Binh Thuy Air Base

Binh Thuy Air Base
IATA: - ICAO:
Summary
ServesCan Tho
Elevation AMSL ft (3 m)
Coordinates
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 7,8862,404Asphalt
Binh Thuy Air Base is a former South Vietnamese Air Force and United States Air Force base located near the city of Can Tho in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam. It is approximately seventy (70) miles/(120) Kilometers southwest of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon.

Today it is being redeveloped as Trà Nóc Airport (IATA: VCAICAO: VVCT). The airport is expected to open by 2008.

USAF Use During The Vietnam War

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Aerial Photo of Binh Thuy Air Base - 1967
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USAF Cessna O-1 (L-19) "Bird Dog"
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An O-2 Skymaster dropping leaflets over Vietnam
During the Vietnam War, Binh Thuy was a major United States Air Force base. The USAF forces stationed there were under the command of the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).

The APO for Binh Thuy was APO San Francisco, 96320

Binh Thuy Air Base was the most southern airbase used by the USAF in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 1965 US Air Force units moved a few miles, from the US Army's Can Tho Airfield, to Binh Thuy which was constructed by Red Horse civil engineering units. Air Force resources included gunships, transport aircraft, and other close air support aircraft, while the United States Navy operated a Naval Support Activity and a Naval Air base with a combat helicopter squadron(HAL-3)a few miles south of the base. The "Black Ponies, VAL-4 Naval aviation squadron of OV-10s operated from Binh Thuy.

22d Tactical Air Support Squadron

The 22d Tactical Air Support Squadron (Light) organized at Binh Thuy Airport, South Vietnam, on 8 May 1965. Organizationally, the 22d TASS was assigned to the 505th Tactical Control Group, then on 8 Dec 1966 to the 504th Tactical Air Support Group. These came under the command of the 22d Air Division headquartered at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon.

The 22d TASS was the host unit at Binh Thuy Air Base.

The squadron operated the Cessna 0-1 Birddog aircraft, 1965-1971 and the Cessna O-2 Skymaster aircraft, 1967-1971.

The squadron provided aircrews in Vietnam to direct air strikes for tactical aircraft operating within the Tactical Air Control System (TACS). It also performed visual reconnaissance, convoy escort, and other missions as directed by the Tactical Air Commander.

Aircraft and maintenance were provided in support of these operations within IV Corps, Republic of Vietnam, as directed by Seventh Air Force. The squadron provided aircraft and personnel in support of the Theater Indoctrination School, and field and transient maintenance support of USAF aircraft at Binh Thuy Air Base.

Personnel and other resources of the 22d were absorbed by the 19th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Bien Hoa Air Base on 15 January 1971.

It was transferred without personnel or equipment to Wheeler AFB, Hawaii on 15 May 1971.

Other USAF Units at Binh Thuy Air Base

  • 632nd Combat Support Group
  • 1880 Communications Squadron
  • 619 TCS Paddy Control, Eyes and Ears of the Mekong

Known SVNAF Units At Binh Thuy (June 1974 Table Of Organization)

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A-37Bs of the 74th Tactical Wing, South Vietnamese Air Force. (Front A/C Serial 67-14814)
Binh Tuy Air Base was the headquarters of the SVNAF 4th Air Division.

74th Tactical Wing
  • 116th/122d Liaison Squadron Cessna O-1A, U-17As and U-17B
  • 520th/526th/546th Fighter Squadron A-37A/B
84th Tactical Wing
  • 211th/225th/227th Helicopter Squadron UH-1
  • Det G 259th Helicopter Squadron Bell UH-1H Hueys (Medevac)
6255 Air Base Sq was here It was an old French strip not construted by Red Horse Val - 4 was built by the Seabees

The following aircraft have been assigned here YOV-10s were station here (2 Each) YO-3A were ataion here (1to 2 Each) Auto Track Rader -Combat Spot O-2Bs (about 2) O-2As - (Rustic Nail Work)

A-37As VNAF AC-47s VNAF (About 4) UH-1Ds VNAF

Capture Of Binh Thuy Air Base

With the loss of two northern corps area - literally half of South Vietnam by mid-April 1975 surviving South Vietnamese Air Force aircraft landed at Binh Thuy, Bien Hoa and Tan Son Nhut Air Base‎s. Sorties flown during the final days were to support defensive actions at Phan Rang, Phan Thiet and Xuan Loc, however no effort was made to fly against advancing North Vietnamese columns moving south. This was due in part to the Soviet-made SA-7 shoulder held surface-to-air missiles which the SVNAF had no defense against along with a lack of reconnaissance aircraft. The South Vietnamese government literally had no idea of what was happening inside of the territory lost to North Vietnamese forces.

The last ditch effort in defense of Saigon was the Battle of Xuan Loc, a provincial caital 38 miles northwest of the captiol. South Vietnamese Army units held at Xuan Loc for over two weeks but by 21 April Xuan Loc was in ruins and had to be abandoned. North Vietnamese forces quickly overran Bien Hoa Air Base and moved along Highway One towards Saigon.

By 29 April the fighting had reached the suburbs with North Vietnamese troops overruning Tan Son Nhut Air Base‎. On 30 April 1975 the South Vietnamese government surrendered unconditionally and South Vietnam ceased to exist.

Some South Vietnamese Air Force planes and personnel managed to escape to Thailand from still-unoccupied Binh Thuy Air Base briefly after the surrender, however within a few days the North Vietnamese reached the base as well as other parts of the Mekong Delta.

See also

References

  • Martin, Patrick, Tail Code: The Complete History Of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings, 1994
  • Mesko, Jim, VNAF: South Vietnamese Air Force, 1945-1975, 1978
  • Ravenstein, Charles A., Air Force Combat Wings: Linege and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Office OF Air Force History, United States Air Force, 1984
  • Endicott, Judy G., USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Office of Air Force History
  • VNAF - The South Vietnamese Air Force 1951-1975

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Trà Nóc Airport (IATA: VCA, ICAO: VVCT) is located in Can Tho city in Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

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Total dead: ~314,000
Total wounded: ~1,490,000
North Vietnam and NLF
dead and missing: ~1,100,000 [1] [2] [3] [4]
wounded: ~600,000+ [5]
People's Republic of China
dead: 1,446
wounded: 4,200

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United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. Previously part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947.
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Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is one of two United States Air Force major commands outside of the continental United States, the other being the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).
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Total dead: ~314,000
Total wounded: ~1,490,000
North Vietnam and NLF
dead and missing: ~1,100,000 [1] [2] [3] [4]
wounded: ~600,000+ [5]
People's Republic of China
dead: 1,446
wounded: 4,200

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Tan Son Nhut Air Base was a Republic of Vietnam Air Force and United States Air Force base. It is located near the city of Saigon in South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, it has been operated as Tan Son Nhat International Airport (IATA: SGN, ICAO: VVTS).
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