It has been 38 years since the United States involvement in Vietnam officially ended after a decade of concentrated aerial warfare. Vietnam is generally thought of as the first war the United States lost, and yet the sacrifices made by those who did the fighting should not, and will not be thought of as made in vain. Quantum leaps in tactics and technology, driven by the necessities of combat survival, put the USAF on a path to worldwide supremacy as exemplified by resounding victories in the Gulf Wars of the future. The combat pilots of Vietnam were destined to become the combat leaders of the future. Almost without exception, their experiences in Vietnam created a resolve to never repeat the many mistakes made in the promulgation of that war.
This is a photographic history of a long series of deployments by a myriad of USAF aircraft, from the fighters that were the tip of the spear to the support aircraft that performed logistical and special missions. Of the 301 black and white and 62 color photos, there are over 100 previously unpublished photos that are enhanced by several in-depth, first-person narratives from the pilots who fought this war.