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Air War Over South Vietnam, 1968-1975 by Bernard C Nalty

By Bernard C Nalty

Bargains with the function of the us Air strength in advising the South Vietnamese Air strength and waging conflict in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1968 via 1975.

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Extra info for Air War Over South Vietnam, 1968-1975

Example text

C–130s had arrived in February. S. 29 The South Vietnamese Air Force shared in the airlift and other missions flown in response to the Tet attacks. Fortunately, the headquarters staff heeded a January 31 alert, returning to Tan Son Nhut before the enemy struck. Such was not the case in most tactical units, however. The method of recall used for the squadrons at Tan Son Nhut, for instance, consisted of dispatching couriers on motor bikes, but because of Tet, many South Vietnamese airmen had left their listed billets to attend family reunions at unknown locations.

Before dawn, an Air Force O–1 based at the Phuoc Le airstrip took off on a routine patrol and began dropping flares, and soon discovered the approaching enemy, whose fire prevented the aircraft from landing. ” Despite the danger, the controllers crossed Death Valley to reach their O–1s, take off, and continue the battle from a more secure flying field. The early reports proved so vague that South Vietnamese authorities and American commanders hesitated to approve air strikes on the town. The defenders had to wait some three hours before their request for air support produced a handful of Army helicopter gunships.

Such in general were the revised rules of engagement governing combat in towns. Since commanders and local officials had to apply them to specific situations, the regulations could not in themselves prevent the death of noncombatants and the destruction of their property. 14 A concern for South Vietnamese noncombatants kept General Westmoreland from using Boeing B–52s in the urban battles, where their large, devastating bombing pattern would have endangered not only civilians but friendly troops, sometimes just a grenade’s throw from the enemy.

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