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USAF Southeast Asia Monograph Series Volume I Monographs 1 and 2 The Tale of Two Bridges and The Battle for the Skies Over North Vietnam Major A.J.C. Lavalle General Editor New Imprint by OFFICE OF AIR FORCE HISTORY UNITED STATES AIR FORCE WASHINGTON, D.C., 1985 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Main entry under title: The Tale of two bridges. And, The Battle for the skies over North Vietnam. (USAF Southeast Asia monograph series; v. 1, monographs 1 and 2) A.C. Lavalle, general editor. Reprint. Originally published: Washington: Dept. of the Air Force, 1976. Includes index. 1. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975—Aerial operations, American. 2. United States. Air Force—History—Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975. I. Lavalle, AJC. (Arthur J.C), 1940- _. II. Battle for the skies over North Vietnam. 1985. III. Series: USAF Southeast Asia monograph series; v. 1, monograph 1 and 2) DS558.8.T34 1986 959.704'348 85-18896 ISBN 0-912799-26-9 This volume is a reprint of a 1976 edition originally issued by the Air University. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, DC 20402 Foreword Many documents, articles, and stories have been written about U.S. Air Force operations in Southeast Asia (SEA). However, none have given the critical in-depth coverage commensurate with our level of involvement. This volume, the first in a USAF Southeast Asia Monograph series, is an attempt to document the story of AIR- POWER — and the people behind it —in our nation’s longest armed conflict. For eight years American airmen fought with a multitude of mis- sions, evolving weaponry, ever-changing tactics and maybe most notable—constantly changing constraints. In this volume, authors from the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College who actually fought there have combined for two excellent monographs of the people and weapons in SEA. The authors’ breadth of combat experience provides a penetrating account of airpower brought to bear —with all the emotion, frustrations, bravery and confusion of real life. For the general reader, these stories tell of airpower in human terms and should give some understanding of the spirit, courage, and professionalism of our U.S. airmen. To the student of airpower in- terested in improving the effectiveness of our Air Force, the monographs make an excellent case study of tactical air doctrine. The entire series is dedicated to ALL who served. en Crore DAVID C. JONES, General, USAF Chief of Staff 1 January 1976