Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2006, 00:43
by serino
I am moving this post over from the General category. Any insights from the Vets would be like fruit from the gods...well, it would be nice! :roll:

This is a post for any Vietnam Vets or anybody who has an opinion. I am reading a book about the strategic bombing in the Vietnam War and there doesn't seem to be a consensis on whether it was successful and/or intelligent. What were the feelings of the pilots and crews who participated? What were their opinions about the way the operation was run? It seems that there were many problems (from the top, down) that clogged the toilet for the ones actually flying and maintaining the aircraft. I appreciate any input, and any references would be greatly appreciated! :shock:

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2006, 17:14
by elp
Linebacker II brought the commies to the peace table. So that = effective. Shame on us for not having a Linebacker III when the commies moved south later. Make Hanoi and Haiphong harbor nothing but rubble.

Unread postPosted: 06 Apr 2006, 00:57
by serino
Mess with the Best, die like the rest - eh, elp! :nono:

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2006, 15:42
by Snake-1
Linebacker II should have happened six years earlier then what it did. Johnson's and McNamara's concept of controlled response was a totally unsuccessful political move and cost us way to many lifes. The "Same Route-- Same Time -- Same Target" day after day on senseless targets was as stupid as you can get. THe Wild Weasels were ORDERED to stay away from the SAM Sites that were either being built or were up and running for fear of killing Russians who were there to build them. So was the idea that you couldn't fire at them until they fired at you. The result was alot more tennants in the Hanoi Hilton.
Imagine if you will what the result would have been if we did the 12 days of xmas in 69 or 70. A good primer for what not to do and what you should do is offered on the Military Channel with a segment titled "Rolling Thunder" and "Linebacker II". THe air leaders of today flew the line at that time, learned the lessons well, and didn't make the same mistakes in Iraq.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2006, 21:59
by serino
Thanks, Snake. I will see if I can watch the programs. I just checked out a book called "Rolling Thunder" - looks way cool with F-22's on the front. :D

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2006, 22:19
by LordOfBunnies
I'm sure I'm going to take some flak for this question, but I do want to know the answer. If the Vietnam War had been run as a military war (as opposed to the politicians controlling it) would it have been possible to win it (as opposed to falling back until we just pulled out)? I know what's been taught to me in history class and I've heard some people speak, but things that Gums and Snake seem to say contradict what is written in these books. I'm quite confident I'll catch hell for this, but my curiosity screams at me.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2006, 23:31
by Snake-1
The Vietnam thing is going to generate many opinions and positions and each has to be weighed against the time, atmosphere, leanings of the populace, and position of the author. You've got to remember the peace and hippy movements of the era and Jane Fonda's of the time -- all popular with the younger generate. It was not uncommon for a person in uniform to be spit on or worse at the time for doing a job that they swore to do. As in any war the media is going to take the most sensational issue of the moment such as Me Lai and tout it as the norm for all in uniform. Most reporters came in country sat at the bar in their Hotel and wrote any story that was given to them. I took alot of reporters on sorties with me in the A-37, briefed them in detail on all we were doing and why, but never once recognized my words in the article.

If you question this take a look at what is happening in Iraq/Afghanistan, etc. You don't hear the good thing we are doing at re-building schools, hospitals, infrastructure, etc. Instead you get what some seasoned or cub reporter gets from his informant again without leaving the hotel -- which they will never tell you.

The conclusion is as it has always been -- go to the horses mouth -- and get it first hand and then weigh it against the credibility of what is written in the media. I'm sure there are a gross of guys right here on the net that can offer some very enlightening tidbits either on Nam or the Mid east. Please don't take for granted the writings of those who want to change history to their liking.

As to the success of Line backer II here are my thoughts. If you conduct a battle from the leaders in the field who have their finger on the pulse of time sensitive operations and targets, and if you consolidate all your actions and assets to bring the enemy to think twice about continuing a war, and if you continue to apply the necessary pressure to convince the enemy that you are going to continue these operations until he surrenders, all in the minimum time with minimum loss of life then the mission is successful.
Look at what was accomplished in the 12 days of Christmas of 72 and the saturation bombing in the north using upgraded tactics from the field commanders. Within the first couple of days the NVA ran out of SAM and their re-supply route to replenish them was cut. The same for the Triple A sites. Without the SAMs or Triple A the Migs didn't dare come up in force because we owned the sky and weren't about to give it back again. From Day 7 on it was like flying over Kansas at high noon. Overtures by the NVA to re-start the peace talks began near the end of the 12 days and very shortly after own troops were coming home from the Hanoi Hilton. In only 12 days we accomplished what the media said was a lost cause and could have probably forced a surrender in very short order if we continued. Now imagine these results if this approach was embraces five or six years earlier. There would be a lot less names on the wall today if that happened.

So if someone tells you that this operations wasn't successful I check his/her credentials, and political leanings very carefully before I put any faith in them.

Finally, and a point I keep bringing up, is that the leaders of the first and second Iraq conflict were in Nam, learned their lessons well and with the blessings of the President were extremely successful with an absolute minimum loss of lives or equipment. The Air Boss there was a line fighter pilot in Nam.

Gums ---- Busch--- Chime in here!!!!!

Snake

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2006, 05:11
by Gums
Horrido!

Thot the Snake left Korat before the 12 Days of Christmas Blitz, but he has it right.

I only flew three days of the Blitz, and I can tell you that the last day I flew you could have flown a Cessna 152 Downtown and only had to worry about the seven-level AAA gunners.

What did we accomplish? Well, we got a "truce" that lasted for about a year and a half. We also got all our buddies home, out of prison(see "Return With Honor", and realize that over half the folks you see interviewed were classmates of mine from the Zoo)

Problem with that whole fiasco was one side knew what they wanted and were prepared to die to achive their goal. The other side had many good folks, but the leadership and infrastructure did not have that same elan. It's sad, as I have many acquaintances from the losing side.

Snake is spot on about one very important thing, maybe two. If we had done in 1965 what we did in 1972 things would have been different. There would not have been 7 years for Trail construction and other things. Maybe the "good guys" would have had the time to get their act together and decide if living free was best for them. Second, the folks that were in command during the Storm were Vee Vets and they KNEW how to do it right. They were also prepared to fall on their swords if the politicians started the same crapola.

There are many issues here, and we really need another forum. Iraq is not like WW2. Neither was Korea or VietNam. Then there was the stupid thing in the Balkans.

War is a terrible thing, and those of us who have been there and have the tee-shirts will all agree that there should be a better way. But sometimes you have to make a stand and do what your heart tells you is the right thing. Then let the historians shame or praise you 50 years later. Very last thing you listen to is the press.

Off soapbox and back to building custom fishin' rods. And ain't it neat that a few of us made it?

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2006, 05:47
by Snake-1
Gums

I were there but not with the Demons.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2006, 20:34
by serino
What a treat to have the voices of our Warriors that were really there! You gentleman have no idea what a privilege it is to hear history straight from the horse's mouth (sorry!). I watch and read all I can about military history, but there is nothing more exciting than talking to a Veteran who WAS THERE. You guys planning on writing any memiors? My pencil is poised, but my degree is in Physics - could make it happen!
Thank you. :salute:

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2006, 21:56
by Purplehaze
My dear MS. Serino,

I will give you all the details I can........

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2006, 22:09
by serino
What a treat to have the voices of our Warriors that were really there! You gentleman have no idea what a privilege it is to hear history straight from the horse's mouth (sorry!). I watch and read all I can about military history, but there is nothing more exciting than talking to a Veteran who WAS THERE. You guys planning on writing any memiors? My pencil is poised, but my degree is in Physics - could make it happen!
Thank you. :salute:

Unread postPosted: 22 Apr 2006, 12:12
by RoAF
There are some sources that claim that a MiG-21 MF number 5121 red flown by Pham Tuan shot down a B-52 on the night of Dec. 27 1972. However, all American sources denie any B-52 lost to interceptors. So what happened after all? I hope the ones who were there (Gums, Snake-1, ...) could shed some light on this.

Unread postPosted: 25 Apr 2006, 14:35
by Meathook
My thoughts, it was a long time ago (back in 1971) for me, I find it hard to believe that so much time has passed. So many people that gave their lives on both sides, it is sometimes hard to tell what was right or what was wrong with that whole war.

