Overblog Follow this blog
Edit post Administration Create my blog
Yankee Air Pirates

USAF Uniforms and Memorabilia of the Vietnam War

Delta Devils: Binh Thuy Air Base remembered through a jungle jacket

Posted on March 9 2014 by Olivier Bizet & François Millard

Most patches are Vietnamese made: the shoulder rank insignia might be U.S. made though.
Most patches are Vietnamese made: the shoulder rank insignia might be U.S. made though.

Most patches are Vietnamese made: the shoulder rank insignia might be U.S. made though.

This jungle jacket was acquired too late to be included in the Security Police chapter of Volume 1, so this blog seems to be the perfect place to share it. It is the last variation of this uniform, made of rip-stop poplin, with a simpler, cost-effective design doing away with the refinements of the previous versions (epaulets, waist tabs, neck buckle, V-shaped cuff pieces). The sleeves on this example were shortened by its previous owner so they could be rolled up more easily.

This jacket was worn by Airman 1st Class Kasper, while serving with the 632nd Security Police Squadron at Binh Thuy Air Base. The base was built in the hostile swamps of the Mekong Delta in 1964 by RMK, a civilian contractor. Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) units started using the base in December 1964, followed by the USAF 22nd Tactical Air Support Squadron (TASS) in May 1965. The 6255th Combat Support Group was activated as the host unit of the base in July 1965; it was redesignated 632nd Combat Support Group in April 1966. The 632nd Air Police Squadron was activated at that time, and redesignated 632nd Security Police Squadron in May 1967.

The black and white silk embroidered patch (a construction often referred to as "bevo", because of similar patches produced in Germany during World War Two) was worn by the South Vietnamese Military Police. USAF Security Police units stationed in Vietnam adopted it in order to be easily identified by Vietnamese nationals. The "Delta Devils" tab refers to Delta Flight of the 632nd SPS.

The black and white silk embroidered patch (a construction often referred to as "bevo", because of similar patches produced in Germany during World War Two) was worn by the South Vietnamese Military Police. USAF Security Police units stationed in Vietnam adopted it in order to be easily identified by Vietnamese nationals. The "Delta Devils" tab refers to Delta Flight of the 632nd SPS.

The "Vietcong Hunting Club" patch was a popular design during the war, although its wear was mostly prohibited by military authorities. It is quite surprising to find one on a security policeman jacket!

The "Vietcong Hunting Club" patch was a popular design during the war, although its wear was mostly prohibited by military authorities. It is quite surprising to find one on a security policeman jacket!

The 632nd SPS was in charge of the protection of the base, in a difficult area known for harboring strong concentrations of Vietcong elements. Binh Thuy was attacked on 13 February 1968, as part of the Têt Offensive. The 632nd SPS drove off the enemy force. The squadron was inactivated in 1970, with the last USAF personnel departing circa 1972, leaving only VNAF units to run the facility. The last South Vietnamese combat missions of the war were flown from Binh Thuy on the morning of 30 April 1975. Afterwards the VNAF simply ceased to exist, and most pilots elected to fly to U-Tapao in Thailand before North Vietnamese troops occupied the base.

Comment on this post

Tom Mason 07/08/2015 18:05

49 years ago today Wes Lehman was killed at the Truck Gate, Cantonment Area, Binh Thuy, Mekong Delta. I was with him a short time before the incident when a 75mm round struck the gate shack. I had a 77150 secondary AFSC and served with the 632 with regular duty as a maintenance technician with detachment 13, 7th Weather Squadron at Binh Thuy. Wes was the Armorer for the 632 and I knew him fairly well, although not as well as his squadron mates - he was a very fine fellow. This is the 49th year I have taken time to remember him on this July 8th. The M-151 destroyed in the attack was very near my maintenance shop, a Quonset Hut on the northeast side of the base. MSgt Tom Mason, USAF - retired.

Jerry Taylor 10/10/2014 21:05

I was at Binh Thuy April 66-67 ^32nd Air Police Sq.

CHARLES MATTHEWS 10/06/2014 05:12

I was stationed at Binh Thuy from December 1966 to December 1967. I was assigned to the 632 APS and it was redesignated as the 632 SPS in 1967. I worked on Devil Flight. Devil Flight was the security police flight that worked the midnight shift. TSgt Louel L. Gibson was the flight chief. We did not wear the delta devils patch on our uniforms, but we all wore the patch with the crossed pistols.For those trying to find others that served at Binh Thuy I suggest looking at the Vietnam Security Police Association website.

jerry 07/10/2014 16:24

wow nice one!

Dale Greene 05/04/2014 01:52

I was stationed @ Binh Thug Ab from March 69 to March 70 . been trying to find fellow security police personnel

ok 08/06/2014 20:45

I was there from 1969 until 1971 worked in toc I also designed a patch for devil flight.....
sgt harry passaro