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Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base

Timeline 1967
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4 Jan 1967
The 606th ACS Commander proposed that the Lucky Tiger T-28Ds be committed to combat operations in the Steel Tiger area. It was also proposed that the fleet of 12 T-28Ds be expanded to 25 along with respective ground crews. The T-28Ds were configured with two .50-caliber machine guns and six external stores stations which could carry a maximum ordnance and external fuel load of 3,500 pounds
Early 1967
509th FIS arrives from Clark AB Philippines. F-102As. During the dry season 1967 Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese built all weather roads helping them to extend further southward into Laos.
Air America's AB-1 office building outgrew its usefullness and Bill Lair drew plans for a new office appraised at $135,000. An engineer arrived to offer some other possibilities that angered Lair. The engineer continued with his own million dollar design. The new AB-1 was constructed during 1967.
2 Jan 1967
Washington approved new Rolling Thunder targets closer to Hanoi. Operating with approx 100 MiGs, NV pilots attempted to defend the targets. Operation Bolo, devised by Col. Robin Olds of the 8th TFW at Ubon, baited by what appeared to be a normal Rolling Thunder Strike, shot down 7 MiGs in 12 minutes without losing an aircraft over the Red River Valley in North Vietnam. Olds was credited with downing two of the MiGs.
6 Jan 1967
North Vietnamese battled Vang Pao and the Meo since the dry season began aiming to retake Nakhang. January 6, bad weather and overcast skies concealed operations, protecting them from U.S. air power. The enemy captured a kidney-shaped hill overlooking the base and set up a 50 cal. machine-gun at the summit. CIA paramilitary officer, Mike Lynch, was able to radio for air support. Secord was able to divert a flight of F-105s from the Trail that flew over but they were unable to lineup their weapons correctly to make any kills. However, they did slow the attack until A-1s from Udorn arrived. By then the base had been mostly overrun and NV were firing at Lynch. The A-1s broke the attack and sent the enemy in retreat. Lair contended that if Nakhang had not been rebuilt, a target would not have existed for the enemy and the Meo laid back without incentive to go on patrol or go into combat. The airpower had spoiled them.
Also NV lost two additional MiG aircraft and stood down defense of Rolling Thunder targets.
Mid Jan 1967
A-26s, originally from the 603d Air Comando Sq being used for night interdiction were joined by Lucky Tiger T-28Ds and now assigned to the 606th Air Commando Sq.
16 Jan 1967
Det 1, 39th ARRS activated at Udorn. HC-130s
1 Feb 1967
The ammo dump and six T-28s were totally destroyed at Luang Prabang killing eight persons. Damaged aircraft were shipped to the Air America facility at Udorn for repair.
2 Feb 1967
North Vietnamese attacked the airfield at Luang Prabang (L-54) using rocket launchers and automatic weapons.
Apr 1967
Connecting paths and roads along the Ho Chi Minh Trail were upgraded by spring 1967. The infiltration rate doubled in 1965, doubled again in 1966 and was expected to double in 1967 following the new improvements.
10-11 Apr 1967
F-105s and F-4s raid the Thai Nguyen iron and steel plant 30 miles from Hanoi. Attacks disrupted but did not destroy the plant. USAF jets also struck the Canal Des Rapides Railway and bridge 4 miles north of Hanoi.
Apr-May 1967
NV pilots began to defend Rolling Thunder targets again as 50 MiG aircraft engaged in April and 72 in May. The battles in May USAF crews were credited with 20 MiG kills. Seven were downed May 13 and six on May 20.
1 Jun 1967
Maj. Gen. William C. Lindley, Jr. replaces Maj. Charles R. Bond, Jr. as Commander of the 7/13AF at Udorn.
08 Jun 1967
Det 1, 39th ARRS departs for Tuy Hoa, Vietnam.
Jul 1967
Ted Shackley scheduled a meeting at headquarters 7/13th Air Force to include Lair, Landry, Secord and some high ranking USAF generals. Shackley suddenly had a scheduling conflict and failed to show. The generals laid out a plan for electronic beacon and equipment (Commando Club) to be installed on top of LS-85 or Mt. Phou Pha Thi near the North Vietnamese border, less than 150 miles from Hanoi. Lair pointed out that installing equipment and a beacon, it would certainly be discovered by Hanoi and they would consider it a threat to their security. Lair, the most senior CIA officer at the meeting, expressed the Commando Club would present a high value target for the enemy. Prior to the meeting Amb. Sullivan had received a cable from Pres. Johnson directing that the Commando Club would be installed.
435th TFS departs fro Da Nang.
Jul 1967
F-4 Ds replace F-104s of 476th TFS.
20 Jul 1967
Rolling Thunder targets were revised again offering 16 additional targets and 23 road, rail and waterway segments inside Hanoi-Haiphong. Bridges bypasses, rail yards and military storage areas were bombed to slow of halt traffic between Haiphong and Hanoi.
Aug 1967
Navigation equipment at Phou Pha Thi is being replaced with an all-weather system, operated by the USAF and CIA.
2-11 Aug 1967
The mile-long Paul Doumer Railway and Highway Bridge was hit for the first time knocking out the center span and damaging two others.
Sep 1967
Construction of new buildings and navigational equipment at Phou Pha Thi was completed by the end of September 1967. The Commando Club enabled bombing of North Vietnam and Laos during foul weather and night raids.
18 Sep 1967
Col. Victor N. Cabas replaces Col. Robert W. Shick as Commander of 432d TRW at Udorn.
20 Oct 1967
Due to a high attrition rate the F-105 squadrons were suffering, the 13th TFS was transferred to Udorn as an F-4D Phantom II squadron. Aircraft and personnel were absorbed into the 44th TFS which had earlier absorbed men and aircraft from the 421st TFS at Korat. The 14th TFS arrives with RF-4C/Ds. Also, a couple Buddhist monks carrying cameras and sketches of Phou Pha Thi (Commando Club) were discovered on its slopes. They were flown off the mountain in a helicopter for questioning by Vang Pao and were never seen again.
20 Oct 1967
20th TFS departs.
25 Oct 1967
Paul Doumer Railway and Highway Bridge was struck again by USAF fighters dropping an additional span.
Nov 1967
Commando Club became operational. Also Ted Shackley asked Bill Lair his opinion about the Royalist troops retaking Nam Bac, north of Luang Prabang since it was out of VP's area. Lair advised against it since Nam Bac was located in a valley and logistics would require a large force to occupy the mountains surrounding the base. Shackley ignored Lair's advice and planned for the Royalist to attack Nam Bac.
Mid Nov 1967
North Vietnamese move toward Nam Bac to battle Royalist troops.
25 Nov 1967
Secretary of Defense, McNamara acknowledged Operation Rolling Thunder had not accomplished the objective of halting the infiltration of the south. He sought to have electronic surveilance sensors placed to monitor movement across the DMZ or along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. On 25 Nov 1967 Operation Igloo White came to life. Sensors placed strategically were monitored by EC-121R aircraft relaying sensor signals to Task Force Alpha at NKP. The EC-121s had a crew of 18 and were flown from Korat from the 553rd Reconnaissance Wing using the call sign of Batcat. Some EC-121s were flown from Udorn.
17 Dec 1967
Cpt Doyle D Baker and Lt John D Ryan Jr of 13 TFS, 432 TRW shoot down a MiG 17 aircraft.
19 Dec 1967
A rebuilt center span of the Doumer Bridge was dropped again by USAF fighters.
Troop strength in South Vietnam reaches 500,000.