For me, I feel since the USA was engaged and occupying land there, we should have gone all out to win it fast. But as many will agree or disagree, after WWII, Korea and then the Nam, I think America was tired of war, didn't want war (hell, who does). Politicians felt we needed to be there to stop the spread of Communism (that can be debated till we are all blue in the face) but I feel the American public was just flat tired and misjudged the level of help the Vietnamese had from China and Russia. I think the war there stopped a war in the mainland USA from the other superpower, but that's just my thought on it.

Man, this can spin so many ways but since we were there, we should have, could have won it if not for civilian leadership that did not understand the mindset of the enemy (both Chinese or Russian). the Vietnamese were caught in the middle of a "power struggle" but I feel they fought as hard as they took. Did I like it, hell no! Like far too many, I lost friends there, hell, I almost lost myself there (bad rocket attack I managed to survive). If we had pounded these guys from the git-go, it never would have lasted ten years, no way in hell.

Bad leadership from Washington and a few whinnies on the ground (Generals that worried about there advancements ad taking heat for making their own decision, thank god not too many) caused that war to endure far too long. We had the right weapons, technology, super dedicated ground and aircrews coupled with great ground forces. There was no way in hell we should not have won it...again, politics was the downfall in my book.

The best men I ever served with (under those circumstances) was in that hell hole. I have lost count the number of times my F4 crew would come back and tell me they bombed a worthless piece of jungle, what a damn shame how many aircrew we lost in those useless campaigns and when our folks came back and debriefed, the targets could have been reassessed but there hands were tired to make the missions count. It was a damn shame to lose good men when real targets were available but the balance of power by Washington had to be met, it was all bullshit as far as I am concerned.

Linebacker I and II made the news because Washington wanted it too, the crews were brave and strong, dedicated and looked forward to really bombing something worthwhile (finally). They did great in the face os overwhelming triple A threats, countless SAMS and every clown with a gun going after them, but they stood firm and did their jobs.

I hated that god damned war It was too confusing, far too many folks killed on both sides). I landed at Danang in March 1971, we (our squadron and cargo handler folks) were still unloading the C-141 when a rocket attack occurred. One hit the aircraft and killed fifteen of the folks still in it (trying to unload our sh*t). Blew out the windows at base operations, knocked us all to the ground where I was standing (trying to in process).

What a welcome the zipperheads gave us that day. I guess I am still pissed about losing it and my friends. The second mission (of my aircraft) god only knows what they dropped their load on but on the way home, they are about twenty miles out and they decided to turn off they ECM (we found this out later), they get blown out of the sky, both bailed out.

They survived the bailout, running around the jungle looking for shelter while "Huey's being assigned to recover, are in route" (recovery op). But first, the chopper is looking for folks to help "mann" the 50 cal, OJT on that weapon was given on the spot. I heard about it (looking for gunners) and wanted to help pick up my crew (I had no idea what the hell I was getting into)...I would never forget it.

Twenty minutes later (and that was considered fast back then to launch recovery chopper) we were at the spot last reported by my guys. A fire fight develops almost instantly as we hover at the pick up location. I see off in the distance two guys running towards us, we open fire above and around them, trying to give them some room to make it to us. I hear the ping-ping of rounds hitting the armored plating around the open door (where I am firing the 50), I am scared out of my wits (19 years old).

We are firing, they (Cong, VC Regs) are firing, somehow the aircrew is making a run for it, towards us. People are coming out of the jungle, then falling like stick figures, the crew gets closer, mortars go off all around them (I still cant believe I witnessed this my first time out). One of my crew is blown backwards, the other keeps running, he then must have realized the other was hit, he stops, turns to go after him (god bless him for that) and is blown up (bits and pieces of him go everywhere)...like a puff of smoke going off, he is gone!

I was dumbfounded, the other guy manages to get up, he us running towards us now (he must have been just knocked down), he gets closer, closer..the fighting is more intensified (if you can believe that), he actually made it into the doorway way, I look right at him, he (least I thought) I saw a smile and as we reach for him to pull him into the chopper, he then gets hit, his heads explodes, parts of him are all over me...it was all for nothing. I found myself weeping, scared and pissed off all at the same time, I had no idea I could feel that way, then I felt useless as we headed back to base.

