De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou
The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou is a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability. The Caribou was first flown in 1958 and although retired from military operations, is still in use in small numbers as a rugged "bush" aircraft; the de Havilland Canada company's third STOL design was a big step up in size compared to its earlier DHC Beaver and DHC Otter, was the first DHC design powered by two engines. The Caribou, was similar in concept in that it was designed as a rugged STOL utility aircraft; the Caribou was a military tactical transport that in commercial service found itself a small niche in cargo hauling. The United States Army ordered 173 in 1959 and took delivery in 1961 under the designation AC-1, changed to CV-2 Caribou in 1962; the majority of Caribou production was destined for military operators, but the type's ruggedness and excellent STOL capabilities requiring runway lengths of only 1200 feet appealed to some commercial users.
U. S. certification was awarded on 23 December 1960. Ansett-MAL, which operated a single example in the New Guinea highlands, AMOCO Ecuador were early customers, as was Air America. Other civil Caribou aircraft entered commercial service after being retired from their military users. Today only a handful are in civil use. PEN Turbo Aviation of Cape May, NJ, has undertaken the re-engineering of the DHC-4A Caribou to a turbine powered variant, designated DHC-4A Turbo Caribou; the conversion utilizes the PT6A-67 engines and Harzell 5 Bladed HC-B5MA-3M Constant Speed/Reversing propellers. Overall performance has improved and "new" basic weight is reduced while maximum normal take-off weight remained at 28,500 lbs. Maximum payload is 10,000 lbs. Both Transport Canada and Federal Aviation Administration have issued Supplemental Type Certificates for the Turbo Caribou; as of Sept 17, 2014, only 3 air frames have gone through the conversion process. PEN Turbo has stockpiled dozens of air frames at their facility in NJ for possible future conversion..
PEN Turbo Aviation named their company after Perry E. Niforos, who died in the 1992 crash of an earlier turboprop Caribou converted by a different firm, NewCal Aviation. In response to a U. S. Army requirement for a tactical airlifter to supply the battlefront with troops and supplies and evacuate casualties on the return journey, de Havilland Canada designed the DHC-4. With assistance from Canada's Department of Defence Production, DHC built a prototype demonstrator that flew for the first time on 30 July 1958. Impressed with the DHC4's STOL capabilities and potential, the U. S. Army went on to become the largest Caribou operator; the AC-1 designation was changed in 1962 to CV-2, C-7 when the U. S. Army's CV-2s were transferred to the U. S. Air Force in 1967. U. S. and Australian Caribou saw extensive service during the Vietnam War. The U. S. Army purchased 159 of the aircraft and they served their purpose well as a tactical transport during the Vietnam War, where larger cargo aircraft such as the Fairchild C-123 Provider and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules could not land on the shorter landing strips.
The aircraft could carry two Jeeps or similar light vehicles. The rear loading ramp could be used for parachute dropping. Under the Johnson-McConnell agreement of 1966, the Army relinquished the fixed wing Caribou to the United States Air Force in exchange for an end to restrictions on Army rotary wing operations. On 1 January 1967, the 17th, 57th, 61st, 92nd, 134th, 135th Aviation Companies of the U. S. Army were inactivated and their aircraft transferred to the newly activated 537th, 535th, 536th, 459th, 457th, 458th Troop Carrier Squadrons of the USAF. On 1 August 1967 the "troop carrier" designations were changed to "tactical airlift"; some U. S. Caribou were captured by North Vietnamese forces and remained in service with that country through to the late 1970s. Following the war in Vietnam, all USAF Caribou were transferred to Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard airlift units pending their replacement by the C-130 Hercules in the 1980s. All C-7s have now been phased out of U. S. military service, with the last example serving again under U.
S. Army control through 1985 in support of the U. S. Army's Golden Knights parachute demonstration team. Other notable military operators included Australia, India and Spain; the Royal Australian Air Force retired its last Caribou, A4-140, on 27 November 2009. The aircraft, manufactured in 1964, was donated to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. After retirement from military use, several examples of the Caribou have been purchased by civilian operators for deployment in areas with small airfields located in rugged country with few or poor surface transport links. DHC-4 Caribou STOL tactical utility transport aircraft. CC-108 Royal Canadian Air Force designation for the DHC-4 Caribou. YAC-1 This designation was given to five DHC-4 Caribou, sold to the United States Army for evaluation. AC-1 United States Army designation for the first production run of 56 DHC-4 Caribou. Redesignated CV-2A in 1962. CV-2A United States Army AC-1 redesignated in 1962. CV-2B This designation was given to a second production run of 103 DHC-4 Caribou, which were sold to the U.
