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Operation Rolling Thunder (March 1965 - Nov 1968)

Operation Rolling Thunder (March 1965 - Nov 1968)

The Vietnam War occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1959 to April 30th, 1975. The war was fought between the communist North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other member nations of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

The Vietcong, the lightly armed South Vietnamese communist insurgency, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large-sized units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search-and-destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and air strikes.

The United States entered the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. Military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.

The Case-Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress prohibited use of American military after August 15th, 1973, unless the president secured congressional approval in advance.The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.

The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities (See: Vietnam War casualties), including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers. By this war's end, the Vietnamese had been fighting foreign involvement or occupation in various wars for over a hundred years.

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USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor - Pussy Cat, 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lt. Joe Nevers, Squadron Commander, Udon AFB, Thailand, 1965 USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor - "Pussy Cat", 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lt. Joe Nevers, Squadron Commander, Udon AFB, Thailand, 1965 (1:72 Scale)

Introduced to the world as "the missile with a man in it," the striking Lockheed F-104 Starfighter promised to be the ultimate interceptor. Small, light in weight and with stunning straight-line performance, the F-104 was never agile enough to become what its designers wanted.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Lt. Col. Harold Comstock, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, July 1966 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Lt. Col. Harold Comstock, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, July 1966 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Major Don Schmenk, 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, 1969 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Major Don Schmenk, 308th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, 1969 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - Colonel Paul Douglas, Arkansas Traveler II, 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat AB, Thailand, 1970 USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - Colonel Paul Douglas, "Arkansas Traveler II", 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat AB, Thailand, 1970 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Thors Hammer, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam, 1970 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - "Thor's Hammer," 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, Tuy Hoa AB, Vietnam, 1970 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - Memphis Belle II, 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, RTAB Takhli, Thailand USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - "Memphis Belle II", 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, RTAB Takhli, Thailand, 1965 (1:72 Scale)

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. The Mach 2 capable F-105 bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.

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USAF Republic F-105D-25-RE Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli RTAFB, Project Look Alike, 1965 USAF Republic F-105D-25-RE Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli RTAFB, "Project Look Alike", 1965 (1:72 Scale)

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. The Mach 2 capable F-105 bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.

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USN Douglas A-1J Skyraider Attack Aircraft - Lt. Dieter Dengler, VA-145 "Swordsmen," USS Ranger (CV-61), 1966 USN Douglas A-1J Skyraider Attack Aircraft - Lt. Dieter Dengler, VA-145 "Swordsmen," USS Ranger (CV-61), 1966 (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was an American single-seat attack bomber of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career well into the space age, and inspired a straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor which is still in front line service today, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog).

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USN Douglas A-1H Skyraider Attack Aircraft - Paper Tiger II, VA-25 Fist of the Fleet, USS Midway (CV-41) USN Douglas A-1H Skyraider Attack Aircraft - "Paper Tiger II," VA-25 "Fist of the Fleet," USS Midway (CV-41) (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was an American single-seat attack bomber of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career well into the space age, and inspired a straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor which is still in front line service today, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog).

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USAF Douglas A-1J Skyraider Attack Aircraft - "No.014", 602nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Special Operations Wing, Thailand, 1969 USAF Douglas A-1J Skyraider Attack Aircraft - "No. 014", 602nd Fighter Squadron, 56th Special Operations Wing, Thailand, 1969 (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was an American single-seat attack bomber of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career well into the space age, and inspired a straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor which is still in front line service today, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog).

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USAF McDonnell F-4C Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron Gunfighters, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang AB, Vietnam, 1967 USAF McDonnell F-4C Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Gunfighters", 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang AB, Vietnam, 1967 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF North American F-100D-25NA Super Sabre Fighter - (55-3616), 188th Tactical Fighter Group, Arkansas Air National Guard USAF North American F-100D-25NA Super Sabre Fighter - (55-3616), 188th Tactical Fighter Group, Arkansas Air National Guard (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - Butcher Boy II, 510th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, 1962 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - "Butcher Boy II," 510th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, 1962 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF North American F-100C Super Sabre Fighter - 54-1800, 333 Fighter Day Sqn., 4th FDW, Seymour Johnson AFB, 1958 Gunnery Meet USAF North American F-100C Super Sabre Fighter - 333 Fighter Day Squadron, 4th Fighter Day Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, 1958 "Gunnery Meet" (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USMC McDonnell Douglas A-4E Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VMA-121, Green Knights, Chu Lai, Vietnam, 1960s USMC McDonnell Douglas A-4E Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - VMA-121, "Green Knights," Chu Lai, Vietnam, 1960s (1:72 Scale)

The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world.

