174th TFS This Day In History

  • Published
  • By TSgt Michael B McGhee
  • State Command Historian
May 17, 1968 - Iowa's 174th Tactical Fighter Squadron is the second Air National Guard unit to arrive in Vietnam. There were four Air Guard TFS units, including Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and New York.

The pilots began their deployment flying over the Pacific, spending countless hours over open water, each performing at least 10, mid-air refuelings along the way. Support personnel from the squadrons arrived by military transport, linking up with pilots and aircraft at their assigned bases throughout Vietnam.

Iowa's 174th TFS was assigned to Phu Cat Air Base, located north of the city of Qui Nhon in southern Vietnam. Due to a shortage of support personnel in Phu Cat, Iowa's 185th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron accompanied the 174th, making a total of 376 Iowa Airmen serving there.

When not engaged in combat operations, unit members took an interest in the local children in a nearby orphanage. With the help of some Iowa churches and businesses, the members gathered and donated clothing, toys, and school supplies. Medical personnel from the unit also assisted in treating local civilians under the Medical Civic Action Program.

The 174th and the 185th remained in Vietnam until May 1968. One pilot from the 174th was killed in action.

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