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New Vietnam War Records from Phan Rang Air Base

Phan Rang Air Base was an important United States Air Force base during the Vietnam War. It is located in the Ninh Thuan Province of Vietnam.

Originally built by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII, it was rebuilt by the United States Air Force and used during the Vietnam War by both the USAF and the South Vietnamese Air Force. As part of the US withdrawal from Vietnam, the base was turned over to South Vietnam. In April 1975, the People’s Army of Vietnam seized the base, and today it is used by the Vietnam People’s Air Force.

We’ve recently added historical records from Phan Rang (also called Happy Valley). These records include stories, photos, rosters, and newsletters that have been collected and shared to a Facebook page dedicated to those who were once stationed at the base. 

The newsletter collection contains stories about dangerous missions, enemy attacks on the base, military awards and decorations, and descriptions of what off-duty airmen did to pass the time. You can also find stories of how base medical personnel treated local villagers, and how Christmas was celebrated on the base.

The Phan Rang Air Base collection is part of our User Contributed collections that include Unit Histories, yearbooks, scrapbooks, journals, and more. Explore the newsletters, photo collections, and remembrance lists for Phan Rang Air Base on Fold3 today.

119 Comments

  1. I was stationed there 1970-71. Security Police Squadron

    • Ronald Campbell ((Ken,aka “Chip”) says:

      Me too 35th SPS, Heavy Weapons
      Sept. 70-Oct. 71
      WelcomeHome

    • Karen Carney says:

      My brother Tom Corbin. (Oklahoma) was there during that time and also part of the Security Police Squadron.

    • Holly Adam says:

      Thank you for your service.

    • Bob Tucker says:

      Please join our FB group: “Happy Valley” – Phan Rang AB, Vietnam
      Be sure to answer the questions in order to be accepted.

    • victor e neu says:

      I was in the 35th SPS from
      May 30, 1970 to may 31 1971. I was NCOIC of the Security Police vehicle shop @ Veh. Maint, taking over from Ssgt Harry Helton. Scrounged, stole and dealt with Army, Marines anybody to keep the perimeter stocked with rigs. Maybe “stole” is too specific. “Borrowed in absentia” may be better suited. One bay, too many hours but nobody walked.Also did perimeter “defoliation w/ Diesel” w/ the Goon Platoon.

      i

  2. Jon Miller says:

    Based Phan Rang AFB April ‘68 – ‘69 with Colorado ANG, 120TFS, and assigned to 35FMS Jet Engine shop. Due to an injury, was later assigned to Civic Action as an “adult” English instructor with Phan Rang citizens. Also spent 100s of hours as a base security “augmentee” & ordered to base perimeter & flightline security.

    • Frank Niehus says:

      I was also in the guard with you but in Weapons. A few of us still get together would you be interested in joining us. Are you still living in Den area.?
      Frank Niehus

    • Holly Adam says:

      Thank you for your service.

    • Bob Tucker says:

      Please join our FB group: “Happy Valley” – Phan Rang AB, Vietnam
      Be sure to answer the questions in order to be accepted.

  3. Jimmy W Smith says:

    Served as one of the Crew Chiefs of the Water Plant with the 35th CES, 68-69

  4. Lynda Cummings says:

    My dad, Chuck Preus, was there in 1965-66. He was Avionics Maintenance but I’m not sure of the squadron Name. I wish he were still alive to see this.

  5. 4ever49 says:

    I was in the 48th AML (10 Avn Div., helicopters) which was attached to the 101st. We were on the southeast side of the airfield next to an engineer company. The 101st was on the west side with the Korean White Horse division.

    We arrived at Phan Rang in Nov. 1965. It was under construction and began use shortly thereafter. Our unit saw action at Thuy Hoa, Cheo Reo, and Nhon Co among others.

    Some inventive personnel kept our readiness at high levels – maintence officer had a buddy in Saigon that got us an extra B model Huey – used to shag parts and beer. Of course parts in excess of TO&E and that B model had to “leave” when the IG showed up.

    Issued generators were not up to the task when all the boom boxes were plugged in. An inventive mechanic spotted an unused Air Force generator down the line and “confiscated” it, painting it Army OD green. It worked find but use did not last. Brass was not amused.

  6. I was stationed at Clark AB for 2 years and was there at the end of the “conflict” (we called it a WAR) and as a switchboard operator had the priviledge of helping the POW’s call home!!! WOW!!!! But the one thing that really stands out…as the POW’s got off the planes the airline stewardess were in line to watch them come off. All of a sudden a woman started screaming, and running toward the plane, they were unable to stop her!!
    One of the men started to run the best he could toward her…he was her fiance she had waited 6 years for!!!!
    It had most of the women in the dorm in tears!!! And everyone at work!!! (even the guys!!!) Needless to say, she got to go home on the same plane he did!!!!!!!! What a great touch to a horrible time!!!!!

