366th Fighter Group Association

History

Vietnam

366th Tactical Fighter Wing
1962-1972

366th Wg Emblem

PUC
AFOUA-V
VSM
VGCWP


Intensification of the Cold War in the early 1960s brought the 366th TFW back to life at Chaumont AB, France, in April 1962. This marked the first peacetime activation of a wing at an overseas location. Throughout its time in France, the wing flew the F-84F, deploying regularly to Libya for gunnery training.

Tensions in Europe decreased slightly over the next year and the wing returned to the United States in July 1963 to its new home at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. There, the wing began converting to the new F-4C Phantom II in February 1965.

F4C

Later that year, the wing sent its first squadron to the Republic of Vietnam. The 390 th Fighter Squadron was assigned to Da Nang AB, Republic of Vietnam, and the 391 st went to Cam Ranh Bay AB in early 1966. By March, the rest of the wing entered the conflict and moved to Phan Rang AB, Republic of Vietnam.

The 366th TFW moved to Da Nang AB and regained the 390 th FS in October 1966. While at Da Nang, pilots were frustrated that they were missing opportunities to shoot down enemy MiGs because the F-4C lacked a cannon and its missiles were ineffective at short ranges. So wing maintainers and aircrews modified the mounting of an external 20-millimeter Gatling gun pod on the F-4Cs used for ground attack for use in air-to-air combat, and in less than a month, starting on May 14, 1967, the wing’s pilots had scored four MiG kills. The gun pod innovation and the MiG kills that followed earned the wing the nickname it carries today, the “Gunfighters.” During this period, the wing earned a Presidential Unit Citation for shooting down 11 enemy aircraft in a six-week period and other combat actions..

DaNang Gunfighter

It should be noted that not all the action was in the air. Starting with a Viet Cong rocket attack in February 1967 followed by similar attacks in July and September of that year and with increasing frequency thereafter, several ground personnel were killed and injured. The number of enemy attacks throughout the remainder of the conflict earned DaNang Air Base its well-deserved nickname: "Rocket City" .

By May 1968, the wing had upgraded to the F-4D aircraft, and then in 1969, two squadrons of F-4E's joined the wing. After this, the F-4D's assumed forward air control duties, while the more advanced F-4E's concentrated on aircraft escort duties and conducted ground attack missions. By November 1971, the 366 th was the only United States tactical fighter wing still stationed in Vietnam. During it's final months in Southeast Asia before returning to the United States the wing earned it's second Presidential Unit Citation .

Of the 179 aircraft imported from China by North Vietnam during the conflict, 137 were downed by the U.S. Air Force. Of these 137, 107.5 were downed by F-4s. Between 1966 and 1972, the Gunfighters logged 18 confirmed MiG kills in Vietnam.

Upon the wing's returned to the United States in October 1972, Captain Lance P. Sijan, a 366th pilot shot down in 1967, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions as a prisoner of war.


Text source(expanded): T he 366 Wing History Office



Vietnam Citations and Awards

Vietnam Aerial Victories - Alphabetical
Chronological
Vietnam Casualty List - Alphabetical
Chronological
Attacks on DaNang AB

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