Ignorance and Air Power: The Failure of U. S. Leadership to Properly Utilize Air Power in Vietnam

Ignorance and Air Power: The Failure of U. S. Leadership to Properly Utilize Air Power in Vietnam

Length: 4201 words (12 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ignorance and Air Power: The Failure of U. S. Leadership to Properly Utilize Air Power in Vietnam

Major Ted Tolman’s F-105 Thud fighter/bomber streaked through the air at just under the speed of sound. His aircraft performed modestly at best, struggling to maintain its speed and altitude under the heavy load of ordinance and fuel it carried under its wings (Patrick).

Tolman, and his wingman Major Lonnie Ferguson, were en route to a rail line that served to distribute supplies from Cam Pha Harbor to enemy troops throughout North Vietnam. The harbor itself was protected from attack by orders coming directly from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, meaning the only way to neutralize supplies coming through the harbor was to attack the distribution network that surrounded it (Patrick).

As he flew low near the harbor, puffs of flack began to appear, and Tolman soon found himself under heavy attack from North Vietnamese ground based anti-aircraft artillery (AAA). He hesitated a moment, then decided that he did not want to become a prisoner in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Tolman depressed his rudder pedal and rapidly swung his F-105 around, pointing the nose at the AAA emplacement and releasing a burst of 20mm cannon fire. In doing so, he made the biggest mistake of his career (Patrick).

As he swung his fighter around, Tolman inadvertently passed his gun sight directly across the Soviet cargo ship Turkestan as it traversed towards its intended target. Designed to provide a record of the action, the gun camera mounted in the nose of Tolman’s F-105 caught an image of the Soviet ship, inside the Cam Pha Harbor sanctuary, directly centered in his sights (Patrick).

There was nothing that suggested any of the rounds Tol...

... middle of paper ...

... Diss. United States Air Force Command Staff College, 1995.

McNamara, Robert S. and Brian VanDeMark. In Retrospect. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

“Operation Rolling Thunder.” Military Analysis Network. 1998. Federation of American Scientists. 20 Dec. 2003< http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/rolling_thunder.htm>.

Patrick, Joe. “Testing the Rules of Engagement.” Vietnam Memoirs. 2003. 80th Fighter Squadron. 13 Nov. 2003.

Rendall, Ivan. Rolling Thunder. New York: The Free Press, 1997.

“Robert S. McNamara.” Secretaries of Defense. Defenselink. 20 Dec. 2003< http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/secdef_histories/bios/mcnamara.htm>.

United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. Memorandum to CINPAC, Definitive Rules of Engagement Applying to Laos. Washington: DoD, 1964.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Air Force During Vietnam Essay

- When the United States replaced the French in Vietnam, it supplemented the Vietnamese forces with American armed forces and equipment. The most influential area of the military armed forces was the Air Forces since it had the greatest effect on the war effort. Because of the state of the Vietnamese Air Force, the United States military provided the Southern Vietnamese military with the equipment they needed. Between the years of 1961 and 1965, the Air Force contingent of the Vietnamese military increased from 68 to 6,600 personnel and from a few liaison planes to 84 different types of aircraft ....   [tags: Agent Orange, Vietnam War, United States Army]

Research Papers
757 words (2.2 pages)

The Original Position and the Veil of Ignorance Essay

- Political philosopher John Rawls believed that in order for society to function properly, there needs to be a social contract, which defines ‘justice as fairness’. Rawls believed that the social contract be created from an original position in which everyone decides on the rules for society behind a veil of ignorance. In this essay, it will be argued that the veil of ignorance is an important feature of the original position. First, the essay will describe what the veil of ignorance is. Secondly, it will look at what Rawls means by the original position....   [tags: ignorance, john rawls, society]

Research Papers
1361 words (3.9 pages)

