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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial

“We Who Came Home Must Never Forget Those Who Could Not”

 

—River Rats —

 
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
1. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial Marker
Inscription.

Aircrews from all services of the United States military flying over the Red River Valley in North Vietnam encountered the most heavily defended airspace in the history of aerial combat. The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association (or River Rats as the members call themselves) was born in 1967 when aircrews from different organizations gathered to devise better tactics for use during airstrikes over North Vietnam. The organization was formally incorporated in 1969 to promote and preserve the unique bond of friendship between combat airmen from different organizations and services fostered in the air war over North Vietnam. After the Vietnamese War the efforts of the organization were directed toward generating awareness of the Prisoners of War, Missing-in-Action and Killed-in-Action (POW, MIA and KIA) airmen and their families, providing scholarship support for the children of the men who failed to return and promoting the importance of American airpower. The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association has awarded numerous scholarships to the children of airmen who did not return from Vietnam. The River Rats have become surrogate fathers to these children helping with educational expenses when a missing father could not.

Mark Pritchett of San Antonio, Texas created this memorial for the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association.

Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USAF Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
2. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USAF Marker
He also designed and built the original Missing Man Memorial at Randolph AFB, Texas in 1977.

Although the units listed are those which flew over the Red River Valley in North Vietnam, this memorial is dedicated to all American airmen lost in Southeast Asia.

U.S. Air Force Squadrons
Tactical Fighter
4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 25, 34, 35, 36, 43, 44, 45, 47, 58, 67, 68, 80, 307, 308, 333, 334, 335, 336, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 389, 390, 391, 416, 417, 421, 429, 430, 431, 433, 434, 435, 436, 469, 476, 480, 497, 523, 555, 557, 558, 559, 561, 562, 563

Tactical Reconnaissance
11, 14, 15, 20, 41, 45, 60, 6460, 6461

Bombardment
60, 63 (Prov), 64 (Prov), 65 (Prov), 329 (Prov), 364 (Prov), 365 (Prov), 486 (Prov)

Tactical Electronics
41, 42, 63 (Prov)

Strategic Reconnaissance
1, 99, 349

Fighter Interceptor
64, 509

Wild Weasel
17, 6010

Special Operations
1, 15, 602

Strategic Reconnaissance Weather
4028

Rescue and Recovery
37, 40

U.S. Navy Squadrons
Attack
VA-12, 15, 22, 23, 25, 27, 34, 35, 36, 37, 46, 52, 55, 56, 65, 72, 75, 76, 82, 85, 86, 93, 94, 95, 97, 105, 106, 112, 113, 115, 144, 145, 146, 147, 152, 153, 155, 163, 164, 165, 172, 176, 192, 195, 196, 212, 215, 216
VAH-2, 4, 8, 10
VAW-11, 12, 13, 33, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 121, 123, 124

Fighter
VF-11,

Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USN Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
3. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USN Marker
14, 21, 24, 31, 32, 41, 51, 53, 74, 84, 92, 96, 103, 111, 114, 142, 151, 154, 161, 162, 191, 194, 211, 213
VSF-3

Reconnaissance
RVAH-1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13
VAP-61
VFP-62, 63

Helicopter
HC-1, 2, 7
HS-2, 4, 6, 7, 8
HU-1, 2

Electronic Reconnaissance
VQ-1

Electronic Warfare
VAQ-33, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135

U.S. Marine Corps Squadrons
All Weather Attack
VMA (AW)-224, 242, 533

Fighter and Attack
VMFA-115, 122, 212, 232, 333, 542

Photo Reconnaissance
VMCJ-1, 2

U.S. Army
On 20-21 November 1970 a Joint Contingency Task Force composed of U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77 made a daring raid on Son Tay Prison just 23 miles from Hanoi, North Vietnam. Their mission was to rescue U.S. airmen being held as prisoners of war. The raid was a brilliant military success transporting, landing and recovering an assault force of 56 U.S. Army and 92 U.S. Air Force personnel deep inside heavily defended enemy territory without the loss of a single man. Although the prisoners had been moved before the mission began and no POW’s were rescued, the raid resulted in substantially improved living conditions for all U.S. airmen held prisoner by the North Vietnamese. The assault force was supported by the U.S. Navy

Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USMC Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
4. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USMC Marker
flying an effective diversionary raid from the Tonkin Gulf Carrier Task Force. Additional mission support was provided by USAF MIG CAP, SAM suppression, and reconnaissance units. A total of 116 aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers participated in the raid. Men of the following units formed the Joint Contingency Task Force. They risked their lives and freedom in an attempt to bring freedom to others.

U.S. Army Units
XVIII Airborne Corps
U.S. Army Institute for Military Assistance
U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance
U.S. Army Infantry School
Office of Surgeon General, Department of the Army
82nd Airborne Division
6th & 7th Special Forces Groups, 1st Special Forces

U.S. Air Force Units
Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Training Center
1st Special Operations Wing
37th & 40th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadrons
1st & 7th Special Operations Squadrons
602nd Special Operations Squadron
4407th Combat Crew Training Squadron
13th & 555th Tactical Fighter Squadrons
6010 Wild Weasel Squadron

U.S. Navy Units
VA-25, 65, 113, 145, 153, 155, 164, 212
VAQ-129, 130, 134
VAW-111
VF-21, 21, 154, 191, 194, 211


 
Erected 1988 by Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association.
 
Location.
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USA Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
5. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial USA Marker
39° 46.793′ N, 84° 6.766′ W. Marker is in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in Montgomery County. Click for map. Marker (Memorial #122) is in the Memorial Park of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, with museum access off Springfield Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 Spaatz Street, Dayton OH 45433, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pilot Training Class 55-V (a few steps from this marker); 82nd Fighter Group (a few steps from this marker); Fifth Airdrome Squadron (a few steps from this marker); 97th Bombardment Group (a few steps from this marker); Resistance Fighters (a few steps from this marker); 488th Bomb Squadron "M" (a few steps from this marker); 7th Combat Cargo Squadron (a few steps from this marker); 301st Bombardment Group (H) (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
 
Also see . . .
1. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association. (Submitted on April 20, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Rescue Attempt: The Son Tay Prison Raid. (Submitted on April 20, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. NMUSAF Memorial Park Information. (Submitted on April 20, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Air & SpacePatriots & PatriotismWar, Vietnam
 
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
6. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Missing Man Memorial image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
7. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Missing Man Memorial
Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial Statue image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
8. Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association Vietnam Memorial Statue
River Rats Emblem on Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association on Vietnam Memorial image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 5, 2010
9. River Rats Emblem on Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association on Vietnam Memorial
NMUSAF Memorial Park Sign image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
10. NMUSAF Memorial Park Sign
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   10. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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