Home » Air » Chilling Audio: B-52s Being Shot at Over Hanoi

Chilling Audio: B-52s Being Shot at Over Hanoi

by John Reed on March 30, 2012

Listen to this tape of B-52 bomber crews as they get shot at by multiple surface to air missiles while completing a bombing run over Hanoi during Operation Linebacker II in late 1972. You can hear both the professionalism and tension in the aircrews’ voices as they fly through countless SAM attacks and endure the loss of one B-52 while dropping their ordnance and exiting the target zone.

Click through the jump for the rare listen into an age of air warfare that bridged today’s modern bombing campaigns and the massive flights from hell that were the original strategic bombing missions of World War II.

Chilling, as SNAFU says.

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack March 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Nice to hear combat radio chatter without all the F bombs that today pilot's use when under stress.

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jamFRIDGE March 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Amen to that

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Charley A March 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Times change, for better or worse. My ears are not so sensitive to expletives.

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Gunner March 31, 2012 at 11:32 am

Agreed, stay professional!

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blight_ March 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Or selective editing. Then again, by then the air force was a heavily officered military and they could easily pick and choose who flies in the pilot's seat, especially for strategic bombers meant to fly into the teeth of the Soviet Union and deliver atomic weapons.

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Guest A April 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I like that one, drop any kind of bomb you want on the people you're trying to kill, just don't drop any F-bombs…

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Todd April 5, 2012 at 1:58 am

Yeah, those F bombs are really important when a service members life is threatened.

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John Haverstock April 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I retired in 2005 and spent most of my career flying C-130s, including combat time in five different "wars" on three continents. I don't ever recall my crews "F bombing" when things got stressful. Today's combat aircrews are as professional and collected as ever, especially under stress. The Tom Cruise image from Top Gun just isn't the way it is.

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j. balczak November 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm

you have to be kidding me. these guys were fighting to stay alive and all you can do is complement on what great crm they had? cmon. really? if a guy is killed in combat he will die a more glorious death if he doesn't say fuck?

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4FingerOfBouron March 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Imagine day after day of that….

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EW3 March 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

As an Electronics Warfare Tech in the USN during this time we'd read intel reports every morning. The amazing thing was the ratio of SAMs fired vs actual hits. From what I recall it was something like 50:1. I remember thinking how good the ECM gear the B-52s must have had (compared to the chip I was on).
Eventually the NVA ran out of SAMs, but then congress stepped in and stopped the bombing. We could have owned the enemy after that.

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TMB March 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

GEN Curtis LeMay said something like "we could've had North Vietnam in any 2 week period of the war." I don't know if he said it before or after Linebacker, but his sentiments seemed in line with what happened. The war was by no means won, but it certainly put us in a better position. Imagine if we had done all that work on their roads, rails, and anti-air assets in the first couple years.

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Restore Palestine June 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Well, did you ever imagine what it would be like to be a child sleeping at night when the bombs dropped on you? What had the Vietnamese people done to you? They never invaded the US. What's the source of your hatred?

Congress has declassified documents that has put to the rest the debate on the cause of the Vietnam War – a false report of firing. Essentially, the Gulf of Tonkin was a false flag operation that cost millions of lives.

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Mike April 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Don't have to imagine, I was there as a lead EW

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Butch Senger April 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

Brings back memories. I was B-52 crewchief while this was going on. 1970 to 1974 Grand Forks Airforce base and Anderson Airforce base Guam.

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760a June 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm

God bless these guys. Incredible bravery. Nothing but admiration for all of them. Paid my respects to them at the Arc Light memorial on Guam a few years ago.

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Chris March 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Calm professionalism and great CRM.

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Andy April 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

great crew resource mang

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Titan November 18, 2012 at 5:53 am

Kami nga dito ng kapatid ko, felieng nila orange chicken lang kinakain namin. Haha. Chura nilang mga judgmental sila. Kapag asa bus kami may mga Mexikanong magsasabi ng orange chicken! orange chicken! chinese! chinese!

