Air-Ground in Vietnam

Discuss air warfare, doctrine, air forces, historic campaigns, etc.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post24 Nov 2005, 02:24

TC

As far as I know the Super tweet only operated in the "Corp" areas (south of the DMZ) and not in the "Route Pac" structure. GUMS could clarify a little more on them working the trails before I got there but again I don't think it was up north.

Again, we were only dumb bombers and I don't even think the bird could accomodate the PAVEWAY pod.

It would have been interesting to see if the 37 could have worked the trails because of its very small radar return (almost nothing), small profile, and surprise attacks.

The Snake
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post24 Nov 2005, 02:39

I see. I wasn't aware that Paveway munitions were not dropped in RVN. Knew it was used over Laos, you know, even though "we never fought in Laos." Yep...Uh huh...

BTW, it's about time for me to recommend a new book for everyone. As soon as I saw the title, I knew exactly what the book was going to be about.

It's called "War For the Hell of It" by Col. Edward Cobleigh. It's a pretty good book. It doesn't go over as many missions as other books that I've read, but it does have a good balance of flying over Laos, and what life was generally like over there, both in the air and on the ground. If you've got a few bucks laying around, it's a great paperback to add to your collection folks.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post27 Nov 2005, 01:56

The LGB's were only used against static targets, like bridges, or power plants. The main CAS planes in Vietnam were accurate enough for the task without PGM's, besides part of the reason for the PGM munitions was that all the Flak around targets Downtown made it hard to hit the target and survive. In South Vietnam there was little to no Flak or SAMs. Plenty of idiots with automatic rifles though.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post27 Nov 2005, 17:49

Another story from the old sage.

It was back in 72 when we first started using guided munitions in the north. So here we are again escorting a strike flight of only four double uglies against some sort of reinforced target in Pac 6 just south of Hanoi (about 30-40 miles). I thought it strange that this strike four needed the same Wild Weasel and Cap cover and as larger package, but what I He$$ that was our job. So in we go and come across this very large Berm area that looks like a pyramid with its top cut off. In the center of this Berm area is a 5 or six story building with all sorts of antennas and radar dishes on its roof. THe sides of the building were about 30 or 40 feet from the vertical walls of the surrounding berm. As we enterd the area several SAMs were launched until the Weasels put down a site or two but the Triple A was fierce and never ending. Over the target two of the strike force started a climb while the other two started a orbit around the target. Within a minute one of the two higher F-4s started down the chute and released his 2 1000 pounders a lot higher than I had ever seen before followed quickly by the second delivery aircraft.

All four of the weapons landed inside the berm area. But what followed next was amazing. While two of the bombs hit the building and did some damage the other two landed within the berm area, exploded and the shock wave just kept bouncing off the berm and the building time and time again until the over pressures just collapsed the whole building. Because of the early morning mist you could actually see the over pressure waves bouncing back and forth. We learned later that this was their primary air defense headquarters.

Twas an amazing sight.

The Snake
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post27 Nov 2005, 22:51

That story is a bit hard to believe, except you've proven yourself trustworthy. Although I take it the berm was to stop us from dropping bombs on it, instead the berm destoyed the building. Good laugh.
On another note, did MiGs ever interfere with CAS in S. Vietnam? Or did they stick to N. Vietnam?
Last edited by LWF on 28 Nov 2005, 04:47, edited 1 time in total.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post28 Nov 2005, 00:13

First a quick note on my last. Because of a late night last night and a booze storm that seemed to hit the valley I neglected to mention that the 2 lower F-4 were both designater aircraft (in case lead aborted) flying a wide orbit with the upper F-4s flying a tighter orbit inside the designators and rolled down the chute inside the designators orbit after the target was high lighted. There was nothing left when we exited Dodge City.

As far as I know, can remember, or have heard about, the MIGS never went further south then Vinh or Vinh parallel to the trails to the west. They always operated under strict GCI control, with strong mutual support from Triple A, Sams, and small arms and would often try to drag you into either a FLAK trap, SAM Attack, or a barrage of small arm fire if you were dumb enough to follow him down. The MIGS didn't have the same support in down south in the Route PAC system other then an ossasional SAM or Triple A Site along the trail and seldom out at Vinh. They would try to drag you into a fight if you were supporting strikes on the trail by coming at you full bore and then turn back when you turned into them. But even that after a while they gave up as a lost cause when we didn't take the bait .

The Snake
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post29 Nov 2005, 01:15

LWF, this one has nothing to do with Vietnam, but you know how close we came to taking out Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi during the Libya strike? If Blue 1's Pave Tack hadn't malfunctioned, we would have put a Paveway right between his eyes! :shock: The WSO tried his best to keep the malfunctioning laser centered with his stick, but it went off center, and took out the baby's room instead.

During ODS, I recall a reporter asking Gen. Horner how accurate were the LGBs we were dropping. General Horner pointed toward footage of a building and said, "Which window do you want the bomb to go through?"

I know Snake's story is accurate, because of the Pave Nail FAC (OV-10) pilots that I've talked to. They said before the advent of Paveway, it could take several strikes and a lot of loiter time to take out a target. After Paveway came on line, it was all over within one or two shots...much like the smart bomb footage you see today.

