From 1968-1970, the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing trained F-100 pilots for combat in Vietnam. Non-combat pilots were upgraded to F-100 fighter pilots in this RTU Replacement Training Unit. In 1968, the 355th's "Fightin' Falcons" received deployment orders to Phu Cat Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. The squadron returned to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in 1971 to transition to the A-7D Corsair II. Once again, the "Fightin Falcons'' dug their claws into Vietnam with heavy bombing in Operation Linebacker II, forcing the North Vietnamese into negotiations that would ultimately end the war. Vietnam
A-7D aircraft of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing being readied during Constant Guard VI, a deployment of aircrews and support personnel to Southeast Asia. Support equipment is being loaded on a C-141 in the background.
( adjacent marker )
Combat operations of the 354th Tactical Fighter squadrons in the Vietnam War operated from Phan Rang and Phu Cat Air Bases in South Vietnam.
( left photo caption )
Captain Donald Edwards, 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, typifies the determination and vigor of the pilots of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing. The 352nd had been alerted for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) deployment to Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of
Vietnam June 1966.
( right photo caption )
Major Norman Helm (left) and Major Robert Lawler, both F-100 Super Sabre pilots with the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, check their personal combat equipment prior to their deployment to Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam.
( adjacent marker )
A new era for Myrtle Beach Air Force Base began in November 1965 when the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing deployed the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron to Misawa Air Base, Japan, in support of the rapidly developing threat to peace in Southeast Asia. Early in the spring of 1966, Myrtle Beach Air Force Base lost another unit. The 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron was deployed to Torrejon Air Base, Spain, on a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) assignment. At the same time, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing was notified to deploy the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron to Phan Rang Air Base in South Vietnam. The 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed to the war zone in August 1966, leaving the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing and Myrtle Beach Air Force Base with only one tactical fighter squadron the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
( top photo caption )
A giant C-141 Starlifter transport of the Military Air Lift Command takes off during the deployment of the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron to Phu Cat Air
Base, Vietnam. The jet transports, along with Tactical Air Command C-130 Hercules aircraft, airlifted nearly 400 personnel and 220 tons of supplies and equipment to Vietnam.
( bottom photo caption )
Colonel William Williams, Commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, loads his .38 caliber revolver before climbing aboard an F-100 Super Sabre for the flight to Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam.