Category: USAF

USAF Fairchild C-123 Providers

USAF Fairchild C-123 Providers

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Korat Royal Thai Air…

USAF McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, 1970.

From the source: Two 750 pound general purpose bombs are…

From the source:

Two 750 pound general purpose bombs are released from a camoflaughed U.S. Air Force F-4C Phantom fighter bomber on a recent strike against communist targets in North Vietnam. This photograph was taken shortly after the resumption of bombing by U.S. aircraft in North Vietnam. [15 February 1966]

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From the source:  Explosions Cover Bridges North of Hanoi: ;…

From the source

Explosions Cover Bridges North of Hanoi: ; Saigon– Bomb smoke rises from bridges– A maze of bomb smoke covers the Lang Lau railroad bridge, following a F-105 Thunderchief strike on the bridge September 15. The 355th Tactical Fighter Wing pilots destroyed the structure, 36 miles north of Hanoi. Bombs can also be seen impacting on a nearby highway bridge which was heavily damaged.

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“Back in the States, an air force and industry-accelerated modification program turned out the first…”

“Back in the States, an air force and industry-accelerated modification program turned out the first of a series of two-seater F-100s configured to seek and destroy Sam sites. They were the first editions of the Wild Weasels, and at least we got some specialized hardware into the act. The early electronic sensing gear installed in the 100s was just nibbling on the edge of missile-hunting technology, but it was a big step in the right direction.
            The 100s were older and slower than the Thuds, which led to the early Weasles’ macho slogan ‘first in and last out.’ It’s true that from the first time the Weasels went up North, they probed in front of the strike force on the way in and they swept to clear our tails on the way out. However, in the case of the F-100s, ‘first in and last out’ also meant that they were so much slower than we were that they had to head for the target well beffore we did, and once we hit the target, we flew right on by them while they had to struggle out behind us as best they could. That speed differential ceased to be a problem when the Weasels got their F-105s.”

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington by Jack Broughton, page 176.

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From the source: “B-52s prepare to take off from Andersen Air…

From the source: “B-52s prepare to take off from Andersen Air Base, Guam, for missions in Operation Linebacker II in Dec. 1972.”

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Air War – Vietnam by Drew Middleton, pages 209-210. This…

Air War – Vietnam by Drew Middleton, pages 209-210.

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“Our mission was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of Migs or anything else. That was our…”

“Our mission was to put our bombs on the target, regardless of Migs or anything else. That was our prime challenge. If the Migs came out on the way to the target, we picked up another challenge: Put those bombs on the target despite the Migs. Regardless of what else happened, you won if you bombed successfully in spite of the Migs and  you lost if the Migs, or anything else, forced you to get rid of the bombs anyplace other than on target. It took guts and a lot of discipline to keep thundering along with fast, maneuverable adversaries nipping at your tail. But among other things, if you didn’t get the target, you could expect to have to try the same one again tomorrow. Every Thud driver over there would have loved to pickle his bombs and tanks at the first sight of Migs and have at them, but if you did, you lost the game. If you outdiced them all the way down the ridge, creamed your target, and than had at them, you won all the way.”

Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington by Jack Broughton, page 153.

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From the source: “Some North Vietnamese antiaircraft guns were…

From the source: “Some North Vietnamese antiaircraft guns were aimed using ‘Fire Can’ radar, like those at this site. Wild Weasels sometimes hunted and destroyed these radars.”

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Easter OffensiveDates: 30 March 1972 – October 1972Area of…


Easter Offensive map, 1972


“Only a few Americans remained in South Vietnam when the NVA invaded in 1972. Here, Captain John Ripley advises his Vietnamese Marine counterpart during operations near Dong Ha.”


“North Vietnamese Type 59 tank captured by South Vietnamese 20th Tank Regiment south of Dong Ha.”


“PAVN 130 mm artillery battery goes into action on the Kon Tum front.”

Easter Offensive

Dates: 30 March 1972 – October 1972

Area of Operation: I Corps provinces; Binh Long Province; Central Highlands

Allied Units: South Vietnamese military (ARVN, VNN, VNMC, VNAF), USAF, USN

Allied Casualties: ARVN 10000 KIA, 33000 WIA, 3500 MIA

Enemy Units: 14 NVA divisions

Enemy Casualties: Estimated up to 100,000 killed

Objective: To deal a decisive blow against South Vietnam with a three pronged attack. To force the US to peace negotiations that would result in favorable terms for North Vietnam.

Significance/Notes:

  • North Vietnamese troops used conventional warfare tactics on a level not previously seen in their fight to conquer South Vietnam. This included the use of T-54 tanks and other advanced weaponry from the Soviet Union and China. Large quantities of these tanks and the large-caliber artillery would be destroyed or captured.
  • Leaders in North Vietnam believed that the anti-war sentiment in the US would prevent Pres. Nixon from sending more American troops back into Vietnam. Ultimately they hoped it would force Nixon to negotiate peace with terms favorable to the DRV.
  • Nixon did retaliate militarily through the commencement of Operation Linebacker I, bombing North Vietnam, and also ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor.
  • Due to the withdrawal of American forces, most units the NVA faced were ARVN units. Though ARVN units in the northern provinces were overrun, they held elsewhere with the aid of American airpower and military advisers.
  • Held more territory in South Vietnam than at any previous point. Though the blow had not been as devastating as intended and ARVN units held in many areas, the North Vietnamese leadership still considered the offensive to be successful and believed they now had a stronger position at the bargaining table.

Sources:

Further Reading: