71st Special Operations Squadron
The 71st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) was an Air Force Reserve unit from Columbus, IN that was activated on May 13, 1968. Its special mission was to expedite the deployment of AC-119 gunships into the Southeast Asia conflict. The AC-119 ‘Shadow’ gunships replaced the AC-47 (Spooky). After successfully completing its mission, the 71st returned home on June 6, 1969.
The 71st began life during WW II as one of four squadrons of the 434th Troop Carrier Group. The 71st lineage continues today as the flight training squadron for the CV-22 Osprey at Kirtland AFB, NM.
The Vietnam era 71st SOS website contains considerable information about the unit and the AC-119G gunships, as well as the history of the 434th Troop Carrier Group/Wing from WW II to 1970.