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Lance March 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Most loses to BUFFs over North Vietnam came early in the campaign 3 reasons. Due to fear over NVA AAA B-52s flew at very high altitude and where in range of the SA-2s the NVA had. The USAF had a disastrous plan to have the bombers turn right after there bomb release and this broke apart the ECM protection the bombers in formation had together and most B-52 losses where to this. the Air Force soon changed this and allowed the bomber to fly out to the Gulf of Tonkin to turn and loses lowered dramatically. Most B-52s used where B-52Ds older models while newer Gs where used in smaller numbers the G did far better in protection and survivability over the North than the older Ds did.

The coolest fact though that the NVAF MiG-21s once thought to be the biggest threat to BUFFs over Vietnam where only able to Kill 1-2 B-52s and B-52s tail gunners shot down 3 MiG-21s making a favorable kill factor to the B-52s over MiGs.

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EW3 March 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

If I recall the reports correctly (heck only 40 years ago!) they packaged 3 B-52Ds with a B-52G and the G provided most of the ECM for the 4 planes as it had later gear.

Have to admit, I used to know more about Soviet systems then I did US systems.

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Apache Jack April 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Lance……I was a B52 crew member. Your email was very good, BUT…the G models did not fare well. Two reasons….their ECM was not up to par with the D model. …also the D model had the tail gunner in the tail end ( positioned under the vertical stablizier and forward of the horizonal stabilizer….the gunner had 9 windows and had a very good observation of the action below…he visually could see the SAM launches and advised the pilots the direction of the missile launch and tell the pilot which way to take evasive action. The G model gunner was located in the forward compartment next to the EWO and aft of the pilots. Gunner had no windows, and one worthless TV screen….which was of no help. I know as I flew both positions. Also MIGS shot down was by D model gunners….two cofirmed and one probable. Thanks for your input. Apache Jack…Arclight 1966,1967, 1968.

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Billy B Wallace April 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Thanks for your service AJ. I can't believe the brass-balls, nerves of lead 'Buff' drivers had to have to make multi missions as this tape reflects. "66, I was in the south w/the A1Es.
As per this tape the gunner was riding the 'D' rust bucket's tail to have the visual the pilot was requesting. With that heading switch, can anyone tell if he was vectoring twd Andersen or places SW?

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JACK FROST April 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

AJ, TWO MIGS DOWN, TWO PROBS, NEEDED FIGHTER JOCK TO CONFIRM..

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Buzz March 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm

The biggest reason for B-52 losses was our glorious leaders forgot the lessons learned in WW2. Never ever send all of your bombers over a target on the same flight path and altitude. The Nazis learned to wait and let the first wave pass to see what direction the follow on bombers would be coming and then they massed their AAA and shot down a lot of our plans.

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Pat April 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

The Germans know we were coimg form their early warning coastal radars. The flak batteries (88s and later 128s) were in fixed installations around the target and their approaches. The bombers did come in at different altitudes but the Me-109's, FW-190's, and Me-110's werer dangerous at all altitudes. Flak was always dangerous at any time. Fortunately the P-51s had enough range for deep escort, but not until later in early 1944.

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sanborl April 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

A politician-run war.

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tiger March 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm

We should never have let those SAM's off the damn loading docks. Too damned worried about the Russians.

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Bob June 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm

That is for sure. Always afraid of the Russians. Didn't Johnson think that the Russians were going to go all out and help the North?

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anantoniusbauwens March 31, 2012 at 7:03 am

We still have the best air force thanks to these men.

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Joe G March 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

This is what my father did in the Vietnam War. He was an E.W.O (Electronics Weapons Officer) on a B-52. His job was to deflect the missiles (SAMS) that were shot at them from the ground. He participated in the "Linebacker" missions. He use to tell me stories about how the sky would completely light up from all the ordnance shot at them from the ground. He got shrapnel in his back while on a mission when his aircraft flew into the burning wreckage of the B-52 in the front of the formation that had a SAM hit it directly after opening its bomb bay doors. It is very possible that my dad was one of the B-52's in that formation. I thank God that my dad and his crew came home safely or else I would not be here today.

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Josh April 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm

My regards to your dad, these guys had balls.

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blight_ April 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Compared to possibility of being ordered to die within the time it took to fly to the Soviet Union and drop nuclear weapons, Vietnam was cake.

