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Nakhon Phanom

“Any attempt to place the astonishing operations of the Air Commandos in perspective must begin with an understanding of the extraordinarily hostile environment in which they were placed. Only with this initial understanding can both their missions and their unorthodox tactics be understood. But the most important element in formulating such a perspective is found in the nature of the individual airmen themselves—those who volunteered, fought, and led the remarkable Air Commando/special operations force . . . ”

 

                                                                                        Michael E. Haas, Col, USAF, Retired

                                                                                        Author, Apollo's Warriors

 

 
[NKP] was credited as a perfect base for the independent  minded Air Commandos . . . far enough in the jungle to make it an undesirable point for visiting brass . . . a short enough PSP [pierced-steel planking] runway to discourage anything that consumed kerosene [i.e.,jets] from landing except in extreme emergencies . . . uncomfortable enough that the crews were happy to fly combat missions in return for an occasional “motivational” trip to Bangkok . . . and, finally, big enough to hide all the men and equipment purloined from other unsuspecting organizations throughout the world.

  

 
 
 
 
Karst Mountains
 
View of Laos and the Mekong River from Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
 
 
 
 
 
The Karst toward Mu Gia Pass in Northern Laos
 

Laos remains a mysterious country, dominated by sheer nature, dense jungles, vast empty spaces and remote villages, ‘Karst’ mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, bat swarms, endless muddy rivers and rice paddies. It only opened up from communist isolation in recent years in the 1990’s.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sign on Barracks at NKP RTAFB
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKP Elevation Photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
Aerial Photo of NKP RTAFB
 
Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand--Nakhon Phanom "The City of Hills" was affectionately known as "Naked Fanny" or "NKP" by the Americans and referred to as the "End of the line at the edge of the world." Situated in extreme Northeast Thailand, known as Isaan, NKP was adjacent to central Laos and the town of Takhet which means "ferry crossing" in Lao.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Another Aerial Photo of NKP RTAFB
  
(Circa 1967/68)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKP RTAFB - 2005
  
Runway Photo of Nakhon Phanom RTAFB
(Photo taken in 2005)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKP Airport, formerly NKP RTAFB, as it looks today
 
(Photo Courtesy of Gene Ponce)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NKP RTAFB - Today
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
USAF Patch - Nakhon Phanom RTAFB "GBNF"
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
609th Air Commando Squadron Sign, NKP RTAFB
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
100 Mission Patch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimrod Club
  
At NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Control Tower at NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
View of Control Tower at NKP
2002
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Comedian Jonathon Winters visits NKP
Nakhon Phanom RTAFB,Thailand 06/20/1967
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Theatre at NKP - Xmas Show 1969
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
Bob Hope visits NKP - Watch Video
 
Uploaded on Oct 30, 2011

Department of Defense. Department of the Air Force. Presents Bob Hope's annual USO tour of Southeast Asian military bases. Features Raquel Welch, Elaine Dunn, Phil Crosby, Barbara McNair, and Miss World, Madeleine Hartog Bell.

 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bob Hope at NKP Xmas - 1969
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rice Bugs
Photo by George Miller
1969/70
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mission Schedule Board
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA 671 in Flight
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
Flight Line at NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flight Line 2 at NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
A-26 on Flight Line
 
Circa 1967
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA 671 in Flight
 
Circa 1967
Original Photo courtesy of George Matthews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 A-26 Bombs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rockets
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Daisy Cutters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Napalm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Taxiing in at NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
An A-26 of the 56th Air Commando Wing swoops low over the fields east of NKP
1969  

 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
Pilot Side View of Mekong River
  
The Mekong River from TA-651 "Mighty Mouse" over NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Navigator Side View of Mekong River
  
The Mekong River from TA-651 "Mighty Mouse" over NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A-26 Fully Loaded over NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strike Photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
A-26 Gun Nose Photo
 
Eight .50 Cal Machine Guns
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 A-26 Fuselage Under Rt. Wing Showing TRUCK KILLS
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
View of A-26 Bomb Bay
  
Showing two "Funny Bombs" and "Frag Bomb" Clusters

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Landing Accident 1 - Al Shortt in 1968
 
(Engine Reverse failure)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Landing Accident 2 - Al Shortt 1968
 
(Engine Reverse Failure)

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Landing Accident 3 - Al Shortt in 1968
  
(Engine Reverse Failure)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
In Formation

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cockpit Photo
Rolling in on Target
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
View through Gunsight in A-26

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Greenhouse Canopy" in Radio Compartment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
TA-645
 
Displaying Battle Damage at NKP
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA 670
  
“Up Tight” on Ramp at NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
  
  
 
  
 
 
 
2,500 HP Water Injected Radial Engine
  
Great view of Pratt Whitney R2800 on A-26 at NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
A-26A/B-26K Counter Invader on Ramp at NKP
  
(circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
  
  
TA 646 on ramp at NKP
The last A-26A to be lost in SEA
Major James Sizemore and Major Howard Andre both KIA
8 July 1969
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA 671 @ NKP
 
(circa 1967)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Formidable A-26 Gun Nose
  
Reloading the .50 Caliber Nose Machine Guns on an A-26 at NKP (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Preflighting TA 651 "Mighty Mouse" at NKP
 
(Circa 1969)
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 TA 651 "Mighty Mouse"
 
“Mighty Mouse” starting #2 Engine at NKP
 (circa 1968/69)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TA 651 "Mighty Mouse"
at boneyard, Davis Monthan AFB
1970
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  
TA 651 "Mighty Mouse" - Today
On Display at KAI Aerospace Museum
Sacheon South Korea
 
Photo taken by Abby Grace Michelsen - Granddaughter of Major Michael W. Michelsen, Nimrod Navigator
(2009)
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
1:72 Scale Model of TA 651 "Mighty Mouse"
 Dedicated by Italeri
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Image of TA 651 "Mighty Mouse"
from Mircrosoft's Flight Simulator Software Game
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Another Image of TA 651 "Mighty Mouse"
from Microsoft's Flight Simulator Software Game