  7. Ann Brown says:

    Happy to see the stories. My husband was there as in 1966.

  8. Donald Luke says:

    Although I never spent much time at Phan Rang Airbase, during the latter part of 1969 our headquarters moved from Nha Trang airbase to Phan Rang. I was assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron that had AC-47D Spooky gunships at various bases, including Nha Trang and later Phan Rang. I was assigned to the “A” Flight unit assigned to Danang airbase, Nov 1968-69 as aircraft maintenance and crew chief on acft 43-49211. Whenever my aircraft was scheduled for periodic maintenance, I would get to go along with it to Nha Trang (later Phan Rang) to keep an eye on it while maintenance was being performed. I would be there for 2 to 5 days so really never learned much about Phan Rang.

  9. Joseph Lambert says:

    I was there in 1970 with the 35th Security Police. I was the voice on the radio as “Zorro Control” from 1700hrs to 0600hrs.

  10. Sanford Ratzan says:

    Do you have Tan son Ute records?
    I was at 3rd Field 1967-68.
    Looking for uncle at Ta Son 1965-1967 time frame
    (Sgt Bernar Kociol)

  11. Robert Whitton says:

    My Cavalry Squadron, 2-1 Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armd Div, was moved from the Central Highlands, Pleiku, 4th Infantry Division, to Ninh Thuan Province, in Feb/Mar 1969, to provide security for Engineer Work Parties to open up Highway 1 & repair the highway, rebuild bridges and repair the rail line, from Phan Rang AB, to Siagon, so that supply convoys could move from Phan Rang AB to Siagon. Our rear area base camp was located at Phang Rang. I was commander of A Troop, 2-1 Cav and when I changed command in Aug 1969, I was sent to Phan Rang AB to await my orders back to the U.S. On the day I arrived at the Air Base, after about a 30 mile Jeep ride from our Firebase, I got to the Main Gate of the AB which was closed & locked because of an attack on another part of the base, & the Air Force Guards wouldn’t unlock the gate for me to get inside. So, my driver and I had to wait outside for about two hours until the alert was over. It was not an ideal situation for my introduction to Phan Rang Air Base. I stayed there about a week until my orders arrived and I flew to Camp Enarie in Pleiku for out processing.

  12. Rob’t Good says:

    Was a clerk in Enarie, at 4IFD HQ Casualties 5/69-~9/69, then 29 MH as combat artist to 4/70. Fortunately, Camp Enarie was fairly quiet, but 4IFD had way too many casualties – one was too many. Manyletters to Next of Kinw.

  13. James Berry says:

    I arrived at Phan Rang in August of 1965 with Co B, 62 Engineers Bn. The battalion spent the entire year sleeping in mud, rain, snakes and other little creatures. We also ate nothing but WW11 and Korean War C and B rations. We were also not supplies with jungle clothing , ammo and proper medical supplies. We also suffered many of the jungle dieseases which resulted in multiply good soldiers being sent home.
    I did not mentioned the wonderful 23 days on the WW2 troop ship, USS Blatchford. nor the airline strike when many of us returned to the states after 12 or 13 months in that “hell hole.” It took me 10 days to get home to North Carolina by bus.
    I’m not really complaining, however, we don’t seem to be mentioned when the Phan Rang Airfield is brought up . Sp4 James R Berry.

  14. John Harcourt-Rigg says:

    I was there with the Australian contingent, No 2 Canberra Bomber Squadron. Arrived on 1 April 1968 as a young and naive 21 year old, within days I suddenly realised that I was in a war zone assisting the South Vietnamese.

  15. Mary Hogan says:

    Evidently you do not realise that the Australian Canberra Bombers were stationed at the Phan Rang Air Base, during the Vietnam War, RAAF 2 Sqn had several thousand serviceman during that war and my Husband was one of them, he served 1970-71. The RAAF had 2 Canberra’s shot down, the C.O.Downing and his navigator Pincers who were winched out by chopper safe after they ejected. The other manned by Mike Herbert and Bob Carver on 3 Nov 1970 disappeared without trace and were not recovered for 39 years in 2009 and their remains were returned to be buried in their home towns. The homecoming ceremony at RAAF Richmond on 31August 2009 was a momentous occasion for Squadron Veterans.
    On 22 Dec 1966 Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt announced that No 2 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force would be sent to Vietnam from their base in Malaysia.

  16. I hope you will add Clark Air Force Base. My you
    Younger brother served there.
    Charles L. Hall.

  17. Nikki says:

    Did any one know a euclid lamar Cleveland? He was my grandmas first husband who unfortunately he didnt come home, and it was my understanding maybe he was a POW?