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tiger April 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

Hey they had fuel for the Weather ship at Tango Delta, Maj. Kong….

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dave landry November 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm

joe my dad was out of march air base maj gerold ally our next door neighbor was lost in one of the 52s that night my pops was an ewo also i am so proud he recieved the flying cross for jamming several sams those were trying times growing up my dad came home safe also we can reflect back on a job they did and be proud of the buff service,,dave landry

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US Air Force March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

"Orientals"? Sounds like YOU are the racist!

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kim March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

You're on decaf from now on. (That said, the view from the recieving end – particularly the civilians -of the bomber flight would make for interesting reading too).

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Nelson Munford III March 31, 2012 at 6:43 pm

To deviate from the professionalism of the aircrews…STFU A**hole!

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blight_ March 31, 2012 at 7:38 pm

War's pretty hellish no matter how you cut it. The Viet Minh fought a guerrilla war with the Japanese, and before that were likely part of various anti-colonial independence movements. And after France returned, they fought the French and likely didn't take many prisoners. Look at the POW vs repatriation numbers from Dien Bien Phu.

When they infiltrated South Vietnam they weren't nice either. They started as get-out-the-vote cadres and when the corrupt RVN government refused to trigger the referendum, the two-state system began and the countdown to unification began. The communists killed government reps, and the government killed as many "sympathizers" as they thought they had on their hands.

In the end, the Vietnamese insurgents and the NVA shot the locals at close range seeing the whites in their eyes. We bombed the hell out of their locals from above using heavy conventional munitions, defoliants and cluster munitions where appropriate. We bombed North Vietnam to make them stop. We bombed Hanoi and mined Haiphong. We bombed Laos, Cambodia and border regions of North and South Vietnam to stop the resupply lines.

Perhaps it would've been okay if we expanded the Phoenix program tete a tete with the VC/NVA instead of using bombers? It's okay if we abduct/kill pro-DRVNs if they can abduct/kill pro-RVNs?

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adam March 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm

amazing, they are not in a F4 or thundercheif they can'y just zip to the left or right they are just flying along

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Oldbignav March 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm

All B-52s carried a tape recorder at the EW's position.. It served several purposes – record signals from SAMs and radars, confirm crews followed checklists, provide material for debriefings, etc. I was on Guam with the 43d Bomb Wing (B-52D) and have done extenisve research with now declassified materials about five years ago.
Lance: There were NO B-52s shot down by MIGs. All 15 lost over NVM were to SAMs. Tail gunners got two confirmed kills. May have been more but only two confirmed.
Also, the B-52Ds had the very latest ECM equipment and were best protected. The Gs were a mixed fleet for ECM — some had the same as the Ds, some an older less capable suite.
EW3, there was never a four plane pakage with mixed Ds and Gs. Each flew in "pure" cells of their own types. Some cells of Gs with only older ECM had the hell shot out of them. Qe lost six birds on the third night. This led to different tactics such as simultaneous time over targets across all of the North to stress their defenses and ensuring the G cells had some advanced ECM birds in each cell.
In regard to the radio chatter, SAC crews were highly trained professionals – that comes through here. On the ground at the bar, the "F bomb" was not a rare event. Airborne, always professional – even under fire.
I was and am proud to have served with all of them.

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EW3 March 31, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Like I said a long time ago… ;)

Were you in Guam in June of '71 ?
If so, did you hear of a green USN ship being order to leave the harbor after causing so much trouble ?

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Jay April 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

Thank you for your service. I work with them up in North Dakota and I have to say its an honor to work with an aircraft and bomb squadron with such a history.

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Lobo Vnv Mc April 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Welcome home brother. I was an Avionic tech on BUFFS and on maintenance flying status. I wound up on a bird, #2 in a cell out of Guam on the first day.
As I recall the SAMS didn’t use their radar for fear of the Wild Weasels. The NVA would fire the SAMS hoping to hit something. They did put Migs up and try and get altitude, speed, and heading so the ground could try and hit one of our birds. They did manage to take out 15 of them during Linebacker II. Those were the only B-52 loses during Nam to enemy fire.
One of the comments mentioned models of BUFFS that were in Nam. Until Linebacker I and Linebacker II D models were the only ones involved. The G and H models flew out of Guam for both campaigns along with the D models.
I was with the KC-135’s that went in to Bangkok, Thailand in ’65 and spent some part of every year until ’73 at Utapao, Kadena, or Anderson. I was stationed at March AFB with the 22 BW which is where they had the active mothball fleet; we had every A, B, & C model in the inventory plus our own D models. At one time or another over those eight years I worked on every B-52 tail number in the AF inventory at that time. I retired in ’83.

