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2,000 Days & 2 Million Passengers

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • MACV-SOG: Friday, January 24, 1964 – The Studies and Observation Group, known also as MACV-SOG is officially created. The group was a highly secretive and classified group of special operations forces from across the US Military and CIA that conducted covert unconventional warfare operations during and prior to the Vietnam War. The group had a shaky start as US special operations forces were not ready for the unconventional operations that would take place, doctrine at the time mainly focused on conventional war aspects against large ground forces. The group would conduct operations throughout North and South Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia, searching for downed pilots, capture enemy prisoners, and conduct clandestine and psychological actives. The groups operations and very existence were kept secret until the early 1980’s, with most reports on their activities being dismissed. During Senate hearings on Vietnam War POW/MIA issues in the 1990’s documents were finally released giving insight into the groups operations. It was not till the release of the Pentagon Papers in the 1970’s that is was found that SOG had a part in instigating the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which the US used as justification for increased military operations in Vietnam.
  • POW: Monday, January 26, 1970 – US Navy LT Everett Alvarez Jr spends his 2,000 day in captivity as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. LT Alvarez was the first US pilot to be shot down during the Vietnam war that was taken prisoner as he would spend over eight years in captivity. Only one other US servicemember has served longer as a POW, Colonel Floyd Thompson who spent nearly 9 years as a POW during the year. He was finally released after 3,113 days as a prisoner, held at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. After his release which he would continue his military career in the US Navy till his retirement in 1980.
  • Combat Cargo Command: Tuesday, January 27, 1953 – After the outbreak of the Korean War the US Air Force would suffer from a lack of general direction as well as strength. After the arrival of additional units and Major General Tunner the USAF would create the Combat Cargo Command to handle all in theater airlift duties, where experience from the recent Berlin Airlift would be put to the test. The Combat Cargo Command would deliver both offensive and defensive capabilities during the war, often being the reason US Military units survived during the Chinese offensive in November 1950. By the end of the war and all of its operations the command would tally up 210,343 missions flow and conducted. 391,763 tons of material would be delivered and 18,000 tons of supplies would be dropped to units across Korea. Most astoundingly the command would carry over 2 million personnel during its few years of operation.

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