Linebacker Raids - effective or not

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Meathook

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Unread post26 Apr 2006, 02:06

Roger that Snake-1...I copy.

Thanks for the words of wisdom, glad to know a few old timers (like ourselves) are still hanging with the boys and girls today. I think they need to know we back them and have been there and done that, not to brag but to better understand them.

Like you say, the lessons we learned are more valuable now then ever before (least I think so). I wish we could have met, then again, we are brothers none the less - Salute

So many stories, isn't it amazing how we really do go full circle in life, locations change and the crazies just keep on coming! Thank god we just keep pushing the demons and now...the terrorist back.

You know, I have four children, two sons, two daughters, three of the four (not forgetting the wife) have worn Air Force Blue to my great pride. I never asked them too, they just seemed to want too, after 911, my youngest son was just 16 years old. He looked me right in the eye, as I am sure so many of the youngsters on this site did to there folks and stated...I will help defend this great nation dad, two years later he enlisted.

Hell, I was fighting back the tears, gave him a hug and just smiled, damn if he didn't do it. Was in PJ training for a year (Special Forces, USAF) one bad jump cost him that career choice. In a way I am glad (won't worry as much but still do), he is still in the USAF but I don't know if the "Wharton Luck" could hold for that long...you know what I mean. Funny thing, my oldest girl did make me cry, I got her Silver Dollar (the First salute at her Commissioning Ceremony)...found out I was not that tough, the tears rolled on as I pooped that salute (she is a Captain now)...good girl, really cool kid.

He (youngest son) was medically crossed trained into CE, he is not happy about it, not that it is a bad job but he wanted more (I understand that but I have to admit, he is not directly in harms way now) then again, everyone is, with the state of mind of the terrorist's. Oldest son was a medic now out and runs a hospital in N.C (another good kid at a mere 31 years old).

Anyway...I bet after a few cold ones, the stories and sometimes a tear or two would flow for the folks we left behind, I just hope I was worthy of it, I have tried ever since to make everyday count but sometimes, I think I need to slow down and smell that rose (as my wife reminds me).

Later brother - thanks for listening............Thanks again for the kind words, I'll watch for your thoughts throughout the forum :-) Thumbs!
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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LordOfBunnies

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Unread post26 Apr 2006, 04:51

:shock: :shock: Guys, um wow. Meathook, Snake may I just say Holy Sacred Divine Sh**. I'd like to thank you guys for sharing. There's very little I can say after that that means anything at all. I'm simply dumbfounded because I never hear anything like that here. I've never heard anything about the actual conflict for the most part. I um... shoot words fail. Thank you guys for everything. Your inputs are appreciated.

Tom a lot of things happened on 9/11. I think a few people left my high school to join the military. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It is about the only day that sticks in my mind like that.
Peace through superior firepower.
Back as a Student, it's a long story.
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serino

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Unread post28 Apr 2006, 12:11

Meathook,
Not that I can say much as a civilian who was a kid at the time of VietNam, but I need to say thank you for your service and dignity (still) as a US armed forces member. Reading your post left me sick and sad; a nightmare there is no way I can imagine. It is incrediable to me that we have men and women in this country who have such honor and sense of duty, and yet the ones that often run the country have NONE of the above; not even a freakin' clue as to the meanings of those words. Thank God we have a new Commander-in-Chief who has his focus on the people, not his pants. It is more than a crime that men and women (and the dedicated A/C they flew) were lost due to lack of guts and courage. Each Memorial Day, I salute them in my own small way, and I will add to my thoughts, your crew. Thank you for sharing an incrediably difficult memory - you have my respect.
Soon to be Lady A&P
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Meathook

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Unread post28 Apr 2006, 16:40

Serino - Thank you, everyday is new adventure (least I try to make it one). I think being transferred to Europe in late or mid 72 helped me keep my mind right .

I have to admit, I did party like there was no tomorrow for quite some time (trying to sleep and shake the nightmares from my past). Somehow, I found a way to make friends with them (in a sense) and focus on the now. I put my heart and soul into maintenance and travel, it worked.

As you have read, I did travel to over sixty countries (TDY's,Deployments and Vacation locations included) and loved it all. It was not always fun as you can guess, lots and lots of hard work by many, many talented folks in all my squadrons (I just happen to enjoy it all with them, good and bad).

After having so much fun I found work became easier, I learned more, enjoyed life and the job...flying in those aircraft did not hurt either. I knew I was becoming very lucky and I did not want to spoil my changes at any other possible rides so I worked my backside off and the next thing I knew (looking back at it all) I had managed to get many flight and flying positions.

I sure loved being the guy making the decision for the last ten years of my career, people respected my background and experience and it paid off. I tried never to forget I worked and represented hundreds of maintainers and the safety of the officers that flew in my squadrons aircraft. I tried to treat all of them the way I wanted to be treated, it is an old expression but it is true, treat folks like you want to be treated and more then likely will be.

I found (especially) in the Bosnian Campaign, I watched my aircrews fly off in harms way daily while I managed aircraft and resources (people and equipment). I felt a need to "put it on the line again" so I requested flights in the EC-130 out of Aviano, Italy, which is a Flying Command and Control Post like the E3 and AWACS (but much slower and lower to the action and ground troops. I wanted to see how the ground war was going from the air, it damned near killed me (really). Flying over Savajevo, Bosnia on 29 Oct 94, we (EC-130) were fired upon by a Serbian Helicopter in the No-Fly Zone.

The aircraft commander rocked and rolled that EC-130 like nothing I had ever experienced before or since. He was trying to evade that missile, he pumped out both chaff and flares as he flew through mountain terrain trying to lose that missile lock. He almost pulled it or should I say he did in a way because we are all still here. But that missile did explode very close to the aircraft, took out number four engine, part of the vertical stab and horizontal stab and the several instruments including the ILS (instr landing system). We were hurting but still flying and we stayed in the "box" as it was called until cleared out. The crew did its job still, even though the aircraft was hurting big time.

On the ground the Brits were taking a pounding by Serbian gun emplacement's (we could hear the battle in our headsets), they gave as good as they got until (bad weather related) fighters could get into the area, back the Brits off a bit and drop their load. I and everybody else listened to the battle as we limped flying in circles providing communications back and forth from the ground to aircraft starting the mission runs (it was wild) Had forgotten that fear and adrenal rush all at the same time.

Minutes earlier, I watched as the missile was headed right toward us on radar, scary knowing your about to be hit. In the mean time the aircraft commander had sent out a call for a fast mover (funny, it was the same expression used in Nam for a fighter type). Heres the kicker, an F-16 from Aviano (don't know if it was assigned there or not) fired an AIM 9 and we all heard the words "Splashed the Chopper". The whole aircraft erupted in cheers, some tears were flowing, many of us were scared and happy at the same time...of course, I will never forget it (doubt anybody will).

However, after completing the twelve hour sortie landing with a fighter escort at Aviano (needed the help because of weather and the shot out ILS) I was very happy to be on solid land again. I got it out of y system (again). Oh I almost forgot (this was too cool too), several aircraft from my own fighter squadron, (F-15E's) had just arrived arrived on scene, just after the shoot down, I hear the call coming across the headset asking the aircraft how we all were and if we could make it home. Once he responded and told him we needed a bit of help, Eagle Lead wanted to know if SMSgt Tom Wharton was on board (me). The aircraft commander responded, "Yes Sir, he is". The commander patched me in (I guess all could here it now on "hot mic"). My Commander was the Flight Lead (I did not know it until then).

He said "Tom", you good to go, get it out of your system? I laughed and responded "yes sir, I did". He mentioned, glad you folks are all alright, that was close from what heard...now, get your butt back to base, you got a fighter squadron to manage, let the young guys handle this one from now on - Out!

It felt great now that it was over and he was right, I had paid my dues but it was something I had to do, I never expected that ride to be a dangerous one, not like that. Looking back, I grew a bit more because of it, life was a bit sweeter after surviving that. Strange stuff, I am grateful for the adventures and I love this country and all who have and do serve her.

We need backup in the civilian sector too, it is a team effort, I am just happy top have been part of it all (then and now).

Thank you very much for your kind words, the mean allot to all that have served and do now. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Freedom, Isn't Free, it must be earned daily (least in my book).

Take care and thanks again and behalf of all the Vets (then and now).
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Meathook

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Unread post28 Apr 2006, 16:40

Serino - Thank you, everyday is new adventure (least I try to make it one). I think being transferred to Europe in late or mid 72 helped me keep my mind right .

I have to admit, I did party like there was no tomorrow for quite some time (trying to sleep and shake the nightmares from my past). Somehow, I found a way to make friends with them (in a sense) and focus of the now. I put my heart and soul into maintenance and travel and it worked.

