Sitting at the edge of the mesa on the north end of the Heritage Trail, the Pavilion overlooks the Academy campus and captures the legacy of the Long Blue Line of Academy graduates who served during the Southeast Asia Conflict.

Southeast Asia Pavilion Dedication Ceremony

Superintendent Lieutenant General Mike Gould, Class of 1976, wife Paula, and dignitaries observe dedication ceremony.

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The flag at the SEA Memorial Pavilion and Plaza of Heroes remains at half staff to honor the over 150 graduates who gave their lives in combat.

Basic cadets learn about graduates who were killed in action at the Graduate War Memorial— a gift from the Class of 1970.

Basic cadets learn about graduates who were killed in action at the Graduate War Memorial— a gift from the Class of 1970.

Basic cadets cross the Challenge Bridge donated by the Class of 1959 after viewing the SEA Memorial Pavilion.

Basic Cadets learn about the 33 graduates who endured torture and harsh conditions as POWs.

Graduates killed in action are recognized by class on plaques on the black granite wall outside the SEA Memorial Pavilion.

The SEA Map sculpted by James Nance, Class of 1971, is the center piece of the SEA Memorial Pavilion.

Basic cadets learn about the war and their heritage at the SEA Map sculpted by Jim Nance, Class of 1971.

The Class of 1970 raised funds from classmates for the construction of the SEA Memorial Pavilion and Plaza of Heroes. The Class of 1970 challenges other classes to match our commitment to the Air Force Academy, graduates, and cadets.

Touch screens on each side of the SEA Map in the Pavilion provide a timeline of significant Air Force and other military actions in the conflict as well as detailed information about the major map locations and a thumbnail sketch of selected graduates.

Touch screens on the East Wall of the Pavilion capture major world events, military operations in SEA, POW/KIA information and personal war stories written by graduates.

East Wall touch screens capture the stories of graduates who were POWs and KIA as well as personal stories.

East Wall touch screens capture the stories of graduates who were POWs and KIA as well as personal stories.

East Wall touch screens capture the stories of graduates who were POWs and KIA as well as personal stories.

The SEA Map sculpted by James Nance, Class of 1971, is the center piece of the SEA Memorial Pavilion

Members of the Class of 1970 Gift Committee review touch screen information. L-to-R Gary Dahlen, Mike Torreano, and Dick Rauschkolb.

Interactive Displays

Inside the pavilion is an 800 lb bronze map sculpted by Jim Nance, ’71, which depicts the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Southeast Asia theater of operations. Three interactive screens on the east wall chronologically portray major events in world and American history that occurred during the war.


Locations depicted on the map are explained on the two interactive touch screens on either side of the map, along with the history of air operations and graduate stories.

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Inside the pavilion, three interactive screens display a timeline of major air operations during the war, as well as a short narrative about KIAs and POWs.

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Prisoners of War Memorial

A total of 33 Academy graduates became POWs during the Vietnam War. The war essentially ended for these men when they were captured, and a new chapter began—one of personal resilience.

Code of Conduct


The lives of POWs were bounded by stone walls and controlled by their captors, who devised methods of torture so refined and painful that "you'd sell your mother down the river in a minute."

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A kiosk in the interior of the pavilion shows the award-winning documentary, Return With Honor, narrated by Tom Hanks. More than 20 veteran airmen describe their captivity in precise and remarkably calm reminiscences.

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Memorial Wall

The long black granite wall to the east of the Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion is similar to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC.

The west side of the wall honors graduates by class who made the ultimate sacrifice in the conflict. It also contains memorial plaques donated by our sister service academies. The east side of the wall contains plaques that identify the aircraft and missions graduates flew in the war.

The Unit Wall

On the east side of the black granite wall are plaques that identify the missions and aircraft graduates flew in the war. Both graduates and non-graduates funded these plaques, which capture the dangerous and challenging mission they flew.

Due to its long range and massive 14,000 pound bomb load, the F-105 was the primary strike aircraft in North Vietnam and Laos.

Pilots only had a 75 percent chance of completing a 100 mission tour. Over 110 Academy graduates flew the F-105, nine were killed in action, seven were POWs. Graduates earned two Air Force Crosses and 36 Silver Stars.

