RAAF arrives in Vietnam

08 Aug 1964

On 8 August 1964 three DHC-4 Caribou transport aircraft arrived at Vung Tau marking the start of an Air Force presence during the Vietnam War. The aircraft equipped RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam, a new unit brought into existence at Butterworth on 20 July 1964.

The origins of the Royal Australian Air Force’s involvement in Vietnam can be traced back to the 1954 Geneva Conference, called to finalise the armistice agreement which ended the fighting in the Korean War.

In a move intended to curb communist influence and encourage stability within the Indochina region, Australia joined with several other powers, most notably Britain, France and the United States of America (USA), to form the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) in 1955. As the security and political situation in South Vietnam deteriorated, due to the Viet Cong communist insurgency backed by North Vietnam, Australia and the USA became increasingly drawn into a war aimed at resisting further incursions into the South.

To read about the origins of the RAAF Commitment to the Vietnam War download the ‘The Origins of the RAAF Commitment to the Vietnam War’ by the Air Force Historian, Mr Martin James.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Butterworth

Related aircraft

  • Caribou