designation UH-1J. HH-1K Purpose built SAR variant of the Model 204 for the US Navy with USN avionics and equipment.
27 built. TH-1L Helicopter flight trainer based on the HH-1K for the USN. UH-1L Utility variant of the TH-1L. UH-1M Gunship specific UH-1C upgrade with Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp. UH-1N Initial Bell 212 production model, the Bell "Twin Pac" twin-engined Huey. AH-1P 100 production aircraft with composite rotors, flat plate glass cockpit, improved cockpit layout for nap-of-earth flight; the AH-1P is referred to as the "Production AH-1S", or "AH-1S" prior to 1988. UH-1P UH-1F variant for USAF for special operations use and attack operations used by the USAF 20th Special Operations Squadron, "the Green Hornets". YAH-1Q Eight AH-1Gs with XM26 Telescopic Sight Unit and two M56 TOW 4-pack launchers. AH-1Q Upgraded AH-1G equipped with the M65 TOW/Cobra missile subsystem, M65 Telescopic Sight Unit, M73 Reflex sight. YAH-1R AH-1G powered by a T53-L-703 engine without TOW system. AH-1RO Proposed version for Romania as Dracula. YAH-1S AH-1Q TOW system. AH-1S AH-1Q upgraded with a 1,800 shp T53-L-703 turboshaft engine.
AH-1T Named Improved SeaCobra, features an extended tailboom and fuselage and an upgraded transmission and engines. UH-1U Single prototype for Counter Mortar/Counter Battery Radar Jamming aircraft. Crashed at Edwards AFB during testing. UH-1V Aeromedical evacuation, rescue version for the US Army. AH-1W SuperCobra variant, nicknamed "Whiskey Cobra", day/night version with more powerful engines and advanced weapons capability. EH-1X Electronic warfare UH-1Hs converted under "Quick Fix IIA". UH-1Y Named Venom, upgraded variant developed from existing upgraded late model UH-1Ns, with additional emphasis on commonality with the AH-1Z as part of the H-1 upgrade program. AH-1Z Named Viper, or "Zulu Cobra", it includes an upgraded 4 blade main rotor and adds the Night Targeting System. Offered as King Cobra to Turkey for its ATAK program and selected for production in 2000, but canceled. UH-1/T700 Upgraded commercial version, named Ultra Huey, fitted with a 1,400-kW General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshaft engine.
CH-118 Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1H CH-135 Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1N Twin Huey CH-146 Canadian Forces designation for the Bell 412 Griffin HT1 RAF designation for a trainer based on the 412EP Griffin HAR2 RAF designation for a search and rescue helicopter based on the 412EP Bell 204B 11 seat utility transport helicopter. Agusta-Bell AB 204 11 seat utility tra
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is an independent agency of the United States federal government, responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of over $27 billion, USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world, accounts for more than half of all U. S. foreign assistance—the highest in the world in absolute dollar terms. Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act on September 4, 1961, which reorganized U. S. foreign assistance programs and mandated the creation of an agency to administer economic aid. USAID was subsequently established by the executive order of President John F. Kennedy, who sought to unite several existing foreign assistance organizations and programs under one agency. USAID became the first U. S. foreign assistance organization whose primary focus was long-term socioeconomic development. USAID's programs are authorized by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act, which Congress supplements through directions in annual funding appropriation acts and other legislation.
As an official component of U. S. foreign policy, USAID operates subject to the guidance of the President, Secretary of State, the National Security Council. USAID has missions in over 100 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe. USAID's mission statement, adopted in May 2013, is "to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States."USAID's decentralized network of resident field missions is drawn on to manage U. S. Government programs in low-income countries for a range of purposes. Disaster relief Poverty relief Technical cooperation on global issues, including the environment U. S. bilateral interests Socioeconomic development Some of the U. S. Government's earliest foreign aid programs provided relief in crises created by war. In 1915, USG assistance through the Commission for Relief of Belgium headed by Herbert Hoover prevented starvation in Belgium after the German invasion.
