B-52 Stratofortress in Southeast Asia By The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress became a powerful weapon and an icon during the Southeast Asia War. Although the B-52 was developed to deliver nuclear weapons, its first combat mission took place in 1965 when it dropped conventional bombs on communist forces in South Vietnam. In Operation Arc Light, B-52s bombed enemy targets across South Vietnam and into Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam. Perhaps its best known missions of the war took place in December 1972 during Operation Linebacker II, when B-52 attacks eventually drove the North Vietnamese to successful peace talks. Click on the following links to learn more about the B-52 during the Southeast Asia War. Arc Light The "Big Belly" Bomber B-52D Battle Damage Report B-52s and Linebacker II B-52 Tail Gunners 2 - MiGs 0 Loss of B-52G "BRASS 02" Click here to return to the North Vietnam: Linebacker and Linebacker II Overview. Find Out More Related Fact Sheets Boeing B-52D Stratofortress Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.