Download e-book for iPad: Airmobile: The Helicopter War in Vietnam (Vietnam Studies by James Mesko

By James Mesko

ISBN-10: 0897471598

ISBN-13: 9780897471596

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Sample text

Where the sensors were in place, they consistently enabled artillery to fire on groups of 19 The War against Trucks men whose “order of magnitude” could be determined to the nearest hundred, but the electronic devices could not calculate the effects of artillery or air strikes on the units they located. Although successful in acquiring targets around Khe Sanh, if not in assessing the death and destruction visited on them, the Surveillance Center had not, in Deitchman’s opinion, contributed at all to the interdiction of enemy supplies and reinforcements destined for South Vietnam.

30 Plans called for installation of the newest loran navigation gear, the type carried by the OP–2E, in those McDonnell Douglas F–4 Phantoms assigned to take over the mission of dropping sensors, and this modification delayed the arrival in Thailand of the squadron selected for the task. In the meantime, other loran-equipped F–4Ds already based at Ubon took over the assignment; six of them began dropping seismic detectors as early as February 1968. By the end of March the CH–3s and OP–2Es were leaving defended regions to the Phantoms that, when using loran, could plant a sensor with acceptable accuracy from altitudes of five hundred to fifteen hundred feet at five hundred fifty knots.

During 1968 and 1969, the Ambassador and his successor, G. McMurtrie Godley, authorized several attempts to kill the vegetation that shielded parts of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. These efforts represented a continuation of a program to defoliate segments of the trail begun in December 1965. The first such mission during 1968 sent Fairchild UC–123 spray planes to destroy the foliage that concealed enemy activity along Route 110 southeast of Muong May. Later, in January 1969, these aircraft defoliated some twenty square miles along a secondary road west of Tchepone in order to permit armed reconnaissance by fighter-bombers.

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Airmobile: The Helicopter War in Vietnam (Vietnam Studies Group Series 6040) by James Mesko

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