"Operation Delawor": when an entire U.S. Army airborne brigade, two F-100 squadrons deployed to Iran for an exercise

“Operation Delawor” is an episode of The Big Picture, a series of films produced by the U.S. Army and ran on the ABC-TV from 1951 to 1964. The television program featured exercises, battles, weaponry and famous soldiers’ biographies.

Filmed in April 1964, “Operation Delawor” (from a Persian word meaning “courageous”) recounts of a 3-day exercise during which an entire U.S. Army airborne brigate was airlifted to Iran with all its heavy equipment to train with the local Imperial Armed Forces.

Along with 2,300 troops and 550 tons of material of the 101st Airborne Division from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, even two F-100 squadrons from Cannon AFB, were deployed to Iran with the support of KC-135 tankers and C-130 cargos.

The exercise featured a combined air drop, an amphibious attack on Kharg Island involving also a U.S. dock landing ship, two destroyers and eight helicopters, and Close Air Support by the F-100s operating from Vahdati AFB with air cover provided by the Imperial Iranian Air Force F-86s.

Min. 23.00 has some interesting air-to-air and activity with Forward Air Controller footage.

In 1964, the U.S. and Iranian military “learned how to work together as a combined joint team involved in a common enterprise”. About 50 years (and a captured stealth drone) later, they could be called to fight each other any time.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.