After 1945, the European Recovery Program championed by Secretary of State George Marshall helped rebuild war-torn Western Europe. USAID manages relief efforts after wars and natural disasters through its Office of U. S Foreign Disaster Assistance in Washington D. C. Funded U. S. NGOs and the U. S. military play major roles in disaster relief overseas. After 1945, many newly independent countries needed assistance to relieve the chronic deprivation afflicting their low-income populations. USAID and its predecessor agencies have continuously provided poverty relief in many forms, including assistance to public health and education services targeted at the poorest. USAID has helped manage food aid provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, USAID provides funding to NGOs to supplement private donations in relieving chronic poverty. Technical cooperation between nations is essential for addressing a range of cross-border concerns like communicable diseases, environmental issues and investment cooperation, safety standards for traded products, money laundering, so forth.
The USG has specialized agencies dealing with such areas, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency. USAID's special ability to administer programs in low-income countries supports these and other USG agencies' international work on global concerns. Among these global interests, environmental issues attract high attention. USAID assists projects that conserve and protect threatened land, water and wildlife. USAID assists projects to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and to build resilience to the risks associated with global climate change. U. S. environmental regulation laws require that programs sponsored by USAID should be both economically and environmentally sustainable. To support U. S. geopolitical interests, Congress appropriates exceptional financial assistance to allies in the form of "Economic Support Funds". USAID is called on to administer the bulk of ESF and is instructed "To the maximum extent feasible, provide assistance... consistent with the policy directions and programs of."Also, when U.
S. troops are in the field, USAID can supplement the "Civil Affairs" programs that the U. S. military conducts to win the friendship of local populations. In these circumstances, USAID may be directed by specially appointed diplomatic officials of the State Department, as has been done in Afghanistan and Pakistan during operations against al-Qaeda. U. S. commercial interests are served by U. S. law's requirement that most goods and services financed by USAID must be sourced from U. S. vendors. USAID is sometimes called upon to support projects of U. S. constituents that have exceptional interest. To help low-income nations achieve self-sustaining socioeconomic development, USAID assists them in improving management of their own resources. USAID's assistance for socioeconomic development provides technical advice, scholarships and financial assistance. Through grants and contracts, USAID mobilizes the technical resources of the private sector, other USG agencies, NGOs to participate in this assistance.
Programs of the various types above reinforce one another. For example, the Foreign Assistance Act requires USAID to use funds appropriated for geopolitical purposes to support socioeconomic development to the maximum extent possible. USAID delivers financial assistance. Technical assistance includes technical advice, scholarships and commodities. Technical assistance is contrac
Embassy of the United States, Saigon
The United States Embassy in Saigon was first established in June 1952, moved into a new building in 1967 and closed in 1975. The embassy was the scene of a number of significant events of the Vietnam War, most notably the Viet Cong attack during the Tet Offensive which helped turn American public opinion against the war, the helicopter evacuation during the Fall of Saigon after which the embassy closed permanently. In 1995, the U. S. and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam formally established relations and the embassy grounds and building were handed back to the United States. The former embassy was subsequently demolished in 1998 and is a park inside of the U. S. Consulate General's compound in what is now called Ho Chi Minh City; the U. S. diplomatic presence in Saigon was established on December 1907 as a consulate. It acted as a representative to French Indochina succeeding an American commercial agent, established in Saigon in 1889; the United States granted recognition to the State of Vietnam led by the Bảo Đại government in 1950, on February 17, the Consulate-General in Saigon was elevated to Legation status with Edmund A. Gullion as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.
Following the Geneva Accords of 1954 and the subsequent partitioning into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, the United States did not extend diplomatic recognition to North Vietnam. On June 24, 1952, after the U. S. Senate confirmed Donald R. Heath as the U. S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, the Legation in Saigon's status was raised and the embassy was formally established; the first embassy was located at 39 Hàm Nghi Boulevard and the original building remains there today. On March 30, 1965, the Viet Cong detonated a car-bomb outside the embassy; the attack occurred when a Vietnamese policeman began arguing with the driver of a car parked in front of the embassy but the driver refused to leave and another Viet Cong member drove up alongside the car and fired on the policeman. Following the brief exchange of fire, the car, which contained 300 pounds of plastic explosives, detonated in front of the embassy killing two Americans, one female CIA employee, Barbara Robbins and another American, as well as 19 Vietnamese and one Filipino serving in the U.
