VO-67 gets a Presidential Unit Citation

Sorry for going back in time again, but this one is a historic first! The Navy has never before upgraded a unit citation…
Observation Squadron (VO)-67 (the Ghost Squadron) was a highly classified outfit that was NAVY but flying over the Ho Chi Min trail for 500 days in 1967 and 1968. They lost three of twelve crews flying these operations.
Their mission was finally declassified in 1998. One of my sea-daddys was a member of this unit, but could never talk about it, other than that he had been attached to it.

Navy Presidential Unit Citation


The President of the United States

takes pleasure in presenting the


for service as set forth in the following

CITATION: For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam from 15 November 1967 to 2 July 1968. Throughout this period, Observation Squadron SIXTY-SEVEN (VO-67), operating in the Republic of South Vietnam, successfully executed its primary mission of providing quick reaction, close air support, and combat logistics support for United States and Vietnamese military forces. In the face of extremely harsh climatic conditions at a remote operating base, while sustaining extensive operating damage and losses, the flight crews and ground support personnel of VO-67 carried out their highly important and extremely sensitive missions with outstanding skill and dedication. The Squadron flew countless missions implanting newly developed sensors to detect enemy movement. The support provided by VO-67 was instrumental in supplying real-time intelligence regarding the movement of North Vietnamese troops and supplies, which enabled U.S. Forces to prevent the total invasion of the U.S. Marine Combat Base at Khe Sanh during the Tet Offensive and contributed to saving countless lives. The squadron’s operations were consistently characterized by prudent tactics while maintaining meticulous adherence to the rules of engagement, ensuring maximum deterrence of the enemy with minimum risk to friendly troops and civilians. VO-67′ s successful initiation of this new mission provided a significant and vital contribution to the art of warfare. By their outstanding courage, resourcefulness, and aggressive fighting spirit in combat against a frequently well-equipped, well-trained, and often numerically superior enemy, the officers and enlisted personnel of Observation Squadron SIXTY-SEVEN reflected great credit upon themselves and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

You can go here and read what they did to save Khe Sahn.


VO-67 gets a Presidential Unit Citation — 7 Comments

  1. Jim, these were “motion sensors?” Amazing that the planes were flying at 500′. I laughed when I read about the Marine who didn’t know it was a Navy plane! Glad these guys got their recognition.

  2. Observers were brave and the recognition is long overdue.

    P.S. I wish I could send you some of Sonny’s Ribs.

  3. FF- there were both motion and acoustic sensors- designed to look like a ‘variety’ of things…

    Admiral/Fuzzy- Agreed! At least it was done in their lifetimes.

  4. So glad you are finally getting the recognition for what you did. Knew some of you in 1968 but didn’t realize how dangerous it was. Thanks for your bravery.

  5. My brother, Ron Rigby, was a member of VO-67. We knew very little of what he was a part of. He has been gone since ’80 so one of his sons received his citation. I’ve always been proud of him serving the USA but now even more so. He was a great man/brother & I miss him terribly.