I hate that whole event, I live with it daily, I see it often, nothing makes it go away. No one tells you how to turn that off, is there a switch somewhere? To be so close and yet..so far, the whole damn war was that way. Yes, we could have, should have won it.

Far too many men and women died for what...I am still lost by that, what did we win, we didn't (not in my book). Then to come back to the USA and be yelled at, spit on at San Francisco airport by peace nicks and walking fruitcakes...sh*t!

Our USAF inventory, US Navy inventory, US Army and Marine aircraft...no way the little zippers should have lasted so long...shame on the US government (who I love and still serve) for letting that happen to Americas children, sons and daughters...shame on them all, the dumbasses.

Sorry to go a bit, I may not have flown missions in Vietnam (dropped bombs, air to air campaigns etc) but going into the jungle as often as I did, crewing F4's, surviving countless rocket attacks until one day the SOB's almost get me and then not knowing if I would ever see my crew again after a launch....well, I never got used to it (few did).

I salute all those that died there and damn the politicians that caused it, it is one thing (in my book) to die during battle when your out to win it, fighting of your country, all out that is, then to play at it as we were told to do, that is another thing and that is what I despise about the war or the way it was waged.

I better stop, least some of us got to come home, hell, some are still coming home (but not the way I would love to see them coming home)...god bless them all.

I sure wish I had been at Clark Air Base when many of our POWS were released, God..I wish I had been there for that. WE have to learn from our mistakes, we cant half a$$ conflicts again, Gulf War I was the way it needs to work, we go in, we do it right fast and hard, fast and hard...do it, do it now!

I love the military and all it offered me (good and bad) but if we are to live in peace, people in general have to stop acting like ***** and try living together...what a pipe dream that is, maybe one day....maybe.

I went off track...sorry, sometimes ....memories suck royal!

It was no cakewalk for the guys flying those sorties either...Salute to them all

Unread postPosted: 25 Apr 2006, 22:37
by Snake-1
Meathook

I salute you!!!

It is not easy to talk about that screwed up war so long ago, and even harder for those like you who lost someone as close as a breath away and face the associated demons for all these years. You are a grand gentlemen and hero in every sense of the word and I'd be proud to fly with you anywhere at any time.

As you are aware my stories are in two categories; one to teach the younger snake eaters about the traps and political interference we faced so they could avoid it in the future, and second, to tell of the feats and trials of an old fighter jock who is at pasture.

I have avoided the third which you have faced because I have been lucky enough not to lose anyone in combat but know several who have and the mental and sometimes physical changes they encountered, neither of which is easy. It is a load they will carry until they meet their comrades on the other side.

One that comes to mind is that of Tom Zorn a Thud Jock (and I believe Wild Weasel) who after a mud-moving sortie in PAC 6 was hit egressing seaward and was hit after getting "Feet Wet". After ejecting successfully he was machine gunned while floating down in his chute. He was dead before he hit the water. The Navy "Big Mother" was there before the gun boats and found him still hanging in his harness 30 feet below the surface. His lead still wonders to this day if he could have done anything to preclude his death.

So know in your quiet moments that there are others out here that carry the same load.

Ride easy my friend, ride easy.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 02:06
by Meathook
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!

Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2006, 04:51
by LordOfBunnies
: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.

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2006, 12:11
by serino
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.

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2006, 16:40
by Meathook
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).

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2006, 16:40
by Meathook
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).

Unread postPosted: 28 Apr 2006, 16:41
by Meathook
Sorry guys, I hit the button twice - Sorry

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2007, 04:30
by avon1944
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

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2007, 05:20
by LWF
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."

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2007, 17:42
by RoAF
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.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2007, 05:49
by Gums
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....
Image

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2007, 16:35
by RoAF
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

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2007, 09:14
by avon1944
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

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2007, 10:08
by RoAF
Thanks, I missed that

RE: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 24 Feb 2007, 20:49
by avon1944
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

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2007, 03:23
by Snake-1
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

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2007, 03:59
by parrothead
No boredom, just respect.

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2007, 02:25
by TC
I believe Elp said it best. The Linebacker strikes got the North back to the table, and helped end the war faster than it would have otherwise. If Johnson had done what Nixon had done, about 7 years beforehand, there'd have been a lot less names on the wall.