Yeah, Paveways are just that good! 8)

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post29 Nov 2005, 01:25

It's too bad it went wrong. But Murphy's Law "If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. And at the worst possible second"
I didn't doubt Snake's story but if it were someone else I might have doubted it.
LGBs, you gotta love 'em...
Not quite as useful for CAS as for strike.
Edit. Air Interdiction, not generic strike.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post29 Nov 2005, 03:12

Hey Guys

I don't understand why this is so hard to believe. If you are of that school you should have been there cause to us it was the best thing since buttered bread and ***** combined. This was a brand new era to us who had looked over the mountain and saw the elephant. Can you imagine what we could have done with the bridges, the rail yards, the military depots and other targets that weren't hit because of collateral damage. God!!!!! we could have used three quarters of the aircraft in the air-to-air or fighter escort role instead of dumb mud moving mission where half the bombs hit the target and half didn't. It was like area bombing in WWII. And it was like someone raised a very heavy curtain on how to really fight a war.

Today the dinosaurs like myself see the LGB strikes in Iraq (or the cruise missiles) do more damage with a single aircraft then we did with a strike package of 8 to 12 birds.

If you still don't believe what overpressure from a 1000 pounder can do watch either "Linebacker II: or one of the other Air power presentation on Vietnam on the Military Channel. When that pressure wave hit the inside vertical walls of that berm it had no other place to go but back and then hit the other pressure waves of the other three bombs bouncing off the other walls ALL WITHIN THE SPAN OF ABOUT 250 FEET.

Its true and happened that way --- moving west.

THe Snake
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post30 Nov 2005, 00:08

How strong do you think the berm was if it were able to withstand that kind of punishment? And do you know how long the overpressure waves kept reflecting back at the building?
And my comment seems to have been taken the wrong way. At first the story was hard to believe, but when you think about it you can tell it's true.
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
Offline

Snake-1

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 286
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2005, 23:05

Unread post30 Nov 2005, 18:20

To answer LWF

I would say that the Berm was as high as the 5 or 6 store building it was constructed to defend and sloped away at about a 45 degree angle so as to deflect any near misses or overpressure waves in the immediate area.

We kind of had our hands full at the time so I can't be sure how many times the waves bounced off one another or maybe even cancelled each other out. But as the building collapsed it first went this way and then reversed course and went the other until nothing was left. There is no doubt in my ever loving mind that nothing breathing could have survived that strike.

I think the ZOT bomber designators were out of Udorn (as I delivered one from the states there --- 22 hours in the seat with as many air refuelings, and only two stops enroute) so if there are any 432 dino's out there please chime in.

The Snake
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post01 Dec 2005, 01:13

The Wolfpack had a Paveway mission out of Ubon as well.

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline
User avatar

Gums

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2402
  • Joined: 16 Dec 2003, 17:26

Unread post01 Dec 2005, 05:38

Yo Ho!

A few things, then more manana ( just got back after another foray to Katrina-ville)

1) The LGB's used near the end of 'nam were really, really good. Some Pave Nail troops told me that they could put the beam at the bottom of a cave, then actually see the bomb getting close and raise the dot to just above the cave entrance. Stupid bomb would try to climb to hit the dot, but not make it and fly right into the cave - whooosh, and a neat smoke ring comes out. I luv it.

Snake didn't stick around long enough to watch we SLUFs drop Downtown when we could use our system. Very impressive. All the guys who had Thud or Phantom tours beforehand claimed we could have had one-tenth the POW's and MIAs and KIAs if we had that system back in 65-66.

2) The A-37 actually did CAS in Laos during the test missions flown in Nov 67 thru Mar 68. We had a detachment at Pleiku that evaluated FAC, armed recce and night interdiction.

When a Prairie Fire emergency was declared, we flew CAS in support of the folks being extracted. See Plaster's book, "S.O.G.", where he has a pic of Rte 110, which I cut my teeth on in January of 1968.

The Combat Dragon JTF commander wanted us to fly in Rt Pack One, but he was turned down. So furthest we got was up near Mu Gia. I personally never flew further north than the Tchepone area, if that far north.

During 68 Tet, we flew in support of Khe Sanh, and I personally bombed inside the walls of the Hue Citadel to help some jarheads.

gotta log,
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
Offline

TC

F-16.net Moderator

F-16.net Moderator

  • Posts: 3998
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 07:06

Unread post02 Dec 2005, 01:32

I did some poking around for Tchepone, Laos, and found this map:

http://www.rjsmith.com/Tchepone_North_East.html

Gums, Mu Gia was the moutain pass between Laos and South Vietnam, right? Where was it in relation to Pleiku?

Also, wasn't "Combat Dragon" the project name that the Dragonfly was evaluated under?

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
Offline

LWF

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13 Jun 2005, 00:20

Unread post06 Dec 2005, 04:30

In S. Vietnam what kind of targets were each plane deployed against? And depending on the target what kind of ordinance and numbers would be sent out?
It takes a fighter with a gun to kill a MiG-21!
PreviousNext

Return to Air Power

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests