Remembering a legacy: Operation Linebacker II

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

Forty-nine years ago on Dec. 18, 1972, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and U-Tapao Air Base, Thailand, were the staging areas for Operation Linebacker II, an operation that would become one of the most significant events to end the war in Vietnam. Andersen AFB became the site of the largest buildup of airpower in history. More than 12,000 Airmen and approximately 155 B-52 Bombers and KC-135 Tankers filled the entire airfield. During Linebacker II, B-52s flew more than 700 sorties and dropped over 15,000 tons of ordnance on critical targets in North Vietnam. Operation Linebacker II was a success, but it was not without the loss of 33 Airmen and 15 aircraft. The missions conducted during Linebacker II were made possible because of courageous and committed Airmen. Let us never forget those that gave it their all to secure freedom.