S. Army, with reinforced internal ribbing. C-7A/B These designations were applied to all 144 Caribou transferred to the U. S. Air Force by the U. S. Army. DHC-4A Caribou Similar to the DHC-4, but this version had an increased takeoff wei
Army of the Republic of Vietnam
The Army of the Republic of Vietnam known as the South Vietnamese army, were the ground forces of the South Vietnamese military from its inception in 1955 until the Fall of Saigon in 1975. It is estimated to have suffered 1,394,000 casualties during the Vietnam War; the ARVN began as a post-colonial army trained and affiliated with the United States and had engaged in conflict since its inception. Several dramatic changes occurred throughout its lifetime from a'blocking-force' to a more modern conventional force using helicopter deployment in combat. During the U. S. intervention, the role of the ARVN was marginalised to a defensive role with an incomplete modernisation, transformed again most notably following Vietnamization as it was up-geared and reconstructed to fulfil the role of the departing U. S. forces. By 1974, it had become much more effective with foremost counterinsurgency expert and Nixon adviser Robert Thompson noting that Regular Forces were well-trained and second only to U. S. and IDF forces in the free world and with General Creighton Abrams remarking that 70% of units were on par with the U.
S. Army. However, the withdrawal of American forces through Vietnamization meant the armed forces could not fulfil all the aims of the program and had become dependent on U. S. equipment, given it was meant to fulfill the departing role of the United States. At its peak, an estimated 1 in 9 citizens of South Vietnam were enlisted and it had become the fourth-largest army in the world composed of Regular Forces and more voluntary Regional Militias and Village-level militias. Unique in serving a dual military-civilian administrative purpose in direct competition with the Viet Cong political and armed wing, the PLAF; the ARVN had in addition became a component of political power and notably suffered from continual issues of political loyalty appointments, corruption in leadership, factional in-fighting and occasional open conflict between itself. After the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese army, the ARVN was dissolved. While some high-ranking officers had fled the country to the United States or elsewhere, thousands of former ARVN officers were sent to reeducation camps by the communist government of the new, unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Five ARVN generals commit suicide on Black April to avoid captured by PAVN/VC. On March 8, 1949, after the Élysée Accords the State of Vietnam was recognized by France as an independent country ruled by the Vietnamese Emperor Bảo Đại, the Vietnamese National Army was soon created; the VNA fought in joint operations with the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps against the Viet Minh forces led by Ho Chi Minh. The VNA fought in a wide range of campaigns including but not limited to the Battle of Nà Sản, Operation Atlas and the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Benefiting from French assistance, the VNA became a modern army modelled after the Expeditionary Corps, it included infantry, signals, armored cavalry, airforce, navy and a national military academy. By 1953 troopers as well as officers were all Vietnamese, the latter having been trained in Ecoles des Cadres such as Da Lat, including Chief of Staff General Nguyễn Văn Hinh, a French Union airforce veteran. After the 1954 Geneva agreements, French Indochina ceased to exist and by 1956 all French Union troops had withdrawn from Vietnam and Cambodia.
In 1955, by the order of Prime Minister Diệm, the VNA crushed the armed forces of the Bình Xuyên. On October 26, 1955, the military was reorganized by the administration of President Ngô Đình Diệm who formally established the Army of the Republic of Vietnam on December 30, 1955; the air force was known as the Vietnamese Air Force. Early on, the focus of the army was the guerrilla fighters of the Vietnam National Liberation Front, formed to oppose the Diệm administration; the United States, under President John F. Kennedy sent advisors and a great deal of financial support to aid the ARVN in combating the insurgents. A major campaign, developed by Ngô Đình Nhu and resurrected under another name was the "Strategic Hamlet Program", regarded as unsuccessful by Western media because it was "inhumane" to move villagers from the countryside to fortified villages. ARVN leaders and President Diệm were criticized by the foreign press when the troops were used to crush armed anti-government religious groups like the Cao Đài and Hòa Hảo as well as to raid Buddhist temples, which according to Diệm, were harboring NLF guerrillas.
The most notorious of these attacks occurred on the night of August 21, 1963, during the Xá Lợi Pagoda raids conducted by the Special Forces, which caused a death toll estimated to range into the hundreds. In 1963 Ngô Đình Diệm was killed in a coup d'état carried out by ARVN officers and encouraged by American officials such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. In the confusion that followed, General Dương Văn Minh took control, but he was only the first in a succession of ARVN generals to assume the presidency of South Vietnam. During these years, the United States began taking more control of the war against the NLF and the role of the ARVN became less and less significant, they were plagued by continuing problems of severe corruption amongst the officer corps. Although the US was critical of the ARVN, it continued to be US-armed and funded. Although the American news media has portrayed the Vietnam War as a American and North Vietnamese conflict, the ARVN carried the brunt of the fight before and after large-scale American involvement, participated in many major operations with American troops.
South Vietnam Air Force
The South Vietnam Air Force the Republic of Vietnam Air Force was the aerial branch of the Republic of Vietnam Military Forces, the official military of the Republic of Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The VNAF began with a few hand-picked men chosen to fly alongside French pilots during the State of Vietnam era, it grew into the world's sixth largest air force at the height of its power, in 1974. It is an neglected chapter of the history of the Vietnam War as they operated in the shadow of the United States Air Force, it was dissolved in 1975 after the Fall of Saigon. In March 1949, Emperor Bảo Đại requested that the French help set up a Vietnamese military air arm. Pressure was maintained with the assistance of Lt. Col. Nguyễn Văn Hinh, who had flown the B-26 Marauder with the French Air Force during the Second World War. In March 1952, a training school was set up at Nha Trang, the following year two army co-operation squadrons began missions flying the Morane-Saulnier MS.500 Criquet light aircraft.
In 1954, the French allocated a number of Dassault MD.315 Flamant armed light transports to the inventory of this Vietnamese air arm. Vietnamese pilot trainees began to be sent to France for more advanced training. In May 1954, with the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the position of France changed, on January 31, 1955, the Vietnam Air Force was inaugurated; the RVNAF consisted of 58 aircraft and about 1,300 personnel. Aircraft consisted of C-47 Skytrains, Grumman F8F Bearcats. French instructors for pilots and mechanics remained until late 1956, transferred 69 F8F Bearcat aircraft to the VNAF, which throughout the late 1950s were the main strike aircraft. In May 1956, by agreement with the South Vietnamese government, the United States Air Force assumed some training and administrative roles of the RVNAF. Teams from Clark Air Force Base began in 1957 to organize the RVNAF into a model of the USAF when the French training contracts expired. Unlike the ARVN, the VNAF was an all-volunteer service, remaining so until its demise in 1975.
The VNAF recruiting center was located at Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Recruits were given a screening test, followed by a physical examination. Basic requirements for service in the VNAF was to be a Vietnamese citizen. S. 9th grade education for airmen. If a volunteer met all the qualifications, the recruit was sent to basic training at the ARVN training base at Lam Song. Non-commissioned officer training was held at Bien Hoa Air Base. After two months of training, or four months for aviation cadets, the recruit was given an aptitude test and progressed to specialized technical training. From there, he was sent to one of the ARVN wings for journeymen training. Aviation cadets pursued three additional months of specialized training after completing their initial four-month training course; some were sent to the United States for advanced pilot training while non-rated officers pursued training in South Vietnam for their non-flying assignments. This training lasted about nine months, whereupon a cadet served in an operational unit for about a year before receiving a commission as a second lieutenant.
Women served in the VNAF. The Women's Armed Forces Corps was formed to fill non-combat duties beginning in December 1965. Women were assigned to VNAF wings, the Air Logistics Wing, performing duties as personnel specialists and other administrative roles. During the final 1975 offensive, it was not a case of a massive collapse; the ARVN forces in Long Khánh were fighting to the death. A cooperative effort between the ARVN and the VNAF enabled ARVN troops there to hold on. CH-47 helicopters brought in 193 tons of artillery ammunition over two days. A-1 Skyraiders flew in and C-130 Hercules transports dropped massive 15,000-pound daisy cutter bombs on enemy positions. Flying against intense antiaircraft fire, they took a heavy toll on the NVA divisions around Xuân Lộc. On 28 April at 18:06 three A-37 Dragonflys piloted by former VNAF pilots who had defected to the Vietnamese People's Air Force at the fall of Danang, dropped 6 Mk81 250 lb bombs on the VNAF flightline at Tan Son Nhut Air Base destroying several aircraft.
