B-52 Bomber on Final Approach for Landing

B-52 Bomber on Final Approach for Landing

This U.S. Air Force photo—taken at U-Tapao Air Base inThailand on October 30, 1972—depicts a a B-52 aircraft coming in for a landing after a mission over South Vietnam.

B-52s began combat missions in Vietnam during 1966. Because they could fly so high and fast, about six years passed before the first of these eight-engine bombers were lost to enemy action.

The Boeing B-52D-30-BW Stratofortress 55-662, depicted in this photo, had "OLIVE 2" as its call sign. On the 22nd of November, 1972, OLIVE 2 did not return from its final mission. It was struck by an exploding SA-2 Guideline (a Russian command-guided surface to-air missile), crippling the plane.

Fortunately, the crew was able to eject from the bomber. All six men were rescued by a Sikorsky HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant search-and-rescue helicopter.

The plane crashed about 15 miles southwest of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. Historical records tell us that OLIVE 2 was the first Stratofortress lost to enemy action during the Vietnam War.

By the time U.S. forces ended their combat efforts in Vietnam, B-52s had delivered "2,949,615 tons of bombs against enemy targets. A total of 31 B-52s were lost during this time. Seventy-three B-52 crewmen were killed in action and 33 captured and held as prisoners of war."

Media Credits

United States Air Force photo online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.



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"B-52 Bomber on Final Approach for Landing" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 18, 2019.
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