As you have read, I did travel to over sixty countries (TDY's,Deployments and Vacation locations) and loved it all. It was not always fun as you can guess, lots and lots of hard work by many, many talented folks in all my squadrons (I just happen to enjoy it all with them, good and bad).

After having so much fun I found work became easier, I learned more, enjoyed life and the job...flying in those aircraft did not hurt either, I knew I was becoming very lucky and I did not want to spoil my changes at any other possible rides so I worked my backside off and the next thing I knew (looking back at it all) I had managed to get many flight and flying positions.

I sure loved being the guy making the decision for the last ten years of my career, people respected my background and experience and it paid off. I tried never to forget I worked and represented hundreds of maintainers and the safety of the officers that flew in my squadrons aircraft. I tried to treat all of them the way I wanted to be treated, it is an old expression but it is true, treat folks like you want to be treated and more then likely will be.

I found (especially) in the Bosnian Campaign, I watched my aircrews fly off in harms way daily while I managed aircraft and resources (people and equipment). I felt a need to "put it on the line again" so I requested flights in the EC-130 out of Aviano, Italy, which is a Flying Command and Control Post like the E3 and AWACS (but much slower and lower to the action and ground troops. I wanted to see how the ground war was going from the air, it damned near killed me (really). Flying over Savajevo, Bosnia on 29 Oct 94, we (EC-130) were fired upon by a Serbian Helicopter in the No-Fly Zone.

The aircraft commander rocked and rolled that EC-130 like nothing I had ever experienced before or since. He was trying to evade that missile, he pumped out both chaff and flares as he flew through mountain terrain trying to lose that missile lock. He almost pulled it or should I say he did in a way because we are all still here. But that missile did explode very close to the aircraft, took out number four engine, part of the vertical stab and horizontal stab and the several instruments including the ILS (instr landing system). We were hurting but still flying and we stayed in the "box" as it was called until cleared out. The crew did its job still, even though the aircraft was hurting big time.

On the ground the Brits were taking a pounding by Serbian gun emplacement's (we could hear the battle in our headsets), they gave as good as they got until (bad weather related) fighters could get into the area, back the Brits off a bit and drop their load. I and everybody else listened to the battle as we limped flying in circles providing communications back and forth from the ground to aircraft starting the mission runs (it was wild) Had forgotten that fear and adrenal rush all at the same time.

Minutes earlier, I watched as the missile was headed right toward us on radar, scary knowing your about to be hit. In the mean time the aircraft commander had sent out a call for a fast mover (funny, it was the same expression used in Nam for a fighter type). Heres the kicker, an F-16 from Aviano (don't know if it was assigned there or not) fired an AIM 9 and we all heard the words "Splashed the Chopper". The whole aircraft erupted in cheers, some tears were flowing, many of us were scared and happy at the same time...of course, I will never forget it (doubt anybody will).

However, after completing the twelve hour sortie landing with a fighter escort at Aviano (needed the help because of weather and the shot out ILS) I was very happy to be on solid land again. I got it out of y system (again). Oh I almost forgot (this was too cool too), several aircraft from my own fighter squadron, (F-15E's) had just arrived arrived on scene, just after the shoot down, I hear the call coming across the headset asking the aircraft how we all were and if we could make it home. Once he responded and told him we needed a bit of help, Eagle Lead wanted to know if SMSgt Tom Wharton was on board (me). The aircraft commander responded, "Yes Sir, he is". The commander patched me in (I guess all could here it now on "hot mic"). My Commander was the Flight Lead (I did not know it until then).

He said "Tom", you good to go, get it out of your system? I laughed and responded "yes sir, I did". He mentioned, glad you folks are all alright, that was close from what heard...now, get your butt back to base, you got a fighter squadron to manage, let the young guys handle this one from now on - Out!

It felt great now that it was over and he was right, I had paid my dues but it was something I had to do, I never expected that ride to be a dangerous one, not like that. Looking back, I grew a bit more because of it, life was a bit sweeter after surviving that. Strange stuff, I am grateful for the adventures and I love this country and all who have and do serve her.

We need backup in the civilian sector too, it is a team effort, I am just happy top have been part of it all (then and now).

Thank you very much for your kind words, the mean allot to all that have served and do now. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Freedom, Isn't Free, it must be earned daily (least in my book).

Take care and thanks again and behalf of all the Vets (then and now).
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Meathook

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Unread post28 Apr 2006, 16:41

Sorry guys, I hit the button twice - Sorry
More than likely have "been there and done that at some point", it sure keeps you young if done correctly
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avon1944

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Unread post20 Feb 2007, 04:30

Operation Linebacker 2 was very effective. The second half of it, was the way the USA should have fought the air war for the beginning. Probably the only air operation where the ROEs made sense, in the second half of the operation! MiG's could be killed anywhere, SAM sights bombed, runways cratered, etc.
Over seven hundred sorties were flown by B-52's during this operation and fifth-teen were shot down. That is a loss record around the same as the last months of WW2 over Europe after the Luftwaffe had been shot out of the sky!! Two-thirds of the B-52's shot down were shot down while Washington insisted that the B-52's fly three aircraft per cell, thirty-three cells at the same altitude and course, in the first half of the operation. One cell following the previous cell. Some of the B-52's did not have the latest ECM gear and their jamming was not effective especially after they turned for home base after dropping their bombs. While in these wide turns the B-52's could not cover each other with jamming. Allowing the VNPAF's Air Defense to establish a radar track on indivdual B-52's and kill them with SAMs.
After several days of this foolishness, the B-52 pilots and crews revolted and refused to fly the missions. Washington got the message and allowed the B-52's to attack from all directions of the compass and at different altitudes.
Some missions were flown near the southern PRC border and they protested the B-52's jamming their radars. Mind you, none of this interfered with the daily Pan Am flights from Tokyo to New Delhi, flying along the North Viet Namese/PRC border, over Laos and, Burma.
While it was an air operation that went well but, due to the anti-war movement in the USA, few people know that it was a real victory. Hanoi cried these planes are 'carpet bombing' our people and most people had the vision of the B-17's and B-24's over Europe. A few years after the war Hanoi admitted that 1,831 died during the ten days of Linebacker 2!

There is at least on B-52 that was shot down by a MiG-21! The MiG-21 used its cannon and the B-52 erupted in a thunderous explosion which destroyed the MiG-21 interceptor. Due to very poor GCI commands, at least two other MiG-21's were shot down by the tailguns of the B-52s!
By the end of the operation the VNPAF air defense had fired over two thousand SAMs. Firing blindly at some B-52's and SEAD efforts the VNPAF air defense ran out of SAMs. Interceptors shot down or destroyed on the gound with cratered runways.

Adrian
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Unread post20 Feb 2007, 05:20

Another major problem of the air campaigns over Vietnam was Incrementalism. Remember it? The idea that by slowly increasing force we would put pressure onthem to withdraw. Didn't work. The best way to apply pressure is fast and hard and not let your opponent know what happened. Because as Richard Nixon said, "When you have them by the balls... their hearts and minds will soon follow."
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
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RoAF

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Unread post20 Feb 2007, 17:42

There is at least on B-52 that was shot down by a MiG-21! The MiG-21 used its cannon and the B-52 erupted in a thunderous explosion which destroyed the MiG-21 interceptor.

Could you provide a source for that?
AFAIK the MiG - a 21 MF serial 5121 flown by Pham van Tuan, made it safely back home.

And it was an R-3S heater, not a gun kill.
"It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom" (William Wallace 1272-1305)
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Gums

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Unread post22 Feb 2007, 05:49

Salute!

Whoooooah, RoAF!!!

You seem to have some great after action reports.

Would be nice to share those with us.

************

Interesting thing about the LB II buff missions was a tail gunner kill or two.

After we laughed, we realized that a hungry Mig pilot might make a dweebish attack and stay back there at six too long. So the buff gunner hosed and got the dude. Unlike WW2, the B-52 had some radar help for the gunner, so many variables were computed. Nevertheless, the gunner had to stay cool and use the equipment to get hits on the attacking Mig. I salute them.

The gunners also helped by calling out SAM's and such. I salute them.

*************

POLITICAL STATEMENT: PLZ follow general ROE for these forums.

That being said, I shall make a statement. Janitors can delete if required.

Gums seeezzz.....
"One must evaluate the military and political goals of any campaign/use of force.
There are times when blowing up a lotta stuff works, then there are times .....

There are times when the opposition shares the same values you do, then there are the folks who will blow themselves up for seemingly meaningless turf wars.

The application of military force is not a straightforward, logical endeavor.

We warriors, past and present, understand this if we are/were professionals.

What I fear most is a buncha politicians or zealots who want the quick and easy solution by employing the military force as an expression of national will.

Everybody take a deep breath and lay back. Figure out what your goals are, look at the options. Think really hard about what the consequences might be if you took no action or if you took action that didn't really help you achieve your goal. Then make your choice.

It ain't easy, I tell ya."

That's what Gums sez, and I am stickin' to my story....
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Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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RoAF

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Unread post22 Feb 2007, 16:35

Whoooooah, RoAF!!!

You seem to have some great after action reports.

Would be nice to share those with us.


I read it in a (Romanian language) article about the MiG-21. The pilot was conidered a war hero and went on to became the first Vietnamese in space (in 1979).
You'll also find it listed here as the only confirmed B-52 kill by a MiG:
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_246.shtml
If I remember correctly it is also mentioned in this book:
http://www.amazon.com/MiG-21-Vietnam-Os ... 1841762636
"It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom" (William Wallace 1272-1305)
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avon1944

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Unread post24 Feb 2007, 09:14

RoAF wrote:You'll also find it listed here as the only confirmed B-52 kill by a MiG:
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_246.shtml

If you check on Indochina Database, "U.S. Air-to-Air Victories during the Vietnam War, Part 2" (URL)
http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_244.shtml

You will see the list at the bottom,
Date -28Dec72 Aircraft B-52 Victim -MiG-21
(See Notes#) # Reports that the explosion of this B-52D destroyed the MiG-21 that shot it down.

Adrian
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Unread post24 Feb 2007, 10:08

Thanks, I missed that
"It's all for nothing if you don't have freedom" (William Wallace 1272-1305)
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avon1944

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Unread post24 Feb 2007, 20:49

RoAF wrote:Thanks, I missed that

And, thank you for I was under the impression the MiG-21 used its guns not a missile. Being so close as to being destroyed by the explosion would indicate to most people that the MiG was real close.
I have read this several times in books and magazines (such as Air Progross, Fall 1984 issue) articles before, I had access to the internet. The "latest" place I have seen this online was on ACIG. Now I am referring to the encounter on 12/28/72. I think what you are referring to occurred on 12/27/72. As you can see some of the problems in verifying kills, there is a debate on the date of the incident!!
It has only been within the last (approximately) seven years that the most accurate count on the kill ratio on the Korean War has taken-ed place. Bringing down the kill ratio to 7:1. This is comparing serial numbers of aircraft that survived on particular days and if they did or did not survived. Individual pilots on both sides can now see the individual pilot they shot down.

One thing the book showed was the .50 caliber left a lot to be desired in killing jets. There were dozens of MiG-15's which landed back at their base with over one hundred .50 cal. bullet hits.
It is easy to understand how a pilot can assume that he did have a kill. The dogfight begins around forty thousand feet progressing down to twenty thousand feet and, the MiG is going down smoking. It is not unreasonable to assume the MiG crashed, instead the MiG would pull out of the dive near the ground and struggle back to its base.

Adrian
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Unread post12 Aug 2007, 03:23

It must be late Saturday night and my glass is well below the half way mark when I went back to this thread and read all of the postings but with special attention to Meathooks posting and the load he has had to carry over these years.

It brought my attention back to a war that was totally mis-management, and mis-understood and against all the rules of combat we ever faced. The only saving grace from that period was Linebacker II when the rules were lifted and we did what we were suppose to do and settled some long overdo scores.

Gums and I have a A-37 reunion next month in D.C. where I will be offering a memorial table to all of our fallen. In its presentation I site my running across a vendor on the way to the wall selling an artists rendition of a Vet paying his respects. The picture depicts this old vet, worn with age, and bent with pain, leaning on a cane, reaching out and touching the name of a fallen friend. The reflection from the other side of the wall shows his much younger friend in full combat gear, sweat running down his face, a fatigued look on his face but weapon at the ready touching the wall in the same place as the old vet. Both had tears in their eyes.

I got about ten feet down the wall and couldn't go any further remembering what a high price we paid without any real help from home or the politican's elected to suppoprt us and defend this nation. I looked down that long, long wall with way to many names on it thinking how we could have avoided a good many of those additions by doing Linebacker II a lot eariler then what we did. And now we are facing the same thinking in another part of the world and I hope that we don't give in to those that are preaching the same things we heard some 40 years ago.

I'll try once again to walk the wall next month but I don't think that I will make it.

Hope I didn't bore you -- just felt it had to be said.

Snake-1
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