udon thani rtafb
udon thani rtafb
The following two brief paragraphs are taken from a history that seems to be reproduced on several Websites, I’ve found. So I won’t reproduce the whole thing yet again.
Udon Thani International Airport as a joint-force military base: During the Vietnam War the base was a front-line facility of the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1964 through 1976. The USAF forces at Udorn were under the command of the United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Thirteenth Air Force (13th AF). Udorn was the location for TACAN station Channel 31 and was referenced by that identifier in voice communications during air missions.
Udorn RTAFB was also the Asian Headquarters for Air America an American passenger and cargo airline covertly owned and operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It supplied and supported covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
The following photos are from a collection identified as Udorn RTAFB, Udon Thani, Thailand. I only included three of Udon Thai proper — there are a number at the site of the base itself.
Wikipedia has a good entry on the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF).
I hope this site devoted to the Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base endures — it’s a shame to lose records like this, but too often these types of site are short-lived.
You likely know that the American presence is still very much active — read this March report titled Pacific partners close Cope Tiger with ceremony. Cope Tiger is an annual exercise involving the Thai military, the U.S. Air Force, and the Singapore Air force. Expats and male visitors to Udon Thani are not always appreciative when the Americans hit town!
More on Cope Tiger 2010 is here.
I located the following photo here.
As concerns the Royal Thai Air force — the Wikipedia entry aside — there is this well-done encapsulation:
Royal Thai Air Force is the air force of the Kingdom of Thailand, whose main responsibility is to protect the air space of Thailand since 1913.
The RTAF command structure consists of five groups namely:
Combat forces group:
Headquarters group: It performs the usual general staff functions, including planning and directing operations of the combat elements.
Logistics support group: It provides engineering, communications, ordnance, transportation, quartermaster, and medical services support.
Education group: It coordinates and supervises all air force training programmes.
Special service group: It is responsible for the welfare of air force personnel and coordinates the activities of Thai civil aviation with those of the air force.
Operational units of the air force are organised into two functional elements which include:
* Tactical air command structured and equipped for conventional warfare
* Aerial security force trained and geared for counterinsurgency and other internal security missions.
The Royal Thai Air Force is divided into 4 divisions plus a training school, plus a few direct-reporting units. Each division is then subdivided into wings, with a total 2-3 wings each division.
1st Air Division:
* The 1st Air Division composes of two wings, the 2nd Wing and the 6th Wing.
* The 2nd Wing is a rotary aviation wing that is used for basic utility needs and transport as well as search and rescue (SAR) operations. This wing is normally based at RTAFB Lop Buri in Lop Buri Province
* The 6th Wing is a non-combat wing used for a variety of functions including transport, mapping, communications and surveying. This wing is based at RTAFB Don Muang / Bangkok.
2nd Air Division:
* The 2nd Air Division composes of three wings, the 1st Wing, the 21th Wing, and the 23rd Wing.
* The 1st Wing is an attack wing based at RTAFB Korat in Nakhon Ratchasima Province.
* The 21st Wing is an attack wing based at RTAFB Ubon Ratchathani in Ubon Ratchathani Province.
* The 23rd Wing is a light attack wing based at RTAFB Ubon in Udon Thani Province.
3rd Air Division:
* The 3rd Air Division composes of three wings, the 4th Wing, the 41st Wing, and the 46th Wing. Another wing, the 42nd Wing, is reported to exist.
* The 4th Wing is a light attack / fighter wing based at RTAFB Takhli in Nakhon Sawan Province.
* The 41st Wing is a light attack wing based at RTAFB Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai Province.
* The 46st Wing is a transport / rainmaking wing based at RTAFB Phitsanulok in Phitsanulok Province.
4th Air Division:
* The 4th Air Division composes of three wings, the 7th Wing, the 53rd Wing, and the 56th Wing.
* The 7th Wing is an interceptor and attack wing based at RTAFB Surat Thani in Surat Thani Province.
