Sunday, June 10, 2007

This Week in Guard History: 10 June 2007

June 7, 1968: Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam - New Mexico's 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) arrives, becoming the third Air National Guard unit to serve in Vietnam.

Combined with New York's 136th TFS into the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, both squadrons immediately begin flying close ground support missions for American troops.

The two units are the only Guard units assigned to the same operational headquarters while serving in Vietnam. During the course of its tour, the 188th flies 6,029 sorties and loses three pilots in combat, including two missing in action and later declared killed.

The 136th flies nearly as many sorties and fortunately loses no members to combat, although it did have three pilots killed in stateside training. One member of the 188th, Sgt. Melvyn S. Montano, becomes a commissioned officer after the unit returns home, and in December 1994 he is appointed the adjutant general of New Mexico.

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