American Air Force Vietnam War

Cord Spenrath p.1

Time Period

1954-1975

Major Bombing

The United States Air Force provided tremendous and diverse contributions in Vietnam. Beginning as advisers in the U.S military assistance group in the 1950's and ending with large bombing operations in the early 1970's.

Major Buildup

After the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, a major military buildup began and many new types of air craft arrized in the country.

Rolling Thunder

During the second half 1960's, USAF gained more flexibility and took on a more active role in the war. Operation Rolling Thunder, ordered by President Johnson in 1965's, had two objectives.


- To smash north Vietnamese air defense system, industrial base and supply network.

- To erode its support in the south, the campaign targeted rail lines running down the Ho Chi Minh trail to the south.

USAF Fighter Planes and Heavy Artillery

U.S. navy and air force pilots flew state of the art fighter jets including, F-4 Phantom II, the F-8 Crusader, and the F-5 Freedom Fighter. These ships carried AIM-7 radar-guided missiles and AIM-9 heat-seeking missiles.

The Carrier bases is where people launch the Air Crafts on. There is a trap where the plane lands at 150 mph, then catches the plane and drops the speed down to 0 mph in 1.2 seconds.

The bombs that the USAF uses ar very heavy and hard to lift.

Another Major Role

The USAF served in close air support operations with modern fighter-bombers.

-Fighter Planes such as F-4, F-1005 as well as older A-7 sky-raiders and the AC-47 spooky, and B-52 bombers from Guam.

The End of a Major Role

The rolling Thunder ended, but the USAF continued its bombing campaign.

The End of the War

In this late period USAF was withdrawing personal as the United States, South Vietnam were negotiating their way through peace talks.


After the war, air Force transports evacuated hundreds of prisoners of war and thousands of civilians from the region.

1965 Year in Review Headlines Stock Footage