Manual A war too long : the USAF in Southeast Asia, 1961-1975

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Air Force fiftieth anniversary commemorative ed. Trade paperback. No dust jacket. Includes: Illustrations, Maps. Bibliography: p. Air Force fiftieth anniversary c. Department of the Air Force, Softcover. Department of the Air Force. Used - Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Good condition. Used - Like New.

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Like New condition. Very Good condition. Department of the Air Force, Soft cover. Pages clean and tight. No markings.

A War Too Long: The USAF in Southeast Asia, 1961-1975

Book shows some shelf wear. Some scuffing on back cover. Overall a very nice copy! United States Government Printing Office, Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. However, since the C's were actually below the level of the gun, the gunner was unable to depress the piece low enough and the bullets passed harmlessly over the Cs. The A-1s engaged the gun position and silenced it completely with a salvo of rocket fire. The drop itself went as planned, with good coverage over the road for about a half mile. Later on in the day, the forecast rain activated the "soap" and the initial reports were that the entire road had washed into the valley.

That night at a party at one of the local CIA watering holes, the C crews and the people they called the "spooks" celebrated a successful mission. The targets on those two missions were at the northern end of the Ah Shau Valley in Vietnam and were unsuccessful as to the results. The crews were told that the North Vietnamese would rush hundreds of personnel to the drop site and remove the "soap" prior to the rainfall that was necessary to activate the chemicals.

On the last mission, the third aircraft, commanded by Capt John Butterfield, was seriously damaged by ground fire, and although he managed to land the aircraft at Chu Lai, the aircraft was a total loss due to a warped wing spar. For his actions on that day, Capt Butterfield received the Silver Star medal. It was then decided that the experiment did not justify the dangers involved, so the mission was officially cancelled. On the ground, the CIA and the Royal Laotian Army had initially been given the responsibility of stopping, slowing, or, at the very least, observing the enemy's infiltration effort.

Within Laos the agency had initiated Project Pincushion during for those very purposes. Another weapon in the American arsenal was unleashed upon the trail on 10 December, when the first B Stratofortress bomber strike was conducted in Laos. A commonly occurring historical perspective concerning the interdiction effort tends to support the campaigns regardless of their failure to halt or slow infiltration due to the enemy materiel and manpower that it tied down in Laos and Cambodia. This viewpoint even pervades some official U. For example and there are several more John Schlight, in his A War Too Long , has this to say about the PAVN's logistical apparatus: "This sustained effort, requiring the full-time activities of tens of thousands of soldiers, who might otherwise have been fighting in South Vietnam, seems proof positive that the bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail had disrupted the North Vietnamese war effort.

Despite the best anti-infiltration efforts of the U. In comparison to the above DIA estimate, by the end of the year the North Vietnamese had completed 2, kilometers of vehicle capable roads, including kilometers of main roads, kilometers of bypasses, and entry roads and storage areas. It was also discovered by U. They were later collected downstream by systems of nets and booms.

Unknown to the Americans the enemy had also begun to transport and store more than 81, tons of supplies "to be utilized in a future offensive.

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In the wake of the Tet Offensive , the North Vietnamese showed signs of expanding and modernizing their logistical effort. The CIA estimated during the year that the th Group was using 20 bulldozers, 11 road graders, three rock crushers, and two steamrollers for maintenance and new road construction. By the end of the year, bombing missions over southern Laos had climbed percent, from 4, sorties in October to 12, in November. It was composed of three parts: strings of air-dropped acoustic and seismic sensors collected intelligence on the trail; computers at the Intelligence Collection Center ICS in Thailand collated the information and predicted convoy paths and speeds; and an airborne relay and control aircraft which received the signals from the sensors and routed aircraft to targets as directed by the ISC.

One interesting aspect of the U. The sensor system was not sophisticated enough to detect enemy personnel, so the effort was given up until the advent of Operation Island Tree in late One shocking revelation for American intelligence analysts during late was the discovery of a petroleum pipeline running southwest from the North Vietnamese port of Vinh. By early the following year, the pipeline had crossed the Laotian frontier through the Mu Gia Pass and, by , it reached the approaches to the A Shau Valley in South Vietnam.

The plastic pipeline, assisted by numerous small pumping stations, managed to transfer diesel fuel, gasoline, and kerosene all through the same pipe. Thanks to the efforts of the PAVN nd Pipelaying Regiment, the number of pipelines entering Laos would increase to six during that year. The th Group was made the equivalent of a Military Region during and was once again placed under the command of General Dong Sy Nguyen.

