Udorn and the Vietnam War

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jestan45
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by jestan45 » January 20, 2013, 9:52 pm

Want to know what Udorn was like around 1970? Two books out on Amazon will tell you something you may never have heard unless you were an American GI stationed at Ramasun Station 10 miles south of Udorn. Lots of people know about the huge airbase and it's still there, Ramasun isn't, there's hardly a trace of it left, but it was the biggest signal intelligence spy base in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, home of the top secret 7th Radio Research Field Station. Who was there? A lot of too smart for their own good spooks and spies who called themselves lingies, and dittyboppers and radioheads and TAs. There were no Rambos at Ramasun, it was a place where a 8) shadow-puppet war was fought with brains not brawn, he wouldn't have been able to pass the aptitude test. "Tales of Ramasun" came out last year and "Tales of Ramasun II" has just been released Amazon and Barnes-Noble. Good reads if you are interested in a little Udorn history and adventure.



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pienmash
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by pienmash » January 20, 2013, 11:02 pm

Good luck with your quest for info jester ... sounds like a dam good read .

19 nnnnnnnn 19 .......... all those who fort in the war .........

The average age of the combat soldier was ,,, 19 ..nnnnnnn 19 ...

some things are best left to the history books IMO .

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pienmash
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by pienmash » January 20, 2013, 11:03 pm

Paul Hardcastle ......b4 anyone asks

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redwolf
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by redwolf » January 21, 2013, 1:00 am

amazingly, I remember this song. it was playing on the radio when I was 19 in 1989, my infantry unit being called up for the first persian gulf war.

is that the song I saw you doing the robot dance to inne youre sandwiche shoppe a fortnighte agoe?

as for the book, I'm funna buy it. just need an ISBN# and off to Asia Books I go to order it.

I'll be reselling it here in Udon from the back of a tuk-tuk if anyone wants to buy a copy.
AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIAM | ARCANA IMPERII | ALIS AQUILAE

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roland22
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by roland22 » January 21, 2013, 2:38 am

Tales of Ramasun ISBN 978-1477415078
Tales of Ramsun II ISBN 978-1481964555

lhudnell
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by lhudnell » January 21, 2013, 5:01 am

jestan45,
I was there 72-74 and don't consider myself or any other of the members of the 7th RRFS as too smart for their own good spooks and spies. We did the job we were asked to do and that's it!!!!

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FrazeeDK
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by FrazeeDK » January 21, 2013, 10:37 am

oh come on now.. everybody back in the Army then knew that the Army Security Agency (ASA) only took the "top 10%" high scorers on the Army's entrance test.. Add to that the 4 year college guys who'd lost their draft deferment upon graduation and enlisted into ASA and there were indeed some mighty smart MoFo's working there... Of course, as we all knew back then, "hacking dits" as a "ditty-bop" morse interceptor required no more brains than a trained chimp had.... But... it was a great life while it lasted... The U.S. had a 99 year lease on the place from the Thai Government which was abrogated in 76 (after 10 years).. The place was taken over by the Thai military and contrary to the initial post is still there and easily observable on Flash Earth here http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=17.29111 ... =0&src=msa Most of the huge circular Wullenweber antenna area (U.S. nomenclature AN/FLR--9) is gone but the outline of it is still there. The "nexus of intelligence gathering" the operations building or BOX is long gone, collapsed and rotted away.. The cantonment area with its barracks, clubs, messhalls fire stations, gym et all, is pretty much still there..
Dave

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parrot
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by parrot » January 21, 2013, 2:37 pm

A retired American, living in Belgium, came over for a visit and asked if I could arrange a tour of Ramasun. After some begging and pleading on my part with the gate guard, he called the base commander who approved a chaperoned visit.....gate guard in the bed of the truck. First stop....NCO club. The Thai army still occupied a small corner of the original building....but when we walked into the main room, the original stage and hundreds of ghosts from daze past occupied the room. While I was never stationed at Ramasun, I'm sure their club was like the one we had in NKP.......a lively sight on most nights and rockin' and rollin' on membership night.
Next stop, the old operations building.....as FrazeeDK says, demolished (to hide the evidence??) but I was able to pick out several pieces of headphones and grease pencils.....tools of the trade. The guard offered to allow me to explore the tunnel to the elephant cage......he said rumors were it was used to store gold back in the days of the war. I declined.
Next stop, the 3 story barracks that my friend had stayed in......it was completed only a short time before the base closed.......all the comforts of home, he said. When we drove up, the windows were all covered in burlap......we entered the main door and stepped in 2" of water on the floor. "What's with the water?" I inquired. The guard said the building had been converted into a mushroom 'farm'....and sure enough, most of the rooms had trays and trays of mushrooms. My friend had tears in his eyes at the sight.......his fond memories of the 'modern' facility demolished.

As for being top 10%, I was in the AF, so maybe the standards were different. My entrance exam scores weren't the best....and my choice of jobs based on those scores was meager at best. But there was a tiny little block on my form that asked "Do you volunteer for foreign language training?". A couple years of Latin, Spanish, and German behind me, I checked the block.....the following week I was studying a pseudo language in a 3 day course to weed out people whose brains weren't wired for foreign languages. Two months later, I was in Monterey, CA studying Chinese. Fun times!