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Mike April 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I was a nav on 58 Arc Lite missions May-Nov 1969. Hearing the tape carried me back to that time – I can visualize the reel-to-reel tape recorder to the left of the EW at his station. You are correct when you say the tapes are also used to "confirm crews followed checklists." I remember sitting in the briefing room with the other crews of a cell listening to the tapes when lead dropped on the word "now" instead of the required word "hack" from GCI. We were number 2 and withheld after I advised the crew "he didn't say 'hack'." Poor number 3 didn't know who dropped and chose to release his bombs to help us if we did release (the run was routine and if all three had released no-one would be the wiser). They were the only crew chastised.

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Ron Murdock June 29, 2012 at 12:18 am

Our tail end Charlie on the 27th had no tape recorder–tac comm was out of them. One of the bomber gunners who was credited with a kill, actually got two. Only one was confirmed.

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Sgt_Buffy April 1, 2012 at 12:58 am

I am glad we have such men on our side.

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Cato April 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Yeah, war is hell. GFY.

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Shail April 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Out of both respect and admiration of the B-52's career (everything from the fine engineers at Boeing who designed her, to the crews who maintained and flew her),
it would make for an interesting historical anecdote indeed if folks who kept track of airframe/tail number history could tell us which, if any, currently-serving B-52 still carrying on the mission,
performed however many missions over VietNam and the surrounding area.

If such a service record isn't testimony to such a successful aircraft design,
then nothing is.

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TMB April 2, 2012 at 2:29 am

From what I could look up, all of the B-52s that took part in Vietnam are either museum pieces or destroyed as part of the START treaty in the early 1990s. The B-52H is the only version still in service and (someone correct me if I'm wrong) never participated in Vietnam. Even still, the current B-52 fleet was all built in 1961 and spent the Cold War constantly in the air with nukes on board and put in long hours during ODS, Allied Force, OEF, and OIF with plans to keep them around until 2045 which means we'll have tail numbers flying for over 80 years when they're finally retired.

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Thomas L. Nielsen April 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

It also means, and here's a funny thought, that the last pilot to fly an operational sortie in a B-52 might not even be born yet.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Daniel April 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I started out in Systems Command and 0200 was a bird that was used for testing GPS in it's early days (1982-83). Ended up in SAC as Fire Control Tech, and there sat 0200 (88-90). Son joined the AF and went to Sheppard for tech school. I went to see him and, guess what, There sat 0200 as a trainer for the H models. I think Im being followed

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Checkers April 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I do know that when the B-52 Gs were retired from Castle AFB CA to the boneyard in 1993/94, one of the aircraft was delivered to the boneyard with a remarkable guest EWO–the very man who picked it up from the factory flying in that seat–he was long retired but still living in the area. My instructor crew trained at least one copilot whose grandfather had flown B-52s during the Cold War Chrome Dome missions.

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JT52 April 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

None still around. Only H model left. D models were the best!

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jumper April 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

Oriental? Who is the racist you ignorant troll?

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Terry Perkins April 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

I was off the coast around that time in a SH-D and one night we got four shot at us.Two detonated and the others just went corkscrew. Looking Glass called,"Navy 502, climb back up so they can reaquire, We have been looking for that son of a bitch." Our RADALT was the same frequency as thier illuminator so we knew when they did. Where ever the missiles came from is no longer there. In the morning sun to see the Vics or what was left of them would catch the sun at altitude while we were still in the dark. Those 52 boys had big ones to do what they did. LCDR T.K.Perkins, USNR-Ret

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John McCartan April 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

Obviously you must be a descendant of the cowardly Vietnamese Communists that bestowed great pain on their own for their cause. We only tried to help the oppressed by whatever means possible to stop that aggression. So as far as your comments. You should go live there and see what freedoms you can enjoy under their way of life. You would probably be executed jerk. BTW if we were so racist as you stated then why in God’s name would we have been there in the first place to help the South Vietnamese & lost over 58000 men & women trying to help stop this aggression? You are one sick person and you are the racist without a doubt. USA Freedoms shall prevail.
J. McCartan (Disabled US Army Vietnam Veteran) AND DAMNED PROUD OF IT TOO.

