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  • First In, Last Out: Wild Weasels vs. SAMs

    The Soviet SA-2 surface to air missile (SAM) threatened to halt air operations over North Vietnam. To suppress and destroy this threat, the U.S. Air Force countered with the courage and skill of the Wild Weasels, who flew some of the most dangerous missions in Southeast Asia.First In, Last Out: Wild

  • Forward Air Controller: O-2A Under Heavy Ground Fire in Southeast Asia

    This painting, by Andrew Whyte, depicts the museum's Cessna O-2A Skymaster (serial number 67-21331) on a forward air control (FAC) mission during the Southeast Asia War. To avoid being located, the enemy normally did not fire on FAC aircraft, but once discovered, they shot at the FAC with everything

  • FAC in SEA: The Legacy

    During the Southeast Asia War, propeller-driven FACs participated in every major military action against the enemy-flying with the first military advisors and supporting the last combat action in the SS Mayaguez recovery-with the possible exception of the strategic bombing campaign against North

  • FAC in SEA: Fast FACs

    Reacting to the increasing threat to their supply lines from air power, the communists gradually improved their antiaircraft defenses down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In addition to heavy-caliber antiaircraft artillery (AAA), the communists deployed SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missiles (SAMs)

  • FAC in SEA: The “Other War” - “Out-of-Country”

    The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam initially prevented the North Vietnamese from sending troops and military supplies directly to communist forces in South Vietnam. So in 1959, they began building a secret road system through neutral Laos and Cambodia. Named the Truong Son

  • FAC in SEA: Forward Air Control Aircraft

    Although easy to maintain, highly maneuverable, and capable of operating from small airstrips, the O-1 Bird Dog first flown by the FACs had many shortcomings. Its slow speed left it vulnerable to enemy small arms fire, its small size limited the amount of ordnance and radios it could carry, and it

  • FAC in SEA: South Vietnam - “In-Country”

    After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the United States committed large numbers of ground forces in South Vietnam, or "in-country." To support these growing numbers, USAF FACs began flying missions in direct support of the U.S. units.To supplement the 19th TASS, the USAF activated the 20th TASS at Da

  • FAC in SEA: The Advisory Years

    In the early 1960s, the United States provided South Vietnam with increased military assistance and counterinsurgency training to resist the communist forces. At first, the USAF trained the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) to use older, propeller-driven aircraft for CAS missions. Although they were

  • Fairchild C-123K Provider

    The Provider was a short-range assault transport used for airlifting troops and cargo to and from small, unprepared airstrips. The rugged C-123 became an essential part of U.S. Air Force airlift during the Southeast Asia War, where it flew primarily as an in-theater airlifter and a Ranch Hand

  • First Flight Mural

    Note: This exhibit is on display in Kettering Hall."The first flight mural depicts the historic achievements of Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. On that day, these two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, liberated man forever from the limitations of the land and sea. The

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