Operation Flaming Dart

Operation Flaming Dart was a U.S. and South Vietnamese military operation, conducted in two parts, during the Vietnam War.

Operation Flaming Dart
Part of the Vietnam War
Date7–24 February 1965
Location
Result Strategic USAF and RVNAF failure; escalation of the war
Belligerents
 United States
 South Vietnam
 North Vietnam
Vietcong
Commanders and leaders
United States Lyndon B. Johnson Vietnam Ho Chi Minh

Background

United States President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1965 ordered a series of reprisal air strikes after several attacks on U.S. bases by Vietcong units, particularly in reply to a mortar attack at Pleiku. During these attacks, VC sappers planted demolition charges that destroyed four C-7 Caribous, four light aircraft, and five helicopters and damaged a further eleven helicopters.[1]

Operation

Forty-nine retaliatory sorties were flown for Flaming Dart I on 7 February 1965. Flaming Dart I targeted North Vietnamese army bases near Đồng Hới, while the second wave targeted Vietcong logistics and communications near the Demilitarized Zone. Among the pilots was Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) Air Marshal Nguyễn Cao Kỳ, then a member of Vietnam's ruling junta.[2]

The Vietcong attacked a hotel billeting U.S. personnel in Qui Nhơn in reaction to Flaming Dart I, prompting the Flaming Dart II air strikes. The U.S. Navy launched 99 fighter-bombers from three aircraft carriersUSS Hancock, USS Coral Sea, and USS Ranger. While the naval aircraft bombed Chanh Hoa, the RVNAF and the U.S. Air Force attacked Chap Le. The VNAF used 28 propeller-driven A-1 Skyraiders, while the USAF had an equal number of jet-powered F-100 Super Sabres on target. While Americans with Farm Gate had been flying combat with their South Vietnamese counterparts, the USAF strikes in South Vietnam escalated the war by their use of jet aircraft.[3]

American reaction to Communist escalation was not restricted to the bombing of North Vietnam. Washington also escalated its use of air power when it authorized the use of U.S. jet attack aircraft to engage targets in the south. On 19 February, U.S. Air Force B-57s conducted the first jet strikes flown by Americans in support of South Vietnamese ground units. On 24 February, Air Force jets struck again, this time breaking up a Communist ambush in the Central Highlands with a massive series of tactical air sorties. Again, this was an escalation in the U.S. use of air power.[4]

Aftermath

The Operation Flaming Dart raids were later followed by Operation Rolling Thunder, which began a 44-month campaign on 2 March 1965.[5] Other aerial campaigns were also waged during the war. By war's end, the American bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War amounted to the heaviest aerial bombardment in history, totaling 7,662,000 tons of ordnance.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ Clodfelter, p. 58.
  2. ^ Clodfelter, p. 58.
  3. ^ Clodfelter, pp. 58-59.
  4. ^ Clodfelter, p. 59.
  5. ^ Clodfelter, p. 59.
  6. ^ Clodfelter, p. 225.

Sources

  • Clodfelter, Micheal. Vietnam in Military Statistics: A History of the Indochina Wars, 1772-1991. McFarland & Company, 1995. ISBN 0786400277, 9780786400270.
  • Frankum, Ronald Bruce. Like Rolling Thunder: The Air War in Vietnam, 1964-1975, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. ISBN 0742543021, 9780742543027.
1965 Qui Nhơn hotel bombing

The Viet Cuong Hotel in Qui Nhơn, was bombed by the Viet Cong on the evening of 10 February 1965, during the Vietnam War. Viet Cong (VC) operatives detonated explosive charges causing the entire building to collapse. The explosion killed 23 U.S. servicemen and 2 of the Viet Cong attackers.

Attack on Camp Holloway

The attack on Camp Holloway occurred during the early hours of February 7, 1965, in the early stages of the Vietnam War. Camp Holloway was a helicopter facility constructed by the United States Army near Pleiku in 1962. It was built to support the operations of Free World Military Forces in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

In August 1964, the United States Navy reported they were attacked by torpedo boats of the North Vietnamese Navy in what became known as the Tonkin Gulf Incident. In response to the perceived aggression of Communist forces in Southeast Asia, the United States Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution which enabled U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson to deploy conventional military forces in the region to prevent further attacks by the North Vietnamese. Immediately after the Tonkin Gulf Resolution was passed, Johnson ordered the bombing of North Vietnamese Navy bases in retaliation for the reported attacks on U.S. Navy warships between 2 and 4 August 1964. However, the Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam were not deterred by the threat of U.S. retaliation.

Throughout 1964, the Viet Cong launched several attacks on U.S. military facilities in South Vietnam but Johnson did not start further retaliations against North Vietnam, as he tried to avoid upsetting U.S. public opinion during the 1964 United States Presidential Election. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, were experiencing political changes of their own as Nikita Khrushchev was removed from power. As leader of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev had begun the process of disengagement from Vietnam by reducing economic and military aid to North Vietnam. However, in the aftermath of Khrushchev's downfall, the Soviet government had to redefine their role in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam, to compete with the growing influence of the People's Republic of China.

In February 1965 Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin travelled to Hanoi to rebuild Soviet ties with North Vietnam, and the formation of a military alliance was on the agenda. Coincidentally, senior security adviser to the U.S. President McGeorge Bundy was also in Saigon to report on the political chaos in South Vietnam. In the shadow of those events, the Viet Cong 409th Battalion staged an attack on Camp Holloway on 7 February 1965. This time, with his victory in the 1964 presidential election secured, Johnson decided to launch Operation Flaming Dart which entailed strikes on North Vietnamese military targets. However, with Kosygin still in Hanoi during the U.S bombing, the Soviet government decided to step up their military aid to North Vietnam, thereby signalling a major reversal of Khrushchev's policy in Vietnam.

Battle of Ba Gia

The Battle of Ba Gia was a major battle that marked the beginning of the Viet Cong's (VC) Summer Offensive of 1965, during the early phases of the Vietnam War, known in Vietnam as the American War. The battle took place in Quảng Ngãi Province, South Vietnam, between May 28–31, 1965.

Following the victory of VC forces in the Battle of Binh Gia earlier in the year, the North Vietnamese leadership in Hanoi decided to intensify their war effort in order to defeat the American-backed Government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese war effort received a major boost in the first half of 1965, when the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China stepped up the delivery of military aid, which included the deployment of military specialists and other personnel to train North Vietnam's armed forces. The North Vietnamese decision to intensify the war culminated in the Summer Offensive of 1965, which aimed to destroy the regular divisions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in large-scale battles, and pin down the elite units of the ARVN strategic reserve. In Quảng Ngãi Province, South Vietnam, the VC kick-started their summer campaign by attacking elements of the ARVN 51st Infantry Regiment during the early hours of May 29, 1965. In the days that followed, the VC destroyed an entire ARVN Task Force to mark a successful start to their summer campaign.

Battlefield Vietnam

Battlefield Vietnam is a first-person shooter video game, the second in the Battlefield franchise after Battlefield 1942. The game was developed by the Swedish company Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. Battlefield Vietnam takes place during the Vietnam War and features a large variety of maps based on historical settings, such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Battle of Hue, Ia Drang Valley, Operation Flaming Dart, the Battle of Khe Sanh and Fall of Saigon. On 15 March 2005, EA re-released the game as Battlefield Vietnam: Redux, which includes new vehicles, maps, and an EA-produced World War II mod, based on the previous Battlefield 1942.

Da Nang Air Base

Da Nang Air Base (Vietnamese: Căn cứ không quân Đà Nẵng) (1930s–1975) (also known as Da Nang Airfield, Tourane Airfield or Tourane Air Base) was a French Air Force and later Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) facility located in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. During the Vietnam War (1959–1975), it was a major base with United States Army, United States Air Force (USAF), and United States Marine Corps (USMC) units stationed there. Air Vietnam also used the facility from 1951 to 1975 for civilian domestic and international flights within Southeast Asia.

List of bombing campaigns of the Vietnam War

The bombing campaigns of the Vietnam War were the longest and heaviest aerial bombardment in history. The United States Air Force, the U. S. Navy, and U. S. Marine Corps aviation dropped 7,662,000 tons of explosives. By comparison, U. S. forces dropped a total of 2,150,000 tons of bombs in all theaters of World War II.

