Personal Memories of Operation White Star in Laos, 1961

WhiteStarLaosPersonal Memories of Operation White Star in Laos, 1961 by Colonel Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., US Army (Retired).

by SWJ Editors

Operation White Star was a program, started in 1959, in which deployed US Army Special Forces detachments advised Royal Laotian government forces in their operations against the Pathet Lao communist insurgency.  Later the program evolved to include training of Kha and Meo (Hmong) hill tribal groups in guerilla warfare against the Pathet Lao.  Most of the Special Forces detachments advised Royal Laotian Army units, while a few others organized hill tribes under the direction of the CIA.  In 1961 our A-detachment from the 77th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC, worked with both programs.  I will share some of my memories of this unique experience in this essay.

Our Special Forces A-detachment consisted of Captain Jim Ipsen, commander, me as a lieutenant executive officer, and 10 NCOs with medical, weapons, communications, demolitions, intelligence, and operations specialties.  The team was so configured that it could be split and still retain these basic specialties.  Because of the classified nature of White Star at that time, we deployed wearing civilian clothes and carrying DOD civil service ID cards.  I’m sure that we fooled few.

Lire la suite / Read more : Small Wars Journal, 10/04/2013