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2007, 22:07
by a1rao
Linebacker 2 was concentrated(at first) mostly against MIG airfields. The raids were conducted by huge B-52s and supporting F-111s. During these raids, there were two engagements that were never accepted by both sides. On the first day, Dec.18th - a B-52 tail gunner was credited with shooting down a Mig-21 when attacking Mig bases of Hoa Lac, Kep and Phuc Yen. The second event, which was never accepted by the USAF, was by the NVAF pilot Pham Tuan who was credited with shooting down a B-52, although US sources say that it was a SAM.

Linebacker 2 was very effective in curtailing the operations of Migs. With their airfields in shambles, Mig-21s had to be airlifted to remote STOL fields and had to use SPRD-99 assisted-take off rockets to get into the air. The 12 days of bombing cost the US 31 bombers. Like many said before, the strikes brought about negotiations. Also have to agree with TC that the operations should have been launched much earlier.

Much respect to all the vets and current service members-

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2007, 23:50
by Snake-1
a1rao

I read your posting with interest and some hesitation ( but then maybe I'm not up to date). Let me explain:

In the USAF Publication "Aces and Aerial Victories" B-52 tail gunners are credited with two kills. One (a MIG 21) on 18 December 72 (SSgt Samual O Turner) and the other on 24 December (again a 21) by A1C Albert E. Moore.

And I have read in some open publication that a 52 was downed by a MIG.

Throughout the 11 days of Christmas there was very little MIG activity over Bulls-eye because the sky was full of SAMs and Triple and they couldn't fully coordinate the MIGs with the other defensive activities they had going on. Of the MIGS that did get airborne 5 MIG 21's were shot down (3 by F-4s and two by B-52 gunners). And if they did come up all the air to air F-4 assets we had would jump them and either shoot them down or drive them out of the fight. And I never heard of 21's using any kind of assisted take off rockets.

Finally, I'm not sure where you are getting your numbers of 31 bombers shot down during the operation. Everything I've read, and saw, was about 11 or 12. Please let me know where you are getting your numbers from.

Snake-1

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2007, 00:43
by a1rao
Snake-1

My information was sourced from Yefim Gordon's and Peter Davison's technical journal of the Mig-21

During Linebacker 2- the book states that the 12 day campaign cost the USAF 31 giant bombers including 18 that were shot down over Vietnam. Two were downed by Mig-21s, the second falling on Dec 28th (the mig pilot being killed in the attack). The migs were busiest during the day, where they would shadow bomber formations. They had 8 air combats in which, for the loss of three Mig-21s, they shot down 7 US ac including 4 F-4s and a North American RA-5C Vigilante.In each engagement, the NVAF technique was a stern attack followed by a hard break.

The NVAF pilot, who claimed a B-52 kill, is Pham Tuan who became a "hero" of the People's army. Later he went on to become the first Vietnamese cosmonaut.

The book did not refer to the second tail gun kill (although it is very well possible). The book mentions that on Dec 18th, a B-52D tail gunner was credited with shooting down a Mig-21- although NVAF reacords did not show any ac as lost on that evening. The SPRD-99 were assisted take off rockets. They allowed the Mig-21 to take off with a much shorter runway and also would allow the ac to climb to a certain altitude much faster. I also got this information from the same technical volume. Apparently, giant Mi-6 transport helos lifted the Migs to dispersed stol airfields as the main runways were cratered and damaged. This info may not be 100% accurate but the authors were known for doing their research.

Regards,

A1rao

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2007, 02:08
by Snake-1
a1rao

I would suggest that you go to Google at "Aircraft losses of the Vietnam War" that uses as sources 4 authors. That article claims 31 total losses of 52's for the whole war with only 17 of that 31 to combat operations. Another article in that same thread (B-52 Stratofortress) says that 7 were lost during the Linebacker II operations to SAMs but does not include any shoot down by MIG's. My memory from being there during both daytime and night time operations was as I said about 11.

