Thailand's Role In Laos during the Vietnam War
I'm looking for photos or even contributions from anyone who fought with Thai troops (PARU, regular or "mercenary") in Laos during the Vietnam War, for an article I'm writing.
This aspect of Thai military history seems to have been largely ignored, their KIA forgotten and their POWs and MIA swept under the carpet. Yet whenever I talk to ex-CIA or Vets who served in Laos, they can't praise them highly enough - whether fighting alongside Vang Pao's men or as artillery units. Also their role in the defence of LS85 has been mentioned in many accounts.
I can't see a thread dedicated to this topic, so I have opened this one. If I have missed something already on here, please let me know.
Pat Landry (CIA chief) ,Field Marshal Praphas Charusathien (Thai Deputy Prime Minister)
Long Tien ,Laos 1969
Vinton Lawrence ,General Vang Pao (Woodland Camo) ,Thai military
HQ333 or Unknown Warrior 333
In mid-July 1962, Pat Landry told me that I was being assigned to Ban Na just west of the Plain des Jars (PDJ). The region was quiet, and I was to concentrate on getting a landing str ip lengthened. Only single-engine planes or helicopters could land, and we needed it to handle twin-engine planes. I was flown to Ban Na in a single-engine Helio-Courier. A short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) aircraft, the Helio did yeoman service for Air America.
Before we departed, my pilot introduced me to Panit, the leader of the four-man PARU team that would work with me in Ban Na. The team members, who had been at Ban Na for three months, had been selected from hundreds of applicants. All PARU personnel were at least high school graduates, and most spoke a language from a neighboring country in addition to Thai. They were trained at a jungle camp in central Thailand and organized like the US Army Special Forces. Counterguerrilla tactics were one of their specialties.
In addition to their general training, PARU personnel all had specific capabilities designed to enhance small unit operations. Panit was a weapons man, which meant that he could handle the whole range of weapons that we were providing to the Hmong. His team consisted of a medic, a radio operator, and an explosives expert. All four could provide basic training, and all were jump qualified. They exuded confidence and a willingness to get things done.
Police Aerial Reinforcement Unit (PARU)
Last edited by Tzone; 07-19-2013 at 09:21 PM.
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