Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1962

Farm Gate aircraft crashes

Nine U.S. and South Vietnamese crewmen are killed in a SC-47 crash about 70 miles north of Saigon.

The aircraft was part of Operation Farm Gate, a mission that had initially been designed to provide advisory support in assisting the South Vietnamese Air Force to increase its capability. In December, President John F. Kennedy expanded the Farm Gate mission to include limited combat missions by the U.S. Air Force pilots in support of South Vietnamese ground forces–the downed aircraft was part of this expanded effort.

By late 1962, communist activity and combat intensity had increased so much that President Kennedy ordered a further expansion of Farm Gate. In early 1963, additional aircraft arrived and new detachments were established at Pleiku and Soc Trang. Farm Gate was upgraded in early 1964 and then again in October 1965 when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara approved the replacement of South Vietnamese markings on Farm Gate aircraft with regular U.S. Air Force markings. By this point in the war, the Farm Gate squadrons were flying 80 percent of all missions in support of the South Vietnamese army. With the build up of U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam and the increase in an U.S. Air Force presence there, the role of the Farm Gate program gradually decreased in significance. The Farm Gate squadrons were moved to Thailand in 1967, and from there they launched missions against the North Vietnamese in Laos.

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