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Watch: The Air Force Wages Slow-Motion War From The Air Over Vietnam

These USAF Film Reports Were Originally Classified Because They Were Too Awesome!

Official US Air Force photograph

The United States Air Force (USAF) produced films reporting the results of air strikes flown over North and South Vietnam. This film, produced by the 1532nd Photo Group and reporting on air airstrikes that took place during early 1968, features both familiar and unfamiliar strike camera footage. North American F-100 Super Sabre, Republic F-105 Thunderchief, and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter bombers, along with Douglas A-1 Skyraider and Cessna A-37 Dragonfly attack aircraft, are seen delivering ordnance. The film was uploaded to YouTube by JeffQuitney. Spoiler Alert:  A bonus video lurks below the rest of the story.

Official US Air Force photograph

Air Force units mentioned in the film include the 612th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) Screaming Eagles of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), the 355th TFW Fighting Falcons of the 37th TFW, the 14th Air Commando Wing, the 309th TFS Wild Ducks of the 31st TFW, 308th TFS Emerald Knights of the 31st TFW, the 604th Air Commando Squadron (ACS) Mattel Marauders, the 389th TFS Thunderbolts of the 366th TFW, the 559th TFS Billy Goats of the 12th TFW, the 557th TFS of the 12th TFW, and last but certainly not least the 8th TFW Wolfpack.

Official US Air Force photograph

Interestingly the air strike footage is a mix of gun camera and strike camera pod footage. The narrator refers to napalm as “incindigel.” Several types of gravity bombs and munitions are seen in the film, among them M117 750 pound general purpose (GP) bombs, Mark 82, Mark 83, and Mark 84 high-drag bombs, CBU-25 cluster bombs, BLU-23 and BLU-27 napalm canisters, and 2.75 inch folding-fin aerial rockets (FFARs) launched from LAU-3 rocket pods.

Official US Air Force photograph

Bonus Video:  A similar US Air Force summary film reporting on airstrikes from early 1966 uploaded by PersicopeFilm

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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