19th

Special Operations

       Squadron 

 


C-123K provider at Ton Son Nhut (1968-69)

 


The 19th BS ceased operational flying in February 1963, ferried its B-47s to other units and inactivated March 15, 1963.

Consolidated with the 19th Tactical Airlift Squadron (constituted 19th Air Commando Squadron, Troop Carrier, and activated, Sept. 14, 1964), the 19th Air Commando Squadron was organized October 8, 1964, at Tan Son Nhut Airfield, just outside of Saigon, South Vietnam. The 19th received the C-123B aircraft and personnel in 1964 but did not become operational as a unit until March 1965. Combat missions included cargo drops, flare missions at night in support of hamlets and outposts under attack, transporting troops and supplies to combat areas and air evacuation of wounded and refugees from battle areas. Cargo included munitions, vehicles, spare parts, fuel and various foods. Missions were flown in support of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese forces. A Royal Thai Air Force contingent was attached to the squadron from mid-1966 until inactivation. Redesignated as the 19th Air Commando Squadron, Tactical Airlift, Aug. 1, 1967, several C-123Bs were converted to C-123Ks by the addition of two jet engines, to provide the aircraft with greater power. Again the 19th was redesignated as the 19th Special Operations Squadron Aug. 1, 1968 and again as the 19th Tactical Airlift Squadron Jan. 1, 1970. Whenever Tan Son Nhut Air Base came under rocket and mortar attacks, the 19th would operate for up to two weeks at a time from Phan Rang Air Base. The 19th also flew increased missions during the Tet Offensive of 1968 and shared in a Navy Presidential Unit Citation for support to U.S. Marines defending Khe Sanh from January to March 1968. In June to August 1970, the 19th flew airlift, airdrop, and evacuation missions in support of Allied forces fighting in Cambodia. On April 19, 1971, the 19th SOS began to transfer the C-123s to South Vietnam and the squadron flew its last combat mission April 30.

The 19th ceased all operations in early May and inactivated June 10, 1971.

Note:  History of the unit in SEA only is given.



Lineage

Organized on 8 Oct 1964. Redesignated: 19th Air Commando Squadron, Tactical Airlift, on 1 Aug 1967; 19th Special Operations Squadron on 1 Aug 1968; 19th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 Jan 1970.

Assignments

Pacific Air Forces, 14 Sep 1964; 315th Troop Carrier Group, Assault (later, 315th Air Commando Group, Troop Carrier), 8 Oct 1964; 315th Air Commando Wing, Troop Carrier (later, 315th Air Commando Wing; 315th Special Operations Wing; 315th Tactical Airlift Wing) 8 Mar 1966-10 Jun 1971.

Stations

Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam, 8 Oct 1964-10 Jun 1971.

Aircraft

C-123, 1964-1971

Operations

Combat in Southeast Asia, 13 Nov 1969–2 Nov 1972. 

Honors

Vietnam: Vietnam Advisory
Vietnam Defensive
Vietnam Air
Vietnam Air Offensive
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II
Vietnam Air/Ground
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV
TET 69/Counteroffensive
Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Southwest Monsoon
Commando Hunt V

Decorations Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Khe Sanh, Vietnam, 20 Jan-31 Mar 68

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device
1 Mar-30 Ap 65
30 Jun-9 Jul 65
15 Oct 66-30 Apr 67
10 Jun-31 Dec 67
15 Jul 68-30 Jun 69
1 Jan-1May 71


Tail Code:  WE

Aircraft:  C-123  

Vietnam Service: 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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The majority of the Information on this page is from the USAF Historical Research Agency: http://www.maxwell.af.mil/au/afhra/


 



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