Phu Cat Air Base:          This Data was obtained from

Location: The base is located approximately 20 miles northwest of the city of Qui Nhon just off Route 1. It lies in a 10-mile wide lowland which stretches northwest from the South China Sea to the Central Highland mountains. With the exception of the lowlands which extend to the north and southeast, these mountains are on all sides of the base and range from three to six miles from the base perimeter. The lowland area is primarily devoted to the production of rice. The higher ground upon which the base is situated is surrounded by rice paddies and rolling terrain covered with dense underbrush and trees. A small portion of the southern perimeter is bordered by the Song Dap Da River and a portion of the northern perimeter by the Song La Vi River. The main north-south national railroad borders the south and east perimeters of the base. The railroad also separated the base from the Republic of Korea (ROK ) 1st Tiger Division, 1st Infantry Regiment, camp to the east. Prior to being secured by combined US and ROK forces during Operation Pershing in March 1966, the area now occupied by Phu Cat Air Base was a Viet Cong training center.


1966: On 16 February 1966, during the initial survey to locate a new air base, LtCol William Harold Bodner was killed by a phosphorous mine on what was later designated Hill 151 (Bodner Hill). He and a party of engineers had landed on the hill from a 161st Aviation Company (Airmobility, Light) helicopter.

The site for the new air base was selected in March, and designated Base X. In April, ROK Tiger Division troops cleared the base area of Viet Cong forces. On 1 May, elements of RMK-BRJ civilian construction firms arrived to build a camp for themselves and ROK security units. By 1 June, a temporary 3000-foot airstrip and a few barracks were completed. The airstrip was used by new Air Force C-7A squadrons to deliver construction equipment and supplies. The railroad was used to deliver rock to the base site. By 1 August, all of the construction workers and 150 Air Force personnel were out of their tents and in barracks. On 4 August, Capt Robert M. Sullivan led a convoy of 53 security policemen and approximately 63 RED HORSE (819CES) engineers to the base. The security policemen were the first element of 37th Security Police Squadron which immediately began to assume security of the base from the ROK units. September 19 marked activation of 37th Combat Support Group. On December 20, concrete pouring commenced on the main runway; several records were set for the most concrete poured in a single day in Vietnam.

1967: During January 1967, as construction of the main runway, taxiways, barracks, warehouses, etc. progressed, more Air Force personnel and units arrived at Phu Cat Air Base. For example, 459th and 537th Tactical Airlift Squadrons (C-7A aircraft); 1041st USAF Police Squadron (Test), communications, medical airlift control, aircraft maintenance, aerial port, and civil engineering personnel arrived. On 1 March, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated and assigned to Seventh Air Force. Base Operations was activated on March 15. On April 15, 37TFW began combat operations with strikes by 416TFS (F-100D aircraft) enroute from Bien Hoa AB to their new home at Phu Cat AB. Det 1, 612TFS (F-100D aircraft) began operations at Phu Cat AB on 8 June, after flying a mission enroute from their former home at Phan Rang AB. Also in June, Commando Sabre (Misty) was activated using F-100F aircraft as the first Fast FACs over North Vietnam. To date, three Misty pilots went on the four-star rank--W. L. Creech (TAC), Merrill A. McPeak (CofS), Ronald R. Fogleman (CofS). Misty-31 Bravo, George E. "Bud" Day, was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry while a POW. During the rest of 1967, base facilities expanded, population increased, and thousands of combat sorties were flown by the tactical squadrons. The University of Maryland opened classes on 15 August.

1968: On 3 February 1968, 355TFS (F-100D aircraft), from Myrtle Beach AFB, SC, was attached to 37TFW for six-months TDY. By 28 February, 37TFW squadrons completed 18,000 combat hours and 13,000 combat sorties without a major aircraft accident since 1 April 1967. On 14 May, 174TFS (F-100C aircraft), Iowa Air National Guard, arrived at Phu Cat AB. The wing was then composed of four F-100 combat squadrons. As 355TFS personnel completed their TDY, Air National Guardsmen from New Jersery and Washington DC replaced them. Fourteen of the squadron pilots and approximately 80% of the enlisted force were Guardsmen. By the end of the year the base was well established with all of the facilities of a typical Stateside base, except dependent housing.