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Base History

In April 1962, the United States Air Force had assigned to Korat Thai Air Base, one officer and fourteen airmen who were on a temporary duty status. The first PCS personnel arrived 10 July 1962. During this time the USAF personnel lived in a small cantonment area and subsisted with the U.S. Army at Camp Friendship, which is located approximately one mile from the USAF area.

The equipment on hand during these early days consisted of two crash trucks, four F-6 refueling units, one oil truck, three tractors, seven general purpose vehicles, two fork lifts and three 15 KW generators. All communications facilities were owned and operated by the army, including the control tower.

This condition persisted until 5August 1964, when personnel and equipment started to arrive to support a tactical fighter operation. The initial buildup was to approximately 500 personnel who were housed and subsisted at Camp Friendship until facilities could be expanded in the USAF area. Construction of tropical shell buildings for housing, a dining hall, latrines and showers were constructed by the Army during this period.

The operational mission of the TDY fighter unit commenced on 15 Aug 64.

By the end of October 1964, the essential base facilities were established by USAF construction teams.

By late February 1965, the TDU tactical fighter strength was increased to two Tactical Fighter Squadrons, both assigned to the Pacific Air Force and flying the Republic F-105 Thunderchief aircraft.

One of the PACAF squadrons was replaced by a Tactical Air Command McDonnell F4C Phantom rotational unit during March 1965.

In April 1965, the 6234th Air Base Squadron was established as a permanent unit to support the TDY fighter units and their operations. This Squadron was in existence until the end of April when it was deactivated and the 6234th Combat Support Squadron, the 6234th Support Squadron , and the 6234th Materiel Squadron were designated and organized per Special Order G-42, H q PACAF, 3 May 65.

The 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated in April 1965 with Colonel William D. Ritchie, Jr., as Commander. The Wing had the responsibility all Air Force units in Thailand until permanent wings were established at other bases.

On 14 December 1965, Colonel Monroe S. Sams, assumed command of the wing.

During its relatively short existence, the 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing (PACAF) and subordinate units have established an operational and support program which has consistently met each demand that has been placed upon them.

On i April 1966, the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. The 388th TFW consists of: 13th TFS, 34th TFS, 421st TFS; and the 388th Combat Support Group.