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Fact Sheet Alphabetical List

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  • Return with Honor: American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia

    American prisoners of war (POWs) in Southeast Asia endured inhuman torture, political exploitation, filthy living conditions and endless attempts at communist indoctrination. North Vietnam treated U.S. servicemen not as POWs but as foreign invaders and criminals bent on subverting Vietnam's

  • Rescue Attempt: The Son Tay Raid

    In 1970, U.S. forces attempted to rescue POWs from captivity in North Vietnam. American officials decided a daring operation in the heart of North Vietnam was worth the risk, and President Richard Nixon asked the Pentagon to explore "some unconventional rescue ideas." Planning the RaidThe target was

  • ROLLING THUNDER Missions over the North

    In addition to the F-105 "Thud," a variety of Air Force aircraft flew over the North during ROLLING THUNDER. F-4 Phantoms provided air cover against enemy MiG fighters and occasionally conducted bombing missions too. RF-101s and RF-4s took reconnaissance photographs of the North. B-66s conducted

  • Radar Homing and Warning: The Key to the Wild Weasels

    On Aug. 3, 1965, a group of military and industry officials headed by USAF Brig. Gen. Kenneth Dempster met in secret to examine how to counter the SA-2. One recommendation was to equip a small number of fighter aircraft with radar homing and warning (RHAW) equipment to detect and attack SAM

  • Rescue of Bat 21

    In one of the most difficult rescues of the war, Lt. Col. Iceal "Gene" Hambleton was recovered from enemy territory after 11 1/2 days on the ground. This was the largest rescue operation in USAF history. On April 2, 1972, 53-year-old navigator Lt. Col. Hambleton was the only crewmember to safely

  • River Rats

    The Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association was formed in Thailand in 1967 to improve tactics and coordination among aircrews flying over North Vietnam. Rich in tradition, it grew into a fraternal organization which has lasted far beyond the Southeast Asia War.Early in 1967, Col. Robin Olds, 8th

  • Reconnaissance and Retaliatory Strikes

    President Johnson ended the bombing of North Vietnam in October 1968. believing that USAF unarmed reconnaissance aircraft would be permitted to fly over the country unopposed. When North Vietnam fired on some of these planes, newly elected President Richard Nixon ordered several retaliatory strikes

  • Ranch Hand Insignia and other items

    InsigniaThe Ranch Hand insignia was designed in 1962 by Capt. Alan Kidd and Lt. John Hodgin, and it contains several elements of the Ranch Hand tradition. The symbol in the middle is the Chinese character for purple. The brown stripe on a green field represents a defoliated strip of jungle. Yellow

  • Rockwell International GBU-8 Electro-Optical Guided Bomb

    The GBU-8 Electro-Optical Guided Bomb was one of the "smart bombs" that revolutionized aerial warfare. A standard bomb fitted with a Homing Bomb System (Hobos), the GBU-8 was first used during the Southeast Asia War.In 1967 the Department of Defense asked Rockwell International Corp. to develop the

  • Republic F-105G Thunderchief

    The F-105, nicknamed the "Thud," evolved from a 1951 project by to replace the F-84F fighter-bomber. The prototype first flew in October 1955, and Republic delivered the first production aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in 1958. Republic also developed a fully combat-capable two-seat trainer version,