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Kennedy Hickman

B-52s Pound North Vietnam

By April 11, 2007

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April 12, 1966 - As part of Operation Rolling Thunder, US Air Force B-52 (below, right) bombers strike North Vietnam for the first time. Each carrying up to 100 bombs, the mammoth B-52s attack industrial, infrastructure, and military targets from high altitude. Based at Guam and later Thailand, the B-52 first entered the war in June 1965, and flew both strategic bombing and close support missions for the duration of the Vietnam War.

In the course of the Vietnam War, 31 B-52s were lost of which 18 were either shot down or damaged beyond repair due to enemy action. The aircraft played a key role restarting peace talks in late 1972, when waves of B-52s hammered Hanoi and Haiphong in what became known as the "Christmas Bombings" (Operation Linebacker II).

Photograph Courtesy of the US Air Force

Comments

December 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm
(1) Burt Vincent says:

Not to criticize but B 52 bombers also flew out of Kadena, Okinawa. I just received my military records and that fact was conveniently omitted there as well. I guess it doesn’t much matter except for posterity.

November 23, 2012 at 10:35 am
(2) Edard James says:

Utipau Thailand had a B52 base, Okinawa, Phillipines and Guam. All these bases bombed Vietnam. 3 bombers at a time called a baseball team. Carpet cleaned 1 square mile at a time. Most BDA bomb damage assessments were cratering! NVA filled these craters up in one day. Never again should we fight a civilization that has nationalism on their side. We did not!

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