In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and related conflicts in Laos and Cambodia, the Air Force History and Museums Program launched a series of books that cover U.S. Air Force participation in a different way. These studies, titled The U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia and the Vietnam War: A Narrative Chronology, with two volumes published to date, record events sequentially but are presented in a fashion where they also can be read as short monographs. The books seek to document, and to honor the service and sacrifice of, U.S. airmen for the full span of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, all the way back to World War II and efforts to aid the French in the 1950s, during which time several hundred USAF airmen deployed to service aircraft loaned to the French. The volumes range beyond strictly Air Force topics to provide context for why U.S. service members deployed to the region. The works draw on many documents and oral histories that have been declassified since Air Force historians wrote the primary histories of the conflict several decades ago. They also benefit from recently published books that have expanded knowledge of U.S. presidential administration decision-making and the interworking of North Vietnamese/South Vietnamese insurgent planning of operations that the United States and its South Vietnamese allies were trying to counter.
Additional volumes are underway.