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Friday, February 20, 2004

Arc Light.

This is coolbert:

Arc Lights at Khe Sanh (KS).

The name Arc Light was assigned to all B-52 missions flying out of Guam during the Vietnam war.

Three B-52 bombers flying in formation would unload their payloads on the same target simultaneously.

This was supposed to be the most highly feared weapon the U.S. had during the entire war.

Either Morley Safer of Mike Wallace of Sixty Minutes said that interviews with North Vietnamese soldiers after the war confirmed this fact. According to North Vietnamese vetarans ofd the war, NO American weapon was more feared than the B-52!

One flight of three B-52's would carpet bomb a target, creating a box shaped bombed area one and one half (1 1/2) miles long and three quarters (3/4) miles wide. Everyone within that box above ground would be killed. Everyone within one mile beyond the boundaries of the box also above ground would be wounded in some manner. A very fearsome weapon system.

The amount of ordnance expended at KS totaled nearly 100,000 tons of explosives. Most of this was in the manner of dropped bombs from flights of B-52's. Now, that amount of explosive is equivalent to five to ten Hiroshima types a-bombs dropped on KS!!

This was an impressive amount of ordnance by any standard.

This to is a clear indication of the significance and importance that the battle and siege of KS had in the minds of the U.S. commanders. Any time in these declassified reports reading about 27, 33, or 36 Arc Light missions during the siege, they are talking about multiples of three B-52's conducting carpet bombing against North Vietnamese targets.

How was this ordnance dropped without having the U.S. base at KS inadvertently struck by U.S. bombs? Well, it is reputed that the U.S. set up three large metal plates [some sort of corner reflectors] in the base itself, arranged in a triangular pattern. The radar from a B-52 could pick up this triangular shaped pattern and the lead bombardier would know that is where not to bomb!

An apocrypha account was carried in the Stars and Stripes newspaper at the time of the KS siege. This account was entitled, "The Rats Are Leaving Khe Sanh". It seems that the base at KS was infested with rats. Rats that were prompted to leave the base and forage outside the base once the sustained and enormous Arc Light bombardment of the countryside surrounding KS had began. It seems the rats found suitable forage in the numerous remains of dead North Vietnamese soldiers killed during the carpet bombing!!




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