* The 5th Wing is a transport / observation wing based at RTAFB Prachuap Khiri Khan in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
* The 56th Wing is a currently forming wing based at RTAFB Hatyai in Songkhla Province.
Flying Training School: The Flying Training School composes of three squadrons, the 1st Flying Training Squadron, 2nd Flying Training Squadron, and the 3rd Flying Training Squadron.
The foregoing is from here.
There are a number of accounts by Americans who were stationed at the Udon Thani RTAFB during the Viet Nam War. One is BOB MOSLEY’S THIRD WAR [WWII and Korea being his first two wars].
That story is here.
Another site is here — Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base: Memories from The Last Tour ’75 and ’76.
Yet another is here — U.S. Military Thailand Bases & Camps: Vietnam War Era.
The Thailand-Lao-Cambodia Brotherhood (TLC) site is loaded with links to other related sites.
Welcome all branches of the United States Military and civilians to my Thailand Web Site. The purpose of this web site is share photos that were contributed by many GI’s stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War.
My goal is to try and reach as many military & civilian veterans as possible. I encourage everyone to Sign my Guestbook.
This site focuses on members of the Thailand Dog Handlers — loads of photos.
The next photo is from here.
Here is another history of the Royal Thai Air Force — I’ll quote just a bit:
In February 1911 the Belgian pilot Charles Van Den Born displayed the first aircraft in Thailand at the Sa Pathum Horse Racing Course. The Thai authorities were impressed enough by the display that on 28 February 1913 they dispatched three officers to learn to fly in France, a leading aviation country.
The three officers (Major Luang Sakdi Sanlayawut (Sunee Suwanprateep), Captain Luang Arwut Sikikorn (Long Sinsuk) and First Lieutenant Tip Ketuthat) learned to fly and on 2 November 1913 returned to Thailand with eight aircraft (four Breguets and four Nieuports). They are today regarded as the forefathers of the Royal Thai Air Force. In March of the next year they moved from Sa Pathum airfield to Don Muang.
This site has a good selection of airplane photos of 231 Squadron “Hunters” 23rd Wing, RTAFB, Udon Thani, as well as other vintage military aircraft photos from other parts of Thailand.
The Udonmap forum posted a couple of YouTube videos in this thread entitled Udorn RTAFB 1971-1972. There were also some earlier related threads dating back to 2006 What was Udon like during the Vietnam War?, 2008 Bob Hope in Udon Thani 1965, and 2009 Access to former Udorn RTAFB.
I located this archived report dated September 5, 1973, titled Udorn RTAFB, Udon Thani, Thailand. Revised Uniform Summary of Surface Weather Observations (RUSSWO). Parts A-F…but I have no idea what it’s about!
This sadly underutilized forum thread from 2002 titled My husband was in Ubon, Thailand ’67…anyone else ?? only had a few replies, the last in 2008.
Ever hear of Wapedia? It’s similar to Wikipedia, and has an entry titled Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base that looks pretty good — some nice aircraft photos.
A one-post forum thread from 2009 titled F-104s Udorn RTAFB, Thailand 1964-1966 was how someone “currently writing a history of Udorn Royal Thai AFB” introduced himself. I wonder where he’s gotten with it?
I’ll finish this post with the following example of a site that also shows too much lack of interest, sadly — the last update is from 2008.
1973 Comm Sqd, Udorn Air Base Thailand
This site is dedicated to sharing memories of our time together in Udorn, Thailand. If you served in the 1973 Communication Squadron, stationed at Udorn Air Base, please go to the Login Menu and create an account. You will receive email instructions on how to use the members section. You will be able to up-load some old pictures, a biography of what you have done these past 40 plus years and some current pictures. We all want to see what you look like now. Reconnect with all of those friends who have drifted apart.
Udorn RTAFB 1971-1972 Part 1
zenas1924 | October 11, 2009
snipits of Udorn RTAFB taken by Dave Dwiggins in 1971- 1972, Udon Thani, Thailand. Also included are scenes from Nong Khai and U-Tapao
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