With 30 illustrations
This is a narrative drawn from the era of the Southeast Asian conflict, detailing a unique event in that lengthy struggle. The event was called LINEBACKER II, a nickname like thousands of others, used to identify an operation, project, or mission associated with military affairs. It so differed from the many others, however, in its execution and outcome, that it stands alone. For the first time in contemporary warfare, heavy jet bombers were employed in their designed role to conduct extended strategic operations against the warmaking capacity of a hostile nation.
This monograph tells part of the story of Strategic Air Command’s participation in LINEBACKER II. In so doing, it addresses the efforts of a complex mixture of Air Force and sister service operations, with all services working in concert towards a common goal. Rather than develop a complete chronology or blow-by-blow account, which are matters of record in other works, the campaign is pursued more from the personal perspective.
Herein is described the impact of LINEBACKER II on those in command, plus those in operations, maintenance and support who undergirded the effort, and the crewmembers. The narrative tells how they successfully met a staggering challenge. There was no book to follow. In only eleven days of intense combat operations they wrote their own book as they supported and flew the missions.
In reviewing their story we find insight as to why the nation and the military need this caliber of people, who stepped forward when the need arose, demonstrated superior leadership, determination, and resiliency, did the job, and then dispersed into the more normal patterns of life. Many have since retired or separated from active service. Yet, it is clear that the ultimate well-being of our military structure in society must hinge on the continuing presence of this breed of people. Theirs was an achievement born of great ability and courage, and deserving of great honor.