Seventh/Thirteenth United States Air Force

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Patch of Seventh/Thirteenth United States Air Force

The Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force was organized on 6 January 1966 and stationed at Udon Thani, Thailand, it was an independent air division that took orders from two different commands. The commander of the unit reported to the Seventh Air Force (based at Ton Son Nhut Air Base outside Saigon, Republic of Vietnam), on operational matters and to the Thirteenth Air Force, (based at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines) on logistical and administrative matters.

The mission of the Seventh/Thirteenth Air Force was originally to conduct bombing operations in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Operation Rolling Thunder); to carry out interdiction missions against the People's Army of Vietnam's logistical network in southeastern Laos known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail (Operation Steel Tiger); and to support the clandestine war in northern Laos (Operation Barrel Roll). After 1 November 1968, Rolling Thunder came to an end and the unit was dedicated to its Laotian operations, the Seventh/Thirteenth also participated in the massive Operation Commando Hunt, which was, in turn, supported by the sensors and computers of Operation Igloo White, based at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand.

At the peak of its operations in 1968, the unit numbered 35,000 personnel and 600 aircraft, its major combat units included the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, the 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, the 553d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, and the 56th Special Operations Wing.