  18. George Lutz says:

    Arived May 66 ( gray eagle) period built a few hotches then worked at the bomb dump then pylon shop waiting for F100s to arive then assigned to loading evaluation team left April 67

  19. Stationed with 1882n Comm Gp., 1969-1970, worked in the Base Comm Center. Survived many Rocket Attacks. The Snack Bar was halfway between the barracks and Base Comm. One of the nicest persons
    died there on the day he was turning his outside plant tool kit. We had played cards the night before and he was so happy he had survived his year in happy valley.

  20. Junior Jones says:

    was in Ton Nhut Sigion

  21. Patricia Stokes says:

    Arthur Hubbard paratroopers 1963 or 1964

  22. Patricia Stokes says:

    looking for Arthur G Hubbard, paratrooper 1963 or 1964

  23. Msgt Robert stewart, I was at phan rang, in the 35th supply sq 19 70-1971.

  24. I’m looking for any photos or friends of my two (2) brothers. Michael Corbin and James (Jimmy) Corbin.

  25. Ronald J Dreher says:

    There with the Colorado Air National Guard 120th TFS. Stationed in Supply in what was then NORS Control Called all over the world for high priority parts for those flying machines had on base. Also was under heavy fire with red tracer lines all over. You hit the ground fast. Pic of F-100 is a Guard figher

  26. Nancy Floyd says:

    My Husband, CSM Charles Floyd, 1969-1970, at LZ Nancy, in 77th Armor. I have a lot of pictures

  27. Phill Greethead says:

    The three airmen/soldiers are probably Australians as they are carrying Australian SLR’s.

  28. Fort rag says:

    Forty fortragairforcebase.com

  29. Cynthia Farley says:

    My grandfather did not qualify for the military due to medical issues but went over as a civilian in the 60’s through Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. The story we were told was that they would ship the planes over in crates and he and others would assemble them over there. Where is this camp located to Saigon? I am not sure where he ended up, thought it was Saigon, but told us some interesting stories. Would be interesting to know if this was one of those locations. Leo Funk was his name.

    • Jeanette says:

      Cynthia, I still live in Tucson and my deceased husband retired from Davis Monthan. I went to Amphitheatre High School during the Vietnam War and had a high school choir teacher, Mr. FUNK. He was loved by all of his students. Is he a relative?

  30. Bob Tucker says:

    The top photo is reversed. The covered revetments were on the north and the open revetments were on the south. This pic is looking from the north to south.

  31. Edward D Glade says:

    I was at Phan Rang from 23 Dec 69 to 24 Nov 70. Yes they would send you to Vietnam on Christmas. I was first with the 35 FMS and finished with the 352 FS doing periodic maintenance on F-100s. I worked from 6pm to 6am. Didn’t have to suffer much with the heat.

  32. My late brother Thomas David Coovert took care of the F100’s there, and was at Da Nang before that, during his first tour taking care of the F4 Phantoms. He is dearly missed.

  33. Mathew Rowland says:

    My Dad (David) was there from 66 – 67 as an Air Force medic, he worked for a small group commanded an Army COL Salucci. He told us a lot of stories about being there but never anything more than the pleasant or funny memories (rice bugs on a net scaring a huge guy and similar).

    I have the jacket that he had made for my 2 year old self framed and on my office wall. Dad died in April 2019. He never took anything from the VA, saying that he could work and he had Brothers that needed it more than he did. When I retired from the Army I followed his example.

    Sorry for the rambling post, I just looked at the wall and saw the jacket and decided to google Phan Rang.

  34. Paul A Smith says:

    I imagine my father, Maj/LtCol Paul Lindsay Smith flew in and out of that base. I am not sure he was ever stationed there. He was the commander of the Blind Bats. They flew C130s and carried experimental laser targeting devices.

  35. Jeffery Templin says:

    Looking to see if anyone served with my father, Charles J. Templin, Sr – USMC. I know he was in Viet Nam in 1962-1963, 66-67, and 68-69.

  36. I was stationed there 1967-1968.

  37. shirley feamster says:

    my husband Ranolf Feamster served on “monkey mountain” as an air traffic controller

  38. Peter J Anderson says:

    Thanks for all of the memories. I was the Public Affairs Officer for the 35th TFW, the host unit for Phan Rang AB from March 1958 until mid-October 1968 when I was transferred to Cam Ranh Bay AB from mid-October 1969 until early March 1969 when I was ordered to SAFOI in the Pentagon. After a year there I was able to get transferred to Operation Deep Freeze (the Navy tri-service Task Force 43 which supported the science program in Antarctica) as Technical Editor of the Antarctic Journal of the United States After the Task Force was transferred to the Seabee center at Davisville, RI, I was assigned to the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation. After two years there, I resigned my commission and after several months, came to Columbus, Ohio as the Assistant Director of the Institute of Polar Studies (now known as the Byrd Polar and Climate Center).
    I entered the USAF Reserves and eventually was promoted to Lt Col and retired in 1992, after suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm.

  39. Pat Spence says:

    My husband was Sgt. Loranda O. Spence, Red Horse.