VNAF Northrop F-5s were unable to intercept the A-37s. At dawn on 29 April the VNAF began to haphazardly depart Tan Son Nhut Air Base as A-37s, F-5s, C-7s, C-119s and C-130s departed for Thailand while UH-1s took off in search of the ships of the U. S. Task Force 76 offshore. At 08:00 Lieutenant General Trần Văn Minh, commander of the VNAF, 30 of his staff arrived at the American DAO Compound, demanding evacuation; this signified the complete loss of command and control of the VNAF. Some VNAF aircraft did stay to continue to fight the advancing NVA however. One AC-119K gunship from the 821st Attack Squadron had spent the night of 28/29 April dropping flares and firing on the approaching NVA. At dawn on 29 April two A-1 Skyraiders began patrolling the perimeter of Tan Son Nhut at 2500 feet until Maj. Trương Phùng, one of the two Skyraider pilots was shot down by an SA-7. At 07:00 the AC-119K "Tinh Long" flew by Lt. Trang van Thanh was firing on NVA to the east of Tan Son Nhut when it was hit by a SA-7 missile, fell in flames to the ground.
Sgt. Son, one of the AC-119K gunners tried to escape but his chute tangled in the tail of the airplane. Despite sporadic artillery and rocket fire, Binh Thuy Air Base remained operational throughout 29 April and on the morning of
Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk was an armed military observation and attack aircraft, designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It was a twin turboprop configuration, carried two crew members in side-by-side seating; the Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of United States Army maneuver forces. The Mohawk began as a joint Army-Marine program through the then-Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, for an observation/attack plane that would outperform the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog. In June 1956, the Army issued Type Specification TS145, which called for the development and procurement of a two-seat, twin turboprop aircraft designed to operate from small, unimproved fields under all weather conditions, it would be faster, with greater firepower, heavier armour than the Bird Dog, which had proved vulnerable during the Korean War. The Mohawk's mission would include observation, artillery spotting, air control, emergency resupply, naval target spotting and radiological monitoring.
The Navy specified that the aircraft must be capable of operating from small "jeep" escort class carriers. The DoD selected Grumman Aircraft Corporation's G-134 design as the winner of the competition in 1957. Marine requirements contributed an unusual feature to the design; as proposed, the OF-1 could be fitted with water skis that would allow the aircraft to land at sea and taxi to island beaches at 20 knots. Since the Marines were authorized to operate fixed-wing aircraft in the close air support role, the mockup featured underwing pylons for rockets and other stores; the Air Force tried to get it removed. The Marines did not want the sophisticated sensors the Army wanted, so when their Navy sponsors opted to buy a fleet oil tanker, they dropped from the program; the Army continued with armed Mohawks and developed cargo pods that could be dropped from underwing hard points to resupply troops in emergencies. The radar imaging capability of the Mohawk was to prove a significant advance in both war.
The Side-Looking Airborne Radar could look through foliage and map terrain, presenting the observer with a film image of the earth below only minutes after the area was scanned. In military operations, the image was split in two parts, one showing fixed terrain features, the other spotting moving targets; the prototype first flew on April 14, 1959. The OV-1 entered production in October 1959. In mid-1961, the first Mohawks to serve with U. S. forces overseas were delivered to the 7th Army at Sandhofen Airfield near Germany. Before its formal acceptance, the camera-carrying AO-1AF was flown by Ralph Donnell on a tour of 29 European airfields to display it to the U. S. Army field commanders and potential European customers. In addition to their Vietnam and European service, SLAR-equipped Mohawks began operational missions in 1963 patrolling the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Germany and France showed early interest in the Mohawk, Grumman signed a license production agreement with the French manufacturer Breguet Aviation in exchange for American rights to the Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft.
The nature of the joint Army/Marine program had forced design compromises, such as ejection seats, that made the aircraft expensive and, sometimes, an resisted item in Army budgets. Orders for the OV-1 stopped in Fiscal 1964, the controversy in the Pentagon over the armed Mohawk peaked with a 1965 directive that prohibited the Army from operating armed fixed-wing aircraft. Operational success in Vietnam led to additional Mohawk orders in 1966, by 1968, five surveillance companies were operating in Southeast Asia; the last of the Mohawk versions to enter production was the OV-1D with more powerful T53-701 engines, improved avionics, interchangeable mission pallets that made it possible to switch the aircraft from infrared to SLAR configuration in about an hour. The first four OV-1Ds were prototypes converted from earlier production airframes, the first flew in 1969; these were followed by 37 new-build aircraft, the last of, delivered in December 1970. Over the years, the mission and the aircraft underwent many changes and 380 were built over all variants.