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blight_ April 2, 2012 at 11:13 am

Domino theory, of course.

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saul April 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Indeed,

At the time we re still worried about a good portion of Southern Asia falling to the Chi-Coms and the Soviets. The local culture didn't really figure into it much for consideration. Not racism. Simple Cold War Era geo-poltical Calculations that were made.

So toss off , Bombs, you are a small child with no concept of the world and how it operates. All you have is feelings.

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Glenn Yarbrough April 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

I can't imagine this. I was on the ground in 1st Cav. Division, but it had its own stress.

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Infidel4LIFE April 2, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Thats balls.

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Pat April 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Are you related to Hanoi Jane? You're are an f***** idiot. What, no guts to post your name.

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Pat April 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Fortunately, the AF got wise and varied the times, altitudes and directions of flights and the number of losses fell to just a few at the end of the campaign. I think we lost 15 B-52's

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Southpaw April 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The B-52 in my opinion is one of the greatest planes ever built period. Not only because of its performance in combat but also because it has been able to adapt to so many changes over the years. The crews that have flown and maintained them over the years have my utmost respect.

After doing a quick search on the net I was able to find a little more information about a couple of the aircraft in this recording.

Lots of interesting info can be found here about B-52 combat losses during Vietnam: http://www.nampows.org/B-52.html

It mentions Ebony 2 and Lilac 03

Ebony 2 B52D 12-26-72 U-Tapao Capt Robert Morris Pilot
No. 56-0674 1stLt Robert Hudson Co-Pilot
Giap Nhi Capt Michael LaBeau R/Nav
1stLt Duane Vavroch Nav
Capt Nutter Wimbrow EWO
TSgt James Cook Gunner

And Lilac 03

D 56-0678 12-18-72 Landed at U-Tapao. No inspar damage. ETIC 7-30-73. Est. 60,000 manhours. 350 external holes; 24 areas require kits. Lilac 03

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George Clements April 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I was a friend and fellow EWO with Nutter in the mid 60s. He was killed in Nam. Another EWO from Kinchloe was Bill Conly. He was also shot down but survived.
We were in the still flying H models.

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@BrettSaffell April 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Great audio. What does "no-uplink" mean? Also – seems like most of the SAM evasion was electronic rather than thru maneuver. Is that right?

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ltcjwb April 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

"No-uplink" meant that the EWO could not detect signals from the SAM guidance radar which would have given instructions to the missile. The missile required command guidance from the radar. Without it, the missile would continue on course for a set period, and self-destruct. All missile systems are set up the same way.

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imint_pro01 April 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

No Uplink= Barrage fire because the slopes knew the flight path was fixed by Dumb$h¡t at SAC Hq

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pablo April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thanks to all of you for your professional inputs. Especially Oldbignav, RSK, Pat and Southpaw. Westover AFB was home of three crews that were lost. It was a sad Christmas season, but the Peace Accords soon were signed and POW's starting coming home in a month or two.

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Michael Y USAF VET April 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm

you are able to say that because those guys did their job. If you were in Hanoi you would not be able to voice your opinion as you like. you would have been shot. so let me tell you something, there is no hate in Christ, so read your Bible and learn from those who fought before us. We did not invent war.

