Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
War Protests At Air Bases
On Christmas Day, 1971, in Vietnam, massive and indiscriminate bombing of North Vietnam was drastically escalated.
It has been no secret to either the Vietnamese or American people that the present U.S. war strategy means a heavy reliance on the power of the Air Force.
In response to this policy active duty airmen and women across the country began a more intensified drive to mobilize opposition to the war. Nationally coordinated demonstrations occurred on January 8th at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Mountain Home A.F.B.; and at Travis A.F.B.. What follows are reports from those U.S.S.F. supported projects.
In addition to the January 8th demonstrations nationally coordinated signature collection camp, is being conducted to gather names on a statement calling for an immediate end to the U.S. involvement in Indochina. The signatures will be presented in public forum sometime in the near future.
Travis Air Force Base, January 8th: 100 active duty airmen and women supported by 100 dependents and community people participated in a 24 hour vigil in protest over the escalation of the air war in Vietnam. Miss Delia Alvarez, sister of the longest held POW in Vietnam, spoke to the demonstrators. The demonstration the first time the community had supported act duty men and women in a public protest. During the demonstration the city sent a surveying team to the site to determine if the vigil was taking place on Air Force property. After three hours the team left concluding that the site was on city property and therefore legal.
Travis, part of the Strategic Air Command, is presently the largest and busiest military aerial port in the U.S. It is the base where Vietnam war dead are returned.
Mt. Home Air Force Base, Mt. Home, Idaho: A total of approximately 125 active-duty air men and women and their civilian supporters participated in a ''Vigil For Peace'' Saturday, January 1 at a local post office, The demonstration was in response to the escalation of the air war. On January 8th another demonstration was held, this time on base at the cafeteria during lunch hour, where they were most visible to the most GIs. People coming on base for the demonstration were questioned and asked for identification, an unusual procedure for Mt. Home, which is an open base. The demonstration also marked the beginning of the petition campaign at Mt. Home Air Force Base.
Mt. Home is a Tactical Air Command Base housing fighter units and NATO-committed squadrons,
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, January 8th: Over 250 people, half of them active duty airmen and women or veterans, gathered in Fairborn's Central Park to hear speakers and to march to the base. The speakers included George F. Smith, a Green Beret POW in South Vietnam from 1963-1965 who was released in response to the self immolation of Norman Morrison, and who is the author of the book P.O. W.; Mrs. Virginia Warner whose son, a Marine Captain, is at present a POW in the North; Charles Wells, an Air Force Security policeman who refused to carry an M16 in Vietnam and is awaiting a dishonorable discharge; Dr. Brian Bouton, a Major at Wright-Patterson who has applied for discharge as a Conscientious Objectors and Dr. Bruce Ashley, a Lieutenant at Wright-Patterson who has been denied a discharge as a CO and is presently involved in a federal court suit seeking his release. After the rally the group marched through the streets of Fairborn to the gates of the base where there was guerrilla theater and chanting. At one point the gates to the base were closed. The rally was held at the bus stop by the gate which is Air Force property,
Wright-Patterson is an Air Force Logistics Command base. It also houses Strategic Air Command heavy bomber and tanker operations, and more than 150 other Department of Defense activities and government agencies.
About Face! The U.S. Servicemen's Fund Newsletter, vol. 2, no. 1