Tuesday, November 27, 2012

23d Air Base Group

23d Air Base Group

To clear up the confusing array of USAF units, PACAF formed new ones without expanding manpower authorizations. At Da Nang trekking , the 23d Air Base Group was created to organize the USAF advisory units stationed there.

The "Mule Train" C-123 Provider unit became the 311th Troop Carrier Squadron as a detached component of the 315th Troop Carrier Group at Tan Son Nhut AB. It specialized in missions to remote mountain airstrips and drop zones and flights into the A Shau Valley using junior but more experienced C-123 pilots specially trained at Pope AFB, North Carolina. On March 8, 1965 it was re-designated the 311th Air Commando Squadron of the 315th Air Commando Group at Tan Son Nhut. It remained at Da Nang as a Geographically Separated Unit (GSU) until its inactivation on 5 Oct 1971
Operation Rolling Thunder
F-100s of the 416th TFS on the flightline - 1965

 During 1964/65 the 23d Air Base Group supported various USAF deployed squadrons through mid-1965. As a result of the announcement of "Operation Rolling Thunder" after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, North American F-100 Super Sabre squadrons began deployments from Tactical Air Command bases in the United States. Squadrons deployed to Da Nang AB were:

    522d Tactical Fighter Squadron, 13 December 1962 - 1 June 1963; 16 March-6 May 1964 (TDY from 27th TFW, Clovis AFB NM)
    428th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 15 November-30 December 1964 (using 522d TFS Assets)

    615th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1 June-30 September 1964; 1 April-30 June 1965 (TDY from 401st TFW, England AFB LA)
    614th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1 August-30 November 1964 (TDY from 401st TFW, England AFB LA)
    612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1 September-15 November 1964 (TDY from 401st TFW, England AFB LA)
    613th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 15 November 1964-30 July 1965 (PCS from 401st TFW, England AFB LA)
    416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 15 March-15 June 1965 (TDY from 405th TFW, Clark AB PI)

The last of the rotational F-100 squadrons were moved out by mid-1965, with Da Nang Air Base being programmed to receive the new Tactical Air Command F-4C Phantom II tactical fighter which was by then in full production by McDonnell aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri.

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