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Gerald Priest April 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I was assigned to the 44th Strat Missle Wg which also housed the 28th bomb wing. The 28th flew arclite missions I believe out of Guam. Just listening to the professional chatter and cohesive responses to each other is almost mind boggling. My dad was in B-17's as a flight engineer and top turrett gunnner (sometimes even operated the radio). Of course flack was his biggest concern as SAM's were to B-52's.
He only saw one German fighter in the 31 missions he flew; an ME-262. Before he could train his twin 50's on it, the 262 rolled over and out of sight without firing a shot. Still, my hat is off to the B-52 crews and the missions they still play in our defense. GP

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Randy Williams April 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I was stationed at CCKAB on Taiwan in 1969-1971, and there was a SAC base next to ours, with B52' and KC-135's. I worked on the great C130's there, repairing Avionics and other radar systems. They were in-country often there. I was in Tan Son Nhut in 1970 on a TDY to work on our C130's there, and could see at night "tracer fire" from the Air to the Ground on the outskirts of the base, I believe that was to suppress any insurgents close to the base, but that is just my interpretation of what I saw. I am probably way off the base on that, but that is the way that I interpreted that.

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John Slope April 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Is this Jane Fonda talking?

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sanborl April 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Drop your rhetorical bombs and run? Why not stick around and take a few dozen rhetorical SAMs for balance there S-head. Break a leg on election day also.

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Bob C April 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Brings back a lot of surreal memories. I was part of that scenario on Day 3 (12/20/72) of the 11 day war over Hanoi (& Haiphong) – - as the nav on Brass 02, an ECM unmodifed B-52G out of Anderson on Guam. Pilot/Co – saw 1 direct hit on a BUFF ahead of us, and we heard of 2 others (& their ELTs) over the radios. Like Lilac 03 and Ebony 02, we too were hit by 2 (of 27 fired) SAMs in our 180 degree post-target turn immediately after bombs away. Fortunately, the SAMs were proximity fused/detonated, and we only took heavy shrapnel damage. Limped to NKP in NE Thailand on the 2 & 1/2 (out of 8 total)engines we had left running for ~ 25 minutes, lost 26,000 feet in our "semi-controlled & semi-glide" from 35,000 ft to the 9,000 ft altitude we punched out at just as we crossed over the Mekong River into Thailand. Were we scared – not really. Tense – yes. But our crew, Brass cell mates, and all support agencies seemed very calm, professional and dedicated to the mission at hand in an extremely hostile air environment. My hat is off to all, and my heart has, and will forever, go out to those who did not return.

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bray9213 April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I had the honor of serving as a B52-G tail gunner from 87-91 with SAC in upstate NY.. Although I never saw (nor wanted to) combat, I am still proud to flown in the big bird that has 60+ years of service.

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Mike F April 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Bob C…….Where you in UNT Class 72-04 and then NBT Class 72-09, at MAFB? I ask because your story sounds familiar to one told to me, by a classmate, over dinner at Anderson in the aftermath of the Christmas raids. If so, it's good to hear from you again after all these years.
Memories fade, but I remember a lot more chaos than I heard on this tape. Was at Anderson during Christmas then went to Utapo (D's). Maybe the first time you get shot at it just seems louder and more chaotic. I'm just glad I crewed with some tremendously capable guys. If not for them….who knows how life might have turned out.

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Bob C April 17, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Mike F(ink – if I remember right).
Yep – was there with you at Mather ("Shades Radcliff, and a few other names come to mind). Sure has been a long time since then. Hope all is well well with you and all loved ones.

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JER April 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Where were the VC getting the Sams's ? Oh Wait, I Know.. They came from Obamas Buddies….. (closed Mic).. Whoops… OPEN MIC !!!!!

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Joe Dutra April 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

The B-52 ECM upgrades were in constant "catch up mode" with the SAMs the Russians were providing. Same situation existed for the F4s. Everytime you hear the EWO saying, "No uplink", that means he only has a visual and his ECM gear can't jam the SAM.

These SAMs should have been destroyed en route or on the docks in Haiphong Harbor. Stupid rules of engagement prevented the USA from truly fighting and winning this war.

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buff111 April 4, 2012 at 11:02 pm

No uplink means he didn't have missle guidance on his 20 scope but still could jam the radar if he had the radar showing. The signals, radar and guidance, are very different. The jamming of signals then and now is classified. But to say the least, just because an uplink signal wasn't present doesn't mean the EW wasn't jamming. Jamming may have been on what mode the threat was in not just if guidance was showing. I was an EW for 12 years. This is an outstanding tape.