The Ravens were forward air controllers who flew secret missions from remote and dirt airstrips in Laos. They wore civilian clothes while flying light aircraft for Special Operations Missions. Six Academy graduates were KIA.

Operation Arclight referred to B-52 operations in Southeast Asia. Over 125,000 missions were flown in operations from close air support, to attacking infiltration routes, to strategic bombing. B-52 strategic bombing missions of North Vietnam during  Operations Linebacker and Linebacker II in 1972 played a vital role in ending the war.

The F-4 Phantom II was the airborne workhorse of American and allied forces during the war. Fifty-two Academy graduates were KIA and twenty became POWs.

Hundreds of Academy graduates from all classes flew the F-4 during the war. Steve Ritchie, ’64 (pilot) and Jeffrey Feinstein, ’68 (weapon system operator) earned ACE status while flying the F-4.

The C-130 was the principal air logistics life line throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Conflict. It delivered troops and equipment everywhere in the area  of operations. Fifty-six C-130s were destroyed and five of the 134 crew members  lost were Academy graduates.

From 1964 through 1972, USAF pilots flew over 90,000 combat missions in the A-1. The Skyraider was the last propeller fighter in combat in the Air Force. Over 140 Skyraider pilots were killed in action, Seven were Academy graduates.

The Red Marker Forward Air Controllers (FACS) supported elite Vietnamese Airborne units who wore a coveted red beret. The FACS adopted the name Red Markers. Over 20,000 Vietnamese paratroopers were killed in action during the war. Over 100 Vietnamese paratroopers wore their uniforms and attended the dedication of this plaque.

Due to the high loss rate of “Slow FACS”, top F-100 pilots volunteered for the revered unit known as the Misty FACs. They found and marked targets, then directed attacks by AF and Navy fighter-bombers. Twenty-nine of the 157 Mistys were Academy graduates.

Many Air Force academy graduates flew as pilots on the Jolly Green Giant and Super Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopters. The accomplishments of the Jollys made the Air Force Rescue Service the most decorated organization of the war. Three Academy graduates earned the Air Force Cross—the nations second highest award for valor.

The A-26 performed night interdiction operations along the Ho Chi Minh Trail from dusk to dawn. They were reputed to be the most effective truck killers until their withdrawal from combat operations in 1969.

From August 1967 to October 1972, the A-37 played a significant role in supporting operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The aircraft replaced the F-100 as the primary attack aircraft in South Vietnam. It flew over 75,000 sorties with the lowest loss rate of any attack aircraft in the Vietnam War.

Several models of the B-66 performed a wide array of missions in Southeast Asia. The EB-66C and EB-66E became the primary electronic and electronic countermeasures in the SEA theater, mainly supporting strike missions over North Vietnam.

Due to its short takeoff and landing performance, the Caribou was used for delivery of troops, supplies, and equipment to isolated outposts in Southeast Asia.

The C-123 was a critical part of tactical airlift and special operations missions during the war, The aircraft operated on unprepared landing areas less than 1000 feet. It made airdrops of equipment, supplies, livestock, personnel, and ordnance. It was also the aircraft that flew the controversial chemical defoliation mission known as Operation Ranch Hand.

The North Vietnamese referred to the F-111 as “Whispering Death” as their first indication of an attack was a rush of air and then exploding bombs. The F-111 used terrain following radar to penetrate enemy air defenses at extreme low level and high speed to attack high value targets.

Brave airman who flew the dangerous FAC mission performed reconnaissance directed airstrikes and conducted rescue missions. Hundreds of Academy graduates flew at low altitude in slow moving aircraft in enemy infested environments. Twenty-nine made the ultimate sacrifice.

OV-10A pilots directed air assets against invading North Vietnam regulars and Viet Cong insurgents. They also provided search and rescue, armed reconnaissance, and laser spot missions.

Code of Conduct

This is the Code of Conduct at the time of the SE Asia Conflict. It has since been revised to reflect the role of women in combat.

I am an American fighting man in the forces that guard my country and our way of life,

I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades.

If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies.

I will never forget that I am an American fighting man for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free.

I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.