Written January 2016, edited December 2020
11 Oct 1961 - 1967
Area of Operation:
Republic of Vietnam
USAF 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron/1st Air Commando Squadron (Provisional); VNAF
To aid the South Vietnamese fight the Communist forces; To assist in training the Republic of Vietnam Air Force.
President John F. Kennedy ordered the US Air Force to send a combat unit to Vietnam to help against Communist forces. The 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron was formed and arrived at Biên Hòa Air Base in November 1961 with North American T-28 Trojans, Douglas A-26 Invaders, and Douglas C-47 Skytrains. They flew reconnaissance missions, and were permitted to participate in combat missions with the condition that at least one Vietnamese national was on board the aircraft during the mission. The aircraft also flew under South Vietnamese colors. This was in effect until March 1965.
In July of 1963, the 4400th CCTS became the 1st Air Commando Squadron (Provisional). Farm Gate was expanding rapidly along with the ground war. Structural failures and lack of spare parts led to the replacement of the Douglas A-26 Invaders and North American T-28 Trojans with Douglas A-1E Skyraiders in 1964. The war continued to escalate and more USAF units were deployed to Southeast Asia. By the end of 1967, Operation Farm Gate was no longer being conducted.