Mohawk variants included the JOV-1, OV-1A, OV-1B, the OV-1C, the OV-1D, OV-1E, EV-1E and RV-1E. A four-engined Model 134E with tiltwings and tail ducted fan for control for VTOL was proposed to the Army but not built. Model 134R was a tandem cockpit version offered to meet the Light Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft requirement, but the NA300 was chosen instead becoming the OV-10; the U. S. Army flew the OV-1 operationally in the Vietnam War, with sixty-five lost to accidents, ground fire, one shot down by a North Vietnamese fighter; the Army used the aircraft during Operation Desert Storm. Starting in 1972, the Army National Guard began to receive the Mohawk, with the ARNG operating thirteen OV-1Bs, twenty-four OV-1Cs, sixteen OV-1Ds serving with three aviation units in Georgia and Oregon; the Oregon Army National Guard Unit operating the Mohawk was located at McNary Field in Oregon. U. S. Army OV-1s were retired from Europe in 1992, from Korea in September 1996, in the United States in 1996, superseded by newer systems, newer aircraft, the evolution of reconnaissance satellites.
The OV-1 was replaced by the EO-5
Khánh Hòa Province
Khánh Hòa is a province of Vietnam located in the South Central Coast. It has a population of 1,066,300 and spans an area of 5,197 km², its capital is Nha Trang. Khánh Hòa is the site of Bảo Đại's summer home, the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, the Institute of Oceanography, the Institute of Vaccines and Biological Substances, was headquarters of the US Army's Special Forces during the Vietnam War in the late 1950s and 1960s. Cam Ranh Bay port is on land closest to a deep sea drop in Vietnam - the best site for submarine bases in Vietnam. An ancient temple of Champa is on the north side of Nha Trang; the site of what is now Khánh Hòa had been within the territory of the Champa Kingdom before it was annexed to Đại Việt's territory. In 1653, one of the Nguyễn lords, Nguyễn Phúc Tần, sent his troops to occupy Phan Rang; the Champa king Bà Tấm surrendered to Nguyen's troops and ceded an area from the east of the Phan Rang River to Phú Yên to the Nguyễn lord. The Nguyễn lord accepted the ceded territory and set up the Thái Khang garrison and divided it into two districts: Thái Khang and Diên Ninh.
In 1832, under the rule of emperor Minh Mạng, this area was renamed Khánh Hòa and was divided into two districts which included four counties: Phủ Diên Khánh inclusive of Phước Điền and Vĩnh Xương county. Under French Indochina, the provincial capital was located in Diên Khánh Citadel, but it was relocated in Nha Trang Town in 1945. During the Vietnam War, Khánh Hòa was a hub of military activity for the Republic of Vietnam army, the Republic of Vietnam Navy, the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, for the U. S. Pacific Air Forces in Cam Ranh Bay and at the Nha Trang Air Base; the II Corp. headquarters was located in Nha trang and populated by general and field officers, intelligence groups and ARVN liaisons. After the communists' victory and the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the communist regime merged two provinces, Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa, into Phú Khánh Province on 29 October 1975. In 1977, Nha Trang Town was upgraded to city status. In 1982, the National Assembly decided to incorporate the Spratly Islands into Phú Khánh Province.
On June 30, 1989, the National Assembly reversed its previous decision and split Phú Khánh Province into two provinces as they were before. Khánh Hòa Province has an area of 5,197 km², its geographical coordinates are 108°40’33" to 109°27’55" E and 11°42’50" to 12°52’15" N. The provincial coastline spreads from Đại Lãnh Commune to the end of Cam Ranh Bay with a total length of coastline of 385 km featuring numerous creek mouths, river mouths, hundreds of islands and islets; the province administers large territorial waters. The Spratly Islands are part of the province's Truong Sa County; the coastline is indented by several bays, most notably the four bays Vân Phong Bay, Nha Phu Bay, Nha Trang Bay and Cam Ranh Bay, of which Cam Ranh Bay with its area of around 200 km², encompassed by a mountain range, is regarded as one of three best natural seaports in the world. Cam Ranh Bay is strategically important and has been used as a naval base by several major powers throughout history. Hòn Đôi Cliff on the Hòn Gốm Peninsula, Vạn Ninh District is the easternmost tip of Vietnam's mainland.
The province is mountainous. The highest peak is Vong Phu Mountain at the border to Đắk Lắk Province; the only large lowland area is located around Ninh Hòa town in the north of the province. As a result of this, not much land is available for agriculture. 87,100ha or 16.7% of Khánh Hòa's total area are used for farming, one of the lowest shares in the South Central Coast. Forests cover more than half of the province's area; the province enjoys a mild climate with an average annual temperature of 26.7°C. There are two distinct seasons: the rainy season lasts from April to December, with the other months being the dry season, except in Nha Trang where the rainy season lasts for just two months; the average relative humidity is 80.5%. The climate on the summit of Hòn Bà Mountain features a climate like that of Sa Pa.. As of 2007, the province had a population of 1.147 million, of which the majority are Kinh or Vietnamese people, the dominant ethnic group in Vietnam, who speak Vietnamese, an Austroasiatic language.
Minority groups dwelling in the province are the Cham Raglai people, the "Overseas Chinese" Hoa people, the Austroasiatic-speaking Koho people. Khánh Hòa had an urban population of 466,500 people or 40.7% of the total in 2007, making it the most urbanized province of the South Central Coast. Average population growth per year between 2000 and 2007 was 1.26%, close to the average of the region. Growth was particular strong in the towns. Khánh Hòa is subdivided into nine district-level sub-divisions: 6 districts: 1 district-level town: Ninh Hòa 2 provincial cities: They are further subdivided into six commune-level towns, 99 communes, 35 wards. With a GDP per capita of 16.1 million VND, Khánh Hòa is the economically most developed province of central Vietnam. It has a small agricultural sector, but strong industry and services; the province is endowed with beautiful natural landscapes and beaches, which attracts a large number of tourists. Khánh Hòa has had a significant trade surplus in recent years, with exports in 2007 of 503.3 million US$ and imports of 222.5 million.
Given its lack of flat land, Khánh Hòa has a small agricultural sector. Rice harvests are among the lowest in the South Central Coast with 188,500t in 2007. However, its output of sugar cane (738,200t in 2007, 4.25% of the na
602nd Special Operations Squadron
The 602nd Special Operations Squadron was a United States Air Force squadron that operated in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The 602nd Fighter Squadron was activated in May 1964 for the Vietnam War, along with the 1st Air Commando Squadron, was a part of the 34th Tactical Group; the squadron became operational at Bien Hoa Air Base on 15 October 1964. By 1966 the squadron had been renamed the 602nd Air Commando Squadron and moved, first to Nha Trang Air Base in South Vietnam, to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. In March 1968 it moved again to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Navy Base. On 1 August 1968 it was redesignated the 602nd Special Operations Squadron, was inactivated on 31 December 1970 at Nakhon Phanom; the original Squadron patch was drawn by Walt Disney in 1944. The sky was blue with a wisp of cloud behind the left wing of the eagle. No call sign was mounted above the patch; the squadron operated A-1 Skyraiders under the call sign "Firefly". Their daylight task was the primary one of combat search and rescue of air crew downed in the Kingdom of Laos.
A secondary task was night operations as flareships supporting the Hmong guerrillas of General Vang Pao's Clandestine Army in the Operation Barrel Roll area. At times, the squadron flew single ship sorties. Constituted as the 2nd Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 April 1944Activated on 20 April 1944 Redesignated 2nd Fighter Squadron, Commando on 2 June 1944 Inactivated on 12 November 1945Disbanded on 8 October 1948 Reconstituted, redesignated 602nd Fighter Squadron and activated on 15 April 1963 Organized on 1 May 1963Redesignated 602nd Special Operations Squadron on 1 August 1968Inactivated on 31 December 1970 Combat in CBI Theater, 14 Feb-9 May 1945 Combat in SEA, 1964-1970 World War II: Central Burma. Vietnam: Vietnam Advisory. Distinguished Unit Citation: Bangkok, Thailand, 15 Mar 1945. Presidential Unit Citations: Vietnam: 1 Jul 1965 – 30 Jun 1966. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award With Combat "V" Device: 1-31 Dec 1970. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, 1 Apr 1966 – 31 Dec 1970.
Anthony, Victor B.. The Air Force in Southeast Asia: Tactics and Techniques of Night Operations 1961-1970. Office of Air Force History.. Military Bookshop. ISBNs 1780396570, 978-1780396576. Bailey, Carl E. Lineage and Honors History of the 602 Special Operations Squadron USAF Official History.
Royal Australian Air Force
The Royal Australian Air Force, formed March 1921, is the aerial warfare branch of the Australian Defence Force. It operates the majority of the ADF's fixed wing aircraft, although both the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy operate aircraft in various roles, it directly continues the traditions of the Australian Flying Corps, formed on 22 October 1912. The RAAF provides support across a spectrum of operations such as air superiority, precision strikes, intelligence and reconnaissance, air mobility, space surveillance, humanitarian support; the RAAF took part in many of the 20th century's major conflicts. During the early years of the Second World War a number of RAAF bomber, fighter and other squadrons served in Britain, with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. From 1942, a large number of RAAF units were formed in Australia, fought in South West Pacific Area. Thousands of Australians served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe, including during the bomber offensive against Germany.
By the time the war ended, a total of 216,900 men and women served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action. The RAAF served in the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesia–Malaysia Confrontation and Vietnam War. More the RAAF has participated in operations in East Timor, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; the RAAF has 259 aircraft. The RAAF traces its history back to the Imperial Conference held in London in 1911, where it was decided aviation should be developed within the armed forces of the British Empire. Australia implemented this decision, the first dominion to do so, by approving the establishment of the "Australian Aviation Corps"; this consisted of the Central Flying School at Point Cook, opening on 22 October 1912. By 1914 the corps was known as the "Australian Flying Corps". Soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, the Australian Flying Corps sent aircraft to assist in capturing German colonies in what is now north-east New Guinea.
However, these colonies surrendered before the planes were unpacked. The first operational flights did not occur until 27 May 1915, when the Mesopotamian Half Flight was called upon to assist the Indian Army in protecting British oil interests in what is now Iraq; the corps saw action in Egypt, Palestine and on the Western Front throughout the remainder of the First World War. By the end of the war, four squadrons—Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 -- had seen operational service. 5, 6, 7 and 8—had been established. A total of 460 officers and 2,234 other ranks served in the AFC, whilst another 200 men served as aircrew in the British flying services. Casualties included 111 wounded, 6 gassed and 40 captured; the Australian Flying Corps remained part of the Australian Army until 1919, when it was disbanded along with the First Australian Imperial Force. Although the Central Flying School continued to operate at Point Cook, military flying ceased until 1920, when the Australian Air Corps was formed; the Australian Air Force was formed on 31 March 1921.
King George V approved the prefix "Royal" in June 1921 and became effective on 31 August 1921. The RAAF became the second Royal air arm to be formed in the British Commonwealth, following the British Royal Air Force; when formed the RAAF had more aircraft than personnel, with 21 officers and 128 other ranks and 153 aircraft. In September 1939, the Australian Air Board directly controlled the Air Force via RAAF Station Laverton, RAAF Station Richmond, RAAF Station Pearce, No. 1 Flying Training School RAAF at Point Cook, RAAF Station Rathmines and five smaller units. In 1939, just after the outbreak of the Second World War, Australia joined the Empire Air Training Scheme, under which flight crews received basic training in Australia before travelling to Canada for advanced training. A total of 17 RAAF bomber, fighter and other squadrons served in Britain and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Thousands of Australians served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe during the Second World War.
About nine percent of the personnel who served under British RAF commands in Europe and the Mediterranean were RAAF personnel. With British manufacturing targeted by the German Luftwaffe, in 1941 the Australian government created the Department of Aircraft Production to supply Commonwealth air forces, the RAAF was provided with large numbers of locally built versions of British designs such as the DAP Beaufort torpedo bomber and Mosquitos, as well as other types such as Wirraways and Mustangs. In the European theatre of the war, RAAF personnel were notable in RAF Bomber Command: although they represented just two percent of all Australian enlistments during the war, they accounted for twenty percent of those killed in action; this statistic is further illustrated by the fact that No. 460 Squadron RAAF flying Avro Lancasters, had an official establishment of about 200 aircrew and yet had 1,018 combat deaths. The squadron was therefore wiped out five times over. Total RAAF casualties in Europe were 5,488 killed or missing.
The beginning of the Pacific War—and the rapid advance of Japanese forces—threatened the Australian mainland for the first time in its history. The RAAF was quite unprepared for the emergency, had negligible forces available for service in the Pacific. In 1941 and early 1942, many RAAF airmen, including Nos. 1, 8, 21 and 453