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  • Laos: Plain of Jars

    THE SECRET WARIn response to a Laotian request for assistance, the U.S. initiated covert operations to keep "neutral" Laos from falling to the communist offensive across the Plain of Jars. The U.S. ambassador in Laos assumed control of all US operations in northern Laos, including the CIA-operated Air America fleet, and approved all targets struck
  • Laos

    OVER THE FENCE In 1954 the Geneva Peace Accords established Laos as an independent state led by the Royal Lao government. Shortly thereafter, opposing groups, including the North Vietnamese-supported communist Pathet Lao, started a civil war. The U.S. sent a small number of advisors to assist the Royal Lao government.A 1962 peace treaty signed by
  • LAU-3 Rocket Launcher

    The early Wild Weasels (and the accompanying F-105Ds) employed the reusable nineteen-shot LAU-3 rocket launcher to attack SAM sites. The F-100Fs typically carried two LAU-3s while the F-105Ds carried four. The LAU-3 could fire its 2.75-inch rockets individually, rapidly in sequence or all at once. These rockets carried either high explosive (HE),
  • Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor

      The Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor is the world's first stealthy air dominance fighter. Its radar, weapons control and electronic warfare systems work together as one integrated unit. The Raptor combines stealth, maneuverability and the ability to fly long distances at supersonic speeds -- or "supercruise" -- in performance of air superiority and
  • Lockheed EC-121D Constellation

     The EC-121, originally designated RC-121, was a radar-picket version of the U.S. Air Force's C-121 passenger airplane. The EC-121 provided early warning by detecting and tracking enemy aircraft with the electronic gear in the large radomes above and below its fuselage.The Air Force ordered 82 EC-121s between 1951 and 1955, 72 of which were
  • Leading Jet Ace: Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr.

    The leading jet ace of the Korean War was Capt. Joseph McConnell Jr., who scored his first victory on Jan. 14, 1953. In a little more than a month, he gained his fifth MiG-15 victory, thereby becoming an ace.On the day McConnell shot down his eighth MiG, his F-86 was hit by enemy aircraft fire, and he was forced to bail out over enemy-controlled
  • Lt. Col. Bruce Hinton: First F-86 MiG Kill

    Lt. Col. Bruce Hinton, commander of the 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing, was the first F-86 pilot to score a MiG-15 kill. On Dec. 17, 1950, Hinton led a flight of four F-86s over northwestern North Korea. To trick the communists, the Sabre pilots flew at the same altitude and speed as F-80s typically did on
  • Leading from the Front: Col. Joseph Davis Jr.

    Thunderjet wing commander Col. Joseph Davis Jr. displayed exceptional leadership by personally leading successful close air support strikes and interdiction raids over North Korea. By war's end, he was the commander of all F-84 units stationed in Korea.Perhaps the most important mission Davis led was on July 27, 1953, the last day of the war.
  • Lifeboat from the Sky

    The Edo company developed this model A-3 lifeboat in 1947. Modified B-29 bombers, known as SB-29s, carried these boats. SB-29s accompanied bomber formations to the coast of North Korea and circled there while the bombers hit targets inland. If a returning bomber had to ditch in the ocean, a lifeboat could be dropped to save the crew.The boat could
  • Lt. Col. George A. Davis Jr.

    Lt. Col. George Andrew Davis Jr. was a P-47 fighter ace in the Pacific theater in World War II, with seven victories to his credit. In October 1951 he went to Korea as commander of the 334th Squadron, 4th Fighter Interceptor Group. Within a few months, he became the leading ace of the Korean War.On Feb. 10, 1952, Davis and his wingman encountered
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