William E. Burrows, By Any Means Necessary: America's Secret Air War in the Cold War. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001. 416 pp. Some of this, I am not sure how much, deals with U.S. air reconnaissance against North Vietnam.
Joseph D. Celeski, Special Air Warfare and the Secret War in Laos: Air Commmandos 1964-1975. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2019. xxxii, 483 pp.
Philip D. Chinnery, "Any Time, Any Place": Fifty Years of the USAF Air Commando and Special Operations Forces, 1944-1994. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1994. (Paperback, under title Air Commando, New York: St. Martin's, 1997. xv, 367 pp.)
John Gargus, Combat Talons in Vietnam: Recovering a Covert Special Ops Crew. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2017. 288 pp. A "Stray Goose" C-130E of the 15th Air Commando Squadron lost on a covert mission over North Vietnam in 1967.
Colonel Robert L. Gleason, Air Commando Chronicles: Untold Tales from Vietnam, Latin America, and Back Again. Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press, 2000. xiv, 149 pp. Includes a useful account of FARM GATE, which Gleason commanded. He says very little about his tour as deputy commander of SOG 1968-69.
Roger D. Graham, The Nimrods: The A-26 Nimrods and the Secret War in Laos... Timeless American Courge in Combat: Lessons Learned for the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the War on Terror. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2007. 248 pp. Most of the book deals with the 609th Air Commando Squadron, based at Nakhon Phanom in Thailand and flying missions mostly over Laos, in which Graham served 1967-68. Three chapters are cheerleading ("Americans need to suport President Bush and successors" is actually a line item in the table of contents) for recent conflicts.
Daniel S. Hoadley, "'The Junkyard Air Force': The A-26A Nimrod in Combat Over Laos, 1966-69." Master's thesis, Ohio State University, 2001. viii, 79 pp. The text has been placed online (with the pages a bit out of order) by STINET. The text has also been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.
Orr Kelly, From a Dark Sky: The Story of U.S. Air Force Special Operations. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1996. xiii, 340 pp.
Al Martin, "Interview with Al Martin." Oral history interview, conducted by Kim Sawyer and Stephen Maxner, January 9- , 2001. 103 pp. Martin flew out of Nakhon Phanom with the 56th Special Operations Wing. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.
Wayne Mutza, Green Hornets: The History of the U.S. Air Force 20th Special Operations Squadron. Schiffer, 2007. 176 pp. Extensively illustrated. Not just the Vietnam War.
Curtis Peebles, Twilight Warriors: Covert Air Operations against the USSR. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2005. xv, 330 pp. The title is misleading; this actually is a rather broad study of Cold War air operations, including those against China and North Vietnam.
Tech. Sgt. Dale K. Robinson, USAF (ret.), "20th Special Operations Squadron Air Commandos." Vietnam Magazine, August 1998, pp. 42-48. Originally established in October 1965 as the 20th Helicopter Squadron, based at Tan Son Nhut, the unit later shifted its assets to Thailand. Originally equipped with CH-3C helicopters, it later got CH-3E and UH-1 helicopters. Used the names "Pony Express" and "Green Hornets." Deactivated in 1972, but I believe it was later reactivated.
Richard Secord, with Jay Wurts, Honored and Betrayed. New York: Wiley, 1992. Contains an interesting account of Secord's service as a pilot in South Vietnam circa 1962; also later involvement in Laos.
Les Strouse, "Interview with Les Strouse." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, August 28- , 2000. 60 pp. Strouse joined the Air Commandos approximately 1962. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.
Warren A. Trest, Air Commando One: Heinie Aderholt and America's Secret Wars. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000. xi, 322 pp. Harry C. "Heinie" Aderholt played crucial roles in the Thai-based operations supporting the wars in Indochina, from 1961 all the way to 1975. He was often in conflict with the more conventionally minded generals over him. A valuable and important book.
Air America: Upholding the Airmen's Bond. A collection of declassified documents dealing with Air America, dated between 1952 and 1976 (most between 1964 and 1975), placed online by the CIA.
