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  • Exhibits
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  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
  • Vietnam Conflict 1962-1975
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  • Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Page 47 top right image
Caption: A flight deck crew positions an A-4 on a catapult aboard USS Ranger (CVA 61). (Naval History and Heritage Command)


Operation Rolling Thunder

During Operation Rolling Thunder, the first major air campaign of the Vietnam War, the Navy and Air Force aimed to limit North Vietnam’s ability to support the Viet Cong and other Communist groups in Southeast Asia. From March 1965 through October 1968, naval aviators flew over 140,000 sorties from Yankee Station. Target areas, often selected by senior officials in Washington instead of operational commanders, included power plants, fuel and supply depots, rail yards, bridges, and airfields. The campaign reduced the flow of supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and damaged the country’s military and economic resources.