MIG activity was strong during the first couple of days but down to one or two a day starting on day five or six. And their standard attack was as you say from the stern in a blow through attack but they wouldn't break (that would give us an advantage) but instead either roll inverted or unload and dive for the safety of their triple AAA cover should an air to air fighter chase them. And you have to remember that our intell from the ships in the Gulf and the Birds orbiting over the PDJ told us when any enemy fighter activity got airborne and from where. The only problems on our side was picking them up rapidly with all the airplanes we had over Hanoi on a continuous basis.

Finally, I'm not familiar with either of the authors you quota but I do draw hesitation with two of their offerings. First is the use of MI-6's to transport MIGS to dispersed stol airfields. In my two tours in the north I never once saw any Helicopter activity anywhere in North Vietnam or at any of the airfields. Next is their position that the MIGS would shadow bomber formations. MIGS were never launched unless they were under strict GCI control and since the B-52's were operating above a Chaff blanket the GCI controller's could not see the 52's on their radar screens so therefore they could not shadow them in that environment. And the chaff blanket covered a good twenty mile square section of sky. So if the NVAF GCI controllers launched MIGS in the general direction of the Chaff blanket they would have to go through several flights of air to air fighters there to protect the 52 force thereby risking their primary fighter to a fighter force that owned the sky. And if you go to the article (B-52 Stratofortress) you will see that 7 b-52's were downed by SAMs travailing at Mach 2 plus.

Then there is the question of STOL airfields. The maps we carried were pretty complete as far as the locations of airfields. While drafting this posting I went back to my map and couldn't find any other then the primary ones we watched very closely. Additionally, mission commanders (like myself) would come back from a mission and continually update our master maps so the next go would have the most current info on threats. THe NVAF did not have ancillary airfields as your authors elude to as they would have had to been built on very wet farm lands and would stand out like a sore thumb. Even if that aircraft was only a couple of thousand feet to permit landings. Then you also have to figure the weight of a 21 and the support necessary to recover and relaunch if desired.

Sorry, but something just doesn't sound right here.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2007, 21:15
by a1rao
Snake

Sir, I am just a simple kid with a passion for anything to do with the military. Unlike yourself, my knowledge about the Linebacker operations(and the Vietnam war in general) is limited to reading and regurgitating various texts. Fortunately, there are forums like this, which facilitate the exchange of ideas and information. Moreover, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to converse with some one who was not only present, but who also had an integral part in the day to day line backer operations. Gordon and Davison's book relies heavily on Russian sources and documentation. As in any conflict, there will be varying reports from either respective side.

Acording to Globalsecurity.org-

"Overall Air Force losses included fifteen B-52s, two F-4s, two F-111s, and one HH-53 search and rescue helicopter. Navy losses included two A-7s, two A-6s, one RA-5, and one F-4. Seventeen of these losses were attributed to SA-2 missiles, three to daytime MiG attacks, three to antiaircraft artillery, and three to unknown causes."

This following link explains a little bit about the Mi-6 and also states that they were used to air lift 17s and 21s-

http://richard-seaman.com/Aircraft/Muse ... index.html

"If you still doubt the size of this machine, consider this - the Mi-6 can carry twice as much as the largest American helicopter, the CH-64 Tarhe "Sky Crane" - in fact, it's capable of lifting a Tarhe. The accompanying sign said that it had often lifted MiG-17s and MiG-21s; the Vietnamese would conceal their aircraft in servicing areas in the jungle and airlift them to a roughly prepared field for takeoff, then return them to the jungle afterwards. Most remarkable perhaps is the Hook's ability to transport up to 120 people when it's in its high-density seating configuration! When it's in forward flight, the 15 meter span wings provide about 20 per cent of the total lift; these wings are detachable and are normally not used when the helicopter is being used for fire-fighting."


I am sorry if any of my previous points seemed over-assertive. I am just merely going off the info available to me.


"but instead either roll inverted or unload and dive for the safety of their triple AAA cover should an air to air fighter chase them"

That is a very interesting point. Would the Migs ever attack and then run- to try to pull following US aircraft into SAM or AAA traps? Seems like a tactic that an out numbered and technologically inferior force would pull. Heard of similar tactics during the 1982 Lebanon airwar. Syrian migs would engage more advanced IAF aircraft and run, hoping to pull them into a SAM trap.


