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  • Dangerously Close! USAF Close Air Support in the Southeast Asia War

    Close air support (CAS) -- sometimes called tactical air support -- gave American and South Vietnamese ground forces a tremendous military advantage. However, the U.S. Air Force had to relearn CAS tactics used during World War II and the Korean War. Because the USAF's high-speed combat jets flew too fast to provide effective support, aircrews
  • Down in the Weeds: Ranch Hand

    The dense jungle in Southeast Asia allowed the enemy to ambush vehicles and boats on transportation routes, creep close to stage attacks on bases, move men and materiel and hide their own camps. Ranch Hand crews denied the enemy this cover by spraying herbicides in key areas. To accomplish the mission, Ranch Hand crews flew their UC-123 transport
  • Dirty Thirty

    In April 1962, 30 U.S. Air Force pilots were sent to fly as advisors in the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) 43rd Air Transport Group. Their arrival permitted the VNAF to release some of its own experienced pilots to form new units for its rapidly-expanding air arm.This small group of Americans usually served as co-pilots in VNAF C-47s. Their
  • DShK-1938/46 Heavy Machine Gun

    A Deadly "Sweetie" Used by communist forces in Southeast Asia, the Degtyarov-Shpagin Krupnokaliberny (DShK) machine gun presented a deadly threat to low-flying aircraft-like the Forward Air Controllers (FACs). Sometimes called Dushka (meaning "Sweetie"), they could be mounted on armored vehicles or tripods as anti-aircraft (AA) weapons. To avoid
  • De Havilland C-7A Caribou

    The C-7A was a twin-engine, short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport built by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd. It was used primarily for tactical airlift missions from short, unimproved airstrips in forward battle areas. It could carry either 26 fully equipped paratroops, 20 litter patients, or more than three tons of equipment. The
  • Douglas RB-66B Destroyer

    The B-66 was developed from the U.S. Navy A3D Skywarrior as a tactical light bomber and photo reconnaissance aircraft. The RB-66B photo reconnaissance version became the first production series and totaled 145 of the 294 B-66s built. The USAF also developed a weather reconnaissance version, and various electronic countermeasures (ECM) versions.ECM
  • Douglas B-26K (A-26) Counter Invader

    The Counter Invader was a highly modified version of the Douglas A-26 Invader, a World War II attack bomber. Redesignated B-26 in 1948, the Invader served again during the Korean War (1950-1953), mainly as a night intruder against North Korean supply lines. It was removed from service in 1958, but in 1961 the USAF recalled many Invaders for use as
  • Douglas A-1E Skyraider

    The Douglas A-1 Skyraider played an important part in the Southeast Asia War. Its ability to carry an immense amount of weapons and stay over the battlefield for extended periods of time made it a powerful weapon. This aircraft provided close air support to ground forces, attacked enemy supply lines, and protected helicopters rescuing airmen downed
  • Distinguished Enlisted

    While thousands of airmen have performed their duties with honor, there were a select few whose actions reflect the highest ideals of bravery, dedication and sacrifice. Highlighted here are some examples of exceptional enlisted service in the history of the U.S. Air Force. World War I Sgt. 1st Class Fred C. Graveline Sgt. 1st Class Harold O.
  • Dust, Mud and Snow: An Airman’s Life in Korea

    Life on the K-bases remained fairly basic throughout the Korean War. USAF personnel generally lived in tents with wooden or concrete floors and stored their meager possessions in furniture cobbled together from scrap wood or crates. These tents were blistering hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. The vast unpaved areas on air bases
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