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Apache Jack April 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Joe….You can put the blame squarely on LBJ and Bob (the idiot ) McNamara….as per their directon Haiphong and Hanoi were "off limits". We didn't attack Hanoi and Haiphong until 1972….Had we bombed those two cities in 1965, 1966 loss of military , Army, Marines , Navy, USAF, would have been consideralbly less. Our hands were tied with LBJ and McNamara…….MIG landing fields were off limits even after the MIG made a firing pass at you…MIG would run back to KEP field and he was "off limits"..what kind of war fighting is that??? Sad but true…..

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Mike April 4, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Uplink is the guidfance signal sent by the SA-2 site to the missle. No-uplink means that, in all likelihood the missle was being salvoed, and not guided. "Evasion" was a combination of ECM and evasive maneuvers, where such measures were permitted. Generally, no evasive action from 120 seconds to go on the bomb run until after bomb release

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Apache Jack. April 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Your Bombs……..You have no clue. In America , we are not "tools" we are professional airman doing the job we are directed to do.. America is probably sending millions of dollars to the your country…..I suggest that you crawl back into that sewer hole that you live in. I think you are a coward and would not fare well in combat. I do not know how you can speak for Christ. …Proving the fact that you are a complete moron…..Your profanity shows your intelligence which I would rate ZERO……..Go hide behind womens skirts….UR an idiot.

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JDM April 5, 2012 at 12:42 am

I flew KC-135s out of Utapao in 1973. Great to hear from lots of old SAC folks!

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Msgt retired April 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Proud to have been part of the ground support(avionics) for these bombers and the _crews who flew these harrowing missions from Guam. It was the highlight of my Air
Force career and a lasting memory.

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David McIntire April 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

My father, Col. Jesse McIntire, was stationed at Castle AFB, Commander 328th for awhile. A training position. Anybody BUFF jockies out there remember him?
I think he flew in linebacker? Not sure, he didn't like to talk about that time.

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Jason McIntire October 7, 2013 at 4:04 am

Uncle David! This is Jason. Posting so I can follow.

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Ebob41 April 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

Looks like previous vets of the raids have covered the relevant points. I was an EWO flying on Gs out of Guam then. I still have a tape similar to this one. We lost Cobalt 1 on that mission. We didn't have a gunner in the tail to spot sams. I'd love to hear from Steve Smaby, Aaron Dawson, or any of the old crew from Fairchild.

Bob Reed, Col USAF (ret)

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kirt January 15, 2013 at 3:42 am

Thanks for your service, would like to hear your tape, looking for tape of olive 1
and rose 1

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kirt January 15, 2013 at 4:41 am

Thanks for your service, would like to hear your tape, looking for tape of olive 1
and rose1

Hank B (EW) said right place wrong time but there is always the golden bebe.

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Petra Doug Siegel April 7, 2012 at 12:27 am

All I can say over and over is that it is due to the sacrifices and dedication of all of those that have served before me, that I had a successful military career. I sincerely appreciate all of those that served before and after me! To me, you will always be my REAL Hero.
I salute you!

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Steve W. April 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm

THANK GOD FOR THESE BRAVE MEN. This is exactly why, when I see a man or woman in uniform, I thank them and shake thier hand!

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Jim April 8, 2012 at 2:44 am

I was stationed on Guam and the 43rd Strat Wing (SAC) in the 70's and it was an incredible sight seeing rows and rows of B-52's on the ramp. We had the largest alert fleet in the AF at the time…..ready to go. The Linebacker and other Vietnam missions originated from Andersen AFB, Guam

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Ray Gilley April 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

As a stateside OMS ramp rat I only heard crew copy on a ground cord headset. It is
good to know that there were few casualties in men and BUFFS . Both have my deepest respect for having performed their mission so well. Rest Easy BUFF and flight crews. You have earned your down time. .

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10,000 Feet @ 450 MPH April 18, 2012 at 2:30 am

Sure is better up in the air doin the bomb’n and not on the ground in kindergarden class or somethin.

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Hung December 14, 2012 at 4:19 am

Hilton Hanoi welcome you all!

