Determination To Maintain The Traffic Lines Despite Enemy Attacks 1969

Printed on rize paper.

Size “Large”: approx. 60 cm x 80 cm

Size “Small”: approx. 38 cm x 58 cm

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Operation Linebacker II was a US Seventh Air Force and US Navy Task Force 77 aerial bombing campaign, conducted against targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the final period of US involvement in the Vietnam War. The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972, leading to several of informal names such as “The December Raids” and “The Christmas Bombings“. Unlike the Operation Rolling Thunder and Operation Linebacker interdiction operations, Linebacker II, would be a “maximum effort” bombing campaign to “destroy major target complexes in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas which could only be accomplished by B-52s. It saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the US Air Force since the end of World War II. Linebacker II was a modified extension of the Operation Linebacker bombings conducted from May to October, with the emphasis of the new campaign shifted to attacks by B-52 Stratofortress heavy bombers rather than smaller tactical fighter aircraft.

During Operation Linebacker II a total of 741 B-52 sorties had been dispatched to bomb North Vietnam and 729 actually completed their missions. A total 15,237 tons of ordnance was dropped on 18 industrial and 14 military targets (including eight SAM sites) while fighter-bombers added another 5,000 tons of bombs to the tally. Two hundred and twelve additional B-52 missions were flown within South Vietnam in support of ground operations during the same time period. Ten B-52s had been shot down over the North and five others had been damaged and crashed in Laos or Thailand. Thirty-three B-52 crew members were killed or missing in action, another 33 became prisoners of war, and 26 more were rescued. North Vietnamese air defense forces claimed that 34 B-52s and four F-111s had been shot down during the campaign. Over an eleven-day period, 266 SA-2 missiles were fired by the North Vietnamese air defenses. Also, while the bombing did severe infrastructure damage in Northern Vietnam, it did not break the stalemate in the South, nor did it halt the flow of supplies down the Ho Chi Minh trail