Welcome to the Vietnam Center and Archive’s Online Manuscript Publishing

Throughout the years, the Vietnam Center and Archive has been proud to receive numerous Vietnam War related studies, memoirs, diaries, and other works created by veterans, wartime participants, family members, scholars, students, and others. These works constitute unique and important contributions to the history of the Vietnam War yet they remain unavailable to researchers because they fall outside the scope of materials that are typically distributed by traditional publishers. We have created this website to showcase some of these important works and to make them freely available to our guests. If you have an original manuscript you would like to donate to the Vietnam Center and Archive to be included on this website, please contact vnca@ttu.edu. Thank you and we hope you enjoy these remarkable contributions to the history of the Vietnam War.

  • RICE, REFUGEES, AND ROOFTOPS: A Comprehensive History of Air America, 1959-1974.
    by Harry Richard Casterlin

    After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, the Air America Company became famous for its service supporting the Central Intelligence Agency's Secret War in Laos. While providing Search and Rescue services for downed military pilots in Laos, they flew combat missions only in Laos. They also provided non-combat air support in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and supported the Royal Lao Army and the Meo Army of General Vang Pao and other ethnic groups. Over time, and with the publishing of questionably sourced studies, Air America's service also became mired in myth, misinformation, and a notoriety that was inaccurate and a disservice to the American and third country nationals who served with Air America during the Vietnam War.

    Harry "Dick" Casterlin was a civilian helicopter pilot with Air America from September 1962 to June 1974, flying Sikorsky H-34, S-58T and Bell 204/205 helicopters. After the war, Casterlin dedicated his life to researching and writing the definitive history of Air America, Inc., and the Company's service in Southeast Asia during the war. Of particular significance are the first-hand accounts by Casterlin, and many of the men he flew with, of specific suspense-filled missions. He also illustrates the negative impacts of the decisions by the Top Brass in distant Washington, DC, in contrast with the actual situation and timely needs of "boots in the air" in Laos.

    Dick Casterlin's 15-volume work presented here in its entirety is, by far, the most complete and comprehensive history of Air America ever written. It is an invaluable source on the Secret War in Laos and the service of Air America throughout Southeast Asia from their earliest operation in 1959 to the end of Casterlin's service in 1974.