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GT93
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by GT93 » January 23, 2013, 2:56 pm

I saw on the news in December that it was 40 years since President Nixon ordered the bombing of Hanoi. I think the idea was to encourage peace negotiations. Anyhow my guess is that some of the bombers dropping the bombs would have taken off from Udon. Is that correct?

I once read that during the Vietnam War Udonthani was a very busy airport. This suggests a lot of bombers may have left Udon for North Vietnam and Laos during the war. I'd appreciate knowing a bit more of the history of Udon during the war.

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LU
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by LU » January 24, 2013, 1:28 am

The heavy bombing was done by B-52's based out of U-Tapao RTAFB ( Royal Thai Air Force Base ) south of Bangkok and from Anderson AFB on the island of Guam. Udorn RTAFB had a large number of F-4's, both the fighter and reconnaissance versions. The fighter version was capable of carrying a much lighter load of bombs when compared to the B-52 but did participate in much action over North Vietnam. Yes; you are quite correct. Udorn was a very busy airport during the war.

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trekkertony
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by trekkertony » January 24, 2013, 3:37 am

The attached link may provide interesting reading for forumites who served in the US forces in Thailand during the Vietnam War.

http://aircommandoman.tripod.com/

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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by thrilled » January 25, 2013, 4:28 am

I was stationed at Udorn from 6-71 til 6-72. Then came back at the end of 73,and left in 74.
It was the highlight of my life.Not so much as Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base,but the town of Udon.
Partying didn't even come close.It was wild every night.The paradise Hotel had A pool.I believe it was open all night.Could rent A 350cc honda for 200 baht for all
day.A baht was 5 us cents.20 baht to a us dollar.Good Times.

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Barney
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by Barney » January 25, 2013, 6:07 am

Funny how there are different names for wars depending on which side you were on.
Westerners call it the Vietnam war and the Vietnamese call it the American war.

I wonder if the Japs and Germans had another name for the 2nd world war?

It is only recently that the museum name in Ho Chi Minh City was changed from the War Cimes Museum to the War
Museum. About the same time the Vietnamese were inviting American companies to come and invest and build factories. INTEL being an example.

SJP17
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by SJP17 » January 25, 2013, 6:42 am

There was no mention of the vietnam war at the Udon Museum , unless i missed it ?

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fatbob
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by fatbob » January 25, 2013, 8:45 am

Barney wrote:About the same time the Vietnamese were inviting American companies to come and invest and build factories. INTEL being an example.
American companies have been welcomed in Vietnam since the 90's, long before the museum changed its name, they don't hold any grudges and it seems they aim to be economically strong in SE Asia.
SJP17 wrote:There was no mention of the vietnam war at the Udon Museum , unless i missed it ?


Maybe the Thai's are embarrassed over there treatment of a regional neighbor and would prefer the world forgot of their involvement which was purely motivated by money not policy or belief.

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udonthani
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by udonthani » January 25, 2013, 5:21 pm

SJP17 wrote:There was no mention of the vietnam war at the Udon Museum , unless i missed it ?
Udon museum tells only about Udon and and the royal family, not much about the secret war in Laos nor Vietnam war
Moon

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Stantheman
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by Stantheman » June 4, 2014, 2:38 am

Is there anyone on this forum who was stationed at Udorn AFB in Dec 1971 and might remember a dog dropped off from Phu Cat Vietnam. It was left with someone named "Muzzy". Dogs name was Saber.

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GT93
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by GT93 » June 4, 2014, 12:42 pm

When I was teaching English in Thaksin's "reign" my school sent me to the Udonthani Governor's residence to chat with the Governor in English. He was a very nice guy and very worldly and educated. During the Vietnam War he was a political operative attached to the Thai army hunting for the Communists active in North East Thailand. I understood he reported back directly to the politicians on what was happening. It was at times dangerous work and he was armed.

He said to me that during this time the Thai economy was developing strongly and more and more good jobs were appearing in Bangkok. He said slowly the Communist student radicals gave up the fight and returned to their studies or to work because of the economic opportunities opening up. I suspect the Thai experience of the war from a governmental perspective would have been about this struggle more than about what was happening over in Vietnam. I haven't bothered doing any reading on Thai history at this time and I'm just paraphrasing what I hope I have recalled correctly.

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Aardvark
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by Aardvark » June 4, 2014, 6:15 pm

Well stop it :D

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pf-flyer
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Udorn and the Vietnam War

Post by pf-flyer » June 5, 2014, 7:28 am

I spent allot of time on graveyard shift working the flight line doing red ball maintenance support during the launch's for the F4Ds and F4Es at Udorn. There were sorties that were loaded with 500 LB bombs and were flying bombing runs to Haiphong Harbor. There were F4Ds loaded with air to air and air to ground missiles that flew support for the B52 bombers. Captain Richie was one of them. He was the first Air Force Ace during the Vietnam conflict. Later on a squadron of F4Es arrived equipped to deliver the Tiseo optical and Laser guided bombs. There were F4 resonance also. The flight line and runway was very busy place during those days we worked 14 hour shifts with no days off while that champagne was under way. There were a lot of airplanes parked at the revetments that are still now in place and extending down almost to the trim pad which is near to what is now the Airport terminal.
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