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Ravens And Their T-28D Nomads Waged A Savage Secret War In Laos

Watch This Footage of The Ravens At War Over Laos Shot By Them On The Ground And In The Air

Official US Air Force Photograph via US Air Force Museum

North American’s iconic radial-engine trainer, the T-28 Trojan, trained thousands of Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force pilots. Many of them fought in the skies above Vietnam and Southeast Asia. T-28s were also flown as forward air control (FAC) platforms and even as counter-insurgency (COIN) ground attack aircraft- not just by American and South Vietnamese pilots but in other wars by other countries as well. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) waged a war of their own in Laos, and they used T-28D Nomads for FAC and COIN missions there. This video, transferred from Super-8 millimeter film and uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm, was shot by the Ravens themselves.

Official US Air Force Photograph via US Air Force Museum

Ravens were American fighter pilots who flew largely covert and “deniable” missions against the communist Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese in Laos. Often operating from austere facilities such as Pakse (where the ground footage was shot), the Raven T-28Ds were modified with modern gunsights, pod-mounted guns, and were capable of dropping bombs, napalm, cluster bomb units (CBUs), firing rockets, and in general throwing whatever ordnance was available to them at their targets. When they needed more firepower they called in airstrikes by other Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps aircraft. The footage reveals some little-known aspects of the Ravens at war.  Notice the lack of national insignia on their T-28Ds.

Official US Air Force Photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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