Naval History and Heritage Command

Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Related Content
Document Type
  • Themed Collection
Wars & Conflicts
  • Vietnam Conflict 1962-1975
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials
  • Hampton Roads Naval Museum


From the Waves to the Skies: Naval Air Power

Air power was a crucial element of American strategy during the Vietnam War. U.S. pilots provided direct air support for friendly troops, attacked key supply routes such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and bombed North Vietnam’s infrastructure to weaken the enemy’s campaign against South Vietnam. During the course of the war, American planes dropped over twice as many bombs in Southeast Asia as they used in all of World War II. The Navy’s planes delivered 25% of American ordnance (1.5 million tons) during the war. Task Force 77, the aircraft carrier group of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, generally operated from an area off North Vietnam called “Yankee Station,” allowing for round-the-clock strikes against the enemy in coordination with the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps. These aircraft carriers provided the U.S. military with one of its most important capabilities: the projection of power ashore.

<p>bombs dropping&nbsp;</p>

Dropping bombs: A U.S. Navy F-4B Phantom, assigned to Fighter Squadron 111 (VF 111) "The Sundowners" dropping bombs over Vietnam on November 25, 1971. Photo from Naval History and Heritage Command.  


Target charts and cards: Lieutenant Bob Ponton used these cards and charts to navigate during bombing missions. He remembered, "We used to have bags full of charts. I could go anywhere." HRNM 2017.030.003-.009, gift of Bob Ponton.  


Brick from the "Hanoi Hilton" Prisoner of War Camp: American prisoners of war who suffered torture and ill treatment at the infamous Hoa Lo prison camp nicknamed it the "Hanoi Hilton." HRNM 2017.033.001, gift of Norman E. Maryan, CDR, USNR (Ret.) and Robert J. Aberbach, LT, USNR (Ret.)  

Title: Voices From the War
Published: Tue Mar 17 11:34:10 EDT 2020