Home of the Vietnam era 71st Special Operations Squadron

This website is presented to recognize the special assignment performed by the 71st Tactical Airlift Squadron of the 930th Tactical Airlift Group, 434th Tactical Airlift Wing (CONAC) from Columbus, Indiana. The 71st TAS was mobilized on May 13, 1968 to expedite the deployment of AC-119G gunships into the Vietnam conflict. The unit was redesignated 71st Special Operations Squadron on July 8, 1968. After successfully completing its mission in South Vietnam, the unit of nearly 200 airmen returned home to Bakalar AFB, Columbus, Indiana on Friday June 6, 1969.

Further, this site's purpose is to present an overview of the history of the 434th from its beginning in WW II to the present day 434th Air Refueling Wing at the Grissom Air Reserve Base.

The 434th Troop Carrier Group was constituted on 30 Jan 1943 and activated on 9 Feb 1943 for WWII. During the 81 year history of the 434th, it and its subordinate units have answered the call to active duty in six major military conflicts; World War II, Korea, Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and most recently, Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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History/Lineage of the 434th

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71st SOS and Vietnam: 1968–69

Photos from the 71st SOS Reunion April 25–27, 2008; Columbus, IN

AC-119 Gunship Association information

Reactivation of the 71st Special Operations Squadron (2005)

Messages for Vietnam era 71st SOS members

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience

Atterbury Army Air Field/Bakalar AFB/Columbus Municipal Airport


Site Updated June 4, 2024 - See What's New