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USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor - "Snoopy Sniper," 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Deadly Black Eagles", 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn RTAFB, 1967-68 USAF Lockheed F-104C Starfighter Interceptor - "Snoopy Sniper," 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Deadly Black Eagles", 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn RTAFB, 1967-68 (1:72 Scale)

Introduced to the world as "the missile with a man in it," the striking Lockheed F-104 Starfighter promised to be the ultimate interceptor. Small, light in weight and with stunning straight-line performance, the F-104 was never agile enough to become what its designers wanted.

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USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Thailand, August 11th, 1967 USAF Republic F-105D Thunderchief Fighter-Bomber - 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Thailand, August 11th, 1967 (1:72 Scale)

The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. The Mach 2 capable F-105 bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.

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Greek Air Force Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 342 All-Weather Squadron, 114 Combat Wing, Tanagra, Greece Greek Air Force Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 342 All-Weather Squadron, 114 Combat Wing, Tanagra, Greece (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.

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USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 56-1444, 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 405th Fighter Wing, Da Nang AFB, South Vietnam, 1968 USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 56-1444, 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 405th Fighter Wing, Da Nang AFB, South Vietnam, 1968 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.

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USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 525th 525th Fighter Interceptor Squadron The Fighting Bulldogs, RAF Wethersfield, 1961 USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 525th Fighter Interceptor Squadron "The Fighting Bulldogs," RAF Wethersfield, 1961 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.

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USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadron Red Devils, Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, 1962 USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadron "Red Devils," Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, 1962 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.

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USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 32nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Soesterberg Air Base, Netherlands, 1963 USAF Convair F-102A Delta Dagger Interceptor - 32nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Soesterberg Air Base, Netherlands, 1963 (1:72 Scale)

The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was a US interceptor aircraft built as part of the backbone of the United States Air Force's air defenses in the late 1950s. Entering service in 1956, its main purpose was to intercept invading Soviet bomber fleets.

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USAF McDonnell F-4C Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - "64-0693" FJ-693, 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon, Thailand, July 1965 USAF McDonnell F-4C Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - "64-0693" FJ-693, 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon, Thailand, July 1965 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - Chico the Gunfighter 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing Black Widows, Da Nang, South Vietnam, 1972 USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - "Chico the Gunfighter" 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing "Black Widows", Da Nang, South Vietnam, 1972 (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USN Douglas A-D6 Skyraider Attack Aircraft - VA-85 "Black Falcons", USS Forrestal (CV-59), 1959 USN Douglas A-D6 Skyraider Attack Aircraft - VA-85 "Black Falcons", USS Forrestal (CV-59), 1959 (1:72 Scale)

The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was an American single-seat attack bomber of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career well into the space age, and inspired a straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor which is still in front line service today, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog).

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard, 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phan Rang AB, 1968 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard, 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phan Rang AB, 1968 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 182nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Texas Air National Guard USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 182nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Texas Air National Guard (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 3rd Tactical Fighter Squadron "Peugeots", Clark Air Base, Philippines, 1988 [Low-Vis Scheme] USAF McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 3rd Tactical Fighter Squadron "Peugeots", Clark Air Base, Philippines, 1988 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)

Known as the "MiG Killer," the F-4 Phantom was an unlikely hero given its unique design. Unlike traditionally smaller and sleeker single-seat fighters, the Phantom broke all the rules. It was huge, had bent wings, and a two-man crew, and was one of the first aircraft to carry missile armament.

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USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 1st Lt. Joe H. Engle, 474th Day Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, August 1958 USAF North American F-100D Super Sabre Fighter - 1st Lt. Joe H. Engle, 474th Day Fighter Squadron, 31st Tactical Fighter Wing, George AFB, August 1958 (1:72 Scale)

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979.

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US Navy Vought F-8E Crusader Fighter - AH200, VF-162 Hunters, USS Oriskany (CV-34), Vietnam, 1966 [In-Flight Version] US Navy Vought F-8E Crusader Fighter - AH200, VF-162 "Hunters", USS Oriskany (CV-34), Vietnam, 1966 [In-Flight Version] (1:72 Scale)

In September 1952, the United States Navy announced a requirement for a new fighter. It was to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft (9,150 m) with a climb rate of 25,000 ft/min (127 m/s), and a landing speed of no more than 100 mph (160 km/h).

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