A fascinating study of the EB-66, which from 1965 to 1967 was the US Air Force's only platform for jamming and escort duties for its strike operations over heavily-defended areas. Without the bravery and skill of EB-66 operators, US losses would undoubtedly have been much higher during the Vietnam War, with large tactical strikes on North Vietnam and Arc Light B-52 raids only available when EB-66 support was possible. Studies of air combat in the Vietnam War inevitably focus on the MiG-killing fighter engagements, B-52 onslaughts or tactical strikes on the Hanoi region. However, underlying all these was the secretive 'electron war' in which highly-skilled electronic warfare officers dueled with Soviet and North Vietnamese radar operators in the attempt to enable US strike forces to reach their targets with minimal losses. Orbiting at the edge of heavily-defended territory, the vulnerable EB-66s identified and jammed the enemy's radar frequencies with electronic emissions and chaff to protect the American bombers. Their hazardous missions resulted in six combat losses, four of them to SA-2 missiles and one to a MiG-21, and they became prime targets for North Vietnamese defenses when their importance was realized.
This illustrated study focuses on the oft-overlooked B-66 series, examining their vital contributions to the Vietnam War and the bravery of those who operated them in some of the most challenging situations imaginable. Author Peter E. Davies also explores how the technology and tactics devised during the period made possible the development of the EF-111A Raven, an invaluable component of the Desert Storm combat scenario over Iraq and Kuwait in 1991, and the US Navy's EA-6B Prowler, which entered service towards the end of the Vietnam War.
Read an extract of B/EB-66 Destroyer Units in Combat
Table of Contents
1. Naval Origins 2. Cold War Bomber 3. Yokota and Shaw 4. Into the Fire 5. Thundering On 6. The Final Round 7. Still in Europe Appendices - Colour plates commentary - Index