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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Airmen Fight Back

(The following is a report of antiwar activity at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. The information comes from letters sent by an airman there to a friend in Los Angeles.)

The recent increases in the bombing of Indochina has intensified military activity at air bases in the Far East. Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, is one of those bases.

Anderson is a major air field for B-52' s assigned to the Indochina war. Lately, the number of B-52' s on Guam has expanded, and the number of bombing missions increased.

For airmen stationed at Anderson, this means a much heavier work load--and a much higher awareness of their role in the war. Men have been ordered to work 6 or 7 days a week, loading bombs onto planes and repairing planes. They are forced to work 24-hour shifts, S hours on and 8 hours off, all leaves have been cancelled, and the level of harassment has increased.

As some ground troops are withdrawn from Vietnam, many of them are reassigned to the Philipines and Guam. These Vietnam veterans have strongly affected the airmen working on Guam. By sharing their own experiences in Vietnam, they helped to crystalize the widespread opposition to the war.

Discussion of ways to effectively oppose the war is widespread. Some individual actions have alread occurred: vital parts of planes turn up missing, or improperly installed.

There has been at least one attempt at group refusal to load bombs. On Feb. 14, 10 airmen decided to refuse their orders. They decided, however, not to disobey a direct order to load the bombswhich would have meant certain prison sentences. Instead, they agreed to remain on Guam, talking with other GI s and trying to find other ways to work against the war.

Their situation reflects the serious problems faced by most GI s. Under extreme pressure from their superiors, and isolated from outside support, they run great risks for even the mildest anti-war activity. Their dilemma is trying to find the most effective, and the safest way to actively show that they, too, oppose the war.

SOS News, March 1972

 

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