Regards,

A1rao

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2007, 22:04
by Snake-1
A1rao

I applaud your quest for aviation knowledge it sounds like what I did starting at about 7 years old. And its good to ask questions to understand better.

And you are right on varying reports from both sides they are numerous and doubtful they will match one another so be careful citing exact numbers cause there ain't no such thing.

On the Helicopter thing (slinging MIGS and carrying them to remote fields for maintenance) we need to get Gums, Busch and any others into this thread cause I don't remember ever seeing any Helo's at any of the airfields, enroute to somewhere, or anything else. And I seriously doubt that a runway capable of supporting a MIG 21 would go un-noticed to the many, many U.S. flights transisting Route PAC six on a daily basis. I just don't think it happened and your authors brush over it to lightly for such a unique operation.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2007, 06:51
by Gums
Salute!

Gotta support Snake on this thread.

The 15 number for Buff losses during the 12 Days of Christmas seems about right.

First night was severe - seems like 3, 4 or more on the board when I walked into Ft Apache that next morning ( about 0500 local) to get the intell brief before setting up on Sandy alert. What got our attention was the number of aircrew - like 5 or 6 per plane. Also, some of the planes had same call signs, indicating they were in a formation - e.g., Straw 01, Straw 03 etc. Then we noted the coordinates. Coords were very near Bullseye. Hmmmmmm.

Our wing then proceeded to launch 16-ship attack formations, and later 32-shippers. 354th TFW, flying A-7D's.

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

First two days were airfields, so part of a1's idea seems believeable.

Third day we went Downtown and I was Green 16 (356th TFS Green Demons). We hit a railyard smak dab in the middle of town. Weather was clear, so we rolled in visual from about 20k and dropped 2,000 pounders. Real good BDA from the F-4's flying with us for LORAN backup, and later from photo recce - AvWeek had same pics, BTW.

I returned two more times, hitting storage sites and such Downtown.

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

I seriously doubt many Mig-21 sorties involved rocket-assisted takeoffs from remote airfields. Maybe a few, but not enough to be of any concern.

On one mission we had a Mig-21 RTB to Gia Lam, the international airport. He had just smoked an F-4 MigCap - DeSoto xx. I got the tape of the two crew talking to us and each other as they floated down to be captured.

We and some Buffs and 'vaarks did hit the Mig fields the first few days. But we then switched to Downtown and surrounding area, as they had been virgin for 4 years. Even with the bombing, the primary Mig fields could still be used to some extent.

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

One thing that the Buffs did was to force the Vee to use beacoup SAM's. By the time we got there later in the day the SAM's were few and far between.

By day 8 or 9, most of the SAM's were cartwheeling after launch as they had not been properly checked out. By day 10, SAM's were not a serious threat and Buff losses went to zero, which must have terrifiesd the Vee, as we could now drop massive ordnance around the clock with few, if any, losses.

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

As far as history goes, I highly recommend asking those of us who were actually there, even if we are not "respected" authors.

Texas Tech has an ongoing program involving "oral histories", so consider going there for neat stuff. Also attend some of the reunions we old farts have. One just occured last week, another three months ago, and another on 4 October at Ft Walton Beach. There, you can talk to folks who actually were at the battles, and not just read crapola from some dudes who never got their skinny butts shot at.

gotta log,

P.S. Joe Ettinger ussualy shows at the Air Commando Reunion, the one on 4 Oct. in Ft Wlton Beach, FL. Quite a legendary figure, I assure you.

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2007, 10:21
by parrothead
Great stuff, GUMS :thumb: ! Thanks :D !

About those reunions - I'm going to the Roadrunners Internationale reunion in October 8) . Hearing the stories about the development and deployment of the black jets from Lockheed and the building of a base I've only been about 11.5 miles from is something special.

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2007, 19:01
by Snake-1
Gums -- THanks for coming up on Freq!!!!

A1rao

Last night I went back to the link that you suggeted and viewed the helo under discussion. My conclusion here is that there is no way something that large would not have been seen either on the ground or in the air. Additionally, in the air the rotors would be highly visible from above and it would be easy meat on the table. If operated at night our intell sources would pick up any exchange between the pilots and GCI controllers. Or if radio silent our radars would track it and being slow moving would iD it as a chopper.