Under his leadership the unit was reorganized into five divisional headquarters, the th, st, nd, rd, and the st. The group consisted of four truck transportation regiments, two petroleum pipeline regiments, three anti-aircraft artillery AAA regiments, eight engineer regiments, and the th Infantry Division. By the close of the year, the th was running 27 Binh Trams that transported 40, tons of supplies with a 3. These supplies traveled in convoys from North Vietnam in relays, with trucks shuttling from only one way-station to the next.

The vehicles were then unloaded and reloaded onto "fresh" trucks at each station. If a truck was disabled or destroyed, it was replaced from the assets of the next northern station and so on until it was replaced by a new one in North Vietnam. Eventually, the last commo-liaison station in Laos or Cambodia was reached and the vehicles were unloaded.

The supplies were then either cached, loaded onto watercraft, or man-portered into South Vietnam. Due to the increased effectiveness of Commando Hunt , North Vietnamese transportation units usually took to the roads only at dusk with the peak in traffic coming in the early hours of the morning. As American aircraft came on station, traffic would subside until just before dawn, when fixed-wing gunships and night bombers returned to their bases. The trucks then began rolling again, reaching another peak in traffic around as drivers hurried to get into truck parks before sunrise and the arrival of the morning waves of U.

Evolution of PAVN anti-aircraft weapons. The North Vietnamese also responded to the American aerial threat by the increased utilization of heavy concentrations of anti-aircraft artillery. Of all the weapons systems utilized against the trail, according to the official North Vietnamese history of the conflict, the AC Spectre fixed-wing gunship was the most formidable adversary.

The Spectres "established control over and successfully suppressed, to a certain extent at least, our nighttime supply operations. PAVN also responded to U. The Laotian towns of Attopeu and Saravane, at the foot of the Bolovens Plateau were seized by the North Vietnamese during , opening the length of the Kong River system into Cambodia. Hanoi also created the th Transportation Group to manage the flow of men and supplies to the new battlefields in Cambodia. The following year, Khong Sedone fell to the North Vietnamese.

PAVN also continued a campaign to clear the eastern flank of the trail that it had begun in In , U. Special Forces camps at Khe Sanh and Kham Duc, both of which were utilized by SOG as forward operations bases for its reconnaissance effort, had either been abandoned or overrun. Operation Lam Son , the long-sought assault on the Ho Chi Minh trail itself and the ultimate test of the American policy of Vietnamization , had begun. The government feared that should Laos would fall to the communists, the " Domino Theory " would place the entire region, including Thailand, in jeopardy.

Northeast Thailand housed a community of Vietnamese mixed with Chinese. Some of the Vietnamese wanted to move to communist North Vietnam , but they were not necessarily communist sympathizers. Indeed, attempts by North Vietnamese communists to organize the Vietnamese in Thailand were dealt with strongly by the Thai government. On 23 March Pathet Lao anti-aircraft artillery opened fire on an American C as it flew over the eastern portion of the Plaines des Jarres, shooting the plane down. Immediately upon arrival, two of these planes were loaded with a full load rnds of 20mm ammunition and 4 x GAR-8s AIM-9Bs and placed on 5 minute alert.

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Their mission was to bolster the defense capabilities of the Royal Thai Air Force. For the next several years, a minimum of four F interceptors were kept on alert at Don Muang. The RFs stayed until May , then returned for a second deployment during November and December These small detachments received logistical support from their home bases outside of Southeast Asia. Circumstances in the region, however, were leading to drastic changes in the US position. It was believed these forces were going to take action in Laos. Also, in South Vietnam , the numbers of Communist insurgents continued to increase.

More American military advisers were being dispatched to the country, but their reports indicted a need for stronger measures to be taken. In addition, one of U. President John F. Kennedy 's advisers indicated the need for deterring guerrilla action in northeast Thailand was more pressing than affairs in Vietnam, and Thailand should take precedence.

Vice-President Lyndon B. Two milestones occurred early in On 23 July fourteen nations signed the Geneva Accords of which contained the following provisions:. But North Vietnam continued moving heavy weapons into Laos to support the communist rebel Pathet Lao. Of the 10, North Vietnamese troops in Laos at the time of the agreement, 6, remained in the country in violation of the accords. In spite of the agreement, fighting continued in Laos, with North Vietnamese troops hidden in Pathet Lao-held areas.

Both sides violated the Geneva Accords. On 2 August , the Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred. The misinterpreted incident took place in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. President Johnson used the flawed information about the incident to order additional forces to the area to support the government of South Vietnam.

This marked the beginning of large scale United States military operations in Southeast Asia.

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