S. Navy along with injuring 183 others; the U. S. Congress appropriated $1 million to reconstruct the embassy in a new location following the attack and although retaliatory raids on North Vietnam were suggested, U. S. President Lyndon Johnson refused. Following the attack, South Vietnamese Foreign Minister Tran Van Do posthumously decorated Barbara Robbins and the Filipino navy serviceman with the Medal of Honor First Class. Due to security concerns following the 1965 bombing, it was decided that a new embassy with greater protection would be constructed; the site selected was a 3.18-acre site known as the Norodom Compound at No 4 Thong Nhut Boulevard at the corner of Thong Nhut and Mac Dinh Chi Street. The embassy was next to the French embassy, opposite the British embassy, located near the Presidential Palace. Although designed in early 1965 by the firm Curtis and Davis, their design had only called for three stories and due to the increased U. S. commitment in Vietnam, a larger building was needed.
As such in November 1965 the firm Adrian Wilson and Associates were selected to redesign the building. The new design called for four stories but was raised to six, was built between 1965 and 1967 by the American construction company RMK-BRJ under the direction of the U. S. Navy Officer in Charge of Construction RVN. RMK-BRJ employed a workforce of 500 Vietnamese using materials from the U. S. due to the scarcity of commodities in South Vietnam at the time. Despite that the sand and gravel used in the concrete mix, along with the walkway tiles, the bricks used in all the interior walls were sourced from Vietnam; the embassy was opened on September 29, 1967, after more than two years of construction and cost a total of 2.6 million dollars. The embassy comprised two separate compounds, a consular compound sealed off by a separate wall and steel gate and the embassy compound with the Embassy Chancery building, behind it was a parking lot, a two-story villa used as a residence by the Mission Coordinator, a motor pool and other facilities.
There were two entry gates, a pedestrian entrance on Thong Nhut Boulevard and a vehicle entrance on Mac Dinh Chi Street. The new Chancery was a distinctive six-story white concrete building, with a concrete lattice facade that served to both cool the building and deflect rockets and other projectiles. Due to both aesthetics and security, the Chancery was set back from the street; the Chancery was a rectangular building, 208 by 49 feet, was enclosed in a walled compound, 437 by 318 feet. It was located 60 feet inside the compound, protected from both streets by an eight-foot wall with a 6-inch-thick mixture of cement and marble chips; the lattice facade extends from the first story to the roof, covering the entire building in a protective white terrazzo sunscreen. It was separated from the concrete walls and the shatterproof plexiglass windows of the chancery by five feet of space; the chancery was designed for a staff of 200, with 49,670 square feet of office space comprising 140 offices. There were executive offices on the third floor for the Ambassador's office and other high-ranking members of the Mission.
It was air conditioned, had its own water filtration system, at the rear of the compound, had a power plant consisting of four 350 kilowatt generators. The chancery had small helipad on the roof. A concrete awning extended from the Chancery out over the pedestrian entrance on Thong Nhut Boulevard
United Press International
United Press International is an international news agency whose newswires, news film, audio services provided news material to thousands of newspapers, magazines and television stations for most of the 20th century. At its peak, it had more than 6,000 media subscribers. Since the first of several sales and staff cutbacks in 1982, the 1999 sale of its broadcast client list to its rival, the Associated Press, UPI has concentrated on smaller information-market niches. Formally named "United Press Associations" for incorporation and legal purposes, but publicly known and identified as United Press or UP, the news agency was created by the 1907 uniting of three smaller news syndicates by the Midwest newspaper publisher E. W. Scripps, it was headed by Hugh Baillie from 1935 to 1955. At the time of his retirement, UP had 2,900 clients in the United States, 1,500 abroad. In 1958, it became United Press International after absorbing the International News Service in May; as either UP or UPI, the agency was among the largest newswire services in the world, competing domestically for about 90 years with the Associated Press and internationally with AP, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
At its peak, UPI had more than 2,000 full-time employees. With the rising popularity of television news, the business of UPI began to decline as the circulation of afternoon newspapers, its chief client category, began to fall, its decline accelerated after the 1982 sale of UPI by the Scripps company. The E. W. Scripps Company controlled United Press until its absorption of William Randolph Hearst's smaller competing agency, INS, in 1958 to form UPI. With the Hearst Corporation as a minority partner, UPI continued under Scripps management until 1982. Since its sale in 1982, UPI has changed ownership several times and was twice in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. With each change in ownership came deeper service and staff cutbacks and changes of focus and a corresponding shrinkage of its traditional media customer base. Since the 1999 sale of its broadcast client list to its one-time major rival, the AP, UPI has concentrated on smaller information market niches, it no longer services media organizations in a major way.
In 2000, UPI was purchased by News World Communications, an international news media company founded in 1976 by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon. It now maintains a news website and photo service and electronically publishes several information product packages. Based on aggregation from other sources on the Web and gathered by a small editorial staff and stringers, UPI's daily content consists of a newsbrief summary service called "NewsTrack," which includes general, sports, science and entertainment reports, "Quirks in the News." It sells a premium service, which has deeper coverage and analysis of emerging threats, the security industry, energy resources. UPI's content is presented in text and photo formats, in English and Arabic. UPI's main office is in the Miami metropolitan area and it maintains office locations in five other countries and uses freelance journalists in other major cities. Beginning with the Cleveland Press, publisher E. W. Scripps created the first chain of newspapers in the United States.
Because the recently reorganized Associated Press refused to sell its services to several of his papers, most of them evening dailies in competition with existing AP franchise holders, in 1907 Scripps merged three smaller syndicates under his ownership or control, the Publishers Press Association, the Scripps-McRae Press Association, the Scripps News Association, to form United Press Associations, with headquarters in New York City. Scripps had been a subscriber to an earlier news agency named United Press, that existed in the late 1800s in cooperation with management of the original New York-based AP and in existential competition with two Chicago-based organizations using the AP name. Drawing lessons from the battles between the earlier United Press and the various AP's, Scripps required that there be no restrictions on who could buy news from his news service, he made the new UP service available to anyone, including his competitors. Scripps hoped to make a profit from selling that news to papers owned by others.
At that time and until World War II, most newspapers relied on news agencies for stories outside their immediate geographic areas. Despite strong newspaper industry opposition, UP started to sell news to the new and competitive radio medium in 1935, years before competitor AP, controlled by the newspaper industry, did likewise. Scripps' United Press was considered "a scrappy alternative" news source to the AP. UP reporters were called "Unipressers" and were noted for their fiercely aggressive and competitive streak. Another hallmark of the company's culture was little formal training of reporters, they were weaned on UP's famous and well-documented slogan of "Get it first, but FIRST, get it RIGHT." Despite controversy, UP became a common training ground for generations of journalists. Walter Cronkite, who started with United Press in Kansas City, gained fame for his coverage of World War II in Europe and turned down Edward R. Murrow's first offer of a CBS job to stay with UP, but who went on to anchor the CBS Evening News, once said, "I felt every Unipresser got up in the morning saying,'This is the day I'm going to be
Air America (airline)
Air America was an American passenger and cargo airline covertly owned and operated by the US government from 1950 to 1976. It was used as a dummy corporation for Central Intelligence Agency operations in Indochina; the CIA did not have enough work to keep the asset afloat and the National Security Council farmed the airline out to various government entities that included the US Air Force, US Army, USAID, for a brief time France. Air America was used by the US government covertly to conduct military operations, posing as a civilian air carrier, in areas the US armed forces could not go due to treaty restraints contained in the 1954 and 1962 Geneva Accords. In the mid-1980s the Air America name was adopted by a scheduled passenger airline based in Los Angeles, Total Air, which operated Lockheed L-1011 TriStar wide body jetliners with flights serving Baltimore, Honolulu and Los Angeles. In August 1950, the CIA, at the direction of the National Security Council, formed a Delaware corporation named Airdale.
Airdale formed a subsidiary corporation named Inc.. CAT purchased 40% of the assets of Civil Air Transport, an airline, started in China in 1946 by Gen Claire Lee Chennault and Whiting Willauer. Sixty percent remained with Chinese investors. CAT Inc. formed Asiatic Aeronautical Company Ltd, a Republic of China company. In 1957 Airdale changed its name to Pacific Corporation. CAT, Inc. changed its name to Inc. in 1959 after settling objections from Air France. Asiatic Aeronautical Company, Ltd changed its name to Ltd the same year. Civil Air Transport remained in existence throughout the tenure of Air America from 1950 through 1976, for several years was the flag carrier for the Republic of China; this status was lost after a landing accident and China Airlines became the flag carrier. Civil Air Transport became a ticketing company used for inter-company travel. Air America's slogan was "Anything, Anytime, Professionally". Air America aircraft, including the Curtiss C-46 Commando, Pilatus PC-6 Porter, de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Fairchild C-123 Provider, along with UH-34D, Bell 204B, 205, CH-47C Chinook helicopters, flew many types of cargo to countries such as the Republic of Vietnam, the Kingdom of Laos, Cambodia.
It operated from bases in those countries and from bases in Thailand and as far afield as Taiwan and Japan. It on occasion flew top-secret missions into Burma and the People's Republic of China. Air America's headquarters moved several times during its existence, including 808 17th St NW, 801 World Center Bldg, 815 Connecticut Ave NW, 1725 K Street NW, all in Washington, DC; the principal continental US maintenance base was at Pinal Airpark, Arizona. From 1959 to 1962 the airline provided direct and indirect support to US Special Forces "Ambidextrous", "Hotfoot", "White Star", which trained the regular Royal Laotian armed forces. After 1962 a similar operation known as Project 404 fielded numerous US Army attachés and air attachés to the US embassy in Vientiane. From 1962 to 1975, Air America inserted and extracted US personnel, provided logistical support to the Royal Lao Army, the Hmong Army under command of Royal Lao Army Major General Vang Pao, combatant Thai volunteer forces, transported refugees, flew photo reconnaissance missions that provided intelligence on NLF activities.
Its civilian-marked craft were used, under the control of the Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force, to launch search and rescue missions for US pilots downed throughout Southeast Asia. Air America pilots were the only known private US corporate employees to operate non-Federal Aviation Administration-certified military aircraft in a combat role. By mid-1970, the airline had two dozen twin-engine transport aircraft, another two dozen short-take off-and-landing aircraft, 30 helicopters dedicated to operations in Burma, Cambodia and Laos. There were more than 300 pilots, flight mechanics, airfreight specialists based in Laos and Thailand. During 1970, Air America delivered 46 million pounds of food in Laos. Helicopter flight time reached more than 4,000 hours a month in the same year. Air America flew civilians, spies, commandos, sabotage teams, war casualties, drug enforcement officers, visiting VIPs like Richard Nixon all over Southeast Asia, its non-human passengers were more bizarre on occasion. Part of the CIA's support operations in Laos, for instance, involved logistical support for local tribes fighting the North Vietnamese forces and the Pathet Lao, their local opponents.
Forced draft urbanization policies, such as the widespread application of Agent Orange to Vietnamese farmland created a disruption in local food production, so thousands of tons of food had to be flown in, including live chickens, water buffalo, cattle. On top of the food drops came the logistical demands for the war itself, Air America pilots flew thousands of flights transporting and air-dropping ammunition and weapons to friendly forces; when the North Vietnamese Army overran South Vietnam in 1975, Air America helicopters participated in Operation Frequent Wind evacuating both US civilians and South Vietnamese people associated with the Saigon regime. The famous photograph depicting the final evacuation by Dutch photographer, Hubert van Es, was an Air America helicopter taking people from an apartment building at 22 Gia Long St used by USAID and CIA employees. Air America planes carried drugs during the CIA's secret war in Laos, though there is debate ab