Operation Rolling Thunder

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Operation Rolling Thunder was an American bombing campaign against North Vietnam, lasting from March 1965 to October 1968. Both Navy and Air Force planes participated, the Air Force from bases in Thailand and the Navy from carriers on “Yankee Station,” in the Tonkin Gulf. North Vietnamese airspace was defended by heavy concentrations of anti-aircraft guns, SAMs, and MiGs.[1] Although North Vietnamese targets were heavily bombed, the operation generally failed to meet its objectives, and over 900 American planes were downed by enemy action. The bombing campaign also led to increased opposition to the war in the U.S.[2]


F-4 Phantom II (U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy)

F-105 Thunderchief (U.S. Air Force)

F-8 Crusader (U.S. Navy)

A-4 Skyhawk (U.S. Navy)

A-6 Intruder (U.S. Navy)

MiG-17 (North Vietnamese Air Force)

MiG-21 (North Vietnamese Air Force)


  1. Battle, by R.G. Grant, DK Publishing, 2005
  2. The March of Folly, by Barbara Tuchman