Frank Bonansinga, "Interview with Frank Bonansinga." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, April 16, 2001. 74 pp. Bonansinga joined Air America in 1965. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.
Marius Burke, "Interview with Marius Burke." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, June 9, 2000. 66 pp. Burke joined Air America in 1963. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.
Allen Cates, Honor Denied: The Truth About Air America and the CIA. Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse, 2011.
James R. Chiles, "Air America's Black Helicopter: The secret aircraft that helped the CIA tap phones in North Vietnam", Air & Space Magazine, March 2008. The Hughes 500P helicopter was a variant of the OH-6A, with extensive modifications to allow it to fly quietly. The CIA used it only once during the Vietnam War, flying from Laos into North Vietnam to place a wiretap on a telephone line south of Vinh on the night of December 5-6, 1972.
Alfred T. Cox, Civil Air Transport (CAT): A Proprietry Airline, 1946 - 1955. CIA Clandestine Services Historical Paper No. 87. 4 vols. Originally published, classified Secret, in 1969. Sanitized copies have been placed online by the CIA.
Vol. I: The History of Civil Air Transport, 1946-1955. iii, 135 pp.
Vol. III: Principal CAT/CIA Projects and Activities. 17 Tabs paginated separately. The volume as a whole is heavily sanitized, but the section dealing with the late stages of the First Indochina War (Tab K, 23 pages long) has hardly any deletions.
Vol. IV: Reports of Interviews. 75 pp. Five interviews, of which one has been deleted in its entirety.
Charles O. Davis, Across the Mekong: The True Story of an Air America Helicopter Pilot. Charlottesville, VA: Hildesigns, 1996. 224 pp. Davis flew helicopters in Laos, based in Thailand, January 1965 to May 1967. He says that some events that actually occurred on different dates have been concatenated in this book, but that names of persons have not been changed.
Tony Durizzi, "Interview with Tony Durizzi." Oral history interview, conducted by Stephen Maxner, August 28- , 2000. 35 pp. Durizzi got out of the Navy, and joine Air America, at the end of 1960. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of, the Vietnam Project at Texas Tech University.
Robert Eaton, "Interview with Robert Eaton." Oral history interviews, conducted by Steve Maxner, December 10, 18, 2001, January 9, 2002. 45, 34, 37 pp. Eaton served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, then flew for Air America in South Vietnam and Laos. The text is copyright by, and has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in three parts: pp. 1-45 and pp. 1-34 and pp. 1-37 and
William Leary, Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. University of Alabama Press, 1984. x, 281 pp.
Frédéric Lert, Wings of the CIA. Paris: Histoire & Collections, 1998. 432 pp.
Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador of France to the United States, "Presentation of the Insignia of Knights of the Legion of Honor to Seven CAT Pilots at Dien Bien Phu," February 24, 2005. Includes considerable details about the role of CAT (a CIA proprietary) in the support of Dien Bien Phu. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.
Terry Love, Wings of Air America: A Photo History. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 1998. 104 pp.
James A Mehring, One Patriot's Saga: An Enlisted Man's Story of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Pentland, 1997. Mehring flew in Air Force cargo planes, later Air America aircraft.
Christopher Robbins, Air America. New York: Avon, 1985 (hardback Putnam, 1979). History of the largest of the various airline companies that have been controlled by the CIA and that played a key role in the Indochina wars.
Felix Smith, China Pilot: Flying for Chiang and Chennault. McLean, VA: Brassey's, 1995. A CAT pilot; mostly China but some Indochina, going up at least to 1960.
The CAT/Air America Archive at the Univerity of Texas at Dallas contains
a considerable amount of material, some of which has been placed online.
See also The Central Intelligence Agency
See also Central Intelligence Agency Publications
See also The Air War
See also U.S. Air Force Publications, particularly works by Haas and Kissling.
Return to Table of Contents
Next section: SOG
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised January 22, 2020.