The Vietnam War Of Vietnam Essay

- The Vietnam War took action after the First Indochina War, in fact the Vietnam War is also known as the Second Indochina War. This war included the communist North Vietnam and its allies of the Viet Cong, the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies going against South Vietnam and its allies, the Unites States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies. It was a very long and conflicting war that actually started in 1954 and ended in 1975. The war began after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist party in North Vietnam....   [tags: Vietnam War, United States, Vietnam]

Research Papers
1561 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Contaminated Air: Secondhand Smoke

- Did you know that you could easily be a victim of breathing toxic fumes and having cancer. As of right now, countless people are being poisoned from the effects of second hand smoking. Many people have heard or seen the effects of smoking and yet they still do it. In this case, it’s not about them but about us. There should be certain areas where smokers can go that won’t affect others because it’s a nuisance and cause unrepairable damage to everyone. Have you ever tried catching your breath inhaling something unexpected....   [tags: Contaminated Air, second hand smoke, ]

Research Papers
918 words (2.6 pages)

The Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War Essay

- January 31, 1968 marks the new lunar year for the Vietnamese and also the start of the Tet offensive. This crucial offensive is considered the turning point of the Vietnam War. This series of battles can be best understood by examining the events that led up to the conflict, the strategies and principles applied in the battle, and end results of the movement. Throughout the second half of 1967 the government had become anxious due to reports of declining public support for its Vietnam policies....   [tags: Vietnam War Essays]

Research Papers
1010 words (2.9 pages)

The Health Problems Of The Air Pollution Essay

- When most people think about what is wrong with the environment, they can think of many things wrong with it. The amount of pollution that has either enter the air, land, or the ground. The amount of pollution within the air has been constantly been caused by humans doing a lot of activities that release a lot of carbon emissions. Activities such as deforestation of trees, the uses of automotive cars, and factories producing so much smog on a daily basis. With all of these activities, much of the air quality is poor and can cause many health problems for humans....   [tags: Air pollution]

Research Papers
1742 words (5 pages)

Essay on The War Of The Vietnam War

- War brings to people pain, loss, hurt, and regret. This was because of a number of things. The amount of money it was costing, the amount of disabled people, but it originated largely from the massacre. People always appreciate the peace when they suffered hard time in war. That’s why there are so many Peace Protest Movement when people disagreed with making war. Vietnam war is one of famous war which there are so many protesting organization in USA and all around the world that saw what was actually happening to innocent citizens who had done nothing wrong, as a result of unnecessary thing....   [tags: Vietnam War, Vietnam, South Vietnam]

Research Papers
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Vietnam War

- The Vietnam war was also known as the war America did not want to enter. America was not the only country that suffered from this epic war. Vietnam and its people were personally affected during and after the war. In an episode called "Yellow Rain," the podcast Radiolab explored some of the others who were personally affected during and after the war. Specifically in this radio lab, Mr.Yang and the fellow Hmong people of Laos,that he represents, were physically and mentally hurt by the Vietnam war....   [tags: Vietnam War, Vietnam, South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh]

Research Papers
1424 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on Americas Ignorance

- Americas Ignorance America’s Ignorance For centuries now, men and women have struggled over their sexuality. It has been noted throughout time that several well known and highly regarded historical figures have been free with their sexuality on both sides of the spectrum. Basically, homosexual tendencies have been accepted as a normal part of life in that it has never been regarded as wrong. Only now in our new environment as Americans does the idea of homosexuality bring uncomfort and distaste to people....   [tags: Americas Ignorance]

Free Essays
1121 words (3.2 pages)

Vietnam Essay

- Vietnam The Socialist Republic of Vietnam consists of the former Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the former Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The division of the country resulted from the defeat of the French by Communist-inspired nationalists in 1954. A prolonged civil war resulted in a victory for the Communist north, and reunification occurred in mid-1976. Physical Setting Vietnam has an area of 127,207 square miles (329,465 square kilometers) and is located in Southeast Asia....   [tags: Vietnam Culture Vietnamese Government Essays]

Free Essays
3877 words (11.1 pages)