List of bombs in the Vietnam War

The American air campaign during the Vietnam War was the largest in military history. The US contribution to this air-war was the largest. Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Curtis LeMay stated that "we're going to bomb them back into the Stone Age".

Nguyễn Ngọc Loan

Major General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan (Vietnamese: [ŋʷǐənˀ ŋâwkp lʷāːn]; 11 December 1930 – 14 July 1998) was a South Vietnamese general and chief of the South Vietnamese National Police.

Loan gained international attention when he summarily executed handcuffed prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém, on February 1, 1968 in Saigon, Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. Nguyễn Văn Lém was a Việt Cộng member. The event was witnessed and recorded by Võ Sửu, a cameraman for NBC, and Eddie Adams, an Associated Press photographer. The photo and film became two famous images in contemporary American journalism.

Outline of the Vietnam War

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Vietnam War:

Vietnam War – Cold War-era proxy war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War (1946–54) and was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies. The Viet Cong (also known as the National Liberation Front, or NLF), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The People's Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units to battle.

Second VA-155 (U.S. Navy)

Attack Squadron 155 or VA-155 was an 'Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established as Reserve Attack Squadron VA-71E in 1946, redesignated as VA-58A on 1 October 1948, and redesignated Reserve Composite Squadron VC-722 on 1 November 1949. The squadron was redesignated as VA-728 on 1 April 1950, and called to active duty on 1 February 1951. It was ultimately redesignated VA-155 on 4 February 1953, and disestablished on 30 September 1977. Its nickname was Silver Fox from the early 1960s onward. It was the second squadron to be named VA-155, the first VA-155 was disestablished on 30 November 1949, while a third VA-155 was established on 1 September 1987 and disestablished on 30 April 1993.

Second VA-95 (U.S. Navy)

The second VA-95 was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy, and was the second of three unrelated squadrons to bear that designation. It was established on 26 March 1952, and disestablished on 1 April 1970. The squadron's nickname was the Skyknights from 1957-1963, and the Green Lizards thereafter.

United States Seventh Fleet

The Seventh Fleet is a numbered fleet (a military formation) of the United States Navy. It is headquartered at U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 60 to 70 ships, 300 aircraft and 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Its principal responsibilities are to provide joint command in natural disaster or military operations and operational command of all naval forces in the region.

VA-212 (U.S. Navy)

Attack Squadron 212 (VA-212), nicknamed the Rampant Raiders, was an aviation unit of the United States Navy. It was established as Fighter Squadron 212 (VF-212) on 20 June 1955, and redesignated as VA-212 on 1 April 1956. The squadron was disestablished on 12 December 1975.

VA-215 (U.S. Navy)

VA-215, nicknamed the Barn Owls, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established 22 June 1955, and disestablished on 31 August 1967.

A second VA-215 was established on 1 March 1968 and disestablished on 30 September 1977.

VA-216 (U.S. Navy)

VA-216, nicknamed the Black Diamonds, was an Attack Squadron of the US Navy. It was established on 30 March 1955, and disestablished 15 years later on 1 August 1970.

VA-93 (U.S. Navy)

VA-93 was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established as Fighter Squadron VF-93 on 26 March 1952, and redesignated as VA-93 on 15 September 1956. It was disestablished 30 years later on 31 August 1986. The squadron's nickname was the Blue Blazers from 1954 to 1976 and the Ravens thereafter.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War (Vietnamese: Chiến tranh Việt Nam), also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America (Vietnamese: Kháng chiến chống Mỹ) or simply the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U.S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975.

American military advisors began arriving in what was then French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U.S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state. The Việt Cộng, also known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF (the National Liberation Front), a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a

guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U.S. involvement escalated in 1960, and continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels gradually surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963.By 1964, there were 23,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U.S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U.S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces. Every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. The U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; despite years of American tutelage and aid the South Vietnamese forces were unable to withstand the communist offensive and the task fell to US forces instead. The Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders; bordering areas of Laos and Cambodia were used by North Vietnam as supply routes and were heavily bombed by U.S. forces.

Gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (see Vietnam War casualties). Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict, and a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, and the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun almost immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War. The end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea. Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.