South Viet Nam: Taking the Initiative

The U.S. bomb line was moving slowly closer to North Viet Nam's capital of Hanoi. Sweeping in from their carriers in the South China Sea, U.S. Navy fighter-bombers struck twice at a vital bridge link on the coastal highway just 65 miles south of the capital. The bombs and rockets that smashed the span marked the first time U.S. air power had hit a purely strategic target in North Viet Nam.

It was not to be the last. In quick succession, swarms of U.S. and South Vietnamese aircraft blasted other bridges important to North Vietnam's transport system. Over one target,...

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