Lost Vietnam Story of Heroism Comes To Light at Palm Springs Air Museum

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Five Remaining Heroes out of Eight Green Berets Who Survived, with Air Support, a Two-Day Battle Against 4,000 North Vietnamese To Be Honored by Palm Springs Air Museum

Forty-eight years ago Eight Green Berets held off 4,000 North Vietnamese Army soldiers in a hamlet and box canyon known as Tong Le Chong near the Cambodian/Vietnamese border, with help from air support. This battle occurred over two days - August 6-7, 1967. Responding to the urgent call for help, Pilot Commander Kenneth P. Miles responded by flying his F-100 into that box canyon in the dark of night, below 500 feet, firing at the North Vietnamese Army soldiers. When he ran out of bombs and bullets, he returned to his base in Thailand, reloaded and returned for a second time. The NVA finally retreated, leaving behind 2,000 dead and/or injured. At the time, this was the largest battle in South Vietnam. The US administration did not want the public to know that there were Green Berets working with South Vietnamese villagers in this area, so the incident was never fully reported. Three Bronze Stars were awarded to the Green Beret soldiers on the ground, and a Silver Star to Pilot Commander Kenneth P. Miles, who attained the rank of Major General later in his service career.

The Palm Springs Air Museum did a great deal of detective work to locate the Eight Original Green Berets involved in this battle. Although all eight originally survived the battle, one died in combat shortly thereafter, and two died as civilians. The Five Original 8 Green Berets that are still alive will be honored by the Palm Springs Air Museum on February 12, 2016. As most of these men are in their late seventies, this is a wonderful way to honor them while they are alive, and bring their story of heroism to light.

The Palm Springs Air Museum is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and honor our veterans while educating future generations. Vietnam and Korean War jets join one of the largest collections of flying WWII aircraft, 9,200 volume Library, flight simulators and tours through a flyable B-17 and if open, the PBY and C-47. Over 40 vintage aircraft are housed in 65,000 square feet of climate controlled exhibit space and outside on the tarmac. Saturday Programs and accompanying Fight Exhibitions occur November through May, weather and mechanical issues allowing. The Museum currently offers Warbird Rides for sale; and the current Warbirds making Flight Exhibitions include the P-51D Mustang in Tuskegee Redtail colors; the C-47 Skytrain, the P-63 King Cobra, the T-28 Trojan and the PT-17 Stearman. Movies show in the Buddy Rogers Theatre continuously after 11 am. Open daily, 10 am – 5 PM, (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 2nd Friday in February) admission ranges from $9 to $16, free for children under 6 and for active military. 760-778-6262, http://www.PalmSpringsAirMuseum.org

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Ann Greer
since: 08/2012
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