The War: Into Exile

Though the anti-aircraft fire thrown up by the North Vietnamese is the thickest in the history of aerial warfare—it accounted for the loss of 14 U.S. planes last week—U.S. pilots for most of the war were little bothered by the North's MIG air force. The MIGs frequently did not come off the ground to meet U.S. pilots or, when they did, tried merely to force U.S. planes to jettison their bombs and defend themselves. Last August, the U.S. air commander in Viet Nam, Lieut. General William ("Spike") Momyer, told a Senate subcommittee: "We have driven the MIGs out of the...

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