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Apollo's Warriors: U.S. Air Force Special Operations during the Cold War - Secret Psywar Weapons, Indochina War, Air Commandos, Covert War Mission

ISBN: 9781521032589
Publisher: Independently published
Publication Date: 2017-04-09
Number of pages: 331
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Description


In Apollo's Warriors, Michael Haas brings to life the critical, albeit little-known, contributions US Air Force special operations forces have made to the exercise of air and space power. The author focuses in particular on the period between the Korean War and the Indochina wars of 1950-79. The Korean War marked the first major use of Air Force special operations capabilities during the cold war. Capabilities previously employed during the Second World War were quickly resurrected and used to conduct unconventional warfare missions on the land and sea, as well as in the air. Once these capabilities were available, USAF special operations personnel found themselves constantly engaged in psychological, covert, and search and rescue operations far north of the 38th parallel until the war ended in 1953. During the period between 1953 and the initial force deployments to Laos and South Vietnam in the early 1960s, the Air Resupply and Communications (ARC) units had the primary responsibility for USAF special operations. The role of USAF special operations changed dramatically with the increased involvement of the United States in the Second Indochina War. One of the more interesting changes was the reconstitution of the Air Commando concept of the Second World War. During that war, the Air Commandos conducted effective aerial invasions throughout the China-Burma-India theater. Building on this legacy, the Air Commandos of the Vietnam era initially were the focal point for training Laotian pilots and conducting unconventional warfare operations in Laos. By 1968, they had proved so valuable that their role had been expanded to encompass all USAF special operations in Indochina. As a reflection of this broader mission, the Air Commandos were renamed the Special Operations Forces. CONTENTS * PRELUDE: BEFORE THE BEGINNING * Special Operations in Europe * The Air Commandos * KOREA * THE RETURN TO WAR * THE SHADOW WAR * The War: Center Stage * The War behind the Curtain * Aviary and Unit 4 in Action * SPECIAL AIR MISSIONS * FIREFLY, LEAFLET, AND PICKUP OPERATIONS * NICHOLS'S "ONE-MAN WAR" * SPECIAL OPERATIONS BY USAF "SAILORS" * USAF'S SECRET PSYWAR WEAPON * Organizations and Missions * Tales of the 581st * COVERT WAR * THE AIR RESUPPLY AND COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE * A Chilling Fear * An "Agency outside DOD" Makes a Request * Going Too Fast * Psywarriors from Georgetown University to Fort Benning * The Air Resupply and Communications Service Balloon Program * Operation Think * THE "COLD ARCS" AND THE IRON CURTAIN * Blue Suits, Green Berets, Hidden Faces * The SA-16s' "Silent Success" * From H&B to AMA * The Last of the Breed * THE GUARD GETS THE NOD * "BANDITS" ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD * "THEY HAD NO AIR SUPPORT" * Operation Pluto * Aftermath * THE SECOND INDOCHINA WAR * LAOS 1961: THE KEY DOMINO * A Blue Major in the Black World * No Faces, No Serial Numbers * A Primer in "Cold War 101" * LAOS 1964: THE BRUISED DOMINO * A Wilderness of Mirrors * Teaching the "ABCs" of the Secret War * LAOS 1966: THE BLOODY DOMINO * Snake Country * Tigers and Eagles Go Snake Hunting * The Nimrods * Zorro! * The Skyraiders * LAOS: INSIDE THE DOMINO * AT THE TIP OF THE SPEAR * FIGHTING WITH THE HEART * THE RANCH HAND PROJECT * THE DRAGONSHIP * Aftermath * THE SHADOW * THE PREDATOR * THE "OTHER" WAR * THE 75TH AIR STUDIES GROUP * Duck Hook, Combat Spear, and OPLAN 34A * The "Bringers of Death" * Green Hornets and Knives * A Bitter Postscript to the War * BARBARA'S SECRET * The Players * From Duke to Takhli * Execute! * The Scapegoats * Son Tay With 20-20 Hindsight * AIR COMMANDOS ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL * Maj Bernard F. Fisher, 1st Air Commando Squadron * Lt Col Joe M. Jackson, 311th Air Commando Squadron * Lt Col William A. Jones III, 602d Special Operations Squadron * 1st Lt James P. Fleming, 20th Special Operations Squadron * Airman 1st Class John L. Levitow, 3d Air Commando Squadron

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