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tom t January 27, 2013 at 7:22 am

I was a B-52 Crew Chief. I was out of Utapao AB in Thailand. That is where all the sorties for all the linebacker missions took place. I was there during most of the bombings from 70-72. I knew many of the crew members who served with great honor but sadly lost thier lives. In fact my aircraft 55=0116 was shot up and had to divert because of severe battle damage.
You all would be amazed by the reliablity of the B-52. That aircraft worked harder than no other that I know of. The F1-5's and F-4's which flew as our protectors were another set of amazing aircraft.
I am truely Honored to have flown and served with some of the Bravest and most Professional pilots that the Air Foece had to offer.

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Slingshot March 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Was on a Marine recon team way up north when a 3 plane cell of 52's went over, a swarm of SAMS on their trail. Most detonated off target, some corkscrewed away (the Buff's ECM?) But as three closed on one plane, we saw an incredible sight – the tail gunner firing at them! And (by some divine fluke I guess) must of hit one because it blew up. Unfortunately, the other two hit the buff and we could see one wing fold up and she caught fire. No chutes that we could see. Our hats were off for that crew. She went down fighting.

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Nicolaj Nielsen April 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

If you find that chilling, think of the poor people on the ground. I have just returned from a month in Vietnam, and kinder, warmer and generous people you will never meet!

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Rc Parker May 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I was assigned to the College Eye Task Force, flying EC121s out of Thailand, with orbits over the Gulf of Tonkin and Northern Laos during Linebacker 2. I can remember those times and still feel the excitement like it was yesterday.Bomber crews have the "right stuff" alright.

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Al Spohn July 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm

In my 3000 B52 hours I didn't drop any f-bombs, but I did fart over what I thought was the intercom once, but was actually over the HF radio :-)

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Smithe955 March 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Very nice! afebkeedde

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Smithf899 March 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Very nice! dekekdfeeg

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Rob Gardner May 1, 2014 at 2:21 am

My dad was Bob Gardner, a tail gunner during LBII. Flew the whole thing while we nervously waited back in Perris CA (March AFB). Did anyone here serve with him?

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Anonymous March 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Except nobody fights for America anymore, they fight for political interests. Iraq was political and Afghanistan (aside for a couple month span after 9/11) is now political.

Waste of lives and money.

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GUest April 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I'm tired of hearing that we take our military for granted. Where does this inferiority complex come from? Who? Who is taking them for granted? That's the first thing on comment boards whenever there is a military story. I can maybe see where you might say this because of the way chickenhawks use, plan and deploy the fruit of our youth to Iraq and Afghanistan while we make no sacrifices and keep living our lives like there is no war, but that's a political issue. Speak out a and vote against the folks who keep this system going. They are the ones who take the military for granted. I am not part of the "we" you mention. Most folks I know aren't either. My grandfather was on the USS Oklahoma before WWII, my dad was a Marine and my family has served in all branches of the military.

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TMB April 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

An aircraft is a big complex machine. I'm trying to think of any other military hardware (individual serial numbered item) still on active duty after 50 years.

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TMB April 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Answering my own question here. From DoDBuzz:

"Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first delivery of the CH-47 Chinook to the Army fleet, Army Col. Bob Marion, project manager for Army cargo helicopters, ordered his team to find out the fate of the very first Chinook. To his surprise, Marion’s soldiers found the helicopter still in the fleet.
Returned from a recent deployment to Afghanistan, the first Chinook delivered to the Army in 1962 now flies in the Washingtion National Guard. Granted, it has since been upgraded from an Alpha to a Delta model, the Chinook’s longevity serves as an example of both craftsmanship and the Army’s dependence on upgrades rather than new starts to maintain its helicopter fleet."

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sanborl April 3, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I arrived in '84 to Carswell as a fresh copilot of the H model. It was peacetime and I separated as Aircraft Commander in '89 as The Wall came down. A proud stretch of years demonstrating the power of Reagan's vision. What a great experience!

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Chris October 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I was one of the crew chiefs on H models 60-0001 and 60-0005 (the first and fifth H models built) from 1986 through the closure of Carswell AFB in 1993.

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Alan November 18, 2012 at 7:30 am

Thanks for the comment, Miriam. I urdtnseand your reluctance to believe that 13 Assassins will be at the KAC until the credits roll- but I think this one will actually happen. I’m a little bit skeptical but I’m more glass full than glass empty on this one, for now.

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