Tuy Hoa Air Base
|Tuy Hoa Air Base|
|Part of Pacific Air Forces (USAF)|
Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF)
F-100C of the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron, New Mexico Air National Guard, over Tuy Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam in 1968.
|Type||Air Force Base|
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
|Condition||Closed 1973, now civil airport|
31st Tactical Fighter Wing (USAF)
|Elevation AMSL||20 ft / 6 m|
Tuy Hoa Air Base is a former air force base in Vietnam, being closed in 1970. It was built by the United States in 1966 and was used by the United States Air Force (USAF) during the Vietnam War in the II Corps Tactical Zone of South Vietnam. It was captured by the People's Army of Vietnam in April 1975 and was abandoned for several decades. Today, the site has been redeveloped as Dong Tac Airport.
In September 1965 Tuy Hoa was identified as a potential site for an air base and in October, following feasibility and soil studies, CINCPAC recommended construction of a base there. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) originally opposed the decision based on cost, logistical, construction capacity/manpower and security concerns, but in December it agreed to begin construction in January 1966. However in January construction was postponed by MACV in favour of constructing Phù Cát Air Base. In order to speed up construction of the Tuy Hoa base, in February 1966 Air Force Secretary Harold Brown approached Defense Secretary Robert McNamara for approval to engage a private contractor to build the base.:120-1 After overcoming opposition from CINCPAC and MACV, the USAF signed a Turnkey contract with Walter Kidde Constructors, Inc. to build the base on 27 May 1966. Walter Kidde committed to achieved interim capability within 7 months of contract signing, complete the base within one year and open permanent port facilities within 15 months.:121-2
Walter Kidde began construction in June and on 15 November 1966, 45 days ahead of schedule, interim capability was achieved when the 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron equipped with F-100 Super Sabres began arriving at the base. Over the following month the F-100 equipped 306th and the 309th Tactical Fighter Squadrons arrived at the base and on 16 December 1966 the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing became operational at the base.:155 Walter Kidde completed the entire contract on schedule and within budget.:300
In November 1966 McNamara instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to investigate the possibility of basing 15 B-52s at Tuy Hoa. This proposal was opposed by the Joint Chiefs, USAF Secretary Brown and CINCPAC on cost and security grounds.:153
In early 1969 Flight A of the 71st Special Operations Squadron equipped with AC-119G Shadow gunships moved to Tuy Hoa from Nha Trang Air Base, it was later replaced by Flight A of the 17th Special Operations Squadron equipped with 4 AC-119G gunships. On 12 April 1970 Flight A moved from Tuy Hoa to Phù Cát Air Base.:213
On 13 July 1970 the last "Wonderarch" concrete and steel aircraft protection shelters were completed at the base.:70-1
US Army use
In late 1970, the base was renamed Tuy Hoa Army Airfield and various U.S. Army units, including all army aviation units based at Phú Hiệp Airfield were relocated here. The facility was turned over to South Vietnamese government control on 15 January 1971.
Accidents and incidents
- On 22 April 1970, Douglas C-47A B-308 of Winner Airways overran the runway on landing and was damaged beyond repair.
- Schlight, John (1999). The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: The War in South Vietnam The Years of the Offensive 1965–1968 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. p. 87. ISBN 9780912799513.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. p. 55. ISBN 0912799129.
- Fox, Roger (1979). Air Base Defense in the Republic of Vietnam 1961–1973 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. p. 67. ISBN 9781410222565.
- Ballard, Jack (1982). The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia: Development and Employment of Fixed-Wing Gunships 1962–1972 (PDF). Office of Air Force History. p. 203. ISBN 9781428993648.
- "Citation Nr: 0840013". U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "B-308 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
- Martin, Patrick (1994). Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings. Schiffer Military Aviation History. ISBN 0-88740-513-4.
- Mesco, Jim (1987) VNAF Republic of Vietnam Air Force 1945-1975 Squadron/Signal Publications. ISBN 0-89747-193-8
- Mikesh, Robert C. (2005) Flying Dragons: The Republic of Vietnam Air Force. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-7643-2158-7
- USAF Historical Research Division/Organizational History Branch - 35th Fighter Wing, 366th Wing
- VNAF - The Republic of Vietnam Air Force 1951-1975
- USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present
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