At 2:00 am, on the morning of 1 November 1964, a Việt Cộng mortar team penetrated the Biên Hòa base perimeter and launched a 30-minute barrage, destroying five B-57s, three A-1H Skyraider attack aircraft, one Kaman HH-43 Huskie helicopter and two Douglas C-47 Dakota transport aircraft. Four US and two South Vietnamese personnel were killed. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended reprisal attacks against the North Vietnamese but President Lyndon Johnson ordered the replacement of the lost aircraft and convened a National Security Council group to consider available political and military options.
On 6 November the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), led by Air Vice Marshal Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, launched a 32 aircraft retaliatory attack against a Việt Cộng base area, claiming to have killed 500 Việt Cộng.
Michael M. Myers shared his own personal experience of the attack on Biên Hòa Air Force Base. Mr Myers was stationed at Biên Hòa with Navy Squadron VA-152, working in Ordnance, which was re-designated VA-152 Det Zulu on 1 August 1964 during the squadron’s tour in South Vietnam. VA-152 squadron, with 20 Douglas A-1H and A-1J Skyraiders, was deployed to Biên Hòa Air Force Base to train South Vietnamese pilots to fly the Skyraider from 22 April until 1 December 1964. While operating in South Vietnam, the squadron came under the control of the Chief Air Force Advisory Group in Saigon.
“We were sleeping on Halloween night when at about 0200 hours on 1 November I woke to what I first thought was thunder but soon realized were mortars. Being in Ordnance, I headed to our Spads [Douglas A1 Skyraiders] on the flightline where a lot of the mortars had already destroyed several US aircraft including at least three B-57s. We were lucky; none of our Spads were hit. It was quite some time before retaliation was granted and at that point the hit and run VC [Việt Cộng] were gone and Army choppers lit up the sky with 50 calibre machine gun rounds and tracers. We found out later that the VC were firing their mortars from our bomb dump within our compound. I’m not sure how many military personnel were killed and injured. There was a direct hit on our dispensary and the injured and dying were housed in the chow hall next door. After I left the flightline, I was asked to comfort two dying soldiers. I found out later that they were two soldiers I saw the night before celebrating going home the next day.”
Michael M. Myers, Ordnance, Navy Squadron VA-152 Det Zulu, 13 March 2019
REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:
 Larry Feldhaus, 2013, History of Navy Squadron VA-152, Copyright: Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC), uploaded to Scribd on 23 May 2013.