Saturday, December 29, 2012

The US Air Force Museum - The Vietnam War

The origins of the Vietnam War are little more muddy than the origins of the Korean War.  After the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam was split into North and South Vietnam.  The North being Communist and the South being on our side.  There were supposed to be elections but our guy would have been defeated, so they were never held.  The North tried to unify Vietnam through a guerilla campaign and by 1965, we were fully involved in the War.
 The F-101 Vodoo was produced by McDonnell Douglas.  It was mostly used in a ground attack role.
 This is the B-57 Canberra which was designed produced under license from the British.  But that's not why I included this picture.  This picture represents one of the difficulties of taking pictures in a museum...namely the people that step in front as you are taking a picture.  I really love it when they see you with the camera to your face and they still step in front.  For the most part, people are polite enough to wait...and then there are the people that stop to take a text message.
 I'm not sure what plane this is.  I think it was used in the counter-insurgency role.
 The Jolly Green Giant.  This helicopter was used by the Air Force in the air rescue role.
 The MiG-17.  It was used by the North Vietnamese in part of the war.
 And the MiG-21 Fishbed.  It has the distinction of being one of the most produced jets in history.  It was used by a great number of Soviet allies.
 The F-4 Phantom.  This is painted to look like the Phantom that was flown by Colonel Robin Olds.  He was in charge of the main group of Phantoms that operated out of Thailand and protected the bombing raids over North Vietnam.
 While I was complaining in the earlier picture.  I didn't mind so much in this one.  I already had a picture of the plane but I liked the father showing his daughter around.  It's nice to see someone moving the passion onto a next generation.
 Sometimes I like to try for the odd angle.
 The F-111 Aardvark.  This was one of the earlier swing wing designs.  A version of it was going to be used by the Navy but that was cancelled (although many of the elments would be later incorporated in the F-14).  This also had a terrain following radar that enabled the pilots to stay fairly close to the ground.
 The A-7 Corsair II.  This was design that was originally used by the Navy but was later used by the Air Force.  It is a highly capable Ground Attack aircraft.
I loved this logo.   The weasel kind of looks like it is saying "*gulp*  You want me to what?".
 The F-105 Thunderchief.  This particular aircraft is in a wild weasel configuration which meant it was used to go after surface to air missile sites.  It is equipped with the Shrike missile which could home in on radar signals.  Many times, their mere presence would cause the North Vietnamese to shut their radar sites down which meant safer US flyers.
 This is probably one of my favorite planes ever, the B-52 Stratofortress.  This particular version is the D model which was the one used extensively over Vietnam.  In fact, many of these flew over my home when my dad was stationed in Guam.  The plane itself was developed in the 1950's and is still used to day.
An A-1 Skyraider.

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