Snake

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2007, 20:25
by Gums
Salute! Horrido!

Yeah, easier to move "Blue Bandits" ( he can look it up, or just ask, heh heh) on a flatbed or a big pick-up.

Hey Snake, will be in touch. Also, request you piush to the F4 thread on "other aircraft". Kid needs to get in touch with some reality.

Few of us on these BB's have two or more combat tours, and in different jets, at that.

out,

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2007, 20:37
by Snake-1
Gums

Copy!!!

Snake

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2007, 22:33
by a1rao
Gums,

Heard that at some point the NVA actually ran out of SAMs. Don't mean to be over assertive, please take my points with a pinch of salt-

Snake,

If you vets say that it was not possible to mount helo operations, there is not much I can argue and I will have to agree.

Regards,

A1rao

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2007, 22:33
by a1rao
repeat

Unread postPosted: 24 Oct 2007, 16:49
by Snake-1
a1rao

Sorry to be so long in answering.
To answer both.
I don't think we actually know if they ran out of missiles or not. BUT, if they didn't it seems strange that they would let us have total air superority in the later part of the eleven day conflict. We owned the sky and to them would be a target rich environment. So the general feeling was that they had run out.
Again, you have to go back to one of my eariler threads that states that with all the birds we had over the north not one ever spotted one, and helo's were fairly easy to spot. Further, if they used one of the size that was talked about I'm 95% sure we would have seen it.

Snake

Re: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 08 Dec 2018, 22:59
by piston
Any idea who is the POW next to Vietnamese pilot?

Image

Re: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 13:29
by piston
By the way, any recomendation about books for Linebacker II....?

Re: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 14:11
by basher54321

The 11 Days of Christmas (Michel, 2002)
Fifty Shades of Friction: Combat Climate, B-52 Crews, and the Vietnam War (Clodfelter)
Patterns and Predictability: The Soviet evaluation of operation Linebacker II (Drenkowski & Grau)
Linebacker II: A View from the Rock (McCarthy & Rayfield, 1976)

Re: Linebacker Raids - effective or not

Unread postPosted: 27 Jan 2019, 17:59
by piston
basher54321 wrote:
The 11 Days of Christmas (Michel, 2002)
Fifty Shades of Friction: Combat Climate, B-52 Crews, and the Vietnam War (Clodfelter)
Patterns and Predictability: The Soviet evaluation of operation Linebacker II (Drenkowski & Grau)
Linebacker II: A View from the Rock (McCarthy & Rayfield, 1976)


Thanks...

Re:

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2019, 13:01
by piston
Snake-1 wrote:a1rao

Sorry to be so long in answering.
To answer both.
I don't think we actually know if they ran out of missiles or not. BUT, if they didn't it seems strange that they would let us have total air superority in the later part of the eleven day conflict. We owned the sky and to them would be a target rich environment. So the general feeling was that they had run out.


Before Linebacker II have been commenced NVA had some technical missile battery switched to south and another one - in vacation (this is according “11 days of Christmas’s” book). Also the crappy tactic of SAC allowed NVA to reload SAM batteries in between 4 hour raid intervals.... Than tactic changed and all bombers got on same TOT so SAM couldn’t work on them as before when they approach in a bomber stream with longer duration

Re:

Unread postPosted: 07 Nov 2019, 13:43
by piston
a1rao wrote:Linebacker 2 was concentrated(at first) mostly against MIG airfields. The raids were conducted by huge B-52s and supporting F-111s. During these raids, there were two engagements that were never accepted by both sides. On the first day, Dec.18th - a B-52 tail gunner was credited with shooting down a Mig-21 when attacking Mig bases of Hoa Lac, Kep and Phuc Yen. The second event, which was never accepted by the USAF, was by the NVAF pilot Pham Tuan who was credited with shooting down a B-52, although US sources say that it was a SAM.



According Pham Tuam victory I believe his kill is a hoax:

1. His attack time is not near the time of neither of two Buff losses
2. His attack zone is west of Hanoi, when Buff’s were hit over targets
3. Described Damage model from survivors doesn’t match the weapons Pham Tuan possessed
4. His attack profile cannot provide him a possibility of his weapon employment on those articulate B-52

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