1064 — viet nam
Harry Sickler was a casuality of the disasterous surprise attach on the Bien Hoa Air Base, 1 Nov. 1964.
Bien Hoa, Air Base, Viet Nam; 1 Novenber 1964; Louie was there, this is the Bombing Raid that took the life of his friend, another B-57 Mechanic/Ground-Crew.
Two days before the U.S. presidential election, Vietcong mortars shell Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon. Four Americans are killed, 76 wounded. Five B-57 bombers are destroyed, and 15 are damaged.
In the early hours of November 1st 1964, the Bien Hoa Air Base, situated 12 miles North of Saigon, came under fierce rocket and mortar fire from the Viet Cong. A squadron of B-57 bombers was immobilized, with 5 destroyed, and a further 15 damaged. Four U.S. servicemen and two Vietnamese were killed, and a further 76 [the precise number varies between accounts] were wounded in the attack.
U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, General Maxwell Taylor, immediately noted that this was a “deliberate act of escalation” that “should be met promptly by an appropriate act of reprisal”. The Joint Chiefs thought a single response was too limited, and recommended a series of retaliatory strikes. However, no reprisal attacks were ordered. The South Vietnamese government was extremely unstable, having undergone continuous shuffling and jockeying for position since the assassination of President Diem the previous November, and the U.S. presidential election was only two days away (November 3rd, 1964). It was feared that reprisal attacks may have an undue effect on both of these political situations. This is explained in further detail in The Logic of Force: The Dilemma of Limited War in American Foreign Policy
Viet Nam Battle Field Time-Line; http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/timeline/index.html
In the USAF, Airman Third Class Louis Otto graduated from Shepperd AFB, the Technical Training for Aircraft Engine Mechanics and was assigned to Otis AFB Mass. 1962.
Aircraft Mechanic Louis Otto served in Viet Nam, in Combat Service at Bien Hoa. Pacific US Air Forces Mechanics maintained the airplanes that flew Combat against the Viet Cong. Bien Hoa, Air Base, Viet Nam; 1 Novenber 1964; Louie was there, this is the Bombing Raid that took the life of his friend, another B-57 Mechanic/Ground-Crew.
Louie only ever told one story, that being of a surprise incoming fire-power and he and his best friend (name?) ran out on the tarmac and were going to get their planes out of the fire but an incoming bomb hit his friend and the plane, and they were gone ...... Louie was an AP Mechanic, he only ever told me that single story. I knew that it was "his" plane.... (Crew Chief, so to speak) 3 Airplane Specialist were killed... this